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North Country News

Republican Scott Beebie announces his candidacy for mayor of Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Two Democrats are challenging Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read, forcing a primary in the race for mayor. On Thursday a fourth candidate – a Republican - announced his own run for the city’s top seat.

Lake Placid is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1980 Winter Olympics.  A number of athletes who competed are returning to the village to reminisce and reacquaint with residents who helped organize or volunteered during the games.  Three people who worked behind the scenes during the games spoke with WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley this week.  Marina LaDuke was a press photographer — among those selected to travel to Greece on Air Force 2 to get the Olympic flame.

Republican Scott Beebie announces his candidacy for mayor of Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Republican has entered the race for mayor of Plattsburgh.

NEXUS lane on the far left as travelers return to the U.S. at the Champlain-Lacolle border crossing
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump on Thursday to hash out a dispute over the suspension of the state by the Department of Homeland Security from any Trusted Traveler Program. In Northern New York, the head of the regional chamber says a resolution is critical because there are severe implications for business and travelers who regularly cross the nearby border.

Lake Placid Olympic speed skating oval (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It’s 1980 in Lake Placid. A cauldron is lit and from February 13th to the 24th more than a thousand athletes from 37 countries compete in 38 events during the second winter Olympics held in the village.  Eric Heiden makes Olympic history, winning five individual gold medals in speed skating. Ice skaters Scott Hamilton, Robin Cousins, Tai Babilonia and other team members entrance the world.  The Miracle on Ice stuns even the winning players.

Four decades later, Lake Placid and the Olympic Regional Development Authority are marking the 40th anniversary celebration of the 1980 games.  ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the celebrations will begin with a torch run and cauldron lighting.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Plans to rebuild a portion of a residential street have raised the ire of some Plattsburgh residents.  But city councilors believe they have reached a compromise that meets federal requirements and satisfies the concerns of homeowners.

MacDonough Monument and Plattsburgh City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Downtown Plattsburgh is being redeveloped through the state’s $10 million Downtown Redevelopment Initiative grant. The common council heard a presentation at a recent work session from consultants who are assessing how to brand the area of the city.

NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state will implement a ban on single use plastic bags on March 1st.  Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos was in Plattsburgh Friday to talk about the governor’s 2020 proposed budget.  He also discussed the upcoming single-use plastic bag ban, telling WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the transition is already happening in some communities.

Clinton County Legislature Chair Mark Henry gives 2020 State of the County address
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The chair of the Clinton County Legislature, Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor and Mayor of the city of Plattsburgh all delivered speeches about the state of their municipalities at a chamber-sponsored breakfast Thursday morning.

Officials at SUNY Plattsburgh are working to dispel rumors that a student has coronavirus.

Business Confidence Index poster
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The North Country Chamber of Commerce unveiled its annual Business Confidence Index Wednesday morning, showing that most businesses expect steady activity over the course of 2020.

New York Assemblyman D. Billy Jones meets with North Country law enforcement officials to discuss new bail reform laws
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones met with law enforcement officials in Plattsburgh Friday to discuss potential reforms to the newly implemented discovery and bail reforms.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

A revised trade deal linking the U.S., Canada and Mexico was approved by the Senate Thursday, finalizing a years-long effort to update the pact.

Hudson Headwaters CEO Dr. Tucker Slingerland
Hudson Headwaters Health Network

Hudson Headwaters is a network of 19 community health centers across 5,600 square miles of the Adirondacks and northeastern New York state.  The facilities are located mostly in rural areas and services are coordinated with regional medical centers.  CEO Dr. Tucker Slingerland was in Plattsburgh recently and described to WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the role of the network and a new initiative that will bring mobile health to small communities.

