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Funding for Developmentally Disabled Partially Restored; Creating the Crime for Staging Auto Accidents; and Improving ATV Rider Conditions

By Assemblyman Will Barclay
There have been quite a few newsworthy items coming out of Albany in recent weeks. I want to share a few of them with you in this column pertaining to health services funding, insurance fraud, and tourism.

Increased Funding for Developmentally Disabled

There has been both a local and statewide effort to maintain funding for the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). This year’s budget cut $90 million from OPWDD.  Meanwhile, we gave tax credits to the film industry to the tune of $420 million. While the tax credits will purportedly create jobs, those high-profile jobs should not come at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens.

To that end, I support legislation recently introduced that would increase funding for OPWDD by taking money earmarked for film tax credits and giving it to OPWDD.

However, some good news has emerged.

It  was recently reported that some money will be restored to OPWDD. Additional money will be provided to OPWDD from the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General’s audit recoveries. While I’m pleased our state leaders found additional monies for OPWDD, Albany should not continue this preferential treatment of the high-profile film industry at the cost of our developmentally disabled. Perhaps it would be better to have those recovered monies be reinvested into further efforts to reduce Medicaid fraud.

Alice’s Law Would Make Staging Accident a Crime

I support legislation that would make staging an auto accident a crime unto itself.

Unfortunately, many people stage auto accidents in an attempt to falsely collect insurance claims. In fact, in 2003, Alice Ross, a 71-year-old wife and grandmother, was killed as a result of a staged auto accident. This was a terrible loss and crime. No family should suffer the loss and tragedy that the Ross family endured. We need to make these criminals pay for staging auto accidents by increasing penalties.

Staging auto accidents is not only a hazard but increases the no-fault insurance rates as well. Perpetrators of these types of crime file fraudulent insurance claims for fake crash injuries and end up robbing insurance companies.

Indeed, just this past weekend, the Syracuse paper reported a detailed story about residents from Utica who filed a false police report, defrauded insurance companies and doctors after reporting fake injuries that totaled more than $1 million. Insurance companies blame this activity as a major reason why no-fault insurance rates are as high as they are in this state.

I’m hopeful with increased penalties and creating a penalty that would mean prison time, the perpetrators will think twice before “acting” this one out and putting more lives at risk.

It appears as though, while everyone can agree that this is a problem, how to classify and punish the crime is debatable. The Assembly passed a measure last year which created a crime of staging an auto accident and so did the Senate. However, the Senate’s bill contained harsher penalties and, therefore, the Senate and the Assembly could not come together on an agreed upon bill.

Hopefully, these differences will be worked out through the houses so we can pass this legislation because staged accidents are clearly a problem that affects everyone’s safety and insurance rates, whether they realize it or not.

ATV Rides: Leave it to the Locals

I sponsor legislation that would allow local municipalities to designate a highway or portion of a highway open for travel by an all terrain vehicle, so riders can gain access to areas or trails adjacent to the highways.

ATV trails provide a regional tourism option and great pastime for residents who wish to enjoy our natural bounty. Besides enabling riders to enjoy the great outdoors, ATVs have a significant economic impact on our region. A study published in 2006 estimated the economic impact just for the Tughill region, which encompasses four North Country counties including Jefferson and St. Lawrence, adds about $35 million to the regional economy. The study also estimated that ATVs support 369 full-time-equivalent jobs and generated $1.49 million in tax revenue.

Since the time of the study in 2006, the number of riders has grown.

Passing small measures such as this would mean a lot to ATV riders and it wouldn’t take any additional state resources to enact this law. This bill is currently in the transportation committee. I’m urging my colleagues to advance this measure but I find it’s a matter of getting our Downstate legislators to understand rural Upstate’s great pastimes.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling (315) 598-5185.

You may also friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.

Carolyn Wittmer, 69

FULTON, NY – Carolyn Wittmer, 69, of Fulton, died Saturday May 11, 2013, in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Syracuse, after a short illness.

Carolyn was born in Fulton, where she remained a life resident.

She retired from Nestle’s after many years of service.

She served in the United Sates Army from 1963 until 1964.

