Phoenix 8th-grade hoops has memorable season

By Rob Tetro

The Phoenix girls’ eighth-grade basketball team came into the season losing three players to the Lady Firebirds junior varsity and varsity teams.

But coach Jen Mainville was able to bring an advanced seventh-grade player to the team.

As the season began, the Lady Firebirds had several goals. One was to develop into a well-balanced, focused and confident team despite the lineup changes they experienced.

Mainville said her team rose to the challenge. They became a team that displayed great chemistry on and off the court en route to an undefeated season.

Phoenix wanted to be a team able to score in transition. They proved to be a smart team with athletic players who were able to rebound, made a quick pass and move up the court at asolid pace.

Mainville said the most memorable moment of the season came when her team got a rebound, made the quick pass and went on to execute textbook transition basketball.

As her players move on to the next level of the Phoenix girls’ basketball program, Mainville feels her team will bring three key characteristics to those teams.

Her players displayed and succeeded this season because of the love they have for the game and their determination to improve. Most importantly, Mainville said  her players will continue to succeed at the next level because of the pride with which they play.

Oswego County unemployment rate in double digits

By Debra J. Groom

Oswego County’s unemployment rate remains in double digits for February 2014.

Although the rate is down from a year ago, it is still one of the highest in the state.

In February 2013, the jobless rate was 11.7 percent, while in February 2014, it was 10 percent.

The February 2014 rate of 10 percent is up from the January 2014 rate of 9.7 percent.

All unemployment rates in Central New York counties for February 2014 are down from a year ago.

Chris White, speaking for the state Labor Department, said Oswego County has been hit harder than other counties with losses in the manufacturing sector.

“But officials and other companies there are working much harder to get more manufacturing jobs into the county,” he said.

The lowest jobless rate in the state for February is Tompkins County at 4.9 percent. The highest is the Bronx at 12 percent.

The highest rates after the Bronx are Lewis County at 10.9 percent, Jefferson at 10.5 percent, Orleans at 10.2 percent and Hamilton and Oswego at 10 percent.

A report issued by the state Labor Department shows Oswego County lose about 500 jobs in manufacturing, financial activities and natural resources-construction in the 12 months ending in February 2014.

The county gained more than 1,000 jobs in that 12-month period in leisure and hospitality and about 500 jobs in trade, transportaion and utilities.

Some of the expanding or growing businesses mentioned in the labor report are Sunoco, Oswego REcycling, Fulton Cos., K&N Foods, Champlain Valley Specialty, Novelis, Teti Bakery, F.W. Webb Co. and Little Luke’s Day Care.

The unemployment rate in Oswego County was at its lowest point in April through December 2013. It went up to 9.7 percent in January 2014 and now again to 10 percent in February 2014.

New state budget includes enhancements for anglers, hunters

The new state budget for 2014-15 just passed this week by the legislature and signed by the governor includes some money to help hunters and anglers.

Here are some of the items in the budget:

** $4 Million for New York State Hatcheries and Continued Efforts to Stock NY’s Waterways. The money will be used to address critical infrastructure repair needs in the state’s fish hatchery system.

Specifically, DEC will make repairs to hatcheries, including boiler replacements at Chautauqua Hatchery in Western New York and Oneida Hatchery in the Mohawk Valley, and rearing pond (raceway) repairs at several DEC hatcheries. Building repair and improvement projects are also in the works for Caledonia Hatchery in the Finger Lakes, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2014.

In addition, DEC plans to purchase 16 new fish stocking trucks with fish life support systems that are essential for the safe delivery of stocked fish.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) operates 12 fish hatcheries in New York and plans to stock more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in more than 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state this spring.

A list of all waters scheduled to be stocked this spring can be found at

** Reduced Price Fishing Licenses, Free Fishing Promotions. Fees will be reduced for seven-day fishing licenses, from $31 to $28 for non-residents and $13 to $12 for residents. There also will be an increase in the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two and authorization for DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses.

