Young artists sought for Oswego Mural Project

The Oswego Mural Committee is looking for youth artists who would like to create a piece of artwork in a public space in the city of Oswego with the Springboard Mural Project.

Last year, 17 students completed 20 murals along the river walk.

“Organizers are looking to expand that number this year and to complete even more murals,” said Dawn Metott of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “Thanks to a very generous donation of supplies from Raby’s Ace Home Center, we are set to begin.”

An informational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at the Oswego YMCA Armory with young artists and their parents.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the mural project is encouraged to attend the May 14 meeting.

Now in its fifth year, the mural project is a youth-focused initiative, with the design concept and implementation being directed by local young people with the support of the Springboard Mural Committee.

Murals are located on West Linear Park near the Utica Street Bridge and were designed and created by local students.

The project was originally a city sponsored community development plan to address graffiti issues.

“Many of the youth artists we have in the group come back year after year to participate,” said Metott. “They love helping out their community and seeing a piece of artwork they created in a public space to be enjoyed by others. Instead of covering the graffiti, the community has come together and invested in something special that reflects the sense of community pride which has made this project successful.”

Those seeking additional information or to participate in this project may contact Metott at the Youth Bureau at 349-3575 or e-mail

Carolee Ashby’s family reacts to confession of hit-and-run driver

by Carol Thompson

The cold case that has touched the community was solved with the confession of the driver who hit Carolee Sadie Ashby and drove away as she lay dying in the road on Halloween night in 1968.

For the family, the confession of 62-year-old Douglas Parkhurst does little to ease the pain of losing Carolee.

“If he apologized to me and I don’t even know how I would handle it,” Carolee’s mother Marlene Ashby said Wednesday.

Earlier that day, police issued a press release with the details of the accident as well as the identity of the driver.

For the Ashby family, the confession did not bring conclusion to 44 years of suffering — and the family isn’t convinced they know the entire story.

Parkhurst’s confession came following a Facebook post made by former Fulton Police Lieutenant Russ Johnson, who made an appeal for anyone with information to come forward. That led to a former Fulton resident, now living in Florida, to make contact and tell of how Parkhurst’s mother had asked her to provide an alibi for her son.

The family is angered that Parkhurst waited 44 years to confess and they believe he would have remained silent had the witness not come forward.

“If he’s done it (remained silent) for 44 years, I believe he would have went the rest of his life without coming forward,” said Darlene Ashby McCann, who was with Carolee the night she was struck and killed.

McCann, Carolee and a cousin were walking to the store to buy birthday candles for McCann’s birthday cake. The trio was on their way back home when the driver struck Carolee as she and McCann were crossing the street. The cousin had already crossed.

“It’s very cowardly,” McCann said of Parkhurst’s silence.

Ashby agreed. “He’s not 99 percent a coward — he’s 100 percent a coward,” she said, referring to what she said the police had told her about Parkhurst giving a 99.9-percent confession.

Frank McCann, son of Darlene McCann, said he wasn’t born when Carolee was killed, but he does know the suffering the family has endured over the years. He noted the holidays, especially his mother’s birthday, have been difficult.

“He’s taken away from the grandchildren everything he’s been able to enjoy,” he said.

Another grandchild, Amy Kush, said, “I’m happy we now know who was responsible but I feel there is still the unanswered question of why so many people hid this.”

She added, “It’s the beginning of the end of closure.”

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

County Household Hazardous Waste facility opens May 1

Are you wondering what to do with your child’s old chemistry set or that pail of expired pool chemicals?

Oswego County residents will be able to safely dispose of unwanted chemicals, pesticides, and other hazardous waste products beginning Wednesday, May 1 at the Oswego County Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility.

Located at the Bristol Hill Landfill, 3125 N.Y.S. Rte. 3, Volney, the facility will be open Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 to 11 a.m. from May through September.

The program is free to Oswego County residents and is sponsored by the Oswego County Legislature and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

“The household hazardous waste collection facility gives residents a convenient way to safely dispose of expired chemical products and unwanted hazardous wastes,” said Frank Visser, Oswego County solid waste director. “This method of household hazardous waste management has proven to be cost-effective and user-friendly. Materials are packaged and stored in a secure area until a sufficient amount has accumulated for shipping.”

Customers should pull their vehicle up to the side of the building, which is located between the transfer station and solid waste offices.

Drivers should remain in their vehicles and wait for materials to be unloaded by the solid waste department staff.

