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Local News Archive - 1998


Computer company expanding in Utica ....

"Computer specialists" sell, service and program computers and they say you donít necessarily need to walk in the door with a college degree to get a piece of the million dollar payroll they plan to add in 1999." (December 16, 1998)


The Explorer Group Looking to Buy Manufacturing Businesses ....

Ten local business people, that are affiliated with the Oneida County Edge (Economic Development Growth Enterprise), have $1 million in venture capital funds to buy a company to relocate to the Mohawk Valley! They are interested in a small startup company with good ideas and young executives who are trying to get into business, but are short on cash. The plan is to buy a business and then over the course of about 10 years, the executive would buy out the investors and own the company. The goal is to lure a company that would employ 100 people. A five member Evaluation Team meets weekly to investigate inquiries from companies. December 13, 1998)


Village creates 'Wall of Fame'....

The Village of Ilion has created a 'Wall of Fame' to recognize its outstanding citizens. The 1997-98 boys' volleyball team was the first group to be commemorated on the village's 'Wall of Fame'. A plaque with the volleyball team's photograph was dedicated at a ceremony November 27, 1998. The 11-by-13 inch wood plaque will hang near the stage at the Ilion Municpal Building. The 1997-98 team won the Section III title and was ranked No. 1 in the state by New York state sportswriters.

Other honorees to be chosen in the future will include achievers in fields such as business, science, and politics. The ceremony to honor inductees to the 'Wall of Fame' will be held each year, on the Friay after Thanksgiving.

Dan Joslin, of Boy Scout Troop 9, is creating a large plaque to include the names of all Ilion's Eagle Scouts before 1960, as well as more current ones. To date, there have been about 133 Eagle Scouts from the village of Ilion. (December 12, 1998)


Central Mohawk Valley Alliance....

The Central Mohawk Valley Alliance Communities are striving to bring industry and tourism to Herkimer County. The allliance is a group of neighboring communities, located in the Central Mohawk Valley, working in a coordinated effort to further the economic growth of the Villages of Ilion, Mohawk, Frankfort, Middleville and the Town of German Flatts. Current members hope to expand participation to the entire county. Learn more about the profiles of alliance member communities, facts and demographics of the Utica-Rome-Herkimer area by visiting the The Central Mohawk Valley Alliance Communities Web site. (December 5, 1998)


Ilion Central School District Web Site Revamped....

The Ilion Central School District web site has been recently redesigned. High School Faculty member, Mr. Tom Petty, launched the site with student members of his 2nd period Internet Class. The District section of the web site contains information on the district budget, demographics, and Administration Contact information (such as, email addresses and phone numbers). (November 13, 1998)

district web site


Ilion Homecoming Floats Spark Protest ....

The Student Council selected the theme for this year's parade which was HALLOWEEN oriented - 'Haunt the Warriors'. The 1998 homecoming parade floats, outraged two Clinton parents, who then wrote a letter to the editor. The letter's headline was "Ilion class float not in good taste". Check out photographs of each float and let us know what YOU think. Warning.... some may find these photos too gruesome for the senses. ;) (October 25, 1998)


Agenda Finalized for International Experts Visit In October...

On Friday, October 23, a group of eight professionals from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States will arrive in this area to begin a seven-day series of intensive site visits designed to stimulate creative problem solving and facilitate the development of innovative ideas. You can learn about the entire agenda and visit with the team in Ilion for a public reception at the Knights of Columbus, on West Street, on Saturday October 24. Thursday, October 29th, the team will spend the entire day writing reports in preparation for its exit interview on Thursday evening at HCCC. The public is invited and encouraged to attend this presentation at which time the team will outline its findings and recommendations. (October 18, 1998)


Ilion Library Challenge Grant...

The Ilion Free Public library has been awarded a grant. Find out how you can help the Board of Trustees meet the challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc.. The Library has been a great source for much of the material that is published on this alumni web site and will be an invaluable source for the Ilion Video Production series. (October 15, 1998)


video title

The Year 2002 marks the Sesquicentennial, (150th) anniversary, of the incorporation of the Village of Ilion. In preparation for this gala event, The Ilion Days Committee is initiating a project to produce a video series that captures the essence of 'Old Ilion'. The first video in the series is slated to cover life in Ilion from 1950 to the present. Please visit the 'Old Ilion' Video web site, to see how you can help. (Please revisit the video site if you sent email to Jim Garnsey prior to October 15th. He did not receive your feedback and you will need to resubmit it.) (October 15, 1998)


Severe Storm wallops Ilion and Central NY ...

