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74 Trinity Avenue
Gouverneur, NY, 13642
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Local News

Missoula Children’s Theatre presents Robin Hood

Dan McClelland

Robin Hood portrayed by Alexia Taylor, hits the target blindfolded in archery as part of the terrific musical put together by Missoula Children's Theatre. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Robin Hood portrayed by Alexia Taylor, hits the target blindfolded in archery as part of the terrific musical put together by Missoula Children's Theatre. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Missoula Children’s Theatre was back for its 11th season, as it presented the musical tale of Robin Hood in the Gouverneur High School Auditorium on the Saturday, August 10.

The auditorium was filled with family, friends and community members excited to see the performance that the students in grades kindergarten through twelve have been working diligently to put together.

The students who participate in the musical have exactly one week to learn all their lines and choreography before the big day. It takes a lot of hard work, effort and courage for each student to learn this and execute it so well.

The tale of Robin Hood, a highly skilled archer, came to life on the stage. The students did a fantastic job portraying their characters and getting into the act. Alexia Taylor did a fantastic job in the lead role for the musical and ensuring a good laugh from everyone.

Robin Hood is driven into the Sherwood Forest, it is his duty to protect everyone from the criminals and injustice being done. It comes with all sorts of predicaments and complications. But in the end a wonderful fun filled story for all.

The cast of characters included Robin Hood (Alexia Taylor), Sheriff of Nottingham (Corryn Canell), Maid Marion (Aryonna Young), Marion’s Maid (Cora Porter), Prince John (Alex McDougall), Merry Band (Caleb Butler, Connor Canell, Allison Carvel, Hazen Given, Harley Neaves, Garrison White), Barron of Beef (Nick Canell) Countess of Crisco (Hannah Roderick) Duchess of Sandwich (Paige Kirby), Guards: (Joel Allen, Lily Macaulay, Lauren Ordway, Johanna Sloan, Turner Sochia), Horsemen (Jamie Bearden, Charlee Cudhea, Payton Kirby, Sophia Marx, Elizabeth (Zizi) Metcalf, Ellie Murphy, Brycen Parshley, Olivia Salazar), and skunks (Bella Allen, Karsyn Cudhea, Keelan Hinkson, Katherine Kammers, Frances LaPierre, Lilliana Poole, Matthew Poole, Madelyn Simmons, Nathan Sochia, Adalynn Tupper, Ava Weldon, Kathryn Weldon).

The assistant directors were Abigail Metcalf and Joshua Spilman. The accompanist was Beth Johnson. Sherwood of the Forest-Tour Actor/Director was Seth Hollen, and Tour Director was Christopher Martin.

Missoula Children’s Theatre was hosted by the Gouverneur Recreation Department at the Gouverneur High School with the support of the following local sponsors: Gouverneur Kiwanis Club, Gouverneur Lions Club, Gouverneur Masonic Lodge, Lawrence Manor and Price Chopper. Special gratitude was extended to Stacey Canell (box office and coordinating cast), Marilyn LaPierre (volunteering daily throughout the theatre), Gouverneur Central School District (for the use of the auditorium and lunches), and the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees (for their support of the program).

Much gratitude was also extended to all who made this event possible.

Ritchie Honored At 2019 Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair

Dan McClelland

NYS Senator Patty Ritchie pictured with Organizer Sean Peck at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Carlton Peck Band Day. Sean is the son of Carlton Peck of Gouverneur, the founder of the Peck Awards which were started 55 years ago this year. (photo provided)

NYS Senator Patty Ritchie pictured with Organizer Sean Peck at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Carlton Peck Band Day. Sean is the son of Carlton Peck of Gouverneur, the founder of the Peck Awards which were started 55 years ago this year. (photo provided)

During the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair, State Senator Patty Ritchie, who was inducted into the St. Lawrence County Fair Hall of Fame last year, was honored for her support of area marching bands and school music programs.

During her time as State Senator, Senator Ritchie has delivered funding to ensure marching bands throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties had equipment and instruments, and that programs in schools were saved from budget cuts. 

In addition, she has helped various school musical groups with funding to participate in national events such as the 4th of July parade in Washington, D.C. and has invited students to share their musical talents at numerous community events she has hosted.

Gouverneur properties not in tax foreclosure auction concern local leaders

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

St. Lawrence County has decided not to include six properties – five residential, and one commercial – in Gouverneur in its upcoming tax foreclosure auction… and that reality drew some discussion from concerned town, village leaders at the August 13 town board meeting.

The topic was raised by Town of Gouverneur Code Enforcement Officer Michael McQuade who said the following: “I received this year’s tax foreclosure list and it was three colors orange, blue and white… Blue is people that paid their taxes, so they wouldn’t be foreclosed on. White, they are in tax sale that is coming up September 15. And then the color orange… I showed (Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr.) this morning that there are five homes and one commercial property that the county will not take possession of, due to what they feel is not salvageable. I personally, don’t feel that it is right.

“Standpoint 1: They should notify us. Standpoint 2: A village or a town should make that call, not somebody that sits at the county level. Take for instance the house across from Mills Park… that was sold last year at the tax sale for $8,000. The guy had to put $30,000 into it. You go by it right now, it looks like a totally different home with new windows, vinyl siding on the front. I can their feelings on it, but to me, give it a chance. Give to somebody for $1. Give it to him. Say, “Here you’ve got five years to fix it up.”

“Then the other one apparently, the commercial property has contamination, which back in 2011, the tanks were taken out of the ground, and nobody at the county ever got records of it. So, for us being the town and the village both, it comes back on the taxpayer. So we’ve got five homes that are not going up on the tax sale, that are going to sit for another year. If they are not good to sell now, what do you think they are going to look like in a year?”

Supervisor Spilman then said, “They are probably not going to do anything next year either.”

Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin said, “Well, I think the code enforcement officer should have been involved in making the decision…”

Supervisor Spilman then said, “I called the county attorney’s office this morning, and it was a joint effort between the county attorney’s office, Real Property, and the treasurer’s office. There was a group that was formed to take a look at them.

“Mike and I went to take a look at these today. All of these structures are still standing. I mean, I have seen worse that have been brought back to life. But what happens now? They just sit there. If the county took them back, then at least sold them, like Mike said, for $1, just to put them back on tax roll. I voiced my concern to Henry Leader today. I don’t know if he was aware of it by the sound of our conversation. These residential properties are in tough shape, but like Mike said, the one down over the hill… We bid on it at the tax sale last year. I knew what we would be getting with it. We were going to level the place, but this guy is rebuilding it, and he has done a good job doing it. I don’t know. It doesn’t set well with me either. And all five of these properties are in the Village.”

Deputy Supervisor Conklin then commented, “If the foundation and the basic structure of the property is sound, why then it is salvageable, I would think.”

Supervisor Spilman then said, “I don’t know what our next step would be.”

