County GOP endorses Hanna; Todd announces he’s running for reelection

The Oswego County Republican Committee members from Congressional District NY-22 unanimously supported Rep. Richard Hanna for re-election.

Also at the meeting, Oswego County Sheriff Reuel “Moe” Todd and his wife Val announced Todd would seek re-election as Oswego County Sheriff.

“Tonight was a wonderful evening for Oswego County uniting behind Rep. Hanna and giving Sheriff Todd a standing ovation when he announced his candidacy for re-election,” said County Republican  Chairman Michael Backus.

“Truly we are lucky and thankful to have both Rep. Hanna and Sheriff Todd serving Oswego County and there is no doubt that the OCRC will be in strong support of both of them this fall,” Backus said.

Hanna, of Barneveld, Oneida County, has served as a member of Congress since 2011 and has represented the Eastern half of Oswego County since 2013.

“Congressman Hanna has been an independent voice for Oswego County since he was redistricted into our area and I am thankful he is carrying on the legacy of John McHugh and many others who went to Washington to solve problems and fight for Oswego County,” Backus said.

Todd has served as Oswego County sheriff since 1999.

“There are few individuals in elected office the quality of Sheriff Todd. He is a fighter for Oswego County and the beliefs we hold dear,” said Backus.  “I think the standing ovation he received is a testament to the service he has provided us and what he can bring in the future.”

Oswego man sentenced for killing his wife

Robert F. Moshier, of Oswego, was sentenced Wednesday to 5 to 15 years in state prison on his conviction for second-degree manslaughter.

He also was sentenced to 6.5 years and 3 years post-release supervision upon his conviction for second-degree assault.

Moshier previously pleaded guilty to these two felony offenses Jan. 29. Lawyer  Richard Mitchell, Jr. of Oswego represented Moshier throughout the proceedings.

At the time of his plea, Moshier admitted he recklessly caused the death of his wife, Theresa Moshier, by placing his arm around her throat in order to restrain her.

Moshier acknowledged his actions caused the injuries that resulted in his wife’s death, although he maintained that he did not intend to kill her.

By operation of law, the sentences will run concurrent, resulting in an aggregate sentence of 6.5 to 15 years. Moshier will receive credit for the 6 months he has been incarcerated since his arrest, so he’ll have to serve approximately 60 additional months before he is eligible for parole.

Moshier was arrested Aug. 15, 2013 by the Oswego County Sheriff’s Department.  Deputies responded to the Moshier residence in the Town of Oswego as a result of a 911 call.

On arrival, deputies found the victim showed no signs of life, and a responding paramedic pronounced her dead at the scene.

At sentencing, the victim’s mother fought tears as she told the court about the thoughtful and caring nature of the victim, who earned a master’s degree in business and worked two jobs to provide for husband and two children.

Additionally, she spoke about her daughter’s volunteer work with a local ambulance corps, which led to a paid position with Menter’s Ambulance service.

At sentencing, District Attorney Gregory Oakes noted women are more likely to be killed by a spouse or intimate partner, and such deaths often occur when the woman tries to leave the home.

Responding to prior statements of Moshier that his wife’s death was an accident, Oakes said, “When you place your arm around a person’s neck and squeeze, that is not an accident.”

Oakes stated the manslaughter conviction was appropriate, as her death was the likely and foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s conduct.

After sentencing, District Attorney Oakes stated, “The word “tragedy” doesn’t begin to describe this case.  My heart goes out to all of the surviving family.  Theresa was a kind and generous soul, and her death is a loss to our community.”

Group continues to fight invasive species

Unique habitats along with rare, threatened and endangered species in the Oswego County region are being threatened and displaced by invasive species.

To address this issue, a group of more than 15 partners in a five-county region have adopted a plan of work to mitigate this threat.

Formally known as the St. Lawrence, Eastern Lake Ontario – Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO – PRISM), this group is one of eight regional partnerships throughout New York state who’s mission is to protect economically, environmentally and socially important native habitats, biodiversity and natural areas.

Hosted by the Central and Western New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the SLELO-PRISM is now in its third year of addressing invasive species.

The partnership has representatives from various organizations throughout a five-county area who have developed a work plan for the 2014 field season.

The plan will address invasive species issues such as prevention, early detection, control and habitat restoration which in turn will help to preserve critical lands, waters and natural areas in the region.

“Invasive species pose a serious threat to the diversity of our natural areas, our economy and our health,” said Rob Williams, invasive species program coordinator. “Our partners have adopted a collaborative work plan that will mitigate their introduction and spread.”

