Merton Spencer, retired from Palermo Highway Department

Merton R. Spencer, 85, of Palermo, passed away Monday, Feb. 10 at Pontiac Nursing Home in Oswego.

A native of Henderson, he had resided in the Palermo–Mexico area many years.

Mert retired from the Town of Palermo Highway Department after 24 years. He had previously worked at Nestle Co. in Fulton and on his parents’ dairy farm in North Mexico.

He was a former member of the Palermo Volunteer Fire Department.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Barbara Koliada Spencer of Palermo; eight children, Robert (Michelle) Spencer of Volney, Ronald Spencer of Palermo, Patricia (Joseph) Davis of Fulton, Randy (Kim) Spencer of Yarmouth, ME, Stephen (Karen) Spencer of Lakeland, FL, Pamela (Larry) Breckenridge of Lakeland, FL, Sheryl (Ken) Strait of Palermo and Susan (Ken) Beattie of Lakeland, FL; a brother, Frederick (Alice) Spencer of Central Square; a sister, Ruth (Bill) Barry of Sandy Creek; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Mert was predeceased by his parents, Jesse and Mildred Hill Spencer and a brother, John Spencer.

Calling hours are from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton with services immediately following.

A spring burial service will be held at Upson Corners Cemetery in Palermo.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Palermo Volunteer Fire Department.

Florence Rogers, worked at A.L. Lee Hospital

Florence L. Rogers, 86, of Fulton died Tuesday Feb. 11 at Pontiac Nursing Home, Oswego.

She was a born to the late Theron and Eva (Chapman) Clemons and she remained a life resident of Fulton.

Mrs. Rogers retired in 1993 from A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital after 20 years of service.

She is survived by her three daughters,  Margeurite (Larry Davis) Tetro of CA, Cheryl “Susie” (Mike) Snyder of Fulton, and Edith (Todd) Burdekin of Fulton; four grandchildren, Christine Tetro, Tina Donaldson, Mike Chrisman, Jamie Burdekin; six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Friday at the Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., with Major James Purvis, from the Oswego County Salvation Army, presiding.

Burial will be held in the spring at Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton. Calling hours were Friday prior to the service.

Sugar Funeral Home, Inc., 224 W. Second St. S. Fulton, is in care of the arrangements.

Fitzhugh Park elementary evacuated due to smoke

UPDATE from the police and fire departments:

At about 11:41 a.m., Oswego City Fire and Police crews were called to the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School (195 East Bridge Street Oswego, NY) in regard to a small fire
isolated in a trash can.
The school was evacuated as emergency crews arrived on scene. Upon arrival, the fire had already been extinguished by a school district employee.
The scene was evaluated by the Oswego Fire Department and deemed safe to allow reentry.
There were no injuries reported as a result of the incident, and Oswego Fire and Police personnel remain on scene investigating the cause of the fire in cooperation with Oswego City School District personnel.

Students at the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School in Oswego were evacuated from the building for a short time this morning as smoke was reported on the second floor.

Upon further investigation the source of the smoke was a fire in a waste basket.

The Oswego Fire Department and district personnel have been on the scene. 

There were no injuries.

Officials have allowed the students to return to their classrooms.

District officials are continuing their investigation  into the cause of the fire.

Snow now, tonight, tomorrow

The National Weather Service is calling for a winter storm warning for heavy snow to be in effect in Oswego County until 1 p.m. Friday (Feb. 14).

Snow will be heavy at time and there will be accumulations of an inch or less this afternoon, 4 to 7 inches tonight and 1 to 3 inches Friday.

Visibility will be as low as a quarter of a mile. Travel will be extremely hazardous with slippery snow covered roads and reduced visibilities.

Oswego State Downtown exhibits photos by Baldwinsville resident

Oswego State Downtown will open an exhibition Saturday, Feb. 15, of photographs by Baldwinsville artist Jeanne C. Lagergren.

“The Nature of Things” exhibition will feature a free public artist’s reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the downtown branch of the College Store and gallery, corner of West First and Bridge streets in Oswego.

The display will run through March 22.

“My love of nature came from growing up on Long Island’s Great South Bay,” said Lagergren, a watercolorist and photographer who has a collection of 132 cameras, including her mother’s, father’s and her own first cameras.

“Picture postcard vistas of water, sand dunes and glorious sunsets were a creative inspiration for me,” she said. “Using my camera for taking reference photos for my watercolor paintings, the balance shifted from brushes and paint to camera and film.”

During a 38-year career in the graphic arts with Carrier Corp., her own company Checker Graphics and Xerox Corp., Lagergren often has entered photographs and watercolors in “On My Own Time” shows, and six of her works have been selected for display at the Everson Museum of Art.

She twice won “People’s Choice” awards in the competition. Her paintings and photography also have appeared at the New York State Fair, Liverpool and Mundy branches of Onondaga County Public Library, Altered Spaces and Sparky Town restaurant.

“The digital era came, my love for photography grew, and wanting to learn more I joined the Syracuse Camera Club in 2011,” Lagergren said. “Viewing the work of its talented members has been both an educational and rewarding experience.”

Among other awards, the club honored Lagergren in 2012-13 with a first-place Print Merit Award and a first-place Digital Merit Award, both in the entry-level division, and a second- and third-place award for Print of the Year.