Town Councilwoman Jaimee McQuade then commented as follows: “Well they are just going to sit there. I think it is awful, I agree… My sister bought one three or four years ago for $2,000. My father gutted it, and rebuilt it. It had water coming out of the walls. The water was off. It shot out of walls, out of the ceiling. She took six Dumpsters out of 900 sq. foot house… if that tells you anything. If there is a will, there’s a way. I don’t know why in this world we are not just giving them to families…”

Gouverneur Fire Chief Thomas Conklin then said, “We’ve been in two vacant properties that were vacant from fire calls from reports from other people about incidents there. There’s been junk paraphernalia found in it. I know that two I have been to myself this year where it is vacant, and we were called there for some reason. The smoke alarm batteries are dead, and the neighbor thinks the smoke alarm is going off. You go in there, and the rooms are littered with drug paraphernalia.”

“The County is setting it up for that,” Councilwoman McQuade said. “We’ve got to look at it, and then we’ve got to pay for cutting the grass, snow removal on the sidewalks… Who is paying for that? It’s terrible.

“It’s a terrible decision,” Supervisor Spilman said. “Goes to show you that the County isn’t right about everything.” He then encouraged all those gathered to voice their opinions to St. Lawrence County Legislator District 5 Henry Leader (R-Gouverneur) the next time they saw him.

During his time for comments, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall made the following comments on the issue: “Zombie properties, for lack of a better term… The towns and the villages throughout the county have certainly done a lot of lobbying, I guess you could say a full-court press, on the sales tax issue. I know some legislators, some, that if there is a sales tax question in the towns and the villages, will not even go to their town and the village boards and say, “Well, I voted for the sales tax cut. Politically in the future, if you are thinking about running for a countywide office in St. Lawrence County and you are a legislator and you voted to cut the sales tax to local municipalities, forget it. I don’t care what party you are in, it’s not going to work.

“So, all of a sudden, we sort of get hit. We have six properties, five homes and one commercial. So I am just taking a venture that there are 60, or many more than that countywide, maybe closer to 100. So, it’s interesting because there’s going to be a big pushback on this. I don’t think it is right. The town board doesn’t think it is right. Mike doesn’t think it is right. (Village Trustee Troy Besaw) doesn’t think it is right. I think some of these places can be salvaged. A great example is on Mill St., which Mike alluded to…. There’s a case in point, an example to the county. That’s just my soapbox on this listening to Mike and the town board here. We’ll get at this. We’ll lobby this too.

“A little discouraging, but maybe it shows that the Town Supervisors Association and the Mayors Association have made progress on the sales tax issue. I will look at it that way.”

No more comments were expressed on the issue at the town board meeting.

The next meeting of the Town of Gouverneur Council is to be held on Tuesday, September 3, 6 p.m., in the town offices building.

Talent acts impress crowd at county fair

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Talent Show was held on the evening of Friday, August 2 at the grandstand.

The talent show draws a great crowd of people to witness the local talents that surround us. Performers in the talent show range in age (three years of age and up) and were judged in various age groups on who gave the best overall performance.

Each year, Fair Director Jennifer Peck works diligently to ensure that the talent show is a success, and everything goes as smooth as possible.

This year’s judges included: Kimberly Adams of Lisbon, who has an extensive music background. Julie Peck, gymnast, who formerly owned a dance studio in Gouverneur also acted as judge for the talent show. Chris Gates, of Gouverneur, was the third judge, as he has a great musical and theatrical background. It was up to the judges to decide the fate of the contestants and who would be moving on to the state level of competition at the New York State Fair.

The three to 11 years age group provided adorable song performances and beautiful dance routines, showcasing the hard work and efforts these youngsters put forth. First place went to Josslyn Fishel, second went to Lilah Siebels, and third place went to Stevie Petrie.

It was then time for the 12 to 16 age group, many of which performed inspiring and beautiful songs and instrumental numbers. First place went to Jaelyn Stevens, second went to Holly and Brooke Goddard, and third place went to Holly and Brooke Goddard, and Sophia Cicchinelli.

Finally, the 17 years and older group was up to showcase their exceptional matured talent through their singing abilities. Performances provided a range of experience and notes reached. First place went to Richard Fitzgerald, second place went to Samuel Roesnegilles, and third went to Kaitlyn LaShomb.

Many words of congratulations were extended to these contestants on their tremendous accomplishment.

Gouverneur’s own wins demo derby

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The finale of the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair – the Demolition Derby – draws a huge crowd to the grandstands. This year was certainly no exception as it was a packed house, filled with fans ready to root on their favorite drivers.

Before the event began, youngsters driving their power wheels lined up and had their own little derby. An adorable and fun sight for everyone attending to enjoy. Each child receiving a medal for their participation and great efforts.

It was then time for the official start to the annual Demolition Derby.

Derby cars in each heat lined up ready for the action to begin. As the flag waved signaling the start, the drivers pushed the throttle to the max, crashing into each other at full force. Smoke filled the air, as the cars were demolished one by one. Many were disabled and had to call it quits, until there was only one left still moving, being named the winner of the heat.

As the heats went on, tensions of rivals heated up and the fans went wild with enthusiasm. As with all derbies, safety is the biggest priority. Gouverneur Volunteer Fire Department was on hand to extinguish any possible fires that could occur. Also on hand were the Gouverneur Police Department and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department.

In the end, Gouverneur’s own Mike Blair (a previous winner of the Derby) was named the winner of the event… earning him $1,200 and the Bub Durham Memorial Trophy to take home.

The second place winner was Jeff Trapp of Gouverneur. He won a $600 cash prize and the Kenneth Sawyer Memorial Trophy.

Mandigo Auto Care in Gouverneur donated $200 in prizes with $120 going to the first-place winner, and $80 going to the second-place winner.

The 2019 Feature: Heat 1 (Tyler Bates, Matt LaRock and Spring Derby Winner Chris Ames), Heat 2 (Mike Blair and Cody Durham), Heat 3 (Donnie Scovil and Mike Smith), Heat 3 (Mike Walsh and Mike Durham), Heat 5 (Jeff Trapp and Drake Matthews), Heat 6 (Marcus Reeves and Mike Blair), Heat 7 (Brad Law and Mike Law), Heat 8 (Dave Blair, Jr. and Danielle Law), Heat 9 (Pat Murphy and Danielle Law), Heat 10 (Zack Travis and Jeff Trapp), Heat 11 (Allen Aldridge and Matt Brothers), Heat 12 (Chris Brothers and Mike Durham), Heat 13 (Adam Dean and JP Phillips), and Consolation Heat (Austin Smith and Dustin Snyder). The Powder Puff Winner was Sheri Harmer.

Congratulations to this year’s derby winners and all those who were able to take the win for their heat, an impressive feat.

Final Phase of the Capital Project

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Finale PHASE 1 pic copy.jpg

by Jessyca Cardinell

The final phase of the 2015-2020 Capital Project for the Gouverneur Central School District is in full swing, as recently the demolition of the Dean building, formerly the Middle School, began.

The Dean building was built through the largess of Mrs. Mira Dean and her daughters Cora and Jennie Dean. A bronze tablet was dedicated to the women in 1914 and was on display until the renovation project started.

