Nine Mile 2 shuts down

Unit 2 at Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s (CENG) Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station was manually shut down at about 1:45 a.m. due to an electrical component failure on the non-nuclear side of the plant.

All safety systems responded as designed and the plant went offline as expected, safely and without incident.

Unit 2 operators took immediate and appropriate action based upon plant parameters to shut down the unit in accordance with their procedures and training.  Station personnel are investigating the cause of the shutdown and will then take actions to complete necessary repairs in order to return the unit to service.

The plant is communicating with the regional grid operator, and the temporary shutdown is not expected to impact electrical service to homes and businesses in the region.

 

Program on medical billing, coding career March 6

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, just off Exit 14 from Route 481.

3 Baldwinsville teens charged in Granby man’s death

The New York State Police in Fulton announce the arrest of three Baldwinsville teenagers as a result of the investigation into the death of Anthony J. Miller of Granby.

Miller was found dead Feb. 3 in his mobile home in the Indian Hills Mobile Home Park.

Arrested and charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary, both felonies, are: Michael H. Celi, 17, of 9 McHarrie St., Baldwinsville; Glenwood E. Carr, 16, of 610 Lamson Road, Baldwinsville; and Zachary M. Scott, 19, of 7645 Van Buren Road, Baldwinsville.

The three subjects were arraigned by Granby Town Justice Bruce Wells and sent to the Oswego County jail.

The investigation is continuing.

At first, troopers called the death of Miller, 46, suspicious, but later said it had been ruled a homicide.

Friends found Miller in his home off Route 48.

Fulton school budget firming up; winter break renovations on track

By Ashley M. Casey

Voting on the Fulton City School District’s 2014-15 budget and electing three board of education members will be May 20 at the elementary schools, the school board announced at its Feb. 25 meeting.

A public hearing on the budget will be at 7 p.m. May 7 at the Junior High School.

The terms of board members Fred Cavalier, Barbara Hubbard and board president David Cordone expire June 30. The new terms would last from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2017. Lynch said it was too early to say if these members would be running again or if there would be any other contenders.

Another issue expected to appear on the ballot is the Fulton Public Library. Lynch said he and Cordone met with library representatives Feb. 10 to discuss increasing the amount of library tax the district collects and a possible charter change for the library.

“Currently, we collect $190,000,” Lynch said. “They are going to ask for an additional $100,000.”

The library also wants to change its charter from a municipal library to a school district public library.

“They are not part of the school district, although they are a public school district library,” Lynch said of the proposed change. “We have nothing to do with the library building (or) staff.”

Lynch said this arrangement is common, citing examples in Liverpool, Baldwinsville and Oswego.

The library will have to submit the proposition to the board by April 1, and will have to collect 200 signatures from qualified district voters by April 30.

February break renovations on track

Lynch told the board renovations begun during the February break at Fairgrieve and Volney elementary schools have gone according to schedule.

The renovations are part of the 2012 capital project

Asbestos abatement is continuing upstairs at Fairgrieve and the sixth-grade wing is closed.

Volney is on track for abatement and renovations outside the third-grade classrooms.

“The project is … moving along as it’s been planned,” Lynch said.

Another project that had to be moved up is the replacement of floor tiles in the social studies wing at G. Ray Bodley High School.

“We originally planned to do the work this summer,” Lynch said.

The floor tiles contain asbestos and are peeling up and coming loose.

Lynch said a solvent used to remove the loose tiles left a “quite pungent” citrus odor in the building, but changes in ventilation have reduced the odor.

Classes using the affected rooms have been relocated, and the tiles are expected to be replaced during April break.

GRB proposes college prep course

Bodley High School Principal Donna Parkhurst presented to the board a plan for a college readiness course in collaboration with Cayuga Community College.

The semester-long class, called “Cayuga 101: Foundations for College Success,” would be open to students in grades 10 through 12 and would teach time management, organization, study skills and other qualities needed to succeed in college.

