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News stories tagged with "crime"

St. Lawrence County's aging jail
St. Lawrence County's aging jail

Counties Bear Burden of Incarceration

The population in New York's county jails is rising fast, by almost 25% in the last five years. It comes at a time when state officials are pressuring counties to close aging facilities. The result is an explosion in new jail construction. In the North Country, the price tag will well exceed a hundred millions dollars. Warren and Washington counties have opened new jails in the past two years. St. Lawrence, Essex, Herkimer, and Clinton counties are in the planning stages. As David Sommerstein reports, the costs of building the new facilities and housing inmates will fall on local taxpayers.  Go to full article

An Old Jail Outlives Its Usefulness

The North Country is home to New York's three oldest county jails - in Hamilton, Essex, and St. Lawrence, in that order. Washington and Warren counties recently built new ones. Clinton County is expanding its 15 year-old facility. County jails have to do more than ever before. They handle all kinds of inmates. They have to follow a blizzard of state mandates. And they cost upwards of $40 million to build. But the state constitution says each of New York's 62 counties has to have one. In the first part of a series on North Country jails, David Sommerstein gets a tour of St. Lawrence County's jail, which is likely to be replaced soon.  Go to full article

Former North Country Priest Sued For Sexual Assault

A Saratoga county man is suing two former priests and the Roman Catholic diocese of Albany for alleged sexual abuse. The case was filed on Tuesday. 41-year-old Michael Mooney claims he was molested in the early seventies and hopes to win three million dollars in compensation. As Brian Mann reports, one of the priests worked as a minister at the Glens Falls hospital in the 1990s after receiving counseling for alleged sexual misconduct.  Go to full article

State Sues 'Loan Shark' Preying on Soldiers

Last week New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced a lawsuit against a North Country lending firm for being a loan-sharking operation that preys on cash-strapped military families. The suit alleges a company called JAG NY has defrauded hundreds of people of thousands of dollars by offering loans at illegally high interest rates. The company operates three stores called New York Catalog Sales, one in Queensbury and two near Fort Drum. David Sommerstein spoke with Attorney General spokesperson Christine Pritchard about the case. She says New York Catalog Sales takes advantage of military families with limited incomes. The complaint number is 800-771-7755.  Go to full article

NY Lawmakers Consider Death Penalty Reform

State lawmakers are still working on how to fix New York's death penalty law, after the state's highest court struck down portions of the statute earlier this summer. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks Request Border Security Funding

The maze of islands and St. Lawrence River channels along the St. Regis Reservation near Massena have given the Akwesasne Mohawk community a reputation for smuggling. In the 30s, alcohol came across a mostly porous border with Canada by boat and automobile. In the 1990s the contraband was cigarettes. Around 2000, it was illegal aliens. Today, smugglers favor hydroponic marijuana from Canada. Mohawk tribal police work closely with law enforcement in the U.S. and Canada to stem the tide of illegal border crossings. Yet the tribal police receive no money from Washington for their efforts - even as border security funding rises in response to international terrorism. As David Sommerstein reports, Mohawk chiefs are trying to change that.  Go to full article

Drug Law Reform Groups Urge Action this Year

Groups involved in reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws have joined together to put pressure on a joint legislative conference committee that will meet on Rockefeller Drug Law Reform. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

Report Links Child Abuse with Violent Crime

A coalition of law enforcement officers, crime victims advocates, and child abuse prevention groups say helping abused and neglected kids can make a big difference in preventing future crime. Karen DeWitt reports.  Go to full article

SLU Grapples With Hate Speech & Threats

Hate speech and hate crimes are on the rise on college campuses across the country. St. Lawrence University is coping with several recent cases of violence, threats of violence, and discrimination. The incidents range from racial and homophobic slurs to a phoned death threat and a physical assault on a campus running trail. As David Sommerstein reports, the incidents have sparked a debate over how to confront a very persistent problem.  Go to full article

SLU Students on Hate Speech, Assault

David Sommerstein talked with St. Lawrence University students outside the student center to learn how they see discriminatory harassment issues on campus.  Go to full article

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