Margaret A. Beckwith, longtime athletic booster

Margaret A. Beckwith, 79, of Fulton, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 after a long illness.

She was born in Fulton, NY to the late Anthony and Elizabeth White.

Mrs. Beckwith was a graduate of G. Ray Bodley High School and a lifelong resident of Fulton. She retired from Niagara Mohawk after more than 40 years of service.

Mrs. Beckwith was an active volunteer and member of the Fulton Athletic Booster Club for many years and served as treasurer for 25 of those years.  Margaret received many accolades as both an athlete and avid sports fan.

However, one of her proudest and honored achievements was being recognized with a scholarship named in her honor for the senior female student athlete of the year.

Margaret’s greatest passion was the love she had for her family, friends and beloved Yankees. She was a permanent fixture at most sporting events, but none more so than her own grandchildren from whom she would watch with pride and admiration.

Mrs. Beckwith was pre-deceased by her husband of 46 years George W. Beckwith in 2011, and her siblings, Henry, Ralph, Janette, Joseph, Fred and Edie.

She is survived by her loving family George (Christine) Beckwith of Fulton, and Bill (Sue) Beckwith of Fulton and much-loved grandchildren Megan, Courtney, Austin, Callie and Evan, and several nieces and nephews.

There will be a spring burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery with a graveside service. A gathering for family and friends will follow the cemetery service in the spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Margaret’s name to the Fulton Athletic Boosters Club, C/O Daniel Shue, 31 Aspen Cove Lane, Fulton, NY 13069.

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

Charlene (Ross) Weldin, accomplished seamstress

Charlene (Ross) Weldin, 76, of Oswego, passed away peacefully at home under the loving care of her daughters.

She was born Jan. 5, 1938 to the late Charles and Florence Hunt, and was a life resident of Oswego.

Charlene worked at various jobs throughout her life, including Singer’s, Cahill’s Fish Market and Tops. Charlene was an accomplished seamstress, and enjoyed her pets and camping with her husband George at Black River Bay Campground.

She was predeceased by her first husband, Robert Ross; her brother, Lyons Hunt; and son-in-law Greg Thomas.

Mrs. Weldin is survived by her husband George Weldin; daughters Florence Ross of Oswego, Cynthia (Mark) Masuicca of Oswego; her sister Joan (David) McCann; grandchildren Karolyn Thomas, Kassidy (Jeremy) Pekarek, Sarah Thomas, Ross Thomas, Angela Thomas; and four great grandchildren.

All who knew Charlene enjoyed her talent to make them smile.

A celebration of Charlene’s life will be held Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 (todaay) at Vona’s Restaurant, Oswego from 1 to 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Syracuse Ronald McDonald House.

The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar & Scanlon Funeral Home, 147 W. Fourth St., Oswego.

Hodgepodge, by Roy Hodge

No Business Like Snow Business

The first time I mentioned the fateful “S” word in this space was in my third column when the short article was about Fulton’s first winter festival.

“Hey Dad, I went down and signed up for the snow sculpturing contest; it will be fun.”

That’s how the Saturday afternoon adventure started. The family members were gathered together in our front yard at the beginning.  Then, the chief adviser had to leave to do her grocery shopping.

There were a couple of mysterious disappearances, and some shouted directions from inside the window; finally, the fearless leader was alone in the front yard with a 20-foot-long hunk of ice cleverly disguised as a vicious dragon generously slathered with green food coloring.

And then the proud declaration the next day:  “Hey Dad, I won.”

In January, 1980 I wrote about the arrival of winter – “I knew winter weather had finally arrived in Fulton last week when everybody in our household was frantically looking for mittens, boots, snow pants, scarves, etc. . . . and when someone said, How many days until spring?”

“There’s No School Today!”

Adam was worrying about snow days in 1981.

“Since it was snowing hard when we went to bed, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the knock on the bedroom door in the morning.

“Mom, Dad, guess what, there’s no school today.”

There were columns about cross country skiing and neighbor Matt MacDowell, snow blower doctor.  It was Matt’s skillful touch which brought our faithful friend back to life from impending doom time after time.