“This past December, we sent three teachers to be trained (to teach this),” Parkhurst said. “They were so excited.”

Parkhurst said GRB could definitely offer two sections of the class, but would like to add a third. This would open the class to 150 students.

“Current enrollment has to drive what teachers we can pull,” she said. The school would redistribute class sizes in less busy departments, such as U.S. history and business, to free up teachers for the Cayuga course.

School board member Christine Plath, who teaches part-time at CCC, said she has met students who have taken similar courses before.

“Students say it is very helpful to them. Students that don’t have time management and study skills are lost and don’t know what to do,” she said.

Parkhurst said students would earn three college credit hours and the cost of the “On Course” textbook would be included in GRB’s budget.

Coming up

  • The eighth annual High School Art and Photography Invitational is on display in the Community Room at the Fulton Municipal Building (141 S. First St.) 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 1 (today), and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 2. It will showcase artwork from Fulton, Hannibal, Oswego and Phoenix schools.
  • The next school board meeting is at 7:30 p.m. March 11 at the Education Center (167 S. Fourth St.).

FULTON FAMILIES — Labor of love: The Mirabitos celebrate a century in Fulton

The Mirabito family has lived through about a century of ups and downs in Fultons. Today, Jim Mirabito is a successful grocer in Hannibal. Back row, left to right: Ann, Jim and Dan; front row: Sue, Steve and Sara.
The Mirabito family has lived through about a century of ups and downs in Fultons. Today, Jim Mirabito is a successful grocer in Hannibal. Back row, left to right: Ann, Jim and Dan; front row: Sue, Steve and Sara.

Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment of stories about Fulton Families.  The monthly series will tell the stories of families that have either  lived in Fulton for ages or perhaps only a short while — but the common  bond will be they love the city and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.  If you know of a family we should highlight, please email Debbie Groom,  Valley News managing editor, at dgroom@scotsmanmediagroup.com.

By Ashley M. Casey

According to Charlene Mirabito, six is the perfect number of children.

Having grown up as the only child of Polish immigrants to Fulton, she knew  that one would be lonely. But she thought two would fight, three would end up two-on-one, and four or five might gang up on each other as well. So she and her husband, Francis, settled on six: Ann, Jim, Sue, Dan, Steve and Sara.

Out of that brood of six, only Jim Mirabito remains a Fultonian. He and his wife, Cindy, own the Hannibal Village Market, which they bought from Francis back in 1996.

As a third-generation Mirabito in Fulton, he is carrying on the family tradition of engaging with the community. Continue reading

The Sportsman’s World, by Leon Archer Fur trapping

The fur trade today bears very little resemblance to that of Colonial America through the first half of the 1800s.

The most important fur in those days came from the beaver, but fur, whether from beaver, or muskrat, was destined to become felt. The felt produced from beaver fur was of the highest quality and demanded a high price.

The felt hat or “beaver” actually went into production in the early 1500s, but it grew in popularity until by the mid-1600s it was a must have item for many people and classes.

The well-recognized stove pipe hat such as we see Lincoln wearing in photographs and paintings, was an absolute necessity for the well-bred gentleman. The 17th century cardinals wore red, wide brimmed beaver felt hats worthy of their rank, and every naval officer from lieutenant to Admiral had to have his cocked hat, made of beaver felt, of course.

I do not know if any beaver fur is used for the production of felt top hats today, because silk top hats became more popular by the 20th century, in a short time displacing the beaver.

But furs have become valuable and popular throughout the past hundred years, being desired for coats, jackets and stoles. Not many folks were around when every college man or up and comer had to have a raccoon coat, but more of us can remember the 1950s when mink coats were all the rage, commanding prices in the thousands, and a trapper catching two of the critters could earn as much as a full week’s wages from their sale.

I entered the world of trapping as a boy of 11, which coincided almost perfectly with the decline of many fur prices. I trapped mostly muskrat, but I tried my hand at raccoon, mink and ermine as well.

I did fairly well with the rats, caught a few raccoon, a couple of mink, and racked up a fair number of ermine during seven years of trapping. Above all the rest, each year I looked forward to March 1, the opening day of muskrat season.

Before I started trapping, muskrats were bringing close to $4 apiece; once I was trapping, they were bringing $1.35. The most I ever got for rats in the 50s was $2.35.

I skinned and fleshed the first few coon I caught, but quit trapping them entirely after I got 75 cents apiece for the ones I sold. I caught two mink. One was a beautiful dark male that brought me $48, the other smaller one brought me $32. The ermine were a buck apiece, but they were not hard to catch or clean, and I hunted small game as I checked my traps.

I trapped a few times after that, notably two years around 1981, when fur prices were high, and I received $10 apiece for the biggest muskrat pelts. I caught a number of raccoon and averaged $32 apiece for them.

I even tried my hand at fox, getting $75 for a red and $28 for a beautiful grey.

I thought about taking my grandson, Nathaniel, muskrat trapping in the fall of 2012, but ended up not doing it. That was a big mistake, as 2012 found fur prices soaring, and spring fur prices for many furbearers was at record highs.

Muskrats, for example, were averaging $12, with some lots going as high as $17 per pelt. Prices declined a bit from those lofty heights in 2013, but the market predictions are that the big late winter sales will still bring decent prices for good lots.

Beaver are expected to reach $32, up slightly from last year, mink on the other hand may be selling at $17, down nearly half from last year.

My favorite, the lowly muskrat, is expected to bring about $10 with some possibly going as high as $16. Other fur prices are equally impressive to me. I wish I was younger and a bit more agile, I’d be out there with a line somewhere.

One of the problems that arises whenever fur prices get to these levels, especially when the economy is a little lackluster, is that trappers work hard at locking up areas for themselves (which I am not opposed to by the way) but it does make it harder to find areas to trap.

State areas that are open to trappers get hit pretty heavily, even though the DEC limits competition by allowing only so many trappers on some game management areas.

The other problem that I ran into when trapping was paying good money, and to a lesser extent in poorer years, was trap thieves. There are always lowlifes out there who will steal animals from your traps, but the worst of them take your traps too.

One thing I know is that trappers earn their money. If they are like me, they enjoy being good at their craft as well. As long as I cannot be out there with them, I’ll wish them the best of luck and top prices, because trapping and the fur trade lives on.

Oswego County sheriff named to association executive committee

Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd has been named to the executive committee of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association.

The association held its election of executive committee members at its 80th Annual Winter Training Conference last week at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.

Todd will work with the newly elected president of the Association, Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss, and sheriffs from across the state, to further the efforts of the sheriffs’ association to enhance public safety across New York state through professional training and accreditation programs, public safety programs and advocacy.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation, formed in 1934 to assist sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York state.

Shirley S. (Young) Bird, owned Bird Farm in Volney

Shirley  S. (Young) Bird, 73, of Volney, NY, passed away at home on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 with her family by her side.

Born in Syracuse, NY to her late parents, Mildred E. (Drumma) and Roy  J. Young, Sr. on Dec. 22, 1940, she was the owner/operator of the Bird Farm in Volney, NY.

Shirley was predeceased by her late husband of 45 years, William Lamar Bird in April of 2006; a daughter, Sally  A. Satusky in April of 2009; her siblings, three brothers, John, Roy Jr., and James; six sisters, Janet, Joan, Beverly, Rosemary, Patricia and Marilyn.

Surviving are her daughter, Susan A. (Larry) Benjamin of Phoenix, NY; three sons William S. Bird of Southport, NC, Randy M. (Katy) Bird of Kapolei, HI, and Timothy P. (Gloria) Bird of Baldwinsville; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; two brothers, Bud Young and Richard Young; three sisters, Jean Cook, Barbara Johnson and Ruth Whorrall; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A private burial will take place in the summer.

Contributions in Shirley’s memory to: American Heart Association or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Homes, Inc., Phoenix, has care of arrangements.

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