Jefferson County

7:33am

Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Lake effect snow continues in North Country; many travelers stranded

Residents are trying to dig out in Adams, NY
Sarah Crisafulli

The lake effect snow warning for northern New York has been extended until Thursday at 1 p.m. as upwards of four feet of snow has fallen in some spots since Monday. A state of emergency remains in effect for 14 counties, including Oswego, Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Forecasters predicted snow to fall at a rate of two to three inches an hour Wednesday morning in an area in the Tug Hill area.

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12:31am

Mon December 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

North Country scraping its way out of blanket of ice

Power lines downed by icy tree limbs coiled on the frozen roadways all over Watertown Sunday.
Joanna Richards

4:34am

Wed November 6, 2013
Politics

Watertown City Council: incumbent Macaluso, newcomer Jennings win seats in four-way contest

Teresa Macaluso, left, says goodbye to her final guests - her mother and sister - after a small election-day party at her home. She retained her seat on City Council.
Joanna Richards

Watertown's City Council contest pitted two fiscally conservative incumbents against two political newcomers who want city government to think more broadly about its role. The voters went for one of each.

Small business owner Teresa Macaluso led the pack by a comfortable margin to keep her seat for a second four-year term. She says good budget management will always be her top priority. "Without a budget, a balanced budget, we don't get any of the services that we want, things fall behind, and then before you know it, you're in trouble," she said. 

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7:54am

Thu September 26, 2013
Regional Coverage

New work space fills gap for small food producers

Christine Hoffman has just moved her jam and jelly business, The Spicy Wench, into the new shared-use commercial kitchen in Sackets Harbor.
Joanna Richards

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.

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8:59am

Thu May 23, 2013
Agriculture

Farmers' property taxes rise as land values increase

Farmer John Peck has a moment with a two-month-old calf in his dairy barn.
Credit Joanna Richards

Agriculture is one of the most dynamic and innovative economic sectors in New York state. All this week, the Innovation Trail team is reporting on some of the current challenges and opportunities facing upstate farmers.

One of those challenges is property taxes. Agriculture is a land-intensive industry, so rising property taxes can mean much higher costs for farmers. And taxes have been rising, thanks mostly to increases in the production value of farmland.

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9:20am

Thu May 16, 2013
Agriculture

Researchers Don't 'Wine' About The Cold, Their Grapes Thrive

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:58 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Minnesota. Vermont. South Dakota. OK. These are not states people normally associate with fantastic wine - or wine at all, for that matter. Grapes didn't always ripen in the state's short growing season. And even when they did, the grapes were better suited for jelly and juice. Their musty taste left little to really desire in a glass of wine.

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7:11am

Thu May 9, 2013
The Upstate Economy

National Grid power upgrade grant helps Jefferson County dairy farm expand

John Ferry, co-owner of Milk Street Dairy in Tylerville, in Jefferson County, shows off his new dairy barn.
Credit Joanna Richards

A Tylerville dairy farm, in Jefferson County, is growing, in part thanks to help from National Grid. The company awarded the farm a grant of $50,000 to increase its access to electricity.  

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5:18am

Thu April 18, 2013
Energy

BP to push forward with Cape Vincent wind project, pending possible sale of renewables division

Richard Chandler, director of business development for BP Wind Energy North America, gives a presentation on the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm project at a firehouse in Three Mile Bay.
Credit Joanna Richards

Earlier this month, energy company BP announced its entire renewables division was up for sale. At a recent public meeting on the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm, a BP official confirmed the company will push ahead with the development anyway, and local leaders vowed to hire experts to help them fight the project.  

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5:38am

Mon April 8, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Developers stress urgency in revival of Watertown Woolworth building

Developer Erich Seber gives local officials a tour of the Woolworth building in downtown Watertown.
Credit Joanna Richards

After founding his first stores elsewhere, Jefferson County’s Frank Winfield Woolworth bought the building in Watertown where he got his start in the dry goods business, intending to raze it and build one of his own stores. Woolworth died before he could see it, but his company realized his plan and the building’s a central part of the early history of the five-and-dime chain. After years of vacancy, two developers have plans to revive the landmark.

