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News stories tagged with "malone"

ComLinks CEO suspended

The embattled CEO of a Malone-based not-for-profit has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The specific allegations against Nancy Reich of ComLinks aren't being revealed, but employees of the organization accused her of inappropriate behavior in a published report this week. The case is the latest in a series of troubles for ComLinks, one of the region's leading social service agencies. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks on tobacco tax: "sit down with us"

On Monday, Governor Paterson signed a bill to enforce collection of taxes on cigarettes sold at native-owned stores. Supporters say the law will bring the state anywhere from 60 million to almost a billion dollars in new revenue. But it's highly unlikely that money would do anything to help close next year's massive budget deficit. According to the Buffalo News, Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder says Governor Paterson himself said the new law is "flawed" and "political." Native tribes across New York have vowed to fight the law in court, saying it violates their sovereignty. Jim Ransom, chief of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe in Akwesasne, says it also would make the economy worse and deepen an already grave smuggling problem. Ransom told David Sommerstein a loss of cigarette sales would affect 400 to 500 people in and around the reservation between Massena and Malone.  Go to full article

A "rooftop highway," mile by mile

The "rooftop highway" is almost mythical in northern New York. The idea of an Interstate linking Watertown and Plattsburgh, through Gouverneur, Canton, Potsdam, and Malone, has been bouncing around since the 1950s. It's seen as a key to economic development in the North Country. New York's department of transportation estimates the whole project would cost $2 billion and take decades to build. So the DOT is taking public comment on a new plan to take the smallest of steps forward--a passing lane here, decongesting intersections there, maybe even a bypass. 75 people came to last night's meeting in Canton. Few were pleased with what they heard. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

State budget cuts could slam North Country towns

Beginning tomorrow, lawmakers in Albany will debate ways to slash New York's state budget. The collapse of tax revenue from Wall Street has already triggered a hiring freeze statewide, along with a first-round of belt-tightening at most state agencies. Deeper cuts could be especially painful here in the North Country. Many towns rely on government spending to fuel the local economy. Brian Mann has this profile Malone, in Franklin County, where prisons, schools, and the local hospital all look to Albany for a big chunk of their budgets.  Go to full article
Childstock farms relies on immigrant labor, and the H2A program, to harvest its greens.
Childstock farms relies on immigrant labor, and the H2A program, to harvest its greens.

Mexican farmworkers on the right side of the law

With the presidential race and the financial crisis, the issue of immigration has faded from the headlines. But the problem hasn't gone away. Farmers rely on foreign laborers to harvest their crops and milk their cows. Millions work on farms illegally. We've reported extensively on Mexicans and Central Americans working on North Country dairy farms without legal papers. Today we look at a federal program that allows farmers to hire foreign labor legally. Orchards in the Champlain Valley have hired foreign pickers for years. But dairy farms aren't eligible, at least, not yet. So in the North Country, just one crop farm uses the program. David Sommerstein reports from Childstock Farms in Franklin County.  Go to full article
Diane Leifheit captures flowers and an Adirondack chair in pastels
Diane Leifheit captures flowers and an Adirondack chair in pastels

A bounty of art from the garden

It's harvest season and artists across the region have been busy in the garden. Painting outdoors, or "plein air", is a time-honored tradition, particularly by artists who want to convey a sense of immediacy. They'll find a spot among flowers or along a stream, prop up an easel and paint just as they see it. Most works are competed within hours on the spot. Spontaneity is key. Bugs, rain and fleeting sunlight are challenges. Todd Moe visits a group of artists near Malone celebrating another season of creating art outdoors.  Go to full article
Dragonflier Nick Donnelly searches a Franklin County pond
Dragonflier Nick Donnelly searches a Franklin County pond

Dragonfly devotees swarm for the hunt

Take a paddle or hike along a stream, or spend some time gardening and you'll likely hear the familiar click of wings or glimpse a flying glint of blue or green. Dragonflies are a familiar and favorite sight in the North Country. And now, during the summer months, excitement is high among "dragonfliers" whose calendars are extra full because this is the time of year when dragonflies are most commonly seen. But researchers say there are more questions than answers about dragonflies. This is the fourth summer that the DEC and Nature Conservancy have seriously studied dragonflies and their close relatives, damselflies, in some of the more remote parts of the state. With the help of volunteers, biologists are out to foster public interest in the conservation of the colorful, winged insects and their aquatic habitats. Todd Moe found that, for a hobby that includes searching for large bugs in swampy areas, it has a lot of followers.  Go to full article

Landfill expansion plan draws complaints

A plan to expand Franklin County's landfill by 630 acres has drawn concern from neighbors from both sides of the northern border. The landfill, about one mile from the international boundary near Malone, has been controversial since it opened in 1994. It's one of 27 regional landfills in the state built to accept waste from the thousands of dumps closed across the state in past decades. A meeting in Malone last week drew about 50 people - nearly all of them opposed to the landfill expansion. Jacob Resneck was there.  Go to full article

SUNY considers merging two community colleges

The State University of New York will study the possibility of combining services and programs at Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh and North Country Community College, which has campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga. The study was recommended by State Senator Betty Little and comes as both colleges are facing a change in administration. But, as Chris Knight reports, officials at North Country Community College say they haven't been told much about the study or what it could mean.  Go to full article

Comlinks employees vote to unionize

After months of turmoil, employees at the non-profit organization ComLinks have voted to unionize. The Malone-based agency is one of the region's largest independent social service providers. Friday's vote follows news that the organization's CEO was improperly reimbursed by her agency for campaign contributions made to various politicians. Jacob Resneck reports.  Go to full article

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