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Two Men Charged Following Drug Investigation

FULTON – The Oswego County Drug Task Force and the Fulton City Police Department conducted a several-month investigation that resulted in a search warrant executed on Jaycee C. Floyd, 44, of Syracuse, while he was a passenger in a vehicle operated by Tommie Lee Brunson, who was wanted by the Oswego County Drug Task Force on an indictment warrant.

Jaycee C. Floyd

Jaycee C. Floyd

The two men were stopped in the city of Fulton in the afternoon of September 18 by the Fulton City Police and members of the Oswego County Drug Task Force.

The search warrant resulted in the recovery of six plastic bags of suspected cocaine that were found in Floyd’s possession, police said.

The possession of the cocaine resulted in the following charges against Floyd:
• Criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd degree, class B Felony
• Criminal possession of a controlled substance, 4th degree, class C Felony
• Criminally using drug paraphernalia, 2nd degree, class A Misdemeanor

Floyd was arraigned by Hon. David Hawthorne of the Fulton City Court and remanded to the Oswego County Correctional Facility in lieu of $5,000 cash or $10,000 secure bail bond.

He is scheduled to appear in the Fulton City Court on October 1 at 9 a.m.

Tommie Lee Brunson

Tommie Lee Brunson

The present charges merely represent an accusation that the defendant engaged in such conduct. As a matter of law, the defendant is presumed to be innocent of these charges.

Brunson was taken into custody and arraigned on the indictment warrant issued by Oswego County Court Judge James Metcalf.

The indictment accused Brunson of the following:
• Criminal sale of a controlled substance, 3rd degree, class B Felony, four counts
• Criminal possession of a controlled substance, 3rd degree, class B Felony, four counts

Brunson was arraigned by Hon. Ludington of the Oswego County Court and remanded to the Oswego County Correctional Facility in lieu of $10,000 cash or $20,000 secure bail bond.

He is scheduled to re-appear in Oswego County Court on Tuesday (September 23).

The present charges merely represent an accusation that the defendant engaged in such conduct. As a matter of law, defendant is presumed to be innocent of these charges.

The Oswego County Drug Task Force urges anyone with information regarding suspected drug activity to contact the anonymous drug tip line at 315-349-8222 or by e-mail at drugtipline@oswegocounty.com

City, National Grid Amend ‘Tracking Account’

OSWEGO, NY – At Monday night’s meeting, the Common Council announced it had reached an agreement with Niagara Mohawk (now doing business as National Grid) that will save the city money over the next 10 years.

The city and NiMo dually executed the High Dam Power Purchase Agreement on Oct. 5, 1993. The city agreed to sell and NiMo agreed to purchase all of the electricity produced at the High Dam hydroelectric facility.

At the end of 1992, the city had renegotiated the NiMo lease agreement for the High Dam, and replaced it with a Power Purchase Agreement. Instead of leasing the facility from the city, NiMo now purchased power on a kilowatt hour basis.

For the first 500 million kWh (about 12-14 years), NiMo agreed to pay the city $0.0595 per kWh. That number was to increase then to $0.0673 per kWh for the duration of the 30-year agreement. The city agreed to pay NiMo $0.004 per kWh for operation and maintenance.

Working cooperatively with NiMo and using NiMo’s own long-range planning figures, the city entered into an agreement that NiMo would pay the city more than the power was worth during the first part of the agreement term, but less than the power was worth during the last part of the agreement term.

In other words, total payment was ‘front-loaded.’

To keep track of the difference, a so-called “tracking account” was established. It would show how much more NiMo was paying for the first part of the agreement term, and how much less during the last part of the agreement term.

The amount would expectedly increase early but decrease late, until the overpayment would be canceled out by the underpayment.

According to Council President Ron Kaplewicz, under the agreement, the city was selling electricity for a lot more than the market rate. It was thought that the rates would change and the cost would go down, thereby balancing out the pact at the end of its lifetime. However, it didn’t work out that way and the city owes money, he said.

As of Dec. 31, 2013, the “tracking account” has a balance of $11,530,591.93 owed by the city to the company, Kaplewicz said.

The new agreement will allow Dec. 31, 2022, to be just New Year’s Eve party and Jan. 1, 2023 to be New Year’s Day with no great financial burden looming over the city, he added.

“This is just a case of paying the bills and not kicking the can down the road,” he said.

“Last year, we were notified that there was almost $11.5 million in the account. If we chose to do nothing, in 10 years it could be as much as $30+ million,” Councilor Mike Todd said. “So, not to saddle councils 10 years from now with the same problem, this is why we’re addressing it now to the tune of $11.5 million instead of having to address it in 10 years to the tune of $30 million.”

“It’s not taxpayer dollars being spent. It’s the revenue generated from selling the power to National Grid,” Council vice president Eric VanBuren pointed out. “So, there are no taxpayers’ funds going toward this payment. It’s the revenue generated from selling the power.”

