Oswego County

David Chanatry/New York State Reporting Project

A thiamine deficiency might be to blame for a recent die-off of steelhead trout in the Salmon River.

The Department of Environmental Conservation says it began receiving reports about steelhead trout swimming erratically and dying in the Salmon River and other rivers off Lake Ontario last month. Three fish were sent to Cornell's Aquatic Animal Health Lab, where research scientist Rod Getchell examined the fish for diseases.

James F Clay / Flickr

Oswego County's Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation, also known as Oswego BOCES, is working with he county's nine school districts to develop a program to helps students with emotional, social and behavioral needs. The specialized classes will attempt to reengage those students and help them succeed academically.

Christopher Todd, district superintendent for the Oswego County BOCES region, says the programs will draw disenfranchised students attending schools all over the county.

Once the fish is out of the water

Nov 1, 2014
Julia Botero / WRVO

Parts of Oswego county see a lot of business during fishing season. After a day on the Salmon River. fishermen can stop at campgrounds and shacks along State Route 13 in Pulaski to have their catch filleted, smoked, or turned into steaks. WRVO reporter Julia Botero visited Stoney's Pineville Campground for a behind-the-scenes look at what happens after the big fish are out of the water.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Last year's long winter is still fresh in the minds of many upstate New Yorkers. But for local governments, the above average snowfall left behind a bigger problem than bad memories -- depleted supplies of road salt.

When Oswego County started looking for rock salt for this upcoming winter season, purchasing director Daniel Stevens says the county discovered it would have to pay more than normal in order to replenish its stockpile.

Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr

The Oswego County town of Volney will receive about $2 million in federal grants and loans to help build new water lines for about 100 homes and get them on the public water system.

Town Supervisor Dennis Lockwood says right now those residents are using wells, which don't always provide the cleanest water.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

A small crowd gathered near downtown Oswego Monday morning in support of Gary Thibodeau, who they believe was wrongly convicted of kidnapping 18-year-old Heidi Allen from a convenience store 20 years ago.

More than two dozen people held signs along Route 104 in Oswego, urging motorists to honk if they believe Gary Thibodeau should be free. Thibodeau's brother, Richard, and niece Amanda Crawford organized Monday's "Gary the Innocent" rally to make people aware of what Crawford calls an injustice.
 

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Officials in Oswego County have ended their search of a collapsed clubhouse in Mexico without finding anything linking the property to the disappearance 20 years ago of Heidi Allen. 

"There was never any credible evidence that Heidi Allen's remains would be found here, but based on certain tips we did come here to make sure that we exhausted every possibility and left no stone unturned," said Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes.

Brian Turner / Flickr

Twenty-five family court judges will be added statewide by the end of 2015 to help reduce a backlog of cases and streamline the family court process. It's the first major addition of judges in New York in more than three decades.

Last year, there were more than 7,200 family court petitions filed in Oswego County, resulting in nearly 3,500 cases that needed to be handled by a judge. That equates to about 20 to 40 cases each day that are handled by either the county's elected family court judge, or another county judge as needed.

Midway Drive In Theatre- Minetto NY- Rebuilding Fundraiser / Facebook

This weekend a local Girl Scout troop is teaming up with the owner of the Midway Drive-In in Minetto to raise money to rebuild the decades old facility that was destroyed during a storm that struck the region July 8.

Midway Drive-In owner John Nagelschmidt says although the wooden screen tower was destroyed, it happened at a good time of day, when no customers had yet arrived at the facility. If it had hit later in the evening, he believes things could have been a lot worse.

Oswego County Health Department

The David C. Webb Memorial Park Beach on Oneida Lake in Constantia is closed until further notice because of a blue-green algae bloom. According to the Oswego County Health Department, the beach will stay closed until the blooms have cleared and they say it's safe to reopen.

The Constantia Children's Summer Recreation Program will also suspend all swimming activities at the park.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

New York state's Financial Restructuring Board released its review and recommendations for the city of Fulton, which in recent years has faced serious fiscal issues. City leaders say they plan to take the state's advice.

Since 2011, Fulton has raised its tax rate by more than 15 percent to make up for a decline in property values. It also slashed full-time staff from more than 150 employees down to 135.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is one of more than 230 members of Congress speaking out against a proposed change to the Clean Water Act by the Environmental Protection Agency. He says it would mean farmers in New York will face additional red tape and more fines.

Eric Behling's orchard in Mexico has been in business since 1947. Throughout the year his farm grows apples, pumpkins and other produce.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Some residents of Oswego County may soon have to find other options for getting rid of their garbage if a recent proposal by the Oswego County Legislature is implemented.

