Oswego

8:35am

Sat June 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Autograph book reconnects Oswego resident with Holocaust refugee

Francis Enwright, 88, poses with her autograph book, signed by Eva, and a photo of Eva with her family.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Oswego's Safe Haven Museum is marking 70 years since Fort Ontario served as a camp for Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during World War II. To celebrate the event, one Oswego resident who lived near the fort at the time talked about what it was like and tells the story of her long-lost friendship with one refugee.

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5:57am

Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Safe Haven Museum to hold 70th reunion for Oswego's Jewish refugees

A sign greets visitors to Oswego's Safe Haven Museum.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Beginning Thursday, the Safe Haven Museum in Oswego is celebrating the 70th anniversary of when 982 Jewish refugees were first housed at Fort Ontario.

In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt allowed 1,000 Jewish refugees to enter the United States as guests, and they lived at the decommissioned Fort Ontario base in Oswego until 1946, when they were allowed to stay as American citizens or return home. The refugee camp, known as "Safe Haven," was the only location of its kind in the U.S.

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7:48am

Thu May 29, 2014
Regional Coverage

Mayor vetoes resolution charging SUNY Oswego for Bridge Street Run overtime

Hundreds of people attend Oswego's Bridge Street Run every year. (file photo)
Cassandra Genua

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen has vetoed one of the two resolutions passed just days after this year's controversial Bridge Street Run. The Oswego Common Council unanimously passed a measure to bill SUNY Oswego for overtime costs accrued by police, fire and public works department associated with the unsanctioned annual pub crawl.

Nearly 30 people were arrested and two were injured during this year's event. Three students also overdosed on heroin during Bridge Street Run, but police say the event is not to blame.

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2:53pm

Fri May 23, 2014
Regional Coverage

Novelis announces five year plan for company growth

Novelis says it has a five year plan in place to help the company continue to grow in Oswego County.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

A rising demand for automotive aluminum to meet federal fuel mileage standards is helping Novelis in Oswego plan for the next five years, including spending millions of dollars on infrastructure and building projects and creating up to 250 new jobs.

Plant Manager Chris Smith says this is the first time in the plant's 51 year history that it has been able to provide employees with an extended plan. He says it's because the company's recent automotive contracts are longer than the majority of Novelis' prior business agreements... which lasted between one and two years.

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11:41am

Wed May 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

SUNY Oswego students concerned about possible Bridge Street Run changes

Students gather on Friday afternoon to take part in the Bridge Street Run.
Leah Landry WRVO

Students on the SUNY Oswego campus have been taking to social media to voice their concerns about proposals to change the tradition of Bridge Street Run, an unsanctioned bar crawl that draws hundreds of students and others to the city to celebrate the last day of classes.

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11:05am

Tue May 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego Police arrest two in connection with weekend heroin overdoses

Gino Geruntino WRVO

The city of Oswego Police Department has arrested two men in connection with the heroin overdoses that occurred in the early Saturday morning hours in Oswego.

Brian Tumolo, 21, of Manorville, N.Y., has been charged with selling heroin to two people, who later were taken to Oswego Hospital and treated for suspected heroin overdoses. Tumolo was arrested early Saturday morning.

One of the individuals Tumolo is alleged to have sold the heroin to is Gabriel Gonzalez, 22, of Bridgeport, Conn. Gonzalez was arrested Monday evening and also charged with selling heroin.

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7:20am

Tue May 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego lawmakers vote unanimously to ban Bridge Street Run

Students wear their white shirts during the annual Bridge Street Run in Oswego.
Leah Landry WRVO

The city of Oswego Common Council voted unanimously Monday night to ban the Bridge Street Run, a decades-old pub crawl that draws hundreds of SUNY Oswego students to downtown Oswego each spring on the last day of classes. 

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10:57am

Sat May 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Heroin overdoses in Oswego leave 1 SUNY Oswego student dead, 2 others hospitalized

Gino Geruntino WRVO

Story updated on Monday, May 12 at 8:00 a.m.

On the SUNY Oswego campus, students say they are still coming to terms with the weekend's heroin overdoses, in which one student died and two others were hospitalized.

Many students say they are uncomfortable talking about the subject. One student, Jessie Brandt, said she was scared when she first saw the emergency alerts on her phone.

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6:26am

Fri May 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego's Bridge Street Run: Bigger than ever, but is it better?

Bridge Street Run 2013
Cassandra Genua

Today is the last day of classes for the school year at SUNY Oswego, a day that some Oswego students treat like a holiday. That’s because every year Oswego’s Bridge Street explodes with hundreds of people for the bar crawl called the Bridge Street Run, also known as BSR. Participants wear white t-shirts that are signed by friends and fellow classmates as they go from bar to bar.

For some students the event has become a staple of their time at SUNY Oswego.

