Archives for March 2018

Governor Cuomo Makes A Request About Lake Ontario For Shoreline Safety

There is a request from the state of New York involving Lake Ontario and protection for shoreline residents and businesses. Karen Johnson explains.

Governor Cuomo is calling on the International Joint Commission to maintain or increase outflows from Lake Ontario to protect shoreline residents and businesses. The letter from the governor comes as the IJC plans to reduce outflows in advance of the lake and St. Lawrence River’s navigation season. Governor Cuomo says New Yorkers are justifiably concerned about renewed flooding this spring in his letter to Lana Pollack, the IJC’s U.S. chairwoman. He adds the problems associated with high water levels should not fall disproportionately on New York’s shorelines. The governor’s letter also says to the state’s knowledge, maintaining current high outflows would not cause flooding downstream of the Moses-Saunders Power Dam. To be clear, New York does not seek to cause flooding in the Montreal region but instead insists that the IJC take all reasonable actions to limit flood risks along Lake Ontario. Feedback from the IJC says the commission is required to look at all concerns on both sides. I’m Karen Johnson.

Unicoi Woman Shoots Husband In Front Of Deputy

A Unicoi woman takes shots at her husband with police nearby. Livewire’s Karen Johnson

A woman, Janice Berry, is jailed in Unicoi County after officers say she tried to kill her husband in front of a deputy. A sheriff’s report says a call came from a home on Shady Lane about an unwanted guest and when police arrived Berry was nearby, pulled a gun and fired four shots at her husband, Cecil Berry, while two children ages 19 and 3 were at the home. Cecil went to surgery. Janice faces attempted first degree murder charges. Police says the couple is also going through a divorce. I’m Karen Johnson

Not Loving the “I Love NY” Signs

Not “loving” the “I Love New York” signs. Karen Johnson has a report.

The New York State Department of Transportation has plans to begin the removal of more than 500 “I Love New York” signs next month, according to a new report. Federal Highway Administration spokesman Doug Hecox says NYSDOT will take down the controversial signs in April. DOT spokesman Joe Morrissey declined to confirm removal plans, saying the agency continues talks with the Highway Administration to “identify the best possible resolution to this matter.”State officials said last month that it would remove and replace hundreds of “I Love NY” tourism signs along the Thruway and other New York highways after the federal government threatened to withhold $14 million in funding if they weren’t removed.Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration said it plans to install new signs this summer, but will consult with Washington, D.C., on the designs. The new theme is expected to be “NY has it all!” Federal officials had been complaining the signs were unsafe, but Cuomo refused to remove them. State officials say the signs helped drive tourism. Most of them can be seen along the Thruway and other major highways in the state. I’m Karen Johnson.

Local Support For Memory Care Through Memory Cafes

Now there’s local support for those with dementia and their families. Karen Johnson reports.

Assistance navigating through this tough time in life is coming from The Malone Adult Center through monthly events to help people living with dementia bond with their caregivers.The Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiver Support Initiative has organized “Memory Cafes” at the Malone Adult Center every second Thursday of the month, since last November.Memory Cafes were first held in the Netherlands starting in the 1990s. People with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia could visit social events with their caregivers, building solidarity and having a way to reconnect.”Anything we can do to help them both make memories,” said Aerica Biggers a local spokesperson. Caregivers for people with dementia are often family members, especially spouses or children. The experience of caring for a loved one with dementia – particularly when the patient may forget who the caregiver is – can be stressful.Biggers said that she tries to have a different activity each month for attendees – an art show with audience participation, a music show with dancing, or even board games.While the events have been held in the Malone Adult Center, Biggers noted that most of the core group comes from surrounding areas such as Chateaugay or Hogansburg.The initiative receives funding for these programs through a grant from the state Department of Health. I’m Karen Johnson.

Canton’s Board Of Environmental Review Approves Site Clean-Up

Canton’s Board of Environmental Review approves cleanup of a controversial site. Karen Johnson has an update.

