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News stories tagged with "jefferson-county"

Darrel Aubertine as NYS Commissioner of Agriculture in 2012. Photo: NYS
Darrel Aubertine as NYS Commissioner of Agriculture in 2012. Photo: NYS

Aubertine denies link to vote trading allegations

Allegations surfaced in the New York Post this week that longtime North Country politician Darrel Aubertine traded votes for campaign cash in 2008. The Cape Vincent Democrat denies the claims.

Martha Foley spoke with David Sommerstein to sort out who's saying what.  Go to full article
Several CSX trains carrying crude oil derailed and exploded last week in Lynchburg, VA. Photo: Elyssa Ezmirly, used with permission
Several CSX trains carrying crude oil derailed and exploded last week in Lynchburg, VA. Photo: Elyssa Ezmirly, used with permission

Feds order disclosure of crude oil train shipments

Railroads will have to tell emergency responders when and where shipments of crude oil are traveling on the rails. That's according to a new order the U.S. Department of Transportation released yesterday.

The rule comes following a string of oil train spills and explosions dating back to last summer's deadly blast in Quebec. The latest occurred last week in Lynchburg, Virginia. The DOT is also "strongly urging" oil companies to pull the most dangerous tanker cars off the rails as soon as possible.

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer praised DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx's order yesterday. "A week ago, I asked the secretary to implement this rule," Schumer said by video release, "because the number of tanker cars containing flammable crude oil that are going through our communities in upstate New York is on the dramatic increase and should, god forbid, one of those tank cars derail, it could create an explosion."

David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley to talk about the new rules.  Go to full article

Search continues for missing Black River canoeist

The search continues for a man who went missing in the Black River near Watertown when his canoe capsized 11 days ago.

The Watertown Daily Times has identified the man as John Villafranco, a 24-year-old fishing guide originally from Texas. The paper reports that Villafranco and his wife, Lydia, were canoeing together when the boat capsized. She was pulled ashore by Fort Drum soldiers and he was swept away.

The Jefferson County Sherriff's Department would not confirm the man's name. They said they have been in constant communication with the man's family, and plan to release his name once the investigation is over and his body is found.

The department says it has searched with divers, helicopters and on foot. It encourages the public to call the police if they see anything suspicious in the river, and encourages everyone to exercise caution near waterways.  Go to full article
Image: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County
Image: Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County

Speed dating to bring fresh food to the table

You may have heard of "speed dating." It's a no-nonsense, fast, and fun way to meet a bunch of people and maybe find that certain someone. People sit across from one another, chat for five minutes, and see if there's a spark. Then they move on to the next potential match.

Farmers and chefs are searching for "eat local" love today in Watertown. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County is hosting a speed dating event at Jefferson Community College. The goal is to get more restaurants to put more local fruits and vegetables on their menus.  Go to full article
A Willow Ptarmigan along eastern Lake Ontario. The sighting this week is a first for New York State.  Photo: Jeff Bolsinger.
A Willow Ptarmigan along eastern Lake Ontario. The sighting this week is a first for New York State. Photo: Jeff Bolsinger.

Willow Ptarmigan becomes an avian celebrity near Watertown

Carloads of birders from across the region have visited the shore of Lake Ontario, near Watertown, over the last few days hoping to glimpse a rare avian visitor from the Arctic tundra.

Late last week, Eugene Nichols was birding near Point Peninsula and found an all white bird that didn't belong in northern New York. Nichols contacted Jeff Bolsinger, a bird biologist at Fort Drum, who confirmed that it's a Willow Ptarmigan. Bolsinger says the bird normally lives only in northern Canada and Alaska. He says the sighting this week is the first documented sighting of a Willow Ptarmigan in New York State, and the second recorded in the lower 48 states in a century.