During ensuing winters, I wrote about how winter weather causes us to reminisce about the hot days of last summer and last year’s vacation; and how some of us brag about our winters: “Our schools are allotted five ‘snow days’ a year but we didn’t use them because we ‘only’ got 200 inches of snow.”

In one column, I was trying to explain what a blizzard was, and in another I was talking about the winters I enjoyed as a kid: “When we were kids we used to think that Syracuse had more snow than other place in the world.”

Years later, living in Fulton certainly changed my mind about that.

Another year I admitted that I was never ready for winter, and the next year I was wondering whether the stormy weather we were getting should or shouldn’t be called a blizzard.

Winter Questions

In February, 1993, I was pondering many questions I had been asked: “Enough snow for you?”, Do you think it will ever stop snowing?”, “Where are we going to put all this snow?”, “How much snow have we got?” “Is there school today?”

And on and on.

As the years went on, I felt like a refugee of winter: “My car doesn’t have one of those electronic voices but if it did I know it would be telling me to ‘Go back inside stupid, it’s 20 degrees below zero out here.’”

I thought I would feel better if I reviewed the “Blizzard of ’66,” and every year I called John Florek at the water works and talked about the city’s depressing snow figures.

As the century turned I was exclaiming. “My car, it’s back, out there on the deck. What I was looking at was our outside cooker with a pile of snow on it.

The cooker itself was the body of the car, the shelf next to it was the hood. There were two little round piles that resembled wheels.  The cooker sits out there all year long and it’s a cooker; we get six inches of snow and it becomes a car.”

251 Inches; Then, “Unsnowiest” Winter

It was March 10, 2001 and Fulton had received 251 inches of snow for the 2000-2001 snow season.

When I called John Florek in January, 2002 he said it had been the “unsnowiest” winter since records had been kept in Fulton.  The city ended up with a total of 100.5 inches of snow that year.

In February 2007, I wrote that Fulton schools were closed for the fourth time in five days.  In January 2009 I was reminded that people in my family, who were farmers, used to say that a year of heavy snow would be a good year later on.

The official proverb puts it this way: “A year of snow, a year of plenty.”

In January 2010, I was telling readers that the first patents for snow plows were issued in the 1840s.  On Feb. 12, 2011, I noted some of us like to see snow in December, not so much in January, a little less in February, and don’t want to hear the word in March.

Monday, Jan. 30, 2012: While I was out in our driveway in Syracuse clearing away 3 inches of light snow, Jeff was in Fulton working on moving 3 feet of a new snowfall around.

A year ago, on Jan. 5, 2013, I was thinking about the winter days my friends and I spent at the dump – the natural in- the-backyards hill at the end of our street – with lots of roller coaster-like bumps and jumps.

Now, it’s January, 2014 – I am supposed to be taking our Christmas tree down, but I’m looking out the window at the 3 or 4 inches of new snow we have received here in Syracuse.

“It’s probably 2 to 3 feet in Fulton,” I thought.

Addendum:  Sometimes I have written about winter and snow at least as early as October – maybe September.

Oct. 6, 1981: After I stumble over the snow tires out in the garage for the fourth or fifth time, I figure that someone thinks it’s time to put them on the car. . . and when the windshield scraper finds its way out of the depth of the trunk, or wherever it has been, the end is really near.

My mind is remembering a Fulton snow storm in March of 1993, after which I was too busy shoveling snow to write a column.

But, after all, it was most likely “just another day” in Fulton’s winter story. The storm that I am remembering happened on Jeff’s birthday; the two of us spent the day shoveling snow.

Happy birthday, Jeff!

. . . Roy Hodge 

Hannibal well represented at All-County

Hannibal High School was represented by nearly a dozen students in the All-County Senior High Band Jan. 17 and 18  at Pulaski High School.

Hannibal students chosen to participate were:  Sydney Waloven and Vanessa Waldron on flute, Chumani Ketcham, Austin Baker and Amanda Kimball on clarinet, Ashley McKenzie on trumpet, Jordyn Fradenburgh on French horn, Alyssa Mann and Olivia Mann on euphonium, Natasha Waloven on trombone, and Elyssa Terry-DeRycke on tuba.

Students were selected based upon an audition held during December evaluating their knowledge of scales, preparation of a technical and musical selection and sight-reading.

