Patty Ritchie

Julia Botero / WRVO News

It’s been a long time coming, but the town of Orleans, in Jefferson County, is on its way to fresh drinking water. The state announced this week they will provide the town with $3 million to help build a pipe to bring clean water to homes from Alexandria Bay.

Jefferson County Legislator Phil Reed said he thought he’d never see the day when Orleans, a tiny town between Clayton and Alexandria Bay, would finally get help, 

“Because we kept hearing from people, maybe next year, maybe next year, maybe next year. It was very frustrating to say the least," Reed said.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Pro- and anti-nuclear power groups are making their final cases for New York state to adopt or reject a proposal that would financially support the state's nuclear power plants. A decision on the nuclear subsidy plan is expected from the Public Service Commission (PSC) within the next week.

Entergy

Negotiations are underway between two nuclear power companies that could save the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. Entergy had all but guaranteed that it would shut the plant down because it was losing $60 million annually, but a state plan to subsidize New York's nuclear plants is enticing another company to buy and operate the facility.

Sarah Ficken / New Moon Farms

The average age of the American farmer is continually rising; it's 55 in New York state. In response, many states are crafting legislation aimed at encouraging a new generation to take the reins, like Chris and Sarah Ficken, owners of the New Moon Farms in Munnsville, New York.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The five Oswego County legislators who failed to fill out their oath of office cards on time will likely not have to run for their seats again this fall. A bill forgiving their mistake passed both chambers of the New York State Legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature or veto.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

New York lawmakers say if the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant and its 615 jobs are to be saved, they just need to keep it open long enough to benefit from nuclear plant subsidies that are currently under consideration, but its owner Entergy has repeatedly said it is not interested in that state support. So, some state lawmakers are now proposing drastic steps to rescue FitzPatrick that could involve a state takeover of the plant.

Mike Kurtz

 

A bill that will make it easier for military spouses to start working immediately after moving to the state is about to become law. New York is the only state that requires military spouses to re-apply for their professional license after arriving here.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When five Oswego County legislators failed to file their oath of office cards on time earlier this year, they lost the seats they were elected to last November. The county legislature then appointed them to fill those vacancies, but state law still requires that they run again in a special election this fall. A bill in the New York state legislature would waive that requirement.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Despite several attempts to secure financial assistance for the struggling FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, no funding was included for it in New York state's next budget.

Assemblyman Will Barclay and state Sen. Patty Ritchie have both authored bills that would give Fitzpatrick's owner a $60 million tax credit, but neither were included in the budget, nor was a $100 million financial aid package to help pay for the cost of refueling the plant, which would need to be done this year.

State Sen. Patty Ritchie said the recently passed New York state budget includes a record amount of funding for rabies prevention and treatment. State lawmakers allocated more than $600,000 for prevention and research efforts, such as funding Cornell University's program that distributes rabies vaccines to wild animals with low-flying planes and low-cost rabies clinics for pets. There is also 150,000 dollars to help local governments pay for treatment once someone is bitten by an infected animal, which Ritchie said is expensive.

Entergy

New York Senate Republicans are offering a budget proposal that includes $100 million for Oswego County's James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

Sarah Harris / North Country Public Radio

A farm initiative lead by state Sen. Patty Ritchie plans to restore $12 million to research programs slated to be cut under Cuomo's  budget plan.

Ritchie chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. She says food safety and research programs ultimately help farmers grow their bottom line. For example, in the past year, Cornell University scientists have researched ways to fight bird flu and stop the die-off of honeybees and more.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

New York lawmakers are proposing policies that they hope can save struggling upstate nuclear power facilities, including Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, from closing.

Entergy

State officials are saying they were caught by surprise Monday when Entergy announced it plans to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County. New York state had been in talks with Entergy, but the company said it didn't get the agreement it was looking for. But, state leaders are saying if the talks are not reopened, they will take matters into their own hands. 

Entergy

Updated 12:45 p.m.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement on Entergy's decision to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant:

"The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the 'bottom line.' The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy's actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce."

New York State Public Service Commission

 

The area code 315 covers a lot of ground: it covers the entire region from south of Syracuse and central New York, west toward Rochester, and north to the Canadian border. That could change.

WBFO file photo

Some New York state lawmakers would like the conversation about education reform and funding to focus on getting rid of the gap elimination adjustment. State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) is one of those who wants to repeal the state’s formula for cutting some funding for local school districts over the last few years.

WRVO / File Photo

Supporters of Fort Drum are coming out in full force to prevent the North Country installation from losing more soldiers. The fears come from the United States Army's proposal to reduce troop levels to pre-World War II numbers.

State Sen. Patty Ritchie's office has been working with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization to gather more than 9,000 signatures in support of keeping jobs at the base, which she says pumped about $1.4 billion into the local economy last year.

Ritchie wants state legislature to pass UTV bill

Jun 10, 2014
Office of Sen. Patty Ritchie

State Sen. Patty Ritchie wants to lift some of the restrictions on the use of utility task vehicles in New York state. Right now, UTVs can only be used legally on private property and cannot be registered in the state of New York. Smaller ATVs weighing up to 1,000 pounds can be widely used and registered with the state.

Novelis commissions expansion at Oswego plant

Oct 25, 2013
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Novelis' aluminum plant in Oswego commissioned a new $200 million expansion, and created 100 jobs for Oswego County. The addition of two new production lines increased the company's North American capacity for producing aluminum sheet for cars by 240,000 tons.

Plant manager Chris Smith says the expansion features two new aluminum automotive sheet finishing lines, which will increase the company's ability to provide lighter material to address the automotive industry's need to improve gas mileage in the cars they produce.

Joanna Richards

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.

Sen. Ritchie wants 315 area code plan put on hold

Jul 19, 2013
NANPA.com

The amount of available phone numbers within the 315 area code continues to dwindle, prompting the state's Public Service Commission to look into adding another area code.

The PSC has offered two options for the region, which covers all or part of 18 central and northern New York counties. One plan is to split the zone, with some residents getting a new area code. Another option is to overlay a new area code on top of 315, then issue the new code to new customers. In this scenario everyone would be required to dial the area code, even for next door neighbors.

Ritchie defeats Tresidder in 48th state Senate district

Nov 7, 2012
Natasha Haverty / NCPR

Incumbent Republican state Senator Patty Ritchie easily won reelection in the 48th district, covering Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties. She beat Democrat Amy Tresidder by a more than two-to-one margin. Now, Ritchie looks ahead to tackling the economic issues facing the state.  

The race for state Senate in the 48th district – which includes Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties – pits incumbent Republican Patty Ritchie against underdog Democrat Amy Tresidder. Both women stress the need for state mandate relief for local municipalities and measures to boost the upstate economy, although the strategies they'd take for doing that differ.

Joanna Richards / WRVO News

Right now, county jails – and ultimately, local property taxpayers – are footing the bill for housing state parole violators while they wait for the state to pick them up. State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) has proposed a solution to the problem. 

Except for a brief stint with Darrel Aubertine, the 48th State Senate district has been a Republican stronghold.  Amy Tresidder is trying to upset that pattern this fall, and in this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations Grant Reeher engages both Tresidder and the incumbent Senator Patty Ritchie in a debate-style conversation.

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

The New York State Department of  Agriculture is urging horse owners to have their animals vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalitis and the West Nile virus.

State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) has made a proposal that she says will help ease overcrowding and lower costs at county jails.

Community meetings take aim at “bath salts” drugs

Jul 27, 2012

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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