Some of the target invasive species that the SLELO partners plan to address include terrestrial plants such as Swallow-wort, Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed.

Aquatic plants such as Water Chestnut and Hydrilla and forest pests to include the Emerald Ash Borer and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid also are in the plan.

“Some of these species are not yet found in our region, and we want to keep it that way,” Williams said.

Last year, the partnership was instrumental in protecting hundreds of acres of freshwater resources, wetland habitats, forest lands, shoreline dunes and globally rare Alvar lands.

In addition, the group treated over 141 Giant Hogweed sites reducing the health threat posed by this plant.

For more information on the SLELO-PRISM or for information on invasive species in the Oswego County area, visit the SLELO website at www.sleloinvasives.org

News in brief

The Fulton Art Association will host its eighth High School Invitational Art and Photography Show from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1 (today) and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 2 in the Community Room in the Fulton Municipal Building.

High school students from Fulton, Hannibal, Oswego and Phoenix school districts compete in up to 14 media, including 3D, ceramics, drawing, acrylics, watercolors, oils, printmaking, mixed media and photography.

The show is free. An artists’ reception will be held Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m.

Every show visitor can vote for his or her favorite piece in the competition.   The winner of the public’s vote wins the Viewers’ Choice Award. Viewers’ Choice voting results will be in the local newspapers.

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The Oswego County Farm Bureau will host its March Coffeecake Meeting at 1 p.m. Monday, March 3 at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union in Mexico. Located on Scenic Avenue/Route 3 North.

The featured speaker will be an official with UnitedWind, a wind power company, with a presentation on windmills for farm and landowners. As always, light refreshments will be served.

The Coffeecake Meetings are free and open to the public as well as Farm Bureau members.

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A meatball and spaghetti dinner is set for 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. Saturday,  March 8, at the First United Methodist Church of Oswego, 7111 Route 104, just west of SUNY Oswego entrance.

The menu consists of homemade meatballs, homemade sauce, homemade marinara sauce for vegetarians, salad, bread, drinks and dessert.

Takeouts and preorders the day of the dinner can be done by calling 343-6335.

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The Dugway Methodist Church will host a corned beef and ham and cabbage dinner from noon to 3 p.m. March 9.

Homemade desserts, coffee, tea and lemonade are included with the meal.

Also, there will be a Gospel Musical at 2 p.m., with bands such as Misfits, Forgiven Stranger, Charlie Tanguama and Steve Wilson and Karen and Wayne performing.

Dugway Methodist Church is located on Route 104 (2 miles east of I-81 Mexico Exit).

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The SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center will host a free information session from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, for people who are interested in learning more about a professional career in medical billing and coding.

The medical coding program is offered through an interactive online training in partnership with CodeSmart University.

The course is open to each student for 18 months from the date they enroll, and the program is self-paced so students can go as fast or slow as they would like.

The U.S. Department of Labor has projected that medical coding and billing jobs will grow at a greater than average rate. In New York, the current average salary of a medical coder is just less than $40,000 per year.

To register for the free information session, call the SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center at 934-4900 by March 4.

The SUNY Oswego Phoenix Center is at 70 County Route 59 in Oswego County’s Industrial Park.

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Blessings in a Backpack Blast fundraiser is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 15 at the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, 120 W. Fifth St., Oswego.

Luncheon of corned beef and toasted cheese sandwiches will be served. There also will be a craft sale, vendors, baked goods, a silent auction of baskets, quilts, baskets and more.

Sponsored by the Oswego-Fulton Lutheran-Episcopal Faith Partnership, Blessings in a Backpack provides food for school children on weekends.

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The West Monroe Volunteer Fire Department will have a pancake breakfast at its fire station from 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, March 16.

The menu consists of pancakes, French toast, sausage, ham, eggs cooked to order, toast, tomato or orange juice, coffee, tea, hot cocoa or milk.

The West Monroe Fire Station is located on County Route 11, two-tenths of a mile north of State Route 49 in West Monroe, and can be found on the Web at westmonroefire.org.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will host a workshop to help new owners and veterans get acquainted with their sewing machines from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 18 at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, located on Main Street in Mexico.

During this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to clean, oil and maintain their personal appliance.  Attendees should bring their sewing machine with its manual, foot control, and attachments with them.

Workshop cost is $8 per person.  To register for this class or to learn more about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, call 963-7286, ext. 301 by Thursday, March 13.

