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74 Trinity Avenue
Gouverneur, NY, 13642
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Local News

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

Legacy Fund at Community Foundation Awards Grant to Gouverneur Rescue Squad

Dan McClelland

The A. Eleanor Jackson Fund at the Northern New York Community Foundation recently awarded a grant to help Gouverneur Rescue Squad enhance care provided to young patients.

The charitable legacy fund established by Ms. Jackson through the Community Foundation provided a $5,207 grant to the Gouverneur Rescue Squad for the purchase of five Handtevy Pediatric dosing systems. The systems help ensure young infants and children in need receive optimal and accurate care in a prehospitalization setting. Four kits will be utilized in the field for ambulance and rescue calls and an additional kit will be used for educational purposes. The rescue squad has served the Gouverneur area and surrounding communities for more than 50 years.

“Through this fund, Eleanor continues to make a difference in the community she cared so much about. Because of the way her fund was structured, it has enabled support for a wide variety of community programs, projects and endeavors over the years. That type of enduring support is powerful,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director.

Ms. Jackson, a longtime Gouverneur resident, established her legacy fund at the Community Foundation through her will. Her goal was to provide a permanent source of grant funding to programs and projects impacting the quality of life in the town or village of Gouverneur forever. Ms. Jackson died in 2002. Since the establishment of her geographic-specific fund, more than $175,000 in grant funding has been distributed throughout the Gouverneur area.

The Northern New York Community Foundation makes grants to support the work of non-profit organizations and provides scholarships to individuals in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The Foundation has been built and added to from gifts (both while living and through their legacy plans) by individuals and organizations committed to meeting the changing needs of Northern New York, as well as supporting specific charitable interests and passions. The Community Foundation is located at the Northern New York Philanthropy Center in Watertown.

Gouverneur Hospital to receive $50,000 in state funding to assist with safe patient handling

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Hospital has been allocated $50,000 in state funding, secured by State Senator Patty Ritchie, to purchase “safe patient handling” equipment to help hospital staff lift and move patients, keep patients warm and comfortable, monitor their vital signs and use a bladder scanner to prevent unnecessary and painful urinary catheters.

“We are proud of the high quality services we offer to Gouverneur and the surrounding communities,” said David Bender, CEO of Gouverneur Hospital. “We are very grateful that Senator Patty Ritchie recognizes access to quality care is a critical issue in the North Country. The funding she has acquired for our hospital has been allocated for safe patient handling equipment that will enhance our patient experience.”

A total of $450,000 in state funding secured by State Senator Patty Ritchie for four area hospitals which in addition to serving their communities, also provide medical care to Fort Drum troops and their families, are now able to purchase medical supplies that will assist with surgeries and treatment to improve patient care.

“Our local hospitals are critical to the health and well-being of our communities. They are also critical to the mission of Fort Drum, meeting the medical needs of the installation’s 30,000 soldiers and family members,” said Senator Ritchie, who represents Fort Drum and its surrounding communities. “I am pleased to deliver this important funding to our outstanding hospitals which treat our community and our brave service members and families who give back so much to our region and our country.”

The funding comes as part of a $1.25 million Military Base Retention grant that was secured by Senator Ritchie in the state budget and aims to strengthen Fort Drum, which does not have its own hospital. Senator Ritchie started the Military Base Retention grant program in 2012 to help strengthen Fort Drum, the surrounding communities it partners with and to protect the installation from potential federal cuts.

Gouverneur High School Athletic Wall of Fame Inducts Two New Members

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur High School Athletic Wall of Fame Committee inducted two new members in its ceremony held Saturday, September 29 in the High School Auditorium.

 William Tehonica (right) is proudly presented with his 2018 Gouverneur High School Athletic Wall of Fame Plaque from daughter, Billie Joe Strife (left). (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

William Tehonica (right) is proudly presented with his 2018 Gouverneur High School Athletic Wall of Fame Plaque from daughter, Billie Joe Strife (left). (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

The night was full of tenacity and Wildcat pride as William Tehonica from the Class of 1965 was inducted along with Nathan Slate from the Class of 2006.

