All village of Gouverneur department (excluding Police Department) will be closed at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2017 for the funeral services of John Washburn
All village of Gouverneur department (excluding Police Department) will be closed at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 28, 2017 for the funeral services of John Washburn
by Rachel Hunter
Fine History Day on Saturday, August 19 drew many local residents who enjoyed learning and recalling the history of the Village and Town of Fine, NY and especially to explore the history of the Fine Town Hall – a large, two story, late Victorian style building that is located along New York State Route 58 in the Hamlet of Fine.
The Gouverneur Tribune Press extends its gratitude to former and current Fine Historians who have recorded the following history to be remembered and retold for generations to come.
The first settlement was begun by Elias Teall, who made a contract on October 24, 1823, with the proprietors of the east half of Scriba, and undertook to secure settlers on the tract. He built a mill on the east branch of the Oswegatchie and made some small improvements; but his undertaking failed. September 6, 1828,
James C. Haile made a contract with the proprietors, and built a sawmill and a small grist mill on the Oswegatchie; he induced other settlers to come. In May 1833, he also left the town, his settlers having abandoned him.
In February 1834, Amasa Brown contracted with the owners for the Haile improvements and an additional tract of land, and in March of that year moved his family in; his nearest neighbors were ten miles away. A few others joined him, and by 1843 there were 43 or 44 voters.
Among those who lived in the town in 1858, chiefly along the Oswegatchie River, were the following: S. Maitby, M. Rose, A. Guiles, R. Finley, E. Guiles, N. H. Jones, W. E. and E. Jones. Farther eastward were: G. Titus, W. P. Smith, M. 0. Carr, A. Hazieton, W. F. Haskell, B. Marble, 0. Hutchins, F. Austin, R. Scott, C. Scott, W. Cochrane, H. B. Fairman, J. Fairman, W. Kerr, A. H. Knapp, N. I. Morse, S. Stowell, E. C. Hill, J. and C. Marsh, A. Cleveland, C. A. Scott, J. I. Lansing, R. Durham, E. Churchman. Farther south were: B. Brown, W. Miller, G. W. Evans, D, Briggs, E. Vilas, D. Kilburn, B. Bebee. Others have come in later.
The little village of Fine is on the Oswegatchie River about five miles southeasterly from South Edwards. It has been locally known as "Smithville" from William P. Smith, who was an early resident there.
The first improvement here was the building of a saw mill by William Horsford. In 1853 it was purchased by William P. Smith, who also opened a store, and here the post-office was established in 1853, with Mr. Smith as postmaster.
Marcus Carr built the first dwelling in the village in 1855, who came from Russell as agent for Spalding & Butterfield, proprietors of a large tract of land in the town.
A saw mill and oar factory was started in 1858 by Spencer, Anderson & Co., who built four dwellings in connection. A grist mill was built about 1858 by Henry Rushton, which was afterwards sold to Zacheus Ladd, and burned in 1875. In 1871 Rice, Emery & Co., of Boston, purchased from Joseph Anderson twenty-six acres of land in the eastern part of the village tract, with a saw mill, butter tub and last factory.
In 1872 they demolished all but the saw mill and built an extensive tannery, where 50,000 sides of sole leather were turned out annually. A public house was opened and kept by Charles Scott, and after him by various others. George Hatch is the present landlord. A shingle mill is operated by Joseph Anderson, and a saw and feed mill by George Cardiff & Son. Dowling Brothers, Charles Ayres, T. F. Conboy, J. N. McLeod, are merchants in Fine; and Thomas Miller deals in furniture.
The Town of Fine constructed the town hall in 1884 as a place to conduct public meetings, municipal business, and as a venue for public entertainment. Over the years the use for the building included a polling place, a post office, a jail (the cells are still located in the basement), a restaurant, a barber shop, and a concert hall.
The building served as a lookout post for the New York State Air Control Network in the 1950s as well as a location for meetings of the Fine Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary prior to the construction of a new fire hall. Since its formation in 1956 the Fine Chapter of the New York State Federation of Home Bureau’s Inc. has also called this building home for meetings and many community events. The building has also served the community for countless weddings, receptions, baby and bridal showers, and birthday and remembrance celebrations.
It may be difficult to capture exactly what the Fine Town Hall means to individuals, but with such a robust history in the development of the Fine community, it is easy to see the importance of preserving it for future generations.
The Fine Town Hall is listed on both the New York State and Federal Registers for Historic Places.
The Fine History Day is held once every decade. Attendees were greeted with old-time Appalachian and French-Canadian music on the hammered dulcimer by Adirondack Musician Sue (Grimm) Hanley. They were then ushered into the town hall. On the main floor was Phyllis Denesha of Harrisville who asked everyone to sign the guestbook, and also was available in case they wanted to purchase a model of the Fine Town Hall.
Fine Historians Shirley Meek of Oswegatchie and Kathryn Peabody of Star Lake was present with a vast historic display, and to answer questions of all those in attendance.
Tour guides were available for trips to the jail cells in the basement and to the second story. Many were thrilled to visit and get their pictures taken in the old jail, and to see all of the historic documents and artifacts on display. There also was live music, bake sale, raffles, vendors (including the St. Lawrence County Maple Producers Association) and much more. Many also partook of the chicken barbecue that was prepared at the Fine Fire Department, located across from the Fine Town Hall.
Organizers said they hope to raise enough funds to be able to replace the old fire escape so that more than 50 people can be in the Fine Town Hall at a given time, and so that they could develop a museum in the second story of the building. Keep an eye out for fundraisers to be announced in the future.
The 2017 Fine History Days assuredly helped to raise awareness of the current condition of the Fine Town Hall and its historical significance to the community. Gratitude is to be extended to the Fine Town Hall Committee for organizing this spectacular event.
Gouverneur Fire and Rescue on Aug. 4 responded to a two-vehicle accident with entrapment in the area of BOCES -Southwest Tech on State Route 58 in the Town of Fowler.
Twenty-three members arrived on scene, reporting one person located in the driver’s seat, entrapped in a small SUV. Crews worked to remove the driver side front door so EMS workers could access the patient.
The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 15 charged Roland Wood of Edwards with Driving While Intoxicated and Failure To Keep Right following an investigation of the personal injury motor vehicle accident.
Wood was issued appearance tickets and is to appear in the Fowler Town Court at a later date.
Gouverneur Police Blotter
Jennifer A. Clark, 67, Gouverneur, was charged on Friday, August 4 at 6:10 p.m. on N. Gordon St. with operating a motor vehicle while using an electronic device and improper/no signal. Subject was issued traffic summonses returnable to the Gouverneur Town Court.
A 41-year-old Gouverneur man was arrested on Friday, August 4 at 9:35 p.m. following a police investigation. Subject was transported to Claxton Hepburn Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.
Billy J. Miller, 39, Gouverneur, was arrested on Saturday, August 5 at 7:38 p.m. on W. Main Street and charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated BAC .18% or more, failure to keep right and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle following a traffic stop. Defendant was further charged with criminal obstruction of breathing resulting from a domestic violence incident that was reported approximately an hour and a half prior to the stop. He is alleged to have placed his hands on the throat of the victim with intent to impede the victim’s breathing or blood circulation. Defendant was arraigned at the Gouverneur Town Court before Justice Stan Young and released on own recognizance.
William G. Hayden, 55, Gouverneur, was arrested on Saturday, August 5 at 8:51p.m. on Sleepy Hollow Rd. and charged with menacing 2nd following a report that Hayden was on his apartment balcony pointing a shotgun at others. Investigation determined that Hayden did intentionally place another in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying and a loaded Mossberg .410 shotgun following an argument with a neighbor and a person within his apartment. Defendant was arraigned at Gouverneur Town Court before Justice Stan Young and ordered held at the SLCCF in lieu of $2,500 bail. Investigation is continuing.
Zachary A. Richardson, 28, Gouverneur, was arrested on Tuesday, August 8 at 1:04 p.m. in the City of Ogdensburg and charged with aggravated family offense, criminal mischief fourth, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal contempt second (2 counts) following investigation of a July 26th, 2017 domestic incident on Trinity Avenue. Richardson was arraigned at the Gouverneur Town Court before Justice Travis Dann and ordered held in lieu of $5,000 bail/ $10,000 bond.