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9:21am

Fri February 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Some upstate counties call for repeal of state gun control law

The Oswego County Legislature met Thursday and passed a resolution urging repeal of the NY SAFE Act.
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Oswego County is the latest local government to push for a repeal of New York state's new gun control laws. Both lawmakers and residents say they are hoping their voices make a difference in Albany.

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9:00am

Fri December 7, 2012
Regional Coverage

BP Article X session in Cape Vincent explains controversial new process for power projects

BP attorney John Harris gives a presentation about the Article X power facility siting process in Cape Vincent Thursday night
Joanna Richards/WRVO

BP held a presentation last night in Cape Vincent on the Article X process for siting power projects under New York state law. It was another contentious encounter between local anti-wind power activists and BP representatives over the proposed Cape Vincent Wind Farm.

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8:46am

Thu November 29, 2012
Regional Coverage

Three lawsuits target Jefferson County Sheriff's Department

Three women with the same attorney have filed lawsuits against the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and members within it for allegations relating to sexual misconduct or harassment.

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4:15pm

Wed November 7, 2012
Regional Coverage

Village of Chaumont votes against dissolution

Voters in Chaumont, in Jefferson County, knocked down a ballot measure to dissolve the village, by a vote of 145 to 102.

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2:37pm

Wed October 24, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cape Vincent wind power meeting message to BP: "Go Home!"

A meeting on BP's wind farm proposal was held in the town of Cape Vincent Tuesday night
Joanna Richards WRVO

Town officials and community members from the Jefferson County towns of Cape Vincent and Lyme gave energy company BP a clear signal at a meeting last night in Cape Vincent: a wind farm isn't welcome there.

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9:26am

Tue October 23, 2012
Regional Coverage

BP to meet with towns of Cape Vincent & Lyme about wind power project

Strict new regulations for commercial wind turbines aim to send a clear message to BP.
Martin Abegglen Flickr

With a wind project proposed by BP, the town of Cape Vincent recently passed strict new regulations for commercial wind turbines. Then BP began seeking state review under the Article X law. That process could bypass local laws, if they're deemed “unreasonable.” Now the company has called a meeting with town officials, scheduled for Tuesday night. 

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4:00am

Thu October 11, 2012
Regional Coverage

Ft. Drum and community work to provide mental health services

For the first time since Fort Drum's expansion after the terrorist attack of 9/11, all of its three brigade combat teams are back home at the post.  After multiple deployments in two wars spanning 11 years, the soldiers' needs for mental health services are unprecedented, and complicated. Fort Drum and the surrounding community are cooperating to respond to those needs.

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8:50am

Wed September 26, 2012
Politics

Opponent accuses Patty Ritchie of using taxpayer dollars to campaign

Amy Tresidder, the Democratic candidate running against Republican state Senator Patty Ritchie, is accusing the incumbent of misusing taxpayer funds to boost her campaign. 

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4:04pm

Tue September 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Police, hospital say bath salts drug cases down in Watertown area

This summer, the synthetic drugs known as bath salts alarmed emergency responders all over upstate New York, including in Jefferson County. In Watertown, they dealt with unstable, violent users several times a day. But lawmakers and law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels have been responding with crackdowns on the drugs. Now, both police and hospital officials in Watertown say cases are down sharply. 

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11:00am

Thu August 16, 2012
Regional Coverage

Retail stores offering more food from local producers

An in-store display at Wegman's in Liverpool showcases locally-grown produce.

As fast as veggies are popping up in the garden, local foods are showing up on grocery store shelves throughout northern New York.

A new food co-op recently opened in Clayton, in Jefferson County, that showcases locally-sourced vegetables and other products, but big grocery chains like Hannaford and Wegman's are getting in on the trend, too, adding more of the region's products to store shelves.

