2014 In Review: In June – Missing Woman’s Remains Discovered, Case Remains Open

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

In early June, the family of a missing woman received some closure.

On June 17, the Oswego City Police Department and the Oswego County District Attorney’s Office received a positive identification from the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office relative the human remains recovered from the Oswego River within the city of Fulton one week earlier. Those remains, which were located within a 1993 Toyota Corolla, were positively identified as those of Carol L. Wood.

The vehicle was also positively identified as that which Carol Wood was last seen in.  Wood’s had been reported missing to the Oswego City Police Department on August 6, 1996.

The family of Carol Wood had been notified. A cause and manner of death wasn’t determined at that time. The investigation is and will be, as it has for almost 18 years now continue to be open and active.

Oswego Police request anyone that may have information relative this investigation to please contact the Criminal Investigation Division; Capt. Charles Tonkin at 315-342-8130 or Sgt. Damian Waters at 315-342-8266.  Those individuals wishing to remain anonymous may contact the confidential tip line at 315-342-8131 or email [email protected]

Oswego Lighthouse Celebrates 80th Anniversary

The first Lake Ontario Central New York Lighthouse Challenge took place on June 21 and 22. The challenge was to visit six unique New York lighthouses within two days.

The official challenge route started with Oswego’s West Pierhead Lighthouse and moved east and west from the Thousand Islands to Rochester.

Participants collected a lighthouse stamp or token at each lighthouse they visited. They also had an opportunity to learn about the essential role of lighthouses located along this most eastern Great Lake in protecting maritime vessels that plied the waters and made commerce and trade possible.

The challenge took place in honor of the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse’s 80th anniversary. An extensive restoration process is under way.

Oswego Mayor Issues Executive Order Regarding Inspections

On June 5, the mayor issued the following Executive Order, it was immediately effective.

The city of Oswego shall cease requiring inspection of the interior of rental units in the city of Oswego as a condition for issuing Rental Permits. Applicants for a Rental Permit shall be required to complete the attached Rental Permit Application and Affidavit of Compliance, and shall pay the appropriate Rental Permit Fee to the City Chamberlain.

Upon receipt of a fully-completed Rental Permit Application and Affidavit of Compliance, signed and notarized by the property owner or property manager, together with a receipt from the City Chamberlain for the Rental Permit Fee, a three-year Rental Permit shall be issued to the applicant by the city.

This Executive Order does not prohibit the city’s Code Enforcement officers from inspecting the exterior of any property. Nor does it prohibit the inspection of the interior of any rental property upon the request of the owner, property manager, or tenant.

Project Lifesaver to the Rescue

Project Lifesaver, otherwise known as electronic technology to locate missing persons, lived up to its billing.

A client, approximately 80 years old, from the town of Constantia, who was registered with Project Lifesaver and wearing a transmitting bracelet, went missing one hot, sunny afternoon in June.

As soon as the transmission went out over the air from the E-911 Center, deputies from the Oswego County Sheriff’s Office went into action to search for the man with assistance from members of the Oswego County Search and Rescue Team and a member of the Onondaga County Search and Rescue Team.

After searching a wooded area for a short time, and with a device designed to track the bracelet’s signal, the client was located about a mile from home and safely returned to family members.

The program, which was initiated in Oswego County in 2011, is basically supported by grant funding and donations, and has proven to be an extremely valuable tool to the families of persons in need of assistance.

This program offers peace of mind to family members to know that if their loved one(s), young or old, wander off and become confused, help is on the way instantly to rescue them.

To learn more about the program, visit www.oswegocounty.com/911.

Council, Committee Meetings Available For Viewing

Mayor Gillen and members of the Common Council announced that the city’s council meetings and committee meetings were available for viewing on the day following the meeting date, on the link to the YOUTUBE channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjp9sVSSFncexdl9vFNwqCQ.

Live broadcasts of the meetings were still being arranged through Time Warner Cable.

New Oswego City Historian Named

Mayor Tom Gillen on announced that he has chosen Mark J. Slosek as Oswego’s new City Historian.

Slosek is a retired school administrator and former American history teacher, whose career in public education spanned 39 years of service with the Fulton School District.

He is a past curator of the Oswego County Historical Society and was an active member of the Oswego Immigration Council.

He authored “Polish Immigration in Oswego” which appeared in the Oswego County Historical Yearbook. He is the son of Anthony Slosek, author and former historian of both the city and the county.

Slosek and his wife, Patricia, are the proud parents of four adult children and three grandsons.

Oswego City School District Educator Named to National ‘Dream Team’

Dennis Pawlikowski, a math teacher at Oswego Middle School spent June 4-7 in New Orleans participating in TeachFest, a unique professional development event focused on creating high-quality Common Core curricular resources. Pawlikowski attended the event as part of LearnZillion’s Dream Team of 200 talented math and English Language Arts teachers.

At TeachFest, the Dream Team kicked-off a rigorous summer-long collaboration with educators from around the country – deepening their understanding of the Common Core State Standards and gathering best practices as input for their work with LearnZillion.

Dream Team members returned to their respective districts to continue their work as part of a LearnZillion-facilitated digital professional learning community.

“I had two colleagues go to TeachFest, and they both raved about the networking impact where you can work with people who are very motivated to do exactly what you want to do,” said Pawlikowski.