“The demolition of the building was not made lightly,” said Superintendent of Schools Lauren French. “With all factors to be considered, the decision was presented to the Board of Education for final approval that we cannot compromise the safety of our students, employees and visitors. The project was presented to voters, through 32 different public presentations and received voter approval. The goal, keeping everyone safe, provide equal access to 21st century education and extend the legacy of the Dean family, which was quality education for the citizens of Gouverneur, will be completed by January 2020.”

The Capital Project began in 2014 with March Associates with a proposed project cost in excess of $42,000,000. As the first proposed project plan was rejected due to it not being financially feasible for the community, March Associates worked on a second proposal which included the addition of four UPK classrooms at the Elementary building, six classrooms and a new gymnasium at the Middle School and ending with the demolition of the Dean Building at the Middle School/High School Complex.

“The proposal allowed for safety and security measures to be addressed, corrected and improved at all three buildings, for all ADA compliance issues to be corrected and for the necessary infrastructure to be addressed within the complex. As a result of the building project, all UPK-4 scholars are housed on the elementary campus, all 5-8 scholars are housed on the middle school campus and the High School will remain at the 9-12 building,” said Mrs. French of the efficiency this proposal would allow the community.

The project is being completed in stages, the first stage was the abatement of asbestos. This phase was then followed by the removal of glass and aluminum frames, doors and items that will be reused in the renovation project. There were marble columns for the original entrance and those have been saved to become part of the new structure in Gouverneur on a site that is yet to be selected. There are other pieces of shaped marble and those will be used in a location of the school district as a permanent display to the history of the district.

“This visual display will include the commemorative plaques, early presentations to Judge James C. Dolan and other artifacts and pictures that commemorate the history of the school system. Anyone with a unique item may want to contact myself, for possible display opportunities,” said Mrs. French.

The beautiful stained glass window, which is reported by Mrs. French to be fondly recalled and remembered by every student attending Gouverneur High School will be included in the new entrance at the school.

“The design calls for the three paneled window to be displayed at each of the three levels of the building, within a protective glass case and lit with LED so that the panels can be viewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from both interior and exterior vantage points,” said Mrs. French of the new exciting display to be anticipated.

The Gouverneur School District has made great advancements to its educational programs and building infrastructures in the last five years. As it continues to do so there will be some impactful changes to the district, but also a new beginning that embraces the old.

Country Artist John Michael Montgomery puts on crowd-pleasing performance on county fair's opening night

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Country Star 1 pic copy.jpg

by Jessyca Cardinell

The grandstands of the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair were filled on its opening evening Tuesday, July 30 as spectators were ready to enjoy the music of country star John Michael Montgomery.

Tony Lynn, DJ of 95.3 The Wolf, introduced the country music legend, stating the star proudly totes 38 top ten hits throughout his extensive career.

Montgomery and his band traveled all the way from Kentucky, Montgomery’s stomping grounds, the night before to join its New York fans.

As John Michael Montgomery took to the stage with his high energy and southern charm, the crowd of people went wild with excitement. He kicked off the evening singing the song “Cowboy Love,” followed by “Beer and Bones” and a crowd pleasing favorite “Life’s A Dance.”

The evening carried on with songs including “I Love The Way You Love Me,” “I Can Love You Like That” and “Cover You In Kisses.”

The crowd was able to join in singing along to the song “Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)” as the evening came to a close and everyone left satisfied.

Shirts were on sale and many fans were able to show off their love and support of John Michael Montgomery with great pride.

Along with his successes, includes selling over 15 million copies of his CDs worldwide and two of his songs were covered by R&B artists.

It was a fantastic night for everyone to enjoy and remember as the band put on an energy filled, fun show for its audience.

FRONT _ Country Star 2 pic copy.jpg

County Fair kicks off with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Dan McClelland

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair on Tuesday, July 30. From left: Associate Director Nicholas Whitney, Fair Director and Past President Lyle Hotis, Fair Director John Hunter, Fair Manager Don Peck, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Fowler Baptist Church Pastor Howard Maxson, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Fair President Beth Martin. (Jessyca Cardinell photo)

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair on Tuesday, July 30. From left: Associate Director Nicholas Whitney, Fair Director and Past President Lyle Hotis, Fair Director John Hunter, Fair Manager Don Peck, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Fowler Baptist Church Pastor Howard Maxson, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Fair President Beth Martin. (Jessyca Cardinell photo)

by Jessyca Cardinell

A huge crowd gathered in the grandstands for the opening ceremony of the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair on the evening of Tuesday, July 30.

The guest speaker was David Zembiec, treasurer of the board of trustees at Advocate Drum (formerly known as the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization). He discussed` the importance of job opportunities in the North Country. He expressed the importance of Fort Drum and how inclusion for the community has been so beneficial to everyone.

Pastor Howard Maxson of the Fowler Baptist Church said a prayer blessing over the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair.

It was then time to cut the red ribbon, as done each year to officially open the fair. Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall and Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr. were welcomed on stage to assist the fair officials during the ceremony. The crowd cheered as the ribbon was cut and the festivities began.

The national anthem was sung beautifully, and the pride of the community really showed through.

The crowd patiently waited for the John Michael Montgomery concert to begin, as each year an excitement filled concert kicks off the first evening of the fair.

Fantastic job to all the fair board members who put in so many extensive hours and a great amount of hard work behind the scenes to ensure that all needs are met and everyone enjoys a fantastic time.

Edwards Firemen’s Parade draws crowd

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The North Country community gathered along Main St. in Edwards to enjoy the Edwards Fire & Rescue’s Second Annual Firemen’s Parade on Saturday, July 6.

The excitement was palpable as a crowd amassed in front on both sides of the road to watch the parade. While they were waiting for the parade to commence, all were welcomed to stop by the concession and vendor booths that were set up in the parking lot of the Edwards Health Center, 8 Church St., Edwards.

Meanwhile, the parade participants lined up on First Street and Second Street, and at the 6 p.m. fire whistle, the parade commenced. The parade made its way down Church Street before making a right turn onto Main St. in Edwards.

Leading the parade was a St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office apparatus, Car 121.

Next in the parade lineup was the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 color guard featuring VFW Commander Richard Fisher, Gerald Barker (presenting the American Flag), Michael Webster (presenting the VFW Post Flag), and Wayne Knowles.

The Edwards Fire & Rescue then showcased their E-27 and TA-75.

The Edwards History Center then had a float, reminding all those in attendance that it had been 200 years ago, in June 1819, when Scottish settlers first came to Edwards. All were encouraged to stop by the Edwards History Center at 222 Main St., Edwards to learn more. The float also featured music by the New Horizons Band.

Next were the Heuvelton Central Marching Bulldogs then performed, thrilling all those gathered with their exceptional performance. Also appearing was Ogdensburg Free Academy Blue Devils Marching Band, which awed with selections and acrobatic performances inspired by from the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” A judging panel, with members on the ground and on a flatbed truck (from Jim’s Auto in Edwards), evaluated the marching band performances.

Russell Fire and Rescue then showcased its E-104 and TA-37 trucks.

Janet Otto-Cassada, Democratic candidate for SLC Clerk, also marched in the parade. She was joined by an Elect Janet Otto-Cassada for St. Lawrence County Clerk float, and all were reminded of her over 20 years of experience helping St. Lawrence County. She was joined by a host of supporters and SLC Democrats, who passed out candy to those along the parade route. This included Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall.

Next was the Degrasse, Clare, South Russell Fire Department, showcasing its E-100 truck.

The Gouverneur Fire Department then showcased its shiny new R-4 truck in one of its first parade appearances.

Next was an appearance by Sandy Santamoor, Republican and Conservative candidate for SLC Clerk, who was joined by supporters including St. Lawrence County Republican Party Chairman Tom Jenison As the Elect Sandy Santamoor float went by all were reminded of the current deputy SLC clerk’s eight-year track record.

SLC Undersheriff Brooks Bigwarfe for SLC Sheriff was surrounded by supporters as he made his way down the parade, waving hello to all those in attendance. Joining him was SLC Legislator District 4 William Sheridan (R-Hammond). All were reminded that Bigwarfe was born and raised in St. Lawrence County, and has been serving for the past 32 years in the SLC Sheriff’s Office.

The Hermon Volunteer Fire Department was next in the lineup, and showcased their ETA-43 truck.

The end of the parade was signaled by the appearance of Edwards Fire & Rescue Chief Richard Anson on the department’s ATV-13.

All in attendance were invited to the Edwards Fire Hall to enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments. A Block Dance then followed at 8 p.m. with music by local bands, Homegrown and Man Fights Grizzly. All was provided for free to the North Country community members and visitors present.

Community spirit was high in Edwards last Saturday night, and all expressed gratitude to those who made the parade and block dance possible. Much fun was had by all in attendance.

Natural gas line breach causes unprecedented product loss

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall arrived at the Town of Gouverneur Council’s July 9 meeting to talk about the natural gas line breach that occurred by Gouverneur Hospital, 77 W. Barney St., Gouverneur on Tuesday, July 2.

A subcontractor working for JL Excavation LLC punctured a six-inch gas main with a two-inch drill that was reportedly coming from the other side of the road underground. The work was being done as part of the Village of Gouverneur’s Water Improvement Project.

“They were trying to hook up, get into the hospital. That’s what that was about,” Mayor McDougall said. “Very unfortunate. I can only imagine the legal quagmire this is going to cause.”

A large six-inch gas main was struck and punctured by a two-inch drill coming from the other side of the road underground. Crews evacuated houses in the area of concern and held everyone in the hospital until it was deemed safe. Enbridge crews worked to make a temporary bypass on scene as the gas could not be shut off. After six hours and 20 minutes the gas was contained to the bypass line. Gouverneur Fire crews and Enbridge were on scene for 11 hours.

“The good news is nobody got hurt,” Mayor McDougall said. “It was a tremendous inconvenience to the community, roadblocks, business into the hospital they reopened to take patients at 7 o’clock that night… A lot of cooperation with the police, DPW, fire department, rescue squad, DOT, probably left some people out… and of course, St. Lawrence Gas put a plan together. You know they have a situation when that happens.

“As far as the gas lines, it is one of the largest lines they have had, you know, fracture I’m told in decade or two. But as far as loss, the greatest loss since they have been in business anywhere in the North Country – the greatest loss in gas, a product as they call it. There’s lots of business people in here. That means money – product, loss, gone.

“There will be ramifications, but nobody got hurt. We got a lot of cooperation. We were mighty glad to get that pipeline in and get the bypass in, which was about 6:30 at night on July 2. So anyways, it could have been much worse. I appreciated the cooperation with all involved.”

Gouverneur Fire Department was dispatched to scene at 12:32 p.m. on July 2. They extend gratitude to the Gouverneur Police Department for their help in securing the area and helping with traffic control, the Gouverneur Rescue Squad for standing by at the scene, the Gouverneur Hospital staff for understanding the severity of the incident and working with the GFD crew to make sure everyone in the hospital was safe, Village of Gouverneur DPW, and the firefighters at the Richville Fire Department and Oxbow Fire department for covering the GFD station while they were on the scene.

No further comments were made at the town board meeting.

The next Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees meeting is to be held on Tuesday, July 16, 7 p.m., in the municipal courtroom.

The next meeting of the Town of Gouverneur Council is to be held on Tuesday, August 13 at 6 p.m. in the town offices building.

Over 900 boots will line road in salute to veterans, military personnel

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

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Over 900 boots will be lined up alongside NY State Route 3 from Fine to Cranberry Lake on Saturday, July 13 to honor the sacrifice of veterans, active service members, prisoners of war, and those killed in action (represented by gold boots).

Organizer Kimberly Nolan said she has received support from American Legion Post 1539, Clifton-Fine Central School District, and community members and has also received grants from the Northern New York Community Foundation and the Damoth Fund to get the boot project started.

The idea came from her sister, Lori Sherman, the District 1 Department of Oregon President and was appointed ALA Department Chaplain Western Division, Unit 68 President for the 2018-2019 year. Lori started this project last year in their hometown of Clatskanie, Oregon.

“When I saw the end result of this project, it brought tears to my eyes and moved me in a way that I wanted to share this experience with everyone,” Nolan said. “I spoke with Lori and decided to bring this project from the West Coast to the East Coast, so that the people of my hometown now could share the love and respect of our servicemen and servicewomen who have fought for our country's freedom. Lori and I also dream that one day the states that separate us will join us in this project, and we will one day have veterans’ boots from one side of the states to the other.”

At 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 Kimberly Nolan will also honor the community's five WWII Veterans with a Quilt of Honor for all that they have done for our country…. They are Robert Noody, Amos Reil, Anthony “Hank” Moshano, Frederick Hall and Gordon Taylor. The quilts were made and donated by Jill Joseph, Debra Baldwin, Helene Delosh and Vicky Williams. Much gratitude is extended to these women for their endless labor of love that was put into each and every quilt that was made for each veteran.

There will also be some copies of the “HOME TOWN NEWS” for sale at the SOS building. The paper was published once a month in Newton Falls, NY by the Newton Falls Paper Mill and was sent to local men and women erving in the Armed Forces. Reported by Earl M. Cuglar, the publication consists of letters written from those serving in the Armed Forces, family members sharing information, births and death notices, and community news. Additionally, there will be some old WWI and WWII display items.

Much appreciation is extended to the Fort Drum Thrift Store and the Watertown Urban Mission for donating boots to this project, the Cranberry Library for donating laminating paper, the American Legion Post 1539 and Tim Graveline for the donation of flags.

Special gratitude is also extended to the army of volunteers, including the following local residents: Patti Beckman, Lisa Langevin, Marie Woods, Sharron Flynn, Penny Tanner, Pat Pomerville, Mark Friden, Naomi Pitts, Bill Gleason, Katherine Peabody, Alice Galvin, Brittany Jaquith, Breanna Jaquith, Emily Kerr, Andrea Kerr, Destiny Verne Leatta LaParr, Jimmy Backus, Sue Dumke, Anne Hynes, Lori Aman and Lynn King for their endless hours helping to put this project together.

“I couldn’t have done it without them,” Nolan said. “This is our first year so I apologize, in advance, for the names that we might have misspelled and the flags that didn’t have a boot. I hope we will have all that we need for next year’s Field Days, and again I want to thank all the veterans for making our country what it is today... we couldn't be the “Land Of The Free” without you!”

