Solving mysteries with DNA

The interest and focus of DNA testing was quite obvious as Oswego Middle School students Sierra Buske and Jarreau Hoskins prepare to test their samples.
The interest and focus of DNA testing was quite obvious as Oswego Middle School students Sierra Buske and Jarreau Hoskins prepare to test their samples.

Submitted by Oswego schools

It is always a thrill to see students excited about learning experiences and one of those moments recently occurred at the Oswego Middle School.

Oswego Middle School Science Teacher Catherine Celeste saw her students become totally immersed in a class project.

“I am fortunate to have had Cornell University professor Dr. Laurel Southard come to visit my classroom to do an all-day DNA Fingerprinting lab with some of our students on the Seven South Team,” Celeste said.

Dr. Southard contributed not only expertise, but something else.

“Dr. Southard brought almost $20,000 worth of gel electrophoresis equipment so the students could perform the same forensic test that is used for heinous crime scenes around the world,” Celeste said.

Students created gel, extracted real DNA, loaded it into wells and ran the test.

The concentration and focus of the students were quite evident as they placed their samples into the diagnostic machines.

“While they waited for the results they were able to collect their own DNA and make it visible through the use of florescent lights,” Celeste said.

When their original test in seeking the “criminal” was determined they discovered whether a suspect had actually committed a crime.”

The Oswego Middle School seventh graders thoroughly enjoyed this unique genuine learning experience and remained focused throughout the day as they worked to complete their portion of the project.

Granby students persevere

Elizabeth Chrisman and Riley Lunn were among the students selected by their teachers for their exemplary behavior and representation of the month’s behavioral expectation: perseverance. The students selected were treated to a special breakfast with Principal Heather Perry (middle).
Elizabeth Chrisman and Riley Lunn were among the students selected by their teachers for their exemplary behavior and representation of the month’s behavioral expectation: perseverance. The students selected were treated to a special breakfast with Principal Heather Perry (middle).

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

March’s character education trait in the Fulton City School District was perseverance.

Students at Granby Elementary School selected at best representing that character trait were treated to a special breakfast with Principal Heather Perry.

Over a meal of breakfast pizza, fruit cups, cereal and juice, Perry asked students if they could define perseverance.

One student described perseverance as facing many obstacles, but never giving up.

The following students were honored with the breakfast and each received a special certificate: Angelina Ferro, Jadriel Baez, Allison Treneer, Lucian Perkins, Avery Nunez, James Carden, Natalie Mcrae, Lily Mccoy, Zachary Brown, Mylea Calabro, Hannay Mackey, Jeffery Landers, Lyle Cole, Junior Gomez, Hailey Payment, Brielle Sievers, Miguel Sanderson, Daniel Demott-Smith, Savanna Flynn, Dylan Sullivan, Madison McCarty-Castillo, Gabby Farnham, Preston Collett, Nathaniel Sivalia, Adrienne Santos, Skylar Blake, Nicholas Smith, Kaylee Holmes, Elise Morse, Aiden Trude, Adyson Shepard, Jasmine Clew, Donald Gates, Ethan Bardin, Cameron Brown, Aiyanna Kolb-Kee, Rose Mills, Reese Calkins, Nick Mariotti, Riley Lunn, Walter Crofoot, Rebecca Stone, Elizabeth Chrisman, Chloe Bonoffski, Jillian Crandall, Sean Hein, Dominic Berry, Leah Mansfield, Hannah Rice, Montanna Gardinier, Chelsea Redman, Morgan Schuyler, Makayla Nolin and Conner Schneider.

Learn to paint silk scarves

Cindy Schmidt demonstrating the techniques used for Hand Painted Silk Scarves.
Cindy Schmidt demonstrating the techniques used for Hand Painted Silk Scarves.

Anyone who has ever wanted to learn how to make hand-painted silk scarves should take an upcoming class at Lakeside Artisans, 191 W. First St., Oswego.

The class will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, April 29.

