Lights On The River Is Back

Lights On The River is back in St. Lawrence County and it’s bigger and better than ever. Karen Johnson has the story.

Lights on the River is definitely the place to donate to local food pantries. 16 of them receive donations from attenders to the annual event. The International Student Exchange got the festivities off to a great start with a design centered around their flags called we have a ‘Merry Christmas from Around the World. And as people drive through, they will see pallet trees with flags representing students from Germany, France, Spain, Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Ecuador, Belgium, Brazil, South Korea, the United States and Canada.And while students from around the world are participating in the festival, people travel from near and far to experience the Festival of Lights. Another new initiative that the Lights on the River Committee is trying to implement is, through their cooperation with the Cornell Cooperative Extension for the Eat Smart New York campaign, trying to promote healthy donations instead of just whatever might be in the back of your cupboard. All pantry donations are accepted with needs including baby supplies, basic cosmetic supplies, personal hygiene products, and cleaning supplies. Lights on the River runs until Dec. 23. I’m Karen Johnson

Legislators consider electric car charging station

Should Franklin County install electric car charging stations at the courthouse in Malone? Legislators heard a presentation about that idea during their meeting Thursday. The two-port charging station would be installed in the parking lot near the first floor entrance, allowing two cars to charge at the same time. If county commissioners approve the nearly $20,000 plan, Franklin County could be eligible for up to $250,000 in grants for future renewable energy projects. The county would only be responsible for paying about $8,000 all total for the ports, since the rest of the cost could be covered by the state. No decisions were made. Malone town leaders approved installing a charging station at the Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, but work hasn’t started on that project yet.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Legislation In The Works

Legislation in the works in New York to combat sexual harassment. Karen Johnson explains the progress.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik, along with several other lawmakers are announcing bipartisan legislation to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act of 2017 would void forced arbitration policies that prevent sexual harassment cases from law enforcement investigations and court trials.The lawmakers announced the bill alongside former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who quit her job following years of sexual harassment that went unaddressed because of forced arbitration agreements. Data indicates an estimated 60 million Americans are subject to forced arbitration clauses. Forced arbitration clauses prevent survivors of sexual harassment from discussing their complaint publicly and with law enforcement. If an employee’s contract or employee handbook includes a forced arbitration clause, the employee is likely to have signed away his or her right to a jury trial. I’m Karen Johnson.

Empire State Games return to Malone

The Empire State Winter Games are coming back to Malone in February. Titus Mountain will play host to the Rail Jam competition and broomball players will be at the Malone Civic Center for the opening rounds with finals at the Lake Placid Olympic Center. The games will be held the weekend of Feb. 3 and 4. This year, downstate will play more of a role. The torch run will begin in Manhattan and end in Lake Placid, as orgnaizers hope to draw more media attention to the events.

Potsdam Is Making A Decision About Its Water Supply

Potsdam is making a decision about its water supply. Karen Johnson has the story.

At issue is whether or not to continue adding fluoride to the village water which has been discussed at length by both the public and trustees over the past several months. The state laws pertaining to fluoridation lays out a number of requirements that municipalities must meet if they decide to stop fluoridating the water. But a section of those laws refers specifically to “any county, wherein a public authority owns both its public water system and the water supply for such system. But trustees have learned regardless of whether a municipality owns the water source or not, it must comply with the state requirements, which include providing alternatives and consulting with health professionals.
The village has been considering upgrades to the water treatment plant and received a grant from the state to do an engineering study on its fluoridation equipment to see what it would take to rehabilitate the system. But a number of residents have publicly announced that they oppose continuing fluoridation at all, while several local dentists and dental surgeons have spoken publicly in support of continued fluoridation. Among other issues, the stock of fluoride is running low and will have to be re-ordered if the village is to continue. I’m Karen Johnson.

Big Reimbursement From Stolen Cash For St. Lawrence County

St. Lawrence County has gotten a big reimbursement because of stolen cash according to a report from Karen Johnson.

(:48)

Every penny counts in welfare fraud settlements for St. Lawrence County amounting to $6,761. It was awarded after the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services and the District Attorney’s Office say they investigated “numerous” cases of reported fraud. The investigations focused on the crimes of welfare fraud, offering a false instrument for filing, unlawful use of a benefit card, forgery and other violations of the state law. The programs affected by the reported fraud include SNAP temporary assistance, day care, Medicaid, and HEAP. As a result, the county obtained a court settlement of $6,761 and disqualified seven people preventing them from receiving further benefits from the programs they defrauded say county officials. I’m Karen Johnson.

Major Redevelopment Plan In The Works In Canton

Major redevelopment plan in the works in Canton. Karen Johnson has the story.

(:60)
The village and town of Canton have been mulling the idea of acquiring the lot at 30 Riverside Drive and rehabilitating it as an important piece of a larger riverfront revitalization effort. Now the public hearing phase is set on Monday, December 11th on Canton’s application for a grant that could potentially pay for the demolition or rehabilitation. The grant, through Empire State Development’s Restore New York Communities Initiative, generally provides financial assistance to municipalities for revitalization of commercial and rental properties.Under a proposed partnership with St. Lawrence County and New York State, the structures at the property would be demolished and the small amount of asbestos recently found there abated by the village and town. While no bids have been accepted for the demolition and above ground cleanup at the lot, one proposal recently received by the village estimates the demolition costing around $53,000. The price would be shared between the village and town. I’m Karen Johnson

Whatever Weather Winter Brings, New York Is Prepared

Whatever weather winter brings, New York is prepared. Karen Johonson has a report.

According to the non-profit that manages the state’s electric grid, New York’s electric system has more than enough capacity to handle whatever weather winter brings to the state even the toughest cold snap. Wes Yeomans VP of Operations for the New York Independent System Operator says we’re projecting capacity excess. NYISO projections place the peak demand for electricity at slightly less than 24,400 megawatts on “a very cold January day,” Yeomans said. That amount of energy draw would still leave the system with more than 11,000 MW of excess capacity, he said.Last year’s peak — during what was acknowledged as an overall a mild winter — was about 24,200 MW; the state’s record peak usage was 25,700 MW during “polar vortex conditions” in 2014. I’m Karen Johnson.

Upstate Law Enforcement Deserves Credit

The mayor of Plattsburgh is praising a city police detective with helping to crack open the case of a missing 17-year-old girl, later found with her soccer coach. 27-year-old Rian Rodriguez was arrested after he and the girl were stopped by a State Police officer Friday near Syracuse. Mayor Colin Read told reporters Detective, Steve Dube realized the girl had relatives in upstate and believed the pair could be coming here. With some help of technology, Rodriguez’s license plates showed up in Binghamton. Read says it’s just good solid police work.

DeSantis Faces Charges

A Potsdam man is charged with harrassment, following an incident at an Elm Street residence. Cole DeSantis was arraigned in Potsdam Town Court and will answer to the charges at a later date.