Right now the county’s five transfer stations are operating on a $500,000 deficit. Starting July 1, each facility will close one day a week, which according to Oswego County Solid Waste Director Frank Visser will save the county nearly $190,000 a year. Disposal fees are also increasing, which could raise $500,000 in revenue if waste levels don’t change.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the operators of the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba failed to replace the plant's condenser tubes when they should have.

When the power plant goes offline later this year for refueling, the condenser tubes at the facility will also be replaced.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO File

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) says Oswego County is in a prime position to grow economically, but needs some help improving the infrastructure to do that.

The Democrat, whose district includes Syracuse and part of Oswego County, recently held a roundtable on infrastructure at the Port of Oswego.

Maffei and fellow Rep Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) have helped secure funding for rail improvements at the port. This time the topics of discussion were not only expanding roads and rail lines, but replacing water and sewer lines and better rural broadband access.

A specialty paper producer in Pulaski recently more than doubled its production and workforce. Felix Schoeller, which makes inkjet papers and specialty products, added more than 170 employees in the past year -- boosting its total to nearly 300 people.

Michael Szidat, president of Felix Schoeller North America, says New York state’s economic development agency, Empire State Development, helped the company by giving it tax credits.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Oswego County Jail's inmate population has grown over the past four years, and has forced Oswego County to send inmates elsewhere to be housed. County officials sat at least some of the blame lies with the state.

In this year's budget, Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd says he allotted $100,000 to cover the costs of housing inmates at outside facilities. But two months into the new year, Todd had already used $130,000 and is now requesting more funding.

Constellation Energy Group

Oswego County's three nuclear energy facilities will soon begin a project to replace the county's aging public warning system.

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group, which owns the two Nine Mile Point nuclear plants, and Entergy, which owns the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant, will invest more than $1.5 million to replace the existing sirens in the ten mile radius around the plants.

Jill Lyon, with Constellation, says the sirens are currently used by several groups.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Oswego County Legislature is joining several other counties across New York to oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed property tax freeze plan. They voted to support another option proposed by the New York State Association of Counties, to eliminate the cost of state funded mandates instead. The final vote was 16 to 8, with 1 absentee.

Constellation Energy Group

For the second time in less than a week, the Nine Mile Point Unit 2 nuclear power plant in Oswego County experienced an automatic shutdown, due to a problem at the plant. 

The shutdown happened around 4:30 p.m. Monday. According to a spokesperson from Constellation Energy, which owns the plant, a worker "inadvertently contacted a highly sensitive plant component." As a result, safety systems shut down the plant automatically. 

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

New York Sea Grant, SUNY Oswego's Office of Business and Community Relations and several other Oswego County groups are launching a survey pilot program to better understand the area's recreation and tourism industry.

Later this month, about 600 businesses in the county will be asked questions about their businesses and future plans.

Chena Tucker with SUNY Oswego says the Business Retention and Expansion Program will help the county figure out what business owners worry about most, like minimum wage laws and finding grant opportunities.

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.

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.

Entrepreneurs in Oswego County could have their dreams of owning a business come true by competing in the third "Next Great Idea" business plan competition.

Austion Wheelock, economic developer for Operation Oswego County, says the competition helps establish a culture of entrepreneurism and brings jobs and business to the area.

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.

Novelis plans to expand again

Dec 17, 2013
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Novelis is adding a third automotive aluminum finishing line to its operation in Oswego, with plans to focus most of its future business on supplying aluminum for cars and trucks.

According to plant manager Chris Smith, the $120 million investment will increase the plant's total capacity by about 30 percent, to 400,000 metric tons, while adding 90 new jobs to Novelis' workforce.
 

Smith says by adding the third line, Novelis will be able to meet automakers' increasing needs.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The scrimping, saving and belt-tightening is paying off, as residents of Oswego County will only see a small increase of less than one percent in their property taxes for 2014. But what do the county's cost-saving measures mean for the average Oswego County homeowner?

The proposed tax rate would go up 16 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value, translating to about an extra $15 tacked onto a homeowner's bill. While the rate is the highest it's been in six years, it still keeps the rate lower than it was in 2005, by more than 20 percent.

Oswego County

Two Oswego County legislators traveled to Wyoming County on a fact-finding mission to learn more about wind energy and its impact on one western New York county. Amy Tresidder, who represents Oswego, and James Karasek, who represents Granby and Fulton, visited two wind farms and were able to get close enough to touch the massive structures.

There may be problems in other states for people signing up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, but things are moving smoothly in New York state, according to one organization in the midst of it. ACR Health in Syracuse says it has nothing but success stories.

Some of the most difficult-to-enforce provisions from the New York SAFE Act will soon come online.  On this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd, who recently joined a constitutional challenge to the law filed by the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association.  Find out why the county’s top cop thinks the law misses its target, and why the controversies surroundi

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