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North Country News

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 Winter 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.

Town of Horicon Supervisor Matt Simpson announces his campaign for the 114th Assembly district
Photo provided by Matt Simpson

A candidate has entered the race for New York’s 114th  state Assembly seat after the incumbent announced he’s running for state Senate.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The city of Plattsburgh held a public hearing Thursday on a proposed local law that would impose new registry and enforcement provisions for rental units in the city. While numerous speakers warned city officials to revise the measure to avoid potential problems, the Common Council voted to approve the law immediately following the comment period.

114th district Republican Assemblyman Dan Stec (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The race for the 45th state New York Senate district seat is gearing up after Republican Betty Little’s announcement last week that she would retire. Republican Assemblyman Dan Stec on Wednesday announced that he’s running for the seat.

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

Democrats in the U.S. House announced Tuesday that they had reached an agreement on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. Border interests in the North Country have been waiting for the announcement and call it a substantial move to provide stability in cross border trade.

Special Attorney Mark Schachner (right) explains the DGEIS as city councilor Peter Ensel observes
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A public hearing was held Monday evening on the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement that assesses the impacts of proposed redevelopment in Plattsburgh’s downtown area as a result of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.

Tenzin Dorjee
Tenzin for Mayor/Facebook

A downtown businessman is challenging Plattsburgh’s mayor in the 2020 election.

New York state Senator Betty Little announces she will not run for re-election in 2020
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Longtime Republican New York state Senator Betty Little announced today that she will not run for re-election in 2020. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, Little is the second Republican in a week to make such a move.

Plattsburgh Common Council
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A bill introduced in the U.S. House in January would impose “a fee on the carbon content of fuels… or any other product derived from those fuels that….emit greenhouse gases…”  City officials in Plattsburgh recently joined a number of municipalities across the country in supporting the measure.

Law enforcement officials from Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties discuss the impact of bail and discovery reforms set to go into effect January 1st
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A series of criminal justice reforms set to take effect on January 1st in New York will revise the bail and discovery process. Law enforcement officials across the state have been speaking out against the reforms. In New York’s North Country, law enforcement officials and the District Attorneys from Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties recently gathered in Plattsburgh to discuss how the measures could negatively impact the North Country.

Plattsburgh Common Council meets on November 26th to approve 2020 city budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council approved the city’s 2020 budget Tuesday night.  The $59.6 million dollar plan includes a $600,000 surplus and builds the fund balance.

Howie Hawkins
Howie Hawkins Green for President

Most of the attention has been on President Trump’s re-election campaign and the Democratic primary, but third parties are also getting ready for 2020. Howie Hawkins is the co-founder of the U.S. Green Party. He has unsuccessfully run for governor of New York three times and U.S. Senate once. In 2016, Hawkins was the Green Party’s candidate for vice president and he is now the party’s candidate for president. On a visit to Plattsburgh, Hawkins told WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he was drafted by Greens across the country to run.