Edna M. Mistretta, 95, of Fulton, passed away Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Edna was born in New York City in 1919 and lived most of her life in Volney and Scriba. She was a communicant of The Church of the Immaculate Conception in Fulton and St. Paul’s Church in Oswego. She was predeceased by her husband, Sebastian B. Mistretta in 1977, a daughter, Ann Marie Mistretta in 1974, and by her siblings and their spouses, Grace (John) Zagame, Santina (James) Ferlito, Antoinette (Joseph) Pappalardo and Paul (Josephine) Belfiore. Edna was hardworking throughout her life. She worked side by side with her husband on the family vegetable farm. Nothing was more important to Edna than her family. After her father died, she cared for her mother in her home until her death in 1969. She provided the same level of care for her husband after he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side. Edna loved her home and life on the farm. She was known for the beautiful flowers that she planted and cared for. Edna especially loved sharing her home during the holiday season. Her children, nieces and nephews have many fond memories of wonderful holiday celebrations. Surviving are her children, James A. Mistretta of Syracuse, Anthony J. Mistretta (Pamela) of Albany and Linda A. Mistretta of Syracuse; two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. A calling hour will be 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, March 16 in the Atrium at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, corners of South Third and Rochester streets, Fulton. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. Burial in the spring will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Fulton. The family requests that any contributions be made in remembrance of Edna to the charity of your choice.
Betty T. Ruetsch, 96, of Phoenix, N.Y., passed away on Tuesday March 10, 2015 at Michaud Residential Health Services, Fulton, NY. Born in the town of Granby (South Granby) to her late parents, Emma Harriet (Butler) and Harry Bennett Turner on January 7, 1919, Betty was a 1937 graduate of Phoenix High School and a fine homemaker. Betty was an active member of Phoenix United Methodist Church. She was involved with the United Methodist Women, Sunshine Circle and other activities. She also was the surviving charter member of the Enterprise Fire Co. Auxiliary, past president of the Mothers Club, and the Amaranth chapter all in Phoenix. She was predeceased by her husband, Charles D. Ruetsch on July 3, 1988; her brothers, Staff Sgt. Earl B. Turner on April 10, 1944 in the Central Pacific, WWII, and Donald H. Turner on September 6, 2011; and her sister-in-law, Bette Turner on September 4, 2012. Surviving are her son Douglas Earl Ruetsch and his wife Elizabeth “Ann” Ruetsch both of Phoenix; her daughter Pamela Betty (Ruetsch) English and her husband Bernard English both of Liverpool; three grandchildren Michael (Trisha) English, Charles Ruetsch, II, Douglas (Nancy) Ruetsch, II; three great-grandchildren, Sara Ruetsch, Lily Emma English, and Benjamin Kabot; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Calling hours are on Saturday March 14, from 11 a.m. until noon, followed by a funeral service all in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main Street, Phoenix, NY. The Rev. Marion Mae Moore-Colgan will officiate the service. Spring burial in Phoenix Rural Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Contributions in Betty’s memory should be made to: Phoenix Fire Dept. Auxiliary, 457 Main St., Phoenix, NY 13135.
By Colin Hogan
Fulton native Josh Batstone stepped into the spotlight on NBC’s “The Voice” this week, having made it through the first round of blind auditions and securing his place with the vocal coach of his choice.
The 18-year-old singer was featured on the program Tuesday, March 3 in a 30-second clip singing “Amnesia” by Australian pop-rock band 5 Seconds of Summer. The clip then shows celebrity coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton vying to have Batstone on their teams, with him ultimately choosing Levine.
Speaking to The Valley News from Los Angeles Thursday, Batstone said, regardless of what happens in the competition moving forward, getting through the blind audition has given him all the validation he needs as a performer.
“It’s an incredible feeling getting this far, at all,” Batstone said. “Not a lot of people get to make it this far. It’s an incredible feeling of accomplishment and validation for all the hard work that I’ve put into this… If I was to go home today, I would be beyond happy with my results so far.”