Cindy Schmidt will show how to use the resist and dye method to decorate a silk scarf. Each participant will produce a scarf of their own design. All materials will be provided. There is a class limit of 6 participants.

This is another in the series of educational experiences for adults put on by Lakeside Artisans.

To register for a class, a non-refundable registration fee of $10 is required. The deposit may be delivered to the store or mailed to Lakeside Artisans, 191 W. First St., Oswego NY 13126.

The total class fee is $45, which includes the registration fee.

For additional information, call 342-8880, go to  or visit Lakeside Artisans us on Facebook.

Ryan wins Rotary fellowship award


At a recent Rotary Club meeting, Sue Ryan, right, was presented the coveted Paul Harris Fellowship Award by Judy Young, foundation committee member and club secretary of the Fulton Noon Rotary Club. Paul Harris was the founder of Rotary International, the world’s largest and oldest service organization. Ryan, with her husband Don, are the owners of the Lock III Restaurant where the Fulton Noon Rotary Club conducts its weekly meetings. Sue and Don work closely with the Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs in supporting their service work in our community.

Want to run for Phoenix school board? Get those petitions out now

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The Phoenix Central School District is accepting petitions for the board of education.

There are three seats open for election during the vote on May 20. The seats hold three-year terms and there is no salary.

The incumbents are Paul Gilchriest, Debbie St. Phillips and Keith Watkins.

Petitions to nominate candidates for the school board election can be obtained from the District Clerk’s office, located at the 116 Volney St., Phoenix.

Petitions must be signed by at least 25 qualified voters of the Phoenix Central School District and must state the name and address of the candidate. Residential address of each signer must also be provided.

The petitions must be filed with the District Clerk’s office no later than 5 p.m. Monday, April 21. The budget vote and elections will take place May 20.

Jerry’s Journal

I really can’t say what brought it on, this reminiscing/thanking/philosophizing I’m about to share with  you.

Maybe it’s because spring has sprung (so we hope) and with it warm weather and April showers to make things grow again, and Easter and hope for a new day.

I like to believe there’s always something to look forward to!

It began earlier this week after a trip to the local supermarket and I make this astute observations: It costs a lot of money to eat healthy. What’s that you say? One red pepper and one sweet potato came to almost $3. No way!

Yes, way. And I think it’s worth it, too, because we can afford it. But what about people who can’t afford fruits and vegetables and eat mostly junk food, I rambled on to my loving husband, Ed, on our way home from our shopping trip.

Junk food is a lot cheaper; no wonder there’s so much obesity.

Well, okay, dear Readers, who am I to talk — I’m no size 5 myself, not even close — I love my sweets! I do try, however, to put a couple of kinds of vegetables on the dinner table and try to eat as healthy as I can.

One problem with this perfect scenario, though, is that I don’t like to cook! Nope, never did. I had to anyway, when the kids were growing up.

Cooking for two adults and four children day in and day out was just part of my good wife/mother routine and I thought nothing of it. You did what you had to do.

I wasn’t too fond of grocery shopping, either. I was never the dedicated coupon clipper and sale shopper. If something was on sale and I could use it I would buy it. Otherwise, I bought what I needed to get through the week.

We went from paycheck to paycheck, back then, when Mike’s pay came in the mail on Thursday. It was my day off, leave the little darlings at home with a baby sitter day, my day to go grocery shopping, pay the bills and perhaps look around in the stores downtown.

My last stop of the afternoon was to Angelo’s Big M on West First Street to buy our groceries, several bags full, which usually came to about $20. Yes, you remember it well, 20 bucks used to go a long way!

Besides, I sure could stretch out the staples: hamburger, chicken, pot roast, potatoes, carrots, spaghetti, a couple cans of tomatoes (to make the sauce), a few cans of veggies and chicken noodle and  tomato soup, a package of sliced cheese (tomato soup and grilled cheese, yum) a box of oatmeal and a box of cereal (my kids loved their cereal), a couple of loaves of white bread and a big jar of peanut butter and jar of jelly.

