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2011 In Review – February Snow Bomb Turns Out To Be A Bust

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

A monster snowstorm creating havoc in the Midwest and elsewhere never really materialized in Central New York on Feb. 2. The Oswego-Fulton area received about 5.5 inches of snow with some freezing rain mixed in.

The anticipation of the heavily-hyped monster storm had many scurrying to stock up on groceries and other supplies before the juggernaut arrived.

Instead of being in awe of Old Man Winter’s onslaught, people were left saying, “Aww, where did the snow go?” as the snowstorm dissipated before it ever got a foothold in most of Oswego County.

“It was nothing like the big bomb we were all expecting,” said Bill Gregway, local observer for the National Weather Service. “I was looking forward to it. I even set my alarm so I could get up early and watch for it.”

However, schools across the county were closed as a precaution.

Festival Warms Up Oswego

Close to 1,000 winter-weary Oswegonians packed the Oswego YMCA Armory on Feb. 5 to celebrate the sixth annual Warm Up Oswego festival.

The YMCA adopted the festival in 2006 in order to raise money to renovate the Armory and to create more programs.

The sixth annual event drew hundreds of people to the Armory and hundreds more to various other locations all around downtown.

Apparently, Old Man Winter was irked over the raucous celebration heating up the Port City and he tired snow on the party. Ironically, it had the opposite affect.

“This is fun. So what if it’s snowing a little, mused Larry Rapshaw. “This is Oswego. Look at all the people here. This is an amazing event.”

“This is a wonderful event,” agreed Jake Mulcahey. “It’s great to have something like this during the winter; it gives people an opportunity to get out and have some fun and see all their friends. This place (Armory) is packed, which goes to show how much people enjoy it.”

Undersheriff Steps Down, For Now

On Feb. 16, Oswego County’s highest-ranking appointed police official Undersheriff Robert Lighthall, the second-in-command to Sheriff Reuel Todd, announced to co-workers that he would retire at the end of March.

“I’ve got my (retirement) papers right here on my desk,” Lighthall told Oswego County Today, adding that he would be dropping them in the mail on the way home from work.

Lighthall was hired as a corrections officer in May, 1977, on the first workday after he completed training.  He said he had to beg his supervisor for a day off at the end of his first week of work so he could attend his own graduation ceremony.

“When I came back, they put me on 13 months of overnights,” he said.

Lighthall said he is stepping down now to help his parents run the family’s business, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp and Resort in Mexico.

He’s not ruling out a return.

“I’ve held every rank in the department, except one,” he said.

Lighthall has never made a secret of his desire to succeed Todd as Sheriff.  Todd won a fresh 4-year term as Sheriff in the 2010 elections, so the seat will not be open until 2014 unless Todd retires before then.

Ethics Violations Probed

In early February, two Oswego County officials in the county clerk’s office were investigated for ethics violations.

Georgiana M. Mansfield, first deputy county clerk, was found guilty of failing to disclose outside work she did for a company that was a vendor for the county. She paid a civil penalty of $2,452 to the county.

County Clerk George Williams also was investigated for being an employee of the same company, but was found innocent.

Both cases were now closed, according to paperwork from the bi-partisan Oswego County Ethics Board, which did the investigations of both Williams and Mansfield.

Both were accused of working for IQS (Info Quick Solutions), a computer and software company in Syracuse.

IQS handles computer and software work for the county clerk’s office. The company was hired after going through the county’s normal bidding process, Williams said.

Dozens Lose Their Hair To Fight Childhood Cancer

It took Emily Bradshaw nearly her entire life to grow her long brown hair. It took only a few moments for the Kingsford fifth grader’s locks to be shorn Feb. 28.

However, Emily’s unselfish act will give other youngsters a fighting chance at life.

The 10-year-old was one of nearly 80 people taking part in the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation event in the food court of the Campus Center at SUNY Oswego.

She raised more than her goal of $3,555 to help kids who are suffering from childhood cancer. She had set a goal of $1,500.

Taking part in the event were a group of Oswego firefighters, some members of the Oswego Minor Hockey Association, representatives from several SUNY Oswego sports teams, fraternities and sororities. They were joined by a myriad others, including cancer survivors and the principal of G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton.