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North Country News

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his inaugural address at Ellis Island. It was a speech with unsubtle jabs at the Trump administration’s immigration policies versus New York’s melting pot history. Today, lawmakers return to Albany for the new legislative session.
115th District state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones represents Clinton, Franklin and part of St. Lawrence counties. The Democrat tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the governor had previously outlined his agenda, so the speech offered no real surprises.

From a squabble over obtaining land to vast tracks of the Adirondacks opening to the public, a number of issues flared in northern New York during 2018. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks back.

Adirondack Park Agency headquarters
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Park Agency has approved an amendment to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan that will reclassify the definition of a Travel Corridor.  The move could allow both rail and trail use along a rail line in the Adirondacks.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

Some Plattsburgh common councilors are concerned that a move by the mayor may indicate an impending veto of a 4-2 council vote. A trio issued a letter warning that deferring his decision threatens the current council’s override authority.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

An upscale travel magazine has listed the Adirondack region as a top travel location for 2019.  Those who promote the region are excited to see global recognition of the area.

Photo of Empire State Winer Games banner
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Officials today announced plans for the upcoming Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid.

Plattsburgh Community Development Director Matthew Miller outlines DRI status
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 2016 Plattsburgh was one of the first cities in New York to receive a $10 million state Downtown Revitalization Initiative award.  More than two years later there have been no shovels in the ground although planning continues.  Officials are holding public information sessions this week to provide updates on the plan.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the first session last night.

Scott Davidson/Flickr

Over the weekend, a special law enforcement team captured Martin Richards for violating parole. The search for the convicted murderer by the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Special Response Team occurred in the towns and wilderness areas of Essex County. Clinton County Sheriff Lieutenant Nicholas Leon, who commands the team, explains that the coordinated tri-county team was activated even though the public danger was believed to be low.

Michael LaRock
New York State Police

Police say an upstate New York man suspected in a slaying last week has been found hiding near the Canadian border.

Bombardier poster
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New Jersey Transit has awarded a multi-million dollar contract to Bombardier Transportation for new state-of-the-art rail cars. The vehicles will be built at Bombardier’s manufacturing plant in Plattsburgh.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read proposes annexation of town land in August 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During the most recent Plattsburgh Common Council meeting, questions were raised about the willingness of the mayor to meet with town officials regarding an ongoing dispute over annexation of land.

Elevate Plattsburgh plan rendering
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Planners for the Town of Plattsburgh held a “community social” last night to present preliminary concept plans for redevelopment of a large tract of the town’s commercial center.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was there.

Adirondacks Elk Lake Dix Mountain
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The funeral for the 41st President of the United States was held in Washington today. While George Herbert Walker Bush leaves a mixed environmental legacy, northern New York advocates says his tenure as president benefitted the environmentally-sensitive Adirondack region.

2018 CP Rail Holiday Train in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A train covered with holiday lights wended its way through the region this week.  While the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train may brighten the holiday, its goal is to increase awareness about the needs of local food shelves.

Town of Plattsburgh water tanks in 2017
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The state of New York recently announced nearly $25 million in water infrastructure grants would be distributed to North Country communities for 13 projects.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

At the most recent common council meeting, Plattsburgh officials were asked when the city’s cryptocurrency moratorium would end.

Plattsburgh Common Council discuss new manager benefit package
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council is revising the city’s departmental managerial compensation package to attract and keep personnel while at the same time dealing with fiscal constraints.  At the most recent meeting, there was considerable disagreement between councilors over data presented to justify some proposed changes.

Sierra Nevada Brewing

Breweries in our region are participating in a nationwide effort to support communities affected by the devastating Camp Fire in California.

Gale Associates

Controversial businessman Alex Kelly has withdrawn his skydiving company from the public airport in North Adams, Massachusetts.

Mayor Craig Randall
Village of Lake Placid

Lake Placid is a focal point for winter sports, hosting international championships to regional competitions. But the village holds events throughout the year, bringing thousands of people to hotels and shops along Main Street. That in turn has stressed the infrastructure. Village leaders have implemented a plan to upgrade the water and sewer systems along with improving what has been cramped and competitive parking. Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley infrastructure needs have been an issue since he was first elected a decade ago.

Ben Stiller looks at scrapbook kept by WAMC's Pat Bradley
Cassidy Aquino / Showtime

Ben Stiller is getting rave reviews for his seven-part series based on the 2015 prisoner escape from the Clinton Correctional facility. The actor, director and producer spent nearly two years in northern New York researching and filming the series. Stiller discovered it’s a small world as WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley shows him a scrapbook she’s had for nearly 45 years.

Audience awaits premiere of "Escape at Dannemora"
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A miniseries based on the 2015 escape by Richard Matt and David Sweat from the Clinton Correctional Facility will debut on Showtime this weekend.  In advance, its producers and director Ben Stiller has held several premieres of the first episode including in Cannes, New York City and last night in Plattsburgh.

In June 2015, the nation was captivated by the nearly three-week effort to capture two murderers who escaped from Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, New York. The manhunt resulted in Richard Matt being killed and David Sweat wounded and captured. Two years later, actor and filmmaker Ben Stiller announced he would produce and direct a Showtime series based on the escape, much of it to be filmed on location.  Stiller is in Plattsburgh tonight for a special screening of the first episode before the series premieres Sunday.  He told WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley this afternoon it was the human element that intrigued him most.

Mayor Craig Randall
Village of Lake Placid

A two-time Winter Olympics host, since 1980 Lake Placid has promoted itself and as the Olympic Village and the Winter Sports Capital of the world.  In his offices across from the Olympic speed skating oval, Mayor Craig Randall talks about a number of upcoming international sporting events.

Benjamin Warner knapsack
Fort Ticonderoga

A rare military knapsack carried by a Connecticut soldier during the American Revolution will be on display Saturday at Fort Ticonderoga in honor of Veterans Day.

Protesters gather in Plattsburgh's Trinity Park as part of nationwide demonstrations
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Hoping to protect the Mueller investigation, people from Vermont and northern New York joined national protests at 5 p.m. Thursday against President Donald Trump’s installation of Matt Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.

Northern New York voters on Tuesday will choose between a long-term incumbent and a former economic developer in the race for 45th state Senate seat.

Considering the first candidate jumped into the race as the new Congress was being sworn in almost two years ago, it’s been a long campaign in northern New York’s 21st district. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley recaps some of the highlights as Election Day finally approaches.

Authorities say a woman choked a nightclub bouncer into unconsciousness after she mistakenly thought he had slapped her buttocks.

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Canada's legal recreational market is off to a bumpy start.