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North Country News

Photo of Empire State Winter Games banner
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Empire State Winter Games are off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Republican Elise Stefanik (left) and Democrat Tedra Cobb
photos provided

Both candidates running for New York’s 21st Congressional district seat are declaring victory following a tempestuous debate on WWNY in Watertown Monday night.

Flags of the U.S. and Canada
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Canada is keeping its border with the U.S. closed to non-essential travel until at least November 21st due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the extension Monday on Twitter.

Plattsburgh City Hall

Plattsburgh’s mayor presented his 2021 budget to the common council in June. The panel then requested another 10 percent in reductions.  An emotional public hearing was held Thursday afternoon on the revised 2021 fiscal plan that was roundly criticized by the public for its cuts to public safety.

Plattsburgh City Hall

Emotions flared during a public hearing Thursday on a revised budget that Plattsburgh’s mayor is presenting to the city council.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York’s 21st Congressional district is nearly 15,000 square miles and extends from Watertown to Plattsburgh and Syracuse to the Canadian border. With less than three weeks to the election, the two candidates vying for the seat are attending rallies and forums across the region, including recent events in Plattsburgh.

Democrat Mike Kelly is running for re-election in Ward 2
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The annual Champlain Valley Business and Professional Women’s Meet the Candidates Forum was held last night in Plattsburgh.  All of the candidates appearing on ballots across the county were invited to introduce themselves and then answer questions.  Among those attending were five of the six people running for three Plattsburgh Common Council seats.

Democrat Chris Rosenquest (left) and Republican Scott Beebie
photos provided

The mayor of Plattsburgh lost June’s Democratic primary, setting up a two-way general election campaign between the winner —   Area Nine Clinton County Legislator Chris Rosenquest — and Republican Scott Beebie, a retired police lieutenant. Last week, the two debated at Mountain Lake PBS studios in Plattsburgh. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was a panelist and has this report.

Lake Champlain flooding May 2011
Vermont Governor's Office

The International Joint Commission Lake Champlain-Richelieu River Study Board held a series of virtual hearings this week in English and French to update cross-border interests on a study investigating potential flooding mitigation options for Lake Champlain and the river it flows into.

James Helm Sr. and Sandra Helm
NYS Police

A Plattsburgh man has been charged in connection with the cross-border kidnapping of an elderly Franklin County, New York couple.

Joseph Barchard
Plattsburgh City Police Department

Police say a Plattsburgh man has been charged with hate crimes following an assault near City Hall.

Democrat Chris Rosenquest (left) and Republican Scott Beebie
photos provided

City of Plattsburgh voters will elect a new mayor in November. Democrat Chris Rosenquest won June’s primary against two challengers, including incumbent Mayor Colin Read, and now faces Republican Scott Beebie in the general election. The two candidates met for a half hour debate on MyNBC5, the region’s NBC affiliate, Monday.

Lake Placid Olympic skating rink
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lake Placid last hosted the Winter World University Games in 1972. The International University Sports Federation announced in 2018 that the Olympic village will again host the winter competition in 2023. The Adirondack Sports Council, which is coordinating plans for the games, hosted a virtual town hall this week to update the region on progress toward the international competition.

Two wings of a concrete complex meet in a quad.

Positive COVID-19 tests remain low at Berkshire County higher ed institutions.

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

Canada has officially extended the agreement to keep the U.S. border closed to non-essential travel to Oct. 21 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Village of Tupper Lake municipal offices
Village of Tupper Lake

Tupper Lake is part of the Tri-Lakes area of the Adirondacks that includes Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Its primary draw is access to the surrounding mountains, lakes and the Wild Center. But its remote location makes accessible high-speed internet service access a challenge. A new grant will help the Town of Tupper Lake expand broadband service to businesses and some residents.

Tedra Cobb at the People's Forum at SUNY Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Democratic candidate in New York 21st Congressional district is mounting her second challenge against Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. In her first campaign two years ago, Tedra Cobb emphasized heath care issues.  Speaking at WAMC’s North Country Bureau this morning, Cobb tells WAMC’s Pat Bradley that in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, health care remains her top priority.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The Plattsburgh Common Council recently decided not to renew a contract with the city school district allowing the police department to provide School Resource Officers. At the latest council meeting, several residents were in City Hall to criticize the move.

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

The Trump administration has dropped tariffs on Canadian aluminum imports, a move being praised by Canada and U.S. border businesses.

Reenactors participate in a past Battle of Plattsburgh commemoration
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Battle of Plattsburgh has been commemorated in the northern New York city for decades.  But this year organizers were presented with a number of challenges – including limits mandated by the coronavirus pandemic.  This week, scaled down in-person commemoration events have been occurring as other presentations are offered virtually.

Census worker in Albany
Ian Pickus/WAMC

Complete Count Committee members from across the North Country met at the United Way in Plattsburgh today to urge people to complete their U.S. Census form.

View of the Adirondacks from the Keene Valley area
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With other recreation options limited due to the pandemic, the Adirondack Park has been experiencing a large number of visitors this summer despite the closure of the U.S.-Canada border. The Labor Day weekend was no exception as hikers and visitors flocked to the High Peaks and other areas of the 6-million acre park.

2020 State of the Park preview
Adirondack Council

The Adirondack Council publishes an annual report analyzing legislation and actions that have impacted the 6 million acre Adirondack Park over the past year. The organization has just released a preview of the upcoming State of the Park review, out next week. Council Executive Director Willie Janeway tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley it focuses on positive developments, and focuses on the park as a “A Landscape of Hope” to reflect its importance during the pandemic.

Plattsburgh City Hall

During the most recent Plattsburgh Common Council meeting, councilors refused to renew a contract with the city school district to allow the police department to provide school resource officers. The move surprised both the school district and the police chief.

Leave No Trace principles poster
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A report from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics is offering a number of recommendations to help reduce overcrowding on popular trails in the Adirondacks. One of the most controversial may be a suggestion to require permits in the High Peaks region.

Officials from Essex County, New York and a local rehabilitation and senior living center met virtually Thursday afternoon to discuss an outbreak of COVID-19 over the past two weeks that has led to four deaths.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
U.S. House

Northern New York’s Congresswoman took center stage in primetime Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention to deliver a speech in support of President Donald Trump. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of the 21st District has become a stalwart supporter and Republicans in her district are praising her performance.

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

The president of SUNY Plattsburgh has suspended 43 students for violating the college’s Code of Conduct and COVID-19 safety rules.

Scott Beebie
Scott Beebie for Mayor/Facebook

Former city police lieutenant Scott Beebie is the Republican running for mayor of Plattsburgh.  He retired in 2017 from the city police force after 28 years of service.  He has served as vice-chair of the Plattsburgh city Republican committee but has not held elective office. Beebie says after nearly three decades on the city police force, he has the tools to lead Plattsburgh. Beebie tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that he’s hearing common concerns from voters in the city.

A hospital in Essex County, New York is suspending visitation to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a nearby outbreak of the virus.