She also received a “Feminist in the Graphic Arts” award from the Central New York chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Oswego State Downtown is open noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information about this and other SUNY Oswego art exhibitions, contact Tyler Art Gallery at 312-2113.

Got a summer event? Contact the Oswego County Tourism Office

Organizations, businesses and groups have until Feb. 19 to submit information for the Oswego County Tourism Office’s 2014 “Summer in Oswego County” brochure.

Events that take place between April and October will be posted on the county tourism Web site and listed in the calendar, which is widely distributed at travel and vacation shows, chambers of commerce, NYS Thruway information centers, businesses and other outlets.

“The brochure typically includes more than 200 events as well as information on fishing tournaments, farm markets, outdoor concerts, and other summer activities,” said David Turner, director of the Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.

People can fill out a form online and submit it directly to the Tourism Office at http://visitoswegocounty.com/more-to-see-do/calendar/events-in-oswego-county-entry-form/.

Forms have been sent to those who have submitted information in the past.

For more information, contact the Oswego County Tourism Office weekdays at 349-8322 or (800) 596-3200, ext. 8322, or e-mail fobrien@oswegocounty.com.

2 Mexico grads perform with SU band at Super Bowl

By Ashley M. Casey

They didn’t get to stay for the game, but two Syracuse University students from Mexico, N.Y., played in the school’s marching band at Super Bowl XLVIII.

Anthony Veiga, a junior music education major, and Shaun Kinney, a sophomore music industry major, are alumni of Mexico High School. They boarded a bus at 4 a.m. Feb. 2, arriving in New Jersey five hours later to rehearse with the Rutgers University marching band.

“The NFL was looking for a band to represent what they considered the New York Super Bowl,” said Veiga, who plays the baritone.

But New Jersey governor Chris Christie pointed out that MetLife Stadium, while it is the home of the New York Giants, is located in East Rutherford, N.J.

“We had to ask Rutgers to join us,” Veiga said.

In 2013, SU’s marching band, led by Justin Mertz, played in Montreal for a Buffalo Bills game and Houston, Texas, for the Pinstripe Bowl. The band also plays for SU football’s home games and may travel to away games in the future.

“We went to the Heisman Gala, which is the dinner for the Heisman Trophy,” Veiga said.

Despite the miles the band has racked up, they had never been to the Super Bowl before.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Veiga said.

The band members had to keep the news of the performance under wraps.

“When we were first told, we went nuts,” Veiga said. “We had to keep it a secret until the NFL let it go public.”

Kinney, a tuba player, said the band members complained somewhat about the rehearsal schedule, but “everybody thought the rehearsals were worth it when we got there.”

“It was amazing. It was just cool to be part of the production,” Kinney said.

The band spotted a few celebrities while waiting to run onto the field for the pre-game performance.

“Kevin Bacon walked by,” Kinney said. “Being around all these people you see on TV that are famous … (was) pretty crazy.”

“We got to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and they mingled with the band,” Veiga said. There was no sight of halftime headliner Bruno Mars, however.

Kinney said he remembered little of the performance because it was so brief.

“Being right about to run on the field — that’s where it really hit me that we were at the Super Bowl,” he said. “It went like a flash.”

“It was about just doing the show, and less focusing on the environment,” Veiga said. “I never thought I’d be able to do that.”

Veiga said performing with Rutgers was a unique part of the Super Bowl experience as well.

“We got to meet a different band. You double in size — it’s really loud and really cool,” he said.

Unfortunately, the musicians did not get to see the game. They loaded their equipment to head back to Syracuse during performance by opera singer Renee Fleming (grad of SUNY Postman’s Crane School of Music) of the national anthem.

Fireworks went off and helicopters buzzed overhead.

“Some of the (seniors) were actually crying … because it was their last marching band event,” Kinney said. “What a way to go out!”

Veiga said he didn’t think SU would get to play the Super Bowl again, but he joked with the band director, “What are you going to do next year to match this?”

SUNY Oswego lecture series focuses on gender equity in workplace

Submitted by SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s Ernst & Young Lecture Series on Gender Equity in the Workplace will kick off for spring 2014 on Thursday, Feb. 20, with an explorative lecture about the education of women in India today.

The free lectures will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on selected Thursdays in the Campus Center auditorium.

Cristina Ioana Dragomir will present “Change and Tradition in the Education of Indian Women” on Feb. 20, exploring political tensions that impact their education and opportunities.

She will talk about her own experiences as a woman in India, compared with education for girls and women in tribal areas.

On March 27, Dee Moskoff, Humphrey Fellow at Syracuse University and director of Connect Network, South Africa, will examine “How HIV Affects the Workplace of South African Women.”

The talk will examine why South Africa, with one of the strongest economies on the continent, still has one of the highest HIVE prevalence rates.

Ruth Baltus, a 1977 alumna of SUNY Oswego and professor of chemical engineering at Clarkson University, will present “Following My Foremothers: Historical Perspectives and Strategies for Success for Women in Engineering and Science” on April 3.

Using her family’s experiences, she will discuss how things have changed over her 30-year career, and share lessons learned during that span.

Robert Feinberg, SUNY Oswego class of 1978, and his wife Robbi Feinberg, as well as Ernst & Young sponsor the lecture series. It is cosponsored by the women’s studies department and the Institute for Global Engagement at SUNY Oswego.

Those without a current SUNY Oswego parking permit can visit www.oswego.edu/administration/parking for information about obtaining a day-use permit.

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