Writing program for children available during February school break

Snowy Day Word Play is the latest class for young writers being offered by the Fulton Public Library.

The program will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. daily Feb. 17 through Feb. 21 at the library.

For youth ages 8 through 13, the week-long program will feature fun and engaging activities for those who love to write and want to improve their skills.

Instructors for the class are Karen Burke and Jim Farfaglia. Burke is a former teacher from the Oswego City School District and Farfaglia is retired from the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau.

Both have spent recent years developing their own writing as well as sharing their ideas with others by leading classes.

“We are happy to have Karen and Jim back to provide programming for young writers,” says Betty Mauté, Fulton Public Library director.

“This program is funded by the sale of the Fulton Memoirs Project Book, a collection of stories about Fulton by 41 local authors, available for purchase at the library,” she said.

“Writing, teaching and working with young people is a winning trio for me,” Burke said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to spark interest in young writers and to enjoy the enthusiasm that young people bring to a new experience.”

“It is always a pleasure to work with young people who love to write,” Farfaglia said. “Karen and I are planning an interactive program, with lots of activities to stir creative minds and inspire good writing.  The children will explore our winter world through writing with a week’s worth of fun, adventuresome and delicious activities!”

Seating is limited. There is no fee, however, registration is required by calling 592-5159.

“Roar with Laughter” fundraiser coming Jan. 31

The Oswego Lions Club presents “Roar with Laughter” with headline comedian Moody  McCarthy, and warm up Dan Mahoney, Friday Jan. 31 at The American Foundry, 246 W. Seneca St., Oswego.

Doors open at 7 p.m. show begins at 8 p.m.

“We continue a Lions Club tradition once again this year with a great night of laughs, said Mike Henderson, Oswego Lions Club president. “This event has always been a popular fund-raiser and we anticipate that this will be another great one”.

The event is a major fundraiser for the local service organization, erving to support ongoing programs and services throughout the Oswego community for the visually and hearing impaired.

Proceeds from the past fund-raising events have helped to support Make-a-Wish Foundation, Oswego Salvation Army, The ER’s Children Fund at Oswego Hospital, Oswego Library Capital Campaign, The Children’s Hospital in Syracuse, and Habitat for Humanity, to name just a few.

This year, the adult-themed comedy night will show case Moody McCarthy..

McCarthy is a stand-up comedian who has performed on Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Last Comic Standing and Star Search. He lives in New York City with his wife and step-dog.

Moody began his career in his hometown of Syracuse in the 1990s. After six years Moody moved to New York City, where those who heard his jokes predicted he’d be courted by A-list producers as a writer.

After 20+ years honing his craft, Moody has steadily gained the respect of his peers and audiences everywhere. With unpredictable material, a disarming presence, and in-the-moment chops, here is a comic who thrives in any venue and will brighten any event.

Moody has also appeared on ComedyTV, The Early Show, The Bob & Tom Show,  MSG Network,  Style Network,  Comcast Comedy Spotlight  and CTV in Canada.

McCarthy has also appeared in many clubs such as the Comic Strip; Gotham; Dangerfields; Eastville, Hilarities; Helium; Absolute Comedy and Royal Caribbean.

Moody is a member of SAG/AFTRA and trained at Joanna Beckson’s Acting Studio. He has  performed comedy in China and now speaks 3 words of Mandarin.

The warm-up act for Moody McCarthy is Dan Mahoney. In his youth, on one of his countless visits to the principal’s office, he was asked, “Mr. Mahoney….you’re back here again? Do you think you’re some kind of comedian?”

Dan Mahoney lives each day to answer that question with a resounding “YES”.

Dan Mahoney’s unique observational, rarely physical, always hysterical style has earned him industry acclaim and a loyal following.

He was a Regional Finalist in Comedy Central’s Open Mic Fight in 2009, in 2010 he was selected for the Purina Pet Comedy Challenge, was a semifinalist in the 2011 Boston Comedy Festival and a finalist in the 2012 Boston Comedy Festival NYC Showcase in August.

Dan has survived drinking, dating, corporate life and cancer.  He discusses these life experiences on stage at times through his unique brand of steady-paced, deliberate observations.

He lives between NYC and his hometown of Buffalo. In 2013, he produced a weekly comedy show in the east village of Manhattan that had a three-year run.

He was a finalist in New York Underground and Boston Comedy Festivals, and is a veteran of clubs and corporate stages all over the country and Canada.

“The performances of McCarthy and Mahoney promise to bring the crowd a good hour of laughs,” said Chris Pelton, chairperson of the event.

Tickets will be available at the door the night of the event, or can be purchased prior to the show at Cakes Galore for $12.

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets or looking for more information about the show can call Pelton at 343-1394 or visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/oswegolionsclub

The Lions Club will provide light complimentary appetizers, and a cash bar will also be available by the American Foundry.

The Lions Club has made available to local businesses and the public, an opportunity to purchase a reserved table. The table includes reserved seating for 10 people and recognition in our press releases and the night of the show.

Tables can be reserved by contacting Pelton at 343-1394.

Julie A. DeGroff, former cashier at Walmart

Julie A. DeGroff, 55, of Hannibal, died Thursday Jan. 16 in the Oswego Hospital after a sudden attack.

She was born in Oswego, the daughter of Anne Carney of Oswego and the late William Carney.

She was a former cashier at Walmart, Oswego.

She enjoyed crocheting, walking her dogs and being with her family. Julie was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister.

She is survived by her husband of 35 years Richard “Doc” DeGroff of Hannibal; sons, Rick (Chrissy Williams) DeGroff of Hannibal, Jeremy (Kate) DeGroff of Fulton; granddaughter Olivia DeGroff; mother Anne Carney; siblings, Cathy (Dave) Goettsch of CA, Billy (Lisa) Carney of Oswego, Patti (Joe) Scanlon of Oswego, Maureen Carney of Oswego, Monica (Dale MacDonald) Carney of Fulton, Theresa (Nate Johndrew) Carney of Oswego and John Carney of Syracuse.

Funeral services were Monday Jan. 20 at the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home with the Rev. Dean Flemming officiating.

Spring burial will be in Hannibal Cemetery. Calling hours were Monday at the funeral home, 147 W. Fourth St., Oswego.

Nellie Mae Reynolds, former nurse at Michaud

Nellie Mae Reynolds, 72, of Oswego, formerly of Fulton, passed away on Wednesday Jan. 15 at Oswego Hospital surrounded by her 10 children.

Nellie was born in Palermo, a daughter to the late Walter and Laura Vandlinder, Sr.

She was formerly employed as a nurse at Michaud Nursing Home.

Nellie was a homemaker and enjoyed sewing, crocheting, crossword puzzles and cooking by “putting everything in one pot.”

In addition to her parents, Nellie is predeceased by a  daughter, Helen Ouderkirk; two sisters, Mary Winn and Liz Manford; a brother, David Moody; companion, Edwin E. Ouderkirk.

Surviving are: her 10 children, Timothy Ouderkirk of Fulton, Anthony Ouderkirk of Hannibal, Frances Kimball of Scriba, Louise Heywood of White Plains, Earl James Ouderkirk of Fulton, Lee Rose Heywood of Fulton, Melissa Catalone of Scriba, Nellie Mae Heywood-Reynolds of Fulton, Patrick John Gandino of Volney and Douglas Reynolds of Baldwinsville; a step-brother, Eddie Butler of Albany, GA; two sisters, Christine Pullen of Hannibal and Bonnie George of Oswego; two brothers, Henry Vandlinder and Walter Vandlinder of Oswego; several grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are 12 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 (today), at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Burial will be in the spring at Mount Adnah Cemetery, Fulton.

Geraldine June Baker, lived in Fulton most of her life

Geraldine June Baker, 86, passed away at Michaud Residential Health Services, on a Tuesday afternoon.

June was born in Syracuse, schooled in Pulaski, and lived in the Fulton area most of her life.

She worked at Sealright, GE, Michaud, CYO, Meals-On-Wheels and home.

She was the wife of one, mother of five, and friend of many.

Thank you, to her family at Michaud, her friends at Mimi’s, and to her many friends of the Fulton area.

Services were private.

Please visit www.traubfh.com for On-Line Guest Book.

Jennifer Lamb Stell, formerly of Fulton

Jennifer Lamb Stell, 37, passed away Jan. 5, 2014 in Dallas, Texas.

Formerly of Fulton, she moved to Texas in 1996 and was employed by AT&T.

She graduated in 1995 from Faith Baptist Academy in Baldwinsville.

She is survived by her parents, Edward and Jean Lamb of Fulton; two brothers, Edward J. (Marylene) of Fulton and Jason (Lynn) of Camden, NY; eight sisters, Denielle Ryan (David), Abigail, Jayme, Brooke, Kyleigh, Lauren, Morgan (Josh), all of Fulton, Sydney Thornton (Ben) of Washington; five nephews and seven nieces.

There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Fulton Alliance Church on Route 48 in Fulton.

Oswego only local school district on comptroller’s fiscal stress list

By Debra J. Groom

The Oswego City School District is the only district in Oswego County on the list of fiscally distressed districts issued last week by the state Comptroller’s office.

