North Country News

Adirondack Snowshoe Fest logo
Adirondack Snowshoe Fest/Facebook

The Adirondack village of Saranac Lake got a taste of snowshoe racing early this year and now it has created its own event.

The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation released its plan for redevelopment of the former Frontier Town site in North Hudson earlier this month and held public information sessions on Monday.

Make-A-Wish Northeast New York logo
Make-A-Wish Northeast New York/Facebook

Make-A-Wish Northeast New York is in the midst of the 25th holiday season of its Adopt-A-Wish campaign at malls and businesses across the region. The effort raises funds to help youth with life-threatening medical conditions fulfill a dream.  The organization, which covers an area from the Capital Region to the Canadian border, is working to enhance its presence in the North Country.

The Essex County, New York Board of Supervisors has approved its 2018 budget.  The fiscal blueprint is the last of a five-year plan designed to bring the county under the tax cap and stabilize the fund balance.

Empire State Winter Games Executive Director Tait Wardlaw
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Empire State Winter Games begin on February 1st.  Three days earlier, a torch run will begin in Manhattan.  That’s just one of the changes organizers outlined today in Lake Placid, which will host the competition.

University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
WAMC

A lockdown at a hospital in Plattsburgh ended Friday after nearly five hours.

Main Street in Lake Placid overlooking Mirror Lake and the Adirondacks
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Town of North Elba plans to establish “salt-free zones” on some roads along Mirror Lake in Lake Placid this winter.  It’s part of a years-long effort to reduce salt runoff into the Adirondack lake.

University of Vermont Health Network Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital
WAMC

The hospital in Plattsburgh is under lockdown following a bomb threat.

Line of oil tankers along the Boreas River
Brendan Wiltse Photography / Adirondack Council

Over the course of the year, controversy has flared over Iowa Pacific Railway and its subsidiary the Saratoga North Creek Railroad’s storage of rail cars on sidings in the Adirondacks.  The Adirondack Council is now asking billionaire philanthropist Warren Buffett to intervene.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik meets with Canadian dignitaries and business leaders in Montreal
Office of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

Northern New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was in Montreal Monday to talk with members of the Quebec and North Country Chambers of Commerce about NAFTA and cross-border trade.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

Plattsburgh’s mayor recently reconvened a public safety council, asking it to find innovative solutions to 21st century challenges within the city’s budget constraints. Mayor Colin Read explains that the panel was originally created in January to search for a new police chief and review code enforcement.  With rural towns and cities facing challenges such as the opioid epidemic and related crimes, zombie properties and street safety, the mayor says it’s a good time to refocus on the panel’s work now that the city budget is complete.

NY 21 Congressional Forum 11-20-17
Zach Hirsch, North Country Public Radio

The candidates challenging Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st district participated in a forum last night in Plattsburgh.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley moderated and offers this report.

ALICE report cover
United Way

A new report on poverty issued by United Way takes a fresh look at who is living in poverty in the U.S.  The ALICE report was the focus of a forum at Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh this week.

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

A Clinton County legislator has lost a race for town supervisor by one vote.

Following two reported car-pedestrian accidents on campus already this semester, students and faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh held a safety forum recently to delve into where the dangerous intersections are and why pedestrians are at risk.

Valerie Plante
Valerie Plante/Projet Montreal/Facebook

Over the weekend, Montreal residents elected the first woman mayor of that city.

Ryan Leaf speaking at SUNY Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Ryan Leaf is a former NFL quarterback. At 28 he quit professional football.  By 35 he was in prison for stealing painkillers.  Leaf says his addiction to opiates was based in part on his ego and narcissism.  He now travels the country to talk about addiction and recovery and was in Plattsburgh this week.

Clinton Community College President Ray DiPasquale (left) and Clarkson University President Tony Collins sign collaborative agreement
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Officials signed an agreement between Clinton Community College and Clarkson University this afternoon they say will enhance workforce training and education at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing in Plattsburgh.

New York State Capitol
flickr

A Siena College poll released today showed New York voters oppose Proposition One on Tuesday’s ballot — the question over whether the state should hold a constitutional convention.  A recent debate in Plattsburgh focused on the “con-con.”

New York’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils are presenting their annual reports to the state, including their priority projects. The documents are key in the annual competition that awards up to $150 million in capital funds and $75 million in Excelsior Tax Credits.  On Wednesday, the State Assessment Team was in Plattsburgh to hear the North Country Regional Economic Development Council report.

rail tanker cars
Protect the Adirondacks

The Saratoga and North Creek Railroad has brought the first tanker cars it plans to park on a siding in the Adirondacks.  Environmental groups opposing the plan got a boost this week when Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke against the idea.

The North Country Honor Flight sponsors World War II and Korean veterans on flights to Washington DC three to five times a year.   Since it was created in 2013, the group has made 22 flights and brought 328 veterans to the nation’s memorials.  But organizers were concerned that some veterans were unable or unwilling to fly.  On the last Honor Flight of the year, the group inaugurated a new virtual reality tour.

SPARCC business roundtable on addiction
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In a major speech this afternoon President Donald Trump will direct his Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency. That will allow changes such as expanded access to medical services in rural areas.  The addiction crisis is affecting all sectors from emergency, health and law enforcement to families and counselors.  Recently the Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery of Clinton County coalition held a roundtable to discuss the impact of the crisis on business.

NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was in Plattsburgh this afternoon to address the members of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and release the North Country Region’s Economic Profile.

File: Governor Andrew Cuomo at Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Norsk Titanium is the only company that manufactures FAA-approved structural titanium components for the aerospace industry using a patented rapid plasma 3D printing technique.  Based in Norway, its global manufacturing facility is located in Plattsburgh.  On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo visited the plant and officially dedicated the facility.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Part of the city of Plattsburgh’s plan to stabilize its budget includes the elimination of four city departments.  When councilors voted this summer to approve the plan in an attempt to save more than a million dollars in the 2018 budget, the department heads anticipated they would have their jobs until the end of the year.  But now they have been notified that they must leave on October 4th.

SUNY Chancellor Dr. Kristina Johnson (left) cuts ribbon with Clinton Community College Board of Trustees Chair David Favro
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Local and state officials cut the ribbon this morning, officially opening the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at Clinton Community College.

Old railroad cars on tracks outside of North Creek
Protect the Adirondacks

Some Adirondack environmental organizations are raising concerns over a plan by a railroad to store unused rail cars along tracks it leases in Warren Country.  The environmentalists say leaving the boxcars would degrade the wilderness stability and beauty of the Adirondacks.

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

A New York State judge has derailed a plan for a proposed rail trail in the Adirondacks.

Major Charles Guess (retired)
NYS Police

On June 6, 2015 two convicted murderers escaped from the maximum security prison at Dannemora.  The search for David Sweat and Richard Matt fell under the jurisdiction of New York State Police Troop B, commanded by Major Charles Guess.  Now retired, he has written a book about the 23-day manhunt.  In this second part of an interview, he recounts his first walkthrough of the prison with Governor Andrew Cuomo on the first day of the search.

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