Watertown Daily Times: Local News

Watertown Daily Times: Local News

Watertown Daily Times: Local NewsWatertown Daily Times: Local NewsMassena woman charged with possessing stolen propertyChase Mills man charged with criminal contemptNarrow testifies, awaits grand jury’s decisionTheresa woman charged with mistreating seven horsesMahoney’s released hazardous materials into environment, pays more than $190kLyme man accused of threatening to kill deputies during Brownville traffic stopA breakaway region of Somalia begs the Trump administration for travel ban exemptionRoanoke news anchor, boyfriend of slain TV reporter, will run for Va. HouseLowville man charged with second-degree harassmentJailed Lowville man arraigned on additional burglary chargeNative Americans opposing Dakota Access get a boost from Pope FrancisLyonsdale man accused of pointing gun at his brotherThree charged with drug possession in Lowville following apartment searchA severely injured Iraqi toddler has been in the US for three months — without his parentsHigh school girls basketball: Section 3 sets playoff field‘Help me kill my wife,’ a man wrote in a text mistakenly sent to his ex-boss, police sayFlower Library project to begin in springHigh school boys basketball: Section 3 playoff pairings releasedMalaysia detains woman in killing of N. Korean leader’s half-brotherTrump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligenceN.Y. medical pot company prospecting for new customers in nursing homesBudget issues, limited transparency raise frustrations for Alexandria water, sewer districtGrand jury to hear case against Canton attorneyIncreased executive authority on state spending worries county officialsSUNY Canton announces four-year agribusiness programSUNY Potsdam holds Days of Reflection: seminars discuss race issuesIrate DePeyster resident arrested after ‘blindside’ attack on highway superSt. Lawrence County legislators discuss high staff turnover in DA’s OfficeBrasher, Stockholm set public hearings for proposed joint water districtPlanned Parenthood of New York announces new CEO to lead women’s health advocacyNorth Lawrence man sought after failing to appear at trialCanton town court beefs up securityCity looking to fill summer lifeguard positionsLewis County police agencies respond to several snowmobile crashesState police release details of Feb. 9 crash near OgdensburgHack Potsdam to be held at Clarkson UniversityOrleans council seeking youth commission applicationsLocal paragraphsTuesday’s lottery numbersLewis County officials ready to sign off on emergency radio systemJefferson County radio project moving forward at ‘more rapid pace’Arena roof repairs will wait until winter is overBarbershop quartet brings cheer to Valentine’s Day with performances (VIDEO)Meeting on TenEyck Street building postponed

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/ The latest stories from Watertown Daily Times as of Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:36:42 -0500 en-us http://backend.userland.com/rss 10 Copyright 2017, Johnson Newspaper Corporation. All rights reserved. news@wdt.net (Managing Editor) webissues@wdt.net (Web Master) http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/images/branding/wdt_banner_rss.png http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/ 144 14 Watertown Daily Times | Local News, Sports, Features, and Community Information for Jefferson County, St. Lawrence County, and Lewis County in Northern New York. http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/massena-woman-charged-with-possessing-stolen-property–20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/massena-woman-charged-with-possessing-stolen-property–20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:32:21 -0500
HOPKINTON — State police on Feb. 7 charged Danelle C. LaPage, 36, of 227 Main St., Massena, with misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Troopers charge that Ms. LaPage was in possession of a safe that contained more than $5,000 in U.S. currency along with various personal documents that were stolen between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at a residence on State Highway 11B.

Ms. LaPage was arraigned in Massena Village Court by Justice Eric Gustafson and was released on her own recognizance.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/chase-mills-man-charged-with-criminal-contempt-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/chase-mills-man-charged-with-criminal-contempt-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 20:29:49 -0500
WADDINGTON — State police on Saturday charged Ryan T. Fenn, 19, of 717 County Route 36, Chase Mills, with misdemeanor second-degree criminal contempt.

Troopers charge that about 3:09 p.m. 20 Lagrasse St. in the village, Mr. Fenn violated a stay-away order of protection when he got into a verbal argument with and was in the company of a 19-year-old female. Troopers did not release the name of the female.

Troopers said a stay-away order of protection was issued in favor of the teen on Sept. 25 out of Fowler Town Court, and is valid until Sept. 24. A second order of protection was issued through Fowler Town Court on Oct. 5 and is valid until April.

Troopers located Mr. Fenn walking south along County Route 44 in the village after he left the residence.

Mr. Fenn was issued a ticket returnable to Waddington Town Court.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/narrow-testifies-awaits-grand-jurys-decision-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/narrow-testifies-awaits-grand-jurys-decision-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 19:02:47 -0500 By W.T. ECKERT weckert@wdt.net
CANTON — The fate of the Canton attorney accused of committing a felony when he represented Oral “Nick” Hillary is now in the hands of a St. Lawrence County grand jury

On Tuesday the grand jury was empaneled to investigate possible ethical issues involving Edward F. Narrow, of Dumas & Narrow P.C. but, following one day of testimony on Wednesday by St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain, former Chef ADA David A. Haggard, and Mr. Narrow, he said the grand jury will now decide whether to indict him or return a no bill clearing him of any potential charges.

“I just answered questions about my representation of Mr. Haggard in small claims court from 2014 and 2016, then the procedures that I followed when I posted bail for Mr. Hillary at St. Lawrence County jail on Sept. 22, 2015. That was about it,” Mr. Narrow said.

Ms. Rain was not available for comment.

On June 8, St. Lawrence County Surrogate Court Judge John F. Richey issued an order appointing Gary W. Miles, Watertown, to the investigation and prosecution, if necessary, to avoid all conflicts.

Mr. Miles will also be in charge of investigating allegations that Mr. Narrow represented former Chief ADA David A. Haggard in a civil matter from 2014 through 2016, creating an ethical issue attached to all cases involving Mr. Haggard and Mr. Narrow.

During a court hearing last April 13, Ms. Rain said she planned to indict Mr. Narrow, regarding “a felony that Mr. Narrow committed regarding the Oral Nicholas Hillary case,” the former Clarkson University men’s soccer coach found not guilty of the 2011 murder of 12-year-old Garrett J. Phillips.

During a Sept. 25, 2015 Ms. Rain filed an order to show cause with the court because she said Mr. Narrow violated a rule under the Professional Rules of Conduct. She cited rule 1.8(e), “…while representing a client in connection with contemplated or pending litigation, a lawyer shall not advance or guarantee financial assistance to a client.”

“In fact, on 9/22/15 the defendant’s attorney signed a ‘bail justifying affirmation’ which clearly states: ‘I further assert that the money being posted is mine and not that of an undisclosed source.’” Ms. Rain stated in her order. “If this is not true, then where did the money come from and why did the defendant’s attorney affirm the money was his in direct violation of Professional Rules of Conduct Rule 1.8(e)?”

A hearing scheduled to determine the source of the bail, was later cancelled after noted St. Lawrence University graduate and film producer Sarah E. Johnson told the Times in an interview published prior to the hearing that she supplied the bail.

Mr. Narrow said the $200,000 cash bail was wired into his firm’s trust account by Ms. Johnson.

“I called the sheriff from the bank once the money came in from Sarah and asked how they wanted it,” Mr. Narrow said.

Sheriff Kevin M. Wells told Mr. Narrow that he would take a check from his trust account by way of a cashier’s check made payable to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s, Mr. Narrow said.

“Then I went to the jail and I gave Correction Officer Mason the check, he gave me a bail receipt put in my name, for Nick Hillary,” Mr. Narrow said. “There wasn’t anything illegal about it. Mary’s gripe was Mary wanted to know where the money came from. It is not illegal in NY for an attorney to post his client’s bail.”

Ms. Rain also called into question Mr. Narrow’s two-year representation of Mr. Haggard in a small claims action in Ogdensburg City Court for a landlord/tenant dispute about rent which she previously said created an ethical issue attached to all cases involving Mr. Haggard and Mr. Narrow.

Mr. Narrow said on Wednesday he gave sworn testimony and he answered the questions honestly and to the best of recollection of the events considered.

“Mainly I am just thankful for the opportunity to testify in front of the grand jury and present what we believe the facts of this issue are,” Mr. Narrow said. “And obviously we are thankful for the careful consideration that the grand jurors will put into the decision making process.”

Mr. Miles did not return a message seeking comment.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/theresa-woman-charged-with-mistreating-seven-horses-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/theresa-woman-charged-with-mistreating-seven-horses-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:36:58 -0500
THERESA — State police have arrested a Theresa woman on animal cruelty charges for alleged maltreatment of her seven horses.

Josiphina K. Nelson, 45, of 32649 County Route 194, was arrested on Saturday, charged with seven counts of torturing and injuring animals for failure to provide proper sustenance.

Responding to concerns raised over the welfare of the animals, state troopers, along with Christina M. Curri, director of the Jefferson County Animal Cruelty Task Force, found six malnourished horses on Ms. Nelson’s property and one deceased mare pinto horse in a field behind a barn.

The six living horses were removed from Ms. Nelson’s property and she was issued appearance tickets for town of Antwerp court.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/mahoneys-released-hazardous-materials-into-environment-pays-more-than-190k–20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/mahoneys-released-hazardous-materials-into-environment-pays-more-than-190k–20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 17:15:50 -0500 By W.T. ECKERT weckert@wdt.net
CANTON — A Potsdam car dealership paid more than $190,000 in fines and restitution after it and one of its employees accepted a plea deal with the state attorney general’s office for the release of hazardous materials into the environment.

Defense attorney Emil M. Rossi, of Rossi Law Offices, Syracuse, who appeared on behalf of Mahoney’s Auto Mall, of 7513 Route 11, Potsdam, pleaded guilty to felony third-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment. Cornelius J. Mahoney, the dealership’s owner did not appear in court.

Andrew Fuller, 33, of 52 County Route 31, of Madrid, an employee at the dealership, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment.

As part of the plea deal, Mr. Rossi said that on June 17, 2014, on the property of Mahoney’s Auto Mall, Mr. Fuller and Mahoney’s Auto Mall Inc. engaged in conduct which caused the release into the environment of more than 100 gallons or 1,000 pounds, whichever is less, of a substance hazardous to public health, safety or the environment.

Mr. Fuller, who was represented by St. Lawrence County Chief Public Defender Steven G. Ballan, admitted to the court that on the same date he engaged in conduct which caused the release into the environment toluene, a substance hazardous to public health, safety or the environment.

Originally indicted with third-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment and eight counts of fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment, Mr. Fuller will have the felony count and remaining seven misdemeanors satisfied against him and the court has committed to sentencing him to three years of probation. Mr. Fuller’s court ordered fine of $37,500 was paid for by Mahoney’s Auto Mall during the proceeding.

Mr. Fuller’s sentencing date is scheduled for April 10 and he was released on his own recognizance.

As part of the corporation’s plea deal, the court granted an unconditional discharge and ordered a fine of $150,000 be paid and a restitution of $7,449.49 to the Department of Environmental Conservation. Including Mr. Fuller’s fine, Mahoney’s paid a total of $194,949.49 as a part of the plea deal that also satisfied the remaining 10 counts of fourth-degree endangering public health, safety or the environment and violating environmental conservation law, all misdemeanors.

St. Lawrence County Judge Derek P. Champagne said that damage to environment can not be tolerated and is of concern to the court.

“There needs to be accountability for this type of conduct. We only have one planet earth, so to speak, and we need to treat it accordingly,” Judge Champagne said. “And, obviously, the discovery of this substance being harmful to the environment is of concern to the Court. And it is of concern to the public and to all of our safety, especially when water is becoming such a valuable commodity to all of us.”

During the plea offer Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General Andrew J. Tarkowski, who is prosecuting the case, said that any other information that had been discovered during their investigation would not be used to bring further charges against Mahoney’s Auto Mall.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman echoed those remakes in a news release Wednesday afternoon.

“When business owners fail to properly dispose of hazardous material, it jeopardizes the health of New Yorkers and our natural resources,” said Mr. Schneiderman. “These convictions sent the message that those who pollute our environment will be brought to justice.”

The convictions against Mahoney’s and Mr. Fuller are the result of an investigation by the DEC that, in June 2014 revealed Mr. Fuller buried drums of used oil, containers of used oil filters, and tires on Mahoney’s property.

On July 21, 2014, DEC officers and regulators executed a search warrant which authorized them to excavate the buried waste at Mahoney’s, the news release stated. During the excavation, DEC investigators discovered four 55-gallon drums containing approximately 142 gallons of liquid, several containers of used oil filters, and approximately 20 tires. Subsequent laboratory analysis showed that liquid samples from each of the four drums contained the hazardous substances benzene at levels in excess of .5 milligrams per liter. In addition to the benzene, the analysis detected the presence of the hazardous substances toluene, ethyl-benzene, and xylene. Releases of hazardous substances that may enter the environment are illegal.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos called the chemicles “deadly.”

“The long list of egregious waste violations in this case is alarming and shows blatant disregard for the laws that are in place to protect our environment and the public’s health and safety,” Mr. Seggos said.

Additionally, adjacent to the excavated waste area, DEC investigators found an open, unprotected pile of solid waste which measured 33 feet in width by 25 feet in length. The pile of solid waste contained construction and demolition debris, roofing material, household trash, clothing, furniture and bedding. The disposal of solid waste at the site constitutes the operation of a solid waste management facility. The DEC subjects solid waste management facilities to strict operational and closure requirements to avoid potential adverse impacts to public health and the environment, and it is illegal to construct or operate such a facility without first obtaining a permit from the DEC. According to DEC records, Mahoney’s neither applied for nor received the necessary permit.

Inside the auto shop, DEC investigators also discovered a concrete channel dug into the floor which transported spilled automotive fluids into a pit. Once in the pit, the spilled fluids were discharged onto the ground outside the auto shop through a pump attached to a garden hose. DEC investigators collected a soil sample from the area onto which the garden hose discharged the automotive fluids. Laboratory testing revealed that this soil was contaminated with petroleum. DEC officials also discovered petroleum-contaminated Speedy Dry which had been disposed of outside on the ground adjacent to the auto shop.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/lyme-man-accused-of-threatening-to-kill-deputies-during-brownville-traffic-stop-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/lyme-man-accused-of-threatening-to-kill-deputies-during-brownville-traffic-stop-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:02:16 -0500
BROWNVILLE — Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies charged a Lyme resident with multiple offenses after he allegedly threatened to kill deputies during a traffic stop Wednesday morning.

Deputies said Richard L. Illingworth, 24, of 8626 State Route 12, Lyme, attempted to prevent a traffic stop investigation by yelling obscenities and threatening to kill deputies while refusing to stay in the vehicle.

He allegedly continued to try to evade arrest by then refusing to exit a vehicle, refusing to place his hands behind his back and physically pulling away from deputies.

Deputies also said that Mr. Illingworth consumed alcohol in his car.

Mr. Illingworth was charged at 1:08 a.m. Wednesday with second-degree harassment, resisting arrest, drinking alcohol in a motor vehicle, obstructing governmental administration and disorderly conduct.

He was arraigned in Pamelia Town Court, where his bail at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building was set at $750. He is expected to appear in Brownville Town Court.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/a-breakaway-region-of-somalia-begs-the-trump-administration-for-travel-ban-exemption-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/a-breakaway-region-of-somalia-begs-the-trump-administration-for-travel-ban-exemption-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 16:00:00 -0500 Washington Post/Bloomberg
A region that claims independence from Somalia is feeling as though it is wheat thrown in with the chaff.

President Donald Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order temporarily barring citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations from traveling to the United States includes Somalia, and thus Somaliland, whose independence is not recognized by any country.

But for 26 years, the breakaway region has operated as an autonomous republic. It has shielded itself from the disorder and violence that has led many to characterize Somalia as a “failed state.” Somaliland has its own police, army, flag and currency, and has held regular elections for parliament and president.

And while the executive order has been struck down by federal courts, Trump administration officials have said they intend to write a new one that would presumably target the same countries – although with caveats to avoid further legal action.

On Monday, Somaliland’s government wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pleading for an exemption from the executive order. In it, Somaliland’s foreign minister, Sa’ad Ali Shire, argues that his region does not have the “deteriorating conditions . . . [that] due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States,” as described in the order.

In fact, Somaliland fought bitterly against its southern neighbor to win its sustained peace. There hasn’t been a terrorist attack there since 2008. Meanwhile, Somalia’s government struggles to control much of its own territory beyond its capital, Mogadishu. A fight against the extremist al-Shabab group has been hampered by corruption and division in the government.

Last week, however, lawmakers in Somalia elected a new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a U.S. dual citizen and former prime minister, who is seen as less corruptible and has wider popular support than his predecessor.

Somaliland’s relative stability hasn’t meant that the United States will consider recognizing its independence. The official Washington line has long been that it will work with Mogadishu to reunify the country. It could be years, if not decades, before Somalia is strong enough to control its own territory, let alone Somaliland’s. And even then, resentment runs deep between the regions.

Unfortunately for residents of Somaliland, that policy will likely mean that they will continue to be considered part of Somalia. Should the Trump administration provide the exemption, it might be seen as the first step toward acknowledging Somaliland’s independence, and thus giving up on the possibility of a unified Somalia.

As such, Shire’s letter is not just an appeal for leniency, but a request to be rewarded for sharing fundamental values with the United States. Providing the exemption, he argues, would reaffirm “that strong and responsible governance provides a foundation upon which America’s partners can secure progress for their citizens and contribute to shared international objectives.”

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/roanoke-news-anchor-boyfriend-of-slain-tv-reporter-will-run-for-va-house-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/roanoke-news-anchor-boyfriend-of-slain-tv-reporter-will-run-for-va-house-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 15:00:00 -0500 Washington Post/Bloomberg
News anchor Chris Hurst, whose girlfriend and another co-worker were gunned down during a live broadcast in August 2015, will leave the Roanoke, Virginia, TV station and mount a run for the state House of Delegates, he said Sunday.

The WDBJ-7 anchor’s final broadcast was last Thursday night and he resigned on Friday. Hurst said he plans to file paperwork Monday to run as a Democrat for the 12th District seat currently held by Republican Joseph R. Yost.

“I can categorically tell you that my life was not going to be like this if it weren’t for the tragedy that happened,” Hurst said in a phone interview Sunday. “I knew that I couldn’t stay at the station because it was just too emotionally painful for me.”

Hurst, who joined the station as a reporter in 2010 and became evening anchor in 2011, covered crime and courts, with special assignments on mental health and opioid abuse.

He was struck by personal tragedy on August 26, 2015, when a disgruntled former employee, Vester Lee Flanagan II, 41, opened fire on 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward during an early-morning on-air interview at Smith Mountain Lake, about five hours southwest of Washington, D.C. Flanagan, who uploaded footage of the killings to his Twitter and Facebook pages, later shot himself in his car.

Hurst and Parker had dated for nine months, and Hurst said they had wanted to get married.

In running for office, Hurst said he wants to tackle a wide range of issues, from parity in education funding, to giving businesses and start-ups incentive to relocate to southwest Virginia.

He will also work to ensure “fewer families have to go through what I went through,” said Hurst, whose plans to run for office were first reported by The Roanoke Times.

Hurst supports universal background checks for gun owners and wants to give law enforcement the tools to remove dangerous firearms from dangerous situations – rather than just prevent their sale or transfer. At the same time, he said, “people think that I’m going to try to take everybody’s guns away and that’s the last thing I wanna do.”

“People have been raised on hunting, they’ve been raised on going to the range with their father and mother and learning how to shoot, my brother taught me how to shoot. I just wanna make sure that law enforcement knows who the most dangerous people in our communiteis are.”

Yost, of Blacksburg, could not immediately be reached for comment.

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lowville-man-charged-with-second-degree-harassment-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lowville-man-charged-with-second-degree-harassment-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:42:07 -0500
LOWVILLE — Village police on Thursday charged Tyler J. Wilkinson, 25, of 5403 Shady Ave., Lowville, with second-degree harassment.

Police said they investigated a claim against him but gave no further details. He is to appear in Lowville Village Court.

Mr. Wilkinson earlier in the week was charged by police with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance for possessing methamphetamine during a traffic stop.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/jailed-lowville-man-arraigned-on-additional-burglary-charge-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/jailed-lowville-man-arraigned-on-additional-burglary-charge-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:41:51 -0500
LOWVILLE — A Lowville man already in jail on other charges was additionally charged Thursday with second-degree burglary.

Village police said Justin J. Hurley, 33, unlawfully entered a village residence Dec. 24 and stole unspecified property. He was arraigned in Village Court and sent back to Lewis County Jail without bail because of a pair of prior felony convictions, police said.

Mr. Hurley was charged earlier this month with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, then last week with third-degree identity theft and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property, the latter for allegedly possessing a stolen Visa credit card on Dec. 24 and using it to buy merchandise from Fastrac Market in Lowville.

He was sent in May to the state prison system’s 90-day Willard Drug Rehabilitation Program after pleading guilty in Lewis County Court to third-degree unlawful manufacturing of methamphetamine and fifth-degree unlawful sale of a controlled substance for allegedly selling meth and operating a meth lab on Nov. 6, 2014 in a Park Avenue apartment.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/native-americans-opposing-dakota-access-get-a-boost-from-pope-francis-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/native-americans-opposing-dakota-access-get-a-boost-from-pope-francis-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:00:00 -0500 Washington Post/Bloomberg
Two Native American tribes are fighting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in a federal court, but on Wednesday they appeared to get support from a higher authority — Pope Francis.

Pope Francis, a longtime defender of indigenous rights, said that development should be reconciled with those rights, “especially clear when planning economic activities which may interfere with indigenous cultures and their ancestral relationship to the earth,” according to a report by Reuters.

Although he did not mention the Dakota Access pipeline by name, the Vatican City press suggested Francis appeared to have that project in mind. “Do not allow those which destroy the earth, which destroy the environment and the ecological balance, and which end up destroying the wisdom of peoples,” the Pope said, according to Reuters.

This was not the first time the Pope has indirectly commented on U.S. issues. Earlier he criticized Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico. “In the social and civil context as well, I appeal not to create walls, but to build bridges,” Francis said, according to The Associated Press. “To not respond to evil with evil. To defeat evil with good, the offense with forgiveness. A Christian would never say ‘you will pay for that.’ Never.”

Building and burying an oil pipeline across four states is a question of earthly legal intricacies, not the views of the Pope.

Yet the tribes have appealed on religious grounds, saying the pipeline interferes with the exercise of beliefs. The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes had asked in a filing last week that a District of Columbia federal judge halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline because it would endanger what they called sacred waters of the Missouri River.

“The waters of the Missouri are also sacred to the Tribe and are central to the Tribe’s practice of religion,” they said. They argued that the very presence of a pipeline below the river and Lake Oahe would “unbalance and desecrate the water.”

The U.S. District judge, James Boasberg, declined to stop construction but he scheduled an additional hearing on the matter for Feb. 27.

