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Phoenix Student-Athlete Earns $500 Scholarship

PHOENIX – John C. Birdlebough High School senior Dustin Blumer was recognized during a recent awards ceremony for excelling in the classroom and on the gridiron during the fall sports season.

Phoenix Central School District Athletic Director Jim Drancsak, head football coach Chad Rowe, student-athlete Dustin Blumer and assistant football coach Andy Moran gather for a photo during the National Football Foundation’s annual awards dinner Jan. 25  at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort.

Phoenix Central School District Athletic Director Jim Drancsak, head football coach Chad Rowe, student-athlete Dustin Blumer and assistant football coach Andy Moran gather for a photo during the National Football Foundation’s annual awards dinner Jan. 25 at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort.

The Phoenix Central School District student-athlete was among nearly 80 individuals from throughout Central New York who were honored by the local chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

The awards dinner was held at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort on Jan. 25 and welcomed nearly 600 people to celebrate academic and athletic excellence.

“Since its inception, this chapter — thanks to the tireless efforts of board members, sponsors and volunteers — has been very successful,” said a chapter spokesperson. “The annual scholar-athlete awards dinner is an impressive affair … and honors over 77 college and high school football players along with coaches, officials and significant area proponents of the game.”

In addition to receiving a recognition certificate, Blumer was also presented with a $500 scholarship for excelling in academics and being a role model to his peers.

Fulton Youth Soccer To Conduct Registration For 2015 Season

FULTON, NY – Fulton Youth Soccer registration for the 2015 season has begun.

The first two registration days will be held on February 25 and 26 between 6 and 8 p.m. at the Fulton Community Center, 605 W. Broadway.

Fulton Youth Soccer  registration planned

Fulton Youth Soccer registration planned

All children ages 4 to 12 who live throughout Oswego County are eligible to enroll to play soccer.

As an added bonus, any player who registers during these first two registration nights will get a free ticket to the Syracuse Silver Knights’ last home game on March 4 at 4 p.m.

Registration is required even if the child has played previously.

Founded in 1978, Fulton Youth Soccer is organization designated to provide the fundamentals of soccer for children ages 4-12.

Practices are held on weekly basis with games on Saturday mornings during the spring and fall seasons.

Spring season is May through June; fall begins in September and runs through October.

CiTi Students Work With ARISE To Benefit Ramp Program

MEXICO – CiTi construction technology students are helping to build ramps for the ARISE Oswego County Ramp Program.

The ramps will be built individually in sections and then assembled later on the site of qualified applicant homes belonging to persons with disabilities.

CiTi Construction Technology students will be building ramps in assistance of the ARISE Oswego County Ramp Program. Leadership of the initiative meets to discuss the details. Pictured from left are Pat O’leary, lead project coordinator, Craig Mahon, CiTi construction technology teacher, Kris Rabideau, ramp coordinator, Garette Weiss, CiTi business education liaison, Jim Karasek, manager of independent living services and Dave Yerdon, Methodist church maintenance.

CiTi Construction Technology students will be building ramps in assistance of the ARISE Oswego County Ramp Program. Leadership of the initiative meets to discuss the details. Pictured from left are Pat O’leary, lead project coordinator, Craig Mahon, CiTi construction technology teacher, Kris Rabideau, ramp coordinator, Garette Weiss, CiTi business education liaison, Jim Karasek, manager of independent living services and Dave Yerdon, Methodist church maintenance.

“CiTi students will be working in collaboration with ARISE in providing access to homes by way of ramps for those that meet the qualifications,” said ARISE Manager of Independent Living Services Jim Karasek. “ARISE is pleased to have this opportunity to work with CiTi instructors and students in ensuring that people with disabilities can remain part of our communities as a result of this program.”

When an individual returns home after rehabilitation, maintaining mobility and the opportunity to come and go can be essential in keeping depression at bay, making the ramp program an indispensable service for many Oswego County residents.

This new partnership will benefit all parties: CiTi students will gain real-life experience and the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, and ARISE will obtain much-appreciated assistance in maintaining their supply of ramps during the winter months.

“Working in collaboration with ARISE and the community building wheelchair ramps will allow the students the chance to learn and practice skills that directly relate to the field,” said construction technology teacher Craig Mahon. “Students will read blueprints, estimate materials, operate hand and power tools and measure and apply various math operations. This also serves as a way for students to give back to the community, to make professional connections and to feel a sense of accomplishment.”

The ramp program was first started by the First United Methodist Church of Oswego and eventually grew into a partnership with ARISE.

