Murder Trial Start Date Set In Franklin County

The trial date is set for a murder trial in Franklin County involving a father and daughter. Karen Johnson report.

John Castner’s murder trial is now scheduled to begin March 4, according to the Franklin County District Attorney. Castner, 62, was accused in April of shooting and killing David Carpin, 61, and concealing the body. He has since been indicted by a Franklin County grand jury on six felony charges: second-degree murder, three counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, tampering with evidence and concealing a human corpse. Franklin County’s Public Defender entered a not-guilty plea for Castner during his September arraignment in Franklin County Court. Carpin’s body was discovered by State Police in April on a property Castner owns on Old Meacham Road in the town of Duane. State Police said Castner initially admitted killing Carpin, who died of a gunshot wound to the chest, according to autopsy reports. Castner allegedly shot and killed the man Nov. 28, 2017. Shortly after Castner’s daughter, Melissa L. Castner, attacked the victim with a knife, State Police said then. She was charged with second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies, in connection with the homicide.

Events scheduled for Winter Carnival

We’re less than two months away from Malone’s annual Winter Carnival and we’re learning more about what’s on this year’s schedule. The YMCA is once again hosting the Revue at a Malone Middle School on Feb. 15th and the theme is “Out of This World!” The Chamber of Commerce is in charge of the parade, which will be held on Feb. 9, the same day as the Winter Carnival Pageant. The Malone AMVETS are handling the Winter Carnival Dinner on Feb. 16th. It’s going to be a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for $12 per person.

Blue Christmas tree lighting set for Thursday in Chateaugay

Local law enforcement officers will have their own Christmas tree in Chateaugay this year. The village is hosting a lighting ceremony for the Blue Christmas tree on Thursday evening from 6 until 7:30. The event will be held at the Chateaugay Village offices. There will be hot chocolate, snacks and a visit from Santa. Malone Village police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s office will be there as well.

Winning The Lottery In New York Means You Will Probably Be Famous

Winning the lottery in New York means you will probably be famous. Karen Johnson reports.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure that would have allowed big lottery jackpot winners in New York to remain anonymous. Bill sponsors wanted New York to follow the lead of a handful of other states that give jackpot winners the option of anonymity so they can avoid being hounded by people seeking money. The bill would have applied to jackpots over $5,000. In a message Cuomo says people should know there are actual lottery winners and that the state is not merely padding its coffers. The governor says winners seeking anonymity in New York can form a limited liability corporation. A New York City resident who won a $344 million Powerball jackpot last month told media outlets he wished he could remain anonymous. I’m Karen Johnson.


Two people pled guilty Monday in Federal Court to illegally transporting aliens across the border from Canada into the United States. 49 year old Daniel Santana of New York City, and 35 year old Sandy Santana-Soto of Kissimmee, Florida, each admitted that on June 13th of this year, they drove together to the Massena Port of Entry and entered the United States from Canada. While doing so, two illegal aliens were being smuggled across the border by boat approximately 5 miles east of the Massena Port of Entry, all in an effort to avoid United States immigration and customs inspection. The two illegals were dropped off at a restaurant parking lot near Hogansburg, where… after they got across the border themselves… Santana and Santana-Soto drove to that parking lot and picked up the two illegals, then drove west on State Route 37 until they stopped at a gas station in Hogansburg, where Border Patrol agents approached the group, and arrested all four of them. Now, Santana and Santana-Soto each face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 when they are sentenced on April 16th.


A deer that was rescued after it fell through the ice on Lake Flower Sunday morning, died… despite efforts by emergency workers who spent hours trying to rehab the animal. Police in Saranac Lake got a call Sunday morning about the deer…. and members of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department responded, with two trucks equipped with ice rescue gear and an air boat. The firefighters said it was an unusual request from the start, as they normally don’t respond to calls about deer going through the ice, mainly because of the danger such a rescue can pose to humans. This time however, due to a number of circumstances, they made an exception. Eventually, thanks to the help of the firemen and the use of an airboat, the doe was pulled from the icy water and taken to shore, where it was warmed up and then moved to a quiet location. Unfortunately, it died Sunday evening. Emergency responders say the whole thing serves to warn everyone that right now, ice conditions are extremely unsafe due to the recent thaw, followed by heavy snow and re-freeze cycle so far this year. Emergency services warn against going out onto the ice for any reason.


In Plattsburgh, one cryptocurrency mining entrepreneur has high hopes of heating city buildings by utilizing the heat that his mining operation generates. But 19 year old Ryan Brienza has one main thing blocking those plans right now… Plattsburgh’s moratorium on cryptocurrency mining. Brienza claims he can help save the city thousands of dollars in electric costs. His cryptocurrency mining computers… as many as a hundred or more…. generate a lot of heat as they work nonstop, trying to solve complex math problems. He says he could use all that heat to heat up city buildings. Brienza says the entire city of Plattsburgh already uses electricity to heat buildings. His plan would be to place one of the boxes that holds hundreds of computers outside one of the buildings, and then use the existing electrical infrastructure and that electrical load that the heat’s already pulling in the winter to power not only the cryptocurrency mining rigs, but also to exhaust the heat that is created back into the buildings. So far, Brienza says he’s received preliminary support from the city. Plattsburgh City Council… according to WPTZ-TV… has indicated that is may lift that moratorium in the coming months in order to make Brienza’s plan a reality.

Report: North Country universities contribute $700 million to economy

A new report claims that Clarkson University has a $344.7 million economic impact on the North Country. The analysis from the Center for Governmental Research says when combined with St. Lawrence University and Paul Smith’s College, the schools together contributed about $703 million to the region. The schools generate state and local tax revenue and support hundreds of jobs, plus their research opens up new business opportunities. Clarkson points to their Shipley Center for Innovation, which has facilitiated more than 175 new start-ups and helped foster 415 projects across the area. They say there are about 60 active projects currently in the pipeline, demonstrating that they can help create new enterprises with emerging technologies.

Women Majoring In Science Receive Financial Boost

Women majoring in science at St. Lawrence University receive a financial boost. Karen Johnson has details.

St. Lawrence University has been awarded the esteemed Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Award by the Henry Luce Foundation in order to build on the success of university women in the sciences. Starting in 2019, the three-year grant of $110,600 will offer paid summer research work giving experience to eight women each summer for a total of up to 24 women majoring in STEM disciplines-science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The program will also pair a faculty mentor with each student participant for the remainder of her college career, according to a news release from SLU. “St. Lawrence’s proposal was selected among a very competitive field of applications for the Clare Boothe Luce Undergraduate Research Award, which is a testament to our existing commitment to gender equity in the fields of science and mathematics,” said SLU President William L. Fox. Each Clare Boothe Luce Research Scholar will receive a stipend as well as funds for supplies and domestic travel with their faculty mentor to present research findings at regional, national and professional conferences. Campus housing will also be provided to scholars over the summer. The university says Fifty-two percent of current STEM majors at St. Lawrence are women, representing a jump of 55 percent over the last 10 years. I’m Karen Johnson.


Whiile a special commission in Albany voted last week to increase the pay of New York state senators and Assembly representatives… plus that of the governor… eventually to the point of being the highest paid senators, representatives, and governor in the country… not all lawmakers think it’s such a good idea. The New York Times reported on Friday, that a formal report will be made today, and unless the legislature and the governor vote against it by January 1st, it will become law. If it does, it will mean that legislators’ salaries would go up to $130,000 a year, and the governor’s salary would increase to $250,000 by 2021, up from $79,500 and then $179,000 in the following year. But here in the North Country, some politicians are not on board. Both incumbent Republican Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush and Republican Assemblyman-elect Mark Walczyk issued statements opposing the increases. Walczyk in fact, issued a rather terse response in a news release on Friday, saying… as families across the North Country are struggling to pay for groceries and many cannot afford Christmas gifts, he would put coal in the stockings of the Pay Commission and any legislator that thinks it’s responsible to give themselves a Christmas bonus on the back of the taxpayer. Walczyk called the increases “offensive.”