These reduced prices build upon efforts last year, which saw successfully streamlined fishing and hunting licenses, reduced fees, and made fishing licenses valid for one year from the date of purchase.

** $6 Million for Access to Fishing and Other Recreational Opportunities will allow for 50 new access projects involving 380,000 acres for fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, bird watching and other forms of recreational activities throughout the state.

The vast majority of these new access sites will provide new or improved access to fishing opportunities, with new trails to fishing sites, fishing platforms, boat launches, improved signage, and new and improved parking.

** Expanded Adventure License Offers involves discounted Adventure Plates to existing lifetime fishing licenses holders and access to the plates to annual license holders.

Anglers, both new and existing license holders, will now be able to choose from licenses plates featuring trout, striped bass and walleye:

** Boating and Fishing Access Upgrades Underway at facilities on Forge Pond in Suffolk County, the Mohawk River in Schenectady County, Great Sacandaga Lake in Saratoga County and Lower Saranac Lake in Franklin County.

New access projects to be completed in 2014 include a new boat launch on Round Lake in Saratoga County and installation of a fishing pier on Green Lake in Greene County. The state has invested more than $2.8 million on boat launch improvements during the past three years.

Other enhancements for sportsmen include:

** Authorization of crossbow hunting, except on Long Island and Westchester County, for hunters 14 years of age or older for small game, and for big game throughout firearms seasons and during portions of archery season

** Debut of Lifetime Empire Passport, which offers visitors to state parks the option of paying a one-time fee to experience all that New York Parks have to offer throughout their lifetime

** Launched new Adventure Licenses to holders of lifetime hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, as well Parks’ Lifetime Empire Passport and NY Safe Boating certificates, whereby a person can consolidate his or her paper licenses onto one document

** Streamlined access to sporting licenses at to easily purchase and print fishing licenses online from a home computer. License holders also can order new Adventure Licenses and Adventure plates from the website.

Fulton teams receive Scholar/Athlete awards

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has recognized the seven varsity winter athletic teams in the Fulton City School District.

The association presented Scholar/Athlete Team Awards to the following teams: Girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, girls’ bowling, ice hockey, boys’ indoor track, girls’ indoor track, and boys’ swimming.

To receive the NYSPHSAA’s scholar distinction, the team average must be 90 percent or higher during the season.

3 achieve first-degree black belts

Three students at Oswego’s Taeskwondo America recently received their first degree black belts during the 2013 Winter Black Belt Test Feb. 1 and 2 at Oswego High School.

Caitlin Lilly, Madison Malone and Kiara Barton tested for their first degree black belt and Assistant Instructor Bernadet Pryor tested for her third degree black belt.

Kiara Barton is 8 years old and the daughter of Jell Barton of Oswego. Kiara is a third-grade student at Fitzhugh Park Elementary in Oswego and is also involved in competitive dance and figure skating.

Kiara says her Taekwondo training has been a great place to learn self-defense and build self confidence, but also  make friends and just have fun.

Madison Malone, 12, is daughter of Julie Malone, and a sixth-grader at Fitzhugh Park Elementary. Madison said she enjoys krafting, riding her bike, swimming and sleeping when she’s not doing Taekwondo.

Madison says being involved in the Taekwondo school has provided her with a place where she’s learned self-control, respect and self defense, while at the same time, she’s had fun and made new friends.

Caitie Lilly, 11, is a sixth-grader at Kingsford Park Elementary in Oswego and is the daughter of Dawn and Marty Lilly of Oswego. Caitie is also involved in Girl
Scouts, plays basketball with the St. Paul Youth Basketball Leprechaun League and is also on the St. Paul’s Travel Team.

Caitlyn also finds time to play an instrument in the Kingsford Park Concert Band and is also a member of the student council. Miss Lilly says her Taekwondo training has been fun but it has also helped her build her self confidence.

