Legislator urging DOT to push up Route 3 project

By Matthew Reitz
A stretch of state Route 3 is set to undergo a facelift in the spring  of 2017, but one local county legislator is doing all he can to urge the state Department of Transportation to begin the project as soon as this year.
“I’d like to get it moved forward,” said Oswego County Legislator Frank Castiglia of Fulton.
The $1.7 million project is slated to begin in spring 2017 and to be completed in the summer of 2018.
In its proposed form, the project spans state Route 3 from W. 5th Street to eastern city border.
The undertaking will remove and replace the top layer of asphalt, and daily lane closures will be used to maintain traffic, according to the DOT.
“The road is falling apart,” said Castiglia, adding that there are “concerns about vehicle safety.”
Castiglia said he has written to Carl Ford, the DOT’s regional director for this area, asking that at least a portion of the project be repaired this summer.
“The biggest problem is from S. 7th Street to the city line,” Castiglia said.
He hopes that the department could do this portion in 2015, and then the rest could be done next year, he said.
Castiglia said he would hesitantly settle for 2016, but he “really would like it this year.”
Castiglia said he has the support of state Sen. Patty Ritchie, Assemblymen Will Barclay, and Fulton city officials. Castiglia said he has also reached out to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office for help.
Attempts to reach Ritchie and Barclay for comment were unsuccessful by press time Monday.
Castiglia called the stretch of road “horrendous.”
“I’m not going to let it go,” he said.

Neighbors helping neighbors in Fulton Mills’ “I’m Okay” program

Volunteers in Fulton Mills Apartment’s “I’m Okay” resident safety program were honored for their service last week. Pictured in the front, from left, are Resident Services Coordinator Linda Hughes with monitors Phyllis Walts, Cinda Shupe, Mary Hoyt, Cora Finn, Mary Meyer and Oneita Morrel. In the back, from left, are American Red Cross representative Steve Reed, Second Ward Councilor Daniel Knopp, Mayor Ron Woodward Sr., monitors Jack Smith, Red Cross representative Susan Pope, Catholic Charities representative Tim Archer, and monitors Elsie Tucci, Carol Bickford and Ruth Harmer.
Volunteers in Fulton Mills Apartment’s “I’m Okay” resident safety program were honored for their service last week. Pictured in the front, from left, are Resident Services Coordinator Linda Hughes with monitors Phyllis Walts, Cinda Shupe, Mary Hoyt, Cora Finn, Mary Meyer and Oneita Morrel. In the back, from left, are American Red Cross representative Steve Reed, Second Ward Councilor Daniel Knopp, Mayor Ron Woodward Sr., monitors Jack Smith, Red Cross representative Susan Pope, Catholic Charities representative Tim Archer, and monitors Elsie Tucci, Carol Bickford and Ruth Harmer.

By Colin Hogan
Now in it’s fourth year, the “I’m Okay” program at Fulton Mills Apartments is helping independently-living elderly and disabled residents look out for one another’s well being.
Through the “I’m Okay” program, participating residents are given a sign to place on their door every morning to let their neighbors know they’re up and around for the day. Each morning, a team of about three or four volunteers from each floor goes around to look for signs.
“We have a group of residents who, every morning at 10 o’clock, go around and check the doors, seven days a week,” said Hughes.
If someone hasn’t put out the sign, the volunteer who is checking will knock.
“Usually they answer,” Hughes said, “but if not, they come down and tell us in the office and then we call up to the apartment.”
If the resident still isn’t answering, Hughes or another member of the office staff then calls the resident’s emergency contact. Often enough, the resident had an appointment or an event planned, Hughes said, and left the facility early without remembering to put out the sign.
“Worst case scenario, if we still don’t know, we’ll go into the apartment and check ourselves,” Hughes said.
Staff then call 911 if there is an emergency.
Years back, the facility housed a resident who had a medical emergency, but wasn’t able to call for help. He went days unnoticed suffering in his apartment. Resident Services Coordinator Linda Hughes says that’s when her predecessor decided something needed to be done, and conceived the “I’m Okay” program.
“She realized that we needed something so this wouldn’t happen again, so she partnered with the Red Cross and Catholic Charities and the “I’m Okay” program was developed,” Hughes said.
Catholic Charities provided the facility with door hangers for the signs, and Red Cross representatives came in to train monitors on how to check on their neighbors, and they return every few months to do continued training.
Hughes said there have been “several times” since the program’s inception in which it has helped someone who was suffering but was unable to call for help.
“We’ve found people who have been going through a lot of pain, who might not otherwise have gotten the care they needed as quickly as they needed it,” she said.
Hughes said the approach is designed to ensure that everyone living in the facility is safe and kept track of, and to reduce a sense of panic or emergency during moments of uncertainty, all while allowing residents to maintain their own independence.
On Wednesday, the team of volunteer residents who routinely make their rounds to check for door signs were honored in a special ceremony by their neighbors, Fulton Mills staff, representatives from the Red Cross and Catholic Charities, and city officials.
“We just really want them to see that what they do is appreciated, and want people to see how important it is that they’re doing this,” Hughes said.