“In this regard, the right to prior and informed consent (of native peoples) should always prevail,” the pope said on Wednesday, citing the 1997 U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The pope, who spoke in Spanish, was addressing Indigenous Peoples Forum in Rome.

The tribes on Tuesday filed a new motion asking that construction be halted because the Army Corps of Engineers had violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lyonsdale-man-accused-of-pointing-gun-at-his-brother-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lyonsdale-man-accused-of-pointing-gun-at-his-brother-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:07:30 -0500
PORT LEYDEN — Lewis County sheriff’s deputies on Feb. 9 charged a town of Lyonsdale man with pointing a shotgun at his brother during an argument at his residence.

Deputies charged Joseph K. Kittleman, 35, of 7212 Moose River Road, with second-degree menacing.

He was arraigned in Turin Town Court and released on his own recognizance to reappear in court at a later date.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/three-charged-with-drug-possession-in-lowville-following-apartment-search-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/three-charged-with-drug-possession-in-lowville-following-apartment-search-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:07:20 -0500
LOWVILLE — Three people were charged with drug possession Feb. 9 following execution of a search warrant at a South State Street apartment.

Village police charged Joseph R. Fitzgerald, 25, and Nicole A. Stauring, 24, both of 7527 S. State St., with third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia and fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana. Both were arraigned in Lowville Village Court and sent to Lewis County Jail, with bail set at $10,000 for Mr. Fitzgerald and $5,000 for Ms. Stauring.

Police also charged Edward A. Fitzgerald, 56, of 7207 Nortonville Road, Glenfield, with unlawful possession of marijuana, a charge answerable in Village Court.

Village police were assisted by the state police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/a-severely-injured-iraqi-toddler-has-been-in-the-us-for-three-months—without-his-parents-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/a-severely-injured-iraqi-toddler-has-been-in-the-us-for-three-months—without-his-parents-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 13:00:00 -0500 Washington Post/Bloomberg
Dilbireen Muhsin, a 2-year-old Iraqi Yazidi boy whose family fled a genocide perpetrated by the Islamic State a few years ago, has been without his parents for more than three months.

The toddler has been living in Michigan with a woman who had agreed to take care of him while his parents were in Iraq, unable to come to the United States.

Sometimes, Dilbireen thinks Adlay Kejjan, his caretaker, is his mother.

He used to cry at night, Kejjan said. He would want to get out of his crib, walk around and check every room to see whether his father was there. He wasn’t.

But that’s about to change.

The toddler, whose face was severely burned in an explosion in a northern Iraqi refugee camp last year, will soon be reunited with his parents. His family’s visas, previously revoked, were approved this week, said Sally Becker, the head of a Britain-based nonprofit that has been helping Dilbireen and his family.

The family is among those whose lives were caught up in President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iraq, from coming to the United States. A week ago, Dilbireen’s father, Ajeel Muhsin, and his wife, Flosa Khalaf, were told by U.S. officials in Iraq that interviews for new visa applicants have been suspended for 90 days because of Trump’s travel ban, Becker said.

On Thursday, a federal appeals court panel declined to reinstate the ban, rejecting the administration’s argument that it should be in place for national security reasons.

Becker, who has been in contact with the family, said Dilbireen’s parents were “delighted” that their visas have been granted. She said she doesn’t think the court’s decision was the reason the family’s visas were suddenly approved – because it happened before the ruling came out.

“It could have been the fact that the press have been covering the story, or perhaps it was simply an act of compassion,” Becker said, adding later: “The past 2 ½ years have been incredibly traumatic for this family, so the news is very welcome indeed.”

In August 2014, Ajeel Muhsin and his wife, then pregnant with Dilbireen, were among the Yazidis who left the Sinjar region in northern Iraq after it fell to the Islamic State militant group. There are about 700,000 Yazidis globally, the vast majority of whom lived in the town east of Mosul before it was seized by the extremist group, The Washington Post’s Ishaan Tharoor reported.

Becker said the couple were among the thousands who fled to Mount Sinjar, where they were stranded without food and water.

A 2015 report by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum said the attack on the Yazidi people, who belong to a minority religion, constituted a genocide. The report noted that at least 40,000 people were trapped on Mount Sinjar and that hundreds may have died from starvation and dehydration. In response to the crisis, the United States under then-President Barack Obama airdropped supplies, and the Yazidis were eventually evacuated, The Washington Post’s Adam Taylor reported.

Muhsin and his wife moved to an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Dahuk in northern Iraq, Becker said.

The couple’s son was born there on Jan. 4, 2015. They named him Dilbireen, which in Kurdish means “wounded heart.”

“That’s how they felt about the whole genocide,” said Kejjan, a Yazidi woman who heads a Michigan-based humanitarian organization dedicated to helping Yazidis.

On Jan. 4, 2016, Dilbireen’s first birthday, a heater exploded inside a makeshift house at the camp. The toddler was in his crib sleeping while his mother was outside baking bread when the explosion occurred, Kejjan said.

Dilbireen survived, but his face was severely burned. He nearly lost his right eye, and his nose was reduced to two uneven holes. His face was so disfigured that he was unable to close his mouth to chew or keep food in.

Three months after the explosion, Becker, founder of Road to Peace, a nonprofit that facilitates medical treatment for wounded children in war-torn countries, visited the camp and found out about Dilbireen. By that time, the boy had been discharged from a hospital with no plans of further treatment of his severe injuries, Becker said. He also was in danger losing his sight.

Becker got to work.

With the help of a friend, Scott LaStaiti, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker with connections in Boston, Becker’s organization was able to find a hospital there that agreed to treat Dilbireen and a few other children for free. Eighty-seven other children are still living in camps, awaiting treatment, she said.

Becker went back to Iraq in October after securing medical visas for the family. Dilbireen and his father flew to Boston, where the toddler was to undergo surgeries at the nonprofit Shriners Hospital for Children. The initial plan, Becker said, was for the family to return to Iraq once Dilbireen is fully treated.

However, his mother, who was seven months pregnant, stayed behind.

“We were told that if the baby was born in the United States it would create all kinds of problems, so she agreed to wait until the baby was born before joining her husband and son,” Becker said.

Dilbireen underwent the first of many surgeries a few days after he and his father arrived. It was successful, Becker said. The toddler was finally able to close his mouth. But being away from his mother was traumatizing.

“He just kept calling for his mom,” Becker said. “He would wake up from the anesthetic, and he would want his mom.”

In November, Dilbireen’s father left to be with his wife during childbirth. Dilbireen was left in the care of Kejjan, who said she heard about the boy after reading a news article and later volunteered to take care of him for six weeks while his father was gone.

The plan, both Becker and Kejjan said, was for the family to eventually reunite and stay in the country while Dilbireen was going through reconstructive surgeries, which could last for up to a year.

But six weeks turned into months. The boy’s parents and his baby brother – who was named Trump because he was born the day the real estate mogul was elected U.S. president – were unable to come to the United States.

In December and January – before President Trump took office – the parents’ medical visas were revoked and their infant son’s application was denied. Becker said the family members were told that they were unable to provide proof that they intended to return to Iraq.

“The fact is they fled from Sinjar with nothing. They’ve been living in an IDP camp for almost three years,” Becker said. “They don’t have any of the documents that you’re supposed to provide in order to prove ties to your country. Tax returns, proof of property, marriage certificate, they don’t have any of that.”

The family tried to reapply for visas. Last Sunday, more than a week after Trump signed his executive order on the travel ban, they showed up at the U.S. Consulate in Irbil, Iraq, for an appointment, but they were told applications for visas had been suspended for 90 days because of the ban, Becker said.

“They’re in limbo,” LaStaiti said last week, before the visas were approved. “Medical care aside, we have a simple issue where there’s an infant in the U.S. who’s stranded and separated from his parents.”

A State Department official declined to confirm whether the family’s visas have been approved, saying such information is confidential.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., who had written a letter to the U.S. Consulate in Irbil calling for the approval of the family’s visas, confirmed to The Post that the applications have been approved, citing information received from the State Department.

LaStaiti and Becker said the family has no intention of staying in the United States permanently.

“Iraq is their home,” LaStaiti said. “They just want their son to get the medical treatment that he needs.”

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/sports/high-school-girls-basketball-section-3-sets-playoff-field–20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/sports/high-school-girls-basketball-section-3-sets-playoff-field–20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:41:40 -0500 By JOSH ST.CROIX jstcroix@wdt.net
The Thousand Islands girls basketball team was named the top seed for the Section 3 Class C playoffs, highlighting the 12 Frontier League teams selected to the field Wednesday morning by sectional officials and coaches during a meeting at league headquarters in Syracuse.

The Vikings, who enter the postseason tournament with an 18-2 record, received a first-round bye and will open with a quarterfinal game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of No. 9 Beaver River (12-8) at No. 8 Frankfort-Schuyler (13-7). The Beavers’ first-round matchup is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday.

In Class A, Indian River (14-6) is the fourth seed and will receive a first-round bye before hosting No. 5 New Hartford (13-7) in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. next Tuesday.

Carthage (8-12) is the eighth seed in Class A and will host No. 9 Watertown (8-12) in a first-round game at 4:30 p.m. Friday.

In Class B, perennial contender South Jefferson (16-4) was named the fourth seed and will host No. 13 Lowville (10-8) in first-round matchup at 6 p.m. Friday. General Brown (12-7) received the No. 11 seed in that bracket and will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday with a first-round game at No. 6 Westhill (14-5).

In Class D, Copenhagen (16-4) was seeded third and will get a bye to next Tuesday’s quarterfinals where it will host the winner of a first-round matchup of No. 11 LaFargeville (8-11) at No. 6 Brookfield (12-5).

Also in Class D, Immaculate Heart (15-5) was seeded fourth and will host No. 13 Hamilton (8-12) in a first-round game, while No. 7 Sackets Harbor (13-6) is set to host No. 10 Otselic Valley (8-11). All Class D first-round games are scheduled for 6 p.m. tips on Friday.

Quarterfinal action is scheduled for next Tuesday and the semifinals will be played from Feb. 24-26 at Onondaga Community College. The championship games will be held March 5 in the same location.

Local Sports http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/help-me-kill-my-wife-a-man-wrote-in-a-text-mistakenly-sent-to-his-ex-boss-police-say-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/help-me-kill-my-wife-a-man-wrote-in-a-text-mistakenly-sent-to-his-ex-boss-police-say-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:14:58 -0500 Washington Post/Bloomberg
Authorities said a man in Washington state typed out a text message about a plan to hire someone to kill his wife and their 4-year-old daughter – but it was mistakenly sent to his former boss, not a hit man.

Jeffery Scott Lytle, 42, was arrested early last week in Monroe, Washington, on suspicion of planning a murder-for-hire after Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies were alerted to a chilling text message sent from Lytle’s phone and addressed to someone named “Shayne.” But the message, which detailed Lytle’s apparent intent to have his family killed, was erroneously sent to his former boss, police said.

“Hey Shayne hows it going,” Lytle wrote, according to a probable cause statement. “You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife. I’m going to take you up on that offer.”

It’s not clear whether Lytle has an attorney.

Lytle wrote in the text message that he would split his wife’s life insurance payout, which he said was worth $1 million. If the hit man wanted a bonus, Lytle wrote, he could also kill the 4-year-old girl, whose policy was worth $500,000.

“I go to work 5 in the morning,” Lytle wrote, according to court records. He reportedly added that his wife “goes to work at 2:00pm so if you can make a robbery gone wrong or make it a accident she works at walmart she gets off at 11:00.”