Volunteers from the community have worked together in the past to build the ramps. The church’s maintenance man Dave Yerdon is a great assist in overseeing most of the construction.

The average cost of a ramp is $1,200 and they do not fall under any insurance programs.

Karasek said they do try to instill some kind of ownership, and often qualified applicants will pay for a small portion of the cost.

Raby’s Ace Home Center in Oswego is also kind enough to provide lumber at cost as well as a flat rate $5 delivery fee to anywhere in the county.

Pulaski Students Master the Arts

PULASKI – Seventeen Pulaski High School students received honors from the Scholastic Art Competition of Central New York.

Pulaski students receive honors from the Scholastic Art Competition of Central New York. Front row (from left): Taylia Rodriguez, Britney Castillo, Nykeia Walker, Ruthie van der Heide, Jazmyne Sarmalis and Hannah Masuicca. Back row: Riggs Long, Sarah Clark, Jenna Norton, Cerenity Geer, Lindsey Shampine, Samantha Dawes, Rachel Hlavac, Jennifer Shampine, Kennedi Schwalm and Hannah Youmans. (Gold Key winner Lexi Bowen not photographed).

Pulaski students receive honors from the Scholastic Art Competition of Central New York. Front row (from left): Taylia Rodriguez, Britney Castillo, Nykeia Walker, Ruthie van der Heide, Jazmyne Sarmalis and Hannah Masuicca. Back row: Riggs Long, Sarah Clark, Jenna Norton, Cerenity Geer, Lindsey Shampine, Samantha Dawes, Rachel Hlavac, Jennifer Shampine, Kennedi Schwalm and Hannah Youmans. (Gold Key winner Lexi Bowen not photographed).

“I am thrilled to have seventeen artworks selected from Pulaski in this year’s award show,” said art teacher Karen Backus. “This is an unprecedented number of talented students.”

Six Pulaski students received “Gold Key” awards (considered to be the very best works and automatically considered for national-level recognition): Lexi Bowen, Sarah Clark, Hannah Masuicca, Taylia Rodriguez, Ruthie van der Heide and Nykeia Walker.

Three “Silver Keys” awards were given to Britney Castillo, Samantha Dawes and Lindsey Shampine for contributing pieces that stood out and demonstrated exceptional ability.

Cerenity Geer, Rachel Hlavac, Riggs Long, Jenna Norton, Kennedi Schwalm, Jennifer Shampine, Jazmyne Sarmalis and Hannah Youmans also received Honorable Mentions for their submissions.

The Central New York Art Region has hosted an annual Scholastic Art Awards program for more than 70 years; 13 counties and almost 400 schools are eligible to compete.

Entries are judged by more than 70 professional artists, educators and photographers.

According to www.artandwriting.org, “Each year we bring in almost 5,000 pieces of art from about 200 teachers and between 80 to 100 individual schools, making our program one of the largest in the country.”

A viewing exhibit of the artwork will be available at the Whitney Applied Technology Center in Syracuse through Feb. 27.

Veteran Honored With Ceremony At Mexico Middle School

MEXICO – The newest residents of the town of Mexico received quite the introduction to the community during a ceremony held Saturday at Mexico Middle School.

Veteran Jeffery Hackett is thanked for his service by Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner during a recent ceremony held at Mexico Middle School to welcome Hackett and his family to the community.

Veteran Jeffery Hackett is thanked for his service by Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner during a recent ceremony held at Mexico Middle School to welcome Hackett and his family to the community.

United States Army SFC Jeffery Hackett and his family were greeted by dozens family members, friends, local politicians and soon-to-be neighbors who thanked Hackett for his military service, which has left the veteran permanently injured.

In 2011, Hackett was serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan when he triggered a wire-tripped improvised explosive device, which caused him to lose his leg. After the incident, Hackett was airlifted from the battlefield to Germany and was eventually brought stateside to reunite with his wife, Bobby Jo, and his three daughters.

For his service, Hackett and his family have been awarded a new home in the town of Mexico, courtesy of Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes nationwide for severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Hacketts’ home will be built over the next six to nine months.

The goal of Homes for Our Troops is to restore some of the freedom and independence veterans sacrificed defending America, as well as to enable veterans to focus on their family, recovery and rebuild their lives.

Currently, Hackett lives in a home with stairs that are not wheelchair accessible, making everyday chores problematic. The features of the specially adapted home Hackett and his family will receive will help to alleviate some of those concerns.