An egg lady and a milkman delivered their wares right to our door, and in the summer we had more fresh fruits and vegetables, otherwise they came from the can. My kids just loved canned peaches!

As you can see from my grocery list it wasn’t exactly “healthy eating” and I was no gourmet cook (my kids didn’t know the difference), our diet didn’t vary too much, but our bellies were full.

One week I spent $42 at the grocery store! Mike had overtime pay and we were low on several essentials (you just can’t do without sugar and flour and dish detergent and toilet paper) so I stocked up — two shopping carts full, no less — and they contained no junk food, well, maybe a half gallon of ice cream and one big bottle of soda pop.

Those were special treats for just once in a while. Most of the time, though, my kids were content with popcorn and orange juice for a treat Sunday night while they were watching the Wonderful World of Disney just before they went to bed.

Oh, the good old days! It was a whole different world back then.  It’s the world I sometimes long for, talk about with family and friends, but realize I can’t bring it back, so I try to “live for today,” as they say. It ain’t so bad, you know… .

We still can smile and be glad we have lived here in Fulton, New York — it’s a beautiful part of our country — and remember how good it was growing up in “the Little City of Power and Progress.”

To be sure, we are sad, it’s not as pretty and neat and tidy as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to love it to death.

We still can be thankful for the good living and jobs it gave us at Nestle’s, Sealright, Dilts, Armstrong, Niagara Mohawk, the telephone company, the canning factory, the box company, just to name a few, and for the good schools we went to — Oak Street, Erie Street, Phillips Street, State Street, Fairgrieve and Good Old Fulton High.

We can thank God for the friends we made along the way and for a chance to grow old with each other and see each other at Mimi’s, the Blue Moon, the Lock, and other great places to meet and eat here in our hometown. It’s so good we still can laugh and yes, still cry together.

We can be thankful for the amazing Oswego River and the awesome Lake Ontario, and Rudy’s, and for Syracuse, our nearby metropolis, and for its university — go SU (I know their basketball season is over, but I love them anyway. Thanks for a great season!).

I am also grateful I can afford healthy food. I thank God every day for my life I had with Mike Hogan, and now with Ed Kasperek. I am thankful for all our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren…And, I am thankful for all of you, too.

Now here’s my caveat: Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share. Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up.

I hope you have fun reading my stuff. Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome. You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email

Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Valley Viewpoints

Thanks event sponsors

The Run for Dennis event would not have been possible without the generous and heartfelt support we received from so many individuals and sponsoring organizations.

We would like to thank all who supported us both financially and with donated services:

Auyer Race Timing, Associated Dental Arts of Oswego, Azteca, Burke’s Home Center, C’s Farms, Cestaro Chiropractic, Chirello Advertising, Eagle Beverage, Entergy, Fitzgibbons Agency, Fleet Feet of Syracuse, Gibby’s Irish Pub, GU energy gel, Hibernians of Oswego, Integrative Healing Spa, Kinney Drug, Mitchell’s Speedway Press, National Honor Society Chapter of Oswego High School, Ontario Orchards, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, Price chopper, Riverview Wellness, Road ID, Sugar-Scanlon Funeral Home, The Press Box, The sunset Group-Oswego Triathlon, Trinity Catholic School, I Heart Oswego, Wiltsie Construction, Oswego Lions club, Top Stitch, DJ Plus, RJ Caruso, The Beacon Hotel, Oswego Bagelry and Sandwich shop, Bosco and Geers, Harbor Eye Associates, Murdock’s sports, Port City Chiropractic, Warner Physical Therapy, Wegman’s, WSYR NewsChannel 9’s Bridge Street, Time Warner Cable News, Jim and Phyllis Allen, Chip and Karen Kio, Bob and Kristen Lenz, and James and Darlene Tynan.”

Jessica Newson



Child Abuse Awareness Month

Each April, we celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This year’s theme is “Pinwheels for Prevention” and will be celebrated locally through the Department of Social Services and the Child Advocacy Center.