“I’ll split everything with the insurance 50/50,” he said.

Lytle was arrested last week and charged with two counts of felony criminal solicitation for the crime of murder in the first degree, according to the court records.

Authorities said Lytle first denied communicating with anyone about a plan to kill his wife and child but later admitted that he had written the message as a way to “vent” during an argument he had with his wife about his talking with another woman, according to the court documents. He told investigators that he had saved the message on his phone and that his daughter must have sent it, police said.

Lytle also denied knowing anyone named “Shayne,” saying it was “just a name” he used when he wanted to “vent,” according to the court documents.

He told police that he often expresses his frustrations in text messages and then deletes them but had no intention of hurting his wife and daughter.

Debbie Willis, a public information officer for the Monroe Police Department, which is investigating the incident, said Tuesday that investigators have not found an insurance policy on anybody in the family.

She said they are still waiting to serve a search warrant on Lytle’s cellphone.

German Ellano, who CBS affiliate KIRO identified as Lytle’s roommate, told the news station that the text message could have been a misunderstanding, saying, “He’s not going to do something like that.”

According to the probable cause statement:

A person is guilty of criminal solicitation when, with intent to promote or facilitate the commission of a crime, he or she offers to give or gives money or other thing of value to another to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such crime or which would establish complicity of such other person in its commission or attempted commission had such crime been attempted or committed.

It states that Lytle “admits to authoring a text communication to which appears to be to another person with the intent to facilitate the killing of his wife and daughter for financial gain.”

Lytle is being held on $1 million, according to booking records. He is due back in court March 3, according to online court records.

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/flower-library-project-to-begin-in-spring-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/flower-library-project-to-begin-in-spring-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:09:55 -0500
WATERTOWN — Plans are all set for work to begin this spring on fixing a malfunctioning heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.

Last week, the City Council awarded $1.12 million in contracts to solve a problem that has occurred for about 10 years.

The new HVAC unit will correct a problem of fixing it piecemeal and spending between $3,000 and $5,000 every time one of the dozens of heat pumps stops working and gets clogged in the city-owned building.

Plans call for replacing a heat pump system with a central constant volume air handling unit, a dependable, low-maintenance system that will provide ideal temperature and humidity control for patrons and preserve historical documents and artwork housed in the library.

The project is coming in about $280,000 under budget. Continental Construction, Gouverneur, was the low bidder for the general contracting work at $335,770, Lawman Plumbing and Heating, Sackets Harbor, received the $559,000 plumbing contract and J&R Electric, Pierrepont Manor, will be paid $122,500 for the electric work.

With contingencies, the project is expected to come in at $1,121,270.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/sports/high-school-boys-basketball-section-3-playoff-pairings-released-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/sports/high-school-boys-basketball-section-3-playoff-pairings-released-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 12:08:01 -0500 By JOSH ST.CROIX jstcroix@wdt.net
The Sackets Harbor boys basketball team was named the No. 3 seed for the Section 3 Class D playoffs Wednesday morning at the selection meeting held by sectional officials and coaches at the league’s headquarters in Syracuse.

The Patriots received the highest seed among 14 Frontier League teams to qualify for the annual postseason tournament.

Sackets Harbor (14-6 overall) will open by hosting No. 14 Copenhagen (8-11) in a first-round game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Also in Class D, LaFargeville (12-8) is the fifth seed and will host No. 12 Fabius-Pompey (8-9) at 7 p.m. Friday. Other first-round games featuring area teams in Class D are No. 10 Alexandria (11-9) at No. 7 Stockbridge Valley (12-8), and No. 11 Lyme (10-9) at No. 6 Old Forge (11-8), with both games set to tip at 7 p.m. Friday.

Indian River (16-4) received the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye to highlight three area teams in the Class A bracket, and will host the winner of No. 12 Oswego and No. 5 Syracuse Academy of Science in next week’s quarterfinals.

Also in Class A, Watertown (13-7) is the eighth seed and will host No. 9 Whitesboro (12-8) in a first-round game, while No. 7 Carthage (14-6) will host No. 10 Fowler (8-12). Each of those matchups is scheduled for a 6:30 start on Friday night.

Three Frontier League teams also qualified in the Class B bracket, led by No. 8 General Brown (12-8), which will host No. 9 Syracuse Institute of Technology (10-10) in a first-round game at 6 p.m. Friday.

South Jefferson (10-10) received the No. 11 seed and will play its first-round game at No. 6 Marcellus (11-7) at 7 p.m. Friday, while No. 14 Lowville (9-10) will open at third-seeded Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (14-6) at the same time.

The Class C bracket will also feature three area teams opening with first-round games Friday night. South Lewis (13-7) was named the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Westmoreland (12-8) at 7 p.m., while No. 10 Thousand Islands (12-7) will open at No. 7 Onondaga (14-6) and No. 12 Immaculate Heart Central (10-10) will play at No. 5 Little Falls (15-5) at 6:30 p.m.

Quarterfinal games will be played early next week and the semifinals are scheduled for Feb. 24-26 at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.

The championship games are slated for March 5 in the same location.

Local Sports http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/malaysia-detains-woman-in-killing-of-n-korean-leaders-half-brother-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/malaysia-detains-woman-in-killing-of-n-korean-leaders-half-brother-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 11:06:58 -0500 Washington Post/Bloomberg
TOKYO — Malaysian police investigating the killing of the North Korean leader’s half-brother held one woman in custody Wednesday and searched for other possible suspects a day after the apparent lethal poisoning in a busy airport terminal.

The detention of a potential female plotter fit with Malaysian reports Tuesday saying a woman ambushed Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport with a cloth soaked in some kind of deadly liquid.

North Korea’s tightly controlled state media has not made reference to the death of the 45-year-old Kim, who was estranged from the North’s leader Kim Jung Un and had lived outside the country for more than a decade.

But the opaqueness in North Korea also opens room for speculation about the motives behind the killing and whether it could be traced back to high-level decisions in Pyongyang.

Just three years ago, Kim Jong Un had his uncle – and Kim Jong Nam’s mentor – executed on suspicion of building an alternate power base. Meanwhile, a slew of high-profile defections have raised questions about the stability of the regime.

Malaysian authorites described the woman detained at the airport as holding Vietnamese documents, but gave few other details. Media outlets had earlier shown a grainy surveillance camera image of a young woman wearing a white shirt with the letters “LOL” on the front.

“Police are looking for a few others, all foreigners,” Malaysia’s deputy inspector general, Noor Rashid Ibrahim, told the Reuters news agency, declining to give the suspects’ nationalities or gender.

North Korea, with its secretive and idiosyncratic leadership, is often the subject of dramatic tales that turn out to be exaggerated or flat-out wrong.

But the Malaysian police chief’s confirmation suggests that at least part of this story is true. What is likely to take much longer to determine is whether the plot was orchestrated directly by Kim Jong Un, who recently celebrated five years at the helm of North Korea and is now locked in a showdown with the international community over his nuclear ambitions.

“Kim Jong Nam was involved in some funny business,” said Michael Madden, editor of North Korea Leadership Watch, a specialist website devoted to the ruling Kim family. He was rumored to have worked in computing in North Korea – now notorious for cyberattacks – and money laundering throughout Southeast Asia.

Analysts had long considered Kim Jong Nam, as the eldest son of second-generation leader Kim Jong Il, to be the natural heir to the family dynasty.

But this assumption was thrown into doubt in 2001 when Kim Jong Nam was caught at Narita International Airport in Tokyo, trying to enter Japan with his wife and son on fake Dominican Republic passports. Kim Jong Nam’s bore the name Pang Xiong – “fat bear” in Mandarin Chinese. He told the authorities that they wanted to go to Tokyo Disneyland.

It was later revealed that he had never been in the running to be leader. Kim Jong Un’s aunt told The Washington Post last year that the current leader was chosen as successor in the early 1990s, when he was only 8 years old.

In 2010, with Kim Jong Il’s health steadily worsening, Kim Jong Un was officially declared heir apparent.

Both before and after the announcement, the usually reclusive Kim Jong Nam said in interviews with Japanese media that he opposed hereditary succession, something that not even Mao Zedong had done in China. “But I presume there were internal reasons. We should abide by such reasons if there are any,” he told TV Asahi.

Kim Jong Nam was born in 1971, the son of leader Kim Jong Il and his consort, an actress named Song Hye Rim. But he grew up largely in secret, the result of founding president Kim Il Sung’s disapproval of his son’s relationship with Song.

He left North Korea to live with his grandmother in Moscow in 1979, according to North Korea Leadership Watch. He spent his childhood at international schools in Russia and Switzerland before returning to North Korea in 1988, the site says.

But the embarrassing incident in Japan was a tipping point, and Kim appears to have never lived in North Korea again. He reportedly lived for a period in Macau, a Chinese region. But in recent years he seems to have had homes – and families – in Beijing and Singapore as well.

He was occasionally sighted in sushi restaurants in Singapore and swanky hotel bars in Beijing but otherwise kept a low profile.

Kim did, however, return to North Korea at least one time after his younger half brother assumed the leadership – for their father’s funeral at the end of 2011.

Madden of North Korea Leadership Watch said Kim Jong Nam could have been involved in financing for the regime and could have run into problems as a result. But at the same time, Madden noted that Kim had publicly said he would do anything to help the new leader.

Their relationship probably took a turn for the worse in 2013, when the young North Korean leader ordered the execution of their uncle, Jang Song Thaek. Jang had been close to Kim Jong Nam and had reportedly backed him as successor.

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/trump-campaign-aides-had-repeated-contacts-with-russian-intelligence-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/national/trump-campaign-aides-had-repeated-contacts-with-russian-intelligence-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:56:22 -0500 New York Times
WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former U.S. officials.

U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

But the intercepts alarmed U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.

The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials and included other associates of Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, the officials said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

The officials said that one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chairman for several months last year and had worked as a political consultant in Ukraine. The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.

The call logs and intercepted communications are part of a larger trove of information that the FBI is sifting through as it investigates the links between Trump’s associates and the Russian government, as well as the hacking of the DNC, according to federal law enforcement officials. As part of its inquiry, the FBI has obtained banking and travel records and conducted interviews, the officials said.

Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, dismissed the accounts of the U.S. officials in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

“This is absurd,” he said. “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”

Manafort added, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.’”

Several of Trump’s associates, like Manafort, have done business in Russia, and it is not unusual for U.S. businessmen to come in contact with foreign intelligence officials, sometimes unwittingly, in countries like Russia and Ukraine, where the spy services are deeply embedded in society. Law enforcement officials did not say to what extent the contacts might have been about business.

Officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, the identity of the Russian intelligence officials who participated on the calls, and how many of Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Trump himself.

A report from U.S. intelligence agencies that was made public in January concluded that the Russian government had intervened in the election in part to help Trump but did not address whether any members of the Trump campaign had participated in the effort.

The intercepted calls are different from the wiretapped conversations last year between Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. During those calls, which led to Flynn’s resignation on Monday night, the two men discussed sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russia in December.

But the cases are part of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies’ routine electronic surveillance of the communications of foreign officials.

The FBI declined to comment. The White House also declined to comment Tuesday night, but earlier in the day, the press secretary, Sean Spicer, stood by Trump’s previous comments that nobody from his campaign had contact with Russian officials before the election.

“There’s nothing that would conclude me that anything different has changed with respect to that time period,” Spicer said in response to a question.

Two days after the election in November, Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy Russian foreign minister, said that “there were contacts” during the campaign between Russian officials and Trump’s team.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Ryabkov told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

The Trump transition team denied Ryabkov’s statement. “This is not accurate,” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, said at the time.