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5:32pm

Fri August 10, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cuomo says Article X strikes right balance on power issues

While at Fort Drum this week talking about biomass fuel, Governor Andrew Cuomo chimed in on another energy issue – one much more likely to strike nerves in the North Country: the state's new Article X law.

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4:19pm

Fri August 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cape Vincent adopts new zoning law on wind farms

Joanna Richards WRVO

The Cape Vincent Town Council has voted to adopt a new zoning law that includes strict restrictions on wind turbines.

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8:30am

Fri July 27, 2012
Regional Coverage

Community meetings take aim at “bath salts” drugs

Jefferson County Sheriff's Detective David Pustizzi speaks to dozens of community members gathered at South Jefferson High School in Adams on Wednesday.

Community meetings are popping up as fast as the bizarre stories surrounding a drug known as bath salts or glass cleaner. The drugs are sold in head shops and convenience stores – they are not typical bath products or window cleaners. Three meetings in Jefferson County this week aimed to address the growing drug problem.

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9:23am

Thu July 26, 2012
Regional Coverage

Watertown airport reaches 10,000 passenger milestone

Passengers wait for a 7 a.m. flight to Chicago at the Watertown International Airport.
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Watertown International Airport swapped its 9-seater flights to Albany for 44-seater flights to Chicago back in November. So far, passengers and officials seem to agree it's been a big success.

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6:38am

Fri July 20, 2012
Regional Coverage

Northern New York crash kills six

Joanna Richards WRVO

Six people died Thursday in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Route 11 in the town of Antwerp, in Jefferson County.

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4:21pm

Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Dry weather threatens hay, corn crops

The hot, dry weather is taking a toll on crops in the region. Scattered heavy rains have brought some relief to some areas, but overall, production of field crops like hay and corn is suffering. In the North Country, it's been decades since the area experienced a summer so dry.

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4:07am

Fri July 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

Gillibrand says economy requires investment to stimulate growth

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is flanked by MetalCraft Marine officials Thursday in Cape Vincent.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is traveling around New York making her case for Democratic economic policies. Thursday she did so at a boat manufacturing facility in Cape Vincent.

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11:20pm

Sun July 1, 2012
Regional Coverage

Why does Jefferson County receive a "failing grade" for air pollution?

Earlier this year, the American Lung Association unveiled an unpleasant surprise for Jefferson County residents. In a report on air quality across the country, the association gave the rural north country county a grade of "F" for ozone pollution, commonly known as smog. 

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7:00am

Sat June 30, 2012
Regional Coverage

Army worms invade Jefferson County farms

Michael Hunter, of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Ron Robbins, owner of Robbins Family Grain and partner in Old McDonald's Farm, inspect army worms they found in a wheat field on Robbins' property.

A pest has invaded farm fields throughout Jefferson County. Army worms – actually caterpillars that transform into moths – migrate up from the south every year to Northern New York. But this year a major outbreak of the worms is causing a widespread threat to crops, and big financial losses to some farmers. 

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7:00am

Thu May 10, 2012
-School Budget Series

School Budget Series: State aid cuts outpace declining enrollments at rural schools

Many rural school districts rely heavily on state aid because of a relative lack of property wealth in their regions, so the past few years of deep state aid cuts have hit them hard. Rural districts also have experienced declining enrollments that have helped dull the pain. But two school districts in southern Jefferson County say the decline in their student populations isn't keeping pace with the rapid reductions from the state that make up most of their budgets.

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8:39pm

Wed May 2, 2012
Regional Coverage

Attorney for Sheriff's deputy describes alleged harassment on the job in $50 million suit

A female Sheriff's deputy has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Jefferson County department, over racy photos she says were taken of her as part of an online pedophile investigation. The lawsuit is about to proceed to the next phase, and the deputy and her lawyer are calling for an independent investigation.

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