Light In the Darkness

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”           Psalm 91:2”  

A number of years ago, I found myself asking whether life was essentially a pleasant journey with the occasional painful trial along the way,  or whether it was more of one long, arduous test with occasional moments of peace. 

I have since come to think that for the young, it often appears more like the former and for those of us who have seen the passing of more years, it seems more the latter.

This was and is in the context of a culture that still knows the remnants of blessing that came with the faith and faithfulness of so many who had gone before us.

In other cultures the perception might be much different.  But in every culture life has its trials; its tests to be endured. The way we approach them either leaves us in a weakened condition or stronger than ever.

One thing is certain, sooner or later everyone who trusts in Christ, will have that trust tested in a significant (and often painful) way. Each of us is a little different in this respect and something thing that severely tests one person is but a hiccup for another.

Even in areas where the test would be severe for any believer, such as the loss of a child, a spouse, a serious accident with permanent consequences, one whose faith is strong may seem to be tested for only a short time while the for another, whose faith is not as strong, may struggle for a long time before coming out the other side.

But one thing of which we can be certain is that our faith will be tested.

Our Lord told His people in Ezekiel  21,  “Testing will surely come.”

There is purpose behind the testing of our faith, of course. God is not a precocious, whimsical God who delights his fancy at our expense and James explains that purpose.

He writes, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (Chapter one)

We all know that in the raising of children, the ultimate goal is for them to reach adulthood as mature individuals prepared to face life’s trials and demands.

It is much the same in our spiritual lives. When we are born again, we are born into a spiritual world to which we had been dead. At that point Paul says, we are babes in Christ.

The Lord’s purpose for that new life is that we grow into mature, right-thinking adults; full of faith and able to trust Him in all areas of thought and life.

It is to this end, James says, that He allows us to be tested, that our endurance may be fully developed, so that we become perfect and complete in Him… needing nothing else.”

Can you say with the psalmist, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

 

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

Fulton Bantams win Salmon River Tourney

Submitted by Anna Clarke

The Fulton Bantam hockey team, sponsored by Comfort Windows and Doors and Fulton Savings Bank, claimed the championship in the Salmon River Invitational Tournament, shutting out Oswego 4-0 in the title game.

Tyler Samson, Seth Cooney and Evan Beckwith scored hat tricks in the tournament while Beckwith and Nate Shaw were named playmakers for the Raiders.

Fulton 7, Salmon River 7

Raider Seth Cooney deked the goalie to open scoring before the Storm responded with four goals to take the lead at the close of the first period.

Tyler Samson took a feed from C.J. Hyland to narrow the gap for Fulton. Raider Evan Beckwith closed the second stanza accepting a pass from Zach Tulowiecki and netting an upper corner shot.

Cooney scored the equalizer, Raider team captain Nolan Bonnie assisting, before Salmon River scored two in a row to take the lead.

The Raiders scored twice to draw even, first with Samson netting a shot on his backhand, Beckwith assisting, then Beckwith scoring thanks to a behind the net passing play between Nick Dingman and Cooney.

The Storm added a goal to put them ahead only for Samson to complete his hat trick and tie the game, Beckwith assisting, with :20 on the clock.

Fulton goalie Adam Bleiweiss stopped 11 shots for the Raiders.

Fulton 4, Oswego 2

After a scoreless first period, Beckwith scored three in a row for a hat trick, Samson and Cooney credited with assists.  Late in the third period, Bonnie netted a top shelf shot on a breakaway.

With less than a minute on the clock, the Buccs scored twice to spoil a shut out.

Bleiweiss tallied 27 saves for the Raiders.

Fulton 9, Corning 2

Corning scored to open the first period.  Cooney responded with the equalizer, accepting a pass in front of the net from Beckwith.

Soon after, Beckwith skated the puck in on a breakaway and netted one of his own before Cooney netted two more in a row assisted by Nate Shaw to complete his hat trick. Beckwith sent the puck in over the goalie’s shoulder to close the period, Caleb Clarke and Richie King assisting.

In the second stanza, Will Rattray took a feed from Beckwith to score a short-handed goal with a slap shot.

The Raiders continued to dominate in period three, first with Bonnie blowing the puck in over the goalie’s shoulder, King assisting, then with Cooney scoring two more goals for the Raiders, Beckwith assisting two and Shaw one earning playmakers for both players.  The Hurricanes closed the game with their second and final goal.

Bleiweiss saved 6 shots for Fulton

Championship, Fulton 4, Oswego 0  

Following a scoreless first period, Samson accepted a pass from Rattray and sent the puck in from the boards. Later, Rattray took advantage of a scramble in front of the net to make it a two point game, Cooney assisting.