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Fulton author Jim Farfaglia will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday March 18 at the Oswego Public Library in the Community Room.

He will talk about his book about muck farms in Oswego County titled “Of The Earth,” a compilation of oral histories garnered from Oswego County muck farmers. Farfaglia also writes a weekly poem for The Valley News.

Oswego County has about 4,000 acres of muck land, an organic-rich soil that produces high-quality vegetables.

The book includes narration by muck farmers, their families, neighbors and agricultural support staff on how the mucks were formed and modernized and why living a muck-farm life is a unique experience.

Lillian Margaret “GG” Distin, loved Jesus Christ

Lillian Margaret “GG” Distin, 96, left her Greenbrier, Ark. residence, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, for the mansion prepared for her in Heaven.

Born on Wednesday, July 4, 1917 in Fulton, N.Y., to Margaret and Leroy Barker, she was just as energetic and bright as the holiday of her birth.

When born again in 1961, Jesus Christ became her first love, next to her family and church. For 30 years she was a beautician in her own salon. A powerful prayer warrior is gone, but her legacy of Christian faith lives on in the family she leaves behind.

She is survived by her children, Dennis Distin and wife Ricki of Greenbrier,Arkansas and Ronald Distin and wife Elaine (Pipsy) Distin of Beverly Hills, Florida. Grandchildren: Christy Secrease, Chip Distin, Ronnie Distin, Danny Distin and Amy Valentine. Great-grandchildren: Ryan Harrington, Ronnie, Cale, Blake and Lacy Distin, Kaylee and Meagan Secrease.

She was predeceased by her parents, sisters Arlene Hall and Lucille of Fulton, N.Y., and Milton “Mike” Distin, her devoted husband of 52 years, of Holiday, Fla.

Friends and family attended an evening of celebration and remembrance Feb. 27 in Springhill, Ark. Internment will be at Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park in Clearwater, Fla.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to House of Prayer, P.O. Box 547, Greenbrier, AR 72058, Alzheimer’s Arkansas or Gideon International.

Arrangements are by Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Greenbrier.

Homelessness program set for March 13

Homelessness is an issue that many know exists, but few feel comfortable discussing.

On March 13, homelessness in Oswego County will be front and center as COACH, Oswego County’s continuum of Care committee, hosts a community forum from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Oswego County Health Department, 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

The Community Forum on Homelessness will offer the community the opportunity to hear the specifics on homelessness in Oswego County and learn of plans being developed to address the issue.

Doug Baldwin, case management supervisor with Oswego County Department of Social Services’ Division of Mental Hygiene, said the forum will bring together the full membership of COACH as well as members on COACH’s sub-committees.

“HUD has required all Continuum of Care committees throughout New York State to plan and implement a more formal organizational structure. This forum allows us to solicit input and ideas, as well as an opportunity to re-energize our membership,” Baldwin.

One subject to be addressed is the number of people that are homeless or at risk of homelessness in Oswego County.

“The results of a recent Point in Time survey that identified 280 people in one evening and the number of homeless individuals that have received services from Catholic Charities, Oswego County Opportunities, and the Department of Social Services, combined with the other people that meet the HUD definition of homelessness but are not captured, indicate that homelessness is a serious problem in our County,” Baldwin said.

The highlight of the forum will be a special presentation from William O’Connell, community and planning office director, HUD Buffalo Field Office. O’Connell, will share his experiences and how communities are responding and working together to address homelessness.

O’Connell, who has also headed the Continuum of Care initiative in Buffalo, will join COACH members to discuss strategies to prevent homelessness such as providing appropriate education and skills training, adequate employment opportunities, and a decent stock of affordable housing.

One of the key elements in meeting these challenges is establishing a clear picture of what homelessness looks like in Oswego County.

To accomplish this, COACH is in the planning process for a Homeless Management information System, which Baldwin aid will allow them to more accurately capture and quantify the true nature of homelessness in Oswego County.

Additionally, Baldwin said COACH is discussing plans to rapidly re-house the homeless in permanent affordable housing with necessary support services available as needed, and to provide staff to monitor and support homeless individuals in emergency housing situations, to foster rapid transitions.

“Homelessness is an issue that effects the entire community,” said COACH member and Oswego County Opportunities Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.  “I encourage human service agencies, community members, fraternal groups and other organizations to join us for this enlightening forum and learn how we can work together to alleviate homelessness in Oswego County.