Patrick M. Burns Jr., 20, Gouverneur, was arrested on Tuesday, August 8 at 11:11 p.m. at 230 E. Main St. and charged with disorderly conduct following a report of an intoxicated man yelling and causing a disturbance. Upon police arrival and instruction to cease conduct Burns continued to yell obscene and vulgar statements causing public inconvenience and annoyance. Defendant was arraigned at Gouverneur Town Court before Justice Travis Dann and ordered held at the SLCCF in lieu of $250.00 Bail.
by Rachel Hunter
The 2017 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair kicked off last Tuesday with an official opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting at the grandstand.
A brief welcome was said by Fair Manager Don Peck. Britney Mulvaney sang the national anthem. Pastor Howard Maxson of the Fowler Baptist Church said the opening prayer.
Fair President Lyle Hotis then said the following: “On behalf of all of our directors, associate directors and our many volunteers, I just want to welcome you to the fair. We sure appreciate your being here. How many of you were here last year for the Charlie Daniels concert? Well, I got news for you… you are back again this year. We are grateful for that. Thank you very much. Every year we have two concerns about these concerts – the weather and the turnout. Fortunately, both of those are looking really good for us. We appreciate your part in that, certainly.”
Fair President Hotis then recognized a couple directors who “went above and beyond the call of duty” this year in preparation for the 2017 fair.
First mentioned was John “Scooter” Wetmore of Gouverneur.
“If you see Scooter and you know him, just thank him for what he has done for the fairgrounds,” Mr. Hotis said. “A lot of it you can’t see. It’s either below ground or above ground – but it is very, very important to us.”
Fair President Hotis said that the other person who “stepped up big time” for the fair is Brennan Shampine of Gouverneur.
“He’s done all kinds of things for us this year,” Mr. Hotis said. “So, if you see those folks, thank them. I really appreciate it. Thank you.”
Fair Events and Activities
Fair Manager Peck then told about some of the upcoming activities at the fair, including the following:
Carlton Peck Band Day on Wednesday, August 2. Mr. Peck commented that there were to be six bands participating in the High School Parade in the afternoon and Firemen’s Parade at night.
Harness Racing was to be held at noon on Thursday, August 3. Admission is free. Opening the grandstand that night was to be the Waydown Wailers, and then The TREWS – a Canadian Rock Band.
The Local Talent Show is to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 4.
On Saturday, August 5, there is to be two Tough Truck shows. The afternoon show at 2 p.m. is open to amateurs. All are invited to enter.
“It doesn’t have to be a truck. It can be a demo derby car, a regular car, whatever,” Mr. Hotis said. “We build an obstacle course out here and you go over bumps and around curves and whoever does it the fastest wins.”
Professional Tough Trucks show will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday. There is a $15 charge that will cover both shows.
On Sunday, August 6, there will be a demolition derby at 1 p.m. $15 for adults, $10 for children, 10 years and under.
Fair Manager Peck also announced the ground acts this year.
Eudora Interactive Petting Zoo and Camel Rides are on grounds all week, located alongside the cattle show ring.
“We’ve been on a waitlist for about five years to get them in here,” Mr. Peck said.
Kent Family Circus is also on grounds all week, located behind the Maple Sugar Shack. The shows are about 45 minutes long.
Fair Manager Peck also told the crowd how they opened the area under the grandstand to 23 local vendors and crafters. “We wish you would go under there and support the vendors,” he said to the hundreds gathered.
There are Wristbands every day of the fair. Fair Manager reminded all that Children’s Day was Friday, and encouraged all to visit GouverneurFair.net or stop by the fair office for more information.
Fair President Hotis then promoted the agricultural end of the fair.
“This is an agricultural fair,” Mr. Hotis said. “We wouldn’t be anywhere without the agricultural end of this. It is a very, very important part to us. I am going to introduce Allen Martin who is our key ag director. The fair board at its last meeting thought enough of Allen and his years of service to dedicate the exhibitor’s guide to him this year.
“Also, to mention to you that, as far as I know, four generations of Martins – Allen’s parents, Allen and his brother and sister, their kids, and their kids’ kids all are participating in the fair. So, there’s four generations there. Who better to tell you about the ag end of the fair than our chief ag director, Allen Martin?”
Fair Director Allen Martin of Gouverneur accepted the microphone and said the following:
“As Lyle said, four generations of the Martin family… my father was the junior superintendent before I was born, so I am carrying of the family tradition,” Mr. Martin said.
“But to let you know about the livestock and the cattle shows. We have some of the best cattle in New York State – as a matter of fact, in the nation. A lot of the show winners, go on to show at Louisville, Ky., Madison, Wisc., Harrisburg, Penn. The sheep, they will go down to show in the Big E. Something that has just come on board in the last five or six years, is our chicken show. There are more than 200 over there.
“By all means, go to the other end of the fairgrounds and enjoy what you see there,” Mr. Martin said.
Saturday is the St. Lawrence County Holstein Club’s Black and White Show.
“If you want to see some cows in the Holstein breed, you make sure you are here on Saturday,” Mr. Martin said. “Thank you very much.”
A ceremonial ribbon-cutting was then held with Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Bob Ritchie and Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall cutting the ribbon. They were assisted by the fair officials.
A huge crowd then saw country artist Josh Turner perform at the grandstand for the opening night concert. Full coverage on that event will be included in next week’s Gouverneur Tribune Press.
by Rachel Hunter
The second annual Fowler Family Day was held in the Town of Fowler on Saturday, July 29 on the lawns adjacent to the Fowler Town Hall to raise funds for the town playground.
The official opening ceremony was held at 11 a.m. with the singing of national anthem by vocalist Brandon Griffin and a ceremonial pigeon release, orchestrated by Luis Gutierrez of Gutierrez Pigeon Loft in Fowler and aided by dozens of volunteers.
Supervisor Michael Cappellino welcomed all to the 2017 Fowler Family Day, and invited Deputy Supervisor Rick Newvine to the podium to extend gratitude. Mr. Newvine said Fowler Family Day was possible due to the organizing efforts of the Fowler Family Day Committee: Karen Simmons, Debbie Tupper, Kelly Harmer, Lillith Griffith, Tami Gale an Michael Cappellino
“There’s a tremendous amount of work that goes into this.” Mr. Newvine said. “Every week, we met from January or February on.”
A special gratitude was extended to Link Electric, LLC for helping the Town of Fowler by drawing the electricity across the town lawn – and so enable the Fowler Family Day to grow in the amount of family fun offered.
Gratitude was extended to the following vendors and participating clubs, groups and organizations:
Fowler Family Day attendees were greeted with a classic car show in the front of the Fowler Town Hall, and were encouraged to enjoy the historical display organized by Town of Fowler Historian Karen Simmons.
The Town of Fowler had merchandise available for purchase, including Fowler Family Day T-shirts, and raffles in adjoining tents. Tickets for the major raffle have been on sale for weeks through the Town of Fowler for a chance to win 100 Gallons Fuel, donated from Tripp Fuels, a painting by local artist Wilson Bickford, 12 Yards Gravel, donated by Chad Soper, a 6500 Watt Portable Gas Generator, donated by Newvine’s NAPA Auto, and $50 cash. Drawing was held at 3 p.m.
DJ Nick Fuller ensured that all attendees were energized with the latest pop and country hits.
The Gouverneur Rescue Squad and the Gouverneur Fire Department had vehicles on display. The Gouverneur Fire Department invited all in attendance throughout the afternoon to try their hand at the extinguisher training.
Horse-drawn wagon rides were made possible by the St. Lawrence Valley Draft Horse Association’s own Bill Siebels and Dick Clement. The wagon advertised the annual plow days, this year to be held on Sept. 16 and 17.
There also were single-cylinder vintage engines on display. Mr. Newvine extended gratitude to Carl Fleming and John Smith among others for their willingness to bring them to Fowler Family Day.
NYS Trooper Jason Sheen was extended gratitude for the seatbelt demonstration. Mr. Newvine said they needed more exhibits like this one.
There was plenty for children to do as well with games, kid’s balloons, a bouncehouse, facepainting and more. The St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office Safe ID Program was also on site.
There was a craft and vendor fair, and many items of interest were available for purchase – from LulaRoe to Avon and more. Many attendees seemed to enjoy looking at all the items available and meeting the local vendors. Local business, Fun Unlimited, also brought a vast array of Polaris vehicles that caught the eye and attention of many of the attendees.
The Gouverneur Rotary Club’s own Gale Ferguson was at Fowler Family Day to sell raffle tickets in support of the Gouverneur Rotary Club and its activities. Several children in attendance enjoyed taking a spin on the children’s tractor. The winner will once again this year be drawn at the PumpkinFest in September at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.
Stepping Stones Ministries had a booth, manned by Pastor Orville Eacker and Joan Eacker, and volunteer Dorothy Weaver. They showcased a draft of their new church sign, provided Christian resources, and handed out little toys and bottles of bubbles. They also promoted the services of the 1 John 3:18 Health and Hope Mission, the free medical clinic in Gouverneur for uninsured adults, and the upcoming Cow Plop Fundraiser to be held at the PumpkinFest in September. Tickets were offered at $10 and will be offered at community events until the September draw. Winner will take home a $500 grand prize.
Fowler Baptist Church had a booth, manned by Pastor Howard Maxson and Brenda Maxson along with volunteer Ed Dowling. They provided Christian resources to passersby, and invited all to look at the historical display in honor of their 190th anniversary this year. They also sold cookbooks to raise money for mission projects, and also worked to promote the 1 John 3:18 Health and Hope Mission’s Cow Plop Fundraiser.
A chicken barbecue was presented by the Gouverneur Elks Lodge – a favorite attraction that many said was delicious, surely tantalizing their tastebuds again this year.
The Gouverneur Rod and Gun Club offered hot dogs, hamburgers and curly fries. They also encouraged attendees to take advantage of several raffles, including a Salmon/Trout Fishing Trip on Lake Ontario. The drawing will be held on Aug. 9. All proceeds will be used for the new trap field.
Several area dignitaries were in attendance, including: St. Lawrence County Sherriff Kevin Wells, NYS Trooper Jason Sheen, Town of Edwards Supervisor Jan Lennox, Town of Edwards Clerk Pat Davis, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall, among others.
The Town of Fowler plans to construct the playground later this month. All monies will go toward the project. Town officials say they want to improve upon the project every year. With two years now under their belts, town officials say this is not the end. A 2018 Fowler Family Day is already in the works.
Gouverneur Savings and Loan celebrates 125 years
by Jessyca Cardinell
The Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association culminated its monthlong celebration of 125 years of service to the Gouverneur community with a picnic.
Hot dogs, chips and beverages were given out as a thank you to the community for supporting the bank for so many years and for many more to come.
“The community response has been great,” said Colleen Canell, Human Resources Specialist. “There have been many people who've shown interest in what we've been doing to celebrate, including coming to check out our time capsule.”
Congratulations Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association on your great accomplishment!
New leadership at St. James school
by Jessyca Cardinell
St. James School will have a new friendly face as its Principal this school year, as Clara Cummings of Gouverneur has made the difficult decision to step down from her position for a different employment opportunity at the reopening mines. Michele Lallier of Gouverneur has excitedly been named the new Principal for St. James School and will actively start her duty this school year.
“I believe St. James has made a terrific choice in hiring Michele Lallier, she seems to me the perfect fit,” said Mrs. Cummings.
St. James has been a huge part of Mrs. Cummings life. She is an alumnus of the school, and has served as principal for the last four years.
“St. James to me, as a community member, provides a choice for our children and our community to be educated in an environment that is not mandated by New York State. Where we have the freedom to provide kids with the curriculum that they need, but we can also provide them with an extension of their home, where we include their families in everything we do. A place where parents have a say in the child's daily activities. As a parent, to me, I value St. James because it's not just teaching my children how to be good students, but as well faith filled, to be hard working, to use good manners and have strong morals. The most important thing to me as a parent is that my children grow up to be good people who love God.”
She also stated that many of the friends she made as a student at St. James are still her friends to this day. She attributes it to the Godly family environment that St. James provides.
Mrs. Cummings, stated she will still be very active and a part of St. James School, which is very important to her.
“I am going to be helping with the transition of the new principal and be here throughout the upcoming school year as a mentor. As well I will be on the education counsel and I will continue to the Chairperson for the Curriculum Committee. I will be a volunteer for various after school clubs and activities. I keep telling people I'll be here so much they won't even know I'm gone,” said Mrs. Cummings, who was Principal at St. James for four years.
“What I have loved most about my time as St. James Principal is the children and their families. Being able to interact with them everyday is the reason I came to St. James, but honestly they have taught me so much about myself, about being a parent and also about the Holy Spirit and how it works through people when we least expect it. I love being in an environment everyday where we can talk about Jesus and pray together in good times and in bad. Our school has seen some sad times this year, but being able to take that and show children that it's okay to cry, it's okay to pray to God and model that with them has probably been the greatest gift for me to share that love of God with our families,” said Mrs. Cummings.
“This new employment opportunity is something I feel strongly about for the community as well. The reopening of the mines, which is called Empire State Mines now. When I was presented with this opportunity, it was a very difficult decision to leave St. James, but it's more about being a part of that project which will benefit our local community greatly. It's exciting to be a part of that, since I was previously employed there it made that decision that much more enticing to see it open back up and be part of that,” said Cummings.
Mrs. Michele Lallier, has resided with her husband, a St. James School alumnus, in Gouverneur since 2010 after moving back to the area from Michigan.
Mrs. Lallier brings with her an extensive teaching background which started in 1992 and a strong education, attending SUNY Canton and SUNY Oswego, as well as obtaining her Masters Degree in Business Education at a college in Detroit. This degree would be focused in high school business or accounting classes.
Mrs. Lallier is excited for the new journey and opportunity as St. James Principal.
“As we moved back to New York, I was not able to teach since I was not certified in New York State to teach,” said Mrs. Lallier. “This position for me, is a wonderful opportunity to give back to the students, to work with them and the school environment. It's something I've really been missing since we moved back here.”
Mrs. Lallier had a previous teaching position in Michigan as a Catholic School teacher for five years which she loved. Teaching in the Catholic School environment is something very dear to her.
When it comes to her qualities which will help in the St. James School environment, Mrs.Lallier stated she is, “faithful, a good communicator, friendly and outgoing.”
“I hope to build onto the sense of community that's already been established here,” she said. “I look forward to meeting all the families that belong to St. James, as well as working with the teachers and the students.”
Good luck and best wishes to Mrs. Clara Cummings and Mrs. Michele Lallier on their new opportunities in our community.
by Rachel Hunter
Fair Manager Don Peck said there’s a lot to look forward to at the 2017 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair! It will be held from Tuesday, August 1 to Sunday, August 6. Admission is free, but there is a small cost for parking. See the following schedule changes and additions to this year’s lineup:
Tuesday, August 1
Harness Racing this year will take place on Thursday, August 3 instead of the traditional opening fair day (Tuesday) so the preparations can be made for the opening night ceremony and concert by Country Music Star Josh Turner on Tuesday, August 1 at 8 p.m. (Gate opens at 6 p.m. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased online.
Wednesday, August 2
Wednesday, August 2 is once again Carlton Peck Band Day at the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair with the high school band competition at 1 p.m. (free grandstand) and the firemen’s parade at 7 p.m. (free grandstand). New following the parade this year (at about 9 p.m.), Fair Manager Peck said there will be a karaoke contest in the beer tent entertainment area.
Thursday, August 2
Thursday, August 3 will feature harness racing at 11 a.m. (free grandstand). The Trews, Canadian Rock band, will perform at 8 p.m. (Gate opens at 6 p.m.) Tickets are still available, and can be purchased online or at the gate. The opening act will be a local favorite, The Waydown Wailers at 7 p.m.
Friday, August 3
The Local Talent Show will take place on Friday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m. this year. Cost is $5 (under 5 free).
