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2012 In Review: In May, A Canadian Marine Flare Raised Some Concern

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

Some residents living near the lakeshore heard a loud noise late one night in early May.

Authorities said that it was nothing to be alarmed about

A Canadian marine flare had washed up on our Lake Ontario shore recently, according to Oswego Country Undersheriff Gene Sullivan.

They called Fort Drum and their bomb squad came down and destroyed it, he explained. It is something that doesn’t happen to often, he added.

“It depends a lot on the weather and the condition of Lake Ontario,” he said. “This has been going on for years and years. What changed is that the soldiers from Fort Drum can no longer bring them onto the base for destruction. They have to do it here.”

10-Year-Old’s Essay About Father in Afghanistan Wins Heart of Public Vote

The excitement surrounding the National Hockey League playoffs got even better as Discover announced the winner of its Day With the Cup contest – the Doran family of Fulton.

Discover launched its contest in late March, encouraging hockey fans across the nation to submit an original photo that best demonstrated their passion for hockey, along with a 1,000 character-or-less description that answered the question, “I deserve a day with the Stanley Cup because…”

Heather Doran uploaded her son Noah’s compelling essay that captured the attention of the public, which deemed him the winner by an overwhelming number of votes.  Noah’s entry spoke of his Dad, Rob, a sergeant who left in early January to serve his third tour in Afghanistan, and how the duo bonded over hockey every weekend. He then credited his local hockey team, the Fulton Red Raider Squirts, for helping him get through the tough transition.

Noah’s entry was accompanied by a photo of him and his dad in military uniform on the ice at a local hockey rink. Rob serves with Oswego, New York’s 444th Engineer Company, 411th Engineer Brigade, 412th Theater Engineer Command of the U.S. Army Reserve.

Noah, Heather, his brother, Ethan, and sister, Jade, were presented with the Stanley Cup at the Cicero Twin Rinks in Cicero. Noah’s hockey team, friends and local community soldiers joined him in celebration while taking photos with the Stanley Cup.

Oswego County Companies Win SBA Small Business Excellence Awards

Two local business were honored in May with SBA Small Business Excellence Awards at the DoubleTree Hotel in East Syracuse.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the New York Business Development Corporation hosted the 14th annual luncheon to recognize the achievements of local small businesses.

Operation Oswego County nominated Barnett Forest Products, LLC, owned by Scott Barnett. Three years ago, Scott Barnett along with guidance from his father, Gary Barnett, started Barnett Forest Products, LLC, a log wholesaling business in Scriba.

Barnett Forest Products handles White Oak, Walnut, Red Oak, Cherry and Maple logs. Fifty-five percent of their logs are sent by rail to Seattle, Wash., or Vancouver, BC, while others are sent by truck to Port Elizabeth, NJ, to be loaded on ships.

The NYS Oswego Small Business Development Center nominated Physical Therapy Plus/Parisi Speed School, owned by Kevin Nellis and Craig Peterson.

Nellis and Peterson own a physical therapy practice, Physical Therapy Plus, with four successful locations in Central NY. In 2010 they decided to use their 20 years of experience in physical therapy to start up a new program in Baldwinsville, opening a Parisi Speed School franchise.

With the assistance of the SBDC in Oswego, Kevin and Craig obtained financing for the new location which provides youth development training and athletic performance enhancement. They are in the process of purchasing an office complex in Fulton that will provide office space for their business and other health-related companies.

Hundreds Turn Out To Pay Tribute To Dr. Mary E. Walker

Throughout the ceremony, the curtains hiding the guest of honor continued to billow, partially revealing the larger-than-life figure. It was as if Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was telling the speakers who paraded to the podium in front of the Oswego Town Hall to hurry up and introduce her.

After about a decade of work by dozens of volunteers, the dedication ceremony for Oswego Town’s most famous citizen was under way in mid-May.

Dr. Walker served as a physician during the Civil War. And, she is the only woman ever awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for her heroic services.

“I don’t like to take credit for this,” Theresa Cooper, Oswego Town Clerk, demurred. “Everyone was a part of this. The community deserves the credit; just everyone.”

George DeMass, Oswego Town Historian, served as MC for the ceremony.

“It all began at a fire department banquet in 2003. We were talking about a statue for Dr. Walker. Legislator Doug Malone said, ‘I will cut my ponytail if you can raise $1,000 for that statue.’ He handed me $100 and we began the Dr. Mary Walker statue project,” Cooper recalled. They raised $1,000 in no time – but it took Doug a couple years to get the courage to cut that ponytail, she continued.

It was a day to honor women, strong women, who have been able to succeed thanks to the efforts of Dr. Walker, noted Victoria Mullen, town supervisor.

Mullen, the first woman Oswego Town supervisor, introduced Senator Patty Ritchie, the first woman senator for this district.

“It’s truly amazing that the only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor is from the Town of Oswego,” the senator exclaimed.

Ritchie was followed by Congresswoman AnnMarie Buerkle, the first congresswoman for the district.

“This is the essence of America. This is what our country stands for, good people who love their country and to honor those who love their country,” she said.

Sharon BuMann, the sculptor who created the memorial to Dr. Walker, told of how her relationship with Dr. Walker actually started more than 20 years and was amazed to learn that she came from Oswego County. BuMann said her artwork captures how multi-faceted Dr. Walker was.