Every four months, black belts from the Central and Northern New York Taekwondo schools gather and are provided the opportunity to further their advancement and training as black belts.

Once a student obtains a black belt, continued advancement as a black belt is accomplished by “Tip Testing.”

Each student tests his or her skills and knowledge of their Taekwondo curriculum and in turn earns a corresponding “colored tip” (a colored band affixed to a student’s belt indicating their level of achievement). The colored bands, in order, are yellow, green, blue, red, and brown.

A black belt student “Tip Tests” every six months, and after three years, and six “Tip Tests” later, a student is eligible to “Dan Test” — Fifth Dan is considered “Master” level.

Advancement beyond “Master Instructor” is achieved by one’s dedication and involvement in the art of Taekwondo and is at the discretion of an organization’s Grand Master.

In order to be eligible to test for first degree black belt, a student must study and train for a minimum of three years and demonstrate a proficiency in and knowledge of several Poomses (or forms), and numerous self defense, sparring and board breaking techniques.

Taekwondo training places a strong emphasis on respect, personal development and achievement, both physically and emotionally.  Both adults and children immediately benefit from the structure and energy Taekwondo offers, challenging each and every student to be their best and always demonstrate respect towards others.

Taekwondo America students train under Grand Master Sam Kim and Master Sung C. Kim of Rochester. Grand Master Sam Kim is one of the highest ranking black belts in the United States and his Taekwondo involvement as a Grand Master is recognized world wide.

For further information call Leo Pryor, head instructor at Taekwondo America, 135 E. Bridge St., Oswego, at 342-2470 or visit the website at

The Sportsman’s World — Crossbow Hunting

By Leon Archer

It seemed like the crossbow bill was going to die in the Assembly again this year.

It had been heavily resisted by a small faction of bow hunters and various anti-hunting groups, but large numbers of sportsmen deluged the Senate and Assembly members with calls, emails and letters.

In the end, the law was passed.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, the time for this change in New York’s conservation law was long overdue. We now become one of 28 states with some form of crossbow hunting.

It isn’t perfect yet from what I’ve heard, because it was not made legal during (all) seasons when bows may be used for hunting. I am of the opinion that this illogical omission will be corrected in the next year or two, clearing the final hurdle.

It has been a long struggle – certainly longer than it should have been for such an innocuous piece of legislation.

The final step will no doubt be introduced next year, and before long, the crossbow will be an accepted weapon during any season.

In spite of bow hunters dire predictions and fears that the woods will be over-run with crossbow hunters, when the finish line is finally crossed, they will notice little or no difference as they pursue their own form of hunting with a bow.

Peace will come in a very short time, and this tempest in a teapot will settle down and no longer be a divisive topic for sportsmen.

It is my belief that the reason the crossbow did not cross that final hurdle this year was the legislators were seeking a compromise that would mollify both the crossbow and non-crossbow hunters, but in reality, they didn’t really please either party. Let’s hope next year they get it right.

Personally, I don’t have an iron in this fire. I don’t intend to buy a crossbow, and I would be unlikely to hunt with one during an early season even if there were one to hunt in.

I still like duck hunting too much to sit in the woods waiting for a deer to walk by. I will hunt with a bow for a few days this coming fall, because my grandson, Nathaniel, will be old enough to hunt deer with a bow, and he needs me to go with him. I’ll carry a bow just in case the unlikely takes place and I have a chance at a big buck. Nathaniel’s opportunity is the number one priority.

Nate and I will be practicing this summer in order to be prepared should that moment arrive when he is able to join the ranks of successful Archer, archer deer hunters. Knowing Nathaniel as I do, it will happen.

If you are one of the many hunters who have been waiting for the crossbow to be legalized in New York state, don’t forget to send a thank you to our legislators, especially to the leaders of the Senate and Assembly.

