Archives for July 2015

DeFrancisco named No. 2 Senate leader

With all the corruption charges coming out of Albany, lawmakers are scrambling to fill leadership positions. Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan announced that Sen. John DeFrancisco will now become the No. 2 leader in the Senate. DeFrancisco replaces Sen. Tom Libous, who was convicted last week of using his influence to get his son a job. DeFrancisco narrowly lost a bid for Senate majority leader to Flanagan earlier this year, after Dean Skelos resigned his leadership position when he was indicted on corruption charges.

Bombay hosts dedication celebration Sunday

Bombay is holding a dedication celebration on Sunday afternoon at their new pavilion. As part of the fun, they’ll have the band Tyrols and I, plus the fire department will put on a waterball tournament. Hot dogs will be served. Everyone is welcome.

Operation Silent Strike Planned This Month In The North Country

The Franklin County Department of Public Health is holding a preparedness drill next month at Saranac Lake High School to check up on the area’s readiness to deal with a major health emergency. Ed Histed now with that story…

((The drill… “Operation Silent Strike”… will simulate the aftermath a large-scale public health emergency. Public Health staff will practice distributing medical supplies and vaccines to volunteers acting as disaster victims. The Saranac Lake High School will represent a distribution and treatment center during the drill, where treating 561 potential patients per hour will be the goal. Right now, they are looking for more volunteers to take part in the exercise. Already, about 800 people have volunteered to act as victims. Special needs patients will also be targeted, as officials say any part of a real disaster would involve getting local special needs patients their necessary medication. The drill will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 19, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. If you would like to volunteer or receive information, call 518-481-1587.))

Mitchell Admits She Had Sex With Inmate

Former prison worker, 51 year old Joyce Mitchell, is spilling more and more details about how she quote… “got caught up in the fantasy” of a planned breakout of two inmates from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannamora. Ed Histed has more…

((On Wednesday, Mitchell told investigators that she performed sex acts with one of the men, and took naked pictures of herself for the other. Mitchell, who is now behind bars herself, faces years of imprisonment under the terms of a plea deal in the case in which she admitted to helping Richard Matt and David Sweat escape. Mitchell also now says she made quote… “a horrible mistake” by getting wrapped up in it all. Mitchell also said the two escaped killers originally intended to kill her husband Lyle as part of the escape plot. Lyle Mitchell was in court Tuesday for his wife’s hearing, but he declined to speak with reporters. Mitchell, although now arrested, without a state job, and headed to prison, still remains eligible for a pension according to the state comptroller’s office. Mitchell’s sentencing is set for Sept. 28th. In the meantime, she will remain behind bars, with her bail set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond.))

Lawmakers critize Mitchell plea deal

Mitchell’s plea deal is making waves in the State Assembly. In a statement, Minority Leader Brian Kolb expressed frustration that Mitchell will still get her state pension, even after she admitted to helping the killers escape. Kolb blamed Democrats, who he says walked away from a “forfeiture bill” that passed the Senate and targeted public employees found guilty of abusing their positions. Kolb says quote “The fact that she is eligible to receive a public pension is unconscionable, and insults every taxpayer in this state.”

Head Start accepting applications for preschool

As we get closer to the beginning of the school years, JCEO Head Start Preschool is now accepting applications for the preschool and Home Base programs. Children must be 3 or 4 years old by Dec. 1. Head Start is a free, comprehensive program with classrooms in Malone, Tupper Lake, Brushton and Chateaugay.

No Plea Deal For Palmer

Suspended correction officer Gene Palmer has refused any plea deal offers, and his case is now expected to go before a Clinton County grand jury in August. Ed Histed now with more…

((Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie, at a press conference Tuesday morning following the guilty plea of Joyce Mitchell, said that efforts to work out a similar plea deal with Palmer, had failed. Palmer is charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor, for accepting paintings made by inmate Richard Matt; two counts of felony tampering with evidence, for allegedly trying to destroy the artwork after the escape; and felony promoting prison contraband in connection with giving the inmates a pair of pliers, a screwdriver, two tubes of paint and paint brushes. Palmer worked at the Dannemora Prison for 27 years, and for the past eight years, he was assigned to the Honor Block, where both Matt and Sweat were housed. On June 19th, Palmer was placed on administrative leave, with pay, from his $72,644-a-year job. On June 24, his suspension status was changed to without pay. Now, Palmer faces as much as 4 years in prison on the tampering charges, and as long as 7 years in prison on the contraband charge, but he is not being charged in connection with Sweat and Matt’s escape.))

Renovations, demolition to start next month on former NCCC campus in Malone

The former North Country Community College buildings are coming down. The school board approved the $16 million dollar project during their meeting Tuesday. The district’s bus garage, which is already on the campus, as well as the Harrison Gym, will also be renovated. In place of the old buildings, Malone will turn the site into a park and soccer fields. The company overseeing the project, CSArch, told the school board the buildings should be down by November, with demolition beginning next month. Five will have to undergo asbestos remediation before contractors can begin their work.

Mitchel Pleds Guilty

It’s a guilty plea for 51 year old Joyce Mitchell who’s charged with helping two murderers escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility last month. Mitchell’s attorney worked out a plea deal with the prosecutors in the case.
Mitchell was charged with promoting prison contraband, a felony, and criminal facilitation, a misdemeanor. Joyce Mitchell, a tailor shop instructor at the prison was jailed shortly after Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped on June 6. Matt was shot and killed three weeks later. Sweat was captured and sent to another prison. Mitchell admitted providing hacksaw blades, chisels, a punch tool and a screwdriver to Matt. Authorities say she agreed to be their getaway driver but backed out at the last moment. She faces a sentence ranging from 2 1/3 years to 7 years in prison.
She will be sentenced on Sept 28 at 10am in Clinton County Court.

Joyce Mitchell due back in court

Joyce Mitchell back in front of a judge today, arraigned on charges of promoting prison contraband and criminal facilitating. Her lawyer though, still hoping for a plea deal with Clinton County DA Andrew Wylie. Mitchell pleaded not guilty after her arrest last month. Authorities said she smuggled hacksaw blades and other tools into the prison by hiding them in frozen meat she placed in a refrigerator in the tailor shop. They said corrections officer Gene Palmer then took the meat to David Sweat and Richard Matt, who were housed in a section where inmates are allowed to cook their meals. But they don’t believe that Palmer had any knowledge of the escape plot…and that it was kept between the two convicts and Mitchell.