The 10th Mountain Division's Headquarters in the field during the division-wide Mountain Peak training exercise at Fort Drum, August, 2012.
The Watertown area’s economy is heavily dependent on Fort Drum. With the federal budget sequester on and the Afghanistan war winding down, the numbers of soldiers assigned to the post and civilians working there is likely to decrease. But the outlook is more complicated than just doom and gloom.
The town of Cape Vincent, in Jefferson County, has been divided over a proposed wind farm for a decade. The latest company to pursue the project is BP. But now, with a potential sale in the works, residents told the state power project siting board they’re getting impatient with the uncertainty.
On Black Friday, people cram into stores, treating shopping like a full-contact sport. Others hold off for a calmer experience in front of their computer screens on Cyber Monday. But some people still want a fun, communal holiday shopping experience – minus the chaos.
Watertown's annual holiday craft fair is a good option for less competitive shoppers, or people searching for a few unique items. This Sunday, two floors of the Dulles State Office Building will fill with local vendors.
Taxes and tax reform are likely to be a major topic in the next legislative session, which begins in seven weeks. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is relying on two separate commissions for ideas about tax changes, while progressive groups and Republicans in the State Senate are also weighing in.
The state of Watertown's historic Woolworth building tells you a lot about the health of the city. And for years, the message hasn't been good. But the vacant eyesore is on track to re-emerge as evidence of the downtown's steady improvement.
If you put a nose to the building's front window, you can see the story of decline. A big vault door surrounded by moldy clothing shows how a grand bank lobby gave way to a junk shop. And even that business is long gone. Water drips from the ceiling, pooling onto a mess of old merchandise on the floor.
Earlier this year, the city of Fulton was placed on New York state's list of fiscally distressed communities. Now it's the first municipality in the state to sign up for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recently created Financial Restructuring Board. The ten-person board offers cities management recommendations and grants to help them implement financial changes and get back on their feet.
Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, Sr., says the city's struggles are the result of several factors, including the loss of two large employers in the area.
The North Country Children's Clinic has had a tumultuous week. It announced on Tuesday that it would cease operations Friday, but a last-minute deal with Samaritan Medical Center and the state Department of Health will keep it open for at least the next month.
A last-minute deal was struck Thursday to rescue a long-standing health care safety net for needy north country children. The North Country Children's Clinic in Watertown announced Tuesday that it would close suddenly, at the end of the week, because of dire financial problems. Now, the clinic has gotten at least another month of life.
Dan Wasneechak didn't know how bleak the North Country Children's Clinic's finances were when he was hired as its chief in August. On Tuesday, he announced the clinic would temporarily close to try to resolve its fiscal issues.
When Dan Wasneechak took the helm of the North Country Children's Clinic in August, he had no idea that less than two months into his tenure, he'd be announcing its temporary closure. But he did that yesterday afternoon, after a frantic week of trying to sort out the clinic's finances to keep it running.
Most people have heard of “navigators” for the new health insurance exchanges. They're the trained, impartial guides funded by the federal government to help people make more informed choices as they shop for policies. And then there are private insurance brokers...there's been less talk about it, but they, too, can help consumers sign up for plans.
On the exchanges' first days, both kinds of guides were busy on the front lines of this major policy shift.
A new commercial kitchen in Sackets Harbor is starting to help small food producers grow their businesses. The shared-use facility is the first of its kind in Jefferson County.
In a dining room full of chattering officials from local government, agriculture and economic development, people dug into the first products of the new kitchen: Christine Hoffman's pepper jelly and fruit jam.
State senators listen to a farmer detail his frustrations with onerous government regulation at a forum Thursday in Watertown. From left are senators David Valesky, Patrick Gallivan, Patty Ritchie, and Kathleen Marchione.
Farmers and agricultural industry leaders in the North Country had the ears of state lawmakers yesterday in Watertown. The forum, hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie, was one of 10 being held throughout the state on the topic of regulatory reform in a variety of industries.
Soldiers participate in a homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum.
Fort Drum may be facing personnel cutbacks as a result of the federal budget reductions known as sequestration. The post submitted recommendations to the Department of the Army about how it would want to make the cuts, if needed.
A new report on the status of workers finds the period since the 2008 market crash may turn out to be a “lost decade” for New Yorkers, as wages stagnate and the average time for unemployment lengthens.
New York in the World, the documentary hosted by Garrick Utley, is now available online. The full, hour-long broadcast, as well as the text of the documentary, is available below. Feel free to leave comments and share with others.
Rep. Richard Hanna chaired a hearing Monday at Binghamton University on the role of universities in job creation. Hanna is chairman of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce and the focus of the hearing was on the importance of federal funding.
The city of Oswego's Harborfest began last night, and is estimated to draw more than 100,000 people to the area for a weekend of music, food and fireworks. For Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen, it's also a boon for the city's coffers.
"We hope to make probably $50 million for the weekend," Gillen said. "It's a big impact on the entire community within ten miles of the city of Oswego. Hotels, restaurants, just general sales tax revenue is dramatically impacted over this. So, it's an incredible economic boon to the city and the community. It comes at a cost, though."
Civilian employee furloughs start at Fort Drum this week, as part of the federal budget cuts known as sequestration. Non-uniformed workers face one mandatory unpaid day off each week for 11 weeks. About 1,800 workers – and many services on post – are affected.
Uniformed members of the military are exempt from the furloughs, but that doesn't mean they won't be affected by them.
Fort Drum soldiers mark the departure of the 10th Sustainment Brigade for an Afghanistan deployment in October 2011.
When the Army announced earlier this week that Fort Drum would lose 1,500 soldiers as part of a plan to reduce troops across the force, north country community leaders started trying to figure out what the impact would be.
They seem to agree that Fort Drum escaped this round of personnel cuts relatively unscathed.
In the communities surrounding Fort Drum, soldiers in uniform are a common sight: they're in the grocery store with their families, standing in line at the post office, or having a beer with friends after work. But for many of the area's civilians, what soldiers do on post remains something of a mystery. An annual event at Fort Drum aims to fix that.
A once-idled coal plant on Fort Drum has been given new life. ReEnergy Black River is creating dozens of new jobs in the North Country – while maintaining a focus on the environment.
State and local officials gathered recently at the facility to celebrate its grand opening.
Over the past year and a half, New York-based company ReEnergy Holdings has retrofitted the plant on Fort Drum to burn biomass instead of coal. Its primary fuel will be wood chips, created from the waste of the nearby logging industry on the Tug Hill Plateau and southwestern Adirondacks.
The City of Elmira is just seven miles from the Pennsylvania border. And for four years, the natural gas boom in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier crossed over the border and boosted Elmira’s economy. But that boom has slowed down.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie speaks in support of Fort Drum at a community listening session hosted by the Army Thursday at Case Middle School in Watertown.
About 200 community members turned up in a school auditorium in Watertown Thursday night in a showing of regional support for Fort Drum. The event was billed as a “listening session” for the Army, to inform a process of personnel cutbacks and reorganization currently affecting military installations around the country.