Hyland sent a cross-ice pass to Beckwith who skated the puck in and netted it to close the period. Late in the third stanza, Shaw sealed the championship win for Fulton with a shot from the blue line assisted by Cooney.

Bleiweiss registered his second shut out of the season, blocking 23 shots in net for the Raiders.

The team is led by head coach Paul Clarke and assistants Jeff Tulowiecki, Paul Bleiweiss and Bill Beckwith.

State Senate Report, by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie

If you’re someone who enjoys outdoor activities, there’s no better place to be than in Upstate New York.

From snowmobiling and skiing in the winter, to fishing and boating in the summer, there are so many opportunities for sportsmen to enjoy all that our region has to offer.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll want to take note of important sporting license changes that went into effect Feb. 1. Adopted in last year’s state budget, the changes are aimed at saving hunters and anglers both time and money through reduced license fees, reduced license types, changes to license dates and more.

These license fees were increased in 2009, before I became your senator.  Since then, we’ve been working to roll back some of the increases and taking steps to get more New Yorkers to enjoy our great outdoors.

To learn more about these changes, I encourage you to visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website at www.dec.ny.gov.

In addition to lower license prices and other changes that will make things easier for outdoor enthusiasts, there is another important update for sportsmen that I would like to share.

Just recently, I led a bipartisan group of more than a dozen state lawmakers in calling on Gov. Cuomo to join in supporting the use of Side-by-Side recreational vehicles, or UTVs.

In a letter to the governor, we urged him to amend his state budget proposal to allow UTVs, which are becoming increasingly popular with the elderly, couples and families. Our state is losing out on tens of thousands of dollars in state revenue through registration fees, and taxes from retail sales of UTVs, as well as countless tourism-related jobs by prohibiting UTVs, which because they are slightly larger than standard four-wheelers can exceed outdated weight limits in current law.

This latest effort builds upon legislation I sponsor that would raise the defined weight of an ATV to 1,500 pounds to allow certain UTVs to be registered in New York state.  This legislation has passed the Senate in each of the last three years.

Not only are outdoor activities a lot of fun, they provide a major boost to our state’s economy too. Each year, the Central and Northern New York regions host thousands of visitors from outside the area.

It’s these sportsmen who eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and purchase hunting and fishing necessities from our various shops throughout the region. The contributions by these outdoor enthusiasts are monumental, as they are responsible for generating more than $1.5 billion in revenue annually for our state.

As your state senator — and someone who also truly enjoys outdoor activities — I’m looking forward to working to support initiatives that improve the experience for sportsmen.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast with suggestions for ways to improve hunting, fishing and other activities in our state, I invite you to contact me at ritchie@nysenate.gov.

Fulton girls’ hoops goes 2-2 in last 4 games

By Rob Tetro

The Fulton girls’ varsity basketball team went 2-2 in its last 4 games and now have an overall 4-7 record.

On Jan. 10, Fulton topped Chittenango, 37-23. Cazenovia edged past the Lady Raiders, 43-41 on Jan. 16. Cortland knocked off Fulton, 61-50 on Jan. 21, while The Lady Raiders retaliated with a 41-16 win over Homer on Jan. 23.

Chittenango and Fulton fought a competitive first quarter in their game, with Chittenango leading by 2 as they headed to the second quarter.  Chittenango expanded its lead in the second quarter by another 2 points to take a 14-10 lead into halftime.

The Lady Raiders took over during the second half, outscoring Chittenango by 10 points during the third quarter to take a 6-point lead. Fulton didn’t let up during the fourth quarter, outscoring Chittenango by 8 points to seal the win.

Leading the way for the Lady Raiders was Nicole Hansen with 10 points, followed by Michaela Whiteman, Mallory Clark and Sydney Gilmore with 7 points each. Courtney Parker scored 4 points.

Cazenovia escaped with a hard fought win over the Lady Raiders. Following a fierce first quarter, Fulton had a 3-point lead over Caz.The Lady Raiders added to their lead during the second quarter, outscoring Cazenovia to go into halftime with a 24-20 lead.

Then Caz pulled pulled ahead during the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Raiders by 5 points to take a 30-29 lead. Cazenovia was able to maintain its lead down the stretch and won by 2 points.

The Lady Raiders were led by Nicole Hansen with 14 points, followed by Michaela Whiteman with 10, Sydney Gilmore with 7 and Mallory Clark chipped in 5 points.

In the Cortland game, Cortland jumped out to a 4-point lead over Fulton in the first quarter and then added to the lead in the second to take a 36-23 lead into halftime.

Cortland cushioned its lead during the third quarter, outscoring Fulton by 2 points to extend its lead to 15 points. The Lady Raiders still had some fight left in them and outscored Cortland during the fourth quarter to cut into the deficit, but they couldn’t pull ahead for the win.

