North Country News

Jeremiah Ward addresses Plattsburgh City Council 3-1-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

During its weekly meeting Thursday, the Plattsburgh Common Council approved the submission of a parking study from consultants. Some downtown business owners oppose it.

Olympic silver medalist Chris Mazdzer rang the New York Stock Exchange opening bell Thursday 2/22/18
New York Stock Exchange

The closing ceremonies of the 2018 winter Olympics are Sunday and the athletes will return home with medals and memories. Communities in our region are planning to celebrate the local athletes who competed in a number of sports.

Hawkins Hall on the SUNY Plattsburgh campus hosts the office of the campus president
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A racist Snapchat post shared with the SUNY Plattsburgh campus at large has led to student rallies and two votes of no confidence against members of the college administration.

New York State Police say they are investigating a bomb threat at Behavioral Health Services North in Plattsburgh this morning.

Plattsburgh Common Council meeting 2-15-18
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A rash of retirements and resignations by department heads in Plattsburgh has some city residents concerned. But the mayor says it’s normal turnover for a city of this size.

Constantinos "Danny" Philippidis
New York State Police

A skier reported missing last week on Whiteface Mountain was located this week in Sacramento, California.  New York State Police say the investigation continues as they attempt to determine how the man ended up nearly 3,000 miles away.

Railway workers in the Adirondacks have been trying to move a derailed locomotive that has been left running for a week.

Whiteface Mountain
Mwanner/Wikipedia Commons

A Toronto firefighter who was the subject of a massive six-day search involving eight government agencies at an Adirondack ski center has been located safe — in California.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan includes a proposal to shift how the state pays property taxes to local communities on lands it owns in the Adirondacks.  Regional representatives, municipalities and conservation groups say it would be a bad idea to shift to a PILOT, or Payment in Lieu of Taxes, system.

Becky Kasper
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A Plattsburgh city councilor resigned at the end of Thursday night’s Common Council meeting, further exposing rifts between some city leaders and the mayor.

Boreas Pond tract
Nature Conservancy

The Adirondack Park Agency has approved the final classification for the more than 20,000-acre Boreas Ponds tract in the heart of the Adirondacks.

NYS DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos visits Plattsburgh on January 31, 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

This morning, the Adirondack Park Agency board approved Alternative 2B as the classification for the Boreas Ponds in the heart of the Adirondack Park. The vote was 8 to 1. More than 11,000 acres will be designated wilderness and over 9,000 acres as Wild Forest. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos  explains that his agency now begins the Unit Management Plans for the tracts.

Regional representatives discuss state issues during annual legislative forum in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Legislative Breakfast today.  It’s an opportunity for the region’s officials and business interests to hear from and question their representatives in Albany. This year, much of the focus was on the proposed state budget.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read (right) leads Governor Andrew Cuomo (center) on tour of flood damaged Underwood Mobile Home Park
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo toured flood-damaged areas of Plattsburgh this morning and promised state aid to residents forced out of their homes.

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce released its annual survey of businesses Tuesday.  It found that business confidence has risen over last year and for the first time there is a positive attitude toward both state and federal economic policy.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Park Agency will meet later this week to vote on the classification of the Boreas Ponds land tract purchased by the state from the Nature Conservancy in April 2016 for $14.5 million. In advance of the final decision, the agency released its classification proposal.  Most environmental and community interests say it's a reasonable compromise.

Lake Placid sign with snow
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lake Placid plans to celebrate its Olympic heritage throughout February.

Jeremiah Ward leads meeting to discuss alternatives to Plattsburgh DRI plans
Pat Bradley/WAMC

About two dozen downtown business owners and residents gathered Thursday evening to express concerns over the current plans for the Plattsburgh Downtown Redevelopment Initiative and strategize on potential alternatives.

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

Plans to remove old tanker train cars from a rail line in the Adirondacks have been halted by Hudson River flooding.

Ice surrounds flooded homes at Underwood Mobile Home Park
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Following the rapid warming late last week, an ice jam formed in the Saranac River that led to flooding of the Underwood Estates Mobile Home community in Plattsburgh.  Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read says while many homes could wind up uninhabitable, there may be no state or federal aid to turn to for help.

Clinton County Legislature Chair Harry McManus provides State of the County report
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual State of the County, Town and City forum this morning to hear reports from municipal leaders.

The medical center in Plattsburgh held its annual advisory meeting Tuesday to provide an overview of accomplishments over the past year and offer targeted strategies for the coming year.  Key focus areas will be on behavioral health and substance abuse challenges facing the North Country.

Asylum seekers at Roxham Road
Plattsburgh Cares/Facebook

Since Donald Trump became president and announced his immigration and refugee policies, thousands have been finding their way to Roxham Road in Champlain, New York to cross into Canada.  Even in frigid weather, the stream of people hasn’t stopped.  Volunteers on both sides of the border are offering help and reassurance.

Frontier Town
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Park Agency has approved the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation’s plan to redevelop the former Frontier Town site in North Hudson.

Don Garrant
SUNY Plattsburgh

A former Clinton County legislator and SUNY Plattsburgh College Council Chair has died.

Following the rapid melting and quick freeze late last week, authorities across the region are dealing with ice jams and related flooding.  Authorities in Plattsburgh spent Monday evacuating a low-lying area in the city near the Saranac River.

Plattsburgh Mayor Pro Tem Peter Ensel
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh Common Councilors chose a mayor pro tem Thursday evening.  The vote had been postponed following testy exchanges and a deadlocked vote the week before.

Sample of 1998 Ice Storm thickness
NOAA/Public Domain

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the Ice Storm of 1998. It was the largest natural disaster to hit the North Country.   It brought down millions of trees across northern New York and southern Canada.  Power lines and transmission towers collapsed as layers of ice accumulated on the landscape during the multi-day storm.  Two emergency services officials who were in the command post talk about the storm.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

The debate over a long-term Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement between the city and town of Plattsburgh has led to the city retaining outside lawyers to investigate.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones announces funding to SPARCC with members (left to rigth) Connie Wille, John Bernardi, Jones, Michael Carpenter and Peter Trout
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York State Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh this morning to announce funding for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Recovery Coalition of Clinton County and new legislation to motivate businesses to hire people in recovery.