These items are accepted at the collection facility: Acids, adhesives, aerosols, airplane glue, antifreeze, auto batteries, light ballasts (non PCB), brake fluid, cements, charcoal lighters, chemistry sets, chlorine, cleaning fluids, compact fluorescent bulbs, corrosives, degreasers, dioxin pesticides, disinfectants, drain cleaners, dry gas, epoxies, fiberglass resins, and flea products.

Also, fluorescent light bulbs, furniture polish, hair removers, herbicides, hobby chemicals, inks, insecticides, lacquers, lighter fluids, lubricants, mercury containing devices, moth balls and flakes, nail polish and remover, and “no pest” strips.

Also, oil-based paints (no latex paints will be accepted), oven cleaners, paint removers and thinners, permanent solutions, pesticides, photo chemicals, pool chemicals, rat poisons, rubber cements, rug and upholstery cleaners, rust solvents, silvex pesticide, solvents, spot removers, tub and tile cleaners, turpentine, varnish, waste fuels, weed killers, wood preservatives, and wood stains.

Materials should be in their original containers and placed in sturdy cardboard boxes. Leaking containers should be wrapped in newspaper and placed in a clear plastic bag.

Dried latex paint, used motor oil, household batteries, cell phones, computers, electronic equipment, and appliances containing CFC refrigerant are accepted year-round at the transfer stations.

There is no charge for recycling electronic equipment such as computer monitors, microwave ovens, fax machines and televisions.

There is a fee to recycle appliances that contain CFC refrigerant.

Visser requests that, for safety reasons, people do not bring children or pets to the collection site. Smoking is prohibited in the unloading area.

The Solid Waste Department also accepts hazardous wastes from

Oswego County businesses that meet the regulatory requirements.

Business owners should contact the solid waste office to find out if they qualify and to obtain a cost estimate for disposal of materials.

Those seeking more information may call the Oswego County Solid Waste Office at 591-9200 or visit the Department of Solid Waste Web site at

Fulton softball team wins two of three games

by Rob Tetro

The Fulton varsity softball team recently won games against Oswego and Mexico but lost to Jamesville-DeWitt.

Jamesville-DeWitt scored eight runs during the third and fourth innings of its April 18th game en route to handing Fulton its only loss of the season.

The Lady Raiders responded by doubling up on Oswego. Fulton scored 14 runs during the fourth inning of its April 20th game against Oswego while cruising to a win.

April 23, the Lady Raiders scored five unanswered runs in extra innings to come away with a win against Mexico.

After two scoreless innings, Jamesville-Dewitt scored eight unanswered runs during the third and fourth innings. Jamesville-DeWitt scored another run during the top of the sixth inning to take a 9-0 lead. Jamesville-Dewitt outscored the Lady Raiders during by two runs during the seventh inning to cap off a 12-1 win.

Fulton was led by Cheyenne Laun and Keisha Pierce. They both had two hits. Courtney Parker chipped in with a hit for the Lady Raiders.

Two players saw time on the mound for Fulton. In four innings of work, Cheyenne Laun finished with three strikeouts while allowing eight runs on eight hits.

In relief of Laun, Ashley Cummins struck out one while giving up four runs on five hits in three innings of action.

The Lady Raiders rebounded by topping Oswego in a high-scoring game.

Early on, it didn’t look so good for Fulton. After three innings of play, Oswego had a 7-3 lead over the Lady Raiders.

Fulton turned the tide on Oswego during the fourth inning. Not only did the Lady Raiders rally back but they dealt Oswego a very strong blow.

The Lady Raiders scored 13 runs in the inning to take a nine-run lead at 17-8. Fulton rolled to a 26-13 win.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

Accountable government

by Sandra J. Blanchard, Hannibal

Our legislators, town and village officials all need to be made accountable.

This year, we will have a chance for change. Take the next few months before elections to ask questions, attend Hannibal town meetings on the third Wednesdays of the month at 7 p.m. Hannibal Village meetings are on the second Monday of the month also at 7 p.m.

Oswego County is dominated by the Republican Party. This means that the majority of all decisions being made within the county are being made by the Republican Party. No party should have that kind of control. Are you, as taxpayers and voters, happy with animal control, neighborhood junk issues and your rising taxes to name a few?

We need you, Step forward and have a say in the county, town and village future. People should know that, by law, we all have to be registered to a party before we can vote in any election.