The honor ensemble, representing the nine school districts in Oswego County, was under the baton of West Canada Valley Band Director, Shane Bonney.

Bonney is a graduate of the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown School District and is an active performer in the Utica Area. She is a member of the Bella Sonora Woodwind Quintet, and the Ilion Civic Band.

She has been a guest conductor for the Chenengo and Orange County Music festivals, and her excellent rapport with high school students was evidenced as she led the All-County ensemble through its rehearsals and Saturday concert.

As part of its public performance, the All-County band performed a variety of energetic compositions including “ American Barndance,” “Nemesis” and “Pilatus, A Mountain of Dragons,” a programmatic work based on the Swiss Mountain of the same name.

Members of the ensemble practiced for numerous hours Friday and Saturday to perfect every aspect of the pieces.

The audience was treated to a fast paced, lively program showcasing the high level of musicianship possessed by the talented musicians from throughout Oswego County.

In And Around Hannibal, by Rita Hooper

Continuing on District No. 11 South Hannibal   (Hannibal History in Pictures and Prose)

The first schoolhouse in this district is believed to have been constructed around the 1820s.

The schoolhouse was first located on the west side of what is now County Route 7 north of the hamlet center. The building was moved at least four times and eventually served as an annex and parsonage to the Methodist Church before it was federated with the Baptist Church.

The Baptists and Methodists in South Hannibal federated together in 1932 – in 1954, the Rev. Pauline Burdette, suggested moving the Methodist Church from its site on Goodman Road and joining it with the Baptist Church on County Route 7.

A vote was taken and the church family voted in favor of the move, which was completed in 1955. Thereafter it was known as South Hannibal Federal Church.

It has since joined with Hannibal Center Methodist Church to form the South Hannibal-Hannibal Center parish.

After the Methodist Church was moved from Goodman Road to become part of the new federated church, the old school building was sold to Danny Martin.

He converted the  structure into a house still located on Goodman Road.  Later Mr. Stowell purchased it to use as a tenant house for his farm employee.

It again changed hands when David Pierce bought the property. By now, the original school structure has had extensive additions built onto it; but if you look closely you can still tell it was once a schoolhouse.

A second schoolhouse was built about 1854 just south of the Baptist parsonage near the intersection of County Route 7 and Route 176. The lumber for the building was cut locally at the sawmill of Sidney Hulett.

The early teachers received from $1.50-$2 per week for five and one-half days a  week and boarded at sites in the district.  (Boarded means lived with a family – not their own.)

The year was divided into summer and winter terms. Attendance ran as high as 76 or more, with the older pupils really being young adults. Many of the school records were lost when the last South Hannibal store fire occurred.

At the 1877 school district meeting, it was voted to use Quackenbush’s  Arithmetic, Clark’s grammar, Montieth’s geography, the Analytical readers and spellers.

The teacher was paid $7 per week for winter session and $5.50 per week for summer session. In 1880, $1 was paid for cleaning the schoolhouse and a quart of soap cost 7 cents. In 1882, $72.89 was raised by taxes for the support of the school.

Men teachers in those days were earning money to help them go on to study law, medicine or engineering – a stepping stone to some other occupation of a higher caliber. Teaching was not considered a profession as it is now.

Certification was determined by the local school commissioner, not the New York State Board of Regents.

Trustees of District No. 11 over the years included: GV Wolven, SE Rowlee, SD Gardner, William Howland, DD Wells, Merritt Miller, AS Lane, B Wilcox, George Barlow, EJ Wells, CW Haws, Milton Terpening, FA Miller, George Hines, George Blake, Arthur Goodman, FN Palmer, Lynn Randall, George Baldwin, William Summerville, William reedy, Murray Megraw, Phillip Haws, Ivan Blake, Raymond Hovey, Fran Beadle, Gordon Dibble and Charles Warner.

Among some of the early teachers were 1857 Truman Showers, 1858 Miss Earl, 1859 Elizabeth Schenk.