According to the deal reached Monday, the city may repay any or all of the outstanding balance in the account without penalty.

On Monday night, the city and the company agreed to modify the agreement. The city agreed to repay, in advance, a portion of the balance of the account each month and the mayor was authorized to sign the first amendment to the agreement.

Starting with the invoice for electricity delivered in January 2015, and each month thereafter during the term of the agreement, the city shall repay the company a portion of the account based on a rate according to a set ‘monthly payment amount.’

According to the resolution, a discount rate shall be applied to that amount equal to the average sum of the company’s pre-tax weighted average cost of capital rate, as adjusted in future approved and ordered NiMo rate cases and the rate for a 10-year US municipal general obligation bond for an A2 rated municipality as adjusted monthly.

Also, each year in January, the balance will be updated. And the company will calculate the new payment amount for the coming year. The city will have 30 days to respond otherwise the figure will be deemed acceptable.

The monthly payments shall have a minimum amount of $40,000 and a maximum amount of $50,000. The city, with 30 days advance notice to the company, may make additional payments during the year.

The city stipulated that for electricity delivered in 2014, NiMo shall apply all of the power sales payments above $1,850,000 that would otherwise be made to the city to pay down the account.

Both parties desire that the payments will result in a balance of $0.00 at the end of the term, Kaplewicz said.

Mom Marathons To Benefit Those Who’ve Assisted Her Children

OSWEGO, NY – Man up, Marine – don’t let a little injury stop you!

OK, Julie Chetney is neither a man nor Marine. But her courage and determination would be welcome in any USMC platoon.

The local mother of four will be running 26 miles next month in the Marine Corps Marathon.

Julie Chetney poses with two of her children, Claudia and Jake. The youngsters say the Joslin Center has helped them to live normal lives, while staying active athletically. Claudia is in the ninth grade - playing on a varsity team at Oswego High School and Jake attends Oswego Middle School where he plays multiple sports including basketball, baseball and cross-country.

Julie Chetney poses with two of her children, Claudia and Jake. The youngsters say the Joslin Center has helped them to live normal lives, while staying active athletically. Claudia is in the ninth grade – playing on a varsity team at Oswego High School and Jake attends Oswego Middle School where he plays multiple sports including basketball, baseball and cross-country.

“I am a mother to four great amazing kids. And like most mothers, I tell them we are blessed with what God has given us every day for our family – even if it’s the struggles day in and day out with Type 1 Diabetes,” she said.

Her 12-year-old son has had T1D since he was two years old and her 13-year-old daughter has had it since age 10.

The marathon is scheduled for Oct. 26 and will benefit The Joslin Diabetes Center.

Chetney had been training for weeks to get in shape for the fundraiser. Recently, she went for a morning jog of 15 miles.

“I am running now about 35 miles a week. But I encountered an injury a little while ago and took a week off of running. Hoping to heal completely,” she told Oswego County Today. “The little injury put me off running for a few more days. Just biked 35 miles though!”

Usually, when she does anything difficult in life, she thinks about “these two kids of mine and how whatever I am faced with, it’s nothing compared to what they have to endure for the rest of their lives.”

So, the challenge of running in a marathon will be no different.

“Since I decided I wanted to do this, the opportunity has presented that I can also help the people who have helped our family for the past 10 years – The Joslin Diabetes Center,” she said.

To donate go to: https://www.crowdrise.com/fundraise-and-volunteer/donate-desktop/project/jdc2014marinecorpsmarathon/juliechetney

“The medical professionals at Joslin have been part of our lives since February 2004 when they showed up at the hospital room where my son was recently released from ICU due to high blood sugars where we almost lost him. Yes, we really almost lost him to a blood sugar that was more than 1,000!” she said. “Joslin came in and helped my husband, Brian, and I – socially, emotionally and medically through this tragic time of diagnosis. Although we were relieved he was medically stable, we were frightened about what the future would bring with T1D.”

Quite frankly, she admits, they were in shock – scared, uncertain, depressed and angry.

Joslin professionals helped the family through it all.

“They were the ones who showed up that day at the hospital and helped us believe and gain the confidence that we needed to take care of our baby. They were the ones who gave us the knowledge to stick needles into our baby four to five times a day and stick those little fingers up to 10 times a day. They were the ones who helped us get our baby healthy again,” Chetney said.

Over the years, the Joslin professionals have fielded many late-night calls from the Chetneys when they were uncertain what to do when they had a sick diabetic child, or when they couldn’t get sugars down or when the stomach bug hit a household of six and two diabetic kids couldn’t keep a cup of juice down.