Carolyn was predeceased by her parents, Harold Murray and Eleanor Duciaume; stepfather, Lou Duciaume; and brother, Harold Murray.

She is survived by her son, Michael (Esther) Wittmer of Auburn; grandchildren, Donielle, William, Alisha and Timothy; sisters, Patricia Lee (Bill) Smith of Sidney Center and Michelle (Gerald) Shepard of Fulton; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be conducted Saturday at 9:30 a.m. in Holy Trinity Church, Fulton.

Contributions may be made to the Oswego County Humane Society Inc. 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY, 13126.

The arrangements are in the care of the Sugar Funeral Home, 224 W. Second St., Fulton.

Trinity Catholic School students’ artwork to be displayed

OSWEGO, NY – Trinity Catholic School is very proud to announce a display of second and third grade artwork at the CoffeeNook in Oswego.

Please join us for the formal opening of work on Friday, May 17, from 5 – 7 p.m.

Light refreshments and homemade goods will be provided by the CoffeeNook for the event.

If you cannot attend the opening, the students’ works will be on display for the month following the opening on the 17.

The CoffeeNook is located at 156 W. Second St., just two doors south of the movie theater.

We hope you can join us.

Technology minor to integrate SUNY Oswego’s new labs, equipment, opportunities

OSWEGO — A combination of emerging opportunities, experienced faculty and cutting-edge equipment added up to the creation of a technology minor at SUNY Oswego.

SUNY Oswego technology chair Mark Hardy said course options in the minor and new high-end, high-tech equipment in Wilber Hall and soon in Park Hall should attract students from sciences, engineering, theatre, art and others with interest in materials, fabrication, multimedia systems, energy technology and other industry-current offerings.

SUNY Oswego senior Nordine Posluszny (right), a technology education major from Johnstown, talks with freshman Joan Bristol of Oswego, a studio art major specializing in sculpture and the first student to enroll in the new technology minor, as technology chair Mark Hardy (left) looks on in the new wood-processing laboratory in the Wilber Hall addition. In the background is one of many pieces of new state-of-the-art equipment, an AXYZ 4008 ATC precision router that works with computer-aided design and manufacturing systems.

SUNY Oswego senior Nordine Posluszny (right), a technology education major from Johnstown, talks with freshman Joan Bristol of Oswego, a studio art major specializing in sculpture and the first student to enroll in the new technology minor, as technology chair Mark Hardy (left) looks on in the new wood-processing laboratory in the Wilber Hall addition. In the background is one of many pieces of new state-of-the-art equipment, an AXYZ 4008 ATC precision router that works with computer-aided design and manufacturing systems.

The college has two new state-of-the-art laboratories up and running in a 2012 addition to Wilber Hall, with eight more on the way in Park and two others in the older portion of Wilber.

“We have talented faculty with a lot of high-end skills — everything from materials processing to design and electronics — different skill and content areas that are useful to students across campus,” Hardy said.

Hardy emphasized the customizable nature of the 21-credit technology minor, featuring a selection of 20 course offerings that include electronics technology, computer-aided design, several courses in materials processing, digital electronics systems, architectural drawing, mechatronic systems, and energy and power technology, to name a few.

The minor features “flexibility, openness to student interests — in fact, good opportunities for any student on campus,” he said.

Modern marvels

Freshman Joan Bristol of Oswego, a studio art major specializing in sculpture, has signed on as the first student to add the technology minor, with the encouragement of Hardy and art faculty member Benjamin Entner.

Emphasizing that she sees many applications for her art, Bristol spoke about her choice of minor in the new wood-processing lab, adjacent to the polymers lab in the Wilber Hall addition — full of such innovative equipment as an industrial 3D printer, a computerized laser engraving and cutting machine and a precision router the size of a Ping Pong table.

“I work in metals and woods,” she said. “I did a metals class in high school, but I was concentrating more on the finer stuff, working the metal. It’s nice to know more of the production side, working with lasers and other new equipment.”

Hardy, a 1991 SUNY Oswego alumnus and nine-year faculty member, said the new laboratories in Park Hall are scheduled to open in spring 2014, and renovated and re-equipped manufacturing and metals labs in Wilber Hall for later next year.