Gouverneur Hospital “Lunch and Learn” Free Community Program to be held June 25

Dan McClelland

The June Lunch & Learn program at Gouverneur Hospital will be held on Tuesday, June 25 at 11:30 am in the GH Community Room. The presentation for this month is “Allergic Rhinitis, Seasons, Symptoms and Treatment”. Presented by John Welborn, NP, Edwards Health Center.

The program is free and open to all. Lunch will be served at 11:30 am with presentation and questions to follow. For easy access enter Entrance 3 at GH. Advance reservations are required by June 24. For more information or to reserve your spot today, contact Bonnie Porter at 315.535.9309 or Bring a friend or relative. GH Lunch and Learn Programs are scheduled the fourth Tuesday of the month.

2019 GHS Honors Group announced

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Honors Group pic copy.jpg

Gouverneur Central High School is excited to announce the 2019 Honors Group. Eligibility for the senior Honors Group is based on an overall average of 90 or above for 3 ½ years of high school. Gouverneur Central has 17 members in the Class Of 2019 Honors Group:

Harley Austin. Harley is the daughter of John and Crystal Austin. She plans to attend North Country Community College for an associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology.

Jenneca Cook. Jenneca is the daughter of Andrew and Katrina Cook. She plans to attend SUNY Potsdam, majoring in Sociology.

Grace Cummings. Grace is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Cummings. She plans to attend St. John Fisher College as a Nursing major.

Sophie Fawcett. Sophie is the daughter of Ian and Shari Fawcett. Sophie is currently undecided about her plans, but plans to attend either SUNY Potsdam or Jefferson Community College. She is also considering pursuing a career in cosmetology.

Hannah Hight. Hannah is the daughter of Ron and Wendy Hight. She plans to attend Paul Smith’s College for Culinary Arts and Service Management. Hannah hopes to graduate and become a personal chef with the long-term goal of opening her own restaurant.

Collin Hutton. Collin is the son of Scott and Julie Hutton. He plans to attend St. Lawrence University for biochemistry. Collin hopes to become a forensic toxicologist after completing his education.

Kurtis Knight. Kurtis is the son of Leo and Lisa Knight. He plans to attend St. Lawrence University to major in Computer Science with a minor in Sports Management.

Virginia Knowlton. Virginia is the daughter of Erin Weldon and Jacob Knowlton. She plans to attend SUNY Oswego to study business with a focus in marketing.

Ireland Martin. Ireland is the daughter of Mark Martin. She plans to attend SUNY Canton with an undecided major.

Keegan Matthews. Keegan is the son of Scott and Kiera Matthews. He plans to attend the University of Rochester where he will be joining the NROTC Program (Marine Option).

Mitchell Mcmaster. Mitchell is the son of Jessica and Randon McMaster. He plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study Engineering Technology.

Elaina Porter. Elaina is the daughter of Bob and Alicia Porter. She plans to attend Clarkson University to study environmental engineering in Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering.

Abigail Riutta. Abigail is the daughter of Roger and Sarah Riutta. She plans to attend SUNY Cortland, majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Chiropractic Studies.

Nathan Sitts. Nathan is the son of Rob and Christine Sitts. He plans to attend Clarkson University in the fall to study Computer Engineering.

Hannah Spilman. Hannah is the daughter of Marty and Julie Spilman. She plans to attend Clarkson University to major in Psychology with a focus in Pre-Physician Assistant Studies.

Jayden Strawder. Jayden is the son of Jay-R and Lacey Strawder. He plans to attend Kent State University.

Melody Webster. Melody is the daughter of Mrs. Carrie Lawlor. She plans to attend SUNY Potsdam to study art and English.

Gouverneur celebrates Flag Day

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The 2019 Gouverneur Flag Day Parade and Business Extravaganza, sponsored by the Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce, was held on Sunday, June 9 at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to the enjoyment of the entire Gouverneur and North Country community.

Family-focused Flag Day fun commenced at 10 a.m., and all could experience the Business Extravaganza, featuring local businesses. These included: the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur (strawberry shortcake social), Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association, Trinkets by Local Artist Paula Towne, Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary, Gouverneur VFW Post 6338, Coughlin Printing from Watertown, Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired NNY, White's Lumber, Kinney Drugs, Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association, Gouverneur Lions Club, St. James School, and 2020 Census Recruiters.

There was much on site for the local children as well. Kim Russell, sponsored by the Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association, did face painting and balloon animals. A bounce castle, sponsored by Aubuchon Hardware, was also made available. The Gouverneur Recreation Center also have games available for children in attendance.

Food vendors (who also have membership in the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce) on the fairgrounds included: Whinee Wieners (Don Matthews). Mullins (Dan and Tina Mullin), Mr Ding A Ling (Jeff Stevens) ice cream truck, and Cotton Candy n More (Nick Ormasen).

There also were several farmers market vendors on site, including the following: Patti Francis (Raquette River Designs), Marjorie Cardinell (Jewelscent), Todd & Lisa McIntosh (L & T Jewelry & More), Roxanna Hanlin (Retro Roxy Sewing), Ruth Campbell, Margaret Tiernan, Darrell and Teresa Whitton (Wildlife Wonders), Oxbow Fire Department (raffle tickets), Joani Serviss (baskets), Linda Young (baked goods), Linda Brown (sewing, knitting, etc.), Diane Risley (artist), Carol Carr (sewing and fudge), and Rose Gillette.

Local DJ Bob Hughes also entertained with music throughout the day.

At about 12:30 p.m., the Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 with assistance from the Gouverneur Boy Scout Troop 21 and Gouverneur Cub Scout Pack 21 conducted the annual Flag Day ceremony. See related story inside this edition.

The 2019 Gouverneur Flag Day Parade commenced at 2 p.m. with a crowd of eager onlookers in attendance. It was announced by Tony Lynn of 95.3 the Wolf. Participants included the following:

The Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 led the parade. Members George Harder and Todd Menard-Harder carried the banner. Gouverneur Elks Lodge Secretary Jimmy Jackson, Past District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, escorted Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 sole surviving charter member, Robert Fuller of Fowler. Marching Elks officers carrying the huge American Flag included Exalted Ruler, Esteemed Leading Knight Gresford Speid, Esteemed Loyal Knight Tina Vanderbogart, Esquire Krista Wainwright, Trustee Rick Newvine along with other Elks member. Also, appearing was Elroy The Elk.

Local politicians marching in the parade included the following Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Troy Besaw, and St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 5) Henry Leader (R-Gouverneur).

The Gouverneur Marching Wildcats, under the direction of Victor Corea III and assistants Ryan Burt, Lynn Kurdziel, Hillary McIntosh, and Jenelle Yeoman, showcased their talents. The drum majorette was Hailey Cook, and drum major was Jenneca Cook. Much gratitude was extended to the Ice Cream Bowl in Gouverneur for their donation of ice.

The Gouverneur Fire Department brought Engine 17 and Rescue 4 with firefighters Larry Whitton, Dale Johnson, Assistant Chief Jason Scott, Vinny Ferry, Cody Hadfield, Jon Scordo, and Jed Nichols.

The Oxbow Volunteer Fire Co. truck was driven by Bob Horton, and joined by firefighters Dave Storm and Mike Manning. They reminded the community that there were only six days left to purchase a raffle ticket to win the zero-turn lawnmower, trailer, and weed-eater from Oxbow Fire.

Also making an appearance were Daisy Troop 60234 of Russell and Girl Scout Daisy-Brownie Troop 60851 of Gouverneur.

Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Cow Train, built by students at Southwest Tech (BOCES), driven by Mike Wainwright. The Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair is to be held Tuesday, July 30 to Sunday, August 4. For more info, visit

Silas Wainwright Auxiliary to VFW Post 6338 President Jeff Platt, Treasurer Sara Platt, and Chaplain Ruth Mead also joined in the parade.

The St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess Court was driven by Allen Martin. On the float were SLC Dairy Princess Chloe Renaud of Gouverneur, Alternate Princess Elaina Wainwright of Rensselaer Falls, and Ambassadors Leann Gotham, Kaylin Gotham, Abby Smith, and Sarah Rodee.

Also marching were the Gouverneur Boy Scouts Troop 21 and Gouverneur Cub Scout Pack 21.

Sandy Santamoor for St. Lawrence County Clerk rode in a military vehicle from Fort Drum, owned by Stewart McCollum. She promoted her eight years as deputy county clerk, and her commitment to leading with experience and dedication.

The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Northern New York serves Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. They reported that they are celebrating their 100-year anniversary this year.

Gouverneur Lions Club marched, featuring Lions Club President Betsy Cummings, Lion Tom Cummings, Lion Tiffany Tuttle, Lion Lisa Dunkelberg and Daimon, Seeley, and Tucker Tuttle.

Also in the parade was Joe Wing, life member of Gouverneur VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary, and Jr. Vice President of the VFW Auxiliary.

St. Lawrence County Sheriff's apparatus, driven by Deputy Devin Thomas, concluded the parade.

Flags and balloons were distributed throughout the day (having been donated by Northern Federal Credit Union, Newvine’s NAPA Auto Parts, and the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce). Much fun and excitement was had at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds as the Gouverneur community joined together to celebrate Flag Day. There is much hope for the event's continued success in the years to come.

For more information about the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, visit

Flag Day Celebration to be held Sunday at fairgrounds

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce sponsored Flag Day Celebration and Local Business Extravaganza is to be held on Sunday, June 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds. The parade will be at 2 p.m.

Fun for the whole family starts at 10 a.m. with the welcoming address, and music until noon.

The Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 between noon and 1 p.m. will present the Flag Day Service to honor the American flag, to celebrate the anniversary of its birth, and to recall the achievements attained beneath its folds.

Activities on the fairgrounds throughout the day include the following: Vendors and business displays, food and refreshments, farmers market and craft tables. More vendors are welcome to join. Call the Chamber at (315) 287-0331 to reserve space. The spaces are free to Chamber members and current farmers market vendors.

There also will be a patriotic kite contest (for 13-18 year olds only). The Gouverneur Recreation Center will be on hand to keep kids entertained with games and a bounce house (donated by Aubuchon Hardware). There also will be balloon animals and face painting. Flags and balloons will be given throughout the day (donated by Northern Federal Credit Union, Newvine’s NAPA Auto Parts, and the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce).

The Flag Day Parade will commence at 2 p.m. around the fairgrounds track. All are invited to join, just call the Chamber office at (315) 287-0331 to let them know. Clubs, individuals, businesses and organization welcome to join in the fun. There will be a $50 prize for the Best Patriotic Float.

Mark your calendars now to attend the 2019 Flag Day Ceremony and Local Business Extravaganza, sponsored by the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, this Sunday, June 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds.

Fiery Blaze

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Fire Department trucks on the fire scene.

Gouverneur Fire Department trucks on the fire scene.

The Gouverneur Fire Department provided mutual aid for a reported two-structure fire on Rock Island Road (County Route 11) in the Town of DeKalb at 11:58 a.m. Monday, June 3. The GFD’s Engine 18 arrived on scene just behind the first engine from the Dekalb Fire Department. Engine 18's crew was assigned interior operations, and the four-person crew reportedly did an excellent job of getting water on the fire in the well involved dwelling. Heuvelton Fire arrived just after and also provided interior firefighters. Overall the dwelling had extensive damage but a lot of personal property was saved and removed from the dwelling by firefighters. The shed-type structure that was initially ablaze was a total loss. The GFD’s response was as follows: 11-1, 11-2, Engine 18, ETA-101, TA-6, Rescue 4. A total of 17 members responded. (Rachel Hunter photos)

Gouverneur High School Small Ensembles perform

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur High School auditorium was opened up and the community welcomed out on the evening of May 22, as the Gouverneur High School Small Ensembles performed.

The high school students have worked diligently this school year and were ready to showcase all their hard work and skills.

The select strings were first to perform under the direction of Mr. Victor Correa III. They performed Gates of Valhalla, Jupiter from the Planets, Themes from the New World Symphony. Executing all notes and providing a terrific entertainment for all those in attendance.

The chamber singers were next to perform, under the direction of Mrs. Renee Powlin, with a wonderful selection of songs they sang with excellence and great talent. Songs included Home and the Heartland, Three Madrigals, Changes and a version of the classic Jolene by Dolly Parton. Senior Jenneca Cook proved to be a fantastic vocalist as she did the solo performance of the song.

The jazz band came out to finish the evening, under the direction of Ms. Jenelle Yeoman. The jazz band offers a fun, uplifting and unique musical performance. The jazz band performed In the Mood, Little Brown Jug, Someone Watch Over Me followed by 25 or 6 to 4.

It was a night full of fantastic music and true young talent. The students of Gouverneur High School proved they excel in their musical performances.

In the Select Strings were the following students: First Violin: Shelbie Alguire, Amelia Beaver, Brittany LaForty, and Emma McDougall. Second Violin: Brynn Farley, Katherine Fullam, and Hailey Morrissiey. Viola: Kayleigh Orr and Cole Siebels. Cello: Kolby Wells. String Bass: Keegan Matthews.

In the Chamber Singers: Sopranos Madyson Bloxham, Madison Brooks. Ariana Zeller, Hope Leader, Taylor Ormasen. Altos Jenneca Cook, Lauren McCarthy, Jaelyn Stevens. Tenor/Bass Noble Baker, Connor Canell, Mitchell McMaster, and Cole Siebels/

In the Jazz Band: Alto Saxophone: Cassidy Hardy, Alissa Rivera, Ava Bartholomew, Elizabeth Ruitta, and Alexis Simmons. Tenor Saxophone/Clarinet: Hazen Given, Hailey Cook, Eve Beaver, Felicia Tallon and Sarah McMaster. Baritone Saxophone: Taylor Vickers. Trumpet: Jonathan Baez Jr., Jenneca Cook, and Richard Nichols Jr. Trombone/Baritone: Madison Kurdziel, Mitchell McMaster, Logan Phillips, Gavin Nichols, and Colby Leslie. Drumset: Noble Baker. Guitar: Tanner Pignone. Upright Bass: Gavin Latta.

