North Country News

Lake Placid Olympic skating rink
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Although it has been a mostly mild season, the third Adirondack Winter Challenge was held Sunday in Lake Placid.  The event was created by Governor Andrew Cuomo to promote North Country winter tourism opportunities. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley checked out some of the activities.

Photo of Assemblywoman Janet Duprey
NYS Assembly

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce held its annual breakfast forum on Friday.  During the proceedings, officials unveiled the results of their annual issues survey of members.  The results show that 93 percent believe if implemented, a $15 minimum wage would eliminate jobs and harm the state’s economy. The survey came out the same week Governor Andrew Cuomo has been barnstorming the state promoting the $15 minimum wage, one of his key agenda priorities during this legislative session.  Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, a Republican, says the wage proposal is an overriding issue for businesses across the 115th district.

Assembly members at Chamber legislative breakfast
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Plattsburgh North Country Chamber of Commerce held its annual legislative breakfast this morning.  The overriding issue capturing businesses’ attention is the governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Joe Rossignoli leads meeting on Vermont Green Line Project
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A proposed project to bring 400 megawatts of renewable energy to New England was explained to residents of the region where the power would be obtained last night.  The Vermont Green Line is the latest energy project that plans to run an electric transmission cable along the floor of Lake Champlain to bring renewable energy from northern New York and Canada to New England markets.

File photo of Bombardier rail manufacturing plant in Plattsburgh
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Bombardier, a global manufacturer of rail cars and airplanes, plans to cut approximately 7,000 jobs — about 10 percent of its global workforce— over two years, while it adds jobs in growing areas of its business.

Middle school student tests robot
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Dozens of middle school students gathered in Essex, New York recently for a science, technology, engineering and math workshop.  The students were guided in building robots by instructors and cadets from the Military Academy at West Point.

Picture of Heroin
Adobe Stock

Clinton County will soon have an addiction treatment center. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement Friday that will bring a detox center to a region that has been lacking such a facility.

A newly enacted city ordinance in Plattsburgh is being suspended this weekend due to expected cold temperatures.

Jim Brown
Jim Brown Productions

In the era of glasnost, perestroika and the last days of the Cold War, music became a powerful force for change.  The new documentary Free To Rock looks at the spread of rock and roll in the 1980’s and 90’s and how it helped the Iron Curtain fall.  The film is being shown in Lake Placid this weekend and director Jim Brown explains that it took 10 years to complete.

A marina in Rouses Point
Bryan Smith/Flickr

It’s as far north as you can get in New York, and it will soon be under new leadership.

Tom Hanks as James Donovan (inset) in Bridge of Spies
The Adirondack Film Society & the Lake Placid Institute for the Arts & Humanities

On Feb 10, 1962 a prisoner exchange occurred at the height of Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union.  The two nations exchanged convicted Soviet spy Rudolph Abel and American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. Bridge of Spies, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, is based on the true story of the man behind the negotiations:  Brooklyn insurance lawyer James Donovan.   Donovan and his wife met and vacationed in Lake Placid and he is buried there.  His granddaughter Beth Amorosi says she, her sister and mother will talk about the Steven Spielberg film and James Donovan’s life at a screening Sunday in Lake Placid.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Adirondack Park Agency Board will decide on Thursday whether a plan to create a rail and trail corridor in the Adirondacks complies with the State Land Master Plan. The controversial issue has been debated for years.

Host Thom Hallock with panel discussing NY minimum wage issues
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With national calls to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants the state to lead  by example. He’s imposing the wage raise in some sectors and pushing for the increase in others. Mountain Lake Public Television held a panel discussion recently on the pros and cons of increasing the minimum wage. 

Petrova Elementary and the Middle School, 2010
Photo by Marc Wanner/Historic Saranac Lake-Localwiki

Audio Pending...

Two schools in the Saranac Lake School District were closed and students sent home early on Friday following a threat against a staff member.

David Sweat in Clinton County Court
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Convicted murderer David Sweat, who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York in June, setting off a 23-day manhunt, was back in court Wednesday. Sweat, who is already serving a life sentence for murder, appeared in Clinton Country Court to face sentencing for the breakout. 

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.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama

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.

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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.

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