Child Abuse Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect in our communities and is a call to action from the Prevent Child Abuse America organization.

This organization was founded in Chicago in 1972 and now has chapters in all 50 states and includes 581 Healthy Families America home visitation centers in 41 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Prevent Child Abuse America is focused on advocating for the creation of a national policy framework and strategy for the safety of children, while helping families to prevent incidents of abuse and neglect.

“Why Pinwheels for Prevention? Prevent Child Abuse America wants to transform awareness into action this year using the Pinwheel as a national symbol.

The pinwheel reminds us of childlike notions and stands for the chance at a healthy, happy, and full life that children deserve.”

Please review other important information on the organization’s website at:  (

Friday, April 4, 2014 was “Wear Blue Day” in recognition of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

This year in Oswego County, we celebrate the resilience of children and families determined to heal from these traumatic experiences, and honor the committed workers that support families and children in the community.

Far too many to name individually, they frequently come from the following areas:  schools, medical/mental health providers, caseworkers and managers, therapists, law enforcement, legal professions, Family Court and the District Attorney’s Office.

Providers committed to the safety of children in Oswego County encourage citizens to be involved in the lives of children in your neighborhood. Know children’s names and where they live, guide them away from danger whenever possible; whether it is a car in the street or a stranger approaching.

Be concerned and question children without appropriate supervision, without a coat in the winter, a child that appears to be hungry, or a child that is not attending school. The safety of children in our community relies on the commitment and willingness to act of community members.

Child Protective Services can intervene only once a report has been made to the State Central Registry.  A “finding” or positive conclusion of abuse or neglect can only be obtained if credible evidence is discovered to support the allegation.

When you see a child at risk, please do the following:

If you witness a crime being committed against a child:  Call 911

If you suspect abuse or neglect:  Call the NYS Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 342-3720. Provide as much information as possible: Name, address, parent’s name, if known. Detail your concerns. Be specific.  Bruises, malnourished, alone — no supervision, child has contact with inappropriate adults.

Date, times, or frequency of your observations. Calls can be made to the Hotline anonymously.

Protection of children in our community is everyone’s responsibility. The tried and true “it takes a village to raise a child” is a partnership we continue to build in Oswego County.

Be part of this effort through your commitment to the life a child. They indeed hold the future of our community in their hands.

Gregg Heffner, LCSW-R


Oswego County Department of Social Services


Read Rita

On behalf of the residents of our fair Village of Hannibal, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our correspondent to The Valley News.

Rita Hooper has done a great job over MANY years – actually she wrote the column for many years before she and her late husband, the Rev. “Bob” Hooper moved to Pennsylvania to serve a church until his retirement.

They always considered Hannibal to be their home having served the Community Church for 20 years and both sons grew up and graduated from Hannibal Central School.

While Bob and Rita were in Pennsylvania, Bea Scott took over the editorial job for the Hannibal news until the Hoopers returned to Hannibal for their retirement, living several years at Cain’s Corners, a couple miles from the village.

After Bob’s passing, Rita sold her home in the town and moved to an apartment in Fulton. However she let us know she still considers Hannibal “her home” and she still writes the weeky column for The Valley News.

She also returns to the community for most events (even card-playing) and likes to keep up to date and take part in Hannibal activities. We of Hannibal are blessed to have such a go-getter as Rita still representing us.

Hers is no easy task as she prefaces the local activities with a little editorial, usually educating all readers on many topics. She does much research to write these articles.

Many people outside Hannibal mention the fact they saw something in “Rita’s column,” as we call it.

Today she is very active in the First United Church of Fulton. (Once retired from a church the pastor and family are encouraged – sometimes mandated – to not attend their former church.)

But, should you want something about Hannibal to appear in The Valley News it goes without saying be sure to put it in “Rita’s column.” Also, I’ve heard many readers say they can’t wait for Saturday’s paper to see what Rita wrote.

So thanks again to our Hannibal correspondent for a job well done. Keep up the good work, Rita and God Bless.

Louise Kellogg

Village of Hannibal


Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

Born in a Grocery Store?