Batstone has been involved with music since he first fell in love with singing in church as a seventh-grader. As a high school freshman, he decided to get involved with school’s choir, and later started taking lessons from his local voice teacher, Carol Jacobe of Baldwinsville. But it was later in his teenage years when he became a home-schooled student that he says he really hit his stride with music.
“If I didn’t make the choice to be home-schooled, I don’t think I would be where I am today,” Batstone said. “I would spend hours and hours alone in my room singing and playing guitar, and listening to people and being inspired, and learning and writing. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I was in school.”
Few moments in life can match the feeling Batstone had when Levine and Shelton were battling it out for his pick, he said. While he went into the competition hoping to land a place on Team Adam, he said after his performance he had to put some thought into it before making his final decision.
“I definitely contemplated choosing Blake because of the nice things he was saying, but Adam brought it around and said what I could improve on, which was exactly what I was looking for,” Batstone said.
Beyond his place in the television spotlight, though, Batstone says “the coolest feeling ever” was seeing himself on the iTunes charts after his performance. Downloads of him singing “Amnesia” on the show are currently available on iTunes for $1.29.
As he progresses through the competition, Batstone will “continue to dabble” with songs in the same vein as “Amnesia,” but he said he would also like to stray a bit from the pop-rock realm and perform some acoustic singer/songwriter-style tunes.
While the show is designed as on ongoing competition, Batstone said when he’s backstage with his fellow contestants, the competitive nature is nowhere to be found.
“The first thing we do is say ‘good luck,’ and ‘break a leg’ and ‘have a great time,'” he said. “Whatever happens we’re still gong to remain best friends. There’s no competitive nature at all. We all hang out and jam and sing together because we’re all doing what we love… We’re really a family.”
And his support system doesn’t end there. Batstone’s actual family is also in Los Angeles providing round-the-clock encouragement. He said its through their continued support, and having them with him now, that he’s found the confidence he needed to get over the first hurdle.
“It’s really great to have my family here. I don’t know if I could do it alone,” Batstone said.
You can see more of Batstone in future episodes of “The Voice” this season, Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
By Colin Hogan
City officials have implemented a new parking ticket fine structure that they say is long overdue and will help Fulton meet state guidelines with which it hadn’t been compliant.
On Tuesday, the Common Council approved changes to the fine structure that will raise all basic violations to $30. Previously, the city fined violators either $10 or $25 on basic tickets, depending on the infraction.
Under the previous model, if unpaid, those charges would accrue every 10 days up to $65 on a $10 ticket, or $75 on a $25 ticket. Now, all basic violation charges will double to $60 if not paid within 30 days.
The fine for a handicap parking violation is also increasing from $50 to $80.
The recommendation for the new structure came from Fulton Police Chief Orlo A. Green III, who said the fines were outdated, and these changes will make it easier for the city to track and enforce tickets.
“I’ve been here 21 years and it hasn’t been changed since before I was chief,” Green said.
The hike in handicap parking fines will help the city meet a state mandate with which it previously wasn’t in compliance. Green said there is a state-mandated $30 surcharge on all handicap parking violations that Fulton hadn’t been paying. He said that’s why the $30 increase was in order.
“We wouldn’t be getting any more money from that, but the state would get its charge,” Green said.
Mayor Ron Woodward Sr. said Fulton was the only municipality in the area that wasn’t compliant with that mandate, and said he believes a portion of those funds go to local agencies that assist people with disabilities.
“The handicap (parking) fines are something we really need to do something about,” Woodward said previously.
The proposal also addressed changes to city’s law regarding unregistered vehicles. Previously, the law only allowed for tickets to be issued on vehicles that are being “operated” without a valid registration. The new policy includes an addition to the law that prohibits unregistered vehicles from being parked on any city streets, as well.
