North Country News

Dr. David Levy
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Dr. David Levy has discovered 23 comets and is most famous for co-discovering Shoemaker-Levy 9.  That’s the comet that impacted Jupiter in July 1994, the first planetary impact by a comet ever observed by humans.  So you might think that Dr. Levy’s doctorate is in astronomy or one of the sciences.  But it’s not.  He received his Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem after completing his English Literature thesis: “The Sky in Early Modern English Literature: A Study of Allusions to Celestial Events in Elizabethan and Jacobean Writing, 1572-1620.”  The renowned astronomer was at SUNY Plattsburgh this week to give a talk on Poets and Astronomers.  Levy begins part two of his conversation with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley citing his favorite quote from Shakespeare’s Henry VI.

Plattsburgh Police Chief Levi Ritter
City of Plattsburgh

Last Thursday during the Plattsburgh Common Council meeting, Mayor Colin Read announced the appointment of Levi Ritter as the city’s new police chief.  Ritter has been on the force for 14 years and began his new job Friday.  Chief Ritter tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley his desire to lead the department might be a bit of a cliché.

Dr. David Levy
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In March 1993, astronomers Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker and David Levy discovered a comet that was on a course to impact Jupiter.  Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacted the planet in July 1994 — the first planetary impact by a comet observed in human history.  Originally from Montreal, Dr. David Levy has hosted an astronomy camp in the Adirondacks for 15 years in conjunction with SUNY Plattsburgh and periodically visits the northern New York college campus.  While in Plattsburgh Monday, Levy talked with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley about his comet discoveries.

10th Mountain Division placard
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Army will be conducting nighttime training across northern New York this week.

Hawkins Hall on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus hosts the office of the campus president
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York’s governor and legislature are touting progress in higher education funding in the just-passed state budget.  An overall investment of $7.6 billion according to the governor’s office includes money for the second phase of the Excelsior Free Tuition Program. It also includes a boost of $103 million in overall funding for higher education. But only $11 million of that is distributed to the 47 four-year SUNY campuses. In the second part of their interview, SUNY Plattsburgh President Dr. John Ettling tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that translates to a status quo budget for his campus.

SUNY Plattsburgh President Dr. John Ettling
SUNY Plattsburgh

In February, the SUNY Plattsburgh campus was thrown into turmoil after a screenshot of a social media post that mentioned lynching and used the n-word was reposted to get the administration’s attention.  The campus noticed.  Students protested and held a vote of no confidence in the college president and the chief diversity officer.  Members of the community joined solidarity marches across the campus.  In late February, SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling distributed a letter to the campus community outlining a series of steps to address racial bias.  As Dr. Ettling updates WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley, he says it was important to create an action plan following those painful days on the campus.

U.S. China flags
lecs/Wikimedia Commons

As the war of words over tariffs between the U.S. and  China escalates, a group of students, alumni and faculty from McGill University have returned from Asia.  While the tariff controversy would appear to be a heated global topic, the group found that it took a backseat to other economic concerns.

2018 Hot Cities Banner
McGill Hot Cities 2018

For ten years students, faculty and alumni from McGill University in Montreal have undertaken an annual trip to areas of the globe considered fast-growing emerging economies.  This year, the group returned to the Far East.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In February, Adirondack interests raised concerns about a proposal in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget that would shift how New York pays property taxes to local communities on lands it owns in the Adirondacks. A “Forever Taxable” Coalition formed to oppose a cap and Payment in Lieu of Taxes system in the Adirondacks and Catskills. The effort was successful and the idea was removed from the final budget. But concerns remain that such a proposal could re-appear in the future.

Whiteface Mountain
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A college senior died while skiing in New York's Adirondack Mountains over the weekend.

Oxycodone pills
Be.Futureproof/Flickr

Officials in the city of Plattsburgh have joined a growing list of municipalities planning to sue pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis.

This week, New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led a delegation of North Country officials to Ottawa, Canada to discuss economic development ties. Following her meetings with Canadian officials, the 21st District Republican spoke with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley about a variety of federal issues. The Republican recently invited President Trump to visit Fort Drum, a large military base in her district. But Stefanik reports there’s been no response yet from the White House.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik with North Country delegation and Canadian dignitaries in Ottawa
Office of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik led a delegation from the North Country to Ottawa, Canada Monday to discuss cross-border economic concerns.

