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Nine Mile Point Hosts Community Information Night

OSWEGO, NY – Hundreds of people took part in Exelon Generation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station’ open house event Tuesday evening at the Nuclear Learning Center.

Ethann Browne, center, listens as an Exelon employee explains how to the control room works

Ethann Browne, center, listens as an Exelon employee explains how to the control room works

The event ran from 4 – 7 p.m. and within the first hour, more than 300 people had stopped by to how the nuclear plant operates.

Employees and station leaders greeted residents, answered questions and educated everyone about how a nuclear power plant operates.

Representatives from Operations, Engineering, Security and Emergency Preparedness and other plant departments set up informative displays to inform and educate the public.

The station’s control room simulators were a popular place to visit.

Exelon representatives showed how the plant’s operators are trained to run the station safely and reliably.

A youngster gets a hand building a tower at the Children's Museum area at Tuesday's event.

A youngster gets a hand building a tower at the Children’s Museum area at Tuesday’s event.

Visitors could enjoy the interactive, educational displays from the Children’s Museum of Oswego. Gannon’s Ice Cream was on site and souvenirs were provided.

Ethann Browne really enjoyed his visit at the simulated operators’ training room(s).

He is a “research fanatic” who loves to learn about how things work.

The Oswego youngster will be entering the fourth grade this fall. But, looking well beyond that, he said he can see himself becoming a nuclear engineer.

“This is really interesting. It’s kind of the stuff I’d like to do some day,” he said. “I’d like to be a nuclear engineer some day. The simulator was very interesting.”

Math and science are both his favorite subjects in school.

Morgan Alexander was doing a job shadowing for her future college job.

“I want to go into the communications field,” she explained.

She was listening to Robert Pellegrino explain about how operators are trained to run the plant.

“I want to learn from the communications people on site. I want to go into radio, TV communications and business communications,” she said.

One of the people she was going to shadow was Jill Lyon, the Exelon spokesperson at the plant.

Morgan Alexander looks on as  Robert Pellegrino explains how the plant's operators are trained.

Morgan Alexander looks on as Robert Pellegrino explains how the plant’s operators are trained.

“We are committed to operating our facility safely and we’re also committed to being good community partners,” Lyon said. “We wanted to open up the facility tonight to bring in our neighbors and educate them about what we do here and the actions our employees take every day to operate the plant safely.”

She said that it’s important that community members understand how the facility is operated.

Approximately 300 people signed up to attend the event, “that’s pretty good, this being our first year, I think that’s pretty good,” she added.

The Children’s Museum of Oswego offered a variety of activities for youngsters, including acrylic magnetic building blocks, a sound demonstration and more.

One of Exelon’s employees is a member of CMOO’s board, “so we want to help support what one of our employees is doing,” Lyon noted.

They hope to hold the event on an annual basis.

“We’re really appreciative of everybody here in our community that took the opportunity and time to come out and see us tonight. We’re really excited to be having the event and look forward to it growing in the future,” she said.

Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2013 revenues of approximately $24.9 billion.

Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with more than 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets.

The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers.

Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO). Follow Exelon on Twitter @Exelon

Weather Notebook For July 29, 2014

Weather Notebook For July 29, 2014

According to Fulton’s weather observer, the area received 1.45 inches of precipitation on July 28.

The monthly total is 5.47 inches.

The total for the year is 28.91 inches.

Partly cloudy and cool tonight. Low in the lower 50s.

A mix of sun and clouds with a few lingering showers possible Wednesday. High near 70.

Oswego Council OKs Amending Charter

OSWEGO, NY – At it’s meeting Monday night, the Common Council voted to go down what the mayor said could be “a slippery slope” in the future.

By a 5-0-2 vote, councilors approved Local Law No. 2 of the Year 2014 – a local law amending Section 4.07 of the Charter of the City of Oswego with respect to the annual budget. Councilors Fran Enwright and Mike Todd were excused Monday night.

The Local Law amends a section of the code of the city of Oswego to read: Should the budget have a tax rate increase of 5 percent or more than the previous year’s tax rate, then the budget shall go to a public referendum in that year’s November election, by operation of law. In the event the budget cannot be presented at the general election, then there shall be held a special election at the earliest date.

Last year, the city increased taxes by more than 40 percent. Had the local law been in place then, the taxpayers of the city more than likely would have voted it down, Mayor Tom Gillen said.

“If that happened, we would have had to find a way to trim a lot of money out of the budget,” he told Oswego County Today. “We would have probably started with recreation and worked our way toward safety.”

However, things have leveled off and such a blockbuster increase isn’t likely to occur again, he added.

“The good news is we had that (large increase) just last year, so we don’t expect another. We’re going to do everything we can to keep it under 5 percent anyway; it’s just good leadership.”

But, there are a lot of factors involved, such as are the city’s revenue streams going to be good, what will sales tax look like, the generation of power at the High Dam … “There are a lot of things in play. It’s looking good,” he said.

Passage of the local law means the city will have to go back to creating a budget by the end of August.

The proposed budget shall be presented to the council no later than August 1. The council then shall have until August 31 (or the next business day) to approve a budget.

“We’re going to have to forecast how we’re going to close out our year next year. We have no idea, we can trend, but we’ll have to wait and see,” the mayor said.

The city’s budget schedule is different from everyone else’s now, he pointed out.

“We will put a lot of thought into it and we’ll project where we’re going to end up based on a lot of things we won’t have any control over. It’s going to make our jobs more difficult. I want people to understand that we’re elected to make these tough decisions. Nobody wants to do this, but we need to do it. If we don’t do it, the city will take a big step backwards. That’s the last thing we want to happen.”

