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News stories tagged with "crime"

Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/54450095@N05/8598246170/"> Intel Free Press</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Intel Free Press, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY toughens up on texting behind the wheel

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that creates new, stiffer penalties for teenaged and new drivers who text while they're driving. The law will now treat texting as seriously as speeding or reckless driving.

It takes effect today.  Go to full article

Black & Hispanic caucus pushes pot decriminalization

Members of the new York legislature's Black and Hispanic caucus and their allies are making a last minute push for a bill to decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of marijuana.

In Albany yesterday, they charged the current laws unfairly target young black and Latino men.  Go to full article
Hammond, NY, where the crime is alleged to have taken place. Image: maps.google.com
Hammond, NY, where the crime is alleged to have taken place. Image: maps.google.com

Hammond man faces felony charges after cross burning

After allegedly burning a cross on his lawn and shouting racial slurs at the guest of a neighbor, Ryann Wilson, of the St. Lawrence County town of Hammond, is facing felony aggravated harassment charges.

Wilson is being held at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with a $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Officer Robert Rusaw of the correctional facility says Wilson is headed to court Wednesday to face the harassment charge.  Go to full article
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission
On the inside looking out. An image from the documentary film "The House I Live In." Photo: "The House I Live In," used by permission

Why don't we talk more about North Country prisons?

Locking people up and keeping them behind bars is one of the North Country's biggest industries. There are more than twenty jails and prison facilities scattered across our rural region. Corrections and law enforcement agencies provide high-paying jobs from Ogdensburg to Glens Falls.

But the prison industry isn't something we talk about very often. The North Country's Regional Economic Development plan talks about renewable energy and trains and farms and government. But it doesn't even mention prisons -- not once.

Earlier this month, a student group at SUNY Plattsburgh invited community members, faculty and activists to meet and talk about mass incarceration and how it affects communities.  Go to full article
New York Sen. John Sampson. Photo via <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/john-l-sampson">nysenate.gov
New York Sen. John Sampson. Photo via nysenate.gov

Early reactions to Sampson corruption arrest

Former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson turned himself in to federal authorities Monday, after being accused in a nine count indictment of embezzling nearly half a million dollars from mortgage foreclosure accounts, and then trying to cover it up.

According to the federal compliant, Senator Sampson is accused of embezzling $440,000 in funds that he was entrusted to care for as a court appointed referee on four foreclosed Brooklyn properties.  Go to full article
State police inspect the crime scene. Photo: Sarah Harris
State police inspect the crime scene. Photo: Sarah Harris

Officer-involved shooting in Winooski, VT

An independent investigation is planned in Winooski, Vermont, after police there shot a man accused of trespassing.  Go to full article
Graphic from VT human trafficking task force [http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/nomoreslaves]
Graphic from VT human trafficking task force [http://www.ccvs.state.vt.us/nomoreslaves]

Joining forces to stop North Country human trafficking

Human trafficking is a growing problem across the country...including here in the North Country. Undocumented farmworkers can be threatened with deportation. Sex workers or foreign brides can be held against their will. Foreign students with visas to work at Adirondack tourism destinations are vulnerable.

Law enforcement and area not-for-profits are joining forces to stop human trafficking in the North Country. Representatives from Homeland Security, the state attorney general's office and labor department, and social service agencies from St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Franklin counties met earlier this month at SUNY Potsdam. They were joined by not-for-profits that help immigrants, domestic violence victims, and other vulnerable people.

Renan Salgado is a human trafficking specialist with the Worker Justice Center of New York. He's organizing the North Country human trafficking task force. He spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article
NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:SpeakerSilver.jpg">NYer42</a>, public domain
NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Photo: NYer42, public domain

Cuomo, Assembly Dems roll out reform ideas

At the New York State Capitol, lawmakers are scrambling to put forward plans responding to the recent twin corruption scandals involving bribery charges against a state Senator and Assemblyman.

Tuesday it was the Assembly Democrats' turn to weigh in, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out two more components of his own reform plan.  Go to full article
Laura and Pat Monroe-Duprey on the way to yesterday's Boston Marathon.
Laura and Pat Monroe-Duprey on the way to yesterday's Boston Marathon.

Canton marathoner turned back by bombs

Federal investigators say no one has claimed responsibility for the Boston Marathon attack that killed three people and wounded more than 140.

Officials say the two bombs that went off near the finish line at the Marathon were about 100 yards and 10 seconds apart. They knocked people down, shattered windows and sent dense plumes of smoke rising over the street.

A senior U.S. intelligence official says as many as two unexploded bombs were also found near the finish line, but they were safely disarmed.

Canton native Laura Monroe-Duprey and her husband were running the race together. He was running with an injury, so at mile 18, she pulled ahead of him.

Julie Grant spoke with Monroe-Duprey last night. She said when the explosion happened, she was nearing the last turn in the course, about a tenth of a mile from the finish line.  Go to full article
Fewer inmates have meant fewer prisons. It turns out Camp Gabriels was part of a slow but important national trend. Source: Save Camp Gabriels
Fewer inmates have meant fewer prisons. It turns out Camp Gabriels was part of a slow but important national trend. Source: Save Camp Gabriels

NY, US see dramatic drop in prison inmate population

New York state officials say the state's prison population is expected to drop again this year by nearly 800 inmates.

The Department of Corrections will close two more prisons this year, bringing to a total of nine the number of correctional facilities shut down since 2011.

Inmate populations in New York have been edging downward for more than a decade. But a report from the Justice Department suggests that for the first time in decades, fewer Americans nationwide are being sent to prison.

Surveys of state and Federal prisons nationwide show the number of inmates actually declined over the last three years - the first downward trend in a generation.  Go to full article

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