For more information on the Community Forum on Homelessness, or to register contact Melanie Trexler, executive director, United Way of Greater Oswego County, at 593-1900 or at melanieunitedway@windstream.net.

Fulton’s East Side pool will be closed this summer

By Ashley M. Casey

Fultonians will have to find a new place to cool off this summer — the East Side pool will be closed.

The City of Fulton’s Parks and Recreation Superintendent Barry Ostrander said the pool, located at Rowlee Beach Park on South 12th Street, is in “extreme disrepair.”

“Extensive repairs are needed to keep it open. It’s reached a limit where we can no longer do in-house repairs,” Ostrander said.

In August 2013, the city applied for New York state’s “highly competitive” Empire Environmental Protection Fund grant to cover half the pool’s repair costs, but was rejected, Ostrander said.

“One of the primary reasons we didn’t get it was the study we supplied … was outdated,” Ostrander said.

In 2005, the engineering study suggested repairs to the pool, its filtration system and bath house totaling $227,000.

“(The city) decided not to go through with repairs at that time,” Ostrander said.

At its Feb. 18 meeting, the Common Council tabled a resolution proposing an engineering study of the pool’s needs by Barton & Loguidice.

“The thought process was three councilmen said they were not willing to bond (the project),” said Mayor Ronald L. Woodward Sr. “I think we should have the study. Then we could apply for grants. But I understand they’re concerned about the budget — and they should be.”

Woodward said First Ward Councilor Tom Kenyon, Third Ward Councilor Ryan Raponi and Fourth Ward Councilor Jim Myers were the three councilors who opposed bonding the pool project.

“I’m only opposed to it at this time because I didn’t see the need to spend $4,600 on a study for something that we can’t afford to fix anyway,” Myers said.

Both Ostrander and Myers said the city may look into a grant that could cover a portion of the engineering study’s cost.

Either way, the pool will still be closed this summer.

Ostrander said if the city were to apply for a grant to cover the study, “that would be another year removed from (possibly receiving) a big grant for the pool.”

Kenyon said the War Memorial gymnasium floor was well-used and so he supported a similar engineering study for that, but the pool is another matter.

“When I was a kid, I was told ‘no’ sometimes. If we have to be without a pool for a year, so be it,” Kenyon said. He also advocated saving “every penny we can” to fix the city’s roads after a rough winter.

“I’d wait until the state (Financial Restructuring Board) comes in to see what they do,” he added.

At the Feb. 25 school board meeting, Fulton City School District Superintendent Bill Lynch said Second Ward Councilor and Common Council President Dan Knopp had called him to ask if Granby Elementary’s pool would be available for community use this summer.

Lynch said many BOCES special education classes use the Granby pool during the summer, so he could not give Knopp an answer about the pool’s availability.

“We have a lot of issues … if there was available time,” Lynch told the board, citing staff and supervision as two key issues.

“We’re already offering more special ed at Granby this year because of (renovations) at Volney and (asbestos) abatement at Lanigan,” Lynch said. “That’s a heavy load for Granby to be shouldering.”

Lynch said the district could not offer transportation for community members to use the pool either.

The Granby pool already offers limited community use in the early morning and for an hour in the afternoon.

School board member Christine Plath, a former Mexico teacher, expressed concern about the idea of opening Granby to the city.

“It was a disaster when Mexico had a community pool,” she said.

Laura Post Thompson, IRS auditor

Laura  Post  Thompson, 97, former Phoenix, NY resident, passed away on Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014, at the Chittenango Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care, Chittenango.

She was born in the town of Camillus, NY to her late parents, Mary (Zimmerman) and William Post on March 13, 1916.  She was a graduate of Phoenix High School, class of 1933.

When she entered the work force at age 18, her hourly rate was 32 cents in the wrapping room at Nestle Co., Fulton.  Later she worked for Columbia Mills Co., Minetto, NY.  They were manufacturers of venetian blinds.

Laura continued her education with two years of college.  She was hired as an auditor for the IRS in Syracuse, NY retiring in 1962 after 32 years of service.

Laura was a longtime member of the Phoenix United Methodist Church.

Besides her parents, she predeceased by her husband, Walter Pixley Thompson on July 23, 1994; her sister Helen M. Reichel on Dec. 24, 2005; her brother, Donald Post.

Surviving are her nieces and nephews.

Services were Feb. 28 in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix, NY 13135, with the Rev. Marion Moore-Colgan officiating.  Spring burial in Belle Isle Cemetery, town of Camillus, NY.

Calling hours were held prior to the funeral service at the funeral home.

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