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2:49pm

Thu May 1, 2014
Regional Coverage

Petition calls for return of Oswego's 5 percent tax cap

The Oswego City Council was presented with 500 signatures calling for a tax cap during its Monday night meeting.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Oswego's Common Council was recently presented with a petition seeking to add a five percent tax cap back to the city's charter, which was removed in 2011. The city of Oswego continues to deal with resident complaints about last year's 43 percent property tax hike, and struggle with balancing its budget.

Lawyer Kevin Caraccioli got more than 500 people to sign the petition. He says the tax cap would work in the same way as it does in school budgets, requiring city voters to approve budgets that surpass the tax cap.

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3:45pm

Thu April 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Neighbors Project collects stories, memories for Safe Haven Museum

Seventy years ago, nearly 1,000 European refugees came to Oswego to escape the Holocaust during World War II. Now the city's Safe Haven Museum is collecting and cataloging stories from those living in the city at the time, for what it calls the "Neighbors Project." The refugees, many of them Jewish, were housed at Fort Ontario from 1944 until 1946. The camp was the only one of its kind in the United States.

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5:48am

Thu April 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Amended taxi cab law passed by Oswego Common Council

Oswego City Hall (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego Common Council has voted five to zero to amend its taxi cab law, after working on it for more than a year. The law originally barred people convicted of felonies from driving taxi cabs within Oswego city limits, but sparked a lawsuit from the Workforce Advocacy Center, a group opposing job discrimination.

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7:19am

Thu March 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego exploring all options to cut costs, generate revenue

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen has looked at every department in the city, and is making changes to certain cost structures. That includes raising the price of some city fees.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Many upstate New York municipalities are struggling with higher taxes and are scrambling to find additional revenue sources. The city of Oswego is no different and the mayor is trying several approaches to raise money.

Mayor Tom Gillen says the city is examining every nook and cranny of the budget to try to find ways to save money or bring in revenue.

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8:14am

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Oswego city reporting app still a success, even with drawbacks

The home screen of Oswego's City Sourced app.
Credit Jason Smith / WRVO

It's been about six months since the city of Oswego launched a mobile app allowing residents to report problems directly to city departments. The app, which cost $5,000 to build and $2,000 to maintain, has had a reduced number of reports recently, but Common Councilor Eric VanBuren said it has still been helpful for the city.

VanBuren helped get the app passed by the city last fall and said there are more than 400 users of the program.  He said the app has been a good investment even though the winter season has reduced the number of reports received.

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7:15am

Tue March 4, 2014
Regional Coverage

Even after difficult winter, rock salt supplies are OK

Oswego's DPW started the winter season well stocked with rock salt.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

It's been a tough winter so far this season, even for the hardiest of upstate New Yorkers. But what do all these snowy days and icy conditions mean for the area's rock salt supplies?

"We were fortunate to have a fairly good supply at the beginning of the season and we are still OK," says Oswego Department of Public Works Commissioner Michael Smith. "If winter lasts at a normal length or if we can say maybe through the next month we'll be out of the worst of it, we'll be OK with our salt and sand mix."
 

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9:13am

Fri February 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Potholes pose more problems than usual for upstate drivers

Potholes like these have caused problems for drivers throughout central New York all season.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Potholes aren't anything new for upstate New York drivers, but the sheer number of them this year is wreaking more havoc than usual.

Steve Pacer, with AAA of Western and Central New York, says calls to their roadside service because of pothole-caused flat tires have increased this year. Other weather related problems like dead batteries and cars stuck in snow banks have also increased this winter.

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4:45pm

Wed February 26, 2014
Arts

Two plays are the thing in Oswego

A group of up and coming actors are performing two plays rarely produced together as part of a nationwide tour stopping at SUNY Oswego. On Wednesday night, The Acting Company will perform Hamlet, then tomorrow the group of 12 repertory actors will perform Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead." The shows follow the same story line, but from different perspectives.

Josh Johnston, who fills several roles in the plays, says the group focuses on giving the audience universally relatable moments.

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7:59am

Mon February 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County mother takes head shop owner to court

An Oswego County mother is taking a local head shop to court following her son's death after smoking synthetic marijuana he allegedly bought from the store.

Teresa Woolson, whose 19-year-old son, Victor, drowned in Lake Ontario after smoking a form of synthetic marijuana, wants the shop's owner, the drug manufacturer and the distributor held accountable.

In August 2012, Victor Woolson drowned in the lake soon after smoking "K-2 Avalanche," a form of synthetic marijuana he apparently bought from Xtreme Underground.

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2:53pm

Fri February 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Novelis workers decide whether or not to unionize

Novelis recently commissioned two new production lines at its Oswego plant in October.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

UpdateAccording to published reports, the vote to unionize failed by a total of 14 votes. 

Earlier coverage:

Employees of Novelis Aluminum in Oswego are voting today to determine whether or not 600 employees at the plant will unionize.

James Ridgeway, an international union representative for the United Steelworkers Union, says workers from Novelis contacted him in mid-December to begin the unionization process, citing several changes that have occurred since Novelis purchased the plant.

