Archives for April 2019

BRIDAL SHOP RETURNS TO POTSDAM

A new bridal shop will soon open in downtown Potsdam. Actually, it’s probably a pretty familiar name. The store was formerly in Potsdam until moving a couple of years back. Now, Eternity Bridal and Boutique plans to return to the downtown business district, at 36 Market Street. They plan to be open again in Potsdam on July 1st, when local brides will once again be able to shop for bridal wear, and others will be able to find a selection of prom attire and more, all right in downtown Potsdam. Eternity Bridal and Boutique left the area in 2015…. moving to a larger location in the Seacomm Plaza. They will return July 1st in a new location… 36 Market Street… the former location of Today’s Hair, right between the old Sergi’s Restaurant and Hot Tamale.

NORTH COUNTRY NEWSPAPERS HIT BY CYBER ATTACK

A North Country media outlet has been hit by what it calls a cyber attack… Printing and distribution of the Sunday edition of The Watertown Daily Times was disrupted this weekend by criminals, who the paper says targeted their servers with a virus that spread throughout their entire business network, and affected internal sharing of content for newspapers in Watertown, Hudson, and Massena. Johnson Newspaper Corporation says that the attack did not compromise any personal subscriber or advertiser data however, and servers that host their newspaper websites, subscriptions and email were not affected. Company information technology professionals say the attack was not meant to gain any personal data. The newspaper has reported the attack to authorities for investigation. The virus, which identified itself as “Ryuk: Balance of the Shadow Universe,” is the same one that crippled Tribune Publishing last December, and also crippled the data infrastructure of Stewart, Florida earlier this month. Forbes.com meanwhile, has reported that the virus Ryuk may be spread across two or more cybercriminal organizations, and so far they’ve been able to extort more than $4 million in less than a year from businesses and users locked out of crucial files and systems.

CHATEAUGAY WOMAN GETS SUNY AWARD

A woman from Chateaugay has been named the SUNY Chancellor’s Award recipient this year. Alicia Cook is a second-year student at North Country Community College. She was one of 10 students from across the state to win the award. Cook is in the Radiologic Technology program and has maintained a 3.8 GPA. She’s also the captain of the soccer team, becoming NCCC’s all-time leading scorer in women’s soccer. Cook said she was proud and honored to win the Chancellor’s Award.

MALONE SEWER WORK CONTRACTS AWARDED

A $2.7 Million contract has been awarded for the next phase of an upgrade to the sewer system in Malone. The work will mark the next phase of the village’s $19 million upgrade of its sewer system, which also involved work at the wastewater treatment plant… and comes after a video inspection of the sewer lines back in 2017, showed that many of the… in some cases, century old underground pipes… had collapsed or were so deformed that new slip type linings could not be used to fix them. Both the state department of Environmental Conservation and the DOT have approved the latest round of work, and the planned upgrades and repairs will cover roughly half of the sewer system. Only one firm ––Kenyon Pipeline Inspection of Queensbury –– submitted a bid for the project. According to the Telegram, the total project budget includes a $500,000 contingency cushion to cover unexpected expenses. The budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year raises sewer rates by $4 per quarter.

SWEET MONEY MAY BE COMING TO THE NORTH COUNTRY

Both of New York’s U.S. senators say they are pushing for the federal government to fully fund a program to support the maple syrup industry here in the North Country. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, together announced on Friday, their plan to secure “no less” than $5 million in federal funding for the Acer Access and Development Program, aimed at creating opportunities for investment and research for maple syrup… and to spur an increase in maple production across Upstate New York. If the request by Schumer and Gillibrand is successful, it would mean a $1 million increase from what was allocated last year. In a press release on Friday, both senators noted that New York state is the “number two maple-producing state in the country, and maple syrup is an important agricultural product for Upstate New York. They said that maple sugaring provides income to an estimated 10,000 maple producers across the country. Maple is also considered a “critical conservation crop” that helps keep forests in production, protects water quality, and helps keep soil usable for future farming. In just the last decade, U.S. maple production has nearly doubled, and according to the USDA… the United States produced more than 4.27 million gallons of syrup, worth approximately $147 million, in 2017. New York state ranks second in the nation for maple production, behind Vermont, with 806,000 gallons of maple syrup produced in 2018.

High speed internet could be on the way for more North Country families

The North Country should soon see more options for high-speed broadband internet. The state and Charter Communications recently announced a deal to expand broadband to 150,000 more customers by the end of 2021. It’ll be targeted exclusive in upstate New York, but its not clear yet which specific areas will see the faster network. We do know that it’ll be targeted to rural areas and smaller towns. Plans for the expansion are due May 20th.

JONES REMINDS OF DRUG TAKE BACK DAY

Assemblyman Billy Jones reminds everyone that Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day. Jones is encouraging all North Country residents to participate. He says the opioid epidemic has devastated far too many families in our communities and beyond. Participation in National Drug Take Back Day is a crucial way to keep unused prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands, as well as preventing them from contaminating our municipal drinking water and wells. Tomorrow marks the 17th National Drug Take Back Day put on by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. During last year’s event, more than 457 tons of unused medications were collected across the country. Jones is asking everyone to check their medicine cabinets for any leftover prescription drugs that can be disposed of. Local collection events tomorrow are from 10 to 2 at the following locations… In Malone, at Kinney Drugs on Eat Main Street; In Plattsburg, at the Plattsburgh Police Department and at Kinney Drugs on Cornelia Street; and in Champlain, at Kinney Drugs on US-11.

KEENE VALLEY PARKING LOT CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

The Garden Parking Lot in Keene Valley will be closed starting next Monday, April 29th. The parking lot will remain closed until the replacement of the Johns Brook Bridge has been wrapped up. No vehicles or pedestrians will be able to pass the bridge through completion of the project. Hikers and backpackers may gain access to the Garden Trailhead by parking at Marcy Field Parking Lot and using the Town of Keene Shuttle, and it will be the only means for accessing the Garden Trailhead during the closure period. The Town of Keene plans to operate the Shuttle from 7 am to 7 pm seven days a week. The cost will be $10 round-trip per person. You should check the town website for up-to-date shuttle schedules, as they are subject to change. You are reminded to not park or walk on private property to gain access. Illegally parked cars will be towed.

BOY SCOUT “PERVERSION FILES” HAVE A NORTH COUNTRY CONNECTION

In what is unfolding as a huge scandal that some say could mean the end of the organization, The Boy Scouts have reportedly been keeping files going back decades… in fact as far back as World War I… showing that nearly 8,000 volunteers have sexually abused more than 12,000 children. The files were known as “The Perversion Files” and they include at least one name from northern Franklin County. Lewis John Alexander Bero… also known as John L. Bero and Alexander J. Bero, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse back in 1967. The official charges included two counts of second-degree sodomy. He pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree assault with the intent to commit sodomy… according to the Boy Scouts’ “perversion” files that have now been made public. At the time, Bero was the scoutmaster of Troop 70, which was sponsored by the St. Regis Church Holy Name Society. All of the charges involved young boys under the age of 16. Some of them were connected with scout troops in Malone.

BUG CATCHERS WANTED

If you are being bugged by bugs, the state wants to talk to you. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York Natural Heritage Program are looking for folks willing to report, or even capture, insects they see around the house. It’s part of The Empire State Native Pollinator Survey… aimed at determining the conservation status of a wide array of native insect pollinators in nonagricultural habitats. They are looking for members of the publice who are willing to take pictures of… or catch insects, then store them and submit them to the state. You can get more information and sign up online at www.nynhp.org/pollinators. There will be a workshop to get more details at The Wild Center museum in Tupper Lake in June.