Teachers in the 1930s-40s were: 1930-31 Marion Andrews and Frances Graves, 1933-34 Nellie Gifford and Aneita Graves, 1937-38 Mrs. L. Mae Signor, 1938 Mrs. Gordon Sturge (Gordon Sturge was also a teacher and town historian,) 1938-43 Hazel Chaffee, 1943-44 Mae Pellett Rogers ( Mr. Rogers ran Roger’s Mill in Hannibal Center,) 1945-46 Reta Merriam, 1945-46 Rowena Godfrey, Mae March and in 1946-49 Vivian Megaw, who was the last person to teach in District No. 11 before centralization.

Centralization signaled the end of the South Hannibal School as an independent district. Those in attendance for the last school session in 1949 included Diane Chillson, John and Joyce Crego, Elaine Dibble, Ruth Ann Hovey, Sandra Ingison, Jean and Kay Lewchanin, Mable, Leon, Harold and Charles Reynolds, Harold and Christine Roe, Robert Rogers, Jerry Toloff, Luella and Lela Summervile, Bobby Van Buren and Robert Wade.

However for a year or so after centralization, a grade was bused out to the school from Hannibal while an addition was being built onto the Hannibal High School

Eventually the schoolhouse was sold and now has disappeared from the scene.  In it’s place stands the home of Joan Wallace (as of 1994.)

*****************************

The Hannibal Fire Company Auxiliary will hold its Sunday Breakfast Buffet from 8 to 11 a.m. Jan. 26 at the firehouse on Oswego Street. It’s the first breakfast of the New Year.

The Senior Meals Program meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday for lunch at noon. The center opens at 10 for those who want to come early and read the newspaper or get caught up on what’s happening ‘bout town.

Jig-saw puzzles and games are always available.

Give Rosemary a call and make your reservation, 564-5471.

This week’s menu is:

Monday — Reuben noodle casserole, vegetable, juice, fruit cup

Wednesday — Cooks’ choice (call for specifics)

Friday — Turkey sloppy Joe, baked potato, peas and carrots, orange juice, peaches

Activities — Monday, Wii bowling;     Wednesday, bingo after lunch; Friday,   snowman races

On Monday, those at the center will participate in a Wii bowling tournament against other centers and beyond.  Come join their team, or just be a spectator!

The Elderberries will meet at noon Tuesday for a covered dish luncheon. Do join them – bring your own table service and a dish to pass.

The Senior Council would like to remind you that its rooms are available for groups and family rental when not being otherwise used. Give Rosemary a call for information and booking at 564-5471.

The Library has a new raffle basket, Winter Warm Up. Drawing is Jan. 31.

Hannibal Home & School will meet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 4 at Fairley school, Room 30.

Don’t forget to donate your register tapes at the Village Market and your deposit cans to N&N Redemption so that community organizations can reap the benefits!

The Hannibal Village Board meets the second Monday of the month.

The Hannibal Town Board meets the third Wednesday of the month.

The Hannibal Planning Board meets the first Thursday of the month.

All meetings are held at the Municipal Building on Cayuga Street at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. Help yourself and your community by attending.

I can’t write it unless I have it – so you know what to do…phone or e-mail me with your clubs or organization’s info.

By the way, I’m writing to you from Texas (I’m off to Florida tomorrow – have to do some research on what’s happening with the Hannibalites who winter in Florida) so I don’t have access to snail mail or hands on observation, so please give me a call or e-mail me.  Thanks!

Rita Hooper 706-3564

Twohoops2@juno.com

Hannibal committee continues work on planning school district’s future

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Hannibal school personnel, community stakeholders, students and parents continued to lay the groundwork for the district’s future during a meeting Jan. 16 night among the Strategic Plan Committee’s three task forces.

Divided into groups targeting student engagement, family/community engagement and academic achievement, the task forces delved into lengthy discussions to help develop a five-year blueprint for Hannibal schools.

Superintendent Donna Fountain said the open discussions and information-sharing sessions have been essential in helping create a solid foundation for the district’s future.

“Both the core team and task forces have made tremendous progress toward developing the five-year plan,” Fountain said. “We are up to date with the original timeline and meeting the goals we have set for each meeting.”

Thursday’s meeting was another step forward in the process, as the roughly two dozen task force members reviewed potential core beliefs for the district.

