North Country News

Medical marijuana dispensary in Plattsburgh, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Now that medical marijuana is legal in New York, the industry is getting off the ground under strict state regulations and guidelines for dispensing the product. The five companies allowed to grow and distribute it were allowed to open dispensaries beginning this month. Columbia Care’s dispensary in Plattsburgh opened Tuesday.

David Sweat during November 2015 Clinton County court appearance
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The surviving convict who escaped from the Clinton Correctional facility last June will not face charges in Franklin County for crimes he committed there while on the lam.

Dede Scozzafava presents budget plan to Essex County Supervisors
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Members of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet are fanning out across New York to outline his budget proposal before business groups, organizations and legislative bodies.  On Monday, Essex County Supervisors heard the recap and questioned key points of the plan.

Tom Flanagin

New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik made national headlines in 2014 when 21st district voters elected her to the House. At 30, she was the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, replacing retiring Democrat Bill Owens. On Wednesday, she announced her reelection campaign just before sitting down with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced her plan to run for reelection on Wednesday.

Prevost buses
FabulousCoach/Wikimedia Commons

A bus manufacturer in Plattsburgh has filed notice with the New York State Department of Labor that it will close its plant in April.  As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, local officials hope the move is precautionary and needed contracts will be realized.

Two Plattsburgh city councillors
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The city of Plattsburgh Common Council passed a $21 million general fund budget last night.  City officials were able to keep the spending plan under the state mandated tax cap and avoid layoffs despite a last-minute lawsuit that forced councilors to find new cuts.

Times Union Website Crime Confidential Blog

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined numerous initiatives in his combined budget and State of the State speech on Wednesday. North Country officials for the most part are pleased with the governor’s plans.

Congressional representatives from the region are reacting along party lines to President Obama’s last State of the Union address last night.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC Photo

A former mayor of Plattsburgh has died.

Essex Chain Lakes Tract sign
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Two Adirondack environmental advocacy groups are suing New York state, seeking to block implementation of revisions to the land management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes in the central Adirondacks currently under consideration by the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency.

Essex Chain Lakes Tract sign
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Two environmental groups are suing New York state saying the recreational access plan for the Essex Chain Lakes tract in the heart of Adirondack Park violates state law.


130 registered nurses who participated in a Wednesday strike at Nathan Littauer hospital have been locked out of the facility.

Plattsburgh City Hall
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The city of Plattsburgh had planned to change its insurance benefit program for retirees in order to save a half million dollars. However the plan enraged a number of retirees who filed suit. On Monday, days before a final city budget is due, a restraining order was issued blocking implementation of the new insurance plan.

Photo of Essex County Government Center
Pat Bradley/WAMC

County legislatures across the region are beginning their 2016 sessions.  In northern New York, boards in Clinton and Essex County are seeing changes.

Photo of Essex County logo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Essex County Board of Supervisors decided not to reappoint the current county manager at their meeting Monday – because the county manager was only mid-way through his contracted term. 

Photo of Clinton Correctional
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The morning of June 6, 2015 was to become historic for the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.  The facility had never had an escape occur from its maximum security wing – until that day. As part of our series on the biggest stories of 2015, WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley looks back at the 23-day manhunt and its aftermath.

This is a picture of an emergency dispatcher at work

Vermont State Police say a man wearing camouflage and carrying a gun pulled over a driver Friday night but didn't identify himself as a police officer.

John Atkinson/Ski Vermont

A pilot program in Vermont is trying to keep backcountry skiers from illegally cutting down trees to open up trails.

Painting of Christopher Columbus by Sebastiano del Piombo
Wikimedia/Public Domain

Although most people have Christmas on the mind this week, a group of sixth grade students in Plattsburgh are looking forward to next October. As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, they’re asking the city school board to change the name of Columbus Day.

Map of Remsen-Lake Placid travel corridor
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation just completed its public comment period on proposed changes to the Remsen Lake Placid rail corridor. It’s a controversial plan to determine whether part or all of the rail corridor should be removed and redeveloped for recreational use.

Photo of Clinton Correctional
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The New York Inspector General spent much of Monday meeting with the only corrections officer charged in the aftermath of the escape from the Clinton Correctional facility in June.

Photo of Joe Riccio
Village of Malone

The village of Malone, the county seat of Franklin County, is in the northern foothills of the Adirondacks about 12 miles south of the Canadian border.  The community recently elected and swore in a new mayor.   Democrat Joe Riccio had served as a village trustee for five years before taking the oath as mayor.  He tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley there are several ongoing initiatives that fit his goals.

Nicole Vaisey and Stephen Howells
St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office


A man and woman involved in the kidnapping and sexual abuse of two Amish girls in northern New York face sentencing in federal court where prosecutors say they should never leave prison.

NYSARC "It Matters To Me" logo
NYS Advocacy and Resource Center

The New York State Advocacy and Resource Center has started a statewide campaign called “It Matters To Me” to highlight concerns those with developmental disabilities have regarding looming cuts to programs and services.

Photo of Josh Clement and Diane Germano
Mountain Lake PBS

She is a 44-year-old with a full-time career in public television.  She was healthy – she thought.  But early this year she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Diane Germano   is fighting back, enduring chemotherapy and returning to work, where she teamed with a videographer who had lost his stepmother to ovarian cancer to spread awareness about a disease that takes the lives of thousands of women every year. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley kicks off our weeklong series on unsung heroes in our communities.

Economic development funding was announced for the 10 Regional Economic Development Councils across New York today.  Along with the $750 million in regular finding, three regions each received half a billion dollars.  As WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the northern part of the state missed out on the top awards and officials there hope it doesn’t compromise a key initiative for the region.

Photo of Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul inside the Strand Theatre
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With New York poised to award $1.5 billion in funding to three of seven competing regions later this week,  Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Plattsburgh Monday to tour cultural and business venues and discuss economic development.

Photo of Icy Road
Pixabay/Public Domain

The Save Lake George Partnership is funding a program aimed at controlling the amount of road salt applied to highways in the Lake George watershed.

Picture of CP Rail Holiday Train
Canadian Pacific

The Canadian Pacific Holiday train made its way thru eastern New York over the weekend providing entertainment and donations to food pantries along the route.