Some people do not know that they have the right to vote for any candidate running on the election ballot regardless of the party that they are registered in.

Belonging to a certain party does not mean that you have to vote for a candidate within that party. Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing — take advantage of living in America.

Now serving the Hannibal Town is Supervisor Ron Greenleaf. Two town board members are up this year: Virginia Wilber and Carl Emmons.

You have to live within the town to fill these positions. Legislator Terry Wilbur is the legislator for the Hannibal area. Candidates for this office must live within the 21st district. These votes will be in November.

June 19th is the date for the village elections. Candidates must live within the village to run for these offices. Mayor Fred Kent and two village trustees, Joseph Caruana and Wendell Blanchard, are up for re-election this year. You must live in the village to run for village seats.

Very few people vote in the village elections; sometimes only seven or eight votes are casted.

Any one interested in running for any of these seats should contact the Hannibal town hall or the Oswego County Election Board as soon as possible. Intentions to run should be know by mid May.

Days after a tragic event

by Roy Hodge

During all that has been going on since the chaos of the Marathon bombing in Boston, I have been thinking about another tragic event that played out over several days during the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

President Kennedy was fatally shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas while in a motorcade with his wife, Jacqueline, and Texas Governor John Connally and his wife.

As well as the assassination itself, other prime stories developed, and like the assassination, some of them were shown live on television. We were glued to our television sets from Friday afternoon until after JFK’s state funeral on Monday and beyond.

Dallas Police Department Officer J. D. Tippit, according to the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations, was shot and killed by Oswald less than an hour after the assassination of President Kennedy.

On Sunday, two days after assassinating President Kennedy and Officer Tippit, Oswald was being led through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters while being transferred to the county jail when local nightclub operator Jack Ruby stepped from the crowd and shot Oswald.

Ruby was convicted of Oswald’s murder, appealed his conviction and death sentence and was granted a new trial. As the date for his new trial was being set he became ill and died of lung cancer.

*  *  *  *  *

“Sweet Caroline” is a soft rock song which was written and performed by Neil Diamond and officially released on June 28, 1969. In a 2007 interview, Diamond revealed that the inspiration for “Sweet Caroline” was President John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, who was eleven years old at the time.

Diamond sang the song to her at her 50th birthday celebration in 2007.

“Sweet Caroline” has been played at Boston’s Fenway Park since at least 1997, and has been played in the middle of the eighth inning since 2002.

April 16, 2013, the day after the Boston Marathon bombing, the New York Yankees, longtime Red Sox rivals, announced that they would play the song during their home game, preceded by a moment of silence.

Major League ball parks around the U.S. paid tribute to those affected by the Marathon bombings by playing “Sweet Caroline” over the loud speakers at their ball parks.

To read the rest of the article, pick up a copy of The Valley News. You can subscribe by calling 598-6397 or click on the link on our home page.

CNY Arts Center launches Volunteer of the Month program

Ken Blount, CNY Arts Center’s first Volunteer of the Month, is pictured working on the set for the center’s upcoming production of “Helen Keller.”
Ken Blount, CNY Arts Center’s first Volunteer of the Month, is pictured working on the set for the center’s upcoming production of “Helen Keller.”

The CNY Arts Center, an organization located in Fulton that strives to engage people of all ages with all arts, has announced its volunteer recognition program.

The program’s purpose is to acknowledge the many hours of work done by the people who make the center’s activities and events happen.

“Volunteers are truly the heart and soul of our organization,” said Alice Lamb, program coordinator and volunteer recognition coordinator for the center. “We are a young community center, with limited funding, so we rely heavily on our volunteers to assure our programs can be realized.”

The Volunteer of the Month for April is Ken Blount, who has been instrumental in CNY Arts Center’s success from its beginning.

“Ken was a leader in the process to clean and organize the facility where we present our programs,” said Nancy Fox, the center’s director. “He put in countless hours in preparing the space that we are renting from the State Street Methodist Church, who have been a great host for our Center. In fact, Ken has worked so closely with the church that he now volunteers for them as well!”

Blount is a native Fultonian who has always been interested in art and drama. He continues to work on his own studio art, often creating work from common household articles. He has donated his artwork to the Center for various events.

“Ken has also painted stage sets, provided some of its furniture and is the go-to guy for anything having to do with the facility, often covering the office for after-hour events,” continued Fox. “He maintains the look of our entrance and takes out the garbage every week.” 

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