AKWESASNE MAN FACING FELONY CHARGES

An Akwesasne man who had been wanted by St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police on felony charges, was caught on Monday. 36 year old Chance Thompson is facing charges including rape and criminal mischief; fleeing a police officer; reckless driving; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; failure to comply; and a long list of other Vehicle and Traffic Law infractions. Thompson was also charged with felony driving while intoxicated. While details surrounding many of the charges have not been released by police, they do say that the warrant for his arrest in the rape case was issued last May. Thompson was taken into custody on Monday and is now in the Franklin County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail, $500,000 secured bond or $1 million unsecured bond.

CANADIAN RAIL PROTESTS CONTINUE TO PARALYZE RAIL SYSTEM

The anti-pipeline protests and blockades that have paralyzed Canada’s rail system and so far, have brought most freight and passenger rail service north of the border to a standstill, entered their 12th day yesterday, with no signs of letting up. Demonstrators say they are being held in support of the hereditary chiefs in British Columbia, who oppose the construction of a natural gas pipeline through their territory. The pipeline dispute is wrapped in long-standing questions over land title, and just who speaks for Canada’s indigenous people… and poses a major challenge for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

PLANS TO FIGHT EMERALD ASH BORER BEING FORMULATED NOW

It may still be February, but now is the time… according to the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District… to prepare for the emerald ash borer beetle. The invasive pest was last spotted in Bombay back in July, and since then, it has been killing trees across a wide swath of the North Country. It can travel up to five miles each year. Experts in both Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties now plan two workshops to prepare landowners for what to expect and how to manage the impacts of the coming emerald ash borer invasion this summer. The first is next Tuesday from 6 to 8pm at the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES in Canton. The second will be held on Wednesday, March 4th from 6 to 8pm at the Malone Callfiremen Station. Both are free and open to the public.

NEW DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE

Gerald Cahill, MD, is the newest member of the University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center Medical Staff. His primary care office is located in the Hastings Medical Building on Fourth Street in Malone. He is board certified in Family Medicine, and has decades of experience providing primary care services in
Malone and throughout the North Country. Dr. Cahill first joined Alice Hyde’s Medical Staff in 1989 and served with the hospital until 2017, when he joined the medical staff at Bare Hill Correctional Facility and later Franklin Correctional Facility, where he served as Medical Director until retiring last June. His office can be reached by calling (518) 481-2294.

RETIRED STATE POLICE OFFERED OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME LOCAL LAW ENFORCERS

Sen. Betty Little introduced a bill that would allow retired state troopers to work as part-time officers in police departments in Malone, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake. Assemblyman Billy Jones sponsored it in the state Assembly. If approved, the bill would allow retired state troopers to work as part-time officers without further examinations or requirements in the local police departments. Currently, Franklin County Civil Service doesn’t consider state troopers as municipal police officers. That’s because in order to become a village police officer, a person needs to be accepted into the department before the age of 35, and most retired state troopers are older than that.

MORE PROTESTS

International travel at the Thousand Islands Bridge near Alexandria Bay was brought to a standstill on Monday afternoon, when anti-pipeline protesters took to the span… joining forces with other indiginous protestors who have been blocking rail lines across Canada over a planned natural gas pipeline. The U.S.-Canada crossing closed around 1:15pm yesterday, and re-opened by 3. During the closure, traffic had to be diverted to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. According to the Canada Federal Bridge Corporation, the Thousand Islands Bridge is typically the quietest crossing when it comes to things like that, and they say although it was a bit unexpected, they have no plans to bring any extra security staff to the bridge today, but if a pattern starts developing, that may change. Demonstrations earlier this month also temporarily shut down the Cornwall Island border crossing near Massena.

BRUSHTON WATER PROJECT MOVING FORWARD

New water and sewer system plans in Brushton are moving forward after the Brushton village board last week, approved findings that show that the project would have no significant impact on the environment. Those findings however, must still be reviewed by the US Department of Agriculture, and that could take another month.

NEW EATERY COMING TO MALONE

A new dining option will soon be open in Malone. “Something Different” plans to offer more than just food too… Owner Jack Brown has announced plans that include entertainment out back, picnic tables with umbrellas, and of course… good food. The restaurant is located off East Main Street near the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Brown says he has two brick lined ovens that can cook 12 pizzas in 12 minutes, with inside seating for 46 people and more than 50 out back.

GET SET FOR FREE SNOWMOBILING FOR OUT OF STATERS

New York State is offering a fee-free weekend for out of state snowmobilers next month. Fees will be waived March 14th and 15th fo out-of-state visitors, as long as their machines are registered and insured. Our state offers more than 10,000 miles of trails, and has committed $4.2 million for trail maintenance and grooming… all funded by snowmobile registration fees.

VEHICLE FIRE AT MALL

A vehicle burst into flames over this past weekend at the Champlain Centre Mall in Plattsburgh. It happened on Sunday night, when firefighters were called out, and when they arrived at the mall, they found a 2006 Ford Explorer totally engulfed in flames in the parking lot. Although the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, it is believed that the fire started from an electrical or mechanical malfunction. Luckily, the driver was able to make it out safely and nobody was hurt. The vehicle however, is a total loss.