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News stories tagged with "port-henry"

Don Foote brought the Port Henry Diner, first built in the 1920s, back to life. Photo: Brian Mann
Don Foote brought the Port Henry Diner, first built in the 1920s, back to life. Photo: Brian Mann

This Port Henry diner was a moveable feast

A lot of times when we talk about the North Country's architectural heritage we're talking about great camps in the Adirondacks, or we're celebrating the fabulous brick buildings that anchor our small town main streets.

But in Port Henry, New York, in the Champlain Valley, there's a cool little diner that dates back to the 1920s. It was a mass-produced eatery built in Rochester and shipped to the North Country by rail and then drawn by a team of horses.

For more than half a century the diner has survived, sometimes open for business, sometimes sitting empty.

Now the eatery is back in action and you can often find our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann there eating breakfast or lunch.  Go to full article
Tanker cars outside the depot in the village of Port Henry. Photo: Brian Mann
Tanker cars outside the depot in the village of Port Henry. Photo: Brian Mann

Is the Champlain Valley vulnerable to an oil train spill?

Last year's deadly train explosion in Quebec put the potential dangers of so-called "oil trains" in the headlines. Trains now carry 160,000 barrels of crude oil from the Bakkan fields in North Dakota every day. Many of them roll through North Country towns on their way to refineries on the East Coast.

Much of the attention so far has focused on the human risk. But on Wednesday, another derailment and explosion in Lynchburg, Virginia, spilled thousands of gallons of crude into the James River, threatening clean water supplies and wildlife.

Green groups called it "a wake up call" to the environmental dangers of shipping crude oil by rail.

One of the rail lines for oil shipments in New York State runs right through the Champlain Valley, in some places just feet from Lake Champlain. About one hundred miles of track cut along the edge of the Adirondack Park.  Go to full article
Port Henry's historic downtown block was threatened by an alleged arsonist. Photo: Brian Mann
Port Henry's historic downtown block was threatened by an alleged arsonist. Photo: Brian Mann

Port Henry arson could have been major disaster

Officials in Essex County say an arson attack over the weekend could have destroyed much of the downtown business district in Port Henry. They also say that the man accused of setting at least four fires, 43-year-old Joseph King, attacked firefighters while they were battling the dangerous blaze. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Doug Hoffman listens to a dairy farmer discuss his concerns.
Doug Hoffman listens to a dairy farmer discuss his concerns.

Hoffman counting on grassroots push in NY-23 primary

Republican candidates for the 23rd Congressional district seat are making late summer pushes toward a September primary. Alexandria Bay businessman Matt Doheny has shored up support from the GOP establishment. All of the party's county chairs have endorsed him. Tea Party insurgent Doug Hoffman says he relishes the outsider status, just as he did in last year's special election that brought him to within a few percentage points of Democrat and Congressman Bill Owens. Hoffman trails Doheny significantly in fundraising. Lacking the get-out-the-vote infrastructure of a major party, Hoffman will need a big grassroots push to win. As David Sommerstein reports, whether he gets it is the central question of his campaign.  Go to full article
Port Henry village seen from Lake Champlain. Source: port-henry.ny.us
Port Henry village seen from Lake Champlain. Source: port-henry.ny.us

Shutting down local governments complicated by bureaucracy, emotion

Next Tuesday, when most voters in the North Country are choosing new local government leaders, the residents of Port Henry will decided whether their village should exist at all. Other villages, from Lake George to Potsdam to Saranac Lake are considering similar measures. It is part of a statewide push to cut costs and reduce bureaucracy. But as Brian Mann reports, the decision also brings a sense of loss and even grief.  Go to full article

Local governments weigh the pros and cons of going out of business

Next week, voters in Port Henry in the Champlain Valley will decide whether to dissolve their village. If the ballot measure passes, local services would be provided in the future by the town of Moriah.

Today and tomorrow we'll be looking at local governments across the North Country that are thinking about merging or going out of business. The idea is being considered from Lake George to Potsdam to Saranac Lake. It's an effort to save money at a time when property taxes are a hotbutton issue and state aid from Albany is shrinking.

This morning, Brian Mann talks with Charles Zettek, with the Center for Governmental Research, a think-tank that helps local governments that are thinking about dissolving. Zettek served as a consultant to the village of Port Henry.  Go to full article
Jay town supervisor Randy Douglas is the first Democrat to lead Essex County in three decades (Source:  Town of Jay)
Jay town supervisor Randy Douglas is the first Democrat to lead Essex County in three decades (Source: Town of Jay)

In Essex County, Democrats make gains and history

Republicans are hoping to stage a revival in the Northeast this year, inspired by the upset victory of Senator Scott Brown in Massachusetts. But here in northern New York, Democrats continue to make surprising gains, eroding the GOP's decades-long dominance. Democrats Scott Murphy from Glens Falls and Bill Owens from Plattsburgh both won House seats in the last year. The party is also making inroads at the grassroots level, capturing local government offices. Brian Mann reports from Essex County.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: A fresh start at Moriah Shock

Even many prison reform advocates, who want fewer New Yorkers sent to prison, say the state's so-called "shock" program offers alternatives that can benefit low-level, non-violent criminals. Inmates from Moriah Shock have long served useful roles in the region as well, helping forest rangers battle wild fires in the Adirondacks. Over the weekend, they were among the volunteers building the ice palace for Saranac Lake's Winter Carnival. A decade ago, Brian Mann spent a day behind bars at Moriah Shock, attending a graduation, talking with the inmates and their families.  Go to full article

Champlain bridge to be demolished at 10am; WATCH ONLINE

State officials still sound confident that today is the day they'll demolish the Crown Point bridge. Cold weather delayed the countdown last week. But this morning at 10am engineers plan to trigger more than 800 pounds of explosives, knocking the massive structure into Lake Champlain. Brian Mann is in the Chaplain Valley and spoke this morning with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

Officials say Crown Point bridge closed until spring

Engineers say the Lake Champlain Bridge between Crown Point, New York and Addison, Vt., will be closed until at least spring. New York Transportation Department Engineer Robert Dennison says the structural problem with the bridge is "unexpectedly extreme." According to Dennison, it's just too risky to continue using the bridge that was closed Oct. 16. The Burlington Free Press reports Dennison was at a public meeting on the bridge closure in Addison last night.

The closure is disrupting lives and commerce on both sides of the lake. A survey conducted by New York state found that between 3,000 and 4,000 cars used the span each day. The states are now providing free ferry and bus service for locals who live and work on opposite sides of the lake. Another public information meeting is planned for this evening at 7 pm at the Moriah Central School in Port Henry, NY.  Go to full article

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