The National Security Agency, which monitors the communications of foreign intelligence services, initially captured the communications between Trump’s associates and Russians as part of routine foreign surveillance. After that, the FBI asked the NSA to collect as much information as possible about the Russian operatives on the phone calls and to search through troves of previous intercepted communications that had not been analyzed.

The FBI has closely examined at least three other people close to Trump, although it is unclear if their calls were intercepted. They are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign; Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative; and Flynn.

All of the men have strongly denied they had any improper contacts with Russian officials.

As part of the inquiry, the FBI is also trying to assess the credibility of information contained in a dossier that was given to the bureau last year by a former British intelligence operative. The dossier contained a raft of allegations of a broad conspiracy between Trump, his associates and the Russian government. It also included unsubstantiated claims that the Russians had embarrassing videos that could be used to blackmail Trump.

The FBI has spent several months investigating the leads in the dossier but has yet to confirm any of its most explosive allegations.

Senior FBI officials believe that the former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier, Christopher Steele, has a credible track record, and he briefed FBI investigators last year about how he obtained the information. One U.S. law enforcement official said that FBI agents had made contact with some of Steele’s sources.

The FBI’s investigation into Manafort began last spring as an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. The investigation has focused on why he was in such close contact with Russian and Ukrainian intelligence officials.

The bureau did not have enough evidence to obtain a warrant for a wiretap of Manafort’s communications, but it had the NSA closely scrutinize the communications of Ukrainian officials he had met.

The FBI investigation is proceeding at the same time that separate investigations into Russian interference in the election are gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Those investigations, by the House and Senate Intelligence committees, are examining not only the Russian hacking but also any contacts that Trump’s team had with Russian officials during the campaign.

On Tuesday, top Republican lawmakers said that Flynn should be one focus of the investigation and that he should be called to testify before Congress. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the news surrounding Flynn in recent days underscored “how many questions still remain unanswered to the American people more than three months after Election Day, including who was aware of what, and when.”

Warner said that Flynn’s resignation would not stop the committee “from continuing to investigate Gen. Flynn, or any other campaign official who may have had inappropriate and improper contacts with Russian officials prior to the election.”

National http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/ny-medical-pot-company-prospecting-for-new-customers-in-nursing-homes-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/ny-medical-pot-company-prospecting-for-new-customers-in-nursing-homes-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 Tribune News Service
ALBANY — One of New York’s medical marijuana companies wants to tap a new market with a vast supply of potential customers — nursing homes.

Etain, one of five companies licensed by the state to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York, is reaching out to senior and long-term health care centers and offering to help their patients obtain medicinal pot, according to the New York Daily News.

The company, which has dispensaries in Syracuse, Albany, Kingston and Yonkers, has reached an agreement with a Bronx nursing home to provide medical marijuana services.

“It is really important because right now there really isn’t a demand for the product,” Hillary Peckham, Etain’s chief operating officer, told the Daily News.

New York’s medical pot program has struggled to attract patients since it was launched last year. Only 13,389 patients have completed the cumbersome process to obtain state certification to receive the drug and officials estimate that only about half that number have gone on to become repeat customers.

Less than 900 doctors have completed the state-mandated process to certify patients for medical pot.

Under the arrangement being offered by Etain, the company would work with a nursing home and help its medical staff register with the state to certify patients for the drug.

The company would then deliver the pot directly to patients or family members, who would administer the drug themselves.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/budget-issues-limited-transparency-raise-frustrations-for-alexandria-water-sewer-district-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/budget-issues-limited-transparency-raise-frustrations-for-alexandria-water-sewer-district-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By GORDON BLOCK gblock@wdt.net
REDWOOD — A potential rate increase in the Redwood Sewer and Water District and accusations of limited financial transparency by the Alexandria Town Council have left some residents frustrated.

Daniel B. Peterson, who owns an auto repair shop in town and chairs the Redwood Citizens Committee, said he is concerned that hundreds of thousands of dollars in district money is not properly documented.

“Because they haven’t been forthcoming, there’s a lot of things that can’t be determined,” he said.

Mr. Peterson, who sent a letter to the Redwood community about the situation, said he hopes the Town Council will address the district issues at its meeting at 6 tonight at the town office, County Route 1, Alexandria.

Brent H. Sweet, deputy supervisor, said the town’s accountants will provide a full explanation of the district’s finances during the meeting.

“We will have an accounting of every penny of that money,” Mr. Sweet said.

The setting of a new rate for the Redwood district has been halted for 90 days as the town evaluated its books, Mr. Sweet said.

The deputy supervisor said the district, established in 1992, had gone for years without a rate increase. Mr. Sweet said increased rates are needed to cover the costs of repairing dated equipment, employing a full-time staff member and meeting state and federal maintenance requirements.

“We have to set a new rate, new budget that will make the (state Comptroller’s Office) and (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Rural Development happy,” Mr. Sweet said.

A town resident for more than 20 years, Mr. Peterson said he has spent months filing Freedom of Information Law requests from town officials looking for documentation on how the district’s money was used.

Many of the current issues stem from a transfer of $227,215 from the district’s account to the town general fund in March 2016. Mr. Sweet said the money was a reimbursement to the town’s general fund for district expenses.

Mr. Sweet said that there was more work to be done to get the town’s financial paperwork in order. Mr. Peterson’s letter noted that the district had $116,453 in a savings CD account in 1998, money the district received in a lawsuit against the engineering company which worked on the district, but that money is unaccounted for.

Mr. Sweet said that many town financial documents dating back that far were destroyed by Mrs. Peck, and that the town has been working with local banks to recreate bank records dating to that period to better understand what happened to the money.

“We’re missing a lot of things,” he said. “In order to go back and to answer some of those questions, we have to go to these banks and go back 16 to 18 years and create bank records.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Sweet sent documents outlining how the town came up with the $227,215 transfer figure.

Mr. Peterson, who gave the documents a quick look Tuesday, said the documents left him with questions he hope will be resolved at the meeting.

“If the numbers all add up, that’s fine,” he said. “I just want them to show me what happened with these numbers.”

The town is planning to take an additional $135,000 from the district, claiming it was owed by the district to the general fund. However, Mr. Peterson said he has asked the town for documentation of the debt, and has not received anything.

Mr. Sweet said the state Comptroller’s office advised the town to collect the money after reviewing its annual financial report.

“Why should the residents of the whole town be paying for residents of the Redwood Sewer District?” he said.

Mr. Peterson recently filed a complaint through the state Attorney General’s office to review the financial discrepancies he has observed and to audit the district’s finances.

“I want to know what this fund is supposed to have in it,” Mr. Peterson said. “I want it audited as far back as possible until it adds up.”

Supervisor Dale D. Hunneyman said the town has already gone through multiple state and independent audits, including one connected to the arrest and conviction of former Town Clerk Ellen S. Peck, who stole more than $25,000 in transfer station fees, arena fees, real property surcharges and clerk fees.

“If the state auditors found it kosher, what part does he not understand?” Mr. Hunneyman said.

Mr. Hunneyman said Mr. Peterson’s records requests have caused the town to spend extra money for staff to track information.

“You can understand our frustration,” he said. “He’s got the people all riled up over there and he doesn’t know the situation.”

Mr. Peterson’s letter to fellow district residents can be found at http://wdt.me/peterson-letter.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/grand-jury-to-hear-case-against-canton-attorney–20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/grand-jury-to-hear-case-against-canton-attorney–20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By W.T. ECKERT weckert@wdt.net
CANTON — A St. Lawrence County grand jury was empaneled Tuesday afternoon to investigate possible ethical issues involving a Canton attorney.

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain said she planned to indict Edward F. Narrow, of Dumas and Narrow P.C., during a court hearing last April 13 regarding “a felony that Mr. Narrow committed regarding the Oral Nicholas Hillary case,” the former Clarkson University men’s soccer coach found not guilty of the 2011 murder of 12-year-old Garrett J. Phillips.

On June 8, St. Lawrence County Surrogate Court Judge John F. Richey <URL destination=”http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/miles-appointed-to-investigate-attorney-narrow-for-alleged-crimes-20160611″>issued an order appointing Gary W. Miles, Watertown, to the investigation and prosecution, if necessary, to avoid all conflicts.

</URL>Mr. Miles will also be in charge of investigating allegations that Mr. Narrow represented former Chief ADA David A. Haggard in a civil matter from 2014 through 2016, creating an ethical issue attached to all cases involving Mr. Haggard and Mr. Narrow.

The grand jury empanelment was scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to Mr. Narrow, who said he believed his representation of Mr. Hillary and Mr. Hagard did not break any laws and was within ethical constraints.

His representation of Mr. Haggard was for two years in a small claims action in Ogdensburg City Court for a landlord/tenant dispute about rent, Mr. Narrow said.

“All I can tell you is that during my representation of Mr. Hillary I zealously represented the interest of my client within the ethical constraints of my profession and neither myself nor any member of the Hillary defense team committed any violation of the law during the defense of Oral Nicholas Hillary,” Mr. Narrow said. “I will make myself or anyone of the Hillary defense team available to Mr. Miles should he request us to testify.

“We have nothing to hide,” Mr. Narrow said, emphasizing the word “nothing.”

Mr. Miles did not return a call seeking comment. Ms. Rain also did not return a call to comment.

Turning to transcript from the April hearing when Ms. Rain announced her intent to indict Mr. Narrow and the alleged collusion between him and Mr. Haggard, Mr. Haggard quoted County Judge Jerome J. Richards.

“‘As far as the allegations made here today … about Mr. Haggard and Mr. Narrow, there is nothing but your bald assertions upon which I can take any action, if I thought it were necessary,’” Mr. Hagard said. “You see what I’m saying? Even the judge said I didn’t do anything thing wrong. Nothing improper was done here.”

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/increased-executive-authority-on-state-spending-worries-county-officials-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/increased-executive-authority-on-state-spending-worries-county-officials-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By BRIAN MOLONGOSKI bmolongoski@wdt.net
North country executives are wary of proposals in Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive budget that could give the executive branch more authority to adjust spending even after the budget has been passed.

Included in Gov. Cuomo’s FY 2017-18 executive budget is language that would allow the executive to increase or decrease spending, relocate spending for other uses and reidentify the purpose of any spending after the budget has been adopted in April.

The proposals were recently highlighted in a report released by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The comptroller’s report notes that, given the authority, the state Division of Budget could reduce spending on programs if any payments, including but not limited to federal aid, come in lower than anticipated.

“In certain cases, the Executive has indicated that the language is necessary to mitigate Financial Plan risk, while in other cases the intended goal of the proposed language is unclear,” Mr. DiNapoli said in the report.

He also noted that this comes at a time when federal Medicaid funding is increasingly threatened.

For county legislators in the north country, who adopt their budgets later in the year than the state, the added authority could cause further unpredictability in how state-mandated programs will be reimbursed by the state.

Scott A. Gray, chairman of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators, said that if these provisions became a reality in the final budget, the state government could decide to cut program funding the county has already budgeted for, meaning the county would have to come up with funding to make up for the cut.

The funding, Mr. Gray said, would have to come out of the county’s fund balance.

“That’s the danger, because we don’t have the ability to cut those programs,” he said. “They (the state) just jam us with increased parameters and they don’t match it up with increased funding.”

Mr. Gray said that if the state cuts reimbursement for social programs, which are among the county’s most expensive programs, it could become especially problematic with the state and federal government also in control of eligibility.