“To take a shower without having to worry about falling down or not is a great feeling,” Hackett said Saturday.

United States Army SFC Jeffery Hackett and his family will soon be placed into a specially adapted, mortgage-free home in the town of Mexico thanks to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building homes for severely injured veterans. Pictured, Hackett and his family at a recent community welcoming event.

United States Army SFC Jeffery Hackett and his family will soon be placed into a specially adapted, mortgage-free home in the town of Mexico thanks to Homes for Our Troops, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building homes for severely injured veterans. Pictured, Hackett and his family at a recent community welcoming event.

Hackett thanked those in attendance for welcoming his family into the community, noting that he finally has a place to call home.

With his family by his side, Hackett sat in front of dozens of people at Mexico Middle School and listened graciously as he was thanked for his service by several local leaders.

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Kevin Gardner read a proclamation, which was unanimously approved by legislatures, recognized Hackett and others who have served in the military.

Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus thanked Hackett for his service and then presented him with an American Flag courtesy of Congressman Richard Hanna.

Mexico Academy and Central School Superintendent Robert Pritchard welcomed Hackett and his family to the community, noting the honor it is to call Hackett a neighbor.

“I’m glad you’re among us and I’m proud to be your neighbor and your children’s superintendent,” Pritchard said. “I’m honored to be here with you.”

Another community event will be held near the completion of the home, which will invite community members to help install the landscaping plan of the home.

For more information about the event contact Community Outreach Coordinator Katelyn Donovan at kdonovan@hfotusa.org.

Glow-In-The-Dark Dance Lit Up APW Elementary School

Music, dancing, lights, and squeals of delight filled the Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Elementary School gymnasium as the APW Parent/Teacher/Student Association sponsored Glow-in-the-dark Dance lit up the night on Jan. 23.

Four participants in the glow-in-the-dark dance included in front Gabby Janack, left, and Olivia Dalin. In back are Diana Donohue, left, and Laurice McClemons. The students received a variety of glow sticks when they arrived at the dance, which they then fashioned into dance accessories.

Four participants in the glow-in-the-dark dance included in front Gabby Janack, left, and Olivia Dalin. In back are Diana Donohue, left, and Laurice McClemons. The students received a variety of glow sticks when they arrived at the dance, which they then fashioned into dance accessories.

As students entered the gymnasium, they were handed a variety of glowing sticks that they fashioned into necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belts, glasses, you name it that reflected the specialty lights that were placed around the room.

Anything white or light colored lit up like a firework amid the dancing bodies while parents were able to sit at tables set up at one end of the room, or enjoy the more peaceful locations in the nearby cafeteria where snacks and beverages were available.

The dance also included a special father/daughter dance, and a mother/son dance that has become a memorable tradition in the district.

The Glow-in-the-dark dance, for students in grades four to six, follows the recent UPK-third grade Snow Ball, also sponsored by the PTSA.

Caralyn Benedetto wore the perfect outfit to maximize the effects of the lighting during the APW Elementary School Glow-in-the-dark dance.

Caralyn Benedetto wore the perfect outfit to maximize the effects of the lighting during the APW Elementary School Glow-in-the-dark dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying the father/daughter dance is Michael Janack with daughters Gabrielle, left, and Alissa.

Enjoying the father/daughter dance is Michael Janack with daughters Gabrielle, left, and Alissa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother/son dance participants Jennifer Johnson and son, Cole, share a wonderful moment together at the dance.

Mother/son dance participants Jennifer Johnson and son, Cole, share a wonderful moment together at the dance.

Oswego High School Winter Guards Set To Kick Off 2015 Season

OSWEGO – The Oswego High School winter guard program will kick off its 2015 competitive season at Mexico High School on January 31.

The junior varsity guard, competing in the Scholastic Regional A class of the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit, will perform their 2015 program “British Invasion,” which features the music of The Beatles and One Direction.

Designer Ryan Bronner teaches the OHS varsity Winter Guard new work.

Designer Ryan Bronner teaches the OHS varsity Winter Guard new work.

The varsity guard, competing in the Scholastic A-1 division, will perform their 2015 program “For the Lives Not Finished” featuring the music of Max Ricter and the voice recordings of all nine members of the group.

Both winter guards have been rehearsing since the first week of December.

On February 7, the varsity winter guard will travel to Corning to participate in the Winter Guard International regional competition. Oswego will compete against some the finest programs in the North East. Last season, the guard scored well enough during the preliminary competition to make it to the finals competition. It was their first finals performance in a WGI contest.