Dorothy Churchill

Churchill OB
Dorothy Churchill, 93, of Fulton, passed away Saturday, February 21, 2015. Dorothy and her family moved to Fulton in 1957, where she and her husband operated Churchill Laundry and Dry Cleaning. Dorothy was active with softball, swimming and bowling while in Syracuse and continued to bowl in several leagues and act as president and secretary while in Fulton. In 1992, Dorothy was elected to the Fulton Women’s Bowling Hall of Fame. She retired from Marine Midland Bank. Dorothy was predeceased by her husband, Larry Churchill and by a grandson, police officer Robert Parkhurst, who both died in 1984. Dorothy is survived by her two daughters, Honey C. Parkhurst of Fulton and Joannne Cozine of Texas; two sons, John H. Churchill of Sterling and Richard M. Churchill of Florida; a sister, Marion Roberts of Florida; 10 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren, as well as several nieces and nephews. There are no calling hours or services. Dorothy donated her body to SUNY Upstate Medical University, Department of Anatomy for the advancement of medical education and research. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Fulton PBA for the Officer Robert Parkhurst Scholarship Fund, c/o Fulton Police Department, 141 South First Street, Fulton, 13069. Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

Charles Ives Gehring Jr.

CPO Charles Ives Gehring, Jr USN RET, 84, of Oak Grove, Ky., passed away Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at Vanderbilt Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn. Sykes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at Sykes Funeral Home Chapel, Clarksville, Tenn. The family will receive friends from noon until the time of service on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at the Funeral Home.
Charles was born April 6, 1930 in Volney, N.Y. to the late Charles Ives Gehring, Sr., and the late Dorothy Smith Gehring. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Joyce Lucille Welling Gehring, and daughter, Pamela Gehring.
He served in the US Navy as a Submarine Serviceman and Medical Corpsman in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He was a devoted husband, father and an avid lover of animals. He was also an avid Ham radio enthusiast.
He is survived by sons, Charles Ives (Darlene) Gehring III, Howard (Alesia) Gehring, Walter (Nicole) Gehring; brothers, David (Julie) Gehring, Bruce (Faye) Gehring; grandchildren, Andrea, Howard II, Robert, Krystal, David, Joshua, Joseph, Sean, Ryan; great-grandchildren, Mia, Gabrielle, Abbigail and Jacob.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 2000 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN  37203.
Online condolences may be made at www.sykesfuneralhome.com

Paul Charles Litchison

Litchison OBPaul Charles Litchison, 88, of Phoenix, N.Y., died Saturday, February 28, 2015 in St. Joseph’s Hospital after a long illness. He was born on May 19, 1926, the son of Paul Charles and Josephine E. Litchison (nee Whitecotton {Wirt}.)
He spent his early childhood in Syracuse and high schools in Liverpool. Paul joined the Boy Scouts in 1939, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 1943.
He was a US Army veteran and served in Italy at the very end of World War II. A huge fan of the big bands of the 1940s, he greatly enjoyed events at Drumlins and at the Persian Terrace of Hotel Syracuse.
Paul married Alma Jean Hill on October 21, 1950 at the First United Methodist Church on West Genesee Street, Syracuse. They moved to Phoenix in 1954 where they raised four children, Louis, Charles, Becky and Bonnie. Paul worked for Allied Chemical at Solvay Process as a lab technician from 1949 to 1981. He was assistant and Scoutmaster for 40 years with Boy Scout Troop 20. He was a member of the Phoenix United Methodist Church; the Kananake Canoe Club; the Joy Germ Club; and the Phoenix Village Players theatrical group. He donated well over 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross over his lifetime. Paul loved family vacations camping in the Adirondacks with his homemade camper, and later at Camp Litchhaven. He loved music and played the ukulele and recorder instruments.
After retiring, Paul made and played a broom handle-washtub bass with the “Chuckles ‘n’ Tunes,” performing hundreds of times at area VFW’s senior facilities, and social venues for over 20 years. His friend, and radio personality, Phil Market, dubbed him “Hot Tub Paul!” Reading, doing the daily word scramble, and writing rhyming poems were his lifelong passions.
Paul is predeceased by his wife Jean, of 45 years (Dec. 24, 1995); his son Charles (July 17, 1990); a brother-in-law, Rev. Irving G. Hill (June 10, 2010) Surviving are his son Louis  and Krista Litchison (nee Sweetser) of Manlius; two daughters, Becky Betts of Baldwinsville, and Bonnie Litchison of Oswego; daughter-in-law Diane Litchison-Kuzio (nee Reitz) of Fulton; sister-in-law Marcia Hill (nee Coons) of Syracuse; eight grandchildren, Aaron Litchison of Manlius, Stephanie (Betts) and Miller Young of Delmar, N.Y., Katherine Betts of Hartford, Conn., Erica (Betts) and David Smith of Baldwinsville, Amy (Litchison) and Brian DeMott of Fulton, Jeffrey and Cory (Greenwood) Litchison of Fulton, Teresa (Litchison) and Carlos Cruz-Tejeda of Hawaii, and Jaielle Litchison of Oswego; ten great-grandchildren, Emma Litchison, Mya, Sawyer, and Macy Young, Charlotte Smith, Kayleigh, Skylar, Piper and Aubrie Litchison, and Athena DeMott.
Services were held at the funeral home on Tuesday, March 3, at 11 a.m.
Contributions should be made to the American Red Cross in Paul’s memory.

Paul Charles Litchison

Litchison OBPaul Charles Litchison, 88, of Phoenix, N.Y., died Saturday, February 28, 2015 in St. Joseph’s Hospital after a long illness. He was born on May 19, 1926, the son of Paul Charles and Josephine E. Litchison (nee Whitecotton {Wirt}.)
He spent his early childhood in Syracuse and high schools in Liverpool. Paul joined the Boy Scouts in 1939, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 1943.
He was a US Army veteran and served in Italy at the very end of World War II. A huge fan of the big bands of the 1940s, he greatly enjoyed events at Drumlins and at the Persian Terrace of Hotel Syracuse.
Paul married Alma Jean Hill on October 21, 1950 at the First United Methodist Church on West Genesee Street, Syracuse. They moved to Phoenix in 1954 where they raised four children, Louis, Charles, Becky and Bonnie. Paul worked for Allied Chemical at Solvay Process as a lab technician from 1949 to 1981. He was assistant and Scoutmaster for 40 years with Boy Scout Troop 20. He was a member of the Phoenix United Methodist Church; the Kananake Canoe Club; the Joy Germ Club; and the Phoenix Village Players theatrical group. He donated well over 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross over his lifetime. Paul loved family vacations camping in the Adirondacks with his homemade camper, and later at Camp Litchhaven. He loved music and played the ukulele and recorder instruments.
After retiring, Paul made and played a broom handle-washtub bass with the “Chuckles ‘n’ Tunes,” performing hundreds of times at area VFW’s senior facilities, and social venues for over 20 years. His friend, and radio personality, Phil Market, dubbed him “Hot Tub Paul!” Reading, doing the daily word scramble, and writing rhyming poems were his lifelong passions.
Paul is predeceased by his wife Jean, of 45 years (Dec. 24, 1995); his son Charles (July 17, 1990); a brother-in-law, Rev. Irving G. Hill (June 10, 2010) Surviving are his son Louis  and Krista Litchison (nee Sweetser) of Manlius; two daughters, Becky Betts of Baldwinsville, and Bonnie Litchison of Oswego; daughter-in-law Diane Litchison-Kuzio (nee Reitz) of Fulton; sister-in-law Marcia Hill (nee Coons) of Syracuse; eight grandchildren, Aaron Litchison of Manlius, Stephanie (Betts) and Miller Young of Delmar, N.Y., Katherine Betts of Hartford, Conn., Erica (Betts) and David Smith of Baldwinsville, Amy (Litchison) and Brian DeMott of Fulton, Jeffrey and Cory (Greenwood) Litchison of Fulton, Teresa (Litchison) and Carlos Cruz-Tejeda of Hawaii, and Jaielle Litchison of Oswego; ten great-grandchildren, Emma Litchison, Mya, Sawyer, and Macy Young, Charlotte Smith, Kayleigh, Skylar, Piper and Aubrie Litchison, and Athena DeMott.
Services will be at the the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, Phoenix, NY 13135 on Tuesday, March 3, at 11 a.m.
Contributions should be made to the American Red Cross in Paul’s memory.