When I was born, my parents lived in the house attached to the family’s Red & White Grocery Store in Syracuse’s Valley section, which is why I suppose, that during my early years I may have thought that I was born in a grocery store.

I lived there with my parents until I was almost 2.

Valley Drive is a long residential street, which was intersected one block from our store and the house where we lived, by the busy Seneca Turnpike corner.

I remember, while I was growing up, staying overnight with my grandparents at that house and being fascinated by the bright neon lights of “Club Candee,” the busy nightclub which was located a block from the family store.

When I was a little older, I earned my allowance by helping Grandpa keep the empty cardboard cartons in an orderly fashion, and by delivering small orders and advertising flyers to the neighbors.

Through the years, I got to know many of the store’s regular customers. My grandmother always insisted that even though I considered many of those customers my friends, I should always address them by Mr., Mrs. or Miss.

One of the exceptions was Fanny Chapman, who was a daily visitor to the store, and also worked there part-time through the years. I guess I thought it was OK to call her by her first name, because it made me giggle every time she walked into the store.

In a column I wrote several years ago, I was remembering those grocery store years:

“One of the stories I heard told over and over by my grandmother all the time I was growing up and much longer was that I learned to walk by picking up two glass milk bottles from the back hall of our house and carrying them into the store.

“My grandmother was also fond of sharing pictures of me when I was about six or seven wearing one of my father’s store aprons which hung down to the floor.

“One of my favorite toys from the store was a long pole with a pair of ‘grabbers’ on the end, which was used to pull items from the store’s high shelves.  Using those grabbers to knock things off the shelves and all over the store was probably how I got revenge for having to parade around in that silly looking apron.”

“Do You Have Prince Albert in a Can?

From Hodgepodge, Dec. 24, 2005:

“For several years during the time my family owned a grocery store in the Valley section of Syracuse, I was able to leave a special gift for Santa Claus each Christmas Eve.

“Every year my father brought home a tin of Prince Albert Tobacco from the store, and my brother, sister and I left the special gift for Santa along with a plate of cookies, under the Christmas tree.”

(I can still picture that special Christmas time can with Santa enjoying a pipe full of his favorite tobacco.)

“Every Christmas morning there was a plate of cookie crumbs, a note from Santa, and Prince Albert was nowhere in sight.”

Do you have Prince Albert in a can?  Well, let him out! My father said he heard that comment many times during his years at the store.

Thinking a lot about the store this week, I have recalled that the store had a “gum ball” machine. I remember it sitting on the counter at the front of the store where customers “checked out.” As you might imagine, the gum balls were small balls of gum with a thin candy coating.

I often went with my father to the store when he visited on Sunday mornings. While he went about his business, I was putting pennies in the gum ball machine.

There were one or two special gum balls in the machine; I don’t know if they were even gum. They were very colorful, which made it easy to distinguish them from the other gum balls.

Looking for a “Winner”

Those gum balls were “special” – they were known as “winners” because if one of them came out of the machine when your penny was inserted that penny would “win” five more pennies – which of course would immediately be put back into the machine.

It wasn’t long before I learned to try to outsmart that gum ball machine. I knew that the “winner” wouldn’t come out if I could still see it in the machine’s glass globe.  So I shook and I jiggled until the coveted “winner” was out of sight, hopefully ready to come out when my penny went into the slot.

I soon discovered that all the shaking and jiggling was an exercise of futility.  All I had to do was to ask my father for more pennies. But I am sure that it would have added a little more excitement to my young life if a “winner” had come out of the gum ball machine.

Those days spent long ago at the family store with my father and grandparents are among the fondest of many memories.

A Couple More Things

No matter how much you push the envelope it will still be stationery.

I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

I read a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.

And, here’s one from Henny Youngman:

“A drunk goes up to a parking meter, puts in a dime. The dial goes to 60. The drunk says, “Huh I lost a hundred pounds.”

                                        . . . Roy Hodge

Your hometown. Your news.