Archives for April 2017

Saranac Lake Man Charged In Overdose Death Case

A Saranac Lake man is now formally charged in an overdose death that took place last month.

(43 year-old Richard Simmons is facing two counts of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance in village court. A news release from the police chief says there could even be more charges filed against Simmons. The charges stem from a call on April 5th to a home at 141 Kiwassa Road. Officers found a man dead inside and immediately deemed the case suspcious in nature. After getting the appropriate search warrants, a number of drug paraphernalia items and a cell phone were seized. The news release says detectives believe 27 year-old Justin Ropke injected the drugs voluntarily. However, after conducting several interviews, detectives allege that Simmons was the supplier of the drugs. AFter his arrest, Simmons reportedly made statements regarding supplying the narcotics to a number of people around Franklin County, including the victim. Simmons is currently being held on warrants in the Dutchess County Jail.)

Sex Charges

State Police charge a Peru Central School District employee with sexual abuse…Jim O’Reilly…

Joseph Koscak of Peru was arrested Sunday in connection with alleged abuse in Peru six years ago. Koscak, represented by Plattsburgh-based attorney Patrick J. McFarlin, appeared in Peru Town Court before Justice, James Kirby. He sat with his hands and feet shackled as McFarlin waived the time frame for a felony hearing but reserved his client’s right to have one in the future. McFarlin told Kirby he did not believe an assistant district attorney had been assigned to the case yet. Kirby adjourned the case until May 9 and had Koscak sign a stay-away order that also prohibited contact with the alleged victim.

Rain Steps Down

St. Lawrence County District Attorney, Mary Rain, won’t seek reelection. Her announcement comes on the heels of an announcement from former St. Lawrence County Chief Assistant District Attorney David Haggard that he intends to announce his candidacy. Haggard served as Rain’s second-in-command for two years before resigning in March of 2016. Haggard was replaced by Frank Cositore, who also resigned from the position. Both Haggard and Cositore have made allegations of wrongdoing against Rain.

New School Budget Debate

Beekmantown Central School is proposing a 2018 budget that carries a tax-levy increase at the district’s allowable limit of 1.57 percent. The School Board recently adopted the $41million dollar plan, which will go up for public vote Tuesday, May 16. The proposal marks a 2 percent increase in spending over the current year. It includes funding to cover increased costs related to salaries, health insurance and other mandated expenditures, as well as the addition of teachers for driver’s education and academic support.

Water Problems

An emergency water-main repair caused water to be shut off to 24 properties on Miller Street in Plattsburgh Thursday morning, requiring the city to issue a boil-water order. City of Plattsburgh Public Works Superintendent, Mike Brodi said an old valve broke down at the corner of Miller and Cornelia streets and had to be replaced. The water was shut off from about 8 a.m. to around 1 p.m. as crews made repairs. Brodi said the valve was at least 50 years old and just gave way. As a result of the water shutdown, residents and businesses who were affected must, for at least the next two days, boil any water that will be used for consumption or cooking.

Dyer Wants To Run Beekmantown

After serving on the Clinton County Legislature for the past five years, Sam Dyer is looking to become Beekmantown’s next town supervisor. Longtime Beekmantown Supervisor Dennis Relation is not running for re-election this year, opening up a race for the four-year term as the top person in town government. Dyer, a Democrat, was first elected to the County Legislature in 2011, when he defeated incumbent Republican Tom Sears in a hotly contested Area 3 race. Dyer ran unopposed for another term on the legislature in 2015. That term concludes at the end of 2019. If Dyer loses the supervisor election, he can stay on as a legislator. If he wins, the legislature can appoint a replacement until a special election is called or hold a special election in early 2018 without an appointment.

SCHOOL TWEEKS SECURITY MEASURES

School officials in Chateaugay, have voted to spend nearly $634,000 in state Smart Schools grant funds on security upgrades, including expanded video surveillance capabilities, improved emergency communications, additional control and monitoring of the school’s entrances, and a system that would let district officials automatically lock down the building. Ed Histed reports…

((Work on the projects is expected to begin in the summer of 2018. The Smart Schools funding money is limited to the acquisition of technology equipment, the installation of broadband or wireless internet connectivity, improvements to school buildings to accommodate expanded pre-kindergarten programs and the installation of high-tech security features. The district said in a release, that they have already addressed the first three areas of concer, so now the Smart Schools funding will exclusively target enhancing the security of the school campus. The plans also call for spending about $20,000 to install fiber cable to the bus garage… a separate building… after is was discovered that employees working in the bus garage were unaware of a recent lockdown drill because the existing alert system does not include that building. The project will go to bid next spring, and the actual work will begin next summer.))

UVM – Alice Hyde Medical Center To Cut 32 Positions

Another economic blow to Malone.

(The University of Vermont Health Network – Alice Hyde Medical Center announced Tuesday that it has eliminated 32 positions as part of a sustainability plan. The elimianted jobs come from the top down, according to a news release issued by Megan Bryden, the Marketing and Communications Manager for the medical center. She says the system currently employs about 850 people, of which 24 are directly affected. The other eight positions were currently vacant. The health system is offering help in finding new jobs for the 24 affected employees. Bryden says the Alice Hyde Medical Center has also identified about 5-million dollars in other cuts that will be made to improve the center’s revenue projections. Efforts are already underway to transition the Malone medical center into the UVM Health Network’s Group Purchasing Organization. The statement says that will provide significant savings on pharmaceutical costs for primary medical and surgical supplies.)

Move Over law crackdown in effect this week

Move over or you could get a ticket. That’s the focus of a crackdown this week across New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the week-long effort yesterday, which is intended to raise awareness about the state’s move-over law. Drivers who don’t slow down or change lanes for police cars, firetrucks, ambulances and highway maintenance crews could get a ticket.

KINNEY HOSTING DRUG TAKE BACK DAY SATURDAY

Kinney Drugs is partnering with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local police departments to give people a place to safely dispose of controlled and non-controlled medications.

((Kinney Drugs will host Drug Take-Back Day events at 40 participating store locations in New York and Vermont this Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. During the events, customers can bring in unused or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications, including controlled substances, to the pharmacy for them to be disposed in a safe manner. All events are free and open to the public. Participating locations include just about all Kinney Drug Stores, including Malone, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Tupper Lake, and other North Country locations. More information is available online at www.kinneydrugs.com.))