St. Lawrence County Administrator Ruth A. Doyle said further executive control over money management would cause unease during budget development later in the year.

“It dramatically changes our confidence in adopting an accurate budget,” Ms. Doyle said.

Ms. Doyle said counties should be able to have more of a dialogue with the state concerning these kinds of proposals, citing a similar situation with the governor’s proposed shared services proposal that would require counties to devise property tax-saving consolidation plans by August.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/suny-canton-announces-four-year-agribusiness-program-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/suny-canton-announces-four-year-agribusiness-program-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By ELIZABETH LEWIS elewis@wdt.net
CANTON — SUNY Canton is gearing up to go back to its roots.

On Tuesday, SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran announced the college received final approval to offer a Bachelor of Business Administration in agribusiness management, commonly referred to as agribusiness. The program will begin this fall semester and also will be offered online.

The program will provide management skills needed to make effective decisions and develop markets for their products in both small- and large-scale operations. Students in the program will learn the principles of accounting, finance, marketing, strategy, operations, human resources, economics, ethics and communications.

“There are a number of career opportunities in the field — a lot of them related directly to agriculture, but a lot of them related to businesses that serve agriculture interests,” said Jondavid S. DeLong, dean of the SUNY Canton School of Business and Liberal Arts. “Our new degree responds to the growing interest in ownership of agricultural enterprises in communities that have historically benefitted from farming.”

The north country has long been a farming hub with agriculture as a core industry, and SUNY Canton has a history with agriculture education, as it began as an agricultural and technical college when it was founded in 1906.

“It’s sort of an updated degree for the 21st century,” Mr. DeLong said. “It’s really allowing us to reconnect to those local roots in the north country, but at the same time, cast a wider net and allow other people from outside of the area who can also take the program, either on campus or online, to get into the agricultural fields as well.”

There are over 4,000 farms in the region, with more than 1 million acres of land used for farming, according to supporting research used to establish the program. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New York state ranks third nationwide in milk production, with 20 percent of this milk originating from the north country.

“It’s an opportunity for students from outside the area to learn a little bit more about agriculture and agricultural concerns, and hopefully get involved in a business that supports agriculture in some way,” Mr. DeLong said.

Blake P. Gendebien, co-owner of Twin Mills Farms in Lisbon, said this program will be beneficial to the north country.

“As a dairy farmer I’m very excited. It’s really great,” he said. “If it’s a success, I really hope that it extends into some other programs. I’m happy that young people get to stay in the area and maybe even work on a farm while they’re here.”

“Being a part of a sustainable agricultural community is a beautiful thing,” Mr. Gendebien added.

Mr. DeLong said he expects the program to have an incoming class of approximately 20 freshman students. Eventually, the program will accept transfer students from two-year SUNY schools who have received associate degrees in agribusiness management, according to Mr. DeLong.

Agribusiness management is SUNY Canton’s second new program announcement of 2017. Last month, the college announced it would begin offering a video game design and development program.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/suny-potsdam-holds-days-of-reflection-seminars-discuss-race-issues-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/suny-potsdam-holds-days-of-reflection-seminars-discuss-race-issues-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By ELIZABETH LEWIS elewis@wdt.net
POTSDAM — SUNY Potsdam embarked on round two of its initiative to combat racial inequality and injustice earlier this week.

The event that spanned Monday and Tuesday — dubbed the Days of Reflection — stemmed from a racially-charged incident which resulted in a number of initiatives to combat similar incidents of racial bias on campus.

“We are really privileged at the college to have a diverse student body, from all over the state — that means they have had different social backgrounds and they have come together here at Potsdam,” said Chair of SUNY Potsdam’s Planning Committee Jennifer K. Mitchell. “We’re trying to provide a focused look at the American history of race and ethnicity, as well as an opportunity to speak with each other in a facilitated setting.”

On Oct. 22, three white, female students posted videos on social media of themselves allegedly donning blackface, causing outrage among SUNY Potsdam students. In one of the videos, two students wearing charcoal beauty masks could be seen dancing — and at one point “twerking” — to hip-hop music. In the second video, the caption read, “You’re ruining culture.”

A Snapchat screenshot of a third student donning a charcoal beauty mask, cornrows and a hand signal surfaced afterward.

After the incident occurred, SUNY Potsdam President Kristin G. Esterberg released three statements, the last of which offered several follow-up initiatives to address on-campus racial biases, including ways to educate students on racial issues and how to report them.

Many faculty members volunteered to lead sessions, both for students and for employees, about topics such as the social construction of race, the history of blackface, Confederate flag imagery, microaggressions and white privilege, for the first Day of Reflection which occurred on Nov. 7.

“A lot of people from all different backgrounds were shocked and concerned,” Ms. Mitchell said. “We wanted to offer a place for them to talk together, to share some solid information and provide some history.”

That first event was so popular and well-attended that the SUNY Potsdam administration decided to hold a second one. Some of the more popular Nov. 7 discussions were repeated during this semester’s event. The 15 discussions on social justice advocacy, intersectionality, racism and other topics were open to the SUNY Potsdam campus community only.

“There was an incredibly positive response,” Ms. Mitchell said of last semester’s event. “It reflects a desire to learn and understand each other and have shared conversations within our campus community.”

The event and the preparatory work were sponsored by SUNY Potsdam’s Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as part of its belief that “a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice is essential in preparing engaged global citizens to lead lives enriched by critical thought, creativity, discovery and the pursuit of academic excellence.”

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/irate-depeyster-resident-arrested-after-blindside-attack-on-highway-super–20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/irate-depeyster-resident-arrested-after-blindside-attack-on-highway-super–20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By LARRY ROBINSON lrobinson@ogd.com
DEPEYSTER — A DePeyster Town Councilman said he has never experienced anything like an incident Monday when an irate resident unexpectedly jumped up and physically attacked the town highway superintendent during a public meeting.

“I never expected to see anyone get physical at a public meeting,” said Councilman Richard A. Pray. “I’ve been involved with the town since 1981 and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

St. Lawrence County sheriff’s deputies arrested Barbara A. Sharpe, 48, of 4385 County Route 10, and charged her with third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor. The charge came following an incident Monday where she allegedly hit DePeyster Town Highway Supervisor Robert K. Chambers while he was seated during the town’s regular monthly board meeting.

Mr. Chambers was elected to the post in November 2016 to fill the unexpired one-year term of retiring town highway chief William MacKay, according to the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections.

The highway superintendent received a bloody nose and a scrape under his left eye as a result of the altercation, according to a statement from the county sheriff’s department.

Mr. Chambers could not be reached for comment, but Mr. Pray, who attended the meeting, said the highway superintendent was attacked following a conversation about snow removal. He said apparently Ms. Sharpe did not like the response she received to concerns expressed about snow plowing in the community. He said without warning she lost her temper and flew into a rage.

“She just started swearing, and then started slapping,” Mr. Pray recalled.

Mr. Pray said Mr. Chambers was seated at the council board table when he was attacked by Ms. Sharpe. He said prior to the incident, Ms. Sharpe had also been seated.

“She just kind of blindsided him,” he said.

Ms. Sharpe was arrested after a 911 call was placed to report the assault. She was arraigned in Macomb Town Court and released to appear at a later date. An order of protection was also issued.

Mr. Pray said he would reserve his opinion on what should happen to Ms. Sharpe for the violent outburst. He said he hopes the incident doesn’t give a black eye to the way politics are conducted in the community.

“It’s not the way business is supposed to be done,” Mr. Pray said. “I’ll let the court decide.”

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/st-lawrence-county-legislators-discuss-high-staff-turnover-in-das-office-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/st-lawrence-county-legislators-discuss-high-staff-turnover-in-das-office-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By SUSAN MENDE smende@ogd.com
CANTON — Several attorneys have resigned from St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary E. Rain’s office over the past few months, county legislators were told Monday night.

The departures have left the office short-staffed with high caseloads for remaining staff, according to attorney Keith S. Massey Jr.

Mr. Massey started working for Ms. Rain in July as an ADA. He was promoted by Ms. Rain to serve as chief ADA, effective Feb. 7. His salary increased from $74,342 to $98,854.

He previously worked as a private practice attorney in Mercer County, New Jersey and as a deputy attorney general for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

As chief ADA, he said, he will primarily prosecute felony cases in county court.

Mr. Massey spoke to legislators about staffing levels during the board’s Operations Committee meeting. Ms. Rain did not attend the meeting.

“I believe no more than eight months ago we had 10 assistant district attorneys. This morning we had five assistant district attorneys,” Mr. Massey said.

Responding to a question from legislator David W. Forsythe, R-Lisbon, Mr. Massey said the number of caseloads handled by each attorney has doubled as a result of the staffing situation.

He said there are now two full-time ADAs handling roughly 2,000 misdemeanor cases in 37 local courts.

“I think that’s pretty self-explanatory as to the difficulties,” he said.

Mr. Forsythe asked, “Are you having a hard time filling the positions? Because I know we’ve authorized them.”

Mr. Massey acknowledged that there has been “some turnover” and that the office has interviewed some applicants who decided not to accept job offers.

“There have been different concerns that have caused us to be in this position,” he said.

He reminded legislators that one vacancy was created by the Nov. 18 resignation of Frank R. Cositore, the previous chief ADA, who gave up a $91,943 annual salary. In a scathing letter, Mr. Cositore alleged that Ms. Rain was abusing her power and mismanaging the office.

Mr. Cositore replaced David A. Haggard, who resigned the chief ADA job in May after two years.

The committee voted to approve Ms. Rain’s request to fill two vacant ADA jobs that each pay $58,737 a year, plus benefits.

Ms. Rain has also requested that she be allowed to abolish a confidential secretary job and replace it with a legal secretary position. A resolution that would allow this to happen was tabled by the board at a previous meeting. Both jobs pay $42,783 a year. On Monday night, none of the legislators made a motion to take the resolution off the table which means it wasn’t discussed.

Ms. Rain could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/brasher-stockholm-set-public-hearings-for-proposed-joint-water-district-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/brasher-stockholm-set-public-hearings-for-proposed-joint-water-district-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By BOB BECKSTEAD bbeckstead@ogd.com
BRASHER FALLS — Now that they’ve received funding that allows them to move forward with a proposed joint water district, the towns of Brasher and Stockholm have set dates for public hearings to take comments on the project.

Brasher Town Supervisor Mark Peets said his board is meeting on Thursday to set the public hearing for 6 p.m. March 2 at the Brasher Municipal Building.

The town of Stockholm has scheduled a public hearing for 6 p.m. March 1.

The towns received news late last year that they would be receiving a $2 million Environmental Facilities Corporation grant from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, as well as a 30-year zero percent interest loan to finance the remainder of the project. The Environmental Facilities Corporation provides low-cost financing and grants for water and sewer infrastructure projects.

That allowed them to bring the estimated annual cost down, Mr. Peets said.

“We ended up getting a $2 million grant. We got with our engineering firm and pretty much hammered down what the price was going to be, to $532 a year. It was going to be $637,” he said.

“Their fire insurance is going to decrease, too,” said Stockholm Town Supervisor Clark Decker. “I think if we can get the district formed, we’ll have an opportunity to apply for additional grants.”

The vote for the proposed project will probably take place in May, according to Mr. Peets.

“I think we’re in a good place because the vote will probably be sometime either the first or second week of May, depending on the law. People will be back from Florida and everybody will have their say. One way or another we’ll respect the voters’ voices on the topic,” he said.

Mr. Decker said he has not been approached by any Stockholm residents about the project — either in favor of or against it.

“I think it’s going to be favorable in Stockholm,” Mr. Peets said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in Brasher.”