Wonderful job to all students and their teachers who mentor and really influence the lives of these young people.

Gouverneur Elementary School Spring Concert draws crowd

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur Central High school auditorium was filled with friends and family members on the evening of May 23, as the third and fourth grade chorus entertained with their Spring concert.

Mrs. Betty Hall conducted the performance, as she had worked diligently with these students, perfecting and honing in on their talents.

The evening started with a combined performance for the song Neath a Mexican Moon, followed up by a performance from the third grade students of the song Eclipse.

The song Dancing in the Moonlight brought a fun filled performance from both the third and fourth grade students, followed by fourth grade's performance of Spooky Night.

The lights were dimmed and black lights lit up the stage as students waved stars around. A great show for all ages to enjoy.

Mrs. Hall exclaimed her excitement, as both the third and fourth graders performed Big World, Small World, one that the music teacher stated the students had worked so hard practicing for their performance.

Village trustees stall on proposal to implement Church St. parking restrictions

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its May 21 meeting did not proceed to amend a proposed local law to restrict parking on Church St. in Gouverneur to accommodate the movements of the St. Lawrence County Public Transit around the bus stop at the village park.

Faithful readers of the Gouverneur Tribune Press will recall that SLC Mobility Manager Frank Doldo arrived at the April village board meeting to explain the necessity of the Church St. parking restrictions (on parking spaces from the bus shelter toward Grove St.). A preliminary study, conducted by Mr. Doldo, showed that it would not impact parking at the village park, and would provide a much-needed service in the local community as well as in St. Lawrence County.

The topic of amending the proposed local law was raised by Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall as an item of old business, following the “next steps” that the village board informed SLC Mobility Manager Frank Doldo that the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees would need to take in order for the local law to be adopted.

Mayor McDougall first gave the floor to Attorney Henry Leader of Case & Leader, LLP, in Gouverneur who said the following: “I think it is a decision for the board. I know the board has had discussions the past couple meetings, and also you have had the presentation from Mr. Doldo. So then, the question is if the board wishes to have a bus stop in that area, and then secondly, under what parameters? Will the board desire to have hours for the parking? Or what would be the requirements that the board might have if it wishes to proceed?”

Mayor McDougall then reminded all in attendance that Trustee Rick Wood could not be in attendance. He then continued to comment as follows: “At least as far as I know from Frank’s presentation, it’s Monday to Friday at this time. So we should frame something, Monday through Friday and we should have hours, not 24/7/365. I don’t know what the hours might be, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. but I am not sure if that would do it or not without getting into more details… The last transportation meeting was on the same day as the workforce development meeting, so I did not attend. But the next one is June 20 in the Best Western in Canton, but I am not going to wait that long to talk to Frank. I’ll try to get hold of him and see what his suggestions are, and not only what he has now but what he anticipates in a year or two for bus runs and times.”

Mayor McDougall then asked if any of the village trustees had any comments that they would like to add.

Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine then spoke up, saying the following: “Not to correct you, Henry, but I don’t think the village has a choice whether or not it wants a bus stop there. It has already been erected. I think the only choice the village has is if they want to restrict parking in this area in certain times. That would be the only discussion I have. Other than I don’t think there is a reason to entertain this motion again. The public told us what they wanted the first time that they did it.”

Mayor McDougall then said, “Henry, we’ll get together and try to draw up something that meets to everyone’s pleasure. Then we will vote on it in the not-too-distant future. We’ll have to have a public hearing in that regard.”

Deputy Mayor Newvine then asked, “Is that what this is tonight? In front of us is Local Law No. 1 of 2019. Do we need a motion to approve that local law or are we still just discussing it?”

“We have one, but we certainly want to amend it,” Mayor McDougall said.

“So, you are proceeding then?” Attorney Leader asked.

“It is my recommendation that we don’t need proceed with this local law,” Deputy Mayor Newvine said. “I think the public spoke for itself when we had the first local law, and it didn’t even receive a motion. I understand where Frank is coming from, but the bus stop that is there serves its purpose and to be frank about it, they didn’t abide by anything the local taxpayer has to do to erect a sidewalk or canopy or bench. They just proceeded to put it up in a spot that isn’t the most ideal location for a bus stop, at least parking-wise.”

Mayor McDougall then asked the village trustees if anyone felt any differently. Upon hearing no comments to that regard, he moved on to the next item on the meeting agenda.

While this discussion occurred at the local level, all were reminded by Mayor McDougall at the village board meeting that SLC Mobility Manager Doldo had made a presentation to the SLC Board of Legislators. On May 6, the county legislators voted to adopt the SLC Coordinated Transportation Plan, which includes plans to establish an intra-village bus shuttle service in Gouverneur. Mr. Doldo told the village board at the April meeting that a six-month study started on March 25 toward this goal. For more information about the SLC Coordinated Transportation Plan, visit

The next regular monthly meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m., in the municipal courtroom.

Gouverneur observes Memorial Day

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

Remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice… The Gouverneur community gathered for the 2019 Gouverneur Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 27, which was organized jointly by the Silas Wainwright VFW Pot No. 6338 in Gouverneur and the James Maloy American Legion Post No. 65 in Gouverneur. This year it was hosted by American Legion Post No. 65.

The parade marshal was the new American Legion Post No. 65 Commander Jason Carvel.

The parade commenced promptly at 10 a.m., and all were escorted down Main Street by Village of Gouverneur Chief of Police Laurina Greenhill in a Gouverneur Police Department apparatus, followed by St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells. Traffic detail was handled by Chief Greenhill, Sgt. Jason Whitton, Sgt. Darren Fairbanks, Officer Alexander Daggett, Officer Jesse Sheen, Officer Nathan Sheen. The Village of Gouverneur Department of Public Work assisted in allowing the use of traffic cones and barricades. Also, New York State Police Trooper Brian Shippee and Trooper Carina Shelmidine also assisted in traffic detail along with school crossing guard/special police traffic John Kelley. Much gratitude is extended to these individuals for ensuring the safety of all during the annual Memorial Day Observance.

Leading the parade was the joint VFW Post 6338 and American Legion Post No. 65 color guard, which displayed the flags proudly as they marched down Main Street. Next in the parade line-up was the VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary including President Jeff Platt, Treasurer Sara Platt, Chaplain/Historian Marlene Webster and joined by Mike Webster of the Gouverneur VFW Post 6338 and Gold Star Mother Nancy Cappellino.

St. Lawrence County Legislators District 4 William Sheridan (R-Hammond) and District 5 Henry Leader (R-Gouverneur), Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall, Village of Gouverneur Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine, Village Trustee Troy Besaw, and Village Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor David Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, and Town of Gouverneur Councilman Curran Wade joined the parade. Town of Fowler Supervisor Michael Cappellino was also in attendance at the observance.

Fire trucks from Gouverneur Fire Department and Richville Fire Department, an ambulance from the Gouverneur Rescue Squad and a couple military vehicles from Fort Drum also were entered into the parade to the delight of all those in attendance.