Saturday, August 5
Saturday, August 5 brings Tough Trucks Amateur Show to the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair. Fairgoers can watch a variety of supped up vehicles work their way through a maze of obstacles on the track.
Amateurs are encouraged to participate in the racing event. The first show is at 2 p.m. (Gate opens at noon). Amateur racers winning in the afternoon will advance to the evening show at 7 p.m. (Gate opens at 5 p.m.) Waivers and pre-inspection of vehicles are required for individual participation.
Local residents don’t need to have a truck to participate. They can enter with demolition derby cars as well. Fair Manager Peck hopes to have 20 to 25 local participants in the contest.
For more information, call the fair office at (315) 287-3010.
Professional Tough Trucks Show will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 5. Tickets are still available, and good for both the afternoon and evening show. Available online and at the gate.
Sunday, August 7
Sunday, August 7 will feature the crowd-pleasing demolition derby at 1 p.m. at the grandstand. (Gate opens at 11 a.m.) Tickets are available online and at the gate.
A bigger petting zoo will be on the fairgrounds this year – the Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, an interactive, hands on exotic animal petting zoo, from South Carolina. It includes 20 to 25 rare and exotic animals from around the world. Animal ambassadors such as, “Little Joe” (the wallaby) “Juliet” (The Scotch Highlander) “Humphrey” (The Camel) “Rascal” (The Fennec Fox) and “Kevin Bacon” (the Pot Belly Pig). “Bubba”, the camel has made a name for himself doing over 30,000 rides in the past three years and entertaining crowds by drinking his diet coke.
Also fairgoers are encouraged to be on the lookout for The Kent Family Circus. They are known for their acts with live animals, magic, fire eating, tight rope, trapeze, side show, bullwhip acts, juggling, and more. Each show is guaranteed to be different so be sure to see them all! Dates, times and locations are yet to be determined. Keep an eye open for this spectacular addition to the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair.
Under the grandstand will be an expanded commercial area. Fair Manager Peck said they have already received word that 16 vendors will be on the premises – including: Scentsy, Tupperware, PrincessHouse, ItWorks!, LuLaRoe, Pink Zebra and others. But there is still plenty of space left. Interested crafters and vendors should contact the Fair Office, (315) 287-3010. The cost is $100 for the week (Tuesday through Saturday).
Don’t Miss It
The American Red Cross Blood Mobile will be located across from the Fair Office again this year on Wednesday, August 2 through Friday, August 4.
Fair Manager Peck also mentioned that there will be new food vendors on the fairgrounds.
Also, more farm equipment will be on display in the agricultural display area.
The Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Office, 85 E. Barney Street, will be open today (Friday, July 21) until noon for entries. Next week they will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
by Rachel Hunter
Kruger Energy wants to build a solar project on the four parcels it owns off County Route 22 in the Town of Fowler.
Representatives Mike McDonald and Tim Conboy presented a concept plan to the Town of Fowler board at its Thursday, July 6 regular meeting.
Kruger Energy is a subsidiary of Kruger, Inc., headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. The company purchased the Emeryville Hydroelectric facility earlier this year – and is interested in further developing the 53 acres of land they acquired in the purchase.
The origins of Kruger Inc. date back to 1904, when Joseph Kruger founded a fine paper business in Montreal. Gene H. Kruger, the founder's son, became president of that company in 1928 at the young age of 25 and expanded it into the manufacture of newsprint, paperboard and tissue products.
As chairman of the board and CEO, Joseph Kruger II, Gene's son, has overseen the company's continual expansion into specialty publication papers, North American tissue products, wines and spirits, forest and wood products, renewable energy and recycling, as well as its modernization with special emphasis on the environment.
The company's activities are divided into two major divisions: Industrial Products (publication papers, forest products, containerboard and packaging) and Consumer Products (tissue products, wines and spirits). Kruger Inc.’s subsidiary, Kruger Energy, develops and operates hydroelectric, solar, wind power, biomass cogeneration and biogas energy projects.
“We are looking at developing, building and operating more solar projects in the US at this time,” Mr. Conboy told the town board.
Kruger Energy has spent the past month looking to see if the property would be an ideal site for a solar project – and they like what they see.
“It has the components,” Mr. Conboy said. “What we look for on a good solar site is relatively flat land where there isn’t going to be any undue environmental or any other impacts – any threatened or endangered species, on wetlands, rare plants and animals, on our neighbors, and on the community.
“Also there is a 23KB National Grid line that runs from the Emeryville Hydro Project, along the road for a little while, follows the railroad track, and cuts along the southern corner of the property that Kruger owns. That would be where the solar project interconnects to the electric grid – something that you need for the kind of project that we want to do.”
Kruger Energy will only be able to use 27 out of the 53 acres.
“There’s a stream, some wetlands, in the southern boundary of the tract,” Mr. Conboy said. “We would have some setbacks from that. We would want to avoid the wetlands. We would setback the edges of the solar project from the adjoining neighbors, from the property lines.”
On the 27 acres of available land, Kruger Energy plans to put up rows of solar panels, aligned from east to west, fixed tilt to the south.
“The sun is usually toward the south on the northern latitudes where we are here,” Mr. Conboy explained.
A gravel access road would lead into the project from County Route 22 in Fowler, and a fence would surround the perimeter of the solar panels.
Mr. Conboy continued to give the town board details on the solar project as follows:
“There would be underground electric cables that would then take the electricity from the solar panels, run them together and pass the electricity through converters (converting it from DC to AC electricity). Then it goes through transformers stepped up to the same voltage that the transmission lines are operated at – and then it would connect to that transmission line. The skill of the project is just under five megawatts AC… Getting just below five megawatts allows us to reduce our costs a bit.
“The project would generate 8,300 megawatt hours per year which probably doesn’t mean much to anybody, but that is the equivalent of electricity used by approximately 1,100 New York households. It is a fair amount of electricity that we could produce.”
Mr. Conboy told the Town of Fowler board that Kruger estimated the total capital investment would be around $7 million. He said the soonest the project could be completed was late in 2018 or possibly summer of 2019. He then commented that the timing would be dependent on whether they received an award from New York State Energy and Resource Development Authority.
“They are conducting a competitive request for proposals to supply them with the renewable energy credits (RECs) from this project,” Mr. Conboy said. “So, this project would generate two main products of value – one being the energy that is put into the grid and the other being the RECs which are the renewable components and NYSERDA will purchase them under a long term contract.”
Mr. Conboy then assured the town board that it would not be an overnight decision.
“We are not going to start the construction next week,” he said. “We have to do the development work. We have to go through the permitting process with the town, the county. We are interested in getting a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) agreement from the town, county, the IDA, and the school district. So that’s something we want to start a dialogue about. We have to start to go through the whole interconnection process with National Grid to get technical permission to connect the project to the grid. So, we are at the beginning of the development process that will probably take 12 to 16 months before we can actually start construction.”
Mr. Conboy told the town board Kruger Energy’s owner likes to develop projects and business with a real long-term perspective in mind.
“If we are going to develop and build and operate a project long term, we want to have a good relationship with the community where the project is located,” he said.
Mr. Conboy concluded his presentation by mentioning that he would appreciate feedback from the community about the project. He said he would be talks with NYSERDA this week, and get the beginning stages of the development process rolling.
“I wanted to make an introduction to the town board, to the community and just talk about what our interests are – get the dialogue started,” he said. “We’ll be doing more research in the weeks ahead, but if anyone has any feedback, please let us know. We will keep in touch as we move things forward, and see if we can make this happen.”
He then asked the town board if there were any questions.
Town of Fowler Supervisor Michael Cappellino asked, “What is the lifespan of this solar array?”
“We are projecting about 30 years operating life,” Mr. Conboy answered.
Deputy Supervisor Rick Newvine asked, “What is in it for us? Does this create jobs for Fowler? Does this create low-cost power for Fowler? It seems like so far all we are doing is giving taxes away.”
“Well, you will get property tax revenue either in form of PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) payments, or if you don’t do a PILOT just in the property tax payments,” Mr. Conboy said. “But if you do the PILOT you’ll get the PILOT payments and the property tax payments when the PILOT term ends. That is certainly the biggest kind of financial gain. On the same of side of that, it is not the sort of project that is going to create a lot of needs for services for the town or the county. We are not going to create jobs. We are not going to put more students in the classroom or need plowing or other municipal or social services that some projects create through the types of jobs that they create.
“In creating the PILOT payments, it is going to diversify the economic base a little bit. I guess you have a hydroelectric project here in town, but you have another type of tax revenue coming in.”
The discussion with the Kruger energy representative lasted for several more moments before the town board extended their gratitude to Kruger for making their presentation to the town board.
The next meeting of the Town of Fowler is to be held on Tuesday, August 1 at 7 p.m. at the Fowler Town Hall.
50th annual Gouverneur Fire Department fireworks spectacular
by Jessyca Cardinell
As everyone celebrated our nation's independence on July 4th, the Gouverneur Volunteer Fire Department proudly hosted the 50th annual fireworks spectacular at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.
It proved to be a night of fun and thrills for people of all ages, many whom were dressed in their best red, white and blue outfits.
Concession stands were set up with a variety of refreshments and food, including a popular favorite cotton candy. Youngsters enjoyed sparklers and glow sticks as they anxiously waited to see the beautiful display of fireworks lighting up the night sky.
The Gouverneur Fire Department announced that Nelson Bice was the 50/50 raffle winner, and won $700.
As the anticipation came to a high, the National Anthem was wonderfully performed by Allison Carvel and Johanna Sloan, who received a great round of applause.
As darkness fell, loud booms and pops could be heard for miles as fireworks lit up the sky in celebration for the land of the free and home of the brave.
by Jessyca Cardinell
The Gouverneur Central School District graduates of 2017 said their final farewells to their beloved Gouverneur High School at the 129th commencement ceremony, held in the Gouverneur High School auditorium on Friday, June 23.
An emotional night for many, the seats were filled with family and friends of the graduates, who after four years of hard work, were now ready to enter onto the next chapter of their lives.
The graduates proudly made their way down the aisles to “Pomp and Circumstance,” accompanied by the Gouverneur Central School principals, board of education members and class advisors who led the way.
Principal Cory Wood welcomed everyone to the ceremony, which for the first time was broadcasted via Facebook to friends and family who were unable to attend. The video, as of press time on Tuesday, received more than 4,000 views.
The High School Chamber Singers, directed by Richard Haynes, led everyone in the National Anthem, including its senior class members, Kyle Bulger, Cali Steorts, Andromeda Elliot and Raigan Morenz, who gave their last performance together as high school students.
Heartfelt speeches were given by senior class speakers Meaghan Matthews, Bailey Soper and Cassidy LaPierre, who expressed their hopes for their future as well as the futures of their classmates.
Lauren French, Superintendent of Schools, and Lisa Dunkelberg, president of the Board of Education, gave their remarks to the Class of 2017 as they wished them well in their future endeavors.
The chamber singers performed “And So It Goes,” before going on with the graduation ceremony.
Senior Class Advisor Robert Decker presented the special class awards to the graduates, which were then given to them by Mr. Wood. They were given as follows:
Senior Academic Achievement Awards went to LeeAnn Berry, Sydney Brown, Madilyn Frank, Madison James, Cassidy LaPierre, Robert Leader, Victoria Lucas, Meaghan Matthews, Raigan Morenz, Tiana Sargent, Bailey Soper, and Cali Steorts. All stood to be recognized. These distinguished seniors made the honor roll every marking period since they began their high school career as ninth grade students. They have earned honor roll status 15 times during the past four years.
Vocational Student Awards were given as follows: Most Improved Students: Adrienne Manson, Korissa Seguin, Adrian Simmons. Outstanding Students: Michael Hoffman Jr. and Brianna McDougal. These Southwest Tech BOCES students have displayed outstanding dedication to their vocational program.
Elizabeth Kirchner Gleason Scholarship was presented to Dakota Trejo who plans to major in art. This $500 art scholarship is given by retired Gouverneur art teacher Elizabeth Gleason. This scholarship is given in memory of Lillian Todd and Diana Lind, deceased art teachers of Gouverneur High School. The award is presented to a graduate who has majored in art during high school who will continue formal study of a visual art field in college.
Mariano Pistolesi Memorial Wrestling Scholarship ($500 award) was presented to William Leader. This award is given in memory of Mariano Pistolesi by his family. Mr. Pistolesi was a member of the first wrestling team of Gouverneur High School in 1934. He was an avid outdoorsman, and a huge wrestling fan. This award is given to a graduating senior of the wrestling team planning post-secondary education and is based on dedication, inspiration, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
The Kiwanis Club Scholarship ($500 award) was presented to Bailey Soper. The Gouverneur Kiwanis Club awards to a Gouverneur High School graduate based on a letter of personal reference, community service, and academic achievement.
The Gouverneur Key Club Scholarship ($1,000 award) was presented to Daniel Whitton. The scholarship is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Gouverneur and is awarded to a graduating Key Club member who has shown exemplary leadership in carrying out the club’s agenda.
Faye Sprague Hopper Scholarship was presented to Andromeda Elliott. This scholarship was established to honor Miss Hopper’s commitment to musical excellence while serving the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur as organist for 62 years. This $500 award is given annually to a graduating college-bound senior who has demonstrated a commitment to musical excellence and has shared the gift of music with the school and the community.
The Roger O. Favro Memorial Scholarship of $500 was awarded to William Leader. This award is given in memory of Mr. Favro who served his country in the United States Army, held the office of Canton Town Justice, and was a highly respected social studies teacher at Gouverneur for thirty years. The award is given to a graduate who best exemplifies ethical character, responsibility, community service, and a sincere appreciation of social studies.
The William E. Appleby, Jr., Humanities Award of $500 was presented to Meaghan Matthews. This award is given in Mr. Appleby’s memory by his family. He was a gifted teacher, writer, and accomplished musician. He taught English at Gouverneur for over 25 years providing leadership and inspiration to young adults. This award is given to a graduate pursuing post-secondary education in English, music, or the arts.
Jared Walker was the recipient of a four-year Army ROTC scholarship at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. This scholarship covers tuition, books and a monthly stipend. ROTC scholarships are competitive and are based on ACT scores, GPA, community volunteerism, athletics, extracurricular activities and an interview. Jared plans to earn a commission as an officer in the U.S. Army where he hopes to serve in Special Forces.
The Gouverneur Teachers Association presented $600 scholarships to Meaghan Matthews and Cali Steorts. This is awarded to senior scholars who demonstrate positive citizenship, character, a commitment public service, and strong leadership through a variety of extracurricular activities.
The New York State Academic Excellence Award of $1,500 per year, based upon specific Regents exam scores, was presented to Cassidy LaPierre. $500 award winners were LeeAnn Berry, Meaghan Matthews, and David McCloud.
The NNY Community Foundation Scholarship (a one-year scholarship for up to $3,000) was presented to Cassidy LaPierre.
The Roy G. Gibbs Scholarship of $3,000 was presented to Kennedy Hayden-McGill by Donald Peck This award, provided by the Gouverneur Agricultural Board, honors a graduate for youth leadership. Mr. Gibbs was a Gouverneur agriculture teacher from 1923-1954 well known for his dedication to teaching and young adults.
An exciting moment for the graduates came when they received their high school diplomas, the official sentiment that they had made it. They were no longer high school students and would be entering into adulthood, where choices, decisions and goals lie. Nancy Hay, class advisor, called each graduates name, as they walked across the stage to receive their diploma fromLisa Dunkelberg, board of education president andPrincipal Wood.
