Attorney General’s office adds $20 million to homeowner protection program

The Attorney General’s office is adding $20 million more dollars to the Homeowner Protection Program, which helps struggling families connect to mortgage-assistance relief services across New York. Since he started it in 2012, Schneiderman’s office has contributed $130 million to the program. He says there’s an ongoing need for these critical services, with more than 80-thousand families taking advantage and avoiding forclosure in the last five years. If you need help with your mortgage, check out AGhomehelp.com.

More People Are Working Than Not In Franklin County

More people are working than not in Franklin County. Karen Johnson has a report on unemployment.

In October, the unemployment rate in Franklin County dropped slightly falling to early summer levels after the first increase in the rate since February last month.
The county’s unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent in October from 5.4 percent in September, according to statistics released Tuesday by the state Department of Labor. The drop brought the rate to its lowest point since October 2016, when it was also 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate had peaked at 7 percent in February, then fallen steadily until September, when it moved upward 0.1 percent from August’s figure.
Despite the drop in the unemployment rate, the number of people in the county reported as working actually fell – from 18,900 in July, August and September to 18,800 in October. The number listed as unemployed also fell in October to 1,000, down from 1,100 in July, August and September. I’m Karen Johnson.

Malone makes list of most affordable ski towns

A little ski recognition for Malone and Titus Mountain! Realtor.com has named Malone one of the 10 most affordable ski towns in America. It’s fourth on the list, behind Harrison, Michigan, Paoli Indiana, and Biwabik, Minnesota. The website says Malone has “prime access to breathtaking Adirondack Mountains and the opportunity for some of New York’s best lake fishing and fastest snowmobiling.” Titus Mountain is mentioned specifically in the article, with its 10 lifts and 58 trails.

“Betting” Sports Betting Is Coming To New York

A New York Lawmaker is “betting” sports betting will likely be coming to New York’s casinos and racinos. Karen Johnson has the story.

The decision is pending on a U.S. Supreme Court decision that would strike down the federal prohibition against betting on both professional and amateur athletic contests. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow of Westchester County who is also chairman of the Gaming Committee in the lower house of the State Legislature, says he is optimistic the bar against sports betting will be removed in December when the high court hears a case stemming from New Jersey. If the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is struck down, the outcome favored by the gaming industry, Pretlow says he would then promote legislation to all New York’s regional off-track betting corporations to participate in bookmaking for sporting contests. Then, if lawmakers pass the enabling legislation in the coming year the following year would set the stage for a statewide ballot question in November 2019. I’m Karen Johnson.

A Doctor Prescribing Medical Marijuana Gets Caught and Charged With DWI

A doctor prescribing medical marijuana in the North Country is arrested for driving under the influence. Karen Johnson has details.

48 year old Dr. Richard D’Amico of Plattsburgh, the only Clinton County doctor authorized to prescribe medical marijuana is now charged with driving while under the influence of drugs. It happened during a traffic stop on the downtown stretch of Margaret Street. The charge is a misdemeanor. Plattsburgh City Police Lt. Bradley Kiroy said a plainclothes police officer reported to Plattsburgh City Police that he saw D’Amico park his car and get out and that he was visibly intoxicated. When officers arrived around 10 o’clock that night a week ago D’Amico was pulling out of the parking space and heading north on Margaret Street. They saw him swerve from his lane without using his turn signal, Kiroy said. Police pulled D’Amico over and had a blood test performed. He was held and arraigned the next morning in Plattsburgh City Court before Judge Mark Rogers, then released on his own recognizance. D’Amico is due back in court on Thursday, Dec. 21. I’m Karen Johnson.

Hunting Comes With Legal Responsibilities

Hunting season comes with some legal responsibilities. Karen Johnson has the information.

Don’t forget to report your gaming harvests. That’s the word from the Department of Environmental Conservation to st. Lawrence county hunters. Plus, hunters or trappers who take a bobcat, and trappers who take a fisher, marten, or otter must have the animal pelt-sealed by DEC staff. DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos says information collected from harvest reports helps DEC track game species populations and ensures that hunting and trapping opportunities are sustainable for generations to come. Reporting your harvest is not just the law, it’s an important tool in wildlife management.” Hunters who fail to report their harvests can be subject to fines of up to $250. If you’re reporting a deer, turkey or bear that can be handled over the phone by calling 866.426.3778 or you can access DEC’s official mobile app, “NY Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife” by Pocket Ranger. I’m Karen Johnson.