According to a news release from the Comptroller’s office, the fiscal stress scores are based on financial information submitted as part of each district’s ST-3 report filed with the state Education Department as of Dec. 13, 2013.

The list includes more than 700 school districts in New York state. A total of 587 were classified as “no designation, which means their level of fiscal stress had not reached a critical level.

The levels of stress listed by the Comptroller’s report were significant fiscal stress (the highest level of stress), moderate fiscal stress and susceptible to fiscal stress. Oswego City School District was listed under the susceptible to fiscal stress category.

“We have received this report and are reviewing the data to better understand the declaration,” said Benjamin Halsey, Oswego superintendent. “We will use this report to assist with budget decisions going forward.”

According to the Comptroller’s office, a district was reviewed for financial indicators, such as how well the district generates enough money to meet its expenditures, and environmental indicators, such as trends outside a district’s control that can affect its budget and revenue-raising capabilities.

The Comptroller’s office used only the financial indicators to determine whether a district would be placed on the fiscal stress list.

The other districts in Oswego County — Altmar-Parish-Williamstown, Central Square, Fulton, Hannibal, Mexico, Phoenix, Pulaski and Sandy Creek  — received no designation.

According to a report issued with the fiscal stress scores, school districts found to be in fiscal stress share a number of common characteristics. Most are operating with low fund balance, operating deficits and limited cash on hand. These districts

Of the top 10 districts found to be in the worst fiscal stress, only the Utica City School District (number 10) is in the Central New York region.

The district with the worst stress, according to the report, is Watervliet, outside Albany. The rest of the top 10 includes three districts from Western New York, two from Long Island, two from the Mid-Hudson region and one from the North Country (General Brown Central School).

The report also found:

• High-need urban/suburban school districts were three times more likely to be considered in fiscal stress compared to low-need districts;

• Upstate school districts were more likely to be in some level of stress compared to downstate districts; and

•  Regions with the highest percentage of stressed school districts were Central New York (22.9 percent of districts); North Country (16.9 percent) and Western New York (13.9 percent).

The report did not include scores for the “Big Four”cities of Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers. Information for these districts will be incorporated into the scoring for their respective cities and reported by the Comptroller later this year.

The Comptroller’s office also has looked at the fiscal stress levels of New York state’s municipalities. As reported earlier, the city of Fulton is listed as moderate stress. Another Oswego County municipality on the list is the town of Parish, which is listed as susceptible to fiscal stress.

Elizabeth “Betty” Ellsworth, owned Ellsworth’s Red & White Grocery, Econ-Wash Laundromat

Elizabeth  I. “Betty” Ellsworth, 93, of Phoenix, NY, passed away Thursday Jan. 16, 2014 at the Syracuse Home Association, Baldwinsville.

She was born in Phoenix June 3, 1920 to her late parents, Ora V. (Dolbear) and Claude P. Wallace. She was valedictorian of her graduating class, Phoenix High School, class of 1938.

Betty was owner/operator of Ellsworth’s Red & White Grocery Store, and Econ-Wash Laundromat, both located in downtown Phoenix, for many years, before closing and late sold. She also was owner of the coin-operated car wash located on Davis Street.

Betty was a member of the Phoenix United Methodist Church and it’s Women’s Fellowship organization; Ladies Auxiliary of the Phoenix Memorial Post 5540, VFW; Eastern Star; Century Club member and served as an officer; Topics Club; treasurer of T.O.P.S. organization; and an avid bowler.

Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 36 years, Arthur R. Ellsworth on Sept. 18, 1976; her three sisters, Mary Fryer, Marjorie Myers and Geraldine Miklada, all in 2012.

Surviving are her daughter, Jo Anne “Jody” Brooks Ryan and her husband, Harvey Ryan; her son, Arthur Craig (Mary) Ellsworth of Pennellville; four grandchildren, Heather (Jim) Stagnitta, Aaron Brooks, Amanda Ellsworth, and Kevin Ellsworth; two great-granddaughters, Elizabeth “Beth” Stagnitta, and Emilee Stagnitta; one brother, Earl “Cactus Bob” Wallace of Baldwinsville; one sister, Eleanor Fisher of Fulton; several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday Jan. 22, 2014 (today) in the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, Phoenix, with the Rev. Lauri  J. Craig officiating. Burial will be in Phoenix Rural Cemetery, 126 Chestnut St..  Phoenix.

Calling hours were Tuesday at the funeral home at 431 Main St..

Contributions in Betty’s memory to: Century Club, or the Phoenix Public Library, 34 Elm St., Phoenix, NY 13135

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