“I think Joan is a good example of a student who can benefit, with her very focused interest in sculpture,” Hardy said. “She will be able to extend her interests and skills to materials and processes she would haven’t been exposed to otherwise.”

The technology department anticipates up to 12 students enrolling in the new minor each year, with about 50 pursuing it within five years.

Rowe Honored at Northwestern Mutual Awards Luncheon

UTICA, NY – Several athletes from SUNYIT and Utica College were honored Friday afternoon (May 10) at the Fort Schuyler Club in Utica for their selections this past year as Mohawk Valley Collegiate Athletes of the Month.

The award, which is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and in its first year, was created to honor athletes from SUNYIT and Utica College for their outstanding achievements both on and off the field.

Among the athletes from SUNYIT who were honored was Derek Rowe, a senior on the men’s basketball team.

Rowe, of Mexico, received the award for the month of February.

Next Small Business Training Class to Begin in June

FULTON, NY – For those interested in expanding or starting a small business in Oswego County, there is a small business training class scheduled to begin in June.

The course is scheduled to begin June 10.

The classes will be held at Oswego Falls Business Center, 163 S. First St., from 6 to 9:30 p.m., June 10 through 14 and June 15, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The program provides a 24-hour small-business training program that covers such topics as how to write a business plan, how to obtain financing, accounting and tax issues, business insurance, legalities, marketing, and other basic business start-up issues.

Classroom training is provided by OBCR small business advisors Larry Perras and John Halleron, as well as other area business professionals.

The program is coordinated by the city of Fulton Community Development Agency, city of Oswego Community Development Office, SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Community Relations and Operation Oswego County to provide guidance and support to people interested in starting or expanding a small business.

Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for up to $25,000 in low-interest financing to expand or start their business in Oswego County.

Tuition for the program is $200 and includes all materials.

Scholarships are available for households within low to moderate income guidelines as established by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

For more information, or to register for the class, call 312-3492.

To download a program or scholarship application, visit www.oswegocounty.org/micro.html

OCO Salutes Volunteers of the Year

Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – Oswego County Opportunities recently honored its Youth 4 Youth Peer Leaders Group with the agency’s Howard Wilcox Volunteer of the Year Award.  Presented annually, OCO’s Howard Wilcox Volunteer of the Year Award is given to a volunteer who goes above and beyond in offering their time and talents to an OCO program.

Oswego County Opportunities recently honored its Distinguished Volunteers of the Year and the Howard Wilcox Volunteer of the Year Award at the agency’s Annual Meeting.  From left are: Georgia Draughn (Head Start/UPK); Howard Wilcox Awardees Isabela Gonzalez and Courtney DeLong, accepting on behalf of the Youth 4 Youth Peer Group; Distinguished Volunteers, Stella James and Norma Williams, (OCO Nutrition Services Dining and Activity Centers); and Executive Director of OCO, Diane Cooper-Currier.

Oswego County Opportunities recently honored its Distinguished Volunteers of the Year and the Howard Wilcox Volunteer of the Year Award at the agency’s Annual Meeting. From left are: Georgia Draughn (Head Start/UPK); Howard Wilcox Awardees Isabela Gonzalez and Courtney DeLong, accepting on behalf of the Youth 4 Youth Peer Group; Distinguished Volunteers, Stella James and Norma Williams, (OCO Nutrition Services Dining and Activity Centers); and Executive Director of OCO, Diane Cooper-Currier.

Deputy Executive Director of OCO, Sarah Irland, praised the group for the work that they do and the positive impact they have on youth in the Fulton community.

“Our Youth 4 Youth Peer Leader Group devotes many hours of their school and personal time to participate in an intense training program that allows them to promote youth development, youth engagement and youth leadership. They selflessly donate their time to educate youth and adults on sexual health topics and also connect young people to programs to meet their individual needs,’ said Irland.

Meeting on a weekly basis, members of OCO’s Youth 4 Youth Peer Leader Group act as positive role models for their peers and encourage others to make responsible health decisions.

Additionally, they maintain a social media platform, drop in sessions, and volunteer in a variety of areas such as: tutoring, church activities, school government, yearbook and prom committees, coaching and more.