Labor Day 1998 began with a storm at 2am, that many in Ilion will remember for years to come. Ilion was one of the hardest hit areas locally. Downed trees and power lines left many in the dark for hours. Hurricane-like winds pounded the village and strobe-like lightening lit up the skies. The hardest hit area was the North side, from North Street to Pine Street. Many large trees were uprooted and ripped apart. Two large windows, in the Great American grocery store, were blown out by the strong winds. Workers from Mohawk, Tupper lake, Richmondville and Sherburne joined Ilion's Municpal Electric staff in restoring power. Residents opened their homes for work crews and offered refreshements. Cleanup could take up to two weeks. A state of emergency has been declared for the duration of the cleanup. (September 10, 1998)


Ilion Library Looking For Missing Yearbooks ...

The Ilion Public library is looking for spare copies of Ilion High School Yearbooks from 1923 and 1925. If you have a copy they could borrow to photocopy, or if you have a copy that you would like to donate to the library, please contact the Ilion Library. (September 2, 1998)


Ilion Days 1999! ...

The next meeting for the Annual Ilion Days will be held Monday, September 28th at 7:00 pm in the Municipal Building Auditorium. Anyone interested in joining the Committee or volunteering for IlionDays Activities is invited to attend. You may also contact Gale Hatch at the Village Clerk's Office (315-894-7449). See ya there. (September 21, 1998)


Ilion Tailor Retires ...

The Village of Ilion recently honored Ilion's long time tailor with a "Henry Lefkowicz Day". Mr. Lefkowicz sold Henry's Tailor Shop, so that he could retire after 35 years in the business. Henry began his career in Ilion with tailor Harry Green, after World War II.

Mr. Lefkowicz was born in Krakow, Poland. When he was about 11 or 12, he began a three-year apprenticeship with a tailor. He worked for three years before the war began in 1939. Mr. Lefkowicz and his Jewish family were taken prisoners by the Germans. His parents were sent to the gas chamber. He was separated from three of his five brothers. Mr. Lefkowicz was able keep his younger brother, Eddie, with him through transfers to various concentration camps. In 1945, the Lefkowiczs were placed on a train to be sent to Tereiztad, Czechoslovakia, where the Germans planned to execute the prisoners. The allied forces mistook the train for a military transport and blew it up killing 2,500 on board. The Lefkowiczs survived the bombing, along with 1500 other prisoners, and escaped into the woods. However, the Germans rounded up most of the escaped prioners and marched them, 20 kilometers a day, to Tereiztad. Mr. Lefkowicz credits his younger brother, Eddie, with saving him. Whenever he felt like giving up, his brother would urge him on. On May 10th, they were scheduled to go to the gas chamber. The Russians liberated the camp on May 9th. The prisoners remained in the camp for six weeks time so that they could regain their strength. After a year, all five brothers were reunited and applied to come to America.

A Jewish organization arranged for Henry to come to Ilion and work with Harry Green, a tailor. Henry worked for Mr. Green until 1952 and then Henry moved to New Jersey. There he met his bride-to-be, Regina. After they married, the Lefkowiczs returned to Ilion and Henry once again worked for Mr. Green, and eventually bought the business in 1961.

Henry is retiring, at age 77, and recently sold the business. Mr. and Mrs. Lefkowicz will make their home in Plantation, Florida. Regarding his life in America, Henry said..."It's the best country in the world. I'd give up anything for this country."

Ilionites wish Henry the best for his retirement years and will surely miss his talents as a tailor. (August 8, 1998)


Village of Ilion Bulletin Board On-Line...

When you need to know the latest official Village of Ilion news, and dates of special events around town, check out the Village of Ilion Bulletin Board. (July 1, 1998)


prom info pic

We have a New Prom King & Queen

... Doo Dah, Doo Dah

Check out the Prom Pictures.

Congratulations to Scott '79 and Colleen Russell who were crowned King and Queen of the Ilion Days "Doo Dah Prom", Saturday May 23rd, 9 PM - 1 AM, at the Ilion Knights of Columbus. A fun time was had by all. (modified June 2, 1998)


Are You Bloomin Crazy?.....

