2012 In Review: In February, Businessman Gives Veterans A Lift

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

In early February, Bob Natoli had some sore, tired muscles. But, area veterans had a new ally. Natoli broke the record of the existing Guinness World Fitness Record for Most Weight Lifted by Barbell Upright Row in One Hour.

It was previously held by Ireland’s Eamonn Keane (40,752.5 pounds).

For the world record, Natoli raised a 40-pound bar for one hour. “And, as I lifted it, it grew to about 140 pounds,” he quipped later.

He performed, on average, 11 or 12 reps of the exercise, took a couple seconds rest in a chair next to the weight and then repeated the sequence for a solid hour. A crowd of more than three dozen family and friends looked on while a Guinness official monitored his every move.

Shortly into the attempt, Natoli quipped to the audience, “You thought this was going to be interesting, didn’t you?”

He kept a steady pace throughout the majority of the attempt; hitting a high of 15 reps and a low of 9 at one point.

This record is dedicated to the needs of our veterans at the Syracuse VA Medical Center, he said, adding that he is personally donating $2,000 to the VA Voluntary Services.

2012 State of the County Address

By: Oswego County Legislature Chairman, Fred Beardsley

It is a transition for me – a transition from being a Majority Leader who must lead debates on the behalf of a political caucus, to a Chairman who must preside fairly over the discussions on this floor, and who treats all elected representatives equitably, listening to your concerns and ideas, and fostering cooperation to reach goals that are in the best interest of our residents, taxpayers, and businesses.   I pledge to you that is the type of Chairman I will be.

For the past decade, legislators and managers have worked together to restore the financial condition of the County, and establish sound budgeting practices.  The results are self-evident:

2012 marks the eighth year in a row that the generic tax rate for Oswego County has been lowered or remained the same. In fact, in 2005, our generic tax rate was $9.20 per $1,000 of assessed value. This year, in 2012, our generic tax rate is $6.95 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is a decrease of 25 percent.

This is a Legislature that has demonstrated it can come together and make complex and difficult decisions.

We adopted a budget that complied with the limitations of the tax cap.  But, by overriding the law, we protected our taxpayers from an uncertain State audit process that could have resulted in an unfair and unnecessary penalty of up to $5.5 million.

Over the past several years this Legislature has completed some significant projects while remaining steadfast in our commitment to be careful stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.

In closing, I would like to re-emphasize that I am confident in the ability of this Legislature, the county’s employees, and department heads. I am confident that together we can accomplish our task of providing the people of Oswego County with an efficient, friendly and effective government.

Sheriff Todd Elected To Executive Committee Of NYS Sheriff’s Association

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association held its election and installation of executive committee members and trustees at its 78th Annual Mid-Winter Training Conference. Members elected Oswego County Sheriff Reuel A. Todd to the executive committee.

Sheriff Todd’s more than 30 years in law enforcement includes a rise through with the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Todd will work hand in hand with the newly elected President of the Sheriffs’ Association, Sheriff Donald Smith of Putnam County, and sheriffs across the state to strengthen law enforcement.

The New York State Sheriffs’ Association is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of sheriffs’ services to the public. It comprises all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State.

Teen Rescued From Lake Ontario Near Lighthouse
The Oswego Fire Department responded to a report of a person in the water in the Oswego Harbor along the breakwall just west of the lighthouse.

At 4:47 p.m., the fire department received a call from the United States Coast Guard Station Oswego reporting a person in the water at that location.

Crews responding launched the department’s zodiac inflatable boat at Wrights Landing Marina.

A short time later firefighters Ron Nelson and Lenny Hartle located the victim in the water about 50 yards west of the lighthouse along the breakwall and pulled the 18-year-old into the department’s boat and transported him to Wright’s Landing where he was taken by Oswego Fire Department Ambulance to Oswego Hospital and was treated.

“This was just a fantastic execution of a water rescue by the entire crew to prepare, respond, and rescue the person in a very timely manner and in particular Firefighters Nelson and Hartle for their actions.  Minutes if not seconds count in a situation like that with the water temperature around 36 degrees,” said Fire Chief Jeffrey McCrobie.

Oswego Police, the United States Coast Guard and the US Border patrol also assisted.

“Congratulations to all of the Fire Department personnel who responded to this emergency. Thanks to their rapid response and professionalism, a life was saved!” said Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen. “Thank you on behalf of the people of Oswego.”

Syracuse native Aaron Matthews, 18, and a freshman biology and psychology student at Oswego, was out for a walk on the break wall in Oswego harbor Sunday afternoon.