They zeroed in on areas such as practicing respect, creating a passion for learning, prioritizing students, setting high expectations, communicating effectively, being open to change and encouraging student-driven learning.

Although the core beliefs are still a work in progress, the accomplishments made so far have been impressive, said Penny Ciaburri, chief executive officer of PLC Associates Inc. (the consulting firm contracted to aid the district in developing its strategic plan).

The ideas, goals and concerns shared during the meetings will go a long way in making the Hannibal school system a “destination district” for those seeking a premiere learning environment, she said.

“This group has a very high level of commitment … some of best efforts I have seen and very responsive in doing everything according to protocol,” Ciaburri said. “You guys get it.”

That kind of devotion is critical for the development of a comprehensive plan, Fountain said.

“Community members provide an understanding of how the district is perceived as well as increasing community awareness of our goals and our plans to achieve our goals,” the superintendent said.

“In addition, these individuals help us to understand the needs of the community both in the present and future. We are very cognizant that these individuals lead very busy lives. To devote this much time and energy to the future of our district speaks highly of their commitment to the education of our students as well as the Hannibal community as a whole.”

As the plan begins to take shape, committee members and task force representatives are showing their dedication to the process by getting together outside of regularly scheduled meetings to examine survey results, conduct research and analyze data to compare similar districts and assess Hannibal’s specific needs.

“One of the aspects I am most impressed with is that they are looking at data, collecting best practices and examining relevant research – all before they start planning,” Ciaburri said, noting that their commitment was on display during the Jan. 16 meeting.

“They are able to identify accurate statistics from (staff, student and community) surveys,” Ciaburri said. “They even are pulling data from our State Review. These teams already ‘own’ their work. That is major for implementation.”

Armed with a workbook and a lot of data, the task forces are beginning to develop specific strategic intents for the district. This process will help set benchmarks in particular areas and specify – using quantitative data – the goals for the future when it comes to student engagement, community/family engagement and academic achievement.

“We can choose the kinds of things that will be our targets,” Ciaburri said. “You’re setting a stake in the ground and defining very clearly where we’re going to land.”

The task forces and the core committee will continue to analyze data and develop specific goals and strategies as the process moves forward. And although the development of a five-year plan can be daunting, Ciaburri said she is pleased with how well the groups are working together.

“Everyone should know, under some difficult circumstances, these teams are just pushing through,” she said. “The Hannibal community should be proud of that. It is about our kids and they know it.”

The next core team meeting will be held from 4-6:15 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Hannibal school district boardroom. Two weeks later, from 4-6:15 p.m. Feb. 6, the core team and the three task forces will meet. The committee hopes to complete the plan by March 21 and is expected to present it to the school board during a meeting April 2.

For more information on the process or to become involved, contact internal facilitator Tammy Farrell at tfarrell@hannibalcsd.org or by phone at 564-7900, ext. 3004.

SAM North American opens expanded site in Schroeppel

By Ashley M. Casey

Sung An Machinery’s North American arm — better known as SAM-NA, LLC — has made a new home for itself in the Oswego County Industrial Park in Schroeppel.

Local legislators and business owners attended the center’s ribbon cutting Jan. 21.

The 10,000-square-foot facility houses SAM’s new Extrusion Technology Center and marketing office, which will allow SAM’s North and South American customers to see firsthand how new extrusion and lamination technologies can be applied.

The facility currently employs seven people — mostly engineers — but is projected to hire seven more.

Extrusion coating is a process that binds multiple layers of polymers together to create flexible packaging and other products, such as potato chip bags, juice cartons, disposable diapers and plastic packing tape.

Based in South Korea, SAM has headquarters in Italy and Granby, N.Y. and more than 600 machine installations in 27 countries across the globe.

SAM-NA has had an office in Granby since 2010, which has been a support and service organization for SAM-NA.

“We’re excited about this. It’s a great addition to the Industrial Park,” said L. Michael Treadwell, CEO of the County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency and executive director of Operation Oswego County.

Treadwell said that SAM first contacted IDA about expanding in the summer of 2011.

“They had to sell this project to the parent company in South Korea,” Treadwell said.

