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Gouverneur, NY, 13642
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Local News

Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop re-opened following location change

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary proudly held the grand opening of the new location of the gift shop on Wednesday December 5, just in time for the holidays. The gift shop which offers a fantastic array of items to purchase was previously located on the ground floor level, but is now conveniently located near the lobby of the main entrance.

“Since we officially moved the gift shop up here on November 13, the change in location has been really great,” said Director of the Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop Kim Halpin, who along with Robin Truax were contributors in getting everything moved around in order. “The community has been very supportive and responsive as well as the staff here. In just the first few weeks of being open we have seen a significant increase in sales compared to last year at the same time when we were located in the lower level.

“With the new location, the gift shop has much more space and visibility. The Gift Shop staff and the Auxiliary Board of Directors are very pleased with the new location and all the work done to remodel the area into the ideal location for this gift shop. Much appreciation goes to the Administration, Mr. Bender and the staff who made this all a reality.”

The Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary opened the gift shop in October of 2012 with the Gift Shop Committee who were responsible for establishing the Auxiliary Gift Shop. These ladies included Donna Lawrence-Director, Bonnie Porter, Helen Kennedy and Kim Halpin.

As of now the Gift Shop is currently managed by Kim Halpin-Director, Robin Truax-Treasurer, Helen Kennedy, Carrie Porter, Bonnie Reed and Emily Nolan.

Extended hours are being offered for the holidays, including some Saturdays.

Wonderful work to all those involved in making this wonderful change for the gift shop.

The Gouverneur Hospital Gift Shop is currently seeking out volunteers who are interested in working in the Gift Shop in order to provide more convenient hours of operation. Those who are interested may call (315) 261-5753.

 Presenters of the Gouverneur Hospital Gift Shop grand opening. From left: Robin Truax-Treasurer of the gift shop, Kim Halpin-Director of the gift shop, Linda Love-Auxiliary President, Bonnie Reed gift shop staff and Dave Bender, CEO of Gouverneur Hospital. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Presenters of the Gouverneur Hospital Gift Shop grand opening. From left: Robin Truax-Treasurer of the gift shop, Kim Halpin-Director of the gift shop, Linda Love-Auxiliary President, Bonnie Reed gift shop staff and Dave Bender, CEO of Gouverneur Hospital. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Santa Claus visits DeKalb

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The inescapable joy of the Christmas season bubbled over the Town of DeKalb at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 2.

A throng of community members gathered around the town gazebo and were welcomed by Town Supervisor John Frary who then introduced DeKalb Junction United Methodist Church Pastor Martha Helmer who read the following poem:

“We’ve gathered to light our community tree, again. Hello, and welcome, each DeKalbian. A year has passed, but we’re here, at last – to sing a song or hum along. With friends music, food, and lights, we usher in the Holidays this night. We’re glad you’re here, this time of year. May your Christmas be bright. Now, let’s light the lights!”

Much applause sounded at the conclusion of the poem, and all then turned their attention to the gazebo where music students from Hermon-DeKalb Central School District entertained the crowd with several holiday favorites, including “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”

As the last song was concluding, Santa Claus arrived perfectly on time in the DeKalb Junction Volunteer Fire Department’s 78, and greeted all in attendance.

Town Supervisor John Frary greeted Santa Claus, welcoming him to the Town of DeKalb and invited the local children surrounding him to help Santa light the town Christmas tree. The countdown began, and soon the town Christmas tree was bathed in multi-colored lights that thrilled both the young and young-at-heart.

Then taking the youths hands, Santa brought the local children over to the DeKalb Junction Fire Hall. All were invited to join the Hermon-DeKalb student choir in various Christmas carols. Refreshments were available, having been provided by the DeKalb Junction Volunteer Fire Department. And the local children had the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their Christmas wishes.

Many bright smiles were seen and laughter were heard throughout the event as local residents got in the holiday spirit at this annual celebration.

Gouverneur Museum to exhibit realistic handcrafted birds

Dan McClelland

 Mary Jo Whalen with her birds, carved and handpainted by the late Hazel Tyrrell “The Pierrepont Birdwoman,” on display at the Gouverneur Museum from December 1 to 31, 2018. (Rachel Hunter photo)

Mary Jo Whalen with her birds, carved and handpainted by the late Hazel Tyrrell “The Pierrepont Birdwoman,” on display at the Gouverneur Museum from December 1 to 31, 2018. (Rachel Hunter photo)

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Museum will be exhibiting the bird carvings of Hazel Tyrell of Pierrepont, NY through the month of December. The collection is owned by Mary Jo Whalen of Canton and Sylvia Lake.

Hazel (McDonald) Tyrrell, also known as “The Pierrepont Birdwoman”, spent the last 22 years of her life, after retiring from the 129-acre McDonald family farm in the Cook Corners are of Pierrepont, mastering the art of carving and painting birds native to the North Country. She has been described as a “master of craftsmanship, as a woodworker in bird sculpture, the North Country has had none other just like her.” It is a testament to her skill with a common jackknife that her name is still recognized all these years after her death in 1967.

The earliest example of her work that has been identified was a Baltimore oriole, which was dated 1943 and signed later on the bottom. Other early pieces include a robin silhouette, a house wren roughly shaped from a wood block, a simply-painted bluebird on a plywood plaque, and several birds with twisted wire feet (later to become one of Hazel’s trademarks).

Hazel’s interest in bird carving started later in life after watching another Pierrepont woman who carved lawn ornaments for sale – and knew she could do something with her jackknife, which was always purchased at J.J. Newberry’s.

“At first Hazel went out and cut her own wood,” Whalen said. “The wood came from her woodlot. She would cut her own and do the whole thing. But then after a while one of the men from Canton said, “I’ll go out and cut it and it will be quicker for you.” For years she and her sister-in-law lived on the farm. They had no electricity. They were just there.”

Whalen still recalls her first visit to see Hazel Tyrrell and her birds. “She was in the country beyond nowhere,” Whalen said. “The road after you got out was a dirt road. The first time I went it was spring and she was beside the house plowing behind the horse, and she said, “This is the first time he has been out and he was pulling.” Her hands were sore.”

As a schoolteacher, Whalen said she wanted to be able to show the birds to her students. “I didn’t have too much money,” Whalen said. “I thought, “Maybe I could buy this one or maybe I could buy that one” and I did. I bought maybe five and they were $5 per piece. It wasn’t very long afterward that they were never at $5 per piece.” The desire to own more of Hazel Tyrrell’s birds did not dwindle after that purchase and Whalen continued collecting the handcrafted marvels – one bird at a time.

As Canton author Atwood Manley once put it, Hazel dressed for work and was usually “outfitted in old dungarees tucked into the top of heavy men’s work shoes, a much-patched blue denim shirt, and a tattered old Tyrolean hat perched on her head.” She worked constantly to perfect her techniques, style and repertoire.

As her birds became more popular, she would carve each piece, usually of basswood or pine, and then Hazel’s sister-in-law Dorothy would sand and oil it, and then Hazel would then paint meticulously under the rays of either a kerosene or Aladdin lamp. Her birds are almost color perfect and most are mounted as they would be found in their natural habitat all with her signature twisted wire feet.

Over the last 22 years of her life, it is estimated that Hazel carved over 6,000 birds of several dozen species. She constantly strove to get her birds “just right” and in addition to her “keen observation” of the birds in her feeders she poured over the colored plates and photos in numerous bird books. After word got out about her expertise everyone in town brought her dead birds to copy. She made patterns and kept them in an old cigar box in the barn. She worked hard to get the birds correct and most realistic tint of color and was always on the hunt for improvement.

“If there was a bird that died on somebody’ property, they would take it to her so that she could look at it, see the style and size, and the whole thing,” Whalen said. “I had a real hummingbird once. It stayed with me a month or so, and she came to my house because she wanted to see what the hummingbird really did look like. Because when you see a hummingbird, you can’t really figure that one out. So she stayed in the house over an hour.”

During her most productive years, Hazel Tyrrell created between 300 to 500 birds per year. While there are many examples of her most popular birds – like nuthatches, bluebirds, and humming birds – she also would accept commissions that became one of a kind. Whalen said that Hazel carved and painted one species at a time. “You had to wait until your order was done,” she said.

“She was always gracious,” Whalen said. I asked her, “Is there any possible way we can put a worm (in the robin’s beak) and a fish (in the kingfisher’s)?” “I don’t know,” she said. “I’ll try it.” And she did. This is the first one she did with the worm, and the first one she did with the fish with the fins out. She said, “Never going to make another one like that because I took more time and it took more skill than the whole bird.” Now after that, she made the fins so they were tight. They were just lines…”

Later in the 1960s, when she and her sister-in-law moved away from the farm they “treated themselves to electricity” but Hazel never thought the light was quite right for producing the correct colors.