“I was out there just watching the sunset,” said Matthews

All was well, until the next day when he realized that he had lost his wallet somewhere along the way. He then returned to the break wall to look for his wallet around 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

Before he knew it, he was halfway out to the lighthouse. Waves were starting to increase in size all around him.

He realized that he couldn’t simply turn around, and used his cell phone to call 911.

“I had my phone in a plastic bag because I knew that I was going to get wet. I called 911 while waves were crashing down holding on for dear life with one hand while talking to the dispatcher on the other,” said Matthews.

“I was knocked over by a large wave onto the harbor side, unexpectedly, and after that I swam back to the breakwall holding on for dear life as the waves continued to crash over me,” said Matthews.

Body Discovered On Lake Shore
Members of the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office, Oswego City Police Department, Scriba Town Volunteer Fire Department, Oswego City Fire Department and the Oswego County Coroner’s Office responded to the report of a body that was found on the shore of Lake Ontario near a residence in the town of Scriba.

The identity of the body was unknown at the time.

Oswego City Police Chief Tory DeCaire said he was in contact with the Sheriff’s Department and has offered assistance in the investigation.

It will likely take some time to confirm the identity of the body, he said, adding this is something you don’t want to rush.

The individual whose body was discovered on the shore of Lake Ontario, in the County of Oswego, Town of Scriba, was identified as 19-year-old Jesse A. Holden, of 23 W. Mohawk St., Oswego, according to police.

The identification was made by the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office, utilizing dental records.

Investigation by Oswego City Police indicated that Holden was likely the victim who had
jumped from the Utica Street bridge in the City of Oswego on November 28, 2011.

Fulton returns to the helm of Harborfest
Oswego, NY — Former Harborfest Executive Director Steve Fulton agreed to serve as interim executive director of this year’s Harborfest.

Fulton was executive director of Harborfest for four years in the mid-1990s and had been a consultant and volunteer during the past dozen years.

Fulton retired after 26 years as a commander in the Navy and then served as a military consultant for 12 years before joining Harborfest the first time. For the past six years, he has been a private consultant for the military with activities in the Panama Canal.

The addition of Fulton comes on the heels of recently hired Dorothy Strahley (vendor, merchandise, logistics) and Steve Pryor (sponsorship, membership, media PR).

Cicero Man, Dog Rescued After Falling Through Ice On Oneida Lake
At approximately 1:45 p.m. Feb. 23, State Police in North Syracuse responded to 8904 Beach Road in the Town of Cicero for a reported person who fell through the ice with his dog.

Trooper Ron Morse arrived at the scene and was advised that 45-year-old, Albert J. Merola from 8904 Beach Road in the Town of Cicero was out on the ice of Oneida Lake when the ice gave way underneath him and became completely submerged with his dog.

Trooper Morse grabbed his rope from his patrol vehicle and headed towards the victim who was approximately 200 yards from shore.

When Trooper Morse arrived out to Mr. Merola, he was met by two ice fisherman, Eric A. Wilsey, 31, from Fulton, and Alan P. Waldron, 34, from Phoenix, who was unsuccessful in attempting to rescue the victim with a flag pole.

Trooper Morse tied the rope around his waist and instructed the fishermen to hold the rope while he attempted to rescue Merola and his dog from the frigid water.

Trooper Morse encountered the dog first which was interfering with direct contact with Merola. He was able to rescue the dog out of the water and continued his efforts but after three attempts the ice began to break underneath them which forced Trooper Morse into the water.

Wilsey and Waldron were able to pull Trooper Morse out of the water using the rope.

Another fisherman, James L. Parkhurst, 35, from Oswego, was able to get a rope with a lifejacket out to the victim.

Merola was able to grab a hold of the life jacket and was eventually pulled to safety.

Merola and Trooper Morse were evaluated by Navac and South Bay Ambulance and released without injury or hypothermia.

Pedestrian Killed In Port City

The victim struck by a vehicle at the intersection of East Seventh and Bridge Streets in the city of Oswego in February was pronounced dead at Oswego Hospital, as a result of injuries sustained in the accident.

Oswego Police have identified the victim as 80-year-old Rosemary Beauchamp, of 232 E. Tenth St., Oswego.

Beauchamp was walking eastbound on East Bridge Street, on the sidewalk, approaching East Seventh Street.

At the same time, a grey 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by 48-year-old Stephen J. Skinner, also of Oswego, was stopped on East Seventh Street at the southbound stop sign, waiting to turn right to go westbound onto East Bridge Street.

Skinner was waiting for traffic and upon beginning to make the turn, struck Beauchamp who had just entered the intersection, police said.