The GHS Class of 2017 includes the following members: Dylan Patrick Bates, LeeAnn Berry, Eric S. Birkland II, Hannah Marie Boshane, Haley Ruth Bown, Madison Grace Briggs, Sydney S. Brown, Mark William Brunson, Kyle Michael Bulger, Cody M. Burns, Lucas R. Carr, Madison Sandra Casey, Erika L. Dasno, Jacob M. Davis, Bradley H. Drake, Pilar L. Durham, Anthony M. Dusharm, Carly Raelyn Dusharm, Andromeda B. Elliott, Kyle Dean Elliott, Jack Macauley Farrand, Keegan T. Fawcett, Samuel John Fifield, Jr., Elizabeth Mae Filiatrault, Ryan E. Finch, Zoie Madilyn Flynn, Madeline May Frank, Christopher Joe Fuller, Vincenza Emily Gillan, Jeffrey B. Hance, Tori Lynn Hartle, Kennedy Alaine Hayden-McGill, Morgen Marie Hicks, Jadelynn P.S.M. Hitchcock, Michael F. Hoffman, Jr., Madison Lynn James, Tiffany Marie Jenkins, Warren W. Johns, Michael B. LaBow, Abdul M. Ahmed Ladan, Camron Jeffrey Lancto, Cassidy Bell LaPierre, Robert Joseph Leader, William Charles Leader, Victoria Elizabeth Lucas, Adrienne H. Manson, Trevor Lynden Martin, Dawson James Gregory Mason, Meaghan Anne Melody Matthews, David Lawrence McCloud, Brianna Skye McDougal, Anjelica M. Measheaw, Barbie Miller, Matthew Joshua Monica, Kelly Joe Moore, Raigan Nicole Morenz, Cole Joseph Newvine, Quincie J. Parker, Harlie Deane Peck, Frederick Q. Phelps, Wyatt Robert Porter, Brooke Alexis Richards, Alexis Marie Rowe, Tiana Lynn Sargent, Emily Scalzo, Korissa Merrie Seguin, Jonathan Paul Shampine, Lindsey Shattuck, Michaela E. Shippee, Adrian Lee Simmons, Maegan Marie Simmons, McKenna R. Simmons, Bailey Margaret Soper, Kestin B. Stamper, Cali Ann Steorts, Derick William Stowell, Hannah Ashley Stowell, Michelle Leigh Tarus, Thomas R. Theriault, Nicholas Ryan Tracey, Dakota Kristine Trejo, Anthony E. Turner, Benjamin DeForest Upward, Jared John Walker, Lyle Jay Roy Frank Walrath, Noah Z. Way, Hunter Gerald Weaver, Kaleigh Ann Weber, Andrew David Wedlock, Caitlyn J. Wells, Daniel Scott Whitton, Zachary M. Wicks, Jachob M. Worster, and Herbert Leland Yerdon.
In the front row, a graduate seat was adorned with Brennan Stevens' photo and graduation cap. As his name was called to receive a diploma, the audience stood and gave a standing ovation for the senior whose life ended too soon.
Daniel Whitton, president of the Class of 2017, led his fellow graduates in moving the tassels on their caps from the right side over to the left, symbolizing the transition from high school student to high school graduate.
All graduates then tossed their caps into the air in celebration of the end of their high school career.
As the graduates exited the auditorium, family and friends greeted them with excitement and pride. A reception was held in the High School gymnasium for the graduates and their families to enjoy. Many photos were taken commemorating the evening which is sure to be a highlighting memory in each graduate’s life.
Congratulations to all Gouverneur High School Graduates on their hard work and success. The Gouverneur Tribune Press sends its congratulations and best to each and every one of you.
GFD been busy
by Rachel Hunter
Gouverneur Fire Chief Tom Conklin on June 20 gave the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its regular meeting an update on what the fire department has been doing since Jan. 1.
“So far this year, we have responded to 236 calls,” Chief Conklin said. “We’ve had a few big stops in the village this year. One of them was on Austin Street. We had a report of a bedroom fire. There were five units in the building, and we contained it to the bedroom, and four units got to stay in the house that same night. It was good stop. I believe the unit itself they lost a cat and another pet but other than that, the fire was contained to the bedroom.
“We’ve had a few days this month when we responded to over five calls a day.
“Water Operations Class was hosted right here in Gouverneur. Over the last few months you have seen trucks along the river, training. That was a state credential class that we held in Gouverneur. There was 13 of us who took the class. It was the first time it had been offered here in the North Country. It just helps you utilize maximum water flow with the littlest amount of equipment. It was a good class to take.
“We did do some hydrant testing. The village hydrant on Main Street, the new 16-inch line can flow approximately 1699 gallons a minute. So that is definitely significant enough for any kind of major fire on the east side of the town.
“We just had six guys get done with EVOC training, which Emergency Vehicle Operations Class. So you are going to see some fire trucks around the village in the next several months with them training on our trucks, so that they can drive our vehicles. EVOC is the first step that they have to take through the state to drive the trucks and then they have to do a three-step class at the station to be checked off on each apparatus.
“Our apparatus certifications and pump certifications will be done in August. This is the yearly certification for our ladder truck due to its age. The federal and state government mandates that our engines be certified every year with the pumps.
“The first responder program. The paperwork has been all submitted to the state. We are waiting on the state’s approval. Right now they came up with a few questions and Jeff Gibson and Mark Deavers from the rescue squad are handling them. So we are still waiting on our Department of Health number so we can start our first responders.
“EMT class will start in August for our members that are going to be involved with the first responder class. I think we have 12 that will be taking the class. The class starts in August and it goes through to December, two or three days a week.
“The trusty boat that we have… the motor blew in it under a training circumstance. It was a 1986 motor, so it was old. We sent it to be repaired, but it was unrepairable so we ended up purchasing a used 2002 motor from the Clayton Marina. That was the cheapest price that we got.
“We do plan on hosting our annual fire extinguisher training at the fair throughout the week. We will be posting the schedule on our Facebook page once it gets closer to the fair.
“We attended the breast cancer walk, memorial parade, flag day parade and NNY Fire Convention parade in Lake Placid.
“The members and I would like to thank the board for their continued support.”
The next meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees is to be held on July 18 at 7 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.
by Rachel Hunter
The 24th annual Greater Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce Flag Day Event and Parade will be held Saturday, June 10 starting at 10 a.m. in the village park.
There will be an opening ceremony at 10 a.m. with Gouverneur High School senior Bailey Soper performing the national anthem. The Matune Creek Band will then play from 10 a.m. to noon.
There will be vendors, music, children’s games (by Gouverneur Recreation Dept.), bouncy house (sponsored by Aubuchon Hardware), and Farmer’s Market in the park starting at 10 a.m. as well.
The Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 will hold its flag ceremony from noon to 1 p.m.
The annual Flag Day parade kicks off at 2 p.m.
The lineup will start at 1 p.m. Clubs, individuals, businesses and organizations are all welcome in the parade. Enter through Wilson Street to line up on Johnstown Street. The parade will come across Main Street and end on Trinity Ave., behind Northern Federal Credit Union.
Organizer Connie Stowell said all are invited to participate, and that “no one will be turned away!”
The Gouverneur High School Wildcat Marching Band will be in attendance along with the Indian River Marching Band, the Alexandria Bay Mardi Gras Band, and the 10th Mountain Division Band.
Mrs. Stowell said the Alexandria Bay Mardi Gras band usually puts on a performance in the park following the parade, and all are inviting to “stick around” to witness their skilled musicianship.
Come out and celebrate the Red, White and Blue!
by Rachel Hunter
Michael Webster of Gouverneur encouraged all to remember the day’s true meaning in his speech at the 2017 Gouverneur Memorial Day service, held Monday, May 29 at the Riverside Cemetery.
“Memorial Day is the day set aside for remembering and honoring military personnel, men and women, who died in the service of their country,” the guest speaker said.
“They were defending our freedom and our way of life. Today we pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. They left their homes, never to return. Those who did and do come home we honor and pay tribute to them on Veterans Day. In reality, we should thank them every day.
“So I ask: Why did you come here?” Did you come to listen to someone give a speech? To hear a lone bagpiper? To hear the band? To hear the guns? To remember and show respect? Maybe some of you came because you had to, possibly wishing you were somewhere else. Maybe you lost a family member, maybe a close friend. It may be only a fleeting moment, a passing though. We do our best. But is it really? So many distractions.
“Putting it bluntly, the men and women that we are to remember and honor here today gave their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we have and hold dear.
“Freedom was not and is not free.
“To my question. Why did you come here? You know your answer.