Bolsinger told Todd Moe he's not sure how the bird ended up this far south, but it's become an instant celebrity in the birding community.  Go to full article
The Black River in full spate, almost four feet above flood stage, noon Thursday April 17.  Photo: Brian Caird
The Black River in full spate, almost four feet above flood stage, noon Thursday April 17. Photo: Brian Caird

Updated: Black River receding, but officials urge caution

UPDATE - 2 P.M. High water in the Black River continues to fall. According to the the National Weather service, the water level at Watertown reads 11.5 feet at this hour. The Schroon River also continues to fall, but remains in the moderate to major flood zone, at just over 9 feet at Rivebank.

UPDATE - 8 A.M. The Black River is falling this morning. According to the National Weather Service, it's now just over 12 feet at Watertown, still two feet above flood stage, but down a foot and a half since it crested early yesterday morning.

It had been expected to crest at 14.2 feet, but after reaching 13.8 feet the river fell through the day. Those levels are still the second highest the Black River has been in recorded history. Flood warnings remain in effect for Jefferson and Lewis counties, and counties along Lake Champlain.


APR 18, 2104 - People along the Black River in the Watertown area were watching the river closely today, after forecasters predicted the Black would come close to setting a new record for high water as it crested. But as of this afternoon, the water levels are going down, according to the National Weather Service and emergency crews on the ground.  Go to full article
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter <em>Neah Bay</em>, homeported in Cleveland, works to keep the <em>CSL Laurentien</em> moving during an escort in eastern Lake Erie March 27, 2014. Photo: courtesy USCG
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Neah Bay, homeported in Cleveland, works to keep the CSL Laurentien moving during an escort in eastern Lake Erie March 27, 2014. Photo: courtesy USCG

Relentless winter's ice delays St. Lawrence River shipping

Three U.S. Coast Guard cutter vessels are to help with annual ice-breaking operations in Thunder Bay's harbour on Lake Superior--the far end of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Canadian Coast Guard crews and their icebreakers are leading the effort after the harsh winter produced what are being called "unusually heavy and persistent" ice conditions.

The annual opening of the Seaway is one of the signs of spring in the North Country. But as with pretty much everything this year, winter is still having its way with the calendar.

The Seaway is holding its opening ceremony to welcome commercial ship traffic between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean this morning near Buffalo. But it's had to delay the opening of the St. Lawrence River part of the Seaway for three days until Monday due to ice.

David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley to discuss the annual debate over the Seaway's opening date.  Go to full article
Jefferson County legislative chairwoman Carolyn Fitzpatrick looks on as Sen. Charles Schumer speaks in Watertown Wednesday. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Jefferson County legislative chairwoman Carolyn Fitzpatrick looks on as Sen. Charles Schumer speaks in Watertown Wednesday. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Schumer: Ft. Drum shouldn't "come within a whiff" of Army cuts

New York Senator Chuck Schumer says he's not afraid to use his political might to protect Fort Drum from cuts to the military budget. Schumer held a press conference at Watertown city hall Wednesday as the Pentagon prepares to axe up to 100,000 U.S. Army troops.  Go to full article
Congressional hopeful Elise Stefanik tours the Urban Mission in Watertown. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Congressional hopeful Elise Stefanik tours the Urban Mission in Watertown. Photo: David Sommerstein.

NY-21: Stefanik tours Watertown businesses

Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik swung through Jefferson County yesterday.

The Republican toured the Knowlton Technologies plant in Watertown, then visited the Watertown Urban Mission next door. She also held a meet-and-greet last night at The Barley Pub in Belleville, between Watertown and Pulaski.  Go to full article
Passengers wait for a 7 am flight to Chicago at the Watertown International Airport. Photo: Joanna Richards
Passengers wait for a 7 am flight to Chicago at the Watertown International Airport. Photo: Joanna Richards

Watertown airport switching flights from Chicago to Philadelphia

The Watertown airport has been much busier since it started offering direct air service to Chicago rather than Albany just over two years ago. Now, the merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways is causing a switch in destination again, as direct flights to Philadelphia will replace those to Chicago beginning May 8.  Go to full article

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