Steven Besaw, Wall of Fame Committee Chairman, welcomed all those attending and gave a little background of the Wall of Fame Committee including some of its many dedicated members-Fred Easton, Robert Porter, Frank Bush, Laurie Roberts, Tim Knowlton, Mark Dailey, Shawn Cummings, Joel Baer, Sean Devlin, Cory Wood and Justin Young. He as well gave a big thank you to Mrs. Lauren French-Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Harold Simmons-Director of Facilities, Mrs. Bonnie Walker-Athletic Secretary and the Board of Education for the assistance and help in these activities and ceremonies.

“The Wall of Fame is in its eighth year of existence, we currently have fifty-four individuals and eighteen teams that have been previously inducted, we will be inducting two more tonight.” said Mr. Besaw, who stated originally the evening was to include another individual and team however due to circumstances, those will be inducted at next year's ceremony.

“Our two inductees this year come from very different Worlds of athletics. Our first nominee William Tehonica played in an area before technology including cellphones and computers, text messaging and social media dominated our lives. A time when playing athletics as a Wildcat in front of your family and hometown fans was more than just a diversion from school.

 Nathan Slate, GHS Class of 2006, (left) is presented with his 2018 Gouverneur High School Athletic Wall of Fame Plaque from Coach Mark Dailey (right). (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Nathan Slate, GHS Class of 2006, (left) is presented with his 2018 Gouverneur High School Athletic Wall of Fame Plaque from Coach Mark Dailey (right). (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Considered by many to be one of the best all-around athletes to ever dominate, Bill Tehonica's name comes to mind when discussing the history of Gouverneur Wildcat athletics. A three sports star for Gouverneur from 1963 through 1965, Bill starred on the football field in the Fall where he quarterback the Wildcats to a 12-2 record over his junior and senior seasons and shared the 1964 Northern League Championship. In addition he would be selected as a Second Team All-Northern Selection Junior season and a First Team All-Northern Selection his Senior year.

As a basketball player, Bill would average 20.6 points per game, while garnering First Team All-Northern Selections in both his Junior and Senior seasons. In baseball, playing on the Varsity squad as a sophomore, Tehonica would be selected to the All-North League Second Team in 1963, while helping to lead the Wildcats to the Northern League's Western Division title, before garnering First Team All-North selections in his junior season of 1964 and his senior season of 1965.” said Mr. Besaw leading up to the introduction of Mr. William Tehonica.

Mr. Besaw then introduced guest speaker Billie Joe Strife, daughter of Mr. Tehonica to say a few words on behalf of her deserving father. She first congratulated the current Wildcat football team on their win that day.

“It's an honor to be here today. My dad grew up here in Gouverneur on Depot Street with a family of ten kids. He portrays himself to be a real tough guy, actually I think all the Tehonicas do. So what can I say about my dad? Well, I can tell you everything he doesn't want you to know. I can tell you he is quite the family man, best father, a very hard worker, loves to golf, he is very caring, an animal lover and has the biggest heart in the World. But don't tell anyone because he does not want anyone to know.” Mrs. Strife said of her father lovingly.

“He is the first to help any family member-loan them money, take them to work, take them to the hospital, but don't tell anybody because he doesn't want anyone to know.

My dad drives bus for three and four year olds and every school year, he will buy backpacks for kids and tell them it’s from Santa. He will also buy winter coats for kids that don't have one or they have holes in their jackets and he will tell them he is Santa's helper. But don't tell anyone because he doesn't want anyone to know that.

When my son was born, my dad came in at eleven o'clock at night all night long so I could sleep. Definitely a proud papa moment. My parents have been divorced for many years, but when my mom became ill, my dad was the first to always help. He would mow her lawn, snow plow her driveway, take her to get groceries and do anything she needed him to. I never asked him once, he just did it. But do not tell anyone because he doesn't want anyone to know that. Well I know what you do dad and so does God, so thank you,” said Mrs. Strife of the kindness her father has always expressed.

Mr. Tehonica then spoke on his behalf.

“I would like to thank Steve Besaw and everyone involved. It is a good honorable thing to do for