Local girl scout troops in addition to Gouverneur’s Cub Scout Pack 2035, Cub Scout Pack 21, and Boy Scout Troop 21 marched in the parade.

The American Legion Post No. 65 entered a float in the parade to honor America’s fallen soldiers, adorned in patriotic décor.

The Gouverneur Central School Marching Wildcats also joined the parade, performing
You’re A Grand Old Flag” under the direction of Victor Correa. The energetic music and the enthusiasm of the Gouverneur Wildcat mascot thrilled all those gathered.

Next in the parade-lineup was Joseph Wing of Gouverneur who serves the VFW Post No. 6338 Auxiliary, and also provides security detail around the Gouverneur community.

Bango Valley Percherons in Richville brought a horse-drawn wagon to the parade. The only Gouverneur business in the parade was an entry by MLS Equipment in Gouverneur, which showcased Ventrac all-wheel-drive compact tractors available for sale.

The parade paused for a moment over the Main Street bridge to present the U.S. Navy Wreath. The salute to the dead was presented by Michael Webster and Michael Knowlton. The conclusion of the parade was signaled with the appearance of a Gouverneur Police Department apparatus. All then made their way to the Riverside Cemetery in Gouverneur for the annual observance ceremony.

The Master Of Ceremonies was Gloria Weldon, former commander of the American Legion Post No. 65. The invocation was said by American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Chaplain Gloria Young. All then stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Master of Ceremonies Weldon then acknowledged all of the dignitaries who were invited to attend the observance, including NY State Senator (48th District) Patty Ritchie, NYS Assemblyman (116th District) Mark Walczyk, NYS Assemblyman (117th District) Ken Blankenbush, St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 4) William Sheridan, St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 5) Henry Leader, St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 6) Larry Denesha, St. Lawrence County Sherriff Kevin Wells, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Gouverneur Police Chief Laurina Greenhill, Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce Executive Donna Besaw, and Town of Gouverneur Supervisor David Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, and other officials in the Village of Gouverneur and the Town of Gouverneur.

Master of Ceremonies Weldon then introduced retired Sergeant First Class (SFC) Eduardo Ramos as follows: SFC Eduardo Ramos joined the United States Marine Corps from February 1990 to May 1996 and served as Infantry Machine Gunner, Marine Security Force, and Marine Reconnaissance. After Ed Ramos completed his serves in the Marine Corps he joined the Army Reserves in May 1996 where he was part of the 101st Airborne Division Operations. In April of 1997 he entered Army active duty where he continued to serve with the 101st Airborne Division as an Infantryman. From February 2000 to August 2001 he was reassigned to Vicenza, Italy to the 173rd Airborne Brigade as an Airborne Infantryman. In August 2001 to June 2007 he was reassigned to the 10th Mountain Division. He was reassigned to Fort Benning, GA and served as Drill Sergeant from June 2007 till November 2011 when he was reassigned back to the 10th Mountain Division till March 2016. Once again, he was reassigned to the 174th Combine Arms Training Brigade in Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, in New Jersey where he assisted in the training and evaluating of National Guard units in the continental Northeast area from March 2016 till his retirement January 2018. He moved back to the North Country where he now resides in the town of Antwerp. His deployments include South America, Somalia, three trips to the Balkans (Bosnia, Kosovo), Haiti/Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and four deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Eduardo and his family continue to serve our community and our nation. He is an active member of the Gouverneur Volunteer Fire Department. His daughter is an active member of the Gouverneur Rescue Squad, and his two sons are currently serving – one in the United States Navy and the other in the United States Air Force.

A great applause sounded as the community welcomed SFC Ramos to the podium.

“It is a great honor and privilege to be up here in front of all you and pay tribute once again to our fallen,” he said. “Memorial Day to me is to celebrate the sacrifices of our soldiers, our American citizens that went and fought for the rights and privileges that we sometimes take for granted, but we love to have. From the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I where the Marines got the best name ever, Devil Dogs… Semper fi, World War II Pearl Harbor where we called everybody to our nation. From the pacific battles, Iwo Jima, Midway, and to the beaches of France at Normandy, Omaha where we continue to fight.

“The North Country has been a great part of this, in this community. For example, Tyler Pickett from Antwerp and another one Chad Fuller from Potsdam. Chad Fuller was one of my soldiers at one point. I was his team leader. He decided to go to our battalions here at Fort Drum to be a part of our battalion scout and sniper team. On August 31, 2003 Chad Fuller with another comrade were on OP, overwatching as we continue operations Shkin Afghanistan, which is on the border of Pakistan, when there was a large route for the enemy to come through for supplies in that area. As they were on overwatch, they had eight insurgents come by them. We lost Chad that day, but before he perished six went down as he stood there. He believed what he was doing there…

“The bottom line, our citizens, Americans, didn’t matter where they came from, the color of their skins, their religions, their belief, whatever cloth they were cut from, the only cloth that mattered to them was the one that is hanging here, our flag, a symbol of our freedom. As we pay tribute to them today and we have our get-togethers with our families and friends, once again celebrate the sacrifices that they pay for us. I look up there and I know they are still on guard at the pearly gates and looking down upon us, and until we meet them again, we will keep doing our thing here. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you!”

Great applause sounded, and much gratitude was extended to SFC Ramos.

The presentation of ribbons was then held, conducted by Mike Webster and escorted by Life Scout John Erdman of Gouverneur Boy Scout Troop 21 as follows: WWI (Gerald Barker), WWII (Cecil Steele), Korea (Donald Payne), Vietnam (Ronald Hartle), Panama (Michael Knowlton), Desert Storm (Randy Knowlton), Somalia/Haiti (John Holt), Bosnia (Darryl Sapoff), Afghanistan (Jason Carvel), Iraq (Todd Murray), POW/MIA (Richard Fisher), Women Veterans Memorial (Mie Webster), American Legion Post 65 (Jason Carvel), American Legion Post 65 Auxiliary (Deanna Cline), VFW Post 6338 (Richard Fisher), VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary (Jeff Platt), Gold Star Mothers (Nancy Cappellino), Daughters of the American Revolution (Lynda Andrews), and Sons of the American Revolution (Mark Jenkins).

Gloria Weldon the gave the last roll call of deceased American Legion and VFW members as follows: Al Melisko, Hilliard Seaker, Ed Cousino, Steward Bush, William Scozzafava, Dwayne Martin, Betty Tuttle, Helen Knowlton, Elaine Hawk, Dorothy Macaulay, Audrey Sanderson, Vanita Pierce, Betty Benjamin, Jane Fuller, Joie McDougall, Mildred Hamilton and Paul Gates.

The VFW and American Legion Rifle Squad then presented the Salute to the Dead, followed by Taps (performed by Jenneca Cook) and Echo (performed by John Baez) Musical selections of “Armed Forces on Parade” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” were performed by the Gouverneur High School Band, under the direction of Jenelle Yeoman. The benediction was then given by VFW Auxiliary Chaplain Marlene Webster.

Much gratitude was extended to all those who took part and/or contributed to the annual Memorial Day observance. All those in attendance were then invited to the American Legion Post 65 for a free luncheon following the ceremony.