Potsdam Boy Apparently Dies From The Flu

A Potsdam Boy has apparently died from the flu. Karen Johnson has the details.

Rayden LaBarge an eleven year old and a sixth-grader at A.A. Kingston Middle School, was at his mother’s Parishville home when he became unresponsive, according to the County Coroner after being treated recently for flu-like symptoms. The coroner says Rayden’s mom was performing CPR when EMS arrived Sunday night where resuscitation efforts continued without success in the local hospital ER. Blood samples have been sent out to a state laboratory although Rayden had only been ill for a few days. Grief counselors from hospice at St. Lawrence Valley were on hand for Rayden’s school friends where craft materials were on hand to make cards. Arrangements are being handled by the Hammill Funeral Home, 653 Route 11C, Winthrop. Calling hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the home. I’m Karen Johnson.

A Cost Savings To Eliminate Jail Time Discussed

St. Lawrence discusses a cost savings idea to replace jail time. Karen Johnson reports.

St. Lawrence County legislators were told last night that using electronic home monitoring bracelets and alcohol monitors could save the county an estimated $1 million in jail housing costs over the next five years. The new method of discipline would begin in January as an alternative to being incarcerated in St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility for some people charged with felony crimes. Instead judges would order those charged with crimes to wear devices that monitor them at home, which is far less expensive than putting them in jail. Paying for the devices would come from a nearly 200-thousand dollar grant from the state Division of Criminal Justices Services to lease 39 devices at a cost of about $7 per day per unit. The annual award is for five years. In addition County Probation Director Timothy P. LePage says lawmakers have also agreed to create and fill a probation assistant position that will be funded by the grant. The job will pay an approximate 64-thousand dollars. I’m Karen Johnson.

The Malone Chamber Of Commerce Celebrates Business Success

The Malone Chamber of Commerce celebrated business success over the weekend. Karen Johnson has the story.

At the annual dinner on Friday night, the honorees represented more than 200 years of business contributions to the Malone community. Beginning with the winner of the Legacy Business Award — which was created last year to recognize businesses active in the community for at least 50 years. The two businesses honored were both multigenerational family-run businesses. Ray Normandeau, who has operated his barber shop in Malone for more than 50 years, was chosen at the chamber’s Citizen of the Year. Normandeau has been “a pillar of the Malone business community,” says chamber President Michael Doran. Then, Christine Disotelle, the current owner of Industrial Press accepted the award for Business of the Year. Industrial Press has managed “to pull off the impossible on a regular basis,” Doran said in presenting the award. The company has existed since 1883, and Disotelle is the third generation of the family that has owned the business since 1940.
The Organization of the Year was the newcomer while it’s existed for forty years. Citizen Advocates began with only a handful of employees offering a few services; it now employs roughly 750 people — with an annual payroll of roughly $40 million — offering a diverse range of professional services designed to support people with developmental disabilities in the community. I’m Karen Johnson.

Qualified Homeowners Can Receive Heating Assistance

Beginning Monday home heating assistance is available to those who qualify. Karen Johnson has more.

It’s called The Home Energy Assistance Program and it offers $327 million in federal funding to older and low- to moderate-income residents to lift the burden of heating costs. Governor Cuomo in a public statement says as cold winter nights begin to set in, this funding will ensure New Yorkers receive the assistance they need to heat their homes and keep their families safe. In addition The state’s Office of Aging director Greg Olsen says cold temperatures and the inability to afford to keep a home warm can lead to health and safety risks. Eligible households can receive up to $726 in assistance, depending on income and how the house is heated. A family of four earning up to $53,482 per year can still qualify for help. During the 2016-17 winter, over 35,000 north country households received heating assistance. Applications are accepted at Social Services departments, or online at myBenefits.ny.gov. I’m Karen Johnson