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NCPR News Staff: Chris Morris

Tri-Lakes Correspondent

Stories filed by Chris Morris

APA chairman Curt Stiles says LGRB's resolution okay (File photo)
APA chairman Curt Stiles says LGRB's resolution okay (File photo)

APA chairman says Review Board can weigh in on land purchases

A prominent pro-environment group has been pushing the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board to stop commenting on the issue of state land-purchases in the Park.

The Adirondack Council argues that the state-funded Review Board doesn't have a mandate to weigh in on the issue.

But APA chairman Curt Stiles says Review Board is defending the Review Board's decision to issue a resolution opposing the Finch Pruyn and Follensby land deals.

Chris Morris has details.  Go to full article
Regional athletes, including Andrew Weibrecht and Haley Johnson pitched in to help support the games (Photo: Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism)
Regional athletes, including Andrew Weibrecht and Haley Johnson pitched in to help support the games (Photo: Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism)

In age of budget woes, Empire State Winter Games go grassroots

The Olympic region of the Adirondacks will play host to the Empire State Winter Games this weekend. This year, the event has a very different feel, largely because it's not being sponsored, organized, or funded by the state of New York.

In November of last year, state officials announced that the agency will no longer holding the summer and winter games due to New York's ongoing budget crisis. Less than 24 hours after that decision went public, local officials from across the North Country joined forces to save the games.

Chris Morris has been chronicling the story since November. He reports that for a lot of people in the Adirondacks the decision to keep the games alive was deeply personal.  Go to full article
It will be prevented from moving through ... by the environmental lobby. Simple as that.

Debate over Adirondack road closures continues

Debate and legal wrangling continue in the Adirondacks over who has the power and authority to close old town roads.

The flashpoint for the conflict is a road from Lake Placid to Keene that currently serves as part of the Jackrabbit ski trail.

But that case could have far-reaching implications for other roads in the Park.

As Chris Morris reports, North Country Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward reintroduced legislation last week that would give final say in these disputes to local town officials.  Go to full article
The McHugh family gathers with supporters for a day on the ice
The McHugh family gathers with supporters for a day on the ice

Pond hockey tourney honors Saranac Lake, Potsdam student

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival came to a close over the weekend and it was highlighted this year by a new event - the Casey McHugh Memorial Pond Hockey Tournament.

Outdoor pond hockey is regaining popularity here in the North Country. This event was held in honor of Casey McHugh, a popular graduate of Saranac Lake High School who attended SUNY Potsdam.

He passed away last year after being injured in a skateboarding accident. Chris Morris reports that the tournament was a huge success, raising money for a scholarship fund which organizers plan to establish in Casey's memory.  Go to full article
Once you use that money to pay for your fuel oil and your electric bill what do you do the next year?

North Country schools say cash reserves can't cover Cuomo cuts

A report released last week by the state Education Department estimates that 74 percent of school districts outside of New York City have a big enough fund balance to pay for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed state aid cuts.

The numbers show that districts have about $1.16 billion in their reserve accounts, along with a little more than $355 million in federal stimulus funds leftover from last year.

But opponents of Cuomo's budget cuts say that's just not true.

They claim the aid cuts will force thousands of teacher layoffs and result in increased taxes, especially in poor North Country districts.

Chris Morris has our story.  Go to full article
Lake Champlain Bridge project (File photo)
Lake Champlain Bridge project (File photo)

DOT says Adirondack roads, bridges in rough shape

Officials with the state Department of Transportation say bridges and culverts located inside the Adirondack Park are in rough shape.

DOT officials gave a presentation yesterday at the APA's monthly meeting in Ray Brook.

As Chris Morris reports, the state's budget crisis has forced crews to scale back on maintenance and construction projects.  Go to full article
New York and other states have been very aggressive in trying to get these power plants to clean up

NY Attorney General sues Pennsylvania power company over acid rain

New York's new Attorney General says he plans to file a lawsuit against a power plant in Pennsylvania for allegedly violating the federal Clean Air Act.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the Homer City Station coal-burning power plant, located roughly 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, is one of the largest out-of-state contributors to acid rain in the Adirondack Park.

Chris Morris has our story.  Go to full article
All of these issues that they seek to now have clarified were thoroughly argued, litigated, and explored in the administrative proceedings.

State reopens dispute over old road, part of Jackrabbit trail

On Friday, the state Department of Environmental Conservation filed court documents reopening a dispute involving an old road that runs between Lake Placid and Keene.

The controversial case involves a section of the route which is now used as part of the Jackrabbit ski trail.

Green groups say the outcome of the dispute will set a precedent for how road-closures are handled throughout the Adirondack Park.

But as Chris Morris reports, snowmobile activists and town leaders say the case has already been settled.  Go to full article
It's not a good bargain to spend $400,000 to $500,000 for one ... job.

Local leaders divided over use of Adirondack train corridor

Last week, a non-profit group based in Saranac Lake released a new study exploring ways to use the rail corridor that runs from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake. Debate over use of the line has been heated. Snowmobilers and hikers want to convert the route into a multi-use trail, but supporters of the tourism train that now operates say it should be expanded.

Chris Morris checked in with local leaders and found that they too are deeply divided over possible uses of the corridor. They're also skeptical about a price tag that's likely to top $10 million.  Go to full article
People can still call Ray Brook during regular business hours. But the 24/7 dispatch operations will be all out of Albany.

Ray Brook to lose DEC dispatchers

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will start to close down its dispatch office in Ray Brook by early next week.

As Chris Morris reports, the move comes amid a cost-saving effort to consolidate dispatch services statewide.  Go to full article

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