“It was a different ballgame,” Whalen said. “She had always painted at night by kerosene lamps so when she had electricity, the light was different. She had a hard time trying to adjust to this. And she didn’t get as much work done because she was closer and people could drive in the winter. And many went, many went. She had people all the time.”

Hazel Tyrrell never advertised and didn’t even have a sign near her farm to attract customers. But people from all over found her and her birds, and were happy when she agreed to sell them a bird or two.

“At one time, my father was in the hospital at Ogdensburg, which was run by the nuns,” Whalen said. “This one particular one was upped from her job in obstetrics to be the head one, and her assignments of course was to visit every patient. Well, with obstetrics, that was all women. She was ringing her hands because she had to visit a man. So, the regular nurse came around… and said, “What are we going to do?” My father said, “That’s fine.” And he wanted me to bring some of the birds, so that he would be the first man that she would go to, but that there would be something to talk about. In doing that, she became very interested and asked when she and her other nun friends go and visit the lady. So in the spring, I took them and they had a wonderful time.”

Today, her birds can be found occasionally at a local auction or estate sale and it is not unusual to witness a spirited bidding war ending in a high price for one of Hazel Tyrrell’s colorful and realistic birds. Hazel lived a full life and had many friends, each of her birds is a testament to her way of life and artistic legacy.

The Gouverneur Museum at its annual open house on Saturday, December 8, 1 to 3 p.m., will host a reception for the public to greet Mary Jo Whalen and see the fine specimens of Hazel Tyrrell’s handiwork in her collection. The bird species on display will include the following: robin redbreast (with worm), woodcock, killdeer, bluebird, cardinal, chickadee, nuthatch, woodpecker, blue jay, goldfinch, cedar waxwing, grosbeak, kingfisher, and owl.

The birds that are known to stay around the North Country throughout the winter months are perched on a log display that Mary Jo Whalen’s father made specifically for the collection.

In addition to the reception, the exhibit can be viewed on Wednesdays or Saturdays, 1 to 3 p.m., during the museum’s regular hours of operation. There is no admission fee to the museum.

Vaping An Ever-Growing Issue For Middle School Students

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

A discussion was held at the regularly scheduled Gouverneur Central School District Board of Education meeting held November 19 involving the new trend which unfortunately has made its way onto school grounds, vaping.

“It was brought to my attention that people have been witnessing or observing students vaping while they are still on school property and wondering what our responsibility is,” said Mrs. Lauren French, Superintendent of Schools.

“Our responsibility is if we are aware of it, we are to acknowledge the student's behavior and use our Code of Conduct. In talking with the attorney about this, we are probably going to have to revise a statement in our policies to 7320 which we did just do in August because we refer to them as E-Cigarettes, vaping is not the same thing as an E-Cigarette. We would have to add the term vaping to that, which we will do.

“The other thing is just to encourage our staff and administrators that when they see this occurring, that they address it. Unfortunately some of our students don't recognize or realize the health hazards that are associated with vaping.” said Mrs. French, who stated that right now the Middle School is largely affected by this problem.

“No one is looking the other way, when we see and observe it, they are held responsible and accountable for it,” said Mrs. French, who stated to the Board she would bring the policy with that word added to it for the next Board meeting held December 17.

Mrs. French added that more informational instruction could be done through health class to ensure students are more aware of the potential hazard vaping can cause.

“What is difficult is some of the individuals with whom I've spoken to do not look at it as a health issue and some parents are aware that it is taking place and don't look at it as a health issue,” she said. “It's one of those things where you're in the position of educating not only the student but the parent as well.”

Mr. Steve Coffin, Gouverneur Middle School Principal stated that many students have received a presentation on the dangers of vaping and there is a lot of advocacy available.

“We, at the Middle School, do a lot with presenting the dangers of vaping and students who are caught vaping have to do intensive research on the dangers of vaping,” said Mr. Coffin, of the present issue.

Mr. David Fenlong, President of the GCSD Board of Education, stated how important it is to correct the policy to reflect that vaping is unacceptable as the district does not want to look as though they are accepting one act over the other.

Remembering Those Who Served

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is commemorated every year on November 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning on November 11, 1918.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary since the armistice was signed, it was at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day on the eleventh month (November 11, 2018 at 11 a.m.) that the Annual Veterans Day Observance in Gouverneur, organized by the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 and the James Maloy American Legion Post 0065, and opportunity for local residents to honor all those who have serve and continue to serve this great country with valor, bravery and dedication to the cause of freedom.

Master of Ceremonies Michael Webster, US Navy (Ret.) and Past Commander of VFW Post 6338 stated the following: “We are here to remember those who died and fought in World War I. Actually, it wasn’t World War I. It was the War To End All Wars, later to be remembered as World War I. I know it is cold today, but I want you just for a moment to remember those who were in the trenches, they didn’t have the luxury of arriving in a car, spending a few minutes here, and then going to a warm place again.”

VFW Post 6338 Chaplain Gerald Barker gave the invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by VFW Post 6338 Commander Richard Fisher and American Legion Post 65 Commander Gloria Weldon.

VFW Post 6338 Commander Richard Fisher and American Legion Post 65 Commander Gloria Weldon then commenced with the Presentation of Wreaths.

The Presentation of the Flowers was conducted by Jeff Platt, VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary President, and Deanna Cline, American Legion Ladies Auxiliary President.

The Presentation of the Yellow Rose was conducted by Gold Star Mother Nancy Cappellino.

Lynda Andrews, Daughters of the American Revolution descendant, offered the Presentation of the Red Rose.

A wreath was presented by Steve Cline of Sons of the American Legion.

Roland Roderick conducted the Presentation of Wreath from Gouverneur Students.

Jeff Forsythe then offered a bagpipe selection of “Amazing Grace.”

The guest speaker, former Village of Gouverneur mayor and current Town of Gouverneur Councilman Curran Wade, made the following address:

“This is an exciting day for us, for everybody. One hundred years ago armistice was proclaimed after World War I. I am very proud of that, and that is what I want to express today is the pride that I have to address you as a former Army member and my family. I am proud of each and every one that started back years ago.

“I was going through some relics, some cards, some pictures years ago and I found a letter from my great uncle, Custer Mitchell, who fought in World War I in Germany. He had sent the letter to my grandmother, talking about what he did. I am very proud of that. And with it was a little pennant that had United States Army on it. It’s over 100 years old. I am proud of that.

“My uncle fought in the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, and I am very proud of that.

“My other uncle was a medic at the Army hospitals in Germany, and in Belgium, and I am proud of that.

“My son-in-law was a Marine, and he was in Japan in the 60s. My other son-in-law didn’t make it home. God bless him, he was in the Army. This brings us to present day. My brother-in-law was in the Marine Corps. He fought in the Far East and was in Japan.

“That brings us to my father, Curran E. Wade, Sr. who helped build tanks. He was a triple engineer and worked in the steel mills in Alabama. I saw some of those tanks going down the railway going north to the various forts and overseas.

“Other people I am proud of are my kids. My son-in-law is a Brigadier General, and he is in charge of the Army National Guard State of Vermont. David Manfredi is his name.

“My other son-in-law just retired as a major in the Marine Corps, and was attached to the Pentagon, and continues to work at the Pentagon after his retirement.

“And as for me, I spent six years in the Army, 18 months in Korea.

“I hope this brings to the point that I am trying to make. You have to be proud of everybody that you know that was in the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and that contributed to our country. I am very proud, and on the 100th anniversary – the eleventh hour, the eleventh day, the eleventh month. God bless each and every one of you, God bless America, and God bless our veterans.”

The honor guard salute, conducted by Sergeant-At-Arms Karl Beck, was offered by the joint VFW and American Legion combined firing detail. At the firing of the third volley and the sergeant-at-arms completed his commands, taps were played by Jenneca Cook.

The benediction was led by Ruth Mead, VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary Chaplain.

Michael Webster then gave closing remarks, and then invited all to the VFW Post 6338, 100 W. Main St., Gouverneur, for a delicious beef stew luncheon where all were encouraged to “thank the veterans of our community for their service and sacrifices, for our freedom.”

Much gratitude was extended to all who participated or attended the ceremony.

Local dignitaries attending the observance included Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Village of Gouverneur Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., and Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin.

Hermon Cub Scout Earns Two High Honors

Dan McClelland

Jack Velez, a 10-year old Cub Scout of Hermon-DeKalb Pack 144, received two prestigious Cub Scout awards on Oct. 26 before crossing over into the Hermon-DeKalb Boy Scout Troop.

