Archives for February 2020


The new plastic bag law goes into effect all across New York on March 1st. In preparation for it, the state is rolling out an education and outreach campaign to ensure that everyone understands it. The state is calling it the “BYOBagNY campaign.” It is being kicked off by state Department of Environmental Conservation, and it includes TV and radio advertisements; social media and Google Ads; and events being held across the state. The DEC is distributing more than 270,000 reusable bags… providing its nine regional offices with BYOBagNY educational materials for use as outreach at public events.


A fire early yesterday morning on Ploof Road in Dickinson could have been worse… much worse in fact, if not for fast thinking on the part of the homeowner, and fast action on the part of responding firefighters. The first call came in just before 3am Thursday, when the homeowner woke up and smelled something burning. What began as a chimney fire, quickly turned into a structure fire. The homeowner put water on it before crews arrived, keeping the fire confined to one part of the house, and while the flames did damage, they never reached the second floor. The fire is believed to have started around the wood stove. No injuries were reported.


Assemblyman Billy Jones is seeking nominations for his fourth annual Women of Distinction Awards. The ceremony, which honors and recognizes extraordinary local women, will take place on Saturday, April 25th. Nominations must be received by Sunday, March 29th. Women of Distinction honorees are chosen based on their invaluable contributions in fields such as education, health care, military service and volunteerism. Nominees must reside in either Clinton or Franklin counties or in the towns of Hopkinton, Piercefield, Brasher or Lawrence in St. Lawrence County. Nominations can be submitted online at For more information, contact Assemblyman Jones at 518-562-1986.


4-H Camp Wabasso in Redwood… in the Indian River Lakes region of Jefferson County… is getting ready for the 2020 camp season. 4-H Camp Wabasso includes 177 wooded acres, a nature pond, and a half mile of sandy beach on Millsite Lake. Registration is open for the 2020 camp season, and to register simply go to and use your existing account or create a new account using the invitation code 4HWABASSO. Camp scholarship applications are due on April 10th. The Camp Open House is set for Saturday June 6th from 10am-1pm. For more information, call (315) 788-8450 or visit


A Canadian man was sentenced on Wednesday in US District Court, to 10 months in prison, and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine, for attempting to smuggle pistol kits from the US into Canada. 60 year old Luc Emond of Montreal, pled guilty… admitting that he hid the pistol kits in his vehicle and then tried to smuggle them across the border into Canada, without first obtaining export licenses and completing other necessary paperwork. Emond ordered the two pistol kits over the internet and had them delivered to him at a motel in Lake George. He then traveled from Canada to Lake George to pick up the firearms kits.. with plans then to transport them to Canada.


Town Board members in Duane are taking a hard line stand on cell phone use by the town’s highway department workers. Calling the use of cell phones a liability, town leaders now have ordered highway workers to put down their cell phones and use their vehicle’s radios… or else! The Duane Town Board met Wednesday, when they unanimously approved a new “no cell phone policy” calling for workers to be fired if they are caught using their cell phones while they are working. They can still have the phones with them, but unless it is an emergency… or they are on their break or eating lunch… if they use them they will lose their job. The new policy takes effect immediately.


The Franklin County Solid Waste Management Authority is entering an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by the contractor that built a new cell back in 2015 at the county landfill. The authority will pay Zoladz Construction Company of Alden $1.1 million to settle the suit, and Zoladz accepted the offer. The settlement was said to be the result of mediation between the two sides that made continuing legal action unnecessary. The money to pay for it did not come out of the authority’s operating budget… It comes from a retainer fund established when the company was first awarded the contract. The original suit demanded full payment as per the terms of the contract, plus additional costs incurred due to extra work that was done, along with other unspecified damages. The total contract at that time added up to about $9.2 million. It also sought another $10 million from the authority and then-Executive Director George Eades because of comments Eades is accused of making about Zoladz during a conference sponsored by the New York State Association for Solid Waste Management.


An Akwesasne man who had been wanted by St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police on felony charges, was caught on Monday. 36 year old Chance Thompson is facing charges including rape and criminal mischief; fleeing a police officer; reckless driving; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle; failure to comply; and a long list of other Vehicle and Traffic Law infractions. Thompson was also charged with felony driving while intoxicated. While details surrounding many of the charges have not been released by police, they do say that the warrant for his arrest in the rape case was issued last May. Thompson was taken into custody on Monday and is now in the Franklin County Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $250,000 cash bail, $500,000 secured bond or $1 million unsecured bond.


The anti-pipeline protests and blockades that have paralyzed Canada’s rail system and so far, have brought most freight and passenger rail service north of the border to a standstill, entered their 12th day yesterday, with no signs of letting up. Demonstrators say they are being held in support of the hereditary chiefs in British Columbia, who oppose the construction of a natural gas pipeline through their territory. The pipeline dispute is wrapped in long-standing questions over land title, and just who speaks for Canada’s indigenous people… and poses a major challenge for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


It may still be February, but now is the time… according to the Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District… to prepare for the emerald ash borer beetle. The invasive pest was last spotted in Bombay back in July, and since then, it has been killing trees across a wide swath of the North Country. It can travel up to five miles each year. Experts in both Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties now plan two workshops to prepare landowners for what to expect and how to manage the impacts of the coming emerald ash borer invasion this summer. The first is next Tuesday from 6 to 8pm at the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES in Canton. The second will be held on Wednesday, March 4th from 6 to 8pm at the Malone Callfiremen Station. Both are free and open to the public.