I expect those few bow hunters who were the most opposed to the new law will be sending notes voicing their displeasure. It would be good to let those people in Albany know that they got at least one thing right this year.

My son tells me the grass is starting to peek through since warm weather broke out. I don’t think there is much grass showing in Redfield, but it will happen.

I missed getting out on the trout opener. I hope those of you who were able to go fishing had a great day. I thought about you out here in Washington. I will be out there fishing with you very soon.

Hannibal spring sports schedule

Here is the spring varsity sports schedule submitted courtesy of the Hannibal Central School District.

All dates and times are subject to change.


April 7,  Marcellus   4:15 p.m.

April 9, at Pulaski  4:30 p.m.

April 12, Mexico (Doubleheader) noon

April 15,  Jordan-Elbridge 11 a.m.

April 16, Phoenix (Doubleheader), 11 a.m.

April 22, at APW, 4:30 p.m.

April 23,  Fulton   4 p.m.

April 25, Red Creek  4 p.m.

April 28, at Cazenovia  4:45 p.m.

April 30, at Solvay  4:30 p.m.

May 2,  Westhill  4:30 p.m.

May 6, at Marcellus  4:15 p.m.

May 7,   APW  4:30 p.m.

May 12, Skaneateles 4:30 p.m.

May 13,  Pulaski 4:30 p.m.

May 16, at Jordan-Elbridge  4:30 p.m.


April 7,  Marcellus  4:15 p.m.

April 11, at Bishop Ludden  4:30 p.m.

April 15,  Jordan-Elbridge 11 a.m.

April 16, Phoenix (Doubleheader)     11 a.m.

April 22, at APW  4:30 p.m.

April 23, Fulton  4 p.m.

April 28, at Cazenovia  4:45 p.m.

April 30, at Solvay  4:30 p.m.

May 2, Westhill  4:30 p.m.

May 6, at Marcellus  4:15 p.m.

May 7, APW  4:30 p.m.

May 10, Fulton (Doubleheader) at Oswego (Legend Field)  10 a.m.

May 12, Skaneateles  4:30 p.m.

May 16, at Jordan-Elbridge  4:30 p.m.

Boys Track & Field

April 9,  ITC  4:30 p.m.

April 12, at Jordan-Elbridge 10 a.m.

April 14,  Westhill Steeplechase  6 p.m.

April 21, Tully Invitational  4 p.m.

April 23, Phoenix  4:30 p.m.

April 26, Hannibal Invitational, 10 a.m.

April 30, APW, 4:30 p.m.

May 2, Oswego County Invitational   (Oswego)  4 p.m.

May 5, Westhill Steeplechase  6 p.m.

May 7,  Jordan-Elbridge  4:30 p.m.

May 12, OHSL Liberty Meet (Marcellus)      5 p.m.

May 22, Section 3 Class B-2 (Marcellus)         4 p.m.

May 29, Section 3 State Qualifier      (CNS) TBD

Girls Track & Field

April 9,  ITC  4:30 p.m.

April 12, at Jordan-Elbridge  10 a.m.

April 14, Westhill Steeplechase  6 p.m.

April 21, Tully Invitational   4 p.m.

April 23, Phoenix, 4:30 p.m.

April 26, Hannibal Sports Boosters Inv       itational   10 a.m.

April 30, APW  4:30 p.m.

May 2, Oswego County (Central Square)  4:30 p.m.

May 5, Westhill Steeplechase  6 p.m.

May 7, Jordan-Elbridge 4:30 p.m.

May 9, Fulton Athletic Sports Boosters Invitational  4:30 p.m.

May 12, OHSL Freedom and Liberty Champ (Marcellus) 5 p.m.

May 20, Section 3 Class B1 and B2 Champ  (Marcellus) 4:30 p.m.

May 29, Section 3 NYS Qualifier       (CNS) 4 p.m.

June 6 and 7, New York State Public High School Athletic Association Championships  (CNS)  TBD

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