New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro at the Strand Theatre in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Deputy Premier of New South Wales, Australia was in Plattsburgh today meeting with local officials and touring facilities that have benefitted from Regional Economic Development Council funding.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

The New York state Legislature is nearing the April 1st deadline to complete its budget. North Country Assemblyman D. Billy Jones, a 115th District Democrat who represents Clinton, Franklin and part of St. Lawrence counties talks about the ongoing negotiations in the Assembly.

Boreas Pond tract
Nature Conservancy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has approved land classifications recommended by the Adirondack Park Agency for nearly 65,000 acres of land.  The move finalizes the creation of one of the largest wilderness areas in the eastern U.S.

Boreas Pond tract
Nature Conservancy

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday approved the Adirondack Park Agency’s classifications for the state’s most recent land acquisitions in the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Two weeks ago, Adirondack interests raised concerns about an item Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget that would shift how New York pays property taxes to local communities on lands it owns in the Adirondacks.  Now, a “Forever Taxable” Coalition has been formed to oppose a Payment in Lieu of Taxes system in the Adirondacks and Catskills.

Councilor Mike Kelly (in striped vest) leads meeting of the Plattsburgh Common Council Finance and Budget Committee on 3/15/18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council’s Finance and Budget Committee provided an overview of the city’s finances and an update on its five-year budget plan during its monthly meeting Thursday night.

Plattsburgh City Council considers cryptocurrency moratorium
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Common Council chambers were packed Thursday evening as Plattsburgh leaders considered a moratorium on new cryptocurrency operations in the northern New York city.

A series of panoramic maps of the proposed rail trail was displayed during the meeting
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state wants to replace a stretch of train tracks in the Adirondacks with a recreational trail for bicycling, walking, snowmobiling and other uses.  But after losing a lawsuit, the Adirondack Park Agency is now proposing a change in the Adirondack land-use plan in hopes of clearing the way for the 34-mile multi-use trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Relations between the city of Plattsburgh and the town of Plattsburgh have worsened. The city of Plattsburgh on Tuesday filed suit against the adjacent town, claiming that a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement has been violated and the city is owed more than a million dollars.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The city of Plattsburgh has initiated legal action against the adjacent Town of Plattsburgh.

dairy cows
WAMC

Mountain Lake PBS held a forum on the dairy crisis Monday evening, covering how historically low milk prices are impacting farmers.  It comes at the same time New York U.S. Senator Kristen Gillibrand announced new legislation aimed at bolstering a safety net that farmers say doesn’t work.

Delegation from New York, International University Sports Federation and Lake Placid sign MOU on March 2, 2018
International University Sports Federation (FISU)

After a year and a half of meetings and negotiations, the organizers of the World University Games have selected Lake Placid to host the 2023 winter games.

Bitcoin,  a form of cryptocurrency
Pixabay/Public Domain

By now, you’ve probably heard of—and maybe even invested in — the online currency BitCoin.  But how are the cryptocurrencies made?  Apparently by using a lot of electricity.  In Plattsburgh, where there are low electric rates and a couple cryptocurrency entrepreneurs are sucking up lots of power, the mayor is proposing a law to curb the practice.

Jeremiah Ward addresses Plattsburgh City Council 3-1-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During its weekly meeting Thursday, the Plattsburgh Common Council approved the submission of a parking study from consultants. Some downtown business owners oppose it.

Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell Thursday 2/22/18
New York Stock Exchange

The closing ceremonies of the 2018 winter Olympics are Sunday and the athletes will return home with medals and memories. Communities in our region are planning to celebrate the local athletes who competed in a number of sports.

Hawkins Hall on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus hosts the office of the campus president
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A racist Snapchat post shared with the SUNY Plattsburgh campus at large has led to student rallies and two votes of no confidence against members of the college administration.

New York State Police say they are investigating a bomb threat at Behavioral Health Services North in Plattsburgh this morning.

Pages