The diverse 2014 Dream Team members were selected from a competitive pool of 4,000 applicants. They represent 42 states, three countries (U.S., Singapore and Tunisia) and more than 2,300 years of teaching experience, ranging from two to 42 years in the classroom.

Oswego Street Dedicated To Former Second Ward Councilor

The north end of East Fourth Street is steeped in history. The area is home to Fort Ontario and the Safe Haven Museum. In June, some new history was added to the mix. In a brief ceremony, witnessed by nearly two dozen people, Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen officially dedicated the stretch of roadway as Barbara Donahue Drive.

“Today, the city of Oswego would like to recognize Barbara Donahue for her more than 25 years of dedicated service to the city and to officially name this street Barbara Donahue Drive in her honor,” he said. “And, I proclaim today, June the 10th, 2014, as Barbara Donahue Day in the city of Oswego.”

The existing street in Fort Ontario, at the north end of East Fourth Street, near the Art Association parking lot, is important, according to Tony Leotta, “because it connects the two main entrances to the fort – East Fourth and East Seventh streets.”

The dedication was in recognition of Donahue’s decades of service to the Port City.

Donahue began working for the city on July 8, 1983, as a laborer in the Department of Public Works; she also served the city as a sign maintenance worker and traffic violations clerk until her retirement on Oct. 6, 1998, the mayor said. She was elected to the Common Council and served as a representative of the Second Ward for four terms (Jan. 1, 2000, until Dec. 31, 2007).

Current Second Ward Councilor, Mike Myers, had high praise for his predecessor.

“She really did a lot to help out the people of this ward, and all the residents of the city. Barb got the bad curve taken out of Fourth Street right here and straightened it out making it much safer for motorists and pedestrians going to the fort, Art Association are to see a show at the Players’ theater,” he said pointing to the yellow double line street markings (remnants of the large curve) in what is now a parking area.

Barbara A. Donahue, 78, a resident of Smith Beach, Oswego, passed away Friday October 24, 2014, at her home.

Council Eyes Closing Sheldon Beach For Harborfest

At its June meeting, the Physical Services Committee considered a resolution that would prevent the destructive revelry that occurred at Sheldon Beach during Harborfest 2013 from happening again in 2014.

Councilor Michael Todd requested discussion regarding closing the beach.

“The amount of garbage that was left down there last year was awful. There were couches, chairs – everything; they completely trashed that beach,” he said. “They had to actually call the DPW and private people to come down there. It was weeks before the (garbage) was all out of the water.”

There were two DJs down there last year that helped cause the problem, the Third Ward councilor added.

That type of behavior shouldn’t be allowed there, he said, adding that the city’s police department and emergency services are already stretched thin during the end of July festival.

Mary Vanouse, a resident of the area, pointed out that many residents do go there on Saturday night to watch the fireworks display.

Todd said he didn’t have a problem with that.

Committee chair Mike Myers suggested the police chief talk with SUNY Oswego’s University Police and see what can be done to close off and monitor the lake front area located near the college campus. Perhaps leaving it open Saturday night for the fireworks.

OHS Class Of 2014 Graduates

After 13 years of school, it took about 28 minutes to turn the OHS Class of 2014 into freshly minted graduates. At 10:47 a.m., diplomas were received by the first batch of students. The clock above center ice clicked to 11:11 a.m. as Meggie Zhang accepted the final diploma.

It was the first class, in several years, to graduate having had the same principal all four years of their high school careers.

Principal Brian Hartwell welcomed the students to the 158th OHS commencement and thanked them for making Oswego a school of excellence.

“I’m excited for all the Class of 2014,” he said. “I’m sad to see them go. But, I’m also very proud of each of them and what they’ve accomplished while at Oswego High School.”

Hartwell stepped down from his position at OHS over the summer to become superintendent of the Pulaski School District.

Hundreds Paddle, Rock The Locks

Paddlers of all ages and abilities made their way through the locks on the Oswego River Canal. Once they arrived in the Port City, they celebrated the second annual “Paddlefest: Rock the Locks.”

“The event encourages kayakers and canoeists to enjoy and appreciate the unique beauty of the historic Oswego River, followed by good food and music along the canal in Oswego,” according to Jake Mulcahey, Paddlefest chairman.

Paddlers could choose to do the full 10.3-mile course from Fulton to Oswego or the shorter 4.2-mile course from Minetto to Oswego, Mulcahey noted.

At one time, there was an estimated 250 plus kayakers and canoeists taking part in the paddle.

A portion of the money raised was donated to the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau for activities that support youth and families in Oswego County. They will use some of the money to support the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony in the city of Oswego.

“We want to donate to a different charity every year,” Mulcahey explained. “The charity from the previous year will pass along ‘the golden paddle’ the next year’s charity. The names of the groups will be inscribed on the paddle each year.”

Dawn Metott of the Youth Bureau accepted the paddle this year and ceremoniously passed it along to Jon and Jillian Shaver as the Children’s Museum of Oswego will benefit from the 2015 Paddlefest.

Following the paddle, “Rock the Locks” got under way at noon at the Lock 7 park with music by popular local talents Dos Locos and John McConnell. A variety of food vendors provided children’s games and other activities throughout the afternoon.