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News stories tagged with "social-services"

In the basket: $36 worth of food, the value of the monthly cut food stamp recipients received beginning in early November. Photo by Karen DeWitt
In the basket: $36 worth of food, the value of the monthly cut food stamp recipients received beginning in early November. Photo by Karen DeWitt

Federal cuts strain food pantries

With winter officially here, New York's food pantries and soup kitchens are feeling the strain of feeding the hungry, especially after two key benefit cuts from the federal government.  Go to full article
Canton Church and Community Program Director Catherine Matthews says private donations are playing a bigger role in stocking pantries. Photo: Julie Grant
Canton Church and Community Program Director Catherine Matthews says private donations are playing a bigger role in stocking pantries. Photo: Julie Grant

Food pantries reluctantly play larger role in feeding hungry

Food pantries and soup kitchens say they're reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation's safety net for the poor.

In a new report on New York's charitable food distribution system, the groups say government needs to step in and lend a helping hand.  Go to full article
Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone
Comlinks food distribution warehouse in Malone

Comlinks to close for good on Saturday

A once powerful social services agency in the North Country will close its doors for good on Saturday. ComLinks is based in Malone. President Joe Selenski says attempts to survive years of theft and mismanagement have failed.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports that board members decided there was no way to make it financially viable, and shutting down the organization was their only option.  Go to full article
"We seem to be faced with many ghosts from the past."
- Joseph Selenski, ComLinks board president

Wracked by controversy, ComLinks intends to close

A once powerful social services agency in the North Country is now headed towards closing its doors. ComLinks, based in Malone, says attempts to survive years of theft and mismanagement appear to have failed.

As recently as three weeks ago, Comlinks was talking with local lawmakers and making plans to start over as a grassroots not-for-profit. But board president Joe Selenski says it turns out there's just too much to overcome.  Go to full article
Donít make a child go to bed hungry because your government wants to come up with a fraud program that requires fingerprinting.

Cuomo wants better access to food stamps

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich intends it as an insult when he calls President Obama, the "food-stamp President." New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems not to fear being called the food stamp governor; he's proposing ways that more New Yorkers in need can access the federal program. Karen DeWitt has this report from Albany.  Go to full article
Thatíd be devastating. Thereís a lot of vulnerable people, elderly people, people that are home-bound...

Federal Medicaid cuts threaten NY economy

A health care advocacy coalition reports cuts to federal Medicaid spending, now being considered in Washington, would cost New York more jobs than any other state.

Families USA also says the loss of government entitlement programs will hurt the state's most vulnerable populations.

The Innovation Trail's Emma Jacobs reports.  Go to full article

ComLinks blasted in state audit; DA investigation urged

A state audit is slamming the management of one of the North Country's largest non-profit social service agencies. A Comptroller's report released yesterday claims that ComLinks, headquartered in Malone, has suffered for years from mismanagement and nepotism.

The audit also alleges that former ComLinks CEO Nancy Reich diverted nearly $100,000 in funds for her private use.  Go to full article

Lowville, pt.2: inside the safety net

This week, we're viewing the recession through the lens of one North Country community: the village of Lowville in Lewis County. Yesterday we heard from Main Street merchants struggling to make a living. Climb the hill from Main Street, up the Tug Hill Plateau, toward the East's largest wind farm, and you reach Lewis County's social services building. Inside, caseworkers are flooded with new clients. Heating assistance and food stamp applications are up 40%. As David Sommerstein reports, those who hold the safety net want even more people to use it.  Go to full article

Amish at odds with county DSS

A case now in St. Lawrence County Family Court sets the county Social Services Department against religious beliefs of the old order Amish in the North Country. Family Court Judge Barbara Potter ruled this week that an Amish couple neglected their year-and-a-half year old son by refusing medical treatment for his life-threatening heart condition. Gideon and Barbara Hershberger of Winthrop say surgery needed to repair the defect violates their religious beliefs. Judge Potter will decide next Tuesday whether to allow the social services department to remove Eli Hershberger removed from his parents' custody for the surgery. Public defender William Galvin represented the family. He declined to comment on the case.

Anthropologist Karen Johnson-Weiner has been studying Amish language and customs for 25 years. She's also become with many North Country Amish families during that time. She doesn't know the Hershbergers, or their son, but she testified at trial this fall on their behalf, particularly about the Amish sect they are part of: the ultra-conservative Swarzentruber Amish. Not all Amish live by the same rules; each church community sets its own. All Amish accept modern medical care, Johnson-Weiner says, but only to a certain point, and that point differs from community to community. Johnson-Weiner told Martha Foley Swartzentruber Amish draw the line at open heart surgery, and pacemakers. And that puts the Hershbergers at odds with the surgery doctors say Eli needs.  Go to full article

Doctor shortage in North Country complicated by Albany budget crisis

New York's Health Commissioner toured the North Country this week, talking about the doctor shortage that continues to plague the region's hospitals and clinics. A new program is being launched next summer, designed to train new doctors to work in rural areas. But as Brian Mann reports, healthcare experts say that won't be enough.  Go to full article

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