The council held a public hearing on the changes Tuesday, which yielded no comments. Councilors then unanimously approved the measure.
“This hasn’t been done in 20 years,” Woodward said Tuesday. “The chief researched it and we’re just bringing it up to where it should be.”
By Matthew Reitz
A group of local seniors is finding new ways to entertain themselves with modern technology at the Fulton Senior Dining and Activity Center.
About three years ago, a group of seniors began participating in a Nintendo Wii bowling league.
“Once we did it the first time it really caught on,” said Eileen Lutz, one of the program’s coordinators.
This year there will be two teams from Fulton competing in the seven-week-long National Senior League.
“They really get competitive and they enjoy bowling against the other teams,” said Lutz.
This season the seniors will take on teams from Georgia, Oklahoma, and California.
The seniors were first introduced to the Wii gaming system when a console was donated about five years ago. Lutz said it took them a while to pick it up and enjoy it, but after a slow start, they are now making up for lost time.
“Once we did it the first time, it really caught on,” Lutz said.
Gordy Haskins, a member of the team said they “practice most every day.” Haskins, who also participates in a similar group at Simeon-Dewitt in Oswego, said “we enjoy it, that’s the main thing.”
Others in the group pointed to Joe Wolcik as perhaps the most gifted Wii bowler. Wolcik bowled in a league for years, but “never did as well as here,”on the Wii. Wolcik has bowled nine 300-score games as part of the group.
Joe Corsoniti, a senior volunteer in the group, said it doesn’t quite compare to real bowling.
“We still have fun though,” Corsoniti added.
One of the big advantages for Wolcik is not having a ball.
“I used to have a 16-pound ball,” he said, “now I don’t have any weight.”
Maureen McClain, who works at the center and competes, likes the fact that “you can’t drop the ball.” McClain added that “it’s good exercise” and helps with “eye and hand coordination.”
Though it’s all in fun, it’s clear that these seniors can get competitive.
“We want to be champions,” Patty Delaney declared.
Elsie Tucci said her favorite thing about it was “being a part of a group.” Of course, they still enjoy playing the old favorites like rummy, too, Tucci said.
This group of seniors taught themselves how to use the Wii. Now they’re spreading that knowledge to others in the area to enjoy. The Fulton center now has eight bowlers participating on two teams, and other teams have sprouted up in Phoenix and Constantia.
The Fulton Senior Dining and Activity Center is run through Oswego County Opportunities. All seniors ages 60 and older are welcome, and meals are provided with a suggested donation of $3. Nobody is turned away. Sponsorship also comes from the Oswego County Office for the Aging, the United Way of Greater Oswego, and New York State Office for the Aging.
Ruth Keding Aluzzi passed away Tuesday, March 3 at her home in Fulton surrounded by her loving family. She lived her entire life in Fulton and raised her family there. Ruth had worked at a variety of jobs during her life, including the American Woolen Mill, Johnson’s Super Market, P&C, Aetna Life Insurance Co., The Fulton Patriot and as the manager of Aunt T’s Bed & Breakfast. She was a convert to Catholicism and a communicant of The Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Ruth was active with the Classic Bowling League for many years and was one of its star bowlers. She enjoyed attending live theater, listening to all forms of music, gardening and traveling; she was an avid traveler and loved going to foreign countries. Her travels took her to Austria, Hungary, Spain, and to Ireland and China in her late 80s in the company of her children, grandchildren and friends.
Ruth loved spending winters in Florida, especially with her friends, the late Shirley and Chuck Pasco. Her condo was always open to family and friends, no matter how long the visit. One of her favorite pastimes while in Florida was shopping at antique stores, second-hand shops and estate sales. She also loved garage sales. Ruth was a kind and loving mother, grandmother and friend to many, as attested by her 95th birthday party on February 4, where her entire family and many lifelong friends gathered to celebrate her milestone. She will be missed by all who knew her and forever loved by her family to whom she gave the greatest gift of all – her selflessness.
