2011 In Review – Bear Sighting Caused A Stir In June

OSWEGO, NY – Here’s a glimpse of the some of the news from the past 12 months.

In early June, a wandering black bear caused quite a stir in Scriba.

It was first spotted at a County Route 1A residence about a mile east of Novelis. He stayed for about an hour before heading back into the woods.

There were a couple reports of the bear walking through St. Paul’s Cemetery on Oswego’s east side. A witness said it walked through the cemetery and then ran off into the woods.

Scriba resident Joe Falcetti took some photos of the critter when it was across the street in a neighbor’s back yard.

“It just sat there a while playing with the birdfeeder,” he said. “It’s kind of weird not seeing him in a zoo and being so close to the city. They’re getting daring.”

“The bear just wandered into my daughter’s backyard in Scriba. This is unusual, very unusual, for this area,” agreed Larry Pritchard.

Oswego Vets Receive State Honor

Senator Patty Ritchie visited with the Oswego County “Battle of the Bulge” veterans in June to announce a special honor for the group. The organization, started several years ago by veteran and former Oswego Common Councilor John Canale, was named to the New York State Senate’s Veterans Hall of Fame.

“I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated it when you invited me to your luncheon several months ago,” the senator told the group.

When the Senate asked who she’d like to nominate to be in the hall of fame, “the only thing that I could think of was to honor this group. It was a pleasure to be able to do that,” she said. “As soon as I mentioned the Battle of the Bulge, everyone down there was in support of it, everyone jumped on the bandwagon.”

The senator admitted she “broke the rules.”

“I was supposed to be limited to just one person. But they said, ‘Wow, let’s do the whole group.’ They thought it was that important,” she explained.

Intermunicipal Agreement Approved

Also in June, the Oswego County Legislature approved an intermunicipal agreement between the county and town of Scriba regarding Nine Mile Point Unit I and Unit II nuclear power plants.

The agreement allowed the parties to continue with the appraiser without the Oswego City School District, according to Phil Church, county administrator.

In 2010, the county and town approved an $11 million tax deal with Unit 1.

Under terms of the pact, Scriba would have received $544,500, the county $4.1 million and more than $6 million for the school district. However, the district rejected the deal; the other two approved it.

The district filed a petition opposing the agreement. It was later dismissed by a Supreme Court justice.

All three entities finally signed on together for a three-year tax deal with the plants’ owner in December.

Warning Issued Regarding Designer Drugs

Following up on the New York State Commissioner of Health’s ban on the sale and distribution of dangerous designer drugs marketed as “Bath Salts,” Oswego County Director of Public Health Dennis Norfleet, MD, issued a warning to those that might consider using these products.

“These are powerful drugs of abuse that can cause severe side effects including increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, vomiting, hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior,” warned Dr. Norfleet.

Use of “bath salts” has also been linked to death.

“These are not products that are commonly sold for bathing in bath and beauty retailers,” said Dr. Norfleet. “These products contain chemicals similar to stimulant drugs listed as controlled substances in New York State, such as amphetamines and cocaine.”

Mexico Grad Sentenced For Espionage

Also in June, Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Minkyu Martin was sentenced to 34 years at Fort Leavenworth prison after pleading guilty to attempted espionage.

The Mexico High School graduate could have received life in prison.

Martin admitted trying to sell classified documents to a man he believed was a Chinese intelligence officer. And, he pleaded guilty to mishandling of classified information.

Martin pleaded guilty at his court-martial May 19 in Norfolk.

He had been arrested Dec. 1, 2010.

White Kicks Off Campaign

In late June, Dave White, the out-going president of the Oswego City School District’s Board of Education, officially kicked off his campaign to become the next mayor of the Port City.

Dozens of family members and supporters, including various candidates for city and county positions, applauded White’s announcement outside the Republican Headquarters on West Utica Street.

“I want to thank everybody who showed up. I really appreciate it,” White said. “I do want to thank the committee for their support. As a candidate, I’ll work as hard as I can for them.”

White said his emphasis would be on jobs and new business creation and the quality of life in Oswego.

Joyce Malone Passes Away

Joyce A. Malone, 70, a resident of 128 Tug Hill Road, Town of Oswego, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 23, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer, with her loving sister, Louise Saffell by her side.

Joyce was born Nov. 12, 1940, in Ardsley, NY, the daughter of Harry and Velma Medovich.

She graduated from Ardsley High School in 1958. Her senior sentiment was how she lived her life, “A Merry Heart Goes All The Day.”

She also attended SUNY Oswego.

She was a member of the Oswego Center Methodist Church. Joyce often volunteered for church functions and was a regular kitchen helper, cooking for holidays and fundraisers.

Joyce was owner and operator of Oswego Gun and Tackle for 33 years. She took pride in her business and was an accomplished businesswoman. She was a member of Zonta.