Corrections officers leaving command center to conduct field search for Dannemora escapees 6-10-15
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The prison break in northern New York captured the nation’s attention for three weeks in 2015 and spawned two screen adaptations – one of questionable accuracy on Lifetime and another based on the actual events and filmed on location for Showtime. But as one filmmaker watched what unfolded during and after Richard Matt’s and David Sweat’s escape from the maximum security prison at Dannemora, he felt corrections officers and other workers were negatively portrayed.  The documentary “We Stand Corrected: Dannemora“ chronicles the events and aftermath of the escape from the point of view of law enforcement and corrections personnel.

USGS earthquake map
U.S. Geological Survey

A minor earthquake was felt along the Canada-New York border early Monday morning.

North Country officials are mulling over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech and the more than 300-page book that details the Democrat’s proposals.  As WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, there are a number of policies that area officials are optimistic about.

The Clinton County Legislature holds its 2020 organizational meeting
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Clinton County Legislature held its 2020 organizational meeting Monday evening. The panel swore in two new and three re-elected members and chose a new chair.

Ward 1 Democrat Ira Barbell attends his first Common Council meeting as a city councilor
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council held its first meeting of 2020 on Thursday evening. There are two new councilors on the six-member panel and they immediately began work on the city’s agenda.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

On January 8th the New York state legislature convenes and Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address. The executive office has been releasing key proposals of the 2020 State of the State in advance of the Democratic governor’s speech.  115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones says he has been reviewing the proposals. The Democrat tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he is taking a wait and see approach toward the governor’s proposals.

Roby Politi
Pat Bradley/WAMC

For more than two decades, Lake Placid businessman Robi Politi has been a fixture in local politics. He was a magistrate before serving as mayor of Lake Placid from 2001 to 2005.  Following a short break, he was elected supervisor of the Town of North Elba, which includes the Olympic village.  In 2019, Politi, a registered Republican who is known for his independent streak, announced he would not run for reelection and at the end of the year officially retired from politics.  He tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that his goal throughout his 25 years in politics has been to serve the residents of the Lake Placid area.

Whiteface Ski Center (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York State Police are investigating a fatal skiing accident at the Whiteface Ski Center last week.

Roby Politi
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The town of North Elba’s Supervisor is retiring from politics after serving the North Country town and the village of Lake Placid for nearly 25 years.

Retired SUNY Plattsburgh President Dr. John Ettling
SUNY Plattsburgh

For nearly 15 years, John Ettling was president of SUNY Plattsburgh, a campus with about 5,700 students in northern New York.  He recently retired and is looking back at the challenges he faced and that colleges and universities continue to encounter in the changing educational environment. He sat down recently with WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley and recalled that until the Great Recession a decade ago, enrollments and the budget at his SUNY campus had been growing.

Photo of Empire State Winer Games banner
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It’s an event that began four decades ago and draws over 2,500 young athletes to the Olympic region in northern New York. The Empire State Winter Games run from January 30th until February 2nd. The regional event offers many traditional sports, but is also hoping a new competition will become an Olympic sport.

114th District Assemblyman Dan Stec
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Assemblyman Dan Stec, who recently began campaigning for New York’s 45th district state Senate seat, is securing the support of Republican officials across the district.

Prevost buses
FabulousCoach/Wikimedia Commons

A bus manufacturer in Plattsburgh has secured a major contract from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City.

U.S. Canada flags graphic
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The North Country Chamber of Commerce is praising Thursday’s U.S. House approval of the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, a tri-lateral trade agreement meant to replace NAFTA.

OpenGov page is projected as Mayor Colin Read demonstrates the system
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The mayor of Plattsburgh has demonstrated a new system the city is rolling out that will allow the public greater access to review its finances.

A wreath placed at a military grave at the Old Post Cemetery in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 1992, a Maine company had a surplus of wreaths and arranged to place them in Arlington National Cemetery to honor the veterans. The effort became a company tradition. In 2005 a photo went viral and similar ceremonies began occurring at veterans’ cemeteries across the country. In 2007 Wreaths Across America formed, expanding the effort to annually lay wreaths at the graves of veterans during the holiday season.  This year, WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the Old Post Cemetery in Plattsburgh where veterans going back to the War of 1812 were honored.

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