The first was the “Arrow of Light” Award which is the highest award and rank that can be earned by a Cub Scout. This can only be earned by 5th graders and includes earning certain required Adventure Pins including “Building a Better World”, “Duty to God in Action”, “Outdoorsman”, and “Scouting Adventure”. In addition to the required Pins, a Cub must also earn one of 18 elective Pins.

Jack went beyond the minimum and earned all 18 Adventure Pins which is rarely done.

In addition to earning the AOL Award, Jack Velez earned the STEM-based “Charles H. Townes Supernova Award”. This is an extremely difficult science award for Webelos Cub Scouts and Jack is the first Scout on record of Longhouse Council having earned this award. His efforts toward this award included having to research five famous scientists, earn five Adventure Pins, visit a rock show, construct a simple working electrical circuit, do five mathematical activities at home, find interesting facts about Charles Townes, learn about a STEM-based career, participate in a STEM-based activity at a Scout event, and do two science experiments with one showing the Scientific Method. He worked with Supernova Mentor, Huda Suliman of Liverpool, NY who is also the Committee Chair of Troop 333 in Cicero, NY and the STEM Advisor for the Oneida District.

Jack greatly enjoys the Scouting program and has aspirations in earning every merit badge possible along with earning the Eagle Award. He also wishes to become a scientist for NASA and enjoys learning about engineering, chemistry, and nuclear science.

GH Lunch and Learn: Talking about vestibular physical therapy

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

Gouverneur-area residents gathered in the Community Room at Gouverneur Hospital on Oct. 31 to fill their bellies with a delicious chili lunch and to learn about this month’s topic “Vestibular Physical Therapy” as presented by Emily Cotey, PT.

By way of introduction Emily Cotey, PT, told all gathered that she has been working in Gouverneur Hospital’s Physical Therapy Department since July 2017, and is one of the hospital’s two physical therapists.

 Emily Cotey, PT, after addressing the crowd at Gouverneur Hospital’s Lunch and Learn on Oct. 31. (Rachel Hunter photo)

Emily Cotey, PT, after addressing the crowd at Gouverneur Hospital’s Lunch and Learn on Oct. 31. (Rachel Hunter photo)

“When people think of physical therapy, they often think of us treating muscles, joints, pain – those traditional things,” Cotey said. “But one thing that physical therapists can do is treat symptoms of dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance. And that’s what falls under vestibular physical therapy.”

Cotey then asked: “Has anyone here had any episodes of dizziness or vertigo?” Heads nodded all over the room. “Its fairly common,” she continued. “I think not many people know that physical therapists can treat it. The big thing is: It does depend on what is causing it. Now some things have to be treated medically, but there is a whole list of different conditions that a physical therapist can help treat to help improve your dizziness, vertigo, or the sense or feeling of imbalance.

“This past June I was lucky enough to get to fly down to Tampa Bay in Florida and I took a three-day course in Vestibular Physical Therapy and Concussions. I haven’t seen a single person since I have been here with a concussion and I have seen a handful of vestibular patients, so I chose to talk to you guys more about vestibular.”

Cotey then gave the Lunch and Learn attendees an in-depth look at the functions of the vestibular system.

“Your vestibular system gives you your sense of where you are in space,” she said. “So if someone were to pick you up and tip you upside down and your eyes were closed, you would still know that you were upside down because you have this system in your body that tells you where you are in relation to gravity. It is kind of a weird concept because we don’t say, “Gravity is pulling me this way, so I know I am over here.” It is kind of an intuitive system that is working behind the scenes. But when that system is off, you can start getting that dizziness or vertigo.”

Cotey then shared that three components are involved in keeping a person’s equilibrium – vestibular, visual and somatosensory. “Your vestibular system actually contributes two-thirds of the information to your brain, and it is giving you that sense of balance and spatial awareness to allow you to coordinate your movements.” The other two systems – visual and somatosensory – make up the other one-third.

“Those three systems all send information to the brain, so that you can keep your balance and coordinate your movements,” Cotey said.

Cotey then told the crowd that the “vestibular system is actually located in your ear. It is very, very small and it is located behind the structures that allow you to hear.”

She then showed a video that allowed all to get a visual of the structures she was referring to, and answered questions about them as the audience members asked.

Cotey that gave a glimpse into the common disorders that can lead to symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, and imbalance – including ear disorders, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), head trauma, Meniere's Disease, toxicity, neurological diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, migraines, rheumatological and immune conditions, problems with cervical spine or neck, arthritis, or scar tissue from whiplash.

Also, Cotey shared that these symptoms can be the result of cardiac issues.

“If somebody has low blood pressure and they stand up, a lot of people get that lightheadedness. That’s not necessarily vertigo, but people might come in saying, “Oh I have vertigo” and then we check their blood pressure and then that’s managed a little more medically.”

Symptoms of dizziness can also be the result of pharmacological issues.

“If you have ever looked at the side effects of medication, a lot of times it says lightheadedness or dizziness,” Cotey said. “So if you are taking a list of 20 medications, and six of them have the side effect of dizziness, it may be worth it to have your physician to look at your list of medications and see if there is something that they can change… if you are having dizziness.”

Cotey shared that diabetes could also cause some issues with the vestibular system.

“That would be more medically managed, but with diabetes that is a macrovascular disease so the blood supply is compromised to the structures of the ear, you are going to have some problems. Not as common, but that can be the cause in some cases.”

At the conclusion of the long list of possible causes, Cotey then said it can be difficult to tease out where these symptoms are coming from. “So, it is really very helpful to have a full physical evaluation by your primary physician or neurologist and then if you get sent to me, I am also going to do a very thorough evaluation like we just talked about. I am going to check blood pressure and I am going to check a whole host of things and try to tease out where symptoms are coming from and whether or not I can treat them.”

Cotey then gave the crowd an idea of what physical therapy might look like if they came in for treatment of a vestibular system related disorder. While not a comprehensive outlook, Cotey provided an overview that educated all persons in attendance.

First, sit down and chat.

“Sometimes just sitting down and listening to what your problems are can narrow down what the root problem is, and how it is going to be treated. So basically, by talking to you, I would determine your symptoms. A lot of people use dizziness and vertigo interchangeably. But they are different. So dizziness is a sensation inside your head that things are spinning and often times if someone is dizzy that is a little more cardiac or blood pressure related. Vertigo is a sensation that the room around you is spinning, so kind of externally things are spinning. When somebody has vertigo that is more vestibular related. So it is always important to tease those two things out. And then the other one is imbalance. I have had a lot of people tell me that they are dizzy but come to find out they just feel quite off balance when they are up trying to move around. They are not having something spinning around in front of them or feel spinning in their head. So like I said, I spend a lot of time, sitting down and chatting to see what is actually going on before I do anything with a patient.”

Cotey the told the crowd that she likes to get her patients “up and moving” for various assessments – including postural stability, balance, and ocular motor assessment – so that she knows if there is an issue with the vestibular system or perhaps the somatosensory system or the visual system.

“I can’t look at your inner ear,” she said. “I can’t visualize that there is a problem, but between your ears and your eyes, there’s reflexes. So if I can look at those reflexes and say either they are normal or abnormal, then I know what to work on from there.”

Cotey then shared the treatment options for a patients that is diagnosed with the number one cause of vertigo – BPPV. “With BPPV it happens when you look up quickly, so if somebody goes to wash their hair, or if they turn over in bed, bending forward, and other quick movements in the head,” she said in explanation. She then showed a video that exhibited the techniques utilized in the Epley and Semont maneuvers, and how they corrected the problem.

“A good analogy for this is if you think about your shoe if you get sand in it, and you get that sand out of it,” Cotey said. “You don’t just tip over and dump it out, You kind of tip it over get it into the heel and then dump it out. That’s exactly what we are doing with the ear. We are manipulating your head to get the crystals back into the right spot where it should be.”

She then asked if anyone had ever tried to do the maneuver themselves, and a few people said that they had.

“I do highly recommend seeing someone, because they can walk you through which maneuver to do to correct it,” Cotey said. “It could take one treatment session, and then the person is clear. It could reoccur again in the future, but generally it is just one to three treatments with me if it is BPPV and it is cleared up, which is nice.”

She then addressed other treatment options that could be used for vestibular disorders other than BPPV – including vestibulopathy, adaptation, habituation – offering detailed information for all those in attendance.

Since the Oct. 31 event was the last session of the Gouverneur Hospital’s monthly Lunch and Learn program until Spring 2019, Cotey concluded the program by providing detailed, step-by-step instructions on some chair exercises that all those present could do to keep them moving even during the winter months.

Keep an eye on the Gouverneur Tribune Press community calendar for the announcement in Spring 2019 of the next Gouverneur Hospital Lunch and Lean Program session. The topic will be determined at a later date.

Gouverneur voters elect Newvine, Besaw as village trustees

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The results of the contested race for the two seats on the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees was unofficially announced by the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections following the 2018 General Election on Tuesday, November 6. Incumbent Charles Newvine (Democrat, Republican) was the top vote-getter with 673 votes. Political newcomer Troy Besaw (Republican) received 461 votes. Donna M. Lawrence (Democrat) received 327 votes.

Jay L. Bowhall (Democrat, Republican) won the one-year term on the Town of Gouverneur Council after earning 1,230 votes in an uncontested race.

Other election results are as follows:

The New York State Governor and Lt. Governor race went to Incumbents Andrew M. Cuomo and Kathy C. Hochul with 3,184,496 votes over Marc Molinaro and Julie Killian (1,967,984 votes), Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee (90,916), Larry Sharpe and Andrew C. Hollister (87,224), and Stephanie A. Miner and Michel J. Volpe (13,602). In St. Lawrence County, however, voters chose Molinaro and Killian (17,613) over Cuomo and Hochul (10,222), Hawkins and Lee (496), Miner and Volpe (371), and Sharpe and Hollister (1,464).

In the race for Comptroller, Thomas P. DiNapoli received 3,727,170 votes over Jonathan Trichter (1,775,895 votes), Mark Dunlea (63,924), Cruger E. Gallaudent (32,337). St. Lawrence County voters also elected DiNapoli (16,334) over Trichter (12,764), Dunlea (328), and Gallaudent (208).

For NYS Attorney General, Letitia A. James was elected into office (3,453,446 votes) over Keith Wofford (1,989,386), Michael Sussman (66,989), Nancy B. Silwa (24,720), and Christopher B. Garvey (41,159). In St. Lawrence County, it was a close race between James and Wofford with James getting 13,114 votes and Wofford getting 13,544 votes over Sussman (346), Silwa (147), and Garvey (336).

U.S. Senator Kristin E. Gillibrand regained her seat (3,732,014 votes) in the race over her opponent Chele Chiavacci Farley (1,882,251 votes). In St. Lawrence County, voters elected Gillibrand (16,404) over Farley (13,309).

In the heated race for NY-21 Congressional seat, Elise M. Stefanik received 122,863 votes over Tedra L. Cobb (90,526 votes) and Lynn Kahn (3,211). In St. Lawrence County, voters elected Stefanik (16,773 votes) over Cobb (13,626) and Kahn (643).

Patricia A. Ritchie reclaimed her seat on the New York State (48th District) with 65,405 votes.

In the heated contest for the New York State Assembly seat (116th District) Mark C. Walczyk received 19,512 votes over Incumbent Addie A. E. Jenne (16,829 votes). In St. Lawrence County, voters elected Walczyk (9,432) over Jenne (9,388).

Kenneth Blankenbush reclaimed his seat on the New York State Assembly (3,348 votes) in an uncontested race.

The race for St. Lawrence County Coroner was won by Joseph E. White (18,165 votes) and James M. Sienkiewycz (15,542) over Christopher Velez (11,954).

In the race for the 4th District seat on the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators, William J. Sheridan of Hammond received 1,465 votes over Barbara A. Finnie of Fowler (745 votes).

Henry J. Leader of Gouverneur was re-elected to the 5th District seat on the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators (1,246 votes).

Larry D. Denesha of DeKalb was re-elected to the 6th District seat on the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators (1,833 votes).

For the seats on the Village of Rensselaer Falls Board of Trustees, Connie McAllister (89 votes) and Charles Fifield (78 votes) were re-elected.

Town of DeKalb Town Justice Howard Putney was re-elected with 439 votes.

In the race for the one-year term on the Town of DeKalb Council, Constance J. Elen received 322 votes over Andrew Fenton (283 votes).

Town of DeKalb voters were asked in Proposition Number One: Should local Law No. 3 for the year 2018, changing the term of the Town Supervisor’s office from two years to four year be approved? The result was a tie with 281 “yes” votes and 281 “no” votes.

Town of DeKalb voters were also asked in Proposition Number Two: Should Local Law No. 4 for the year 2018, changing the Town Highway Superintendent’s office from an elected position to an appointed position be approved? The result was 409 “no” votes over 151 “yes” votes.

In the contest for the one-year term on the Town of Edwards Council, Jeffery D. Shippee received 225 votes over Frank E. Wagner, Jr. (31 votes).

In the uncontested race for Town of Fine Town Justice, Julie A. LaTray received 379 votes.

In the race for the one-year term on the Town of Hermon Council, John A. Reed received 198 votes over Frank D. Ashley (135 votes).

In the uncontested race for Town of Pitcairn Town Justice, Rusty Tuttle received 193 votes.

Tomorrah Nezezon Averill received 325 votes in the race for the one-year term on the Town of Russell Council.

The official results will not be made available to the public until all the absentee ballots are opened and counted.

Veterans Day Observance to be held Sunday at Memorial Arch

Dan McClelland

On Sunday, November 11th at 11:00 a.m. the V.F.W. and American Legion will be conducting their annual joint services to honor our veterans, past and present, at the Memorial Arch in the park downtown. 

Please try to attend and show your thanks for their sacrifices and for the freedom they have secured for you. 

Following the ceremony the V.F.W. will be serving a free luncheon of beef stew, biscuits, dessert, and coffee for all those in attendance. 

Remember:  All gave some, some gave all, we did not know them all but we owe them all.

Town of Macomb held Annual Trunk or Treat

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The small Town of Macomb is most noted for its close knit community. Community members work diligently to volunteer and help in the planning of events for everyone to enjoy.

Each year the Macomb Historical Association works alongside the Macomb Wesleyan Church members to host a Trunk or Treat event for the youngsters to enjoy. Each year the location of the event is interchanged between the Macomb Wesleyan Church grounds and the Town of Macomb grounds. This year it was the Historical Association's turn to host the event.

As weather proved to be a worrisome issue, the Macomb Town Barn was opened up, trucks and trucks brought out so that everyone could be warm and dry while enjoying all the festive fun.

The large parking lot was filled with vehicles and inside the town barn over-poured with children and adults alike dressed up in their best Halloween. From scary to adorable to unique, everyone looked great.

Once everyone's bag was filled up with candy, many gathered outside the Historical Association to roast hotdogs and enjoy refreshments.

Fantastic job to everyone involved in making this event a great success for all the youngsters of the small community.

SLC Board of Elections releases sample ballots for public perusal

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The St. Lawrence County Board of Elections has released sample ballots for the public to view before the 2018 General Election on Tuesday, November 6, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., when voters will head to the polls.

These sample ballots can be viewed by going online to and choosing the appropriate election district.

The following is a list of all the polling places in the local vicinity:

DeKalb District 1: DeKalb Town Hall, 2907 CR 17, DeKalb Junction. DeKalb District 2: Richville Fire Department, 71 Main St., Richville.

DePeyster District 1: Round Hall, 4399 CR 10, DePeyster.

Edwards District 1: Edwards Town Hall, 161 Main St., Edwards.

Fowler District 1-2: Fowler Town Hall, 87 Little York Road, Fowler.

Gouverneur District 1-4: Gouverneur Community Center, 4673 State Highway 58, Gouverneur.

Hammond District 1: Hammond Fire Department, 300 Lake St., Hammond.

Hermon District 1: Hermon Town Hall, 109 Church St., Hermon.

Macomb District 1: Macomb Town Hall, 6663 State Highway 58, Macomb.

Pitcairn District 1: Pitcairn Town Hall, 10 Edwards Rd., Harrisville.

Rossie District 1: Rossie Town Barn, 908 CR 3, Hammond.

Russell District 1: Russell Town Hall, 4 Pestle St., Russell.

For full details on the local races, see the story from the Gouverneur Tribune Press’ October 26 edition online at

Village of Gouverneur to fight against potential lower sales tax apportionment

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The amount of county sales tax that is distributed to town and villages is up for renegotiation in 2019, according Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall. And the Village of Gouverneur is not going to accept anything less than what is already coming to it.

Mayor McDougall reported to the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its Oct. 16 meeting that he learned from a county legislator (not District 5 County Legislator Henry Leader) at the recent mayors conference that the county sales tax would be up for renegotiation next year.

“I don’t mind talking about sales tax,” Mayor McDougall said. “One of the reasons it is green right now and the budget is so good is because sales tax went up 7 to 8 percent… I don’t see any county legislators currently talking about that, but that is reality. That is what happened. The village board here we supported that. But it is fact.

“And if you want to hear the facts, go talk to Dave Blevins or go over to Massena and talk to Frenchie at Ford and Chevrolet. They’ll tell you everything. It makes an awful difference, that one percent, when somebody buys a new vehicle with not much of a trade-in or no trade-in. It is a lot of money. We supported sales tax increase but that’s one of the reasons for that.

“I have talked with one state senator and I will talk to the other two from St. Lawrence County. We are not going deviate from the towns and the village. Now when I say deviate, if you want to give us more, yes, we will take more. We didn’t jump on to support that, have a resolution on that going to our state senators, and lobbying me personally to send more money to the county and less here.”

The St. Lawrence County Legislature don’t have the final say. Mayor McDougall said the New York State Governor, State Senators and Assembly Representatives will decide, and that the City of Ogdensburg will be a player in the decision-making process as well.

This conversation was held at the end of the legislators report that was given by Mayor McDougall at the absence of Legislator Leader from the village board meeting.

“Henry, you should have been here if you didn’t like the last part of that report,” Mayor McDougall said as the village board meeting continued.

Other topics during the county legislator report included the following:

The SLC Board of Legislators authorized Sheriff Kevin Wells to utilize the funding from the County Surplus Auction to purchase necessary equipment for the Sheriff’s Office.

The SLC Board of Legislators authorized the signing of a contract with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee for a 2019 Police Traffic Services grant that will provide funding to cover overtime costs related to increasing seat belt usage and reducing dangerous driving behaviors.

The SLC Board of Legislators also granted authorization to create and fill a temporary social welfare examiner position in the Department of Social Services, and to fill various other social welfare examiner positions.

The next meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees is to be held on Tuesday, November 20 at 7 p.m.

SLNYSARC, NYSID presents highest awards to local residents

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

St. Lawrence NYSARC and New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. presented their highest honors to deserving community members during an awards luncheon at the Best Western University Inn, Canton, on Thursday, October 18.

 St. Lawrence NYSARC Executive Director Howie Ganter presenting the 2018 Community Spirit Award to Casey Canell of Gouverneur on October 18. (Rachel Hunter photo)

St. Lawrence NYSARC Executive Director Howie Ganter presenting the 2018 Community Spirit Award to Casey Canell of Gouverneur on October 18. (Rachel Hunter photo)

The awards ceremony was held during the National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities throughout American history, and emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all Americans have access to the services and supports to enable them to work.

 New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) Central New York Representative Katie Tucci (at left) presenting Lisa Camidge of DeKalb (center) with the 2018 Outstanding Performer Award. St. Lawrence NYSARC Director of Contracts and Business Development Tracy Hutton (at right) presents Lisa with a special photo collage memento. (Rachel Hunter photo)

New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) Central New York Representative Katie Tucci (at left) presenting Lisa Camidge of DeKalb (center) with the 2018 Outstanding Performer Award. St. Lawrence NYSARC Director of Contracts and Business Development Tracy Hutton (at right) presents Lisa with a special photo collage memento. (Rachel Hunter photo)

“A workforce that empowers everyone is good for job seekers as well as job creators,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Over the past year, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities has significantly declined. Continued steady job creation will provide even more opportunities for all Americans to get hired and provide for their families.”

St. Lawrence NYARC Assistant Executive Director of Community Relations Michelle Quinell-Gayle welcomed all in attendance after those gathered had enjoyed buffet luncheon. The floor was then given to St. Lawrence NYSARC Executive Director and Jefferson Rehabilitation Center Executive Director Howie Ganter who informed that the two agencies are in the final stages of the merger, and anticipate a January 1, 2019 completion date.

“It has been a great experience,” Mr. Ganter said. “I think the melding of the two organizations is going to be beneficial to all of us. We have no control over the rates, but we do have control over operational efficiencies and the expenditures, so that is the way we are going to try to save some money to reinvest back into staff salaries, benefits, and the support services for the people that we support. It has been a great experience and I have enjoyed it tremendously.”

St. Lawrence NYSARC and Jefferson Rehabilitation Center has used the Gouverneur Community Center, 4673 State Highway 58, Gouverneur, to hold the merger meetings.

Community Spirit Award

St. Lawrence NYSARC’s 2018 Community Spirit Award – the agency’s highest award – was presented to Casey Canell of Gouverneur.

The Community Spirit Award was established to formally acknowledge extraordinary efforts of community members who exemplify the spirit of integrated community. Over time the agency has honored several people who have made a lasting impression on the public’s view of people with disabilities – and this year was no exception.

“We are pleased to honor a person that promotes an environment the seamlessly engages people with and without disabilities. This recipient is a caring advocate for the people that we support, and insists that everyone should feel included and important. The community member encourages participation in all events, and makes special accommodations to ensure comfort and safety. Just a few of the meaningful projects fostered by this person include reading to children at Toddler Town and cleaning the building.

“This award winner has trained his staff on ways to provide meaningful leisure activities. The welcoming atmosphere makes the agency’s regular business at the Gouverneur Activity Center a lot of fun for people in the integrated day-hab program. The group has enjoyed countless parties, and bingo games because of their hospitality.

“Many positive changes have occurred for individuals since they have come to know Casey Canell. People have gained competence knowing that they are part of the community. Casey has shown the public that people with disabilities are productive members of society. Please join me in a round of applause for the 2018 Community Spirit Award Winner Casey Canell of the Gouverneur Recreation Center.”

A boisterous round of applause was offered as Casey Canell made his way up to the front to accept the award from Mr. Ganter. He was joined at the ceremony by his wife, Stacy Canell, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, and Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall.

Joslin Outstanding 
Performer Award

Tracy Hutton, St. Lawrence NYSARC’s Director of Contracts and Business Development, introduced Katie Tucci, New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) Central New York Account Representatives for the presentation of the 2018 Joslin Outstanding Performer Award to Lisa Camidge of DeKalb.

“This year we would like to recognize Lisa Camidge as our Joslin Outstanding Performer of 2018,” Ms. Tucci said. “Lisa began her employment shredding at Department of Social Services in 1995. That’s a long time ago, Lisa.

“She was described as being extremely quiet, sitting off by herself during breaks and lunches. She went weeks trying not to socialize, but everyone was friendly and patient. Lisa’s supervisor never gave up trying to encourage Lisa to join in on the conversations. She assigned tasks that took her to different offices in the DSS building, which helped Lisa to feel more comfortable with her surroundings, and then one day Lisa finally joined in on the lunchtime conversations.

“As her confidence grew, so did her job responsibilities at DSS. Lisa moved from the shredding department to document scanning and later to indexing of the documents. We are very proud of her accomplishments. Lisa has formed so many relationships with DSS employees in the building that everyone knows her by name.

“She is active in an annual fundraising event that supports local daycare. Each year they have a huge garage sale, and she volunteers for the day. One of the DSS workers treats Lisa to dinner as a special thank you for her hard work and dedication to that event.

“Lisa also lived in California for a number of years doing document preparation in the probation department. She is a proud mother and grandmother, and loves to share stories about her adorable 6-year-old granddaughter.

“Lisa does a terrific job at the Department of Social Services and we are all so very proud of her. She is dedicated and hardworking, and she definitely makes the whole room smile. So this year’s Joslin Outstanding Performer of 2018 Lisa Camidge. We are so proud of you!”

The crowd’s applause was deafening as Lisa Camidge accepted the award – a certificate of accomplishment and a $500 check from NYSID. St. Lawrence NYSARC’s Tracy Hutton also presented her with a photo collage memento in recognition of the occasion. St. Lawrence NYSARC Executive Director Howie Ganter also offered a word of congratulations, saying: “Lisa is the perfect example of someone who has succeeded and done very well.”

Lisa Camidge was offered special congratulations by Department of Social Services Commissioner Chris Rediehs, Department of Social Services Coordinator of Information Systems Ann Margittay, her supervisor Darlene Friot, and her co-workers who were in attendance.

Many congratulations were extended to both Casey Canell of Gouverneur and Lisa Camidge of DeKalb following the awards ceremony.

 St. Lawrence NYSARC 2018 Community Spirit Award Winner Casey Canell of Gouverneur and his wife, Stacy Canell, surrounded by Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin (far left), Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, and Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr. (far right) after the awards ceremony on Oct. 18. (Rachel Hunter photo)

St. Lawrence NYSARC 2018 Community Spirit Award Winner Casey Canell of Gouverneur and his wife, Stacy Canell, surrounded by Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin (far left), Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, and Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr. (far right) after the awards ceremony on Oct. 18. (Rachel Hunter photo)

Local voters to decide outcome of contested races on Election Day

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The eyes of Gouverneur and those in the surrounding communities will be watching for the outcome of several contested races after voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 6.

The Village of Gouverneur has a field of three candidates going after two seats on the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees. Incumbent Charles W. Newvine (DEM, REP) is hoping to reclaim his seat on the village board. The other seat, vacated at the passing of Nelson Lawrence, was filled by Donna Lawrence (DEM, PE2), appointed to the seat by the village board, per her late husband’s wishes until the term ends on December 31, 2018. Lawrence hopes village voters will elect her to the seat. They face competition by political newcomer Troy Besaw (REP, TIM). See related story inside this edition.