Well you can start thinking about Spring 1999 now! Village residents, civic groups, merchants, IHS alumni, and religious organizations participated in the third annual The 1998 BLOOMIN' CRAZY CONTEST! Thanks to Cookie Ganey '82, for adopting the last site! This was your chance to exhibit your gardening skills, while showing your pride in your grand, old hometown. Many thanks goes out to all of the IHS alumni who participated in past years. (modified July 22, 1998)

uncle sam pic

Get Therapy!


More Information on The Michigan Trophy...

The Evening Telegram is running a wonderful series this year, in its Saturday Editions of the paper. In Celebration of the paper's 100 years in publishing, they reprint articles from bygone days. As a result, you can get more background on Ilion's possession of The Michigan Trophy. (April 11, 1998)


100 New Jobs Will be Created by Local Firms' Expansions...

Fermer Precision in Cedarville will be adding 40 new jobs. Mohawk Metal Products, Inc., in Frankfort will be expanding and creating 60 new jobs. Governor Pataki's comments on the firms expansions included:

"The decisions by Fermer Precision and Mohawk Metal to expand in Herkimer County show that our precision manufacturing sector in the Valley is rebounding along with the optimism of our business people....Just a year ago the area was hard hit by the loss of Chicago Pneumatic in Frankfort. Now, 12 months later, that building is already filled to capacity with more than 750 workers for various companies that saw opportunity in Herkimer." (March 13, 1998)


Land in Marcy Selected for "Chip Fab '98" site...

State officials selected a 250-acre parcel, at SUNY Institue of Technology at Utica/Rome, as one of 13 sites the state wants to use to attract computer-chip manufacturers to New York. It's estimated that at least 35 chip-manufacturing plants will be built, across the country in the next three years. State officials are putting New York sites in the best position to be selected. Each plant could employ up to 1,000 people and cost $2 billion to build. (March 5, 1998)


New Hartford High School Alumni Help Bring Jobs to the Area...

Jobs, jobs, jobs....A Massachusetts insurance company expects to bring 500 jobs, over the next three years, to Oneida County. Consumer Insurance Services of America Inc, will start with 100 jobs, by May. The company will lease the 50,000-square-foot, Jet Training Center, at the Oneida County Airport. The jobs will pay an average of $25,000 a year.

The deal began with a discsussion between two New Hartford High School friends. New Hartford alumnus, Kevin Seth, class of '75, is the executive vice president of Consumer Insurance. His high school friend, New Hartford Police Lt. Tim O'Neill, asked him to consider his hometown, in his company's site search. O'Neill put Seth in contact with New Hartford Town Planner. The Town Planner then referred Seth to the Empire State Development Corp. and Oneida County EDGE. The deal was accomplished in about 10 days. Kudos to Lt. O'Neill for serving as an Ambassador for the Mohawk Valley! (March 5, 1998)


Village of Ilion seeks people to serve on boards...

The village occasionally has openings for commission appointments. Normally, appointments are for five year terms. Commission and boards include: board of light, water commission, library commission, housing authority, parks/recreation, marina commission, planning board, zoning board of appeals, traffic commission, citizen's advisory commission, and economic development. Anyone interested in serving is asked to contact Marilyn Slaughter, 315-894-4870. (March 5, 1998)


Barringer Road Elementary Choir Featured in National Telecast...

"The World's Largest Concert" is a program sponsored each year, by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). News Channel 2, taped the performance of the 73 students, in the 5th and 6th grade choir, for submission to the MENC. The choir was directed by Edward Reisert. The video was accepted by MENC for inclusion in the PBS concert! (March 10, 1998)


Join Ilion Days Volunteers.....

The 1998 kick-off meeting for the Annual "Ilion Days" was held Thursday, February 19th at 7:00 pm in the Municipal Building Auditorium. The wrap-up meeting is scheduled for August 11th at 6:00 pm at the Hatch residence on Shull Street. Any alumnus interested in joining the Committee or volunteering for 1999 Ilion Days Activities is invited to attend. You may also contact Gale Hatch at the Village Clerk's Office (315-894-7449). See ya there. (July 22, 1998)


Alumni Website Featured in "Observer Dispatch".....

"With a simple point and click, Joseph Coupe has found lost friends and forged new connections with former classmates at Ilion High School". This is the opening line of an "Observer Dispatch" article that was featured in the Sunday, December 7, "Observer Dispatch". The article, reported by Christine Van Dusen, described how this website has become a hub for alumni-related news, articles, histories and photographs. Many thanks go to the newspaper, for this publicity which has already increased traffic to this website! (December 8, 1997)


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1998 News

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Published November 10, 1999
Modified January 13, 2015