North Country News

Mike Carr at Elk Lake in the Adirondacks, May 2016
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Nature Conservancy and the Adirondack Land Trust have worked in partnership for more than four decades to conserve lands and waters in the Adirondacks.  Mike Carr has been executive director of both organizations for the last 16 years, but in the case of the Land Trust it has been part-time.  He says it’s time for him to step down as the head of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy to become the full-time executive director of the Adirondack Land Trust.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia (left) with SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
Pat Bradley/WAMC

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia were at SUNY Plattsburgh Friday afternoon to wrap up their statewide TeachNY listening tour.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul (left), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (center) and Primelink President Greg MacConnell
WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York’s junior U.S. senator and lieutenant governor were in Plattsburgh this afternoon to promote new legislation that would help expand broadband in rural areas of the state.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The mayor of Plattsburgh has released his 2017 budget proposal.  While the initial outline is over a million dollars in the red, city leaders say they’re optimistic they can bring the fiscal plan in line with the state tax cap.

Colin Read (left) and James Calnon
Candidates' Facebook pages

The two candidates running for mayor of Plattsburgh met recently in a rancorous debate. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was a panelist and reports there was no love lost between the duo during their first debate, which aired on Mountain Lake PBS.

Students at a Vermont high school will be returning to class for the first time today since four classmates and another member of the community were killed by a driver traveling the wrong way on an interstate.

Inspire program cover
Diocese of Ogdensburg

About 4,000 Catholics gathered in Lake Placid this past weekend to reinforce their faith and hear how they can bring more individuals into the church.

Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle with Franklin County Legislature Chair Billy Jones (left) and North Country Chamber CEO Garry Douglas (right)
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The North County Chamber of Commerce and two county legislatures hosted a visit by the New York state Assembly majority leader on Tuesday.  Democrat Joe Morelle was briefed on regional economic development strategies and projects and then toured the region’s transportation manufacturing facilities.

Stafford Middle School teachers Brenda Bieber (left) and Debbie Favro help students with Indigenous People's Day presentation
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Five Stafford Middle school students and their teachers were on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus on Thursday to talk about their successful effort last year to get the city school board to change Columbus Day on school calendars to Indigenous People’s Day.

dairy cows

Milk production in the region is up as the payments farmers are receiving have dropped to unprofitable levels.  Meanwhile the federal program intended to buffer the low points is coming under increasing criticism.  This is occurring at the same time an export market that might aid the dairy industry could be blocked.

More than 600 people were at the Strand Theatre in Plattsburgh Tuesday evening for a community forum on the prescription opioid and heroin addiction crisis.  The evening featured a guest expert on how the drugs affect the brain.

Amjad Hussain
SUNY Potsdam University Police

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman indicted a former SUNY Potsdam student Monday for hate crimes after making threats against a professor.

Plattsburgh was one of 10 communities statewide to win $10 million under the governor’s $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative.  This afternoon, the local planning committee held an organizational meeting with the consulting team, state officials and the public to kick off the planning process.

Boreas Ponds Tract
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Earlier this year New York State finalized the purchase of the 20,758-acre Boreas Ponds Tract in the Adirondacks, completing a 69,000-acre acquisition of former Finch Pruyn lands from the Nature Conservancy.  The Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an interim access plan.  But environmental groups are concerned that the plan could compromise eventual classification of the land.

State of the Park 2016 cover
Photo by Carl Heilman II of Boreas Ponds and the High Peaks Wilderness / Adirondack Council

An annual report assessing policy affecting the Adirondack Park has just been issued by the Adirondack Council.  This year it’s largely positive, driven by the state’s acquisition of wilderness lands and investment in the Environmental Protection Fund.

Reenactment of Culver  Hill and artillery assault on Halsey's Corners during Battle of Plattsburgh commemoration
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The annual Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration was held this past weekend to celebrate the U.S. victory over invading British forces on September 11th, 1814.  Although most are aware of the pivotal battle on Lake Champlain, there were a number of land skirmishes as British forces marched south from Canada.  This year the Battle of Plattsburgh used a new site to depict one of those land battles, the expansive north end of the Old Base Oval.

Plattsburgh city marina, July 2016
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The city of Plattsburgh is working on expanding its marina on the Lake Champlain waterfront.  The Common Council addressed two items on its agenda Thursday night that will move the plans forward.

Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman
Michael Cashman for Plattsburgh

At the Farnborough International Air show near London in July, Norway-based Norsk Titanium announced that it had selected Plattsburgh to build the world’s first industrial scale high-technology manufacturing plant for titanium aerospace components.  New York state has approved a $125 million investment in the factory and SUNY Polytechnic is working with Norsk to establish production with specialized 3D machines.  
In part two of their interview, Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman says he is excited to see the first of the Rapid Plasma Deposition machines already moving into temporary facilities.  “I tweet a lot and I’ve been following Norsk and they just tweeted that their first piece of equipment is enroute to Plattsburgh. It’s just one more mile-marker in a very exciting journey for a first in the world type of company moving here to Plattsburgh.”

Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman
Michael Cashman for Plattsburgh

Two mausoleums in the towns of Plattsburgh and Ellenburg that had been operated by the same nonprofit company ended up under state receivership in 2015 after reports of severe neglect and abandonment.  The state receivership of Whispering Maples Memorial Gardens will be transferred to the two towns at the end of the month.  Repair costs alone are estimated at $146,000.  Town of Plattsburgh Supervisor Michael Cashman plans to join his Ellenburg counterpart next week in Albany to meet with officials.  He tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief that state officials have failed to recognize the emotional fallout Whispering Maples has caused.  “I’m quite upset by the fact that New York State doesn’t take the time to understand the impact  that it has on the local level.”

An Alexander Hamilton item on display at Fort Ticonderoga through October 30, 2016
Fort Ticonderoga

Items belonging to Alexander Hamilton are now on display among the 18th century military exhibits at Fort Ticonderoga.

White House Drug Policy Director Michael Botticelli will be speaking at a Vermont conference on substance abuse. 

Mwanner/Wikipedia Commons


The leader of a hiking trip in the Adirondacks has been ticketed for exceeding the High Peaks group size limit after two buses dropped off 67 people to climb Algonquin Peak.

Hundreds of adult spiny waterfleas clumped together on fishing line.
Emily DeBolt / Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program

It’s a small creature about the width of your pinky, averaging 1/4 to 5/8 of an inch long.  But it has the potential to wreak havoc in the region’s lakes.  The spiny waterflea began spreading into Adirondack lakes in 2008 and was confirmed in Lake Champlain in 2014.  This month, an angler found the invasive zooplankton while fishing in what was considered to be the largest invasive-free lake in the Adirondacks.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik represents the sprawling 21st House district of northern New York that includes all or part of 12 counties.  The first-term Republican faces reelection this fall and has been travelling across the more than 16,000-square mile district during the summer break.  She spoke to WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley today about a number of issues, beginning with a look at her efforts to help communities obtain federal grants.

She was one of the best known suffragists of the early 20th Century and is the only woman known to have died while pursuing the cause.  A new documentary called Forward Into Light  looks at Inez Milholland, who lived for a while and is buried in the Adirondacks. Writer and Producer Martha Wheelock visited Lewis, in Essex County, recently and talked about her film with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Plattsburgh City Council meeting 8-11-16
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The city of Plattsburgh plans to begin live streaming of City Council meetings.

President Ford Making Remarks at the Farewell Ceremony for the U.S. Olympic Team Departing for the Summer Games held at New York University College in Plattsburgh, New York, 7/10/1976
White House photograph/National Archives

The Rio Olympics are coming to a close in a couple of days, but for some people, memories remain strong of the games 40 years ago. In 1976, the summer Olympics were held in Montreal, Quebec, about an hour’s drive from Plattsburgh, New York.  The northern New York city was the final training site for many U.S. athletes before they crossed the border to compete.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley talks with Tom Lacey, who participated in a training game against the women’s basketball team.

Hudson Headwaters Health Network Champlain groundbreaking
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Hudson Headwaters Health Network is made up of 17 community health centers in eastern New York. The group recently broke ground on a new facility in Champlain to replace an overcrowded and antiquated clinic.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik holds transportation roundtable
WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was in Plattsburgh this afternoon to host a transportation roundtable. The Republican says it was vital that Congress passed long-term infrastructure funding.

Town Hall, Port Henry, NY
Enesse Bhé/Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday, residents of Port Henry in Essex County, New York approved a plan to dissolve the village by 20 votes.  The latest vote is the final move that will lead to the Adirondack village disappearing from the map.