Central New York remembers former Rome Mayor Joseph R. Fusco, Jr. today.  Fusco, who recently battled COVID, passed away from an undisclosed illness on Thursday.

Fusco served the city as Mayor from 2011 to 2015.  His public service extended far beyond his years as Mayor, and he is remembered by the community as someone for whom volunteerism and service was dear to his heart.

In an official statement from Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo and City Hall, Mayor Izzo said, Joe was a dedicated public servant...Joe also took great pride in his work as the caretaker of St. Mary’s Cemetery.  There was no question Joe loved his hometown, and our prayers are with his wife, Laurie, son, Rome Firefighter Joe III, and his grandchildren.”

Fusco, who defeated two-term incumbent Mayor James F. Brown, made headlines in 2012 when he switched from the Conservative to the Republican party in a move that he made, in part, to help him reunite the Republican Party.

During his State of the City Address in 2013 Fusco said, "The overall theme of my administration has to become self-sufficient and self-reliant.  That, I think, is the key to reducing the cost of our government."

Photo Credit: Gino Geruntino, WIBX / TSM
Photo Credit: Gino Geruntino, WIBX / TSM
loading...
loading...

Mayor Fusco often joined forces with other leaders - political aside - for causes that he believed would advance progress in Rome.  He was also a part of the locally famous "Longest Handshake" when President Barack Obama visited Rome's Griffiss International.

Fusco was known as well as a talented singer.  This morning Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente told WIBX, "You could not show up...at a community event in Rome... without Joe singing or being there."

Details on funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.  Rome Mayor Jackie Izzo has order flags to remain at half staff until the conclusion of services for Mayor Fusco.

Wreaths Across America Ceremony December 18, 2021

More than 2.4 million wreaths were placed on veterans’ headstones at 3,136 locations across the United States on December 18, 2021. The initiative is spearheaded every year by the non-profit group Wreaths Across America. The group was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, a businessman from Maine was began laying wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Now, with the mission of “Remember, Honor, Teach,” the groups lays wreaths at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations. 

The Utica Fire Department 'Firehouse Lights' Competition

Here you can view each of the light displays outside each of the firehouses in the Utica Fire Department. You can vote on their Facebook page and are welcome to take a walking tour of each of the houses.

Top 5 Local Sports Stories Of 2021

There were many local sports stories that highlighted 2021, including a couple of firsts. Here are a look at the Top Five, along with a bonus story.

The Most Popular Christmas Movies of All-Time