“I came here to show respect to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. My uncle, Silas Wainwright, died at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, December 7, 1941. The Veterans of Foreign Wars here in Gouverneur named their Post in his honor. In my family we were taught no to forget. My children and grandchildren are also made aware.
“Did I enjoy the band, the lone bagpiper and the rifle salute? Of course I did. It all helps me to remember.
“Because many have lost the true meaning of this day, it is our responsibility to pass along to each new generation the importance of being here. It is our duty to never let America forget the sacrifice of so many.
“I thank you all for being here with me today and my hope is that you will continue to honor and remember.”
Michael Webster was born in Gouverneur, and raised on a dairy farm in Hammond. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the Navy, retiring in 1983, almost 24 later, as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. His eligibility for the Veterans of Foreign Wars came from tours of duty in Vietnam and a mission over Korea with Patrol Squadron Four.
He joined the Silas Wainwright VFW Post #6338, in Gouverneur, in 1973 and is a Life Member.
After retiring from the Navy he completed his education to become a school teacher, earning his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History at SUNY Potsdam and his Master of Arts Degree in Education at St. Lawrence University.
He retired from teaching in 2007. He also had his own carpentry business for more than 17 years.
With the VFW he was the Post Commander, twice, totaling eight years, St. Lawrence Counties Council Commander and District Four Commander. He has held chairmanships at the Post, District and State levels and is presently a National Committee Member for Veterans and Military Support Programs.
He is also a member of the, American Legion Post 65 in Gouverneur New York, Military Order of the Cootie of the United States, Navy Fleet Reserve Association Post 86 in Millington Tennessee, Knights of Columbus in Gouverneur and Zoning Board of Appeals for Edwards New York.
Michael and his wife Marlene (Gosier), (who he went to school with from the first grade on), have been married for 56 years, have four children, Tracie, Cary, Robert and Jeremy and seven grandchildren. Three years ago they officially became snowbirds.
The 2017 Memorial Day Parade in Gouverneur started at 10a.m. Lineup was in front of the former’s Greg’s Restaurant (Rock Island St.). The parade traveled west on Main St., and then South on Williams St., crossing the bridge to Riverside Cemetery. Residents didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits as they watched the parade under umbrellas on Main St.
The parade marshal was Richard Fisher.
The parade was led by Village of Gouverneur Police Chief Laurina Greenhill in a Gouverneur Police Dept. car, followed by St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells in the sheriff’s vehicle.
Honor guards from the James Maloy American Legion Post 65 and the Silas Wainwright Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6338 carried flags and weapons.
Gouverneur VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary marched along with Gold Star Mother Nancy Cappellino.
Local dignitaries included Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Robert Ritchie, Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, St. Lawrence County Legislator Henry Leaderr and former Village of Gouverneur Mayor Curran Wade.
Gouverneur Masonic Lodge No. 217 joined in the parade ahead of the Gouverneur High School Wildcat Marching Band, which performed under the direction of Victor Correa.
Girl Scout Troop 50271 followed, waving American flags as they waved and went down the parade route.
Fort Drum provided three military vehicles for the parade.
Gouverneur Volunteer Fire Department then concluded the parade with Engine 17 along with the Gouverneur Rescue Squad’s ambulance.
A United States Navy wreath was presented at the Williams Street/Route 58 bridge to salute the dead by Michael Webster and Michael Knowlton.
The Master of Ceremonies for the services at the cemetery was Jim Wright. The invocation was given by American Legion Auxiliary Chaplain Betty Tuttle. Mr. Wright led the Pledge of Allegiance. The band played the Star Spangled Banner.
Jeff Forsythe performed two selections on the bagpipes, including “Amazing Grace”.
Mr. Wright then acknowledged the following dignitaries: Assemblywoman Addie Jenne, St. Lawrence County Legislator Joel LaPierre (District 4), St. Lawrence County Legislator Henry Leader (District 5), St. Lawrence County Legislator Larry Denesha (District 6), SLC Sheriff Kevin Wells, Gouverneur Village Mayor Ronald McDougall, Gouverneur Police Chief Laurina Greenhill, Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce Director Donna Besaw, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Bob Ritchie.
Mike Webster served as the escort during the presentation of ribbons. The presentation was as follows: WWI (John Gray), WWII (Cecil Steele), Korea (Al Melisko), Vietnam (Ronald Hartle), Panama (Michael Knowlton), Desert Storm (Randy Knowlton), Bosnia (Todd Murray), Somalia/Haiti (Richard Fisher), Afghanistan (Roland Roderick), Iraq (Mike Webster), POW/MIA (Gerald Barker), Women Veterans Memorial (Nicole Shippee), American Legion Post 65 (Gloria Weldon), American Legion Ladies Auxiliary (Gloria Youngs), VFW Post 6338 (Dominick Simione), VFW Auxiliary (Melissa Simione), Gold Star Mothers (Nancy Cappellino), Daughters of the American Revolution (Lynda Andrews), Sons of the American Legion (Steven Cline).
The Last Roll Call was read by Mr. Wright for deceased VFW and American Legion members John Halford, Lewis Zaluski, Kelzo Shrewsberry, Charles Stowell, Edgar Eelles, and Leroy Tharett.
The Salute of the Dead was the given by the VFW and American Legion Rifle Squad. Taps were played by Jenneca Cook and Echo by Andromeda Elliot.
The Gouverneur High School Band then performed “His Honor/Captain America” under the direction of Janelle Yeoman.
The benediction was given by VFW Auxiliary Chaplain Marlene Webster.
Special gratitude was then given to all who contributed any type of service for the annual Memorial Day remembrance. All were then invited to American Legion Post 65 for a free luncheon in the upstairs banquet room following the ceremony.
Gouverneur, NY--Following a three-day unannounced inspection visit, Gouverneur Hospital has achieved quality-based reaccreditation by DNV-GL Healthcare. By earning reaccreditation, Gouverneur Hospital demonstrates it meets or exceeds patient safety standards set forth by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. DNV-GL Healthcare is the only quality assurance program for hospitals that integrates ISO 9001 Quality Management System with Medicare Conditions of Participation.
“Reaccreditation under this rigorous program shows our employees’ and medical staff members’ unwavering commitment to patient safety and care quality,” said David Bender, Gouverneur Hospital CEO. “ISO 9001 is the world’s gold standard used by all kinds of industries to drive performance improvements,” he said. “Ask anyone in industry how difficult it is to achieve ISO 9001 standards and you’ll know how hard our people have worked to achieve this,” he said.
DNV-GL’s accreditation program, called NIAHO® (National Integrated Accreditation of Healthcare Systems), involves annual hospital inspections and encourages hospitals to openly share across departments and to discover improvements in clinical workflows and safety protocols. Every hospital department is involved, from housekeeping and nutrition services to the operating room. Inspectors delve into every aspect of a patient visit, including record-keeping, billing, and elements impacting employee, visitor, and patient safety such as ensuring doorways and hallways are clear and sterilization procedures are of the highest industry standards.
Gouverneur Hospital was first accredited by DNV-GL Healthcare in 2014. At the time of first accreditation under the NIAHO® program, hospitals are given three years to achieve the integrated ISO 9001 accreditation.
For information about the services available through Gouverneur Hospital, interested individuals may visit www.gvnrhospital.org or www.ourfutureisbright.org.
by Rachel Hunter
The Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees on May 16 decided it was time to remove the condemned house at 48 William St. in the Village of Gouverneur.
The house was condemned following a fire that destroyed the two-story structure on October 14, 2016.
Mayor Ron McDougall made a recommendation for the village board to take the corrective action, involving Attorney Henry Leader and Code Enforcement Officer Michael McQuade, and that the village “would go about removing that piece of property.”
“It was supposed to be down last November or whenever it was,” Mayor McDougall said. “One thing led to another... The only thing that has gone down there is (DPW Supt.) TJ’s (Simmons) crew went down there and put up the barricades. There’s some other litter down there, blowing about, some of it has fell in, and as soon as you come across that new bridge it looks deplorable.”
Mayor McDougall then said, “If I don’t have 100 complaints on that, I don’t have any.”
Deputy Supervisor Charles Newvine made the motion and it was approved by the village board. There was no discussion on the matter.
