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North Country News

Screenshot of North County Chamber's 2021 virtual legislative forum
North Country Chamber

The North Country Chamber recently held its annual legislative breakfast forum with the region’s three New York state representatives. Two are relatively new to their legislative positions, and all discussed the implications of the proposed state budget for the area.

Chris Rosenquest observes absentee ballot count
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh’s mayor is quarantining after his son was exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.

Saranac Lake welcome sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last June, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order that required all local governments and stakeholders to review their police departments and develop a plan to improve operations.  The plan must be adopted by April 1st and filed with the state. The village of Saranac Lake is holding public hearings on its proposed Police Reform Plan as it prepares to finalize the document.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Plattsburgh Common Council had a number of items on its agenda Thursday evening, including rescinding an action it took last year.

CVPH Medical Center
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The medical center in Plattsburgh is reporting a multi-million dollar operating loss in the first quarter of 2021.

New York Senator Charles Schumer (left) and Vermont Congressman Peter Welch
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Congressional representatives have been meeting virtually with constituent groups as a new COVID relief package is negotiated in Washington.  In northern New York business interests recently heard from Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, while Vermont’s Congressman spoke to business interests in the Rutland region.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The city of Plattsburgh, New York is investigating resident complaints that their water smells odd.

marijuana
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A northern New York man has been sentenced to five years in jail for attempting to distribute marijuana in the North Country.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras discusses COVID testing on campuses during visit to SUNY Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Chancellor of the SUNY system was in New York’s North Country on Monday. Chancellor Jim Malatras visited SUNY Plattsburgh’s COVID-19 testing site and discussed requirements that have been put in place to stem the spread of the virus on campuses.

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras discusses COVID testing on campuses during visit to SUNY Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Chancellor of the SUNY system visited three northern New York campuses Monday as students begin to return for in-person classes.

dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Farm Credit East is a lender that provides financial resources to the agricultural industry.  It recently hosted a webinar with a Cornell University dairy expert who talked about the impact of the pandemic on the dairy economics and provided an outlook for the upcoming year.

From left: Mayor Chris Rosenquest, Legislature Chair Mark Henry, Supervisor Michael Cashman
File photos Pat Bradley/WAMC

This is the time of year when political leaders provide status updates on their municipalities. For several years the North Country Chamber has hosted joint State of the County, Town and City addresses. This year due to the pandemic the event was held virtually.

North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas discusses 2020 Business Confidence Index and issues survey
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The North Country Chamber has released the results of its annual survey of businesses assessing which issues are of greatest importance.

North Country Chamber President Garry Douglas (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to non-essential travelers since late March 2020.
One of the first executive orders signed by President Joe Biden directs the Secretaries of State, Homeland Security, Transportation, and Health and Human Services to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to begin discussions with their Mexican and Canadian counterparts and submit a plan that determines what public health measures and operational considerations are necessary to reopen travel across the border.

One of the executive orders signed by President Biden this week calls on federal agencies to begin discussions with Canada and Mexico on reopening the land borders from months of COVID-19 shutdowns. The North Country Chamber is praising the action.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Plattsburgh Common Council met Thursday evening for its second full meeting under a new mayor and there were some procedural differences evident.

The Clinton County Health Department is warning residents who were at a local diner they may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Martin Luther King Jr at the White House, January 1964
LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto / US Department of State GPA Photo Archive/Public Domain

The commemoration in Plattsburgh honoring Dr. Martin Luther King is normally held at the SUNY Plattsburgh Newman Center.  But this year due to COVID-19 organizers had to find a different way to hold the event, turning to the local public television station to create an hour-long virtual program.

Plattsburgh drive-through vaccination site opens
NYS Office of General Services – Media Services

The New York state Health Department opened a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination site in Plattsburgh Monday.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones at SPARCC meeting
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones of the 115th district represents Clinton and Franklin counties and the St. Lawrence county towns of Piercefield, Lawrence, Hopkinton, and Brasher.  First elected in 2016, the Democrat tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that along with the COVID pandemic, the state budget must be the overriding priority during the new legislative session.

Clinton Correctional Facility
Pat Bradley/WAMC

State and local officials, union leaders and employees are hoping to stop a state decision to close the Clinton Annex prison in Dannemora, New York. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at a rally Saturday as closure by the end of March looms.

Chris Rosenquest
Photo provided by Chris Rosenquest

Plattsburgh Mayor Chris Rosenquest was ceremonially sworn into office to his first term on January 4th and held his first full Common Council meeting three days later. This week, the Democrat talked about his first full week in office with WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley and described some of the changes implemented during his first council meeting.

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik speaks at a Save the Annex rally in Dannemora
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st District was among the more than 100 House representatives who challenged some Electoral College ballots late Wednesday even after the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.  While in Dannemora, New York on Saturday for a rally to keep the Clinton Correctional Facility’s Annex open, Stefanik spoke about the incident in Washington and her vote with reporters.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik speaks to NYSCOPBA members in Dannemora on January 9, 2021
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York 21st District Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is one of the more than 100 Republican representatives who challenged the presidential Electoral College results. Stefanik responded to calls for her and President Donald Trump to resign during a visit to Dannemora on Saturday.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Plattsburgh Common Council held its first meeting of the year Thursday.  Following the organizational meeting the new mayor and council held their first formal session.

CVPH Medical Center
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing hospitals across the state to step up their rate of COVID-19 vaccinations.  The medical center in Plattsburgh reports that most of the allotment that the North Country has received has been used.

U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The congressional representative for northern New York plans to join House members challenging the Electoral College results.

Chris Rosenquest
Photo provided by Chris Rosenquest

Plattsburgh’s new mayor was ceremonially sworn in Monday morning at City Hall.

Chris Rosenquest
Photo provided by Chris Rosenquest

The leadership of the city of Plattsburgh will change as the New Year begins.  WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks at the political campaigns that unseated the incumbent mayor.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council met for the last time in 2020 Thursday night and their agenda included final passage of the city’s 2021 budget.

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