She was predeceased by her husband, Samuel A. Aluzzi; her two sons, Richard Bevacqua and Samuel D. Aluzzi; her six siblings, Freddie Keding, Ann (Keding) Vercillo, Robert Keding, Grace (Keding) Butler, Albert Keding, Oneida “Chickie” (Keding) Sestak; her parents, Emma and George Keding and her grandson, Marco Kaldi.
Ruth is survived by her children, Leita (Robert) Bevacqua Kaldi Davis of Bradenton, Fla., Joan (Armand) Bevacqua Cincotta of Syracuse, James A. (Yvonne) Aluzzi, Jean (Randy) Perry and Jacqueline (Andy) Hart all of Fulton; daughter-in-law, Kelli Aluzzi and sister-in-law, Betty Keding both of Fulton; grandchildren, Jude Kaldi, Dr. Kimberly C. Cole, Tracy C. Sala, Jodi C. Schwedes, Andy Cincotta, Andrea Aluzzi, Kristen Aluzzi, Heather Perry, Lane Perl, James V. Aluzzi, Michael Smith, Alan Smith, Christina Vaccaro and Shawn Hart; nine great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A prayer service will be held Tuesday, March 10 at 10:15 a.m. at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, corners of South Third and Rochester Sts., Fulton. Calling hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 9 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Donations in memory of Mrs. Aluzzi may be made to Francis House, 108 Michaels Ave., Syracuse, NY 13208.
Rev. Walter M. “Walt” Schneider, 82, of Sterling, passed away suddenly on Sunday, March 1 at Oswego Hospital. Born in Rochester, N.Y., he was the son of Martin and Martina Hoffman Schneider. Walt received his BA degree in religious theology from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo., and master’s degree in marriage, family and child counseling from The American Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles, Calif. He served as pastor at churches in Villisca and Red Oak, Iowa; as chaplain in the U.S. Army from 1961–198 including Vietnam and retired as a Lt. Colonel; he worked in family and individual counseling from 1981–1994 and was currently, since 2010, the pastor at Hope Community Lutheran Church in Red Creek, N.Y. Walt was an active member of local organizations including Town of Sterling Board; Sterling Historical Society, Fair Haven Chamber of Commerce and the American Legion Post in Red Creek where he served as chaplain.
Surviving are his wife, Gisela Schneider of Sterling; a daughter, Deborah (Craig) Wasilius of Hagerstown, Md.; a son, Paul (Yvette) Schneider of Reno, Nev.; grandchildren, Jessica and Erica Schneider; mother, Martina Schneider Roth of Rochester, N.Y.; brothers, Robert (Chris) Schneider of Fair Haven, N.Y., and Marty (Karen) Schneider of Hilton, N.Y.; nieces and nephews.
Calling hours were Friday, March 6 at Foster Funeral Home, 837 Cayuga Street in Hannibal. Services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7 at the Hope Community Church (Presbyterian Church), 6847 Main Street, Red Creek, N.Y. Memorial contributions may be made to the Oswego County Humane Society, 110 W. Second St., Oswego, 13126.
V. Brien “Pete” Mathews, 93, resident of Hannibal, passed away Friday, February 27 at Oswego Hospital after a short illness. Brien was born in Buffalo and was a son to the late Wesley Mathews and Anna Kempffer Mathews Dann. Brien was a U.S. Coast Guardsman and had served during World War II. He was a member of the VFW, the Fulton Amateur Radio Club for 28 years and Oswego County RACES Volunteer Communicators. Brien is survived by his wife, Nellie; his children, Neil, Dawn, Brien and Kevin; his stepson, Richard and his wife Mary Ellen; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Graveside services at Mt. Adnah Cemetery will be held at a later date. There are no calling hours. Memorial contributions in memory of Brien can be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, 153 South First St., Fulton. Arrangements have been entrusted to Foster Funeral Home in Fulton.