“I am amazed to think about the time that our Youth 4 Youth Peer Leader Group and many other community volunteers give to OCO programs,” added Irland. “More than 3,000 volunteers served OCO in 2012.  We appreciate all of our volunteers. Without them our programs would not be able to do all the great things that they do.”

In addition to the Howard Wilcox Volunteer of the Year Award, OCO also honored a trio of volunteers; Stella James and Norma Williams (Nutrition Services), and Georgia Draughn (Head Start/UPK) with Distinguished Volunteer Awards for their commitment to sharing their time and talents to helping others and providing quality services.

OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.

For more information, visit www.oco.org

Ritchie Honors 29 CNY, NNY Veterans at Fort Drum Ceremony

State Senator Patty Ritchie honored 29 veterans from across Central and Northern New York at a special ceremony held Friday at Fort Drum’s USO.

The veterans were nominated for induction into the New York State Senate “Veterans Hall of Fame” by family, friends, co-workers and comrades-in-arms for their military service to our nation, and their continuing work and involvement in causes that benefit and improve our local communities.

Pictured are NY State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame nominees and their representatives, as well as Senator Ritchie, Melissa Townsend; wife of Major General Stephen Townsend, Brigadier General Walter Piatt and Colonel Gary Rosenberg)

Pictured are NY State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame nominees and their representatives, as well as Senator Ritchie, Melissa Townsend; wife of Major General Stephen Townsend, Brigadier General Walter Piatt and Colonel Gary Rosenberg)

“This group of men and women have spent their lives not only serving our country, but our communities as well,” said Senator Ritchie. “Whether it’s continuing to help those who serve, teaching our future leaders or helping our region develop and prosper, their dedication and love for our country, and our region, have truly made a difference. Today’s ceremony is just one, small way that we can thank them for their service and their sacrifice.”

Of the 29 honorees, Senator Ritchie has selected Col. (Ret.) Terrence Roche as her 2013 inductee to the New York State Senate “Veterans Hall of Fame.”

Col. Roche is a 26-year military veteran who commanded at every level from platoon to Garrison at posts from Buffalo to Paris and Korea with wartime service in Vietnam.

As Garrison Commander when the announcement was made in 1984 that Fort Drum would be home to the 10th Mountain Division, Col. Roche was instrumental in the planning and initial execution of the  $1.2 billion construction project and the rapid expansion of the installation.

Today, Col. Roche continues to make significant contributions to the success of Fort Drum through the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, which he helped create, as well as a number of other organizations, civic groups and other efforts.

The Senate will honor Col. Roche and other distinguished veterans, one from each Senate District, on May 21 in Albany.

In addition to Col. Roche, the following veterans were honored:

Oswego County

L. Angeline Scaglione Canale (US Nurse Corps)
Chief Warrant Officer Clarence Carney (US Army)
Julius Sherwood Dunham (US Air Force)
Walter Fischer (US Marine Corps)
John Flanagan (US Air Force)
Charles Otis Griswold (US Army)
John Hasto (US Army)
Kenneth Leamon (US Air Force)
Wayne Long (US Navy)
Trevor Loomis (US Army)
Stephen Mizgala (US Army)
Herb Pelton (US Navy)
Laurence Rector (US Army)
Paul Riordan (US Navy)
Arnold Shaw (US Army)
Leonard Yablonski (US Army)

Jefferson County

Clifford Carr, Jr. (US Navy)
Charles Solar (US Army)

St. Lawrence County

Major Maurice Halpin Barry (US Air Force)
Donald “Jake” Corbine (US Army)
Raymond Cutway (US Marine Corps)
Larry Deets (US Army)
Robert Giordano, Jr. (US Air Force)
Paul Mitras (US Army)
Isaac Perkins (US Army)
Patrick Rourk (US Air Force)
SSgt Hillard Seaker (US Air Force)
William (Bill) Shippee (US Navy)

To read more about this year’s honorees, please visit www.ritchie.nysenate.gov

Thomas Anthony Wolbert

OSWEGO, NY – Thomas Anthony Wolbert, 85, a resident of Scriba, passed away Friday May 10, 2013, surrounded by his loving family.

Tom was born in Ormsby, Pa., on August 3, 1927, to Albert and Florence (Schwabenbauer) Wolbert.

He grew up in Bradford, Pa.

He loved planes his whole life. He built model planes and flew them as a teenager at Bradford’s airport.

He went to school to be an airplane mechanic and inspector.

In 1954, he married MaryLou Hadsell and moved to California to work for United Airlines.

He moved back in 1957 and worked for various small airports, then Sealright and later Alcan.

In 1963, he moved his family to Scriba and started his own private airport called Lakeside Airpark.

In 1979, he quit Alcan to go full-time with Lakeside Airpark. He built a reputation as an esteemed aircraft mechanic and inspector. He was one of the few in the state who could rebuild and recover small aircraft.

He will be greatly missed in the aircraft community.

He received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic award for more than 50 years of service in aviation maintenance.

Tom was a wonderful father, friend and neighbor; always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needed it.

Surviving are three daughters, Kim Marsh of Liverpool, Karen Metz of Scriba and Kelly (Jeff) Rosenthal of Baldwinsville; son, David (Corinne) Wolbert of Scriba; a sister, Kathleen Haselbauer of Scriba; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, MaryLou; and a sister, Genevieve Cooney.
Memorial services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Church, corner of county routes 176 and 4, Scriba.

Nelson Funeral Home has care of arrangements.

Online condolences may be made at www.nelson-funeralhome.com

Oswego Health and Fulton Kiwanis Club Team Up To Offer Multi-Organ Blood Analysis

FULTON, NY – Oswego Health’s annual Fulton Multi-Organ Blood Analysis to be held June 1 in the cafeteria of G. Ray Bodley High School.

Oswego Health and the Fulton Kiwanis Club have teamed up once again to offer the community this important screening.

This full battery of tests can help prevent potential health problems.

The cost of the analysis is $35.

Typically these tests can cost more than $340.

In addition, there is an optional $20 Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, which is recommended to men older than age 50.

To make an appointment, residents can call 341-0094.

The screening will be offered from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m.

A 12-hour fast is required.

Checks to cover the cost of the screenings should be made out to Oswego Health.

The analysis screens individuals for various conditions such as anemia, diabetes, and others, as well as for coronary, kidney, and liver diseases.

The most popular screening at the event is the portion of the analysis that assesses LDL and HDL cholesterol along with triglycerides.

Lab technicians from Oswego Hospital will be on hand to conduct the blood draw.

The results of the multi-organ blood analysis will be sent directly from Oswego Hospital lab to the participant’s home and their physician in an easy to read format.

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Cop Logs: Sheriff’s Office 10/01/2014

From the files of OCSD

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Replace Your Peeling License Plates at No Cost

The Oswego County Clerk’s Office said Tuesday (Sept. 30) that they are working with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to address the issue of delamination or peeling of older license plates.
“Customers who come into our motor vehicle offices to replace their peeling plates will receive a replacement set at no cost,” said Oswego County Clerk Michael C. Backus. “The state is waiving the plate and transaction fees for this issue, effective immediately.”

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Quirk’s Players To Hold BBQ on Saturday

Quirk’s Players of G. Ray Bodley High School will be sponsoring a chicken barbeque dinner Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fulton Polish Home, 153 W. First St. The dinner will feature a delicious meal prepared by Fricken Chicken. Patrons may choose to dine in at the Polish Home or take their dinners to go. Inside there will be gift baskets, music and a table of sweet treats to enjoy.

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Arthur F. Livingston, 74

Arthur F. Livingston, 74, of Chiefland, Fla., and formerly of Fulton, passed away Saturday September 20, 2014.

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‘Circles and Squares’ to display layered prints of student artists

SUNY Oswego student printmakers will display their circular- and square-format monotypes and monoprints starting Oct. 10, at Tyler Art Gallery at Oswego State Downtown. “Circles and Squares: One-of-a-Kind Prints” will feature a free public artists’ reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 24, at the downtown gallery and branch of the College Store at the corner of West First and Bridge streets in Oswego. The exhibition will run through Nov. 15.

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