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North Country News

Cars began lining up at 6 a.m. Sunday for the food giveaway that began at 9 a.m.
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In a scene that has played out around the country during the pandemic, hundreds of people took advantage of a drive-through food giveaway in Plattsburgh on Sunday morning.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read distributes packets with N95 masks and face shields to salon owners and workers
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A fierce proponent of wearing face coverings during the pandemic, the mayor of Plattsburgh has been coordinating donations of N95 masks and face shields this week. The materials are being given at no cost to a business sector that must work in close contact with customers: owners of and workers at hair salons and tattoo parlors.

dairy cows
WAMC

Dairy farmers are facing numerous challenges in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic including a loss of markets and falling milk prices.  Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st district held a call with the district’s dairy farmers on Wednesday to talk about what Washington can do to help.

Adirondacks Elk Lake Dix Mountain
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, hikers and visitors were out to enjoy the mountains, streams and trails of the Adirondacks this Memorial Day weekend.

Duncan Kennedy in his Lake Placid workshop
Luge Canada

Duncan Kennedy, one of the top sliders in USA Luge history and a three-time qualifier for the Olympics, has been hired as an assistant coach by Luge Canada.

U.S. Canada border crossing at Champlain-LaColle
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The border between the U.S. and Canada will remain closed to non-essential travelers until at least June 21st.  Northern New York border interests say the move is disappointing but not unexpected.

"Politely Adirondack" poster series
Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism

As businesses in New York begin to reopen, an organization in the Adirondacks has launched a campaign to promote the region and pandemic safety.

Stop the Invasion logo
Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program

Boat stewards will be stationed at nearly 100 boat launches across the Adirondacks starting during the Memorial Day weekend to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read wears a mask as he discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
Pat Bradley/WAMC

As New York gradually reopens, many residents are eagerly anticipating the openings of beauty parlors and barber shops.  But Plattsburgh’s mayor says workers in those establishments need more secure COVID protections.

Over the weekend, the Clinton Health Department reported that two parties by SUNY Plattsburgh students led to dozens of people being put in isolation or quarantine. The county sheriff is now warning people not to lie to contact tracers.

Plattsburgh's Durkee Street parking lot
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Durkee Street parking lot is a two-and-a-half acre site in downtown Plattsburgh that is the focus of the $10 million Downtown Redevelopment Initiative project and funding the city was awarded in 2016. Project developers are now seeking zoning and planning approvals. Opponents urged the zoning board to reject the plan during Monday’s review.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read (left) and City Council budget officer Mike Kelly discuss COVID-19 issues
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The budget officer for the Plattsburgh City Council says furloughs and layoffs planned when the coronavirus pandemic began to impact city finances are going into effect.

Garry Douglas
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the North Country region has met all metrics to begin the first phase of reopening after the New York State PAUSE order expires Friday.

Odinn (left) is among the sailboats racing in the 2018 Mayor's Cup Regatta
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The largest summer festival in New York’s North Country has been scaled back and many of its events canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the boats racing in the 2019 Mayor's Cup Regatta
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The largest summer festival in New York’s North Country has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Citing budget shortfalls from the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Plattsburgh has already furloughed or laid off about two dozen employees.  The mayor says city officials will make budget concerns a focus of their weekly meetings.

The North Country Chamber has been holding periodic tele-town halls featuring business, community and legislative leaders answering questions regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the region.  Thursday morning the presidents of three northern New York hospitals discussed the fiscal stress the pandemic is putting on rural health care providers.

The Plattsburgh Common Council and its finance committee spent most of their meeting Thursday evening discussing options the city has to deal with an estimated $3.1 million decline in the budget due to the coronavirus pandemic. The panel passed a resolution that will impact dozens of city employees.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read wears a mask as he discusses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The mayor of the largest city in northern New York discussed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Plattsburgh region Thursday and praised Governor Andrew Cuomo’s most recent actions to curb its spread.

With most businesses shuttered and unemployment claims rising, the North County Chamber coordinated a virtual town hall this morning with the leaders of four northern New York counties to discuss the response to and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russell Barnard Senior Living Apartments
Thom Hallock / MLPBS

On Thursday evening a senior living apartment building in Plattsburgh was quarantined after several residents tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Area 8 Clinton County Republican Legislator Mark Dame (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A longtime North Country politician is resigning his seat on the Clinton County Legislature effective at the end of business today and moving to South Carolina.  Area 8 Republican Mark Dame has planned the move for some time since his wife is now teaching there.  Dame began his political career in Plattsburgh in the late 1980’s. He tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he’s not really sure how he first got into politics.

Jacob Avery
Avery for Plattsburgh / Facebook

Among the misconceptions about the coronavirus is it only affects older people. But it can infect people of all ages. 33-year-old Plattsburgh resident Jacob Avery is cautioning people to take the warnings of health officials more seriously. He and his partner are at home in quarantine recovering from COVID-19. Avery, who is seeking a seat on the Plattsburgh Common Council, tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he doesn’t know how he contracted the virus even though he tried to meticulously follow health advisories.

Plattsburgh International Airport new concourse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory recommending residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut refrain from non-essential domestic travel for two weeks because of the high transmission of the coronavirus in the area. Days later, Spirit Airlines said it was suspending all flights to and from those states including airports at Niagara Falls and Plattsburgh.  Officials in New York’s North Country say the temporary loss of flights is not a surprise.

Plattsburgh’s mayor is imposing a citywide curfew in an effort to get more people to comply with social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Canada border crossing at Champlain-LaColle
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Canada says the Trump administration had been considering a proposal to put troops at the U.S.-Canada border amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC

Plattsburgh’s mayor gave an update on the city’s preparedness for the coronavirus on Thursday. The city council later heard reports from police and fire chiefs on pandemic readiness.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik wants the federal government to protect the businesses and workers in her district as debate continues over a pandemic rescue bill in the Senate. The 21st District Republican also wants rural medical facilities assured that they will receive the necessary equipment to keep their personnel safe as the coronavirus spreads from urban areas to her rural district.

It’s an uncertain time after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that all bars and restaurants must close except for takeout business for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. In northern New York, Plattsburgh’s bars and restaurants are now finding new ways to do business.

U.S. Canada border crossing at Champlain-LaColle
WAMC/Pat Bradley

President Trump announced via Twitter Wednesday morning that the U.S.-Canada border will be closed to all except essential travel.  While the move was not unexpected by border interests in northern New York, they want clarification regarding some provisions.

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