Pat Bradley

North Country Bureau Chief

Ways to Connect

Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman
Michael Cashman for Plattsburgh

During last week’s Plattsburgh City Council meeting, one councilor quizzed the mayor about developments in a lawsuit between the city and the neighboring Town of Plattsburgh.  Town Supervisor Michael Cashman says the town is countersuing the city regarding a Payment in Lieu of Taxes dispute in which the city claims the town has not properly paid the city its share of Falcon Seaboard payments.

Dairy cow
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Dairy Margin Protection Program was authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill as a risk management program. It pays farmers when the difference between the price they are paid for milk produced at the farm and the cost of feed, or margin, falls below a set amount. But many dairy farmers, especially in the Northeast, said the program was expensive and didn’t work.  And that is causing concern as officials try to get dairy producers to sign up for the revised program by June 1st.  Vermont officials were at the Statehouse in Montpelier Tuesday to urge farmers to sign up.

Charlie Smith salutes after laying a wreath commemorating WWI veterans
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It was a busy weekend of parades and commemorations across the region. At a crowded American Legion Post in Plattsburgh, people spent time on Memorial Day honoring those who have served in all the nation’s wars.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read and Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent sign agreement as Assemblyman D. Billy Jones and Senator Betty Little watch
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The mayor of Quebec’s third-largest city was in Plattsburgh recently to re-sign a Declaration of Cooperation between the two cities.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

The city of Plattsburgh came under national and international scrutiny recently when city officials decided to place an 18-month moratorium on cryptocurrency operations.  The Bitcoin miners were using so much of the city’s cheap electricity that its quota was breached and residents’ rates went up.  Mayor Colin Read says a couple subcommittees are looking at various aspects related to the new industry.

Plattsburgh Common Council meeting 5-24-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh Common Council held its regular weekly meeting Thursday evening. Councilors approved and then forwarded a five-year budget plan to the mayor. But they once again delayed action on a Code of Conduct.

Vermont legislators say a proposed law that would require people renting out their homes to register with the state likely won't pass during the special session.

Emerald Ash Borer
wikipedia commons

Forestry officials in New Hampshire are warning people to be aware about firewood sources.

401(K) 2013/Creative Commons

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration announced a new policy that allows states to adopt new Medicaid policy initiatives.  According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, it is designed to improve health by making work a requirement for Medicaid coverage for certain beneficiaries. Several states have begun to implement such programs. During a conference call on Wednesday, officials from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said there are a number of harmful unintended consequences occurring in states adopting such policies.

Leroy Headley
South Burlington Police Department/Facebook

A Vermont police department says the vehicle of a suspect wanted in the shooting death of a South Burlington woman has been found in New York.

Vermont Democratic Representative Peter Welch has joined 12 other members of Congress in demanding the Environmental Protection Agency release a study on the health effects of chemical contaminants.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott called a special session of the state legislature to begin today. It comes after he promised to veto the budget and property tax bills presented to him, although he has yet to officially veto the fiscal plans.  On Tuesday, he nixed a number of other bills, including one that would raise the minimum wage, and a paid family leave measure.  Vermont Senate Pro-Tem Democrat/Progressive Tim Ashe says that move was an example of continued frustration the legislature has with the administration.

Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (left) and Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Both chambers of the Vermont Legislature gaveled into special session this morning — and after less than an hour each chamber adjourned until next Tuesday.  After adjournment the House and Senate leaders expressed continued frustration with the Scott Administration.

SunCommon/Hudson Solar logos
SunCommon/Hudson Common Facebook

Two solar companies in the region have merged, saying the move will accelerate the growth of solar in Vermont and New York’s Hudson Valley.

Vermont DMV Police vehicle
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York and Vermont are among 22 states participating in a “Border to Border” law enforcement campaign aimed at getting more people to wear their seatbelts.

The attorneys for a Vermont man facing a second federal death penalty trial are asking a judge to declare the punishment unconstitutional.

Senator Bill Doyle
Vermont Legislature

The ex-Vermont state senator who was defeated in his bid for re-election after 48 years in office is now retiring from the day job he's held for 60 years: teaching political science at Johnson State College.

Picture of Bernie Sanders
Bernie 2016

Independent U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced on Monday that he's running for re-election this fall.

Plattsburgh city attorney Dean Schneller reviews charter during special meeting of Common Council
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read called a special meeting of the Common Council Friday to review their duties and responsibilities as outlined in the City Charter.  But some clauses appeared to become less clarified as the discussion progressed.

A 70-year-old woman accused of manufacturing the deadly toxin ricin and testing it on fellow residents at a Vermont retirement community has pleaded guilty to possessing it.

Woodruff Hall at Castleton University
Jared C. Benedict/Redjar - Wikimedia Commons

Castleton University in Vermont has announced staff layoffs as part of an effort to close a $1.5 million operating loss.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Council is a key advocate before the New York state legislature and state agencies to ensure the protection of the wilderness and communities of the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park.  Among the current issues of current concern is a plan by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct joint public meetings regarding the Unit Management Plans for the High Peaks Wilderness and the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest areas.  Council Spokesman John Sheehan says while his organization had encouraged joint meetings for non-controversial items, this is not what they intended.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

It is mud season in the Adirondack High Peaks, and state officials are urging hikers to protect trails from erosion.

New Hampshire Statehouse
Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

Organizers of an anti-death penalty coalition say they have delivered over 56,000 petition signatures to New Hampshire Republican Governor Chris Sununu, urging him to sign a bill that would repeal the state's capital punishment law.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill Wednesday that sets up a mechanism to allow prescription drugs to be imported to the state from Canada. But such a program requires federal approval, and that’s up in the air.

Don Boyajian
Don Boyajian for Congress/Facebook

The Democratic primary race in New York’s 21st Congressional district narrowed again this week as Don Boyajian dropped out.  He has decided to instead run for a New York Assembly seat.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Will Vermont lawmakers return for a special session next week? At his weekly press conference this afternoon, Vermont Governor Phil Scott discussed his move to call legislators back to Montpelier May 23rd. The Republican is promising to veto the-just passed state budget and property tax bill.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Saturday night, the Vermont Legislature adjourned despite Governor Phil Scott’s promise to veto the just-passed budget and property tax bills.  Late Tuesday the governor sent a letter to the House Speaker and Senate Pro Tem notifying them that a special session would begin next Wednesday, May 23rd.  During a conversation earlier Tuesday, Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe, a Progressive/Democrat, expressed strong disagreement with the governor’s recent actions.

dairy cow

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand this afternoon called on the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to authorize $300 million in emergency relief funding for dairy farmers.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature adjourned late Saturday despite state budget and property tax bill veto threats from the Republican governor.