Fulton wrestlers place at NYWAY tournament

Quinn Burlingham and Matthew Woodworth of the Fulton Wrestling Club participated recently in the NYWAY wrestling tournament. They left the event as champions winning in their respective weight classes.

NYWAY`s mission is to develop opportunities to advance the sport of wrestling by uniting New York`s leagues and giving youth wrestlers the opportunity to learn the sport at all levels.

Other Fulton Wrestling Club wrestlers placed at the NYWAY New York State Wrestling Tournament March 16 at Onondaga Community College included Adam DeMauro who came in third, Travis Race who finished in sixth place, Nick Noel who made it to the championship round and ended up in second place, Dylan DeMauro who came in third and Camrin Galvin who earned a fifth place. 

Phoenix softball seeks Sectional playoffs in 2014

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix varsity softball team comes into the 2014 season with a few different goals.

The Lady Firebirds primary goal is to have a winning season while qualifying for Sectional Play.

Phoenix is not done there, though. They also believe they can be more successful in Sectional Playoffs than they were last season.

The Lady Firebirds are working hard to be in a position where they can build off of what they accomplished a year ago.

Coach Raina Hinman expects to have a cohesive team this season. Her team will feature five seniors with only four returning players from last year’s team. Two very promising eighth-graders will also be making their varsity softball debut this season.

When practices began at the beginning of March, coaches began preparing the team with daily conditioning drills and basic skills refining.

Hinman said she is pleased with how well her team’s conditioning is at this point in time.

“They are actually in pretty good shape,” Hinman said.

Junior Megan Brown and seniors Kim Holbrook and Skyler Mace have been named team captains. Hinman said her three captains are natural leaders who have earned the respect of their teammates.

She also credits them with playing with the passion and communicating well with their teammates.

While assessing the schedule that awaits Phoenix, Hinman said she expects solid teams like Solvay and Westhill to have impressive seasons. However, she believes that the Lady Firebirds will present favorable matchups to the other teams they have to face this season.

With Brown, a pitcher, returning to the mound this season, Hinman expects her pitchers to anchor a solid defense.

Hitting is also expected to be a strength for the Lady Firebirds. Hinman said her team’s ability to hit the ball should allow them to have an aggressive approach offensively.

This season, junior pitcher Brown also will be taking part in a strikeout campaign to benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Girl Scouts boosting Easter spirit

Members of Girl Scout Troop #10925 of Fulton have been working hard on their Bronze Award. One thing they have been working on is getting donations for Madalyn & Evelyn’s Easter Spirit. 

This organization puts together Easter baskets for children in need throughout Oswego County. To do this, the Girl Scouts have decorated boxes and placed them around Fulton to collect donations of Easter items. This includes baskets, cellophane basket wrap, candy and basket fillers of all sorts. They are also making bracelets to put in the Easter baskets. 

Last year Madalyn & Evelyn’s Easter Spirit put together more than 400 baskets. Troop #10925 is hoping to help them with just as many baskets this year. There are boxes collecting items located at Off-Broadway Dance Center, Noah’s Nursery School, The Hair Hut and Devine Design Floral. The Bronze Award is the highest honor a junior Girl Scout can achieve. 

First United Church “Spring Fling” April 4, 5

Getting some of the items ready for the ‘Spring Fling’ are, front left to right, Hailey Lischak, Sophia Barrigan and Gabriel Barrigan. In back are Jean Cole, Martha Swick, Zola Holbrook, Marilou Fistick, Nancy Allen, Patricia Mena

The First United Church of Fulton is having its annual “Spring Fling” Rummage Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 4 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday April 5.

A $3 bag sale will take place Saturday from noon to 1 pm. The Basement Boutique will be open both days.

The sale will offer clothing, shoes, books, household items, jewelry, toys, collectibles and other various items. There will be drawings for children’s Easter baskets.

The drawings will be held Saturday at 12:30 p.m. You do not need to be present to win.

Light lunch foods and bake sale items will be available to purchase.

The building is accessible to the disabled and located at 33 S. Third St., Fulton. For more information, call the church office at 592-2707.

Good Friday Cross Walk April 18 beginning at Holy Trinity

The annual Good Friday Cross Walk, sponsored by the Greater Fulton Area Council of Christian Churches, will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 18, in the parking lot of Holy Trinity Parish, 309 Buffalo St., Fulton.

Walkers will gather for prayer and the singing of hymns as they take turns carrying a large wooden cross in the downtown section of the city of Fulton.

This annual Walk returns to and remembers the “way of the cross” that Jesus traveled on his journey within the city of Jerusalem to the place of his crucifixion.

The Cross Walk will conclude about noon at its final destination, First United Church of Fulton, 33 S. Third St.

Everyone who has taken part in the walk will be welcome to a Soup and Bread Luncheon provided by the Board of Deacons of First United Church.

Both the Cross Walk and luncheon are open to the general public. There is no cost for the luncheon.

The Greater Fulton Area Council of Christian Churches is made up of those member congregations who support ecumenical programs, including the annual Michaud Memorial Service and the annual fall season Crop Walk which raises money for world hunger and local food pantries.

For more information about the Greater Fulton Area Council of Christian Churches and the Good Friday Cross Walk, contact the Council of Churches President, the Rev. David Nethercott, at 592-2707.

