New York Governor’s Job Perfomance Drops…According To Some

The Governor’s job performance drops…according to some. Karen Johnson has a report.

Voter approval of Governor Cuomo’s job performance is taking a slight hit since January, even though New Yorkers still show strong support for some of his priorities. The results are in a Sienna Phone Poll showing the governor’s favorability rating at 53-40 percent, down from 62-30 percent last month, when voters gave the Democrat some of the highest ratings during his two terms. His job performance rating is a negative 45-53 percent, down from a positive 50-48 percent. But, New Yorkers overwhelmingly support Cuomo’s proposals for the Child Victims Act, early voting, Dream Act, and making Roe v. Wade protections for abortion choice part of state law. The poll shows there’s also confidence in the FBI and the Supreme Court, but show a lack of faith in both Democrats and Republicans in Congress. I’m Karen Johnson.

Free Water Bottles To Jefferson County Schools

Free water bottles on the way to Jefferson County schools. Karen Johnson files a report.

Reusable water bottles are coming to Jefferson County schools through the Keep the North Country Smiling Coalition, made up of health and human service agencies from Oswego, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.The county’s Public Health Service worked with the Council for a Strong America to identify the school districts that would receive the water bottles, which were donated by Fidelis Care. A total of 4,700 reusable water bottles will be donated including Black Elementary and Carthage Middle School in Carthage, and the Sackets Harbor, Lyme, Alexandria, and LaFargeville school districts. Fidelis Care, the North Country Family Health Center and the Jefferson County Public Health Service will be delivering the water bottles throughout February to promote National Children’s Dental Health Month. Anyone seeking additional information can contact the Jefferson County Public Health Service at 315-786-3710. I’m Karen Johnson

Safer Business Practices Required At A North Country Paper Company

Safer business practices required at a paper company in the North Country. Karen Johnson reports.

Carthage Specialty Paperboard Inc. will pay $175,000 to resolve dozens of safety and health violations found last year by federal regulators. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the paper milling company for 62 safety and health violations in June after investigators found facility and equipment-related issues that put employees at risk. The deal was formally approved this week. This settlement confirms that the company acknowledges the necessity of improving safety and health practices, as well as fostering a culture that supports safety among employees says OSHA Regional Administrator Robert D. Kulick. Inspectors found mill machinery that didn’t have safety locks to prevent accidental start-ups during maintenance and metal catwalks that lacked restraints to protect employees from falls of up to 13 feet, according to OSHA. Employees also didn’t receive required training or personal protective equipment to work on up to 2,300-volt electrical systems and were found to have entered confined spaces without prior atmospheric testing or means to recuse anyone overcome by fumes. I’m Karen Johnson

Looking For A New Juvenile Detention Center

Looking for a new juvenile detention center in St. Lawrence County. Karen Johnson has an update.

The old St. Lawrence County jail probably won’t be converted into a regional juvenile detention center because the building layout isn’t going to work and there’s not enough outdoor space at the site, according to county officials researching the idea. Legislature Vice Chairman Joseph R. Lightfoot says after touring an Albany-area facility for youths, it became clear that the cost of converting the old St. Lawrence County jail to meet state regulations would cost millions. He says “Physically, it’s very poorly arranged for the needs of confining children and maintaining their safety, security and learning.” In addition, The building has two floors which adds to the cost of providing security and the floor plan is not conducive to separating different age groups. Besides the difficult layout in the two-floor building, the site lacks the one acre of outdoor space the state requires for juvenile detention centers. Although the state is expected to foot the full bill for a juvenile detention center, Lightfoot says in his opinion there are too many challenges with the site. I’m Karen Johnson.

Hiker rescued from High Peaks after fall

A hiker is recovering from a leg injury after falling 10 feet from an icy cliff on Saddleback Mountain. The 911 call came in on Saturday shortly after noon. But weather conditions made it impossible for helicopter crews to reach the hiker. So 34 state forest rangers and 12 volunteers braved the high winds and snow to rescue the injured person. They didn’t get up the mountain until before dawn on Sunday and it took nearly another full day to carry the hiker out of the woods. That person was taken to the hospital.

More Wind Farm Woes For St. Lawrence County

Opposition is in writing against a wind farm in the North Country. Karen Johnson has an update.