Leading the way for the Lady Raiders was Sydney Gilmore with 23 points, followed by Nicole Hansen with 14, Michaela Whiteman with 8 and Courtney Parker with 3.

Homer didn’t seem to have a chance against the Lady Raiders. Fulton built a big lead quickly, ending the first quarter with a 14-point lead. The Lady Raiders expanded their lead during the second quarter and went into halftime with a 24-5 lead.

Fulton continued to add to its lead during the third quarter, outscoring Homer by 4 points to push its lead to 23 points. Homer played an impressive fourth quarter, but was unable to cut into Fulton’s lead.

Fulton was led by Mallory Clark with 10 points, followed by Michaela Whiteman with 8, Sydney Gilmore and Nicole Hansen scored 6 points each and Courtney Parker chipped in 5 points.

Fulton Lions Club chicken barbecue Feb. 9

The Fulton Lions Club will hold its eighth annual chicken barbecue from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Polish Home.

Take-out tickets may be purchased at the door or purchased by a member of the Lions Club. Also delivery is available from any member or by calling 427-1629.

Dinners include 1/2 a chicken, baked beans, salt potatoes, macaroni salad and a chocolate chip cookie. The event proceeds will benefit the Mary and Harold (“H”) Dowd Memorial Scholarship. Dowd was a member of the local club for more than 40 years and his wife, Mary, was an honorary member. The club has established a scholarship for a graduating Fulton student in their name to be awarded on a yearly basis.

 

Hannibal boys’ hoops blows out Solvay

By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal boys’ varsity basketball team went 1-2 in its last 3 games, raising its overall record to 5-9.

On Jan. 24, Syracuse-ITC knocked off Hannibal, 48-38. Skaneateles rolled past the Warriors, 72-61 on Jan. 29. Hannibal tallied a 65-50 win over Solvay on Jan. 31.

Hannibal had built a 5-point lead over Syracuse-ITC in the first quarter of their game but Syracuse-ITC cut into the lead in the second. Hannibal had a 19-15 lead at the half.

Syracuse-ITC stormed ahead during the third quarter, outscoring Hannibal by 14 points to take a 10-point lead. After a competitive fourth quarter, the Warriors had no answer for Syracuse-ITC. Both teams scored 11 points each as Syracuse-ITC came away with a 48-38 win.

Hannibal was led by Trevor Alton with 19 points, followed by Sam McCraith with 10, Zane Pointon with 4 and Charlie McCraith added 3.

Skaneateles and Hannibal fought a competitive first quarter, with the Warriors posting a 2-point lead. Skaneateles pulled ahead during the second quarter, outscoring the Warriors by 7 points to take a 38-33 halftime lead.

Skaneateles added to its lead during the third quarter, outscoring Hannibal by 6 points to push its lead to 11 points. The Warriors were unable to cut into the deficit down the stretch, losing to the Lakers by 11.

Leading the way for Hannibal was Trevor Alton with 30 points, followed by Billy Skipper with 16, Charlie McCraith with 6 and Austin Mattison chipped in 4 points.

In the Solvay game, the Warriors got off to a fast start, outscoring Solvay by 8 points during the first quarter. Hannibal added to its lead during the second quarter and took a 28-19 lead into halftime.

The Warriors blew the game open during the third quarter, outscoring Solvay by 13 points to extend their lead to 22 points. Solvay wasn’t about to go down quietly. They outscored Hannibal during the fourth quarter to cut into the lead, but it wasn’t enough and Hannibal won by 15 points.

Hannibal was led by Trevor Alton with 24 points, followed by Austin Mattison with 15, Sam McCraith with 10 and Zane Pointon added 9 points.

Hannibal girls’ hoops wins 2

 By Rob Tetro

The Hannibal girls’ varsity basketball team went 2-1 in its last 3 games and now sport a overall record of 8-5.

On Jan. 21, Marcellus topped Hannibal, 50-38 but then the Lady Warriors cruised past Cato-Meridian, 54-33 Jan. 23.  Hannibal also won against Skaneateles Jan. 28 by a score of 54-44.

In the Marcellus game, Marcellus led Hannibal by only 3 points after thee first quarter. Marcellus added to its lead during the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Warriors by 5 points to take a 23-15 lead into halftime.

Hannibal was more competitive during the third quarter. They outscored Marcellus to bring the lead down to 7 points. But then, Marcellus put the game out of reach during the fourth quarter, outscoring Hannibal by 5 points en route to a 50-38 win.

Leading the way for the Lady Warriors was Sydney Alton with 11 points, followed by Spencer Kenney with 9, McKenzie Mattison with 6 points and Rachel Shute and Devin Sorell added 5 points each.

In the Cato-Meridian game, Hannibal got off to a solid start on both sides of the ball. They outscored Cato-Meridian 10-1 during the first quarter and extended their lead during the second quarter to take a 30-8 halftime lead.

Hannibal refused to let up during the third quarter, outscoring C-M by 8 points to push its lead to 30 points. C-M outscored Hannibal in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t enough.

The Lady Warriors were led by Devin Sorell with 15 points, followed by Gabby Griffin with 10, Spencer Kenney with 7 and Sydney Alton and McKenzie Mattison each had 6 points.

Skaneateles was leading after the first quarter of its game against Hannibal, but the Lady Warriors pulled ahead during the second quarter, outscoring Skaneateles by 4 points to take a 22-21 lead into halftime.

The Lady Warriors expanded their lead during the third quarter, outscoring Skaneateles by 4 points to push their lead to 5 points. Hannibal capped off a solid effort during the fourth quarter to clinch a 54-44 win.

Leading the way for the Lady Warriors was Devin Sorell with 29 points, followed by Gabby Griffin with 10, Rachel Shute with 7 and Sydney Alton added 4 points.

County officials attend New York State Association of Counties conference

By Debra J. Groom

A number of Oswego County officials are in Albany Monday through today to show their support for resolutions coming before the New York State Association of Counties.

Many of the resolutions deal with issues in which the state is taking money away from counties.

And when the states takes money from counties, the bottom line is taxpayers usually get hurt because the counties have to raise taxes or cut services to make up for the lost money when it comes budget time.

Going to Albany for the annual meeting are County Administrator Philip Church, county Legislators James Karasek, R-Granby, Terry Wilbur, R-Hannibal, Margaret Kastler, R-Lacona, John Martino, R-West Monroe, Robert Hayes, R-Schroeppel, Amy Treissider, D-Oswego and Shawn Doyle, R-Pulaski, Emergency Management Director Dale Currier, E-911 Direcctor Michael Allen and Health Department Director Jiancheng Huang.

Here are some of the resolutions they will support:

** Urging the governor and state legislature to take action to relieve counties from the expenses associated with housing state parole violators in county jails.

This has been a huge issue in Oswego County for the last few years.

In 2012, Sheriff Reuel Todd had to keep going back to the legislature to ask for more money to pay for housing state parolees in other counties when the Oswego County jail was full. He spent more than $1 million above what was budgeted to house those parolees that year.

Since then, the county has come up with some ways to keep people out of the county jail, such as electronic ankle monitors and ensuring cases are handled swiftly.

The resolution coming before the state Association of Counties states “inmates held on parole violations are a state responsibility and for years the state reimbursed counties for a portion of the costs associated with housing these inmates.”

But, the state eliminated this reimbursement in the 2009-10 state budget.

** Urging the governor and state legislature to enact reform in the Preschool Special Education Program.

The resolution states a law to provide preschool for children with handicapping conditions was enacted in 1989 and the law included a provision to reduce the amount of money counties pay for the program to 25 percent by the 1993-94 school year.

But this never happened and counties now are mandated under state law to fund 40.5 percent of a program whose costs have grown from $100 million in 1989 to more than $2 billion in 2012.

Church said Oswego County taxpayers are paying nearly $3 million for the program this year. If counties had to pay only 25 percent of the cost like the law states, Oswego County would save about $1 million, Church said.

** Calling on the governor and legislature to delay further reduction to early intervention administrative grants to counties.

Church said counties had been paying 51 percent of the Early Intervention program costs, including administration of the program.

In 2012, “the state decided the counties would no longer administer the program and instead, the state would hire a statewide fiscal agent to administer the billing.” He said this agent was to be hired and working in 2013.

After the agent was on the job, the counties would receive less money from the state fort the program because they no longer administer the program.

But, the agent was not hired and in place on time, yet the state still cut the counties’ funding. The resolution asks the state to not begin further funding cuts until the state fiscal agent “has totally taken over the administration” of the program.

** Calling on Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature to more equitably and efficiently impose the 9-1-1 surcharge on all wireless communications devices and use money from this surcharge to fund county E-911 services.

Right now, people who have cell phone contracts with companies like Verizon, T. Mobile or Sprint pay a surcharge each month of $1.20 that goes to counties to pay for E-911 emergency services.

But E-911 Director Michael Allen said no surcharge is paid by people with prepaid service, such as Tracfone customers.

To date, 29 states have expanded their 911 surcharge to pre-paid phones, but New York has not. Also, the state Association of Counties resolution states most of the nearly $200 million brought in by the state in these surcharges is not used for E-911.

More than 800 county leaders from throughout New York state are going to the Association of Counties legislative conference.

They will discuss the issues most critical to counties, including the governor’s property tax proposal and state budget, continuing shared services initiatives, mandate reform, emergency preparedness, universal pre-k, and local Medicaid costs.

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