The village Board of Trustees has reviewed the findings of a State Environmental Quality Review of the 30 Riverside site property, and found that cleanup of the site and rehabilitation poses no negative environmental impacts. The board approved the negative SEQR declaration at a recent meeting.The lot, site of the former M.R. Bells service station, has been targeted by the village, town, county and DEC for rehabilitation as sort of keystone project in the larger movement to restore and enhance a frontage area in Canton. The property, currently under a tax foreclosure action by the county, is suspected by the Department of Environmental Conservation to contain below-grade environmental contamination.Once the village and the DEC agree the village will assume ownership of the lot for $7,500, raze the structures there with a financial contribution from the town, and the DEC would then clean up any below-grade environmental issues. Pending any contamination problems, the lot would be available for development. The municipalities have capped demolition costs at 30-thousand dollars. I’m Karen Johnson.

Labor Gap Is Affecting Hiring In The North Country

A labor gap is having a huge impact on hiring in the North Country. Karen Johnson has a report.

According to a report published by the New York Association of Training & Employment Professionals, “New York’s economy is reaching its lowest unemployment rates in nearly a decade. … The focus of workforce programs is shifting from re-employment services to assisting employers as they confront significant labor shortages in demand occupations and sectors” says Governor Andrew Cuomo. The North Country’s labor gap is particularly affected by two factors: population decline and low rates of education. The training association reports that among New York regions, the North Country had the second-greatest population decline, 7.4 percent, after the Southern Tier’s 7.5 percent, between 2010 and 2015. “It’s a little bit of a chicken-egg thing,” said Gov. Cuomo while visiting Plattsburgh in January. After New York City (19 percent), the North Country and the Hudson Valley had the highest number of workers with less than a high school diploma: 12 percent. The North Country has more workers with just a high school diploma than any other region, 37 percent, and the fewest with a bachelor’s degree or higher: 20 percent. It also has the lowest annual median wage: $40,000.
I’m Karen Johnson.

Essential Air Service Gets More Funding For North Country Operations

A program known as essential air service is getting funding to continue operating in the North Country, Karen Johnson has details.

Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have gotten the approval of an omnibus appropriations bill to keep the funding of the essential air service program for Massena and Ogdensburg airports. In a joint release the package is described as a 155 million dollar shot in the arm for EAS around the country, a 5 million dollar increase over last fiscal year supporting commercial air service at smaller airports. It ensures those airports have regularly scheduled flights linking passengers to the National Air Transportation System. Boutique air flights are subsidized to Albany and Baltimore while Cape Air Flights handle air travel from Ogdensburg to Albany. Gillibrand sums up the need saying making sure the airports that serve small communities throughout Upstate New York have the resources they need to succeed has always been a top priority of mine, which is why I fought hard to preserve the Essential Air Service program. This vital federal funding will allow for passengers across the North Country to continue their access to major cities and transit hubs throughout the country and internationally which is good for business and the economic health of the area. I’m Karen Johnson.

State Tax Refunds To Land In Your Mailbox Sooner

Tax refunds to land in your mailbox sooner in the North Country, Karen Johnson report.

North Country Sen. Joseph Griffo says the state Senate recently passed legislation he introduced that would ensure taxpayers receive timely payment of state income tax refunds.The legislation (S2152) requires the state Department of Taxation and Finance to pay refunds within 30 days of receiving a taxpayer’s return. Griffo says As the April 17 state tax deadline for filing returns approaches, it is paramount that all New Yorkers who overpaid their state taxes receive refunds in a timely manner. And he ackowledges there have been numerous incidents of taxpayers having to wait three months or more before they received their refunds from the state Department of Taxation and Finance.”Under the bill, if the state is unable to pay a tax refund due to a discrepancy in the return, then the department would have to provide written notice to the taxpayer and a date when the discrepancy will be resolved. If the state fails in this obligation, it would also be liable to pay interest on the refund owed to the taxpayer. I’m Karen Johnson.

Massena May Be Getting A School Resource Officer

The Massena Central School District is the latest to discuss putting a police officer in their schools. Karen Johnson has details.

The idea was seriously discussed at a recent school board meeting in the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Fla. that left 14 students and three staff members dead. At the meeting Superintendent Pat Brady says they are in “preliminary” talks with the Massena Police Department to provide what is being called a “school resource officer.” Brady says “We’re really at the preliminary stage of this. We had a conversation, a meeting with Chief (Adam) Love and Lt. (Jason) Olson at the Massena PD just to get the conversation going. It’s a developing concept given our heightened state of concern with school safety.” Brady says they’re waiting to see if the state passes a bill to fund police officers assigned to school districts throughout the state. He says the Senate is working on potential funding and other support for school resource officers. Once we look at all the available information as this unfolds and options, we’ll make a decision. The addition of a school resource officer isn’t new to Massena. The district hired an officer from 2002 to 2007 who patrolled the high school and J.W. Leary Junior High. I’m Karen Johnson.

Red Cross Urgently Needs Blood To Make Up For Storm Related Shortages In The North Country

Though spring has officially arrived, the American Red Cross blood supply is still recovering from severe winter storms. Donors of all blood types are urged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives.
Winter weather forced more than 270 blood drives to cancel, resulting in over 9,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations in the first two weeks of March alone. In our region, 41 blood drives
were canceled due to winter weather in March, causing 1222 donations to go uncollected. No
matter the weather, the need for blood to help cancer patients, those undergoing surgeries,
trauma patients and others remains.Volunteer blood donors are needed to help ensure lifesaving blood products are available for patients. Make an appointment to donate blood by
downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-
RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767). There are many opportunities to donate coming up here in the North Country, among them, a blood drive set for tomorrow [Wed 3/21] at the Elks Lodge in Malone, from 1 till 6PM. A complete list of upcoming opportunities to give the gift of life is posted on our website,


Upcoming blood donation opportunities March 20 to April 15
Lake Placid
3/20/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Northwood School Fitness Center, Northwood Road
Port Henry
3/29/2018: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saint Patrick’s Church Parish Center, 12 Saint Patrick Place
3/21/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Malone Community, Elks Lodge 67 Elm Street
Paul Smiths
4/11/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Paul Smiths College Student Center, 7833 New York Route
Saranac Lake
4/10/2018: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Saranac Lake Free Library, 109 Main Street
Tupper Lake
3/22/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Goff Nelson Library, 41 Lake Street

2018-APL- 00428

Alexandria Bay
4/6/2018: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Legion Post 904, 9 Rock Street
3/27/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Brownville United Methodist Church, 333 Brown Boulevard
4/6/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Clayton Fire Department – Lonsway Hill Apartments UPPM, 855
Graves Street
4/3/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., General Brown High School, 17643 Cemetery Road
3/23/2018: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Henderson Fire District Building, 8939 St. Route 178
3/23/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County, 518
Davidson Street
3/27/2018: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dulles State Office Building – Watertown, 317 Washington Street
3/29/2018: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Salmon Run Mall – JC Penney Salon Entrance, 21182 Salmon Run
Mall Loop West
3/30/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Truscott Terrace, 207 Wealtha Avenue
4/4/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St. Anthony’s, 850 Arsenal Street
4/10/2018: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Fraternal Order of Eagles 782, 19260 US Route 11
4/13/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Raymour & Flanigan, 1125 Arsenal Street
4/14/2018: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church Watertown, 403 Washington Street
4/15/2018: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Starbucks Coffee Company, 1242 Arsenal Street
Beaver Falls
4/12/2018: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Beaver River High School, 9508 Artz Road
4/11/2018: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., South Lewis Central School, 4264 East Road
Saint Lawrence
4/3/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 3 1/2 East Main Street
De Kalb Junction
4/14/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., DeKalb Junction Fire Department, 4323 US Highway 11

2018-APL- 00428

4/10/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Gouverneur Veterans of Foreign Wars, 100 West Main Street
4/9/2018: 3:30 p.m. – 8 p.m., Madrid Community Center, 1833 State Highway 345
3/21/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Saint Lawrence Centre, 6100 State Route 37
4/2/2018: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Cellular Sales-Verizon Wireless, 1 1/2 Malby Avenue
4/9/2018: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., VFW Massena, 101 West Hatfield Street
4/2/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Norwood Norfolk Central School, 7852 State Highway 56
3/20/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Ogdensburg Presbyterian Church, 423 Ford Street
4/12/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Claxton Hepburn Medical Center, 214 King Street
3/27/2018: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Potsdam High School, 29 Leroy St
3/29/2018: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 21 Castle Drive
4/10/2018: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Clarkson University ERC, 8 Clarkson Avenue
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-
800-RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood
types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license
or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of
age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110
pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students
and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight
requirements. Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass ® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.