St. Lawrence County legislators have passed a resolution rejecting wind farm development in proximity to Fort Drum due to economic and military readiness factors. The vote was taken earlier this week in a meeting of the St. Lawrence County Finance Committee. According to a resolution from St. Lawrence County, “protecting airspace in the North Country is vital to the future of Fort Drum as the United States Army is continually evaluating the effectiveness of its training installations.” Avangrid Renewables plans to build 27 wind turbines in Hopkinton. The towers would be 500 feet high at the blades’ highest point.Fort Drum officials stated last month that the facility is already feeling the impact of existing industrial wind turbines, and if the proposed projects are approved, Fort Drum’s mission readiness will be further negatively affected. I’m Karen Johnson..

The Flu Has Landed In North Country Colleges

The flu has landed in North Country colleges with no outlook of ending anytime soon. Karen Johnson has a report.

SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University have both seen flu numbers skyrocket since students came back from winter break – with both colleges putting out health alerts to campus. The number one thing is wash your hands and cover your cough says Deborah Murray, a registered nurse with SUNY Potsdam Student Health Services. Not everyone who gets the flu goes to the doctor, so naturally not every case can be confirmed. But from what we do know, this past week, the flu has really started to show up in some parts of the north country. Representatives with Lewis County General Hospital say they’ve seen more flu patients in the last week, as well as Carthage Hospital. In some places, confirmed cases have more than doubled. Lewis County Public Health says in Lewis County alone, there have been 118 confirmed cases this season; 66 in just the last week.Jefferson County Public Health says they have 227 confirmed, on pace to be more than last year. Statewide the number of patients being hospitalized is skyrocketing, while the north country watched the rest of the country get the flu at first. I’m Karen Johnson.

Corrections union asks for updated screening procedures to prevent contraband

The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association is calling on the state to regulate what can be brought into prisons statewide. They cited an incident that happened on Tuesday this week at the Bare Hill Correctional Facility, where guards found green peppers that had been stuffed with 11 grams of synthetic marijuana and 46 scalpel blades. This was just one of more than 300 incidents they say where contraband was discovered in packages, either through the mail or being brought in by a visitor. The union says attempts to bring in drugs and weapons reached record levels last year, as 2017 marked the most violent year inside state prisons since 2007. The police assocation is asking state legislators to adopt Sen. Pamela Helming’s bill that would expand screening procedures and random searches, including visitor’s cars, plus more electronic scanning, frisks and a K9 to help search.

New State Law Prompts New Jail Options For Juveniles

A new state law is prompting lawmakers to look at jail options for juveniles. Karen Johnson has more information.

The state will soon stop locking up 16 and 17 year olds in county jails and state prisons under the “Raise the Age” law. That will crowd existing juvenile facilities. And it means regions that don’t have them, like the north country, will spend even more transporting and boarding out juveniles. St. Lawrence County officials have looked at the old county jail to house a secure youth detention center. But, there’s the thought that there might be a better option. Recently, some legislators and county officials toured the Capital District Youth Center. It serves four counties. Sheriff Kevin Wells says he’s transported youth to juvenile facilities as far away as Long Island. In December, county officials toured the old jail to see if it could be re-purposed. The state says it would have to be very significantly updated, if it could be used at all. He adds this county hopefully is going to be proactive, and with the county and working in conjunction with the counties in the north here, to come up with a solution. St. Lawrence County officials continue to take the lead on this issue. It could be the old jail or it could be a more modern facility. I’m Karen Johnson

An Out-Of-This-World Banking Company Heading to Massena

A banking company that’s out-of-this-world may soon be coming to Massena. Karen Johnson has more.

The cryptocurrency company is known as Coinmint and its developers plan to invest 165 million dollars and hire 150 people. Workers would oversee computer servers doing lightning speed calculations all day, every day to mine for Bitcoin. Massena town supervisor Steven O’Shaughnessy says the company would be good for Massena because they are highly technical jobs. The location being sought out for the company is the shuttered Alcoa East smelter in Massena. To understand, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. Unlike paper money, there’s not a government backing Bitcoin, although bitcoin is traded on the financial markets. Today 1 Bitcoin is worth $10,000 U.S. dollars. I’m Karen Johnson