Archives for July 2017

More than 93% of drivers buckle up in NY

New York is setting a new record for seatbelt use. More than 93% of drivers now buckle up every time they get behind the wheel. The compliance rate is based on observations made last month at 120 sites around the state. Men are still less likely to wear seat belts than women, and those between the ages of 21 and 34 are also less likely than other age groups to not buckle up.

New Economic Council Being Created

A joint council is being set up by the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency and the Office of Economic Development with the goal of finding business growth areas and marketing the county to new companies. The Telegram reports the council members are Jim McKenna, president of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Cathy Dove, president of Paul Smith’s College and Garry Douglas, president of the North County Chamber of Commerce. The council’s first meeting is expected to be held in September and other business leaders from the county and the region may be participating in the council’s work. The idea to create a council was first proposed by the Industrial Development Agency and plans to create the council with the Office of Economic Developmentwere finalized last September.

Franklin County Occupancy Tax Revenues Up

Franklin County says occupancy tax revenues have grown by over 25 percent from nearly 160 businesses. County officials say 70 of those operations are those renting through AirBNB, the online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to lease or rent short-term lodging. But not every hotel or AirBNB host is collecting and remitting the 5 percent overnight guest tax so the county is considering hiring a compliance officer but that process is still in the early stages.

Local Reaction To Trump Transgender Decision

More local reaction to President Trump’s decision Tuesday to ban transgender people from the military. A spokesman for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik says she supported the review process for transgender recruits that was was announced last month by Defense Secretary James Mattis. That process was supposed to take six months to complete and according to the spokesman Stefanik thinks Secretary Mattis and senior military leaders should be given the time and authority to consult with medical and personnel experts, the Service chiefs and outside groups to properly and completely review this policy and its impacts on the force. U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand who is a member of the Senate Armed Service Committee also reacted to the decision saying she plans to introduce legislation to overturn the ruling.

Search Continues In Massena For Missing Teens

The search continues for three teenagers who authorities say may be in Massena. According to state police 17-year-old Nathanial McKenna was given a visit release June 30 from Berkshire Youth Center in Canaan and was supposed to be back July 5 but never returned. Police also are looking for 17-year-old Alyssa Webster, and 15-year-old Alyjah W. Webster who ran away from their foster home on July 22 and are believed to be with McKenna. Call state police in Massena if you know of the teenager’s whereabouts.

Plattsburgh Car Arson Suspect Appears In Court

A man suspected in several Plattsburgh vehicle arsons earlier this month then fled to Texas has been extradited and made his first court apperance on Wednesday. According to court papers Jimmy Williams was booked on eight felony arson counts and is in the Clinton County jail in $50,000 cash bail, $100,000 bond. Police say Williams was arrested in his hometown of Kingwood, Texas and the investigation involved the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office, the National Insurance Crime Board, and authorities in Harris County Texas.

Mistrial Declared In Colton Child Rape Case

A judge declares a mistrial Wednesday in the child-rape case of a Colton man. Keith Sharlow, a Level 3 sex offender, is charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, four counts of first-degree rape, three counts of third-degree rape, one count each of second-degree rape and first-and third-degree incest, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. The seven-man, five-woman jury ended the day Tuesday, saying it was deadlocked after just over five hours of deliberations then this morning the attorneys were called to the judge’s chambers where they were told one juror was unavailable and since there was no other alternates the mistrial was declared. The case is expected to be retried

National Grid asking for rate increase

National Grid wants to raise rates.

The state public service commission is holding information sessions in Lake Placid on Thursday to talk about the rate increase.

National Grid is asking for a $261 million hike on electricity revenues and another $70 million for natural gas. If approved, the average customer would pay about $9 more per month for each.

The utility says they have to modernize their infrastructure and and IT systems.

The PSC is reviewing the request and could approve it, reject it, or modify it.

Two meetings will be held at the Lake Placid Conference Center on Thursday, July 27. The first at 2 p.m. and the second at 6 p.m. If you can’t make the meeting, but would like to comment, go to and search by case number “17-E-0238” or “17-G-0239” to post a comment for regulators.

New improvement plan approved for Malone Central Schools

The Malone school board approves a new district “comprehensive improvement plan” for teachers, students and parents. The plan encourages teachers to use lesson plans that teach to “higher order” thinking and asks them to share ideas. Administrators will be periodically visiting classrooms to make sure teachers are following through. The plan also aims to ensure that students feel safe in school, after a survey revealed that nearly 20% said they didn’t feel safe. Finally, the district wants to increase communication with parents to get their feedback and hopefully get more families participating in education.

Warning about new Social Security telephone scam

A new twist on an old scam. The Social Security Administration is warning that callers claiming to be from the SSA are offering to increase your benefits in exchange for personal information. The impersonator is generally calling from a number with the 323 area code. The scammer claims the victim is due a 1.7 % cost of living adjustment and then asks them to “verify” their personal information, including social security number. Once they get that information, they then call the real social security administration and request changes to the victim’s direct deposit account.