Officials from SAM’s Korea headquarters visited the Industrial Park and agreed to purchase and modify the building, which sits on two-and-a-half acres of land. The building previously served as the IDA’s startup “incubator” site.

Andy Christie, managing director of SAM-NA, said that the company made a lot of modifications to the building before moving in, including new power, floors, a furnace and other renovations. Treadwell estimated the investment in the building to be about $2.5 million.

“We’ve made a substantial investment to improve this building, as well as bring in the pilot extrusion and laminating line,” Christie said.

The pilot machine, which is mainly for demonstration and product testing, cost about $2 million. A full-size extrusion machine costs $3.5 million.

“Ninety percent of the (work) was done by Oswego County contractors,” Christie said.

Holly Carpenter, a spokesperson for New York state Sen. Patty Ritchie, said that Sen. Ritchie extended a warm welcome to SAM-NA’s new business site and applauded their support of local contractors.

“Small business is the backbone (of New York state), and we’re so pleased to have you here,” Carpenter said.

“It just gives Oswego County another success story in terms of attracting manufacturing with an internationally known company,” Treadwell said.

Yes, it’s been cold — but we haven’t set any records

By Debra J. Groom

Yes, it’s been cold.

It was bone-chilling a couple of weeks ago and it’s frigid again now.

And while it may seem odd to have this many cold days in a row, this is nothing compared to two years in the past.

That’s it – think back to February 1979, says local weather observer Paul Cardinali, of Fulton.

That month, there was a stretch of 13 days of temperatures less than 0, he said. And in the more than 40 years that he’s been keeping records, Fulton hit its all-time low of minus 26 on Feb. 18, 1979.

“The average temperature in February 1979 was 10.7 degrees,” he said. “Boy, that is cold. That’s the coldest February I’ve ever recorded.”

The same was true over in the Port City of Oswego. Weather observer William Gregway said the mercury plunged to minus 20 there on Feb. 18, 1979.

Now more recently, the Fulton and Oswego areas plunged into a deep freeze in January 2005.

Gregway said Oswego posted temps at 0 or below 0 for eight days between Jan. 18 and 28. Cardinali said Fulton also recorded temperatures at 0 or below for 10 days from Jan 18 through Jan. 31.

“We haven’t experienced the prolonged cold periods lately that I can remember,” Gregway said.

Even the cold from a couple of weeks ago seems a distant memory considering what happened after that cold snap ended.

Cardinali said temperatures were below 0 on Jan. 2, 3 and 4. But then the mercury started to climb.

“It was 52 on Jan. 10 and close to 50 on Jan. 12,” he said.

The Weather Channel forecasted Fulton to see its last minus temp Thursday night. Then temperatures are supposed to go up – slightly – to a raging high of 26 by Saturday (today). Lows still will be a bit nippy in the single digits or low teens.

And The Weather Channel has that trend continuing through next Friday, Jan. 31.

Cardinali said the one thing that made this week more bearable than earlier in January was the wind. During the Jan. 2-4 cold snap, the winds were whipping, making wind chills of minus 25 degrees. This most recent cold was mostly temperature only with very little wind.

Fulton temperatures in January 2005
Jan. 18, minus 3
Jan. 19, minus 1
Jan. 20, minus 2
Jan. 21, minus 13
Jan. 22, minus 17
Jan. 23, minus 11
Jan. 24, minus 11
Jan. 28, minus 14
Jan. 29, minus 1
Jan. 31, 0

Fulton temperatures in February 1979
Feb. 1, 9
Feb. 2, 9
Feb. 3, minus 8
Feb. 4, 9
Feb. 5, 7
Feb. 6, minus 2
Feb. 7, minus 4
Feb. 8, minus 10, Feb. 9, minus 8
Feb. 10, minus 16
Feb. 11, minus 22
Feb. 12, minus 24
Feb. 13, minus 16
Feb. 14, minus 25
Feb. 15, minus 10
Feb. 16, minus 2
Feb. 17, minus 20
Feb. 18, minus 26
Feb. 19, 3
Feb. 20, 0
Feb. 21, 18
Feb. 22, 32
Feb. 23, 30
Feb. 24, 30
Feb. 25, 20
Feb. 26, 20
Feb. 27, 20
Feb. 28, 20

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