Archives for March 2014

Troopers have a busy weekend with DWI drivers

It was a busy weekend for Troopers across the North Country. They made close to a dozen DWI arrests in separate incidents over the weekend. New York State Troopers are always on the lookout for drunk or impared drivers and this weekend was no exception. Troopers warn if you drive impared they will arrest you.

FedEx sued by NY for shippent cheep cigs

In a news release today from the New York Attorney General’s Office, New York State is suing FedEx corporation for 70 million dollars for illegally shipping 80 million untaxed cigaretts to consumers across New York. The Investigation Finds the Shipping Giant Made Nearly 33K Illegal Shipments Of Cigarettes To Consumers In New York State Since 2006 and the Lawsuit Seeks An Additional $165M In Penalties.
Atty General Eric Schneiderman said Trafficking Cigarettes Damages Our Health and hurt New York’s Pocketbook by the cigarette tax loss. The suit says FedEx shipped more than 400 thousand cartons of cheep cigarettes between 2006 and 2012. And, accuses FedEx of engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity.

Giant Fraud Roundup

Malone Village Police, New York State Police, Saranac Lake Village Police and investigators for the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office began making arrests last week for 23 people across the county accused of benefit fraud by the Franklin County Department of Social Services.
Here’s WICY’s Ed Histed…

((State Police and Malone police were the lead agencies in the warrant sweep. The arrests were part of a larger ongoing investigation involving almost 60 people who are accused of collecting fraudulent, benefits through the Department of Social Services over the past 18 months.
District Attorney Derek Champagne says the arrests are, unfortunately, only the tip of the iceberg of the fraud.
The District Attorney also said that the investigations revealed fraudulent tax refunds in which tax services assisted individuals in filing returns related to self-employment with no documentation whatsoever that these individuals have ongoing businesses. The filer would then receive a refund having paid no taxes and never having had an actual business. At least six people are suspected in the tax fraud scheme, and that portion of the investigation is continuing.))

NY Tops The List Of Cigarette Smuggling

According to results of a study just released, New York tops the list as the top cigarette smuggling destination and the state with the highest tax rate on cigarettes.
Ed Histed has the details…

((The report, done by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a research group based out of Michigan, said New York was the number one inbound cigarette smuggling state, followed by Arizona, New Mexico, Washington and Wisconsin. The highest outbound cigarette smuggling state was New Hampshire, followed by Wyoming, Idaho, Virginia and Delaware.
The organization’s report came to the conclusion that large differences in cigarette tax rates state by state has led to a larger smuggling reward for criminals. New York has a tax rate per pack of $4.35 (with an added $1.50 in New York City), while nearby New Hampshire, which came in near the bottom of the list, has a tax rate much lower at $1.78.))

Renovations On Schedule

Chateaugay Central School’s capital project is moving toward completion, with only a few things remaining on what originally was a 29-point list of things to be addressed.
Now, there are just three mechanical systems items left to be completed, which hopefully, according to those involved, will be checked off the list over the April break.
Then, just a few remaining items will need to be finalized, but they will have to wait until spring — or at least more spring-like weather. They include a roof warranty re-inspection and remediation of some problems with playground drainage.

Healthy Lifestyle Board Proposed

Malone officials have voted to create an advisory board for the joint town/village Complete Streets program in order to set polices that promote and support “a healthy lifestyle” with respect to the quality of life and economic benefits for the town.
This healthy lifestyle, according to the resolution passed this week, would describe community connections for walking, bicycling and physical fitness as an integrated part of transportation, recreation and community quality of life.
Once the advisory board is in place, the municipalities and the board will draft the rules under which the board will operate.

Sex Offender Charged

A Plattsburgh sex offender was charged with violating the New York State Sex Offender Registration Act.
According to Plattsburgh Police, 22 year old Steven D. Beckwith moved multiple times from the City of Plattsburgh without notifying authorities, as required by law. According to police the moves started in August 2013, and at least one was to Suffolk County.
Beckwith was charged with a Sex Offender Registry violation, a felony, and was arraigned in Plattsburgh City Court.

Greeley-Evans District 6 breaks ground on new middle school

The first shovelfull’s of dirt have been tossed on the new Prairie Heights Middle School in Evans. The school will replace the 50-year-old John Evans I.B. Middle School. The new building will be very green, with LEED certification and energy efficent lighting. The building also focuses on bringing nature into the classroom with plenty of natural lighting in each room and three outdoor study areas. Prairie Heights will cost an estimated $22.6 million, with more than half of the funding coming from a BEST grant worth more than $14 million.

Malone Demolitions

Malone officials are continuing their efforts to take down dilapidated, abandoned buildings in the village.
Ed Histed reports…

((The village board has been informed that the village is now cleared to demolish a property at 43 Duane Street which was damaged by flames a few years ago and has remained vacant ever since.
Although a variance has been obtained and the village doesn’t have to have an asbestos survey done before the building comes down, the entire project will need to be done as if there is asbestos inside and it will have to be done by a certified asbestos abatement contractor. Air quality monitoring will also be necessary.
The village has also gotten approval to condemn 203 Duane St. and is currently seeking a price for asbestos abatement on that structure as well.
An asbestos survey has been done for 63 Front Street, and demolition there is expected to begin soon.
The village code office is also working on other properties in Malone that they want to demolish.))

6 Arrested For Massive Tax Fraud

Six people from the Toronto area were arrested early Wednesday morning and now face charges in a massive investment scam.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police claims the scam has cost investors and Canadian taxpayers millions of dollars.
Police launched Project Obedience several years ago after a complaint regarding a possible “tax avoidance scheme” in which the federal government was defrauded of over $200 Million by a group that sold “business losses” from various companies to unsuspecting investors, who could then claim the loss and receive a tax refund exceeding their investment.