“As my baby grew older and my daughter was then diagnosed, Joslin helped us understand how to cope with what I referred to as “getting struck by lightning twice,” she said. “Although it was a traumatic time for us, it was especially hard on my 10-year-old daughter who knew exactly what it all meant given she had seen her younger brother and his struggles for years. Now she was the one scared, uncertain, depressed and very angry.”

Joslin helped her to be independent, gave her the tools and confidence that she needed to get healthy and maintain the lifestyle that she needed to live with diabetes. Joslin helped her to accept her diagnosis and maintain a “normal” life as she has known it.

Joslin is located at 750 E. Adams St., Syracuse. For more information, visit: www.joslin.org

Recently, the Chetneys’ other two children (ages 3 and 10) were able to participate in a study through the Joslin center and the University Hospital that looked into the sibling connections to Type 1 diabetes as well.

“While we anxiously awaited to find out if they too had the T1D anti-bodies, we are relieved to say lightning has NOT struck again,” Chetney said.

And so, she has decided to run a marathon to give a little back to those who have given her family so much over the years.

“Running 26 miles will not be an easy task. It is this story and the struggles of my two kids that will get me to the finish line,” she said. “If you are able, please consider donating to my cause and supporting this very important medical center in our community.”

Sheriff’s Office Investigating Early Morning Fatal Crash

MEXICO, NY – At about 2:45 a.m. Friday (Sept. 21), members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, Mexico Fire Department and McFee Ambulance responded to State Route 104 in the town of Mexico, near George Road, for a single-car motor vehicle collision.

Further investigation revealed the 2001 Buick LeSabre was traveling in a westerly direction from the village of Mexico on State Route 104.

The vehicle left the north side of the roadway, struck a mailbox and traveled about 200 yards in the ditch striking a tree head-on and became engulfed in flames, according to deputies.

Unsafe speed and crossing hazardous markings appear to be contributing factors to the accident, deputies reported.

The investigation is pending identification of the decedent and notification of next of kin.

Summer 2014 Was Cooler Than Average With Some Damaging Winds

OSWEGO, NY – Summer 2014 goes into the record books just a tad cooler and a little wetter. But it will mostly be remembered for the damaging winds in early July, according to Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service.

Fall officially starts at 10:29 p.m. Sept. 22, the autumnal equinox.

A strong windstorm in July caused a lot of damage on Oswego's east side.

A strong windstorm in July caused a lot of damage on Oswego’s east side.

For his record keeping, Gregway lumps the seasons into 3-month groups with June, July and August being summer.

The average temperature for this summer was 67.8 degrees. That is just 0.7-degree below average.

There were no 90s and no records, Gregway pointed out.

The highest temperature was 89 degrees on July 1 and the lowest was 47 degrees on June 14.

Summer had 24 days where the high was in the 80s.

The overnight low was in the 70s on 4 occasions – 1 in both June and August and 2 in July.

Total precipitation for the summer months came in at 11.04 inches. That is just 0.79-inch above average, Gregway said.

“It would have really been dry had it not been for the last part of July. The greatest precip in 24 hours was 1.48 inches on July 28. And July 27 received 1.36 inches,” he said.

July’s total precipitation was 3.03 inches with those 2 days accounting for 2.84 inches of it, he added.

Measurable precipitation fell on 37 days and no precipitation was recorded on 55 days.

Since the first of the year to the end of the summer months, total precipitation stands at 27.05 inches. That is 0.33-inch above average.

The number of cloudy days, 30, was 1 above average.

The number of partly cloudy days, 40, was 4 above average.

The number of clear days, 22, was 5 below average.

The area received 58 percent of the possible amount of sunshine this summer. That is 8 percentages below normal.

There were 15 thunderstorm days. That’s 1 below average.

Summer had 5 foggy days, which is 4 above average.

The highest barometric pressure was 30.27 on July 5. The lowest was 29.46 on July 8 and corresponds with the strongest winds for the summer.

“We had southwesterly winds on July 8 at more than 40 mph,” Gregway said. “In some places they were greater than 50 mph and caused a great deal of damage.”

The July storm felled several trees and also heavily damaged some homes.

The July storm felled several trees and also heavily damaged some homes.

There wasn’t a lot of wind this summer, Gregway said.

“The exception is the micro-burst on July 8. We had a sharp thunderstorm and heavy rain. We received 0.56-inch between 6 and 6:15 p.m.,” he said.

It was a rather cool summer, Gregway said. The most recent coolest was in 2009 when it was just 66.3 degrees, he added.

The warmest summer was 73.0 degrees in 2005. The coolest was 63.2 degrees in 1869.

Summer 2013 was 0.4-degree warmer than average. There were 2 days in the 90s.

Precipitation was 3.0 inches above average. The greatest precipitation in a 24-hour period was 2.52 inches on June 6, 2013.

“Last year, summer was wetter but mild,” Gregway said. “Definitely warmer than summer 2014.”