If there comes a time the city has to start making budget cuts, quality of life would likely be first to be impacted, then parks, DPW, the swimming pool and hockey rinks would also be affected, the mayor noted.

“That’s the reality of it,” he said. “And then, we’d have to maybe go into payroll and start adjusting that. It’s a slippery slope.”

The local law will be effective immediately upon being approved by the voters of the city at the November 4 general election.

Hundreds March In 27th Annual Children’s Parade

Emily Sullivan and Morgan Rodriguez pause to have their photo taken overlooking Oswego Harbor prior to the Children's Parade

Emily Sullivan and Morgan Rodriguez pause to have their photo taken overlooking Oswego Harbor prior to the Children’s Parade

OSWEGO, NY – Hundreds of youngsters, their friends and family marched from Breitbeck Park to the Novelis Family Park (West Park) on Friday in idyllic weather.

The annual Children’s Parade is considered by many to be the official start of Harborfest.

The Wilson twin princess wave to the crowd during the parade. Sadie Wilson  was the grand marshal.

The Wilson twin princess wave to the crowd during the parade. Sadie Wilson was the grand marshal.

For one little girl, it was a dream come true.

Sadie and Myla Wilson are the twin daughters of Meghan and Mike Wilson.

Sadie is currently in treatment for leukemia and goes to Upstate Golisano’s Children’s Hospital.

“We were heading to the Independence Day parade in Oswego earlier this month and she got a real bad fever; so we had to rush to the ER and miss the parade,” her mother said. “She missed the parade and was devastated. So, her amazing wish granters through Make A Wish made some phone calls and made it so that they were able not only be in this parade but be the grand marshals of the parade.”

The twins, dressed in matching princess outfits, got to ride in a Camero and wave to all the people watching as they went by.

Some happy parade watchers clap as the participants march by them.

Some happy parade watchers clap as the participants march by them.

“It was awesome. They loved it,” their mother said.

“This is really what Harborfest is all about,” Mayor Tom Gillen said as he marched up Lake Street with hundreds of people following. “It’s all about the kids and family fun.”

The parade drew an estimated more than 1,000 participants, from infants to adults. The temperature was in the upper 70s.

The Oswego Health Sun Patrol passed out sun screen to the marchers as well as those along the parade route.

As in years past, the parade route was lined with people; many of them cheering and taking pictures of the marchers as they went past.

A group of youngsters do the Hokey Pokey during Joe Trionfero's Show of Love program prior to the parade.

A group of youngsters do the Hokey Pokey during Joe Trionfero’s Show of Love program prior to the parade.

Joe Trionfero’s Show of Love program for youngsters prior to the parade got everyone in a festive mood.

Harborfest 2014 doesn’t slow down at all on Sunday. There will be music and activities at all the venues.

The Fat City Band kicks off things at Lakeview Stage at 1 p.m. followed by Sean Patrick McGraw at 3 p.m. and The Reunion Beatles at 5 p.m.

Iron Horse takes the stage at 12:45 p.m. at River Walk West. Frostbit Blue performs at 3 p.m.

The lineup for the Jazz/Blues Stage is Israel Hagen and Stroke at 12:30 p.m., Michael and Angela Lynn and the Talentedones at 2 p.m. and Brownskin Band at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.oswegoharborfest.com

Marchers head out of Breitbeck Park en route to West Park, home of the Novelis Family Park.

Marchers head out of Breitbeck Park en route to West Park, home of the Novelis Family Park.

New Evidence reportedly emerges in Heidi Allen disappearance Case

OSWEGO, NY – A defense lawyer says she has evidence that will exonorate Gary Thibodeau.

Thibodeau was convicted nearly 20 years ago for kidnapping and killing Heidi Allen.

Heidi Allen

Heidi Allen 

According to the attorney, a witness came forward and claims three other men abducted the 18-year-old from a New Haven convenience store.

Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes released a statement regarding the case, saying, “No evidence was presented or discovered to make us believe Gary Thibodeau was wrongfully convicted. If I had evidence showing Gary Thibodeau is innocent, I personally would move to vacate his conviction. No such evidence exists though.”

Meanwhile, Heidi’s family is asking for some privacy as they sort through this recent development.

“I would like to thank you all (media) for reaching out to the family for a statement in light of Syracuse.com’s recent multitude of articles. Since the family only learned these articles were being published less than ten minutes from the time the first ran, we are still processing the information,” said Heidi’s sister, Lisa Buske.

“With yet another article being released today (July 25), we understand the media wants to know and would like a statement. Yet, with the exception of the one my parents shared with Channel 9, we are waiting until next week so we can process all that is happening,” she continued.

She asked that everyone her parents’ need and request of privacy “during this difficult time of information being shared via Internet and print news.”

“It’s a lot to process. We hurt for Heidi’s friends and our community as they are dragged through this yet again, too,” Buske said. “Our goal is the same today as it was on Easter Sunday, 1994, 20 years ago…to find Heidi! Thank you for always remembering Heidi and your continued support.”

The family appreciates the support, yet at this time, time and privacy are a necessary blessing, she added.

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Nine Mile Point Hosts Community Information Night

Hundreds of people took part in Exelon Generation’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station’ open house event Tuesday evening at the Nuclear Learning Center. Employees and station leaders greeted residents, answered questions and educated everyone about how a nuclear power plant operates. Representatives from Operations, Engineering, Security and Emergency Preparedness and other plant departments set up informative displays to inform and educate the public.

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