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News stories tagged with "franklin-county"

The Hogansburg Triangle is in pink on this map.
The Hogansburg Triangle is in pink on this map.

Judge sustains part of Mohawk land claim

Native tribes' claims to ancestral lands in New York haven't fared so well recently. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially dismissed the Oneida Nation's land claim, saying too much time had passed since the 18th century treaties the claims are based on. Other courts have followed that ruling with other tribes' land claims.

So this week, when a judge recommended throwing out 85% of the Mohawk land claim in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe focused on the 15% that has a chance to survive. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
I think the jury paid close, careful attention to the proof as it came in. -Prosecutor Jack Delehanty

Scaringe guilty, plans appeal

The former director of a youth center in Saranac Lake was found guilty of second-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child on Wednesday. The unanimous verdicts against Michael Scaringe came after roughly six hours of deliberations in the high-profile case by a Franklin County Court jury.

Scaringe was arrested in January 2010 on charges that he raped a then-13-year-old girl, whom he met through the youth center, in December 2009. At the time, Scaringe was 61. As Chris Knight reports, he now faces a maximum of seven years behind bars.  Go to full article
Harrietstown Supervisor Larry Miller
Harrietstown Supervisor Larry Miller

Harrietstown supervisor faces harassment allegation

A town supervisor in Saranac Lake is considering resigning amid allegations that he sexually harassed the town's former bookkeeper.

The Harrietstown town board agreed in December to have its insurance company pay Brenda LaPierre $30,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint she filed last year against Larry Miller. Miller's been the town's supervisor since 2002.

As Chris Knight reports, those involved are saying little about the case because of a confidentiality agreement that's part of the settlement.  Go to full article
We have nine mandates that are probably costing us $3 million more than we were anticipating.

Franklin County may increase DMV charges to raise revenue

A Franklin county legislator encouraged local taxpayers to go to one of two public hearings Wednesday night, on a proposed increase to DMV registration fees.

Speaking at a Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees meeting Monday night, Tim Burpoe said the county clerk had recommended a $5-$10 increase in vehicle registration fees.  Go to full article

Group opposes "rooftop highway"

The idea of an Interstate across the North Country to connect Watertown and Plattsburgh is more than 50 years old. It's had different names: the rooftop highway, the Northern Tier Expressway, Interstate 98. But it's never faced any organized opposition, until now.

A group of residents in St. Lawrence County has formed "Yes Eleven." They argue that with a price tag of at least four billion dollars, and opposition from the state department of transportation, the rooftop highway is a pie in the sky.

John Danis is the co-coordinator of YES-Eleven. He told David Sommerstein the group's name references the notion that the rooftop highway is siphoning precious funds from existing infrastructure on the region's main existing artery--Route 11.  Go to full article

Municipal power project grinds to halt

Just months after a bid for a municipally owned power company in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties appeared to pick up real steam, the project has ground to a standstill.

The North Country Power Authority hopes to deliver electricity to 24 towns at lower rates but its board no longer has enough members to take a vote and the not-for-profit that created the Authority is pushing for the chairman's ouster. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake Village workers last week, working on closing one of the gates after releasing some water. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Saranac Lake Village workers last week, working on closing one of the gates after releasing some water. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Damages emerge as floodwaters stabilize

The National Weather Service downgraded its flood warning to a "watch" along the Raquette River in St. Lawrence County. But the more severe warning stands in the Champlain Valley. Tupper Lake town and village officials have lifted the state of emergency there. Saranac Lake officials say they can now draw the swollen lakes outflow down about an inch a day.

As the waters recede, communities are getting closer looks at flood damages, with the help of federal emergency management teams.

Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Any little savings we can get from any revenue avenue whatsoever is very important to the livelihood of the farmers.

Alcoa restart brings end to power discounts

The resumption of production at Alcoa's east smelter in Massena is a huge boost to a region that's been battered by the recession. 120 people are back on the pot lines. Alcoa's planning to invest millions of dollars in modernizing the facility.

But there's a sliver of bad news. Alcoa's share of low cost power was going to businesses and farms across the North Country. Yesterday, the New York Power Authority announced those discounts will be phased out. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
It's about negotiating with the towns, with the counties; it's going to be a long, hard process but I think a worthy one.

Saranac Lake moves toward city status

Many villages and towns across the North Country are looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce the property tax burden. In some cases that's led to discussions about sharing services, village dissolution or consolidation.

Trustees of one village in the Adirondacks took a step in a different direction last night, toward becoming a city. Chris Knight reports.  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

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