Elaine C. Waring

Elaine C. Waring, 89, of Lakeland, Fla., passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 at Lakeland Regional Health after a brief illness. Elaine was born in Fulton to Frank and Clara Hubbell. She retired from the Polk County Health Department and was a communicant of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
In addition to her parents, Elaine was predeceased by her husband William Waring, her sisters Frances and Geraldine, brother Donald and a grandson William Waring III.
Surviving are her children Cheryl (Larry) Hodge of Lakeland, Fla., William (Anita) Waring, Jr. of Franklinton, N.C., Timothy (Shelly) Waring of Fulton, Craig (Renee) Waring of Fulton and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A private ceremony was held at Heath Funeral Chapel in Lakeland, Fla. There will be a spring burial at St. Mary’s in Fulton.

Authorities seek public’s help in addressing winter challenges

By Matthew Reitz

A recent stretch of heavy snowfall and unrelenting cold temperatures is creating challenges for local emergency workers.
Fire crews across the area are dealing with longer response times as road conditions are slowing them down on their way to emergency scenes. They say, in addition to what they’re responding to, freezing temperatures and snow on the ground can create major issues at the scene.
Acting Fulton Fire Chief Paul Foster cited narrow roads, high snow banks and buried fire hydrants as some of the biggest challenges facing the department due to recent weather.
“If (residents) can make a path to a hydrant, that makes it that much easier on us,” Foster said.
In January, frozen hydrants “caused a substantial delay in combating a fire,” on Murray Street in Oswego, according to assistant chief Jon Chawgo of the Oswego Fire Department. Firefighters had to connect to six hydrants to find two that functioned properly.  Luckily, the first hydrant they connected to worked, but the fireman had to run 1,000 feet of hose down to West 1st Street to find a second hydrant.
Scriba Volunteer Fire Deparment Chief Kurt Wehrmann named hydrants as one of their biggest issue, as well.
“We can’t possibly get to (shoveling out) every hydrant in the area,” Wehrmann said.
Scriba has not seen an increase in call volume, but narrow driveways and poor road conditions have created challenges for them, Wehrmann said.
As snow banks grow and road widths narrow, side streets can be especially difficult for emergency vehicles to traverse.
“The (Oswego) DPW is doing the best job they can,” Chawgo said.  “Emergency parking bans enacted in Oswego in recent days should allow the DPW to clear more streets and improve the situation in the city.”
The Fulton Police Department is dealing with the “same challenges everyone else is,” according to Deputy Chief Thomas Abelgore.  Enforcing the overnight parking ban and keeping vehicles off the street is a pressing issue with current snow deposits, he said.
There have been “a lot of accidents caused by high snow banks,” according to Abelgore.  He urged people to “use a little more caution, and take their time,” when entering the roadways.  Abelgore also urged residents to be patient and stressed that the DPW is working with its limited resources to take the banks down.
Abelgore also called on residents “not to put snow in the roadway,” as it “creates hazards for cars passing through.”  On its Facebook page, the Fulton Police Department said, “there is a Fulton City Code that prohibits the placing of unsafe substances in the roadway, which includes snow.”  Residents can be ticketed for this offense, police say.
Foster also noted that the “wind chill has just been brutal.”  The cold temperatures sometimes drive people to seek auxiliary heat sources that can become a hazard if people aren’t careful.  Foster stressed that people need to use caution with plug-in heaters and be sure not to “forget it’s there or stack stuff on it.”
Foster has called on residents to “cooperate and help” as much as possible.

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