Gouverneur voters will also look to seat Jay L. Bowhall (DEM, REP) on the Town of Gouverneur Council. Running unopposed, he will fill the one-year unexpired term left by Dave Spilman, Jr. when he was voted as the new Town of Gouverneur Supervisor in the 2017 General Election. The town board appointed Robert Ritchie to the seat until December 31, 2018. Mr. Bowhall, once elected by Gouverneur voters, is expected to take the seat in January of 2019.

County Legislators

Also of local interest is the contested race for the District 4 seat on the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators, which is currently filled by Joel LaPierre of Fowler. District 4 covers the communities of Edwards, Fowler, Hammond, Macomb, Pitcairn and Rossie. LaPierre decided not to seek re-election. Voters will choose between Barbara Finnie of Fowler (DEM, RUR) and William J. Sheridan of Hammond (REP, CON). See related story inside this edition.

Voters will also seek to re-elect Henry Leader of Gouverneur to the District 5 seat, and Larry Denesha to the District 6 seat. Both are running unopposed.

Town of DePeyster

No nominations were received for the DePeyster Town Justice position.

Town of DeKalb

Voters in the Town of DeKalb will choose between Constance J. Elen (REP, RIV) and Andrew Fenton (DEM) to fill the one-year unexpired term left vacant by the late Harold Lowery who passed away earlier this year. The town board appointed Elen to fill the seat until December 31, 2018 when the newly elected town councilperson will take office in January 2019.

Running unopposed for the DeKalb Town Justice position is incumbent Howard Putney (DEM).

DeKalb voters will also cast their vote on the following proposals:

Proposition Number One: Should local Law No. 3 for the year 2018, changing the term of the Town Supervisor’s office from two years to four year be approved?

Proposition Number Two: Should Local Law No. 4 for the year 2018, changing the Town Highway Superintendent’s office from and elected position and an appointed position be approved?

Town of Edwards

Edwards voters will choose between Jeffrey D. Shippee (REP) and Frank E. Wagner Jr. (COM) for a one-year unexpired term. The seat was vacated by Arthur Whitmarsh earlier this year. The town board appointed Shippee to fill the vacated seat until December 31, 2018 when the newly elected town councilman will take office in January of 2019.

Town of Hermon

Hermon residents will choose either Frank D. Ashley (DEM) or John A. Reed (REP, JFT) for a one-year unexpired term on the Hermon Town Council.

Unopposed Local Races

Voters will cast their vote for Julie A. LaTray (REP) for Fine Town Justice, Rusty Tuttle (REP) for Pitcairn Town Justice, Tomorrah Nezezon Averill (DEM) for Russell Town Council (one-year unexpired term). Rensselaer Falls voters will cast their vote for Connie McAllister (DEM) and Charles Fifield (DEM) to the two seats on the Rensselaer Falls Village Board of Trustees.

SLC Coroner

Voters will elect two as St. Lawrence County Coroner. There are three candidates - James M. Sienkiewycz (DEM, WOR), Joseph E. White (REP, CON), and Christopher Velez (REP).

116th Assembly District

Voters in the 116th Assembly District, which includes the communities Ogdensburg, Canton, DePeyster, Hammond, Lisbon, Louisville, Macomb, Massena, Morristown, Oswegatchie, Potsdam, Rossie, and Waddington, will choose between incumbent Addie A.E. Jenne of Theresa (DEM, WOR) and Mark C. Walczyk of Watertown (REP, CON, IND).

In the 117th District, which includes the towns of DeKalb, Gouverneur, Hermon, Russell, Edwards, Fowler and Pitcairn, incumbent Kenneth Blankenbush is running unopposed.

State Senate

Running unopposed for seats in the New York State Senate are incumbents Patricia A. Ritchie (47th District) and Joseph A. Griffo (48th District).

21st Congressional District

In the race for the 21st Congressional District seat, voters will choose between incumbent Elise M. Stefanik (REP, CON, IND, REF), Tedra L. Cobb (DEM, WOR, WEP), and Lynn Kahn (GRE).

U.S. Senator

In the race for U.S. Senator, voters will choose between Kristen E. Gillibrand (DEM, WOR, IND, WEP) and Chele Chiavacci Farley (REP, CON, REF).

Attorney General

In the race for the position of NYS Attorney General, voters will choose between Letitia A. James (DEM. WOR, IND), Keith Wofford (REP, CON), Michael Sussman (GRE), Nancy B. Silwa (REF), and Christopher B. Garvey (LIB).

NYS Comptroller

In the race for New York State Comptroller, voters will choose between Incumbent Thomas P. DiNapoli (DEM, WOR, IND, WEP, REF), Jonathan Trichter (REP, CON), Mark Dunlea (GRE) and Cruger E. Gallaudet (LIB).

NYS Governor

In the race for NYS Governor, voters will choose between incumbent Andrew M. Cuomo (DEM, IND, WEP, WOR), Marc Molinaro (REP, CON, REF), Howie Hawkins (GRE), Stephanie A. Miner (SAM) and Larry Sharpe (LIB).

Lt. Governor

In the race for Lt. Governor, voters will choose between incumbent Kathy C. Hochul (DEM, IND, WEP), Julie Killian (REP, CON REF), Jia Lee (GRE), Jumaane Williams (WOR), Michael J. Volpe (SAM), and Andrew C. Hollister (LIB).

Donald Schuessler presented with Gouverneur VFW’s 69th Good Citizenship Award

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The Silas Wainwright Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6338 was thronged by the Gouverneur community as the Gouverneur VFW Post Commander Richard Fisher presented Donald Schuessler Jr., M.D., of Gouverneur with the 69th Annual Good Citizenship Award on Saturday, October 13, 2018.

The event began promptly at 5 p.m. for a social hour, and at 6 p.m. all were welcomed by Post Commander Fisher and Post Chaplain Gerald Barker gave the invocation. The pledge of allegiance was led by Richard Fisher.

Gouverneur VFW Post Quartermaster Robert Sargent then drew attention to the small, round table that is always set but never occupied — the prisoners of war/missing in action (POW/MIA) table. The tradition of setting a separate table in honor of prisoners of war and missing comrades has been in place since the end of the Vietnam War. The manner in which this table is decorated is full of special symbols to help all remember brothers and sisters in arms.

The Gouverneur VFW Post Kitchen Committee then served family style a scrumptious meal of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, cole slaw, green beans and mushrooms, applesauce, rolls and butter, and a decorated cake for dessert.

Post Commander Fisher at the conclusion of the meal introduced the guests in attendance, including Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, Town of Gouverneur Councilman Curran Wade, Bonnie Fikes of Senator Patty Ritchie’s office, and St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua (who left after the social honor).

Michael Webster, Department of New York V&MSP Chairman, then gave the long list of past recipients of the Good Citizenship Award starting with Ernest Hunkins who received the first honor in 1948.

VFW Post Commander Fisher then introduced Guest Speaker Dede Scozzafava, who first extended gratitude to the Gouverneur VFW Post 6338 for their efforts in organizing the Good Citizenship Award Dinner each year. “It is important for our community to get together to share and to honor people that make great contributions to the community. We are certainly here today to do just that.”

“It is an honor for me to be here tonight to recognize and say thank you to Dr. Donald Schuessler and Glenda Visser Schuessler for the many contributions that they have made to our community,” Scozzafava said. “When I was thinking about what to say tonight, I remembered a quote from C.S. Lewis that I think pretty much epitomizes Glenda and Don. “Don’t shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you other can see Him.” When we think of all their good works, that quote really rings true to their service. Accordingly they are probably a bit uncomfortable with this recognition, but our minister Pastor Beth Quick says that it is a good thing to venture outside of our comfort zones every now and then, so Don and Glenda enjoy the discomfort this evening.

“Don and Glenda moved to our community 34 years ago. That’s hard to believe. I remember when you first got here we played volleyball. We’ll have to get together and do that again and see if how it has changed. But all we have to do is look at Betsy, Don, his wife Devin, their three children, Katie, and Joe to recognize the passage of time. See, Don and Glenda, you really haven’t changed at all…

“Don and Glenda became very active in the community, especially with the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur (in various capacities). They have done it all, serving people not only in the congregation but reaching those outside the walls as well.

Don has been there for probably thousands of children and their families. It is not unusual to see a buggy on Rowley Street as the Amish have come to respect Don… in large part because Don respects each and every one of them and their cultural traditions. That is who he is. That is who they are. When they travel to foreign countries, they are there respectfully as equals – equals in humanity.

“We can read about the many boards that Don and Glenda have served on: Ryan’s Wish Foundation Board, the Gouverneur Foundation Board, Kairos Prison Ministries, Board for the Upper New York State United Methodist Church, Board for Golisano’s Children’s Hospital, camping ministry boards, various committees for Gouverneur and Canton-Potsdam hospitals.