If voters turn the project down, Mr. Peets said the idea will be dropped, but he’s been told they may not get another opportunity like they have now.

“This might be our one golden chance to get water in this area,” he said.

The towns of Brasher and Stockholm began exploring a joint water district in mid-2010 after they had been requested by community members to consider building a municipal water system. A sampling of private wells in 2011 in the hamlets of Brasher Falls and Winthrop indicated that 11 of the 33 that were tested contained total coliform bacteria. Thirteen samples were collected from Winthrop and 20 from Brasher Falls.

Approximately two-thirds of the homeowners also reported high levels of hardness and/or iron, approximately one-quarter had sulfur, and several indicated they had drilled within the last 10 years or planned to drill a new well because of declining or insufficient yield from their well. A 2011 survey indicated 45 percent of 189 residents who responded said they would not support the formation of a public water district. Another 38 percent said they would support it.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/planned-parenthood-of-new-york-announces-new-ceo-to-lead-womens-health-advocacy-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/planned-parenthood-of-new-york-announces-new-ceo-to-lead-womens-health-advocacy-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By JEN JACKSON jjackson@wdt.net
Planned Parenthood of New York has named Robin Chappelle Golston as CEO of its advocacy operations.

Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts represents the state’s nine Planned Parenthood affiliates, and acts as the organization’s advocacy branch throughout New York.

As CEO, Ms. Chappelle Golston is stepping in to lead the advocacy organization at a tumultuous time, as funding for women’s reproduction health care may be stripped and federal protection for legal abortion sees serious threats under the new administration.

The nascent agency was formed in January as a result of a merger between Family Planning Advocates of New York State and Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York. According to Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, the nonprofit organization educates and lobbies on behalf of women’s health.

It also works to “elect candidates who support family planning and the full range of reproductive health care.”

“It is an honor and privilege to join such an impactful organization,” said Ms. Chappelle Golston in a public statement.

Ms. Chappelle Golston comes with an extensive political background having worked as a political director under both Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Sen. Hillary R. Clinton. She graduated Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and began her career in the office of Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

“Robin Chappelle Golston has the knowledge, strength, and savvy needed as we head into a new chapter in our advocacy for the health and rights of New Yorkers,” said Kim Atkins, Board Chair, Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts in the same public statement. “Our statewide Planned Parenthood affiliates are eager to work with Robin to meet New Yorkers’ health care needs and keep our state a national leader in providing comprehensive reproductive health care.”

Most recently, Ms. Chappelle Golston served as vice president of corporate relations and governmental affairs for EmblemHealth, a nonprofit health plan in New York City.

“These are challenging times for reproductive rights and social justice, yet I am invigorated by the broad public support that Planned Parenthood has received and the numbers of people protesting policies that do not reflect this country’s values,” Ms. Chappelle Golston said.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/north-lawrence-man-sought-after-failing-to-appear-at-trial-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/north-lawrence-man-sought-after-failing-to-appear-at-trial-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By W.T. ECKERT weckert@wdt.net
CANTON — A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a North Lawrence man who failed to appear during his first day of trial Tuesday on the charges of both assault and burglary.

On Dec. 5, Ervin E. Francis, III, 44, of 15 Grove St., North Lawrence, pleaded not guilty to a Nov. 10 indictment on two counts of first-degree burglary and one count of second-degree assault, which are all felony counts.

On March 6, Mr. Francis, along with Keith B. Christy, Logan M. Johns and his daughter, Jerika L. Francis, knowingly entered the dwelling of Nicholas M. Fiacco at 83 Maple St., Potsdam, with the intent to commit a crime, police said. While in the residence, the defendant, or other participants in the crime, used a club or bat to cause physical injury to Mr. Fiacco.

After receiving calls from passers-by and neighbors, police said the altercation spilled out onto the sidewalk, where the four suspects continued to assault the alleged victim with baseball bats before fleeing the scene.

During the alleged burglary, Mr. Francis was stabbed in the chest and abdomen by Mr. Fiacco. He was located a short time later, with his daughter, at Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Potsdam, where he then underwent emergency surgery for a knife wound to the chest.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin for Mr. Francis’s trial Tuesday morning, but he was reportedly in Canton-Potsdam Hospital where he was being treated for seizures, his attorney Bradford C. Riendeau said following a conference in chambers with County Judge Derek P. Champagne and Assistant District Attorney Joshua A. HaberkornHalm.

But during the conference, an investigator for the district attorney’s office discovered that Mr. Francis was not at CPH and his whereabouts were then unknown.

Judge Champagne issued the warrant for Mr. Francis, and his trial has been rescheduled to March 21.

Mr. Francis is currently released on $2,500 cash bail.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/canton-town-court-beefs-up-security-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/canton-town-court-beefs-up-security-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By JAKE NEWMAN jnewman@ogd.com
CANTON — Town Court will soon see significant upgrades to its security after securing almost $10,000 in Justice Court Assistance Program grant funding.

In his fourth consecutive year securing funds through JCAP, Court Clerk Marc Armstrong said this year’s allotment of $9,773.94 would be used to purchase cameras and a metal detector to add to the surveillance equipment that is already in use.

“We didn’t have any security system in the building until two years ago,” Mr. Armstrong said. “The police department had a few cameras outside, but we had nothing inside.”

The metal detector will be placed in front of the entrance to the town courtroom on the lowest level of the municipal building. The machine is being provided by Promark International, Inc. and accounts for $4,513.44 of this year’s JCAP grant money.

“This company was recommended by Office of Court Administration,” Mr. Armstrong said.

The metal detector will be operated by a court officer, a new position to the town. Town Justice Rosemary Philips said the new part-time position was approved at the town’s Feb. 8 board meeting.

“They gave us permission to hire a court security officer as of March 1,” Ms. Philips said.

“They will be here when any court is going on,” Mr. Armstrong added. “We estimate I think 10 to 12 hours per month.”

Ms. Philips said there is a trend toward ensuring security in courts lately, and this grant aligns with that movement.

“There’s a real push to improve security in courtrooms, recommendations from the state in justice courts because justice courts are historically, you know, in a garage or someone’s living room or in a barn and there is no security. There has been a push for a lot of things, but security is one of them. So gradually justice courtrooms are becoming more secure,” she said.

There are currently six cameras that cover areas on all three floors of Canton’s municipal building. These cameras keep an eye on entrances to the building, the courtroom and in front of Mr. Armstrong’s third-floor office where he often interacts with people facing legal dilemmas such as traffic tickets. The JCAP funding will supply the municipal building with four new cameras that will provide more coverage both inside and outside the building.

“It is going to allow us to see who is coming in and out if need be,” Mr. Armstrong said. “This is just a step up from the panic button.”

The panic button, according to Mr. Armstrong, is one of the only security tools in use in the courtroom. The buttons signal to the village police when pressed, but this is not always helpful.

“I have used it down there I think once or twice,” Mr. Armstrong said of his panic button. “It is wonderful that we have the police department here, but sometimes there is only one officer on duty and if that officer is on patrol somewhere, that is not much help.”

Mr. Armstrong said the town’s court is one of the busiest in the county. He said when he has told people in the past of the town’s lack of security, the reaction has been one of shock.

“When we tell people that we don’t have any security systems, they are like, ‘are you kidding me? You have nothing?’” he said.

Mr. Armstrong plans to capitalize on the JCAP grant money as much as possible. The last four years, Mr. Armstrong has secured $34,009.44 total.

“These grants are going to run out someday,” he said. “As long as we can get it, we will go for it.”

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/city-looking-to-fill-summer-lifeguard-positions-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/city-looking-to-fill-summer-lifeguard-positions-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By CRAIG FOX cfox@wdt.net
WATERTOWN — The Parks and Recreation Department is taking an active role in making sure the number of lifeguards doesn’t plunge at the end of the city’s summer pool season.

For years, the city has been forced to close the city’s two pools before Labor Day due to the lack of lifeguards. Most of the lifeguards go to college or start practicing for high school fall sports before the season ends at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds and North Elementary School.

But Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner said her department has already started a campaign to find an adequate number of lifeguards to keep the pools open on those final days.

“It’s difficult for us to keep lifeguards over the course of the season,” she said.

To help alleviate those problems, the city’s Parks Department sent out letters to find out how many of last year’s lifeguards will return this summer. The Parks Department plans to start interviewing applicants in March.

The Parks Department also is helping the Watertown Family YMCA promote a four-day American Red Cross Lifeguard Course that will be held at the downtown Y from Feb. 21 to Feb. 24. With the cost of $225 for Y members and $275 for the general public, only two spots are left for the class. Registration ends Friday.

Ms. Gardner also hopes to convince City Council members to reimburse the cost of training classes for new lifeguards who agree to stay on until after Labor Day.

She also is approaching athletic directors and gym teachers at the area’s high schools to see if they could help with the lifeguard shortage.

Last year, the fairgrounds pool attracted more than 6,200 people, while North Elementary School had about 5,370.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lewis-county-police-agencies-respond-to-several-snowmobile-crashes-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lewis-county-police-agencies-respond-to-several-snowmobile-crashes-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By STEVE VIRKLER svirkler@lowville.com
LOWVILLE — Lewis County police agencies responded to several snowmobile crashes Friday and Saturday in the county’s Tug Hill region.

n Rebecca J. Neumoyer, 67, New Ringgold, Pa., was driving a 2012 Polaris snowmobile at 11:34 a.m. Friday on Trail C7B, just north of Van Zandt Road, in the town of West Turin when she failed to negotiate a curve and fell off her sled, Lewis County sheriff’s deputies said. She complained of unspecified pain and was taken by Constableville ambulance to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica.

n Harold E. Smith Jr., no age or address provided, at 8:13 p.m. Friday was driving a 2016 Polaris 800 south on Mile Strip Road in the town of Pinckney when he lost control entering a curve, hit a tree and was ejected, state police said. He was able to drive his sled to the Montague Inn for assistance, then was taken to Lewis County General Hospital for treatment of injuries to his right knee and arm. He was charged with unsafe speed and failure to keep right, answerable in Pinckney Town Court.

n Leonard C. Meeks Jr., 40, Liverpool, was driving a 2015 Ski-Doo MXZ 800R at 10:50 a.m. Saturday on Centerville Road in the town of Martinsburg when he lost control due to imprudent speed and was ejected from the sled, deputies said.

He was taken by Martinsburg Fire Department’s utility vehicle to Graves Road, then by Lewis County Search & Rescue to Lewis County General Hospital for treatment of a fractured collarbone and released. Deputies said they are continuing to investigate the crash with assistance from state environmental conservation officers.

n Jillian Linquist, 27, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., at 11:34 a.m. Saturday was driving a 2003 Arctic Cat snowmobile in the parking lot of the Constableville Nice ‘N Easy when, due to operator inexperience, she hit the throttle too abruptly while making a sharp turn, causing her to hit a post near the store and be thrown off the sled, deputies said. She complained of unspecified pain and was taken by Constableville ambulance to Lewis County General Hospital for treatment.

n Felicia Thayer, no age or address available, was driving a snowmobile at 12:48 p.m. Saturday in the town of West Turin when she was ejected from the sled, state police said. She was taken by Lyons Falls ambulance to Lewis County General Hospital for treatment for an injury to her left leg.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/state-police-release-details-of-feb-9-crash-near-ogdensburg-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/state-police-release-details-of-feb-9-crash-near-ogdensburg-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
OGDENSBURG — State police have released new details regarding a head-on collision on Route 68 last week that critically injured an Ogdensburg man and hospitalized a Canton resident.

