Archives for December 2019


It’s no secret that Governor Andrew Cuomo is not on good terms with President Donald Trump. In the past, Cuomo has pretty much disagreed with anything Trump has said… even to the point of saying he wondered whether America was ever “great.” Now though, it has become more than that. It’s getting to be a petty… almost childish position that the Governor is taking. Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have permitted federal appeals and district court judges from around the nation to preside over weddings here in New York State. The reasoning appears blatently personal too. The governor even put it in writing, saying that he cannot in good conscience, support legislation that would authorize such actions… in other words, marriages… by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration. Cuomo wrote that he believes President Trump does not embody who we are as New Yorkers. The move by Governor Cuomo… a Democrat… leaves many Republicans fuming, the bill’s sponsor Senator Liz Krueger (a Democrat) confused, and both sides disappointed. Krueger said it was the least substantive or controversial bill she has ever introduced, and she does not think the governor’s reasoning made sense. Republican leaders said the governor’s decision seemed particularly small-minded. The bill had wide bipartisan support. It passed the Senate, 61-1 and it passed the Assembly by a similar margin.


There was a slight uptick in the Franklin County unemployment numbers in November… after the jobless rate remained pretty flat for the past few months. The State Department of Labor released figures this week, showing Franklin County’s jobless rate for November was 4.4%, up slightly from 4.1% in both September and October but still below the rates of last summer, when the unemployment rate in Franklin County was 4.5% in July and 4.6% in August. About a year ago… last January… it stood at 5.8%, so overall the latest numbers mark a big improvement over the past 12 months. Four of the six other counties identified by the state as the North Country — Clinton, Essex, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties… also all saw their unemployment rates increase in November. The state wide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4% in November.


A Clinton County Legislator is facing charges in connection with an incident that was reported to Plattsburgh Police back on September 30th. Simon Conroy was arrested December 12th, and charged with stalking, after police say a female victim told officers that Conroy had repeatedly appeared at her residence a couple days before… and it was not the first time. In the latest incident, according to the Press Republican, the victim told police that returned to her residence several times within a three hour window and was texting and calling the woman, after being explicitly told not to do so by both the resident and the police. She says it grew to the point that she was becoming alarmed, and she says she was unsure of Conroy’s mental state. The delay between the report by the victim and the arrest was due… according to police… to the investigation and also due to the fact that Conroy during that time, was being processed for several other alleged crimes. Now, he is scheduled to be arraigned for three counts of fourth-degree stalking on January 8th. Those counts are in addtion to other charges he already faces, including disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, criminal trespass, and criminal possession.


Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill has some bones to pick with the Franklin County Legislature. First, the sheriff says the plan to cut 2 positions from his department will more than likely negatively impact all programs offered at the Franklin County Jail and create a dangerous situation there. The Sheriff says doing that will also not achieve the intended goal of saving money… because he will then have to increase overtime by the remaining officers to keep staffing at a safe level. The cuts came after county leaders made plans for the state bail reform laws that go into effect on January 1st… and are aimed at reducing the number of people who are sent to jail in lieu of bail. County lawmakers say that will reduce the inmate population, and therefore, less staffing will be necessary. Mulverhill countered by saying that he would not renew a contract with the county to provide security at the county courthouse and the Department of Social Services building on Finney Boulevard in Malone. He also claims that partisanship is behind the Legislature’s recent and past decisions, aimed at undermining his ability to fulfill his duties. Mulverhill told The Malone Telegram it’s because he is a Republican, and they are Democrats. He also said that he will defend the office of the sheriff, and most likely the whole thing will end up in court.


New York State’s new bail reform law takes effect with the new year, and that means up to 30 inmates will be released from the Franklin County Jail on New Years Day. Now, a big concern of some local officials is just where those inmates will go on January 1st. Under the terms of the new state bail reform law that will be taking effect on the first of the year, judges will not be allowed to set bail for violations, misdemeanors and so-called “nonviolent felonies.” Instead of being locked up in jails behind bars, many of those arrested here in New York will be issued appearance tickets. There are other requirements of the new law that many local law enforcement agencies say will cost them money and resources that they just don’t have. In Franklin County, legislators have already said they will be eliminating funding for two deputies from the 2020 budget, because with fewer people headed to the county jail, there won’t be a need for as many officers. Another issue is that some of the inmates have nowhere to go. Others are not from the local area, but will be required to remain here to meet their court obligations. Just where they will live and how they will meet specific individual needs are all questions that so far, have not been answered.


The company behind the Nation Rise Wind Farm in North Stormont, EDP Renewables, has now acted on its threat to sue the provincial government over the sudden cancellation of their wind project. The company is asking a Toronto court to quash the government’s cancellation of the wind farm’s Renewable Energy Approval out of concern for the possible harm to bats. EDP is also asking the court to make a decision quickly, because the turbines need to be generating electricity by March, or they will lose their contract to sell electricity to the Ontario power grid. EDP is only asking the court to nullify the minister’s decision and allow them to quickly resume construction on the turbines in North Stormont in the hopes of still making their March deadline. They are not seeking any damages from the government other than recouping the cost of the application for judicial review.


Plattsburgh Police arrested a Minnesota man who they say tried to lure a four-year-old child into a vehicle. Police say on December 12th, 54 year old John Froom of Minnesota, tried to lure the child from the lobby of the Crete Memorial Civic Center during a sporting event there. According to Plattsburgh Police, Froom was talking to the child and trying to get him to go outside until the child’s father called for him. When the child’s father found out about it, he called police, who showed up and began their investigation, which led them to the nearby Rip Van Winkle Motel. Police got a search warrant, and then took Froom into custody. Police believe Froom was in Plattsburgh after he tried to get into Canada, but was rejected. The investigation is ongoing, and police are now searching through Froom’s background to see if he may have been involved in any other similar incidents. In the meantime, they are asking anyone who may have had any contact with Froom, or anyone who may have seen a tan colored 2004 Ford Taurus between Sept. 3 and Dec. 12 to contact them at (518) 563-3411. Froom was locked up in the Clinton County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.


Wednesday afternoon just before 2, New York State Police responded to a two-car crash on State Route 86 in the town of North Elba. Not a lot of details so far this morning, but troopers do confirm that at least one person was killed in the accident, and another was taken to an area hospital suffering from a head injury. The crash remains under investigation. No names or other details are yet being released. The road was shut down from 2pm until approximately 4:30pm yesterday.


Making a threat landed a Saranac Lake man behind bars. State Police and the Saranac Lake Police Department arrested 36-year-old Matthew Taylor, after they say he made verbal threats of violence toward the Franklin County Department of Social Services in Malone. Taylor was charged with one count of Making a Terroristic Threat. That charge is a felony. Taylor was arraigned in the North Elba Town Court, and then sent off to the Essex County Jail. He is being held there without bail due to prior felony convictions.


In a huge sweep, police in Canada have rounded up 20 suspects from Montreal in a car theft ring and recovered almost 100 stolen vehicles. Invstigators say the thieves were good at what they did… and were able to disable security systems on the vehicles within 3 to 6 minutes, 97 stolen vehicles were recovered, but that’s just a small number actually… Investigators say more than 500 vehicles are believed to have been stolen by the crooks… 106 of them from Ottawa and hundreds more from Eastern Ontario and the Toronto and Montreal areas. The stolen vehicles were taken to the Port of Montreal, where they were loaded into containers, and then shipped to the Middle East and Africa according to the Ontario Provincial Police. Police say the thieves do it by connecting to the port that a mechanic normally uses to diagnose possible problems, and then reprogramming the car’s computer, making it forget its original key fob and recognize a new one instead. Then, they just drive it away.