Archives for November 2018

Pileggi To Head Stefanik Staff

With recent success on the campaign trail for re-election, GOP Congresswoman, Elise Stefanik is making some changes to her staff in Washington. Anthony Pileggi will serve as her next chief of staff. Pileggi hails from Herkimer County. He worked for Stefanik before, as her 2014 and 2016 campaign manager and as district director for the 21st District from 2015 to 2017. Most recently, he served as the Northeast regional political director for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Canton Village Police Prepared For Active Shooter Event

Canton village police are more prepared for an active shooter situation thanks to a recent volunteer effort. Karen Johnson reports.

Canton Rescue members and president Joyce Dalton, along with the fire department, provided the police with “go-bags” for each patrol vehicle and the school resource officer at Canton High School, said Police Chief James Santimaw. “Each ‘go-bag’ contains scissors, and multiple tourniquets, blood clot kits, gauze, etc. The kits are kept in each Canton Police car and our School Resource Officer has one at her disposal as well,” said the chief. The bags were developed as a result of a multi-discipline training class provided by the New York State Police, titled “Medical Considerations for Active Shooter Events,” held at the Canton Fire and Rescue Department in 2017. The class, aimed at law enforcement, fire and rescue, addressed the need for all first-responders to be more prepared for these tactically specific events, says the chief. I’m Karen Johnson.

Knight Faces Long Term In Prison

An area man is looking at a long prison sentence on drug charges. Officials tell reporters William Knight of Plattsburgh was picked up by officers for drug possession and sales, this on a warrant for selling cocaine a few months back. Knight is a repeat offender and that means he faces up to a 25 year stretch in state prison. He was convicted in 2015 and 2007 on similar charges and has spent several years in prison over the years. In any case, officials say if convicted this time around, Knight sees no less than 15 years behind bars.

More Participation Wanted In Weed Debate By Counties

Counties want more say in the state’s efforts to legalize marijuana. Gov. Cuomo has signaled that legalization in New York is almost inevitable, now that retail sales are allowed in Canada and Massachusetts. In Albany, Democrats have given their strong support to a bill that would allow adult use of marijuana in the state…and now with a clear majority in the state house, many expect a fair amount of time will be spent debating the issue for passage. With the proposal by the Democrats already envisioned by the party, the governor himself has put it out there that his office has been working on a version of the proposal of its own for decriminalizing and regulating marijuana use and sales across the state

Erosion Money On The Way

Some money from the state comes in to help in the fight to solve the area’s soil erosion problems. Officials say the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District is set to receive two state grants. Officials say the District will receive $452,495 for a project at a farm located near the Trout River Watershed and $418,080 for a similar project at a farm near the Little Salmon River Watershed. It’s all part of a $16.8 million package, going to 54 projects across the state. The funding will benefit 131 farms statewide.

Soybeans May Soon Be Big Business In The North Country

Soybeans are a huge part of the U.S. farm economy and they may soon be a bigger part of our economy here in the north country as well. Karen Johnson has a report.

There aren’t a lot of soybeans grown in the North Country mainly because they have to be trucked hundreds of miles away to be processed. But that could soon change. “It’s a soybean plant they’re going to be developing…which is probably going to be around a $54 million project when it’s completed,” says the chair of the Massena Town Planning Board. St. Lawrence Soyway Company will process soybeans into livestock feed. It will also produce soy oil for industry. Local farmers say having a nearby market should cut expenses.The plant would be at the former Alcoa East site near the bridge to Canada. A lease is being finalized. It would employ about 38 people. Local haulers should also get work. Construction would employ about 200.Currently there is a shortage of storage for soybeans locally. The new processing plant could be in operation by next harvest season if all goes well. The Massena Town Planning Board has already granted the project conditional approval. The company may seek discount power and incentives from the state.


There has been a very mixed reaction to the rejection of armed school officers in Lake Placid by the district’s Board of Education, after the offer was made by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. The plan would have called for armed deputies in schools starting next year. But the school board nixed those plans, and now many comments on social media either commend the school board for the move… or disagree with it. School Superintendent Roger Catania said board members… while not totally against the idea of having a school resource officer in the future, for now said that they would rather focus their efforts on creating a positive school environment and having access to school counselors and a psychologist rather than relying on an armed presence. Essex County Sheriff-elect David Reynolds has presented his ideas over the past few months. He said a combination of the two ideas would probably be the best option. The decision makes Lake Placid is the only district to opt out of the SRO program right now. The SRO program is still in the tentative 2019 budget for Essex County…. at a cost of nearly $500,000… but if more schools opt out, that too could change.


Wednesday was a busy day in Franklin County Court. Judge Robert G. Main Jr. sentenced 26 year old Cory Cooley of North Bangor to 1 1/2 to three years in state prison, after Cooley pled guilty to a charge of third-degree criminal mischief in connection with an incident that took place in the town of Malone back in August, in which 21 year old Christine Cooley of North Bangor, was also charged with criminal mischief and criminal obstruction of breathing. No word on the status of those charges yesterday. It wasn’t the first time Cory Cooley had been in trouble though… he previously was jailed for a probation violation connected to a conviction back in 2013 conviction on a charge of burglary after a home invasion in the town of Burke.
42 year old Patrick Hahne of Gabriels, was re-sentenced to 1 1/2 years in state prison, with one year of post-release supervision, after he admitted that he had violated the terms of his probation after his 2016 conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance.
18 year old Kyler Hayes of Dickinson Center, was sentenced to two terms of 10 years’ probation, with the first 180 days to be served in the Franklin County Jail, after pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. The two terms will be served concurrently. The sentence is the result of a conviction following several incidents that took place in 2017.


As gas prices continue to dip across much of the nation, here in the North Country we continue to pay more for it. The national average of a gallon of regular is now $2.52 according to AAA. But here in New York State, the average price per gallon is hovering around $2.81, and here in the North Country it’s higher yet, with the average in Franklin County right now standing at right about $2.89. In St. Lawrence County it’s even more expensive, where the average price of a gallon of regular is now $2.95. Clinton County comes in at $2.83 on average, Hamilton at $2.96, and Essex is at $2.92. Westchester County now has the highest gas prices in the state, where the average price per gallon of regular is $3.05.

Probation for woman who sexually abused 4-year-old

A Malone woman has been senteced to probation for sexually abusing a 4-year-old while her 11-year-old daughter video recorded the whole thing. Chrystle Cousins will also have to register as a sex offender after she serves 180 days in jail. She pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse.