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News stories tagged with "sunmount"

Courtney Burke heads New York's Office for People with Developmentan Disabilities
Courtney Burke heads New York's Office for People with Developmentan Disabilities

Commissioner touts new protections for people with disabilities

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to create a new state agency, designed to protect people with disabilities living in instutions or assisted-living facilities across New York.

Yesterday, Courtney Burke, who heads the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, traveled to Plattsburgh to promote the idea, which is now being considered by the state Assembly. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Cuomo: State gov changes will save money, protect most vulnerable

Governor Andrew Cuomo and his top aides announced a number of changes that they say will save money, and also help protect what Cuomo says are "the most vulnerable" people the state takes care of: the developmentally disabled living in group homes and other state facilities.

In Albany, Karen DeWitt has the story:  Go to full article
Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake.
Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake.

Pink slips from Cuomo administration hit 175 North Country workers

State officials now say roughly 175 people will lose their jobs in the North Country after the Public Employee Federation last week voted down a new contract.

Hardest hit were Franklin, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, which each saw about fifty positions cut from the state payroll.

In all, the state will lay off 3,496 workers within the next three weeks unless the union and the governor come to an agreement soon.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had been hoping for concessions from PEF's membership as the state continues to deal with a $10 billion budget deficit.

As political wrangling continues in Albany, Chris Morris reports that the pink slips are deeply personal to many North Country workers.  Go to full article
State officials say firmly that Commissioner Burke's Monday statements did not indicate Sunmount closure

BREAKING: State officials now say Sunmount NOT to close by 2014

An official with the Office for People with Development Disabilities, Travis Proulx, just spoke with Martha Foley, NCPR's news director, stating firmly that Sunmount is not on any closure lists, including one set for 2014.

We'll have more on this story during All Before Five and again during the 8 O'clock Hour tomorrow, but again, state officials say this unambiguously.

The confusion - and deep anxiety in Tupper Lake - were triggered on Monday when OPWDD Commissioner Courtney Burke was asked directly by WCNY reporter Susan Arbetter whether Sunmount would be closed.

"We are seeking to close all of our developmental centers by the end of 2014," Burke replied.

Her comments were rebroadcast on NCPR's newcasts, triggering a wave of anxiety in the village, which relies on Sunmount for employment. This from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

[Village mayor Mickey Desmarais] said there were people crying as they heard the news of the facility's closure on the radio Tuesday night and this morning.

"I mean, this is a huge wave of panic," Desmarais said.

Again, this is a developing story. Tune in to All Before Five this evening for more details.  Go to full article
Sunmount under fire following incident last year (NCPR file photo)
Sunmount under fire following incident last year (NCPR file photo)

Officials say reforms underway at Sunmount and statewide

Yesterday in Albany, the state Assembly held a public hearing into allegations that some disabled people have been abused while cared for at facilities like Sunmount in Tupper Lake.

A New York Times report last week suggested that "systemic abuse" exists across the state, especially at large institutional care facilities. As Todd Moe reports, state officials say reforms are now underway.  Go to full article
Sunmount Developmental Center (Photo:  Brian Mann
Sunmount Developmental Center (Photo: Brian Mann

Community leaders, workers defend Sunmount

Fall-out continues this week from a New York Times article published Monday that described "patterns of abuse" at the Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake

Sunmount cares for some of the most troubled and vulnerable people with developmental disabilities. The facility is also one of the region's top employers, providing over one thousand jobs.

State officials and disability advocates said the report in the Times makes it clear that reforms are needed but local workers and elected officials said the vast majority of workers at Sunmount are doing a good job, providing safe and supportive care.

Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
We must thoroughly examine and reform the system to... protect the vulnerable individuals in our system...

NY Times claims "patterns of abuse" at Sunmount in Tupper Lake

Yesterday the New York Times ran a front-page investigative story about the way New York state cares for people with developmental disabilities.

A major focus of the article was the Sunmount Developmental Center in Tupper Lake, which cares for some of the state's highest risk and most demanding special-needs clients.

Reporter Danny Hakim wrote that "patterns of abuse appear embedded in the culture of Sunmount." He pointed to four episodes last year where a supervisor was accused of physical and psychological abuse.

Adirondack reporter Brian Mann spoke with Martha Foley about the article and its impact on the debate over Sunmount's future  Go to full article
State Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury)
State Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury)

After state jobs, is there a Plan B for North Country economy?

As Monday's special session was winding down, state Senator Betty Little spoke with Brian Mann by telephone from Albany.

She says the huge deficits still looming this year can still be tackled after newly elected Governor Andrew Cuomo takes office.

She also spoke about the fears that many North Country communities face, as the legislature tries to cut next year's $9 billion deficit.  Go to full article

Four dead, three injured at group home fire in Hamilton County

Four elderly residents died at a group home in Hamilton County on Saturday following an early morning fire. The blaze struck the Riverview home in the town of Wells, which is operated by New York state. Two staff members and a fifth patient were also injured. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

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