With A Little Help From Her Friends

OSWEGO, NY – Stride to Save Lives gets under way Saturday morning at SUNY Oswego. Runners and walkers, including suicide survivors (those who have lost someone to suicide) and mental health advocates, will gather to raise awareness for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Stride to Save LivesProceeds raised will benefit SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education.

So far, there are 302 participants and more than $9,993 of the $20,000 goal has been raised.

Advance registration is preferred. Go to:

http://save.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.event&eventID=602

The event will take place in the quad outside the campus center as well as in the food court of the campus center. Registration will start at 8 a.m., the run kicks off at 9:30 a.m. and the walk at 11 a.m. It is open to anyone who would like to participate. Light food and refreshments will be available starting at 11:30 a.m.

There will be a children’s area at the family-friendly event.

SUNY Oswego graduate Jamie Leszczynski, senior account manager at ABC Creative Idea, is once again coordinating the program.

Several of her friends are pitching in to make the event a success.

“Jamie and I have been friends for a very long time,” said Shelly Sloan, a peer educator at the Lifestyle Center. “We met here at SUNY Oswego. We overlapped for one semester. I graduated in 2000 and she shortly after that. Then, later, we both found our way back.”

“I used to work at the college four years ago. Yeah, Shelly and I are both alums and worked together for a short time. I help my husband out after hours with his business (in Oswego), but I work full-time for ABC which is an advertising agency in Syracuse, Leszczynski said.

“We found our way back to Oswego. And one day, she approached me about doing a special event. I knew she had lost her brother to suicide.  She said, ‘I lost my brother and want to do a walk to raise awareness and I need your support.’ I said, ‘Certainly! What do you need me to do?’” Sloan told Oswego County Today.

“I didn’t think we’d get more than 50 people and raise even $1,000 that first year,” she added. “We ended up with hundreds of walkers and raised about $10,000.”

In 2012, they had close to 300 walkers and raised more than $12,000.

“We were just blown away,” Sloan said. “Last year, there were about 375 walkers and we raised more than $17,000.”

With just a few hours until the event, Sloan said she isn’t worried about the low total.

“We get a lot funds day of. People bring in their registration and donations the day of the event. There are also raffles that day,” she explained. “We’re also slowly getting more and more sponsors.”

They are also seeing more support from sponsors year after year.

There has been an increase in donations each year, hopefully that trend will continue this year, she added.

“Our goal is to hit 600 attendees and I know we can do it, but we need everyone’s help! Leszczynski said. “The funds raised go right back into our community and we are trying to make a difference one family at a time. Personally, loosing someone to suicide is something I never thought would happen. But, I know that there are thousands of other families that have gone through this and hopefully with your support and helping me spread the word, well, maybe just maybe we can be that lifeline for someone else.”

“There has been a huge outpouring of support from members of the community,” Sloan said. “It’s not just big businesses. It’s also individuals who say they want to help and make a donation. We’re very appreciative of all the support.”

Breakfast and lunch will be available for participants.

Auxiliary Services (at SUNY Oswego) has provided a grant so they are able to provide lunch, and Dunkin’ Donuts has come through with breakfast for all the walkers, she said.

Some of the other sponsors include Greco Farms, Ontario Orchards and Eagle Beverage.

“A lot of businesses and some just regular people have stepped up to help us,” she said.

Perhaps it is due to the recent death of award-winning actor / comedian Robin Williams, but it seems more people are talking about suicide these days.

“We want people to talk about this topic openly and not place a stigmatism on it,” she said. “Those people are dealing with a great amount of pain. What can we do to help?”

There are support groups and other assistance available.

“Reach out to someone, talk to them, give them a hug. Just ask if there’s anything you can help them with. One small gesture on your part could save someone’s life,” Sloan pointed out.

“If Jamie had a goal, this would be it. She’d rather raise just $50 if she could get hundreds of people talking and sharing about the issue of suicide prevention than if she raised a million dollars with just a couple people talking,” she continued. “We are a very supportive group. We’re there for each other. I have never met anyone who worked as hard as Jamie. She’s one in a million! This event isn’t about ‘suicide,’ it’s more about sharing and celebrating life.”

The organizers usually have a cadre of 50 to 100 volunteers help facilitate the event, depending on the year.

“Most of them are students. Some do it to get class credit. Others help out because they want to and many do it for both reasons,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without their help. We are so grateful for their assistance.”

There are certain warning signs that family and friends should be aware of. Please check out this site for more information: http://www.save.org/index.cfm?page_id=705F4071-99A7-F3F5-E2A64A5A8BEAADD8

For anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide or harming themselves, Leszczynski urges them to “please call us 1-888-511-SAVE (7283) or you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24 hours a day / seven days a week; www.save.org is another amazing great resource for help too that I would strongly encourage people to visit.”

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