Learned chosen as Hannibal Library’s Woman of the Year

3-29_HANlearnedBy Debra J. Groom

Christine Learned has been named Hannibal Library’s Woman of the Year.

It was the sixth time the award has been presented. She was honored during a special lunch and program March 22 at the library.

Learned, 41, worked as a certified nursing assistant at St. Luke’s in Oswego for seven years before she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She took time out for surgery and treatment, all the while also taking care of her family, which includes three daughters and a granddaughter.

“I loved my job — I love taking care of the elderly,” she said during a phone interview Wednesday.

She tried to go back to her job, but found the mastectomy surgery made it difficult to care for the nursing home residents properly.

She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2004, but did go into remission. But in September 2013, she was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

“There is no cure for my cancer, so I am taking medications that help in stabilizing it,” she said. “Now, I’m living life, taking care of my family and doing what I can. I remain hopeful.”

Her family includes daughters Kayla, 22, who worked in Radisson; Sarra, 16, who attends Hannibal High; and Amanda, 13, a student at Kenney Middle. She also has a granddaughter Claire, 2 1/2, who she looks after during the day.

Learned received a plaque and certificates for being named Woman of the Year.

“I am very honored,” she said. “I was in total shock — it was totally unexpected.”

Women nominated for the honor this year were: Donna Blake, Linda Ford,  Christine Bortel Learned, Kim Heins, Carol Newvine, Linda Remig, Lenore Richards and Shelly Stanton.

Residents of the area voted on the nominees through March 15.

The annual award was begun by librarian Shelly Stanton as a way of recognizing outstanding women in the community. It always is done in March — which is Women’s History Month.

Empower credit union employees clean up Voorhees Park

Employees from Empower Federal Credit Union West Branch in Fulton are volunteering to help prepare Voorhees Park for the summer.

As a community outreach project, they are working with the Friends of Fulton Parks and the Fulton Department of Parks and Recreation to install safety landing material at the Voorhees Park Playground during Earth Week. For information on how you can “Sparkle-a-Park” at other locations in Fulton, email friendsoffultonparks@gmail.com.

Fulton’s “Sparkle-a-Park” activities are part of the Oswego County Environmental Management Council’s Earth Week Cleanups and Projects, to be held across the county through May 4.

Fulton school district residents to vote on public library propositions

By Ashley M. Casey

The Fulton City School District board of education voted March 25 to include propositions concerning the Fulton Public Library on the May 20 special election ballot.

Library Director Betty Maute and Board of Trustees President Marian Stanton presented two propositions to the board.

One would make the library a school district library and increase the annual tax amount the district collects for the library to $350,000 (currently, the school collects $170,000 a year on behalf of the library).

The other allows school district voters to elect members of the library’s board of trustees.

“We have to have stable funding,” Stanton said. “When push comes to shove, the library gets shoved.”

Fulton resident Bill Pierce spoke against the library propositions during the evening’s first public forum.

He said he had heard a lot of “misinformation” about which taxpayers would fall under the new levy amount, and he opposed the original 1999 New York state law that allowed libraries to collect taxes through school districts as well.

“It should have nothing to do with the school system,” Pierce said.

Fulton Superintendent Bill Lynch explained that only property owners who live in the Fulton City School District will pay the tax.

“The levying of the library tax will not be related to zip code. It will be on those who live in the Fulton school district,” Lynch said. “The school district will have no responsibility for the library building, staff or budget.”

Stanton also said the library would not “impinge on their (the school district’s) functions.”

Lynch told The Valley News if voters approve these propositions, they will have more control over the library than they do now.

“The registered voters are going to elect the library board,” he said. “The library is saying, ‘You will now have a stake in the governance of the library.’”

Currently, the Common Council approves the mayor’s appointments of library trustees.

Although the school board has approved the propositions for the May election, ultimately, it is up to the school district voters.

Budget waiting for state aid

Superintendent Bill Lynch and Director of Finance Kathy Nichols introduced a second draft of the proposed 2014-15 district budget.

The numbers are the same as in the first draft: The budget is expected to increase by 2.66 percent to $66,992,685 over the 2013-14 total of $65,259,100.

Lynch reiterated the district will increase the local tax levy only by 1 percent over last year’s rate.

“I just don’t think the community is in a spot to be able to handle (more than) that,” he said.

The district still faces a shortfall of $1,280,378. The district is hoping to close that gap through analyzing its revenues and spending, receiving a portion from the BOCES administrative budget, state aid and a possible reduction in the Gap Elimination Adjustment the district must pay.

New York state is expected to complete its budget by April 1.

“We are a high-need, low-wealth school district … We are relying on aid from New York state,” Lynch said. “Foundation aid has essentially been frozen since the 2008-09 school year.”

He explained that for the 2008-09 year, state foundation aid covered 40 percent of total education costs. Now, that aid covers only 35 percent, shifting more of the burden to local taxpayers.

Nichols and Lynch will present a third draft of the budget at the April 8 board meeting. The board is expected to adopt the budget at the April 23 meeting, and district taxpayers will vote on it May 20.

Coming up

Public propositions for the May 20 election are due April 1.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 7:30 p.m. April 8 at the Education Center, 167 S. Fourth St.

The public hearing for the proposed school budget will be at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Junior High School, 129 Curtis St.

The vote on the school budget, library propositions and election of school board members will be May 20 at the elementary schools.

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