Archives for August 2015

Clinton Correctional locked down

After several massive fights at Clinton Correctional, the prison was locked down over the weekend. Guards had to use tear gas and fire several shots to break-up the inmates. The guard’s union says the riot was between rival gangs in the prison over drugs. Six were arrested and several were hurt. This is the fourth major fight at the prison since May. Operations are expected to return to normal sometime this week.

Malone town council considers tax breaks for apartments

The Malone Town Council is looking at a 40-year tax break for the new owners of the Indian Trails housing complex. Winn Companies of Boston plans to buy the apartments and then spend about $20 million on upgrades. But in exchange, they want the town, the village, Franklin County, and the school district to waive property taxes. The company would be in charge of paying for fire protection and plans to give back 10% of their quarterly earnings to the government. In May, Gov. Cuomo announced that Indian Trails was awarded a $9.5 million grant to help with renovations. Council members tabled the discussion about waiving the taxes until the town attorney can get more infomation.

Man’s body pulled from Saranac River after more than an hour

A man in his 20s jumped off Cadyville’s Oxbow Bridge last evening, and didn’t resurface. One of his friends had called 9-1-1. Searchers found the young man’s body after about an hour of searching the Saranac River. Today, there are calls for that span to be blocked off, because of how dangerous it is to jump from. It’s popular with young people, who often dive into the water from the bridge or the nearby cliffs. The bridge has been closed for years.

Malone Trustees Accused Of Sabatoge

The Malone village Board of Trustees has been accused of sabatoge by a local resident. Ed Histed has more…

((Sue Stevens, owner of Stevens Productions, organized a fundraising event for a local food pantry earlier this month. Stevens was at the Village Board meeting last week, where she leveled accusations that the board attempted to sabatoge the music festival she held on August 22nd.
It all began when The Northern New York Border Festival was held on the 22nd, which was planned as a means to provide exposure for local and regional performers, and also to serve a fundraiser for the Joint Council on Economic Opportunity’s food bank. Originally, it was going to be held at Arsenal Green, but at the last minute, the event was moved to Barney’s Wagon Wheel after village officials withdrew a permit that was necessary to hold it at the original location, saying that Stevens had failed to meet requirements in order to get the permit, and therefore, hold the event. Stevens says because the Wagon Wheel is a restaurant and a bar, several vendors and performers pulled out over concerns that it wouldn’t be family friendly. She also complained that due to the last minute move, she had to spend additional money to advertise the fact that it was going to be held in a different location. Those two factors, according to Stevens, caused the event to lose money. Village officials on the other hand, say that they stand by their decision not to grant the original permit because Stevens misrepresented the group… “Concerts for a Cause” as a non-profit charity, when it is not legally listed as such a group. The village claims that Stevens could not provide evidence of liability insurance.))

Escapee From Malone Police Station Caught After Brief Chase

An escape Wednesday from the Malone Police Station! Ed Histed with details…

((27 year old Kevin Augusta of Malone, who was taken into custody for drug possession and parole violation, briefly managed to escape from the village police station. It was only a short time later that Augusta was caught and re-arrested, and then hit with two additional charges. Malone police say Augusta was combative after he was arrested. Following a brief altercation with police, he escaped from the station and fled on foot toward the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Village police called in troopers from the state police barracks in Malone, and together, all the officers followed Augusta, both on foot and in vehicles. He was eventually found hiding in a house near Spruce Street, where he was again taken into custody and then charged with escape in addition to the earlier charges. Augusta was then taken to the Franklin County Jail in lieu of $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 bond.))

Radioactive material found in Saranac Lake garage

Scary moments in Saranac Lake after three public works employees had to undergo radioactive decontamination this week. They were exposed to low-level radioactive material in an underground garage near the intersection of Helen and Shepard Avenue. People in nearby homes were told to stay indoors while experts were called in. A pipe had broken in the garage earlier on Wednesday and the three employees went in to shut off the water. The fire department got a call later that night from the property owners daughter about the dangerous material. They went in, evaluated, and then called in the state. Officials aren’t saying exactly what kind of radioactive material was there. The State Health Department is now investigating.

Report: Video released showing inmates escape

New video released today, showing the route two inmates used to get out of the Clinton Correctional Facility earlier this summer. It took investigators just 20 minutes to follow the footsteps of David Sweat and Richard Matt. The Press-Republican reports the video offers some insight into the complexity of the escape, as well as just how dark the journey was for the two men, who were expecting a ride at the end of the tunnel. Joyce Mitchell, who was going to play getaway driver, didn’t show up. She’ll be sentenced in September for her role in the escape.

New Highway Department clerk hired

Malone town officials are revamping a clerk’s position in the highway department. Instead of a part-time clerk/part-time laboror’s job, board members on Wednesday voted to create one full-time clerk position. Catherine Cook was hired to handle the highway department’s accounts. She replaces Mark Besio, who’d been splitting his time as clerk and laborer. Besio also worked as the airport manager, but he’s been suspended from that role while an investigation is underway. However, officials are refusing to answer any questions about that investigation.

Schneiderman Announces Radio Shack Deal

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday, announced that his office has reached a settlement in principle with RadioShack that will pay holders of unredeemed gift cards that were purchased by consumers at 100% of the value of their cards. Ed Histed has more…

((The agreement applies to gift cards purchased from RadioShack or other merchants who sold RadioShack gift cards and applies to consumers nationwide. The settlement does not impose a minimum dollar threshold for consumer claims and is supported by the Attorneys General of Texas, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Tennessee, and New Hampshire. If the settlement is approved by the Bankruptcy Court, consumers will have 12 months after RadioShack’s plan of liquidation becomes effective to file a simplified proof of claim form that will be available online or by mail. An escrow account with $500,000 will be established so that the first half million dollars’ worth of qualifying unredeemed gift card claims will be paid promptly and will not be delayed in the bankruptcy process. In the event that qualifying gift card claims exceed that amount, additional funds will be provided.))

Concerns over Common Core

New York education officials are trying to come up with new ways to motiviate kids and their parents to opt into the Common Core testing. They’ve nixed plans for financial sanctions for schools where many kids opt out of the standardized tests. But they are going to be launching a information campaign, to try to educate parents and teachers about why the tests are important. Meanwhile, organizers of the opt-out movement say they expect even more students to opt out of the tests this April. Last spring, more than 20 percent of New York students decided to sit out the Common Core testing, pushing many districts below the federally mandated 95% rate for the schools to be scored.