Mayor McDougall told Attorney Leader to get started on it right away.
“The sooner, the better Henry,” he said. “I’d appreciate that.”
The next meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees is to be held on Tuesday, June 20 at 7 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.
Gouverneur Central budget approved, BOE seats filled
by Jessyca Cardinell
Many throughout the Gouverneur community were able to cast their vote in the annual Gouverneur Central School District budget vote, held in the high school auditorium on Tuesday, May 16.
Lauren French, superintendent of schools, was pleased to announce that the budget for the 2017-2018 school year was approvedwith 219 voting yes and 52 voting against the budget. Voting was light here as it was in many school districts across the region yesterday.
All three board of education candidates on the ballot were elected by the community. David Fenlong (236 votes) will continue as a boardmember. Newcomers James Delity (207 votes) and Roland Roderick (188 votes) will become members, effective July 1, 2017, the start of the new school year. They willreplace Jeremy Bartholomew and Clark Porter, whose terms on the board are ending.
“In reviewing the responses collected from the exit poll, many complimented the board of education for its fiscal responsibility, the wide variety in programs we continue to support and the professionalism of all our employees. Final positive comments related to the satisfaction with the Capital Project. Thank you all for your support. We will continue our initiatives to deliver the promise of a brighter future for our students and our community. We are very pleased to see the voter support,” said Mrs. French.
Three GCS Board of Education candidates up for vote on May 16
by Jessyca Cardinell
There are three enthusiastic candidates this year for the Gouverneur Central School Board of Education Election to be held on May 16. Be sure to take a moment of your time to get out and vote.
David Fenlong, who attended and graduated from Gouverneur Central School, has been very active in the community and has had a twenty-five-year career as the customer experience manager for the drug store division of KPH Healthcare Services.
He and his wife Susan have two Middle School sons, Griffin in seventh grade and Ethan in sixth grade.
As Mr. Fenlong's three-year term on the Board of Education is coming to a close, he has chosen to run for election once again. Mr. Fenlong took a moment to reflect on his experience of being on the school board.
“Being on the school board the last three years has been rewarding,” he said. “I feel active and involved in a community that needs volunteers. I get amazed at the depth and breadth of the teaching and learning occurring in our public school today. At the end of the day students are smarter, more sophisticated and better prepared for tomorrow than ever before. This makes an impact in the community we serve and why I ran in the first place.
“Even with tight budgets and situations beyond our regional control, we are still able to work together to meet the district's needs. Everyone has a common goal that is centered on the success of our students. There will always be work to do and tough decisions to get there. We just need to remain student-focused.”
When it comes to running for school board again, Mr. Fenlong said the following: “I enjoy being part of the change that can positively affect a child, but most of my motivation is seeing our students and staff succeed and providing reassurance and support toward that success.
“The district is reaching new heights and with all of the achievements, I believe their best days lie ahead. I want to be a part of accomplishing those goals. I definitely want to see the capital project finish and see the positive effects of the vision that went into it.
“I also want to remain a conduit for our education community to be sure information is flowing out to public and back to the school to create an open communication line for everyone.
“Public education is about caring, teaching and promoting education for all students. I intend to ensure we stay focused on those goals. I am proud to be a member of a group of dedicated volunteers.”
Mr. Fenlong was able to share a story of how being on the Board of Education has positively affected him, as well as others.
“There is always something, a story or memory that remains with me from my Board of Education experiences so far,” Mr. Fenlong said. “There truly are many. The one that sticks out the most is the rewarding smile. The smiles from the students, the teachers, administration or a parent as you witness their experiences from another angle.
“But I will have to say when I volunteered to read to an unknown group of fifth graders for an hour I was truly moved. Though difficult, I wanted to make an impact.
“A couple of weeks later I was at the school for the spring musical and as I was sitting down with my family, I heard a voice say, “Hi Mr. Fenlong.” A little voice. I don't hear this that often. I looked around and it was said again, a waving hand and smile joined in and I recognized the student from that day I read to the group of fifth graders. I smiled and graciously acknowledged him. He remembered me and I made an impact. It was all worth it.”
Roland Roderick is a very involved community member, parent and has been active in the military for the last 19 years, currently stationed at Fort Drum. He has been interested in being on the Board of Education, and is currently in the running.
“I would like to serve on the Gouverneur Central Board of Education because as a member of this community and a parent I have a vested interest in the success of our school district,” Mr. Roderick said. “I want my child and all of the children of GCSD to be able to get the highest quality education possible. I would like to maintain a good relationship between the Board and the community especially with all of the ongoing building projects taking place within the district.”
Mr. Roderick, originally from Maine, has been married to wife Bridget for 13 years and the pair, along with daughter Hannah, age 9, have resided in Gouverneur for the last nine years.
Mr. Roderick plans to retire from the military in June of 2018 and the family plans to continue to live in Gouverneur, of which Bridget is a native.
Mr. Roderick is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Gouverneur, a lifetime member of the VFW in Gouverneur and a member of the American Legion Post in Maine.
The family enjoys sports and activities. Mr. Roderick serves in the summer as AYSO soccer coach. His daughter Hannah enjoys gymnastics, cheerleading, karate and AYSO soccer. They also enjoy traveling and visiting Maine, as well as the outdoors in general.
James Delity, who was active in the United States Army for 24 years as a Chief Warrant Officer Five, is now retired and currently residing in Gouverneur with his family, including wife Heather, the Middle School STEM teacher at Gouverneur Central.
Mr. Delity currently works as a Training Center Manager on Fort Drum.
“I enjoy serving in volunteer and community roles,” said Mr. Delity.
Mr. Delity is currently the President of the Board for Fowler Baptist Church and volunteers ten to fifteen hours a week at the Fort Drum USO.
The pair have two sons, Stefan, a freshman at Gouverneur High School, and Evan, a recent graduate of Baylor University with a Masters of Divinity and is currently serving as a pastor in Temple Texas.
“Both of my sons have very different interests, strengths and weaknesses, but both have shared a desire for the best education that could possibly for the best education that could be provided to them,” Mr. Delity said. “They inspire me to participate in any way I can to improve their educational opportunities, as well as the opportunities of all the students of Gouverneur.
“I believe that serving on the Gouverneur Central School Board is the greatest way to accomplish this goal. I believe that it is an investment into the future of Gouverneur and its students.
“As part of a military family, our sons have attended schools in several states and overseas. While that presented wonderful opportunities for our sons, what our family missed was a lasting community in which to join. My wife and I are very happy to get to settle in a place like Gouverneur, where we will be able to build lasting, meaningful relationships with people in the community. We are proud and honored to call Gouverneur home.”
by Jessyca Cardinell
The Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund Committee held its annual Kick-Off Celebration at Mullins Restaurant in Gouverneur on Thursday, April 26 to promote the upcoming 16th Annual Gouverneur Breast Cancer Walk, set to take place May 20.
The committee of dedicated woman includes Mona Allen, Judy Bush, Marilyn LaPierre, Carolyn Pistolesi and Terry Pistolesi, who all know someone who is a survivor of breast cancer or passed on due to breast cancer.
“The Kick-Off is a great way to get everyone together and have some fun while promoting the walk,” said Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund Committee member Judy Bush.
There were snacks, refreshments and music available as well as great company to enjoy.
Every year there are several items to be raffled off, benefiting the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund. This year the spotlight item is a gorgeous Forever One Moissanite Necklace and Earring set, designed by Harland Brown of Brown’s Jewelry. The necklace is ¼ cut ct tw diamonds and 1 ct Forever One Moissanite with 22 inch adjustable fourteen karat rose gold chain. The earrings are one karat rose gold Forever One.
Raffle tickets can be purchased now and on the day of the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Walk. Tickets are $5 each and that money goes into the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund to help those locally diagnosed with breast cancer.
“There are so many businesses and people from the Tri-county area that donate items for us to raffle off, including Uncle Sam's Boat Tours,” said Terry Pistolesi, member on the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund Committee. “It's very important that people know we are here, not only to help raise money, although that is important also, but so those in need can get the help that we offer.”
Mark your calendars now for the 16th Annual Gouverneur Breast Cancer Walk on May 20!