North Country News

Despite inclement weather, nearly a hundred officials and business leaders from across the North Country gathered in Plattsburgh this morning to hear addresses on the state of the town and city of Plattsburgh and Clinton County.

Governor Andrew Cuomo outlines North Country budget initaitives
Pat Bradley/WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his proposed state spending plan to a North Country audience Monday, highlighting what he says are the plan’s benefits for the upstate region and announcing plans to enhance tourism venues in the Adirondacks.

Internet Exchange Safety Zone sign
Plattsburgh City Police

Plattsburgh City Police have created an “Internet Exchange Safe Zone” for people exchanging goods purchased via social media or websites.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones holds proposed budget
office of Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

New York state Assemblyman D. Billy Jones began his first term this month representing Clinton and  Franklin counties and three towns in St. Lawrence County.  The Democrat is in his district, the 115th, with a copy of the just-printed proposed budget from Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Jones says the Assembly was supposed to receive an overview of the spending plan directly from the governor, but the session ran late.

Plattsburgh International Airport
Plattsburgh International Airport

During his State of the State address in Albany Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new funding to enhance and revitalize the Plattsburgh International Airport. The new funds will be used to enhance aerospace and general aviation facilities as a separate terminal upgrade is completed.

Former New York Congressman Bill Owens was a member of the Appropriations Committee and subcommittees on Defense and Homeland Security during his six years in the House. He now works as an attorney and consultant on U.S.-Canada relations.  The Democrat tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that Canadians are closely watching the transition of government in Washington.

Plattsburgh City Council holds special session 1-10-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors held a special session Tuesday evening to consider amendments to the proposed city budget as they try to complete the fiscal plan by Saturday’s deadline.

Institute for Advanced Manufacturing/Clinton Community College

The Institute for Advanced Manufacturing is under construction at Clinton Community College. The 30,000-square foot facility is scheduled to open in August.  Institute representatives updated local leaders on construction progress and their efforts to promote AIME – a curriculum to enhance advanced manufacturing career education.

Border crossing between Champlain NY and Lacolle, Quebec
Andrei Tilin, Montreal, Quebec/Wikimedia Commons

The Champlain border crossing between New York and Quebec was closed today after Canadian officials received a threat.

Mayor James Calnon
Calnon for Mayor/Facebook

James Calnon has served in Plattsburgh city leadership positions since 2007 when he was appointed to the common council by then-Republican Mayor Donald Kasprzak.  Calnon, who is an independent with Republican endorsement, was elected mayor in 2013.  He lost his re-election bid this year to political newcomer Democrat Colin Read.  As he serves his last days in office, Calnon says he and the city are ready for the transition.

Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racicot
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh’s long-time police chief announced recently that he will retire in January.  Desmond Racicot has been with the department since 1989, serving as chief for the last 14 years.  He tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he hadn’t planned to retire but a new opportunity arose.

Plattsburgh City Council 12/28/16
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Plattsburgh City Councilors received the mayor’s proposed budget in October and must finalize the fiscal plan by mid-January.  The six-member board is still considering amendments as they try to lower a tax levy that at one point looked like it could be as high as 22 percent. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at the last meeting of 2016 last night.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Congress has approved the Promoting Travel, Commerce and National Security Act of 2016, sending it to the president’s desk.  The measure creates a preclearance procedure for Amtrak passengers traveling across the Canadian border and shared clearance functions especially at small rural crossings.

North Country contingent at Regional Economic Development Awards
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York state's 10 economic regions received more than $700 million in new economic development funding on Thursday.  The North Country is welcoming its $61.4 million dollar share that will go to 77 projects across the northern tier of the state.

St. Lawrence River-Great Lakes watershed map
Karl Musser/Wikimedia

The U.S. and Canada have adopted a plan designed to improve environmental conditions along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River by letting water levels rise and fall more naturally.

Adirondack Park sign
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Arguments were heard this week in state Supreme Court on whether cutting trees to create new snowmobile trails in the Adirondacks violate the "forever wild" clause of New York's constitution.  It could set precedent.

Clinton County Government Center
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Clinton County legislators will hear from the public tonight on the 2017 budget plan.

Oceti Sakowin Water Protector Encampment
Dan Plumley, Adirondack Wild

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement permit for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The pipeline controversy has brought thousands of protesters to an encampment at Standing Rock. One Adirondack resident was at the encampment when the permit denial was announced.

Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read
Colin Read for Mayor/Facebook

In November, incumbent Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon was defeated in his re-election bid by Democrat Colin Read.  Calnon did not formally concede until absentee ballots were counted on November 21st.  The final result determined that Read had actually increased his lead by 84 votes, solidifying his win.  Mayor-elect Read tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that was a surprise, and he’s now deeply involved in transitioning the administration.

Billy Jones outside Plattsburgh City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In November voters elected Democrat D. Billy Jones to replace retiring New York state Republican Assemblywoman Janet Duprey to represent the 115th district.  Jones, the current chair of the Franklin County Legislature, tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that the transition is going well and he’s looking forward to tackling challenges in Albany that concern the North Country.

Essex County NY government center
WAMC/Pat Bradley

With only five weeks left in the legislative year, the Essex County Board of Supervisors this week swore-in a new chair and vice chair to the panel.

Pixabay/Public Domain

A federal judge in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction Tuesday that blocks implementation of new overtime rules promulgated by the U.S. Department of Labor. They had been set to go into effect Dec. 1st.   Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh recently aired a forum on the controversial rule and what it might mean for employers and their workers throughout the region.

Snowgun at Whiteface Mountain
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally the opening weekend for most major ski areas across the region.  Excitement peaked this week as multiple inches of natural snow fell, adding to the base of manmade snow already on the slopes.  Snowmaking operations can be crucial throughout the season. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was at Whiteface Mountain this week to see what it takes to keep the mountain white.

An inmate who tried to escape from the Clinton County Jail in Plattsburgh Friday never made it out of the building.

Boreas Ponds Tract
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

In May, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an agreement completing the largest acquisition to the Adirondack Park in over 100 years.  The purchase adds 69,000 acres of land to the forest preserve.  This week the Adirondack Park Agency held its first public hearing on proposed land classifications for the parcel.

U.S. and Canadian flags
Flanker/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for his first 100 days include his intention to renegotiate or withdraw from NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.   The United States’ largest trading partner has already initiated conversations with the newly elected leader about the importance of Canada to the U.S. economy.  People close to the border are watching closely.

Amite sculpture on SUNY Plattsburgh campus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In the wake of the election of Donald Trump and subsequent protests, SUNY Plattsburgh Police are reassuring students and staff that they are taking any potential concerns seriously.

Max Weinberg
Manu gt500/Flickr

Max Weinberg, the drummer for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has bought a vacant lakefront lot with mountain views in New York's Adirondacks.

Regional Economic Development Council
Regional Economic Development Council website

New York’s 10 Regional Economic Development Councils are presenting their 2016 proposals to the Strategic Implementation Assessment Team this week.  It’s the first part of the process that will lead to $750 million in development grants being awarded across the state.

Colin Read (left) and James Calnon
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Less than two weeks before Election Day, the candidates for mayor of Plattsburgh debated Wednesday night.

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