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News stories tagged with "clinton-county"

Douglas faces waste charges

A prominent property-rights activist was arraigned yesterday in a Clinton County court for allegedly dumping hazardous materials on his property near Ausable Forks.

According to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the felony charges against LeRoy Douglas could bring up to four years in prison and a fine of 150 thousand dollars.

Douglas - who has been an outspoken critic of state environmental policies - pleaded not guilty and was released without bail.

DEC officials say they began investigating the case in 2008 after they received complaints about the property near Silver Lake in Clinton County.

They say a state investigator found a wide range of contamination on Douglas's land, including a pile of lead acid batteries, dead animals and medical waste.

According to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican, Douglas's attorney has requested that a special prosecutor be named to handle the case.

Douglas has claimed in the past that investigations of his property are politically motivated.  Go to full article
The whole route does not, in our mind necessitate or warrant a four lane highway. - DOT

Boosters seek to push 'rooftop highway' ahead

The concept of an Interstate connecting Watertown and Plattsburgh has been the holy grail of North Country economic developers for decades. It's been so long, the so-called "rooftop highway" can seem more legend than reality.

Supporters are fighting hard to push the project into the reality column. They're calling it by a new name - Interstate 98. And they're urging the state Department of Transportation to begin an environmental review of the project. That would mean charting a precise path for the road. And it would mean studying impacts on wetlands and forests, birds and other animals, and people's homes and properties.

But the DOT isn't on board. It doesn't think an Interstate is needed to begin with. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks, New York stalled over casino revenue payouts

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe says it's "at an impasse" in talks with New York over sharing the revenue from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino near Massena. The tribe says it's paid more than $50 million to the state, St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, and four north Country towns since 2005 under the Mohawks' gaming compact.

But those payments stopped last month when the tribe claimed New York violated an exclusivity clause in the compact by allowing slot machines on a little native territory in Clinton County. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Hoffman plays wildcard in neck-and-neck NY-23

The race between Democratic Congressman Bill Owens and Republican Matt Doheny has tightened to a near dead heat. And conservative Doug Hoffman is still playing a big role in who'll represent the 23rd Congressional district next year.

Today's Siena Research Institute poll finds Owens narrowly leading Doheny 40 to 37%, with Hoffman bringing in 15% of the vote, even though he suspended his campaign weeks ago. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
There wasn't anything specifically written saying I'm going to do x, y and z.

Student "hit list" found in Plattsburgh

Teahcers in Clinton County found a notebook titled "hit list" Wednesday with the names of 84 students in Plattsburgh and Peru schools. Police and parents were notified.

Plattsburgh Police Chief Desmond Racico said investigators checked the list for details indicating the authors had the means to carry out real threats. He said there weren't any specific plans. He said the investigation is continuing.
According to Peru Central School superintendent A. Paul Scott, the two ninth grade girls allegedly responsible for the list spoke often of their fascination with the 1999 shooting rampage at Columbine High School, outside Denver, Colorado. Jonathan Brown has more.  Go to full article

New York AG to review Nature Conservancy-State land deal

The New York Post reported this week that the Adirondack Nature Conservancy reaped millions in profits from a land preservation deal with New York State. The story says the conservancy paid Domtar $6.8 million for the land, and sold it to the state for almost $10 million four years later -- an "absurd" profit as headlined in the Post.

The report is prompting reviews by the state attorney general's office into potential over-payments for the 20,000 acres in Clinton County. Martha Foley talks with Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann.  Go to full article
Ogdensburg Correctional Facility sits on prime St. Lawrence riverfront.  It's slated for closure, but the community's fighting to save its nearly 300 jobs.
Ogdensburg Correctional Facility sits on prime St. Lawrence riverfront. It's slated for closure, but the community's fighting to save its nearly 300 jobs.

Where should prisoners be counted in New York? The Upstate view.

This March, the 2010 Census count begins, a process required by the Constitution every 10 years, which helps, primarily, in determining the number of seats each state gets in Congress. But what happens if someone is in a prison far from home? How should he be counted by the state? The controversial prisoner census issue splits largely along an urban and rural divide. New York City politicians are pushing to end the practice of counting prisoners where they're jailed. But upstate, where the majority of prisons are located, politicians think they deserve the boost in political power that comes with counting prisoners. Lawmakers need to settle the issue before political redistricting efforts get underway next year. In a collaboration between North Country Public Radio and WNYC, David Sommerstein reports on the view from the North Country.  Go to full article

Mountain lion killed in Black Brook? Nope, just an old hoax...

Word spread this week about a story of a cougar killed in the Adirondacks -- but state conservation officials say it was just the local version of a hoax that's been moving from region to region for months. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
The iron mining days are over in Lyon Mountain
The iron mining days are over in Lyon Mountain

In Lyon Mountain, a rally to save three North Country prisons

More than 200 people rallied yesterday in the American Legion hall in Lyon Mountain. The Clinton County community is fighting to save its state prison, which anchors the local economy. Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility is one of three prisons in the North Country slated for closure next year. As Brian Mann reports, prison guards are hoping to form a united front across the region.

Assemblywoman Addie Russell from Theresa also sent a letter to Governor Paterson this week, urging him to keep the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility open. In her letter, she accused the state Department of Correctional Facility of using "false" claims to justify the closure. According to Russell, maximum security prisons in the state are still overcrowded and too many inmates are being "double-bunked." Russell also argued that Ogendesburg's economy "will be devastated" if the correctional facility closes.  Go to full article

BREAKING: Paterson's budget closes prisons in North Country

In his State-of-the-State address two weeks ago, Gov. David Paterson predicted this would be "a winter of reckoning."

This morning, he and his budget director began to fill in the details. For the North Country, they include closure of three prisons--in Ogdensburg, Lyon Mountain and Moriah--as well as both Adirondack Park Visitors Interpretive centers, at Paul Smiths and Newcomb. Roughly 480 high-paying government jobs are at stake.

State Sen. Betty Little's spokesman Dan Mac Entee told North Country Public Radio the prisons will close in 2011, "Obviously the Senator is very concerned. It's not altogether surprising that upstate facilities are once again targeted for closure. Given the concentration of power downstate it's hard to fight back against something like that."

The governor said New York's budget is caught between rising fixed costs and an addiction to overspending. It's crashed, he said, and the state can't put off a remedy. Paterson said the state is facing a $7.4 billion deficit in the coming year.

The $134 billion budget the governor proposed today closes that gap, and lays out a four-year plan for recovery. The governor is asking for a 5% cut in school aid--$1 billion overall--as well as $1 billion in new taxes and fees. In addition to the billion-dollar cut in school aid, Paterson wants a $1 billion cut in health care spending, much of which goes to hospitals and nursing homes.

He said: "This is not a budget of choice, this is a budget of necessity."

We'll have more during All Before Five this afternoon, and The Eight O'Clock Hour tomorrow morning.  Go to full article

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