“But their most important trait that we admire is their faith in humanity. At a time of great division and respectable discourse is strained, they believe in the things that can bring us together – kindness, compassion, gratefulness. They practice the little things, knowing that the little things are really the big things.

“Just a few random actions that I have experienced or witnessed… a handwritten note of recognition, condolence, concern, support or encouragement, how many of you have received one of those from them? A lot of hands go up in this room. A jar of homemade soup or plate of cookies, or rhubarb crisp just when you need it when you are feeling down, they are there. A willingness to see a sick child, no matter the time or place. Available to give a ride. I had one children who in their 20s still thought that they should be able to go see Dr. Schuessler. Always a warm greeting or welcome, a kind word or deed to someone who is struggling, always giving them hope. Regardless of long hours with patients, stopping by a hospital room to say hello and sometimes staying a little longer than they probably should to listen.

“I know what they have done for me. You know what they have done for you. But what we have no idea about is the thousands of lives that have been positively impacted by their actions, by their hands and by their hearts. And I know once again that their lives epitomizes this quote: Don’t shine so that others can see you. Shine so that through you others can see Him. Congratulations and thank you.”

Post Commander Fisher then invited Dr. Schuessler up to the podium to accept the award, to the grand applause of all gathered in the VFW hall. Dr. Schuessler then took to the podium and invited his wife, Glenda, to join him as he addressed the crowd. “Being in this community really beats the snot out of everything else,” Dr. Schuessler said. “Contributing to each other and receiving from each other has really made our lives so much richer than if we were off by ourselves. And to be in a community like Gouverneur – it is just a wonderful place to be. Thank you very much.” Great applause sounded again as Dr. and Mrs. Donald Schuessler made their way back to their seats.

Later in the evening, Dr. Schuessler reported that he had received a letter from Stella Hunkins Garitz, daughter of the very first recipient of the Gouverneur VFW’s Good Citizenship Award Winner Ernest Hunkins. The letter was penned as follows: “It was a thrill to see that you had been awarded the Good Citizenship Award. As you may or may not know, my father, Ernest Hunkins, was the first to receive the award – 70 years ago. There was an article in the September 21 Gouverneur Tribune Press “Looking Back to Yesteryear” about his receiving the award.

“Since it was the first ever, he and my mother, Lucille, got into their best outfits and went to the VFWW at the appointed time. Lo and behold, the invitation to the award dinner was only for the honoree, not his wife. My mother spent the entire time with the kitchen staff! The next year the rules changed and as a result Glenda will be seated next to you.

“My father was very active in the First Methodist Church in Gouverneur as you are. He was on all of the committees, especially finance, and each Sunday he stood at the back of the church with a counter hidden in one hand and the bulletins in the other. He greeted everyone but since he had a stroke in his early years, it was difficult for him to shake hands. Every time I get a chance to visit the church I can see him with his smile of greeting at the back of the church near the window with Jesus knocking at the door.

“He spent Christmas Eve delivering toys and gifts collected by his Boy Scout Troop (which I think was sponsored by the church) to houses where the children needed a surprise on Christmas morning.

“I hope this explains why I am so happy to see that you have finally been recognized for all of your community service. I can’t think of any living person who is more deserving.”

Post Commander Fisher then continued the ceremony by introducing Department of New York State VFW Commander Eugene Ratigliano, who extended congratulations to Dr. Schuessler as follows:

“This is truly an outstanding program that shows the brotherhood and sisterhood amongst the community, having our VFW members recognize those in that community that they rely on so much for support. I am sure it is vice-versa, both ways. Today as volunteerism is on the wane, it certainly is not on the wane here in Gouverneur, considering your past history and the number of individuals you’ve recognized over the years, it is a tribute to the members of this post and the Veterans of Foreign Wars as a whole to recognize citizens such as yourself and the work that you do here. It is wonderful to be back up here in the North Country, and my wife and I give our sincere congratulations.”

Post Auxiliary President Jeff Platt then introduced Darlene Stanton, Department of New York VFW Auxiliary President, enforced the importance of knowing your neighbor, and lending a helping hand – qualities that Dr. and Mrs. Donald Schuessler exude in their daily lives before extending her own special congratulations.

During the awards ceremony, Bonnie Fikes, a representative of New York State Senator Patty Ritchie’s office presented Dr. Schuessler with a special citation from the New York State Senate for his dedication of community service. Dr. Schuessler also received a clock plaque presented by Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall on behalf of the Village of Gouverneur in recognition of all that he does in the local community.

Assemblyman Kenneth Blankensbush due to a scheduling conflict could be attendance, but offered the following: "Dr. Donald Schuessler's career has been a testament to professionalism, service and civic pride. He's kept our kids healthy and safe, and we're all grateful for his generosity and commitment to strengthening our community. I want to offer him my most sincere congratulations for his earning the VFW Citizenship Award."

Post Auxiliary Chaplain Ruth Meade then gave the benediction, and VFW Post Commander Fisher dismissed the committee – Richard Fisher, Post Commander, John Holt, Post Adjutant, Gerald Barker, Post Chaplain, Michael Webster, Post Trustee, Jeff Platt, Auxiliary President, Melissa Simione, Post Kitchen Chair, Marlene Webster, Auxiliary Historian, Gerald Barker, Committee Member, and Julie Holt, Auxiliary Conductress – to enjoy the evening’s activities, which included a dance with music by The Timberliners from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Many hearty congratulations were then extended Dr. Schuessler and his family on the conclusion of the award ceremony.

Village board informed about Trunk or Treat on Oct. 26

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

At the Oct. 16 meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees, Trustee Donna Lawrence (who also serves as Vice President of the Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce) promoted the Gouverneur Trunk or Treat, sponsored by the Community Health Center of the North Country and Seaway Valley Prevention Council, in partnership with the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association, Gouverneur Central School District and Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce, which will be held on Friday, October 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.

Motorists are asked to park in the Gouverneur Central lot on E. Barney St. Costumed children will then make their way through the fairgrounds entrance between the parking lot and the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair office. They will then walk down the Gouverneur Fair Midway, stopping at each vehicle with decorated trunks and receive their treats.

This is a free community event, and all are invited to attend.

The Gouverneur Trunk or Treat is still looking for individuals, community organizations, and businesses to decorate a trunk and hand out “treats” on Oct. 26. For more info, call or text Patti Hogle at (315) 713-4861 (work) or (315) 276-9935 (cell), or email

“This is just a safe, family-friendly, fun way for people to get together, enjoy Halloween and get some very positive messaging on the resources available to help families with substance use issues,” CHCNC Spokesman Raymond Babowicz said.

For more info, call or text Patti Hogle at (315) 713-4861 (work) or (315) 276-9935 (cell), or email

GH Offers PET/CT Scan Services

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Hospital is pleased to announce mobile on-site PET Scan Services. A partnership has been established with Alliance HealthCare Radiology (Alliance Radiology), a division of Alliance HealthCare Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:AIQ), to provide mobile PET/CT services to support Gouverneur and the surrounding communities. The GH Discovery ST is among the highest technology available, featuring faster scan times and reduced radiation doses.

“We are proud to be able to provide PET/CT services to the Gouverneur community,” said David Bender, Gouverneur Hospital CEO. “The PET/CT equipment travels between hospitals throughout the North Country; it’s important for our local patients to know they are getting the same caliber of imaging care right here in Gouverneur.”

“We are committed to bringing quality medical imaging technology to meet the needs of providers and eliminate the patient from having to travel miles for the same service,” explained Michael Maresca, MD, Director of Radiology at Canton Potsdam Hospital. “The superior image quality of the new PET/CT enables our clinicians to more quickly obtain critical information for an enhanced diagnoses.”

For more information, please contact Jane Walsh, Alliance HealthCare Services at 315-263-8694.

GFD Open House to be held Saturday

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Fire Department will once again open its doors during the National Fire Prevention Week. An open house will be held on Saturday, October 13, 1 to 4 p.m.

Since 1922, the NFPA has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in our country. During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires.

Fire Prevention Week is observed each year during the week of October 9th in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire, which began on October 8, 1871, and caused devastating damage. This horrific conflagration killed more than 250 people, left 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,400 structures, and burned more than 2,000 acres of land.

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for school children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time every October during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

While children under 5 and adults over 65 are at the highest risk for injury or death in a fire, people of all ages are vulnerable. In fact, the risk of a nonfatal fire injury is highest for those between 20 and 49, showing that fire safety education is essential for everyone. Additional risk factors include race, socio-economic status, education level, and geographic location.