The 2015 Snowflake Spectacular will take place on March 7 at Leighton Elementary. Fifteen guards, including both Oswego groups, will participate in the largest home show in the history of the event.

The show will begin at 5 p.m. and admission is $6 per person.

The varsity and junior varsity winter guards will also be competing in local competitions at Liverpool, East Syracuse – Minoa, Cicero – North Syracuse, and the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit Championships.

Members of the 2015 junior varsity winter guard include Victoria Abbott, Crystal Brooks, Hailey Caruso, Julia Choate, Emmalee French, Madison Jones, Abby McPherson, Britney Merrill, Alainna Mulvihill, Jordyn Sanders and Emily Young.

The staff includes show designer Gina Bartholomew, Carly Hewitt, Jacqueline Hondro and assistant director Tori Sivers.

Members of the 2015 varsity winter guard include Abigayle Christian, Jillian Dowdle, Cierra Dunning, Chloe Patterson, Katherine Pecora, Kylie Pelkey, Hailey Reed, Sarah Reynolds and Hunter Smith.

The staff includes designer Ryan Bronner, Ali Sivers and Kait LaVerne.

Michael Tierney is the director of both winter guard programs.

Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Reynolds

Ronald Joseph Reynolds Sr., of North Syracuse, sat down to rest on Monday January 19, 2015, and forever fell asleep.

Ronald 'Ronnie' Reynolds

Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Reynolds

Ronald was predeceased by his parents, Edith and Leon; and his brothers, Steven, David and Robert.

Ronald was born in Malone, NY, on February 11, 1957.

He was a very talented carpenter and was self-employed for many years.

He enjoyed building and making things and sharing his work with others.

Ronald was also a very talented artist and was always drawing and doodling.

Ronald was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing with is brothers.

He was very big on family and was always willing to lend a hand to someone in need.

He was always bragging about his children and grandchildren because he was very proud of all their accomplishments. Ronald always felt blessed when he was with his wife, children and grandchildren celebrating a holiday or birthday together and he couldn’t wait until the next time they were all together.

“Ronnie,” as his friends and family called him, left behind his loving wife of 37 years, Renee; two children, Nicole (Irving) Pike of Liverpool and Ronald J. Reynolds Jr. of Syracuse; four grandchildren, Dante, Colin, Cardyn and Jeanae; great-niece, Gianna whom he loved like a granddaughter; four siblings, Leeann, Gary, Joseph and Roberta; and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday 3-5 p.m.at New Comer Funeral Home, North Syracuse.

A service will follow at 5 p.m.

To leave a special message for the family, please visit www.NewcomerSyracuse.com

Maroun Students Exercise With Snowshoes

Students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School recently learned how to use snowshoes as part of a physical education unit. Pictured, students from Melissa Bailer’s third grade class had a blast learning a new activity.

Students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School recently learned how to use snowshoes as part of a physical education unit. Pictured, students from Melissa Bailer’s third grade class had a blast learning a new activity.

Students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School recently received a lesson in how to stay active outdoors during the cold winter months.

Student Macray Pelton not only learned how to walk in snowshoes, but also learned how to run.

Student Macray Pelton not only learned how to walk in snowshoes, but also learned how to run.

As part of a physical education unit, students in Melissa Bailer’s third grade class learned how to utilize snowshoes, a specific kind of footwear designed for walking over snow without sinking.

After taking their time putting the snowshoes on, students tried out the new equipment.

After a few slips and falls, each student found their balance and together the class walked a lap around the school.

The snowshoes were generously provided to school by the MAM Parent-Faculty Organization after organizing several fundraising initiatives.

From left, classmates and friends Brandon Kimball and Nate Quaco have some fun while learning how to use snowshoes.

From left, classmates and friends Brandon Kimball and Nate Quaco have some fun while learning how to use snowshoes.

CiTi’s HERO Program Bolsters Its Fleet With New Excavator

MEXICO – Students in the Heavy Equipment Repair and Operation program at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation now have the luxury of operating a brand new piece of excavating equipment.

Students enrolled in the Heavy Equipment Repair and Operation program at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation have a brand new, modern excavator to help them put their classroom knowledge into practice.

Students enrolled in the Heavy Equipment Repair and Operation program at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation have a brand new, modern excavator to help them put their classroom knowledge into practice.

The program recently received a new mini hydraulic excavator, which will provide students with greater operational precision and controllability.

The excavator will allow students to work with cutting-edge technology to keep them up-to-date with the current workforce.

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