Archives for January 2018

An Out-Of-This-World Banking Company Heading to Massena

A banking company that’s out-of-this-world may soon be coming to Massena. Karen Johnson has more.

The cryptocurrency company is known as Coinmint and its developers plan to invest 165 million dollars and hire 150 people. Workers would oversee computer servers doing lightning speed calculations all day, every day to mine for Bitcoin. Massena town supervisor Steven O’Shaughnessy says the company would be good for Massena because they are highly technical jobs. The location being sought out for the company is the shuttered Alcoa East smelter in Massena. To understand, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Unlike paper money, there’s not a government backing Bitcoin, although bitcoin is traded on the financial markets. Today 1 Bitcoin is worth $10,000 U.S. dollars. I’m Karen Johnson

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe considers possible lawsuit over cancers

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe wants to find out more about the effects of pollution on their members. They’re considering a lawsuit against industries, like Alcoa, General Motors and Reynolds, that polluted the area with PCB’s. The tribe says their members have historically suffered higher than average rates of cancers and illnesses due to PCBs in their blood. New research shows that certain PCBs cause increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, breast cancer and melanoma. They’re asking tribal members to take a medical survey. Lawyers will then help the Tribe and sick indiviudals or family members of those deceased determine if there’s enough evidence to file a lawsuit and collect damages.

New Marketing Campaign For Ft. Drum

A new marketing campaign for Ft. Drum. Karen Johnson has more.

The Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization has officially unveiled its new branding now called Advocate Drum. Board members say the long name and acronym, FDRLO, can confuse people as to what exactly the group does. The goal of the new brand name is to give out a simple, clear message. “We boiled it down to exactly what the organization does – Advocate Drum. Which means we advocate Drum with federal officials, we advocate Drum with local officials, we advocate Drum on behalf of the soldiers and community becoming partners,” said Gary DeYoung, FDRLO marketing co-chair. The organization also encourages people become members to keep up to date on what the group is doing to advocate Drum. I’m Karen Johnson

New Director Of Public Health In The North Country

New director of public health in the North Country. Karen Johnson has details.

Dana McGuire is approved by St. Lawrence County legislators as director of public health. She will take up the post by February 12 at a salary of $96,204. McGuire worked some of her first jobs in the health field in Ogdensburg and St. Lawrence County in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She now works in the developmental disabilities branch of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has a doctorate in physical therapy from Drexel University in Philadelphia. The county has been without a public health director since James Rich was relieved of that position in September after two years on the job. I’m Karen Johnson

Settling An Animal Cruelty Case In Watertown

Arrangements for a plea deal are being finalized in a huge animal cruelty case in Watertown. Karen Johnson has details.

The case involves Leroy Burnham and Joanne Armstrong charged with 68 counts of animal cruelty each at their farm property on Sandy Valley Creek Road. They were arrested nearly a year ago. At the time officials say more than 100 animals were neglected, underfed and not cared for. The plea deal will make them pay for the animals’ care, allow them to get some animals back and it will keep the couple out of jail. Part of the deal includes reimbursing those who’ve cared for the animals since the couple’s arrest totaling 100,000 dollars. The plea deal will make Burnham and Armstrong give up all but 20 of the goats, rabbits, cattle and other animals. The rest will stay with the veterinarians and caregivers that have been taking care of them for the past year. I’m Karen Johnson.

Tax filing season opens today

Today is the first day of the 2018 tax filing season—the first day the IRS will begin accepting tax returns. You have until April 17 to get your paperwork into the government. And for low-income North Country residents, you can get a little free help thanks to the United Way. In Franklin County, the Mohawk Indian Housing Corporation in Akwesasne is taking appointments for anyone who may qualify for the earned income tax credit. You can also call SeaComm Federal Credit Union in Malone to schedule an appointment for Feb 10th. Or you can prepare your own tax return online for free at OneWorkSource in Malone. You can get assistance from a certified Tax Coach. Total household income though has to be below $66,000. You can also go to or to do it from the comfort of you home.

Franklin County’s Sheriff Is Taking On An Additional Role

Franklin County’s Sheriff is taking on an additional role. Karen Johnson has more.

Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill is the newly elected treasurer of the New York State Sheriffs’ Association. It became official at the 84th Annual Winter Training Conference at the Desmond Hotel in Albany. Mulverhill, who is completing his second four-year term as sheriff, will work with the newly elected president of the association, Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts, and sheriffs around the state, to further the efforts of the Sheriffs’ Association to enhance public safety in New York State through professional training and accreditation programs, public safety programs, and advocacy, all contained in a news release announcing Mulverhill’s election. The New York State Sheriffs’ Association, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, formed in 1934, for the purpose of assisting sheriffs in the efficient and effective delivery of services to the public. It’s made up of all of the elected and appointed sheriffs of New York State. I’m Karen Johnson.

Massena Is Knee-High In Water Issues

Massena is knee-high in water issues. Karen Johnson takes a look.

Massena’s effort to taking over village water lines will involve many legal steps and won’t be a quick deal, according to an explanation from the town’s attorney at the latest Town Council meeting. The village is trying to get the town to take over “several sections of waterlines in the town on Highland Road, South Main (Street) and North Main (Street) … that are not in any district but they are in the town,” Town Supervisor Steve O’Shaughnessy said. Town attorney Eric Gustafson told the board they have a long process ahead of them. “It’s not ‘okay, let’s come up with a quick agreement, shake hands and be done with it,'” he said. He says that they have to take care of a pending lawsuit involving village waterlines, the specifics of which were not discussed, as well as figure out existing contractual responsibilities associated with the public works in question. It must also be figured out if the board would vote to take over the waterlines, or if they will let the residents in what would be its district decide at the polls. I’m Karen Johnson

Investigating An Unusual Barn Fire

An investigation continues into a Lewis County Barn destroyed by a fire. Karen Johnson has an update.

Investigators are still trying to pinpoint the cause of a blaze that destroyed a barn in Lewis County early Monday morning at Daniel Hrim’s farm in Leyden. 56 cows were killed in the blaze that engulfed the building according to a volunteer firefighter with the Constableville fire department who discovered the flames. The firefighter awakened the owner who called 911. Hrim was able to get some equipment out of the barn before the flames prevented him from saving anything else while a calf and a goat in an isolated part of the barn were rescued. Firefighters were unable to save the barn or the rest of the livestock inside, but they kept the fire from spreading to the house and another nearby building. The barn’s remains were just demolished while the investigation continues. I’m Karen Johnson

Lodging Improvements Making Into The State Budget

Improved lodging makes it to the Governor’s proposed budget, Karen Johnson has more information.

In Governor Cuomo’s proposed budget $13 million dollars is being earmarked for the Thousand Islands and Adirondacks regions. The money is for new lodging options in those tourism spots. One of the things that keeps coming up is the need for improved and new lodging across the whole north country especially the Thousand Islands and Adirondacks area says T.I. International Tourism Council Director Gary DeYoung. DeYoung says new and improved lodging could bring new development to parts of the Thousand Islands and, of course, more people. He says the Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton is a good example of that. He adds “Clayton’s seen a lot of good development since that hotel’s gone in. The state sees that as something they’d like to repeat elsewhere whether it’s improving existing facilities that need some upgrades or building new facilities with wineries and distilleries. He says we’ll see if the money for tourism becomes available when the final version of the state budget passes on March 31. I’m Karen Johnson.