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News stories tagged with "law"

NY correctional facilities in the North Country
NY correctional facilities in the North Country

Cuomo proposes closing as many as ten state prisons

As part of his plan to balance New York's budget over the long term, Governor Cuomo wants to close as many as ten prisons statewide.

He offered to compensate each community that loses a correctional facility with $10 million in redevelopment funds.

As Brian Mann reports, it's still unclear which prisons will close or how the North Country's prison industry could be affected.  Go to full article
An image from a rally last year to save Lyon Mountain prison (Photo:  Brian Mann)
An image from a rally last year to save Lyon Mountain prison (Photo: Brian Mann)

Cuomo says prisons can't be a jobs program

In his speech yesterday, Governor Cuomo fired a shot across the bow of the North Country's prison industry. For decades, correctional facilities have been used to shore up the region's economy, providing thousands of high paying, dependable jobs.

Inmate populations have been dropping the last few years, in part because of reforms to the Rockefeller drug laws last year. Those laws imposed long prison sentences even on low-level, non-violent offenders.

As Brian Mann reports, the new governor says using prisons as an economic development tool is unaffordable and morally wrong.  Go to full article
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)

Paddlers, landowners divided over river access

Over the last 20 years, sport paddlers in the Adirondacks have been pushing the limit on the kind of water their canoes, rafts, and kayaks can navigate. They've developed new techniques and new equipment that can handle more aggressive rapids and even waterfalls. And paddlers are also waging fierce legal battles to try to open more rivers, including routes that offer access to remote wilderness areas.

Some landowners are pushing back, arguing the sport is stepping on their private property rights. As Brian Mann reports, the dispute has sparked a kind of range war on some of the North Country's most beautiful rivers.  Go to full article
Mary Rain, St. Lawrence County's Public Defender, shows her staff's overbooked schedules.
Mary Rain, St. Lawrence County's Public Defender, shows her staff's overbooked schedules.

Story 2.0: Public defenders still overworked

Last week, St. Lawrence County assistant public defender Chris Curley resigned from his job. He said the reason was his caseload was too much to bear. Public Defender Mary Rain said she believes this won't be the last assistant to step down due to the taxing caseload. St. Lawrence County has increased the salary of its assistant public defenders by $3-5,000, to about $50,000. But it's still low to retain good attorneys, says Rain. And she told David Sommerstein the caseloads are just too high.  Go to full article
Border Patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.
Border Patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.

Citizenship questions far from the border

Across the North Country, border patrol road checkpoints where agents stop cars and ask passengers their citizenship have become a part of daily life. Today we have a story about another step in the creeping influence of homeland security inside the border.

It's now become commonplace for federal agents to board buses and trains across Upstate New York and ask passengers for proof of citizenship. The checks are sweeping up some drugs and illegal immigrants, but also people who are here legally. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Immigration lawyer Hilary Fraser
Immigration lawyer Hilary Fraser

Immigration bureaucracy lands legal residents in detention

One wrinkle in the immigration picture has been particularly difficult for foreign students and professionals working in the U.S.

There are two agencies within Homeland Security that handle visas. The one that issues them is U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It says a foreign national may reapply or change a visa status "in a timely manner" before its expiration date. The visa itself may take weeks or months to process. The U.S. Border Patrol however, only looks at the expiration date.

If a person's visa has expired, that person is subject to detention. Immigration lawyer Hilary Fraser of Ithaca has defended clients caught between these two interpretations of the law. She told David Sommerstein one was a Filipino national living in Watertown.  Go to full article
Sheriff Henry Hommes passed away Friday in Essex County
Sheriff Henry Hommes passed away Friday in Essex County

Veteran Essex County sheriff Henry Hommes remembered

Essex County's veteran sherrif, Henry Hommes passed away Friday night after a battle with cancer. Hommes was re-elected last year and was serving his thirteenth year in the post. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)
Whitewater paddlers recently gained access to Ausable Chasm for the first time. (Photo: Allen Mann)

Range war pits paddlers against property owners on North Country rivers

Over the last 20 years, sport paddlers in the Adirondacks have been pushing the limit on the kind of water their canoes, rafts, and kayaks can navigate. They've developed new techniques and new equipment that can handle more aggressive rapids and even waterfalls. And paddlers are also waging fierce legal battles to try to open more rivers, including routes that offer access to remote wilderness areas.

Some landowners are pushing back, arguing the sport is stepping on their private property rights. As Brian Mann reports, the dispute has sparked a kind of range war on some of the North Country's most beautiful rivers.  Go to full article
Gov. Paterson at the Olympic Museum in lake Placid, where he signed a new law beefing up DWI enforcement. Photo: Adirondack Daily Entperprise.
Gov. Paterson at the Olympic Museum in lake Placid, where he signed a new law beefing up DWI enforcement. Photo: Adirondack Daily Entperprise.

Paterson signs "Jack Shea" anti-DWI law

Gov. David Paterson signed a new law closing a legal loophole that prevented the driver accused of killing Olympic medalist and Lake Placid native Jack Shea from standing trial.

It authorizes certified nurse practitioners and advanced emergency medical technicians to draw blood from motorists suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol--without a doctor present. Paterson says "Jack Shea's Law" simply brings the legal standard into conformity with standard medical practice.

In 2002, a driver faced charges in the crash outside Lake Placid that killed 91-year-old Shea, who won two gold medals for speedskating at the 1932 Olympics. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Adirondack landowner takes case against green groups, APA to federal court

A landowner in the Adirondack town of Black Brook is suing the Adirondack Park agency in federal court. Leroy Douglas alleges the agency conspired illegally with the Adirondack Council and with other environmental activists. He's asking for tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

This suit follows years of tension between the APA and a group of landowners and local officials in Black Brook. Douglas argues the park agency has become "a tool of environmentalists and wealthy downstate interests." He filed a similar lawsuit in November in state court. Earlier this month, the Adirondack Council urged a judge to dismiss the state court case, arguing that it had been filed in "bad faith."

Speaking before this latest suit, Adirondack Council spokesman John Sheehan described Douglas's allegations as an effort to "silence" green groups in the Park. APA officials have also denied repeatedly that any illegal or improper behavior occurred.  Go to full article

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