Mathew R. Carista, 30, of Ogdensburg, remains in critical condition at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington following the two-vehicle crash at 4:18 p.m. Feb. 9.

The name of the second driver involved in the accident has now been released by police. David K. Martin, 61, was transported to Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center where he is listed in stable condition.

In a statement Tuesday, state police in Ray Brook said Mr. Carista was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla, traveling northwest on State Route 68 in the town of Oswegatchie, when the accident occurred.

Police said Mr. Carista’s vehicle crossed into the oncoming lane, striking a 2010 Dodge Caravan operated by Mr. Martin, of Canton. Mr. Martin was traveling southeast when the accident took place near the Ogdensburg International Airport.

Mr. Carista was trapped in his vehicle for more than an hour, according to police, before being freed by fire and rescue personnel. He was transported via LifeNet fixed wing aircraft to Burlington, Vt.

Police said Tuesday that he is still listed in critical condition.

An investigation into the accident is continuing, state police said.

Mr. Carista suffered broken ribs, pelvis, legs and ankles, as well as internal injuries, according to family members.

Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/hack-potsdam-to-be-held-at-clarkson-university-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/hack-potsdam-to-be-held-at-clarkson-university-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
n Hack Potsdam, the 24-hour “hackathon” co-hosted by SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University, will be held in Clarkson’s Student Center on campus. Due to a reporter’s error, the location was not mentioned in an article published Monday. For more information on the event, visit www.hackpotsdam.com.]]>
Local News: St. Lawrence http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/orleans-council-seeking-youth-commission-applications–20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/orleans-council-seeking-youth-commission-applications–20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
LAFARGEVILLE — The Orleans Town Council appointed Jennifer Hutchins, Orleans, to the Youth Commission Board of Directors Thursday, but the town board needs another volunteer.

The town board is searching for applicants for the commission board’s vacancy. Town Supervisor Kevin R. Rarick said the town board originally designed the commission board to have five members, but only four seats are filled.

In order to apply, send letters of interest to the town office, PO Box 103, LaFargeville.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/local-paragraphs-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/local-paragraphs-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
n LOWVILLE — A recruitment event for up to 15 residence counselor positions at the new Upstate Cerebral Palsy facility in Lyons Falls will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. today at the Lewis County WorkPlace, 5274 Outer Stowe St. A high school diploma or equivalent is required.

n The International Joint Commission is calling on the governments of Canada and the United States to prevent microbead pollution in the Great Lakes. In New York, U.S. Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, have co-sponsored bills that will ban microbeads in personal care products.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/tuesdays-lottery-numbers-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/tuesdays-lottery-numbers-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
Daily Numbers:

Midday 6, 1, 8 Lucky Sum 15

Evening 8, 6, 4 Lucky Sum 18


Midday 0, 5, 1, 4 Lucky Sum 10

Evening 6, 2, 4, 6 Lucky Sum 18

Pick 10: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 14, 19, 21, 22, 23, 33, 46, 50, 54, 61, 62, 69, 70, 72, 80

Take 5: 8, 10, 11, 19, 36

Mega Millions: 7, 11, 33, 60, 68

Mega Ball 15

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lewis-county-officials-ready-to-sign-off-on-emergency-radio-system-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news04/lewis-county-officials-ready-to-sign-off-on-emergency-radio-system-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By STEVE VIRKLER svirkler@lowville.com
LOWVILLE — It’s taken more than a year’s worth of testing and adjustments, but Lewis County officials say they’re nearly ready to sign off on their $11.1 million emergency radio system upgrade project.

“We’re making progress,” said Legislator Jerry H. King, R-West Leyden, chairman of the legislative Courts and Law Committee. “It may not be perfect, but you also have to balance the cost.”

The county in November 2015 switched from its old VHF system to a higher-frequency UHF-based system that uses nine towers — rather than the four previously used — to ensure coverage in most parts of the county.

Last August, officials from the county and radio system provider E.F. Johnson Technologies Inc. conducted extensive coverage testing from roads throughout the county, and the county snowmobile patrol has been testing the system from even more remote areas this winter, Mr. King said.

Testing determined that the new system provides portable radio coverage to 97.23 percent of the county, exceeding the required 95 percent coverage included in the contract, he said.

The old system had only offered 50 to 60 percent coverage, Mr. King said..

“Everything is really going well,” said Cheryl A. LaLonde, the county’s 911 dispatch supervisor.

Mrs. LaLonde said the system has been very stable over the past several months, and there may be opportunities to further improve coverage in the future.

“We know where our holes are, so we can address them when there is funding available,” she said.

While county officials had initially planned to sign off on the system late last year, ongoing issues with the VhF-based pager system have pushed that back.

Earlier this month, officials from E.F. Johnson spent a few days doing further pager testing and determined that, in some areas, signals from the nearest tower were getting interference from towers further away, Mr. King said.

“The signals all have to come in appropriately,” Mrs. LaLonde said. “There has to be one strong signal that overrides the others.”

Adjusting the signal strength on certain towers seemed to alleviate the problem, and radio company officials are to come up with a final solution — whether through signal adjustments or changing transmission equipment — by the end of the month, when county officials hope to finally sign off on the project, Mr. King said.

The county is withholding a portion of the project funding from the company until then, he said.

Along with fine-tuning the technical aspects of the system, county officials have been working to educate emergency responders on how to best use the equipment, Mr. King said.

“This is a completely different system than we were used to,” he said.

While there are probably some people who still don’t care for the new system, Mr. King said he is satisfied with it and “proud to be within budget and still have some left over.”

The radio project was partly funded through a $6 million state Homeland Security grant, and the county recently paid off its roughly $5 million share after setting aside money from county reserves for the past few years.

With the assistance of radio consultant C&S Companies, Syracuse, the legislative Courts and Law Committee recently sought proposals from firms interested in maintaining the new system and have tentatively selected United Radio Inc. from East Syracuse.

The full board is expected to vote on the proposed contract, including quarterly and annual inspections for $13,440 per year plus additional charges for tower climbs, at their special meeting Friday afternoon.

Local News: Lewis http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/jefferson-county-radio-project-moving-forward-at-more-rapid-pace-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/jefferson-county-radio-project-moving-forward-at-more-rapid-pace-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By BRIAN MOLONGOSKI bmolongoski@wdt.net
Jefferson County is moving along with its new emergency management radio system project, with the project start date coming sometime this spring.

The Jefferson County Board of Legislators General Services Committee passed a resolution Tuesday night to contract with Motorola Solutions, which is building the system, to handle system maintenance for another eight years on top of the initial two-year warranty period when the system is built. The warranty for those eight years will cost around $3.1 million.

Now it’s a matter of signing off on property agreements for radio tower sites throughout the county and ordering any parts needed, such as the steel for the towers themselves.

“Things are now moving at a more rapid pace,” said Philip N. Reed, chair of the committee.

To use the new equipment, 12 new radio towers will be constructed at various spots throughout the county, with the goal of making it 97 percent covered by portable radio. Once the towers are finished and testing is done, the system will go online in spring 2019.

In December 2015, county legislators picked Motorola to construct the system, which has an overall cost of $20 million to $22 million. Around $6 million in grant funding from the state’s Interoperable Communications Grant Program will be used to offset costs.

The new system will operate in the ultra-high frequency (UHF) range, which will greatly improve the portable communications coverage across the county.

In September 2016, legislators agreed to purchase 1,046 “subscribers,” or radios. Buying that many radios will allow the county to maximize Motorola’s system discount and lessen the project’s overall cost. Instead of putting the cost on local emergency services departments, the county’s purchase of the radios saves $2 million in taxpayer dollars.

Under the Central New York Interoperable Communications Consortium, Motorola has a master site based in Onondaga County that provides shared telecommunications services for Onondaga, Madison, Cayuga and Oswego counties. The advantages of Jefferson County being attached to the master site include cost savings, shared maintenance costs and seamless roaming between counties.

Lewis County, which is also updating its radio system, will not be part of the consortium, however. Emergency services traveling back and forth between the counties will need to have two sets of radios as a result.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/arena-roof-repairs-will-wait-until-winter-is-over-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/arena-roof-repairs-will-wait-until-winter-is-over-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500 By CRAIG FOX cfox@wdt.net
WATERTOWN — City officials were initially worried that sliding ice and snow would cause further roof damage this winter at the renovated ice rink.

A gas pipe, 14 exhaust stack vents and other equipment were damaged by sliding snow and ice a short time before the $10.7 million renovated Watertown Municipal Arena opened last March.

But, so far, a relatively mild winter has spared the roof from any more damage.

On Tuesday afternoon, Parks and Recreation Superintendent Erin E. Gardner attributed the news partly to good fortune that the north country hasn’t been hit by one of its harsh winters.

With temperatures hovering around 40 degrees Tuesday, the snow from this week’s storm began melting away and harmlessly falling off the sloped roof.

“It’s working like it was built,” she said.

To keep arena visitors and hockey fans from getting hit by falling ice or snow, 10 orange-and-white barriers were put up two months ago along a sidewalk on the south side of the building.

In December, the city spent $23,000 to move a gas pipe away from the sloped roof and out of harm’s way. But all of the other work needed to fix the roof is waiting until spring.

Lawman Heating & Cooling, the Sackets Harbor company that installed the roof and moved the gas pipe, will relocate the 14 exhaust vents to the side of the building. Workers will then cap the holes where the vents had been with roof material. The ice system’s dry cooler must also be moved.

City Engineer Justin L. Wood acknowledged the situation could be much worse if it weren’t for the fortunate lack of snow.

But winter is far from over.

Ms. Gardner has penciled in some time during the late spring or early summer to complete the other repairs.

However, Mr. Wood said he had no other new information about when the work will be done or who will pay for it.

The city blames Stantec Consulting Services, the Rochester engineering firm that designed the arena renovation, for shoddy engineering work.

City Council members have insisted that Stantec, which was paid $700,000, should pay for the roof work.

The roof problem is the latest in a series of construction and design problems, both large and small, that city officials faced since they moved forward with redoing the 44-year-old ice rink in 2015.

The rink is the home of the Watertown Wolves minor league hockey team, high school and youth hockey games, figure skating shows, concerts and other events.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/barbershop-quartet-brings-cheer-to-valentines-day-with-performances-video-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/barbershop-quartet-brings-cheer-to-valentines-day-with-performances-video-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
For the Islanders Barbershop Chorus, Valentine’s Day is more than just a Hallmark holiday. The group spent the day driving all through Jefferson County delivering a rose and a song to people for the holiday.

The group’s singers included Ken Schwartz, Tracy Robertson, Wayne Fuller, and Carl Howlett. The group said their chorus has seen increased interest in recent years.

The group also sings during the holiday season, and sings for birthdays and other occasions, but Mr. Robertson, the chorus director, said Valentine’s Day is their biggest holiday.

Video from the group’s performances can be seen at http://wdt.me/valentines-quartet.

Local News: Jefferson http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/meeting-on-teneyck-street-building-postponed-20170215 http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news03/meeting-on-teneyck-street-building-postponed-20170215 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:30:00 -0500
WATERTOWN — The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals has canceled tonight’s meeting about whether a troubled TenEyck Street property should be converted back to a single-family home.

The applicant, Banco Popular of North America, New York City, asked for a delay for the 165 TenEyck St. building until March.

The bank asked for a use variance from the ZBA to re-establish the long-abandoned property as an apartment building. The bank hopes to sell the property. Neighbors have complained about its condition.

Local News: Jefferson

Source: Watertown Daily Times
Watertown Daily Times: Local News

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