The purpose of Fire Prevention Week is to bring awareness to the risk of death in case of a fire and provide educational resources to people of all ages, races, and socioeconomic status in order to keep everyone safe. The Gouverneur Fire Department is pleased each year to open its doors during Fire Prevention Week and host a flurry of activities to raise fire prevention awareness.

This year’s FPW campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere,” works to educate people about three basic but essential steps to take to reduce the likelihood of having a fire––and how to escape safely in the event of one: LOOK: Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them. LISTEN: Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet. LEARN: Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter. The GFD Open House will include the St. Lawrence County Fire Chiefs Safety Trailer, giving local residents the chance to have a “real-life experience” practicing how to escape from a building in the case of a fire.

There will also be fire extinguisher training which will give local residents to get some “hands-on experience” and educate them on how to use a fire extinguisher to put out a fire.

Operation Safe Child will also be on site, thanks to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office. Families who participate will receive a free, wallet-sized ID card containing a child’s name, biographical information (date of birth, age, gender, height, weight, hair and eye color) and a fingerprint image of both index fingers. The card is created in under two minutes. It can be carried in a wallet or purse. Interested parents can also choose to store the fingerprints, basic biographical information and photos of children – this information may be critical in the event of a lost or missing child. The storage of the information is entirely voluntary and requires the express written consent of a parent or legal guardian. Should the parent wish to share the information, it would be digitally recorded and stored in a state database; in the event the NYS DCJS (the agency that stores the information) receives a missing child report, the fingerprints of that child could then be used to help in the return of the missing child. The program is free.

Also on site will be exhibits/displays from LifeNet, Gouverneur Rescue Squad, Gouverneur Police Department, NYS Troopers, K-9 Unit. Local dignitaries also plan to make appearances throughout the three-hour event, including NYS Assemblyman Kenneth Blankenbush.

Chili and hotdogs will also be available for those in attendance.

The 2018 Gouverneur Fire Department Open House is sure to have something for everyone on Saturday, October 13, 1 to 4 p.m. at the fire hall, located at 1035 U.S. Highway 11, Gouverneur, NY. For more info, visit Gouverneur Fire Department on Facebook.

Gouverneur Recreation Center to kick off Halloween events with Third Annual Zombie Tag on Oct. 20

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The epic battle pitting humans against zombies will once again return to the Riverview Recreational Park on Saturday, October 20, 1 p.m. for the Third Annual Zombie Tag.

Director Casey Canell said the event is free, but pre-registration is required. Those wanting to portray a “zombie” should arrived dressed in costume. For more information or to register, contact the Gouverneur Recreation Center at (315) 287-0524.

This is to be the first of many Halloween-themed events and activities, sponsored by the Gouverneur Recreation Center during the month of October. Director Canell in his report to the Town of Gouverneur board on Oct. 9 also promoted the Center’s Halloween Happenings, starting Oct. 25 with the After-School Program’s 7th Annual Mummy Wrap.

On Friday, October 26, 20 a.m. to noon, there will be a Halloween Hat Contest at the monthly bingo and luncheon. Prizes will be awarded, and all are encouraged to be creative.

The 24th Annual Spooktacular Halloween Costume Party will be held on Saturday, October 27, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with costume judging at 10 a.m. There is to be free admission with a canned food item.

Director Canell also shared there will be a Halloween Movie Matinee at the Gouverneur Community Center on Saturday, October 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The movie is free to the public. Concessions will be open for the purchase of popcorn, hotdogs, candy and drinks. The featured movie will be Hocus Pocus. The movie will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m.

On Monday, October 29, the Gouverneur Recreation Center will host the NYSARC Halloween Party.

The Toddler Town Halloween Costume Party will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There will be Halloween games, activities and a festive snack. The After-School Program will have a Halloween Bash on this day as well.

On Halloween night, Wednesday, October 31, 5 to 7 p.m., there will be a Fright Night of Fun at the Gouverneur Recreation Center. All are invited to “drop” by for a special trick or treat. This will coincide with trick or treating in the Village of Gouverneur, Wednesday, October 31, 5 to 7 p.m.

In other Gouverneur Recreation news, Director Canell reported that the Before-School Program is open to all elementary students and is located at the Gouverneur Elementary School on weekdays for early morning activities, featuring games, crafts, and recreational gym play. There will be a special Halloween Safety Program and activity this month.

The After-School Elementary Program is held at the Recreation Center, Mondays through Thursdays. Highlights this month will include autumn activities and Halloween festivals. A Kids’ Karate Class is held Tuesdays with Instructor Master Frank Palumbo.

Toddler Town operates as a recreation play group and is held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with social play and learning. Highlights this month include a guest storyteller, fall projects, Halloween Party, and Gingerbread Pre-School Music Class.

The Senior Citizen Program open to all area residents meets weekly on Friday mornings for bingo and coffee social. Highlights this month include a Halloween Pizza Party Luncheon.

Open Recreation and Game Room continues monthly featuring a Youth Activity Day on Monday, October 8 when school was closed for Columbus Day.

Director Canell also announced the Developmentally Disabled Adult Wellness Wednesdays continue to be held at the Rec Center at 10 a.m., sponsored by the North Country Cerebral Palsy Association. He also mentioned the Gouverneur Recreation Center receives weekly assistance from NYSARC Community Service volunteers.

In closing, Director Canell extended a word of gratitude to the Lawrence Manor for their extremely generous donation to Missoula Children’s Theatre.

The above report will also be presented to the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its regular monthly board meeting on Tuesday, October 16 at 7 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.

Gouverneur Trunk or Treat to be held on October 26 at Gouverneur Fairgrounds

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Trunk or Treat, sponsored by the Community Health Center of the North Country and Seaway Valley Prevention Council, in partnership with the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association and Gouverneur Central School District, will be held on Friday, October 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.

Motorists are asked to park in the Gouverneur Central lot on E. Barney St. Costumed children will then make their way through the fairgrounds entrance between the parking lot and the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair office. They will then walk down the Gouverneur Fair Midway, stopping at each vehicle with decorated trunks and receive their treats.

This is a free community event, and all are invited to attend.

Seaway Valley Prevention Council and the Community Health Center of the North Country hope that the Gouverneur Trunk or Treat will be a fun, family-friendly way to get the word out about what services are available for people dealing with substance use issues.

The idea originated with the Seaway Valley Prevention Council who in partnership with the Massena Drug-Free Community Coalition held a successful Trunk or Treat at Massena High School last year, drawing in hundreds of costumed children. Piggybacking on this rousing success while seeking a fun, engaging way to spread the word in the local community about the services available to those with substance use issues, SVPC and CHCNC thought the best way would be to bring a Trunk or Treat event to Gouverneur.

“That’s why the event is taking place to help people understand the problem is out there and there are resources available through Community Health Center of the North Country, Seaway Valley Prevention Council, and any other organization that offers assistance to those with substance abuse are more than welcome to come and make sure people know that the services are out there,” CHCNC Spokesman Raymond Babowicz said.

Other engaging ways CHCNC and SVPC has recently spread the word about services was talking to fairgoers at the 2018 Franklin County Fair, also at an event in Massena, and they also hosted a presentation at Ogdensburg Free Academy with guest speaker Michael Nerney.

SVPC’s North Country Addictions Resource Center Coordinator Patti Hogle said there was a good turnout at the OFA event, and that they potentially look forward to bringing Michael Nerney to speak to the Gouverneur community in 2019.

The Gouverneur Trunk or Treat is still looking for individuals, community organizations, and businesses to decorate a trunk and hand out “treats” on Oct. 26. “Some agencies are more about wellness, and they don’t want to pass out candy – pass out whatever you want,” Hogle said. “It doesn’t have to be candy.” For more info, call or text Patti Hogle at (315) 713-4861 (work) or (315) 276-9935 (cell), or email

“This is just a safe, family-friendly, fun way for people to get together, enjoy Halloween and get some very positive messaging on the resources available to help families with substance use issues,” CHCNC Spokesman Babowicz said.

Coordinator Hogle also mentioned that one of the things people don’t think about when it comes to trunk or treat is that it is handicap accessible.

“In Massena, they had a girl in a wheelchair, and she never could trick or treat because it was too much work to get her in and out of the car, and she couldn’t get up the steps to the porch,” Hogle said. “So last year she went to the trunk or treat and it was the first time she was able to trick or treat. Even things like that… it makes it special for people that don’t normally have that opportunity.”

Make plans today to attend the first-ever Gouverneur Trunk or Treat, sponsored by the Community Health Center of the North Country and Seaway Valley Prevention Council, on Friday, October 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds. And remember: community organizations, businesses and individuals can still sign up to decorate their trunk and hand out treats to all the youngsters in attendance. For more info, call or text Patti Hogle at (315) 713-4861 (work) or (315) 276-9935 (cell), or email