The statue shows her stepping forward. She is clutching her medal of honor, which she cherished. She was a great speaker, so she is at the podium. She was an author, so there is a pen on the podium.

Dr. Walker was a world traveler, but remained a life-long resident of Oswego Town. She grew up in a farmhouse on Bunker Hill Road and is buried in Rural Cemetery in the town.

Voters in Oswego Approve school budget

Voters in the Oswego City School District approved the 2012-13 budget, the purchase of 10 new school buses and a $15 million school improvement project as they went to the polls on May 15.

Nearly 78% of the voters casting ballots for the budget approved the $76.6 million financial package as the vote was 1,583-445.

The district, in its effort to continue to maintain an efficient bus fleet that addresses the health and safety of Oswego’s students, asked the district taxpayers for 10 buses. Voters approved this proposition 1,520-485.

The final proposition addressed school district projects with roofing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as the completion of the Oswego Middle School athletic field. This $15 million referendum was a continuation of the planning that went into the voter approved 2007 EXCEL capital project.  Oswego School District voters approved the capital project 1,376-523.

Two people were also elected to serve on the Oswego City School District Board of Education. Lynda Sereno received 1,126 votes and Thomas DeCastro 1,122. They commenced their three-year term on July 2.

Oswego’s Tresidder Announces Bid For State Senate Seat

It’s for the people, Amy Tresidder said of her bid to become state senator.

The Oswego County Legislator went home in May to make her big announcement and then made her way back home to Oswego to make the announcement in the city that’s been her home for more than  three decades. She began her day with her announcement in Canton at noon, then in Watertown and on to the finale in Oswego.

The Democrat spoke to a packed house of lively supporters in the banquet room at Bridie Manor shortly after 6 p.m. She was introduced by fellow legislator Mike Kunzwiler, Minority Leader, and Oswego’s current mayor Tom Gillen and his predecessor Randy Bateman.

“Amy is not a ‘politician,’ she is a genuine human being,” Mayor Gillen pointed out. “What you’re going to get with Amy is a decent hard-working person who understands the problems we deal with and will represent us as well as she can.”

She vowed to be honest, do her best and to always care about people.

“Those are the values I was raised with, and those are the values I’d bring to the senate seat,” she said. “That is the promise that I make.”

2012 LYRA Returns to Oswego July 30 – Aug. 5

In late May it was announced that this summer, for the first time since 1928, the 2012 Lake Yacht Racing Association Annual Regatta would be held in Oswego. The event was hosted by the Oswego Yacht Club July 30 through Aug. 5.

The LYRA was founded in 1884, making it the oldest association of yacht clubs in the nation.  The group consists of 47 yacht clubs located around Lake Ontario, with Oswego being one of the founding clubs.

The Port City hosted nearly 75 yachts from around Lake Ontario. The regatta is an annual event that features one week of intensive racing. This includes “feeder” races, which are designed to bring yachts to the regatta site, the overnight Freeman Race, and three days of “around-the-buoy” course racing.

“With racers from both the U.S. and Canada, this is a great opportunity for sailors to compete as well as establish a strong camaraderie amongst each other,” said John Gary, chairman of the Oswego LYRA Organizing Committee.

State Trooper Killed in Oswego County Crash

New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico regretfully announced the death of Trooper Amanda S. Anna, 31, from Liverpool.

On May 25, 2012, at approximately 11:26 p.m., Trooper Anna was operating a marked State Police 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe eastbound on County Route 37 in the town of Hastings when she lost control of the patrol vehicle on a curve, striking a guide rail and becoming airborne over a small inlet of water causing the car to overturn several times.

Trooper Anna was transported by SOVAC ambulance to Upstate University Medical Center in Syracuse for severe head trauma. At 5:25 a.m. May 26, Trooper Anna succumbed to her injuries.

Trooper Anna was a six-year veteran of the New York State Police, and was assigned to the Hastings Barracks in Oswego County. She is survived by her mother, step-father, a four year-old son and a fiancé.

Her funeral drew hundreds of law enforcement members from around the county and the country.

The investigation into the crash remains open.

The Port City Pauses To Salute Its Fallen Heroes

OSWEGO, NY – There were few marching in the parade, and their route was shorter. But, their message was heard around the nation – Memorial Day is the time when an ever grateful country thanks its veterans, past and present.

Members of the area veterans’ and service groups spent the morning visiting various parks and cemeteries paying tribute to our nation’s veterans.

They were soaked to the bone by relentless rainstorms that didn’t cease until shortly after 11 a.m. At some points, thunder drowned out their voices. But they marched on.

A large crowd, despite the nasty weather, many decked out in red, white and blue, ringed Veterans Memorial Park under clearing skies with muggy temperatures in the 70s as the Port City paused to honor all veterans.

Memorial Day is sacred to all veterans and families of veterans, according to George Hoffman, the master of ceremonies.

“Today is the first official day of the summer season. However, let’s not forget who gave us these times of pleasure and enjoyment. This day is in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice, laying down their lives so you and I and our families have the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that we have today,” Hoffman told the crowd assembled in the park. “It’s a very special day.”