Archives for February 2018

“Smishing” Warning For Bank Customers

There’s a new warning to not become a victim of “smishing.” Karen Johnson explains what it means.

Phishing scams via email are fairly well known but this is called “smishing,” where scammers utilize text messaging services to trick people. The text messages claim to come from your bank about “important communication” with a number to dial. If you call the number, the line on the other end will request your credit card information. One of the latest ploys is targeting KeyBank customers. Detective Paige Taylor of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says scammers will do anything to make people afraid about losing control of their bank accounts. Taylor says Whatever their particular target is, it is to make the person afraid that some type of service or some type of charge is going to be placed against them if they don’t respond immediately. He says they even particular images or attempt to use language that a banking institution or other business may use to try to get you to entice a communication with them. In the meantime, officials urge people to use common sense and refrain from responding to these messages in any way. If you get a text like this or fall for the scam, complaints and comments can be made through KeyBank’s Fraud and Disputes Hotline at 1-800-433-0124.I’m Karen Johnson.

Two Are Charged With Stealing And Possessing Stolen Weapons

Two people are found and charged with possessing stolen weapons in Massena. Karen Johnson has a report.

Village police have charged 29 year old John Maxwell and 27 year old Donna Doman with a variety of weapons related crimes after they were allegedly found in possession of several weapons that had been reported stolen from a Stoughton Avenue residence. The weapons were found in a garbage can and sleeping bag in the Roosevelt Street and Liberty Avenue area. Maxwell was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Joseph Brown and sent to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton, without bail. Doman was also arraigned by Judge Brown, released and told to reappear today. They were reportedly in possession of several weapons and other items that had been reported stolen by Darren Daggett, 113 Stoughton Ave. In addition to stealing the guns, they were also charged with taking a wooden heart containing Mr. Daggett’s father’s ashes, various knives valued at $150 and a flat-screen television. I’m Karen Johnson.

Special Applications From Property Owners Due Soon

Some special applications are due soon from property owners. Karen Johnson explains.

Beginning Thursday, March 1st, St. Lawrence County will accept applications through the end of the month from property owners interested in adding land to Agricultural Districts 1 and 2. The county’s agricultural districts help protect farmland and farming in the county. Agricultural District 1 primarily consists of agricultural lands in the western and southern portions of the county and Agricultural District 2 spans across the county’s northern and eastern regions. Digital maps showing whether land is in an ag district are available online at to add land to Ag District 1 or 2 can be accessed at, obtained at local municipal offices, by calling the County Planning Office at 315-379-2292. I’m Karen Johnson

New Contender For State Assmebly From The North Country

A new contender in the North Country for State Assembly. Karen Johnson has more details.

Keith Rubino, a lifelong North Country resident is announcing his candidacy for the 118th Assembly District, which includes towns in southern and central St. Lawrence County. He will run as a Democrat.The seat is currently held by Assemblyman Marc Butler, R-Newport, who is not be seeking re-election. Rubino says he wants to level the playing field in New York by bringing more funding, jobs, and prosperity to Upstate New York. He is employed with the state of New York as a direct support attendant, working with the developmentally disabled. Keith says that he’s looking forward to this campaign, but did not make the decision to run lightly. He adds “I want people to see someone young and passionate that truly intends on fighting corruption within Albany. I will fight for the rights of people with disabilities, people working with them, and the entire human services field. Two Republican candidates, Philip Lloyd Paige and Patrick Vincent, have announced they will run for the 118th district and will face a primary on Sept. 11. I’m Karen Johnson

Flood warnings posted for Northern Franklin County towns

A flood warning is in effect for the Little Salmon River. High water thanks to the ice jam in Fort Covington is causing the river to come out of its banks. Several roads are closed today in Fort Covington. And the National Weather Service says levels will hold steady until the ice jam releases. Fort Covington, Bombay, Westville are all among the towns that could see flooding today. The flood warning runs through 5:30, but it may be extended. The ice jam along the St. Regis River is also causing flooding in Hogansburg. Emergency management says several roads are flooded, including St Regis, Gray, North, Church, and Mill Streets. North, Helena, and Solomon Roads are all flooded as well. That flood warning will stay in effect through 7 tonight.

“TOPS” Is Having Topsy-Turvy Financial Problems

A popular grocery chain is having major financial problems. Karen Johnson has more.

Tops Markets is announcing it’s filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Chapter 11 is a section of U.S. bankruptcy law which permits a business to stay open while paying its debts. According to a press release from Tops Markets LLC, based in Williamsville near Buffalo, “Tops stores across Upstate New York, Northern Pennsylvania and Vermont are continuing to serve customers with no impact on day-to-day operations. The company fully expects operations to continue as normal throughout this financial restructuring process. CEO Frank Curci says the company is working cooperatively with its creditors. According to the press release, Tops has received an asset-based revolving loan from Bank of America and a commitment for loan financing from some of its creditors. It expects to receive court approval for its restructuring requests and to continue paying employee benefits and wages without interruption. Tops employs over 14-thousand workers. In the Adirondacks, Tops operates two supermarkets in Saranac Lake, on Church street and Lake Flower Avenue. I’m Karen Johnson.

A Historic Moment In The Overall Number of Smokers In New York

The number of smokers in New York state is at the lowest level in recorded history. Karen Johnson has details.

With the great news the city’s health department is pushing for more people to kick the habit. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is announcing that the statewide adult smoking rate is 14.2 percent as of 2016 – a 22 percentage-point decline from 2011. The national smoking rate is 15.5 percent. The smoking rate for all New York City residents also dropped significantly from 16.2 percent in 2011 to 11.5 percent in 2016. The data comes from the annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system, an adult health survey, which shows declines across various groups between 2011 and 2016. During that time period, smoking among 18- to 24-year-olds dropped from 21.6 percent to 11.7 percent; smoking among New Yorkers without a high school diploma dropped from 25.7 percent to 19.2 percent; and smoking among people making less than $25,000 a year fell from 27.8 percent to 19.8 percent. Cuomo credited various campaigns that warn New Yorkers about the dangers of tobacco use and state and local health programs as the leading factors behind the decline. I’m Karen Johnson

Parks Visitation Is On The Rise Across New York

Park visitation is on the rise throughout New York. Karen Johnson has details.

71.5 million of us visited parks and historic sites across New York last year, a jump in attendance across the state.  2017 attendance was up by 950,000 visitors compared to the previous year, marking the seventh straight year of attendance growth for the system of 180 state parks and 35 historic sites.  The state is in the midst of NY Parks 2020, a $900 million initiative to upgrade park infrastructure as well as historic buildings, campgrounds and trails.  I’m Karen Johnson

Flood watch posted for northern Franklin County

Near record highs and rain have the entire North Country under a flood watch for the next couple of days. The National Weather Service says any rivers where there are ice jams will be the most susceptible to flooding. The rapid snow melt and river ice breakup, combined with extra rain, could mean some minor to moderate flooding. The Flood Watch starts late tonight and runs through Wednesday evening.

Malone Will Soon Receive A Special Designation

Malone is nearly ready to receive a very special designation. Karen Johnson has details.

The town is about to receive official designation as a clean energy community, following the completion of four state-approved projects aimed at expanding its green energy profile. Town officials recently detailed the town’s participation in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Clean Energy Community Project, which makes grants for clean energy projects available to communities that meet four out of 10 criteria outlined by the state. To qualify for the program and its $50,000 award upon completion, the town has invested in green energy projects including an energy benchmarking assessment and a soon-to-be-installed electric vehicle charging station.”You’re almost there,” said Jamie Rogers of the Adirondack North Country Association, a Saranac-Lake based economic development agency specializing in assisting municipalities with environmental projects. Rogers notes that Malone has completed “three and 99 percent” out of the four projects needed to be deemed a Clean Energy Community, noting that the installation of the charging station will complete the town’s requirements. I’m Karen Johnson.