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3:49pm

Thu February 6, 2014
Regional Coverage

Children's museum wants to find a permanent home in Oswego

Although it doesn't have a permanent home, for the last year the Children's Museum of Oswego has brought its exhibits to local events like Harborfest and the Great Pumpkin Festival. But last week, the museum's board of trustees set its sights on finding a fixed location in the city.

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7:25am

Fri January 31, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego decides against employee furloughs

Doug Kerr Flickr

The city of Oswego is making some changes to the budget it passed in December, by moving away from the city-wide furloughs it had previously imposed.

The furloughs included in this year's budget would have equated to about a four percent pay decrease to every city employee in Oswego. But now those mandatory days off aren't taking place, following the Common Council's decision to dip into the city's enterprise fund.

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12:06pm

Thu January 23, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Port of Oswego receives new equipment

The Port of Oswego has received a new container reach stacker, which will keep the port from having to rent a crane.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer was in Oswego Wednesday to announce that the city's port has received some much needed equipment.

Schumer helped port officials secure a new container reach stacker, along with a dump truck and two generators from the federal government's surplus equipment program. He says the reach stacker will help the port be more efficient and save money.

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8:22am

Wed January 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego Common Council hoping for rebound after difficult 2013

The Oswego City Common Council is pushing a more aggressive agenda to help prevent a repeat of last year's 43 percent property tax increase.

Common Council president Ron Kaplewicz says the prospect of another year with massive tax increases scares everyone at City Hall, and is prompting the council to get more creative with the decisions it makes and the revenue sources it taps.

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8:09am

Mon January 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego officials support Cuomo's 2014 agenda, but question Cuomo's tax cap

Parks commissioner Rose Harvey talks to attendees about Cuomo's agenda.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Oswego's Common Council, mayor and department heads saw firsthand what Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 agenda will look like, during a recent presentation of his State of the State address at city hall.

The mayor of the city of Oswego says in general he supports Cuomo's budget plan for 2014, but the city's Common Councilors say rising costs and unfunded mandates make it hard to stay within the state's two percent tax cap.

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10:03am

Tue January 7, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County luring business, jobs to area

A car made with Novelis aluminum on display during the company's October commissioning ceremony.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

After losing several big name manufacturing plants in recent decades, Oswego County has been aggressively trying to lure new companies in, filling vacant facilities with new tenants. The most recent announcement was made in Fulton, where a Pakistan-based poultry processor has taken over the former Birds Eye plant.

Mayor Ron Woodward says new companies help combat his city's recent struggles tied to job loss.

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5:34am

Wed December 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Operation Christmas Child brings gifts, joy to world's children

Patty Jennings poses with one of many boxes collected at Oswego Alliance Church for Operation Christmas Child.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

While out shopping for gifts for family and friends this holiday season, some charitable shoppers also reached for dolls, notepads and toiletries to pack into a shoebox for a child overseas. The shoeboxes not only give impoverished kids some necessities, but something less tangible -- hope.

Recently, hundreds of festive shoeboxes line the walls of Oswego Alliance Church. Volunteers take a couple minutes to stack each box, straightening out the red and green columns into one uniform wall. None of the boxes have shoes in them.

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9:22am

Tue December 24, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego Common Council passes 2014 budget

More than 100 people attended last night's budget vote.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego Common Council passed its 2014 budget plan last night, including a more than 40 percent property tax increase. But instead of the boos and anger seen last Thursday night, councilors heard cheers from the hundred or so people who watched the event.

In a seemingly surprise announcement to the crowd just prior to the vote, council president Ron Kaplewicz broke the news about the city's 15 Department of Public Works jobs that were placed on the city's chopping block.

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10:34am

Fri December 20, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego residents speak out against proposed budget increase

A large crowd filled out the Oswego Middle School gymnasium.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Hundreds of residents from the city of Oswego packed the gym at Oswego Middle School on Thursday to voice their concerns about the city's proposed budget. The $34 million budget originally included a property tax increase of more than 80 percent. But the Common Council cut $2 million from the budget earlier this week, dropping the possible tax increase down to about 43 percent.

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4:02pm

Wed December 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego lawmakers face decision on property tax rate hike

A view of downtown Oswego from the Oswego River's east bank.
mtneer_man Flickr

Although Oswego's residents are facing a nearly 82 percent increase in their property taxes, the city's lawmakers say there isn't much fat left to cut from the proposed budget. They say the changing economic atmosphere in the city is weighing heavily on this year's budget.

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4:03pm

Tue December 3, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego Renaissance Association taking next step toward revitalization

The city of Oswego is trying to regain what years of population decline and lost manufacturing jobs have taken away. According to Mayor Thomas Gillen, part of that reclamation means revitalizing the city's neighborhoods.

Gillen said the Oswego Renaissance Association is speaking with local banks to secure funding for small loans, grants or matching funds to assist homeowners in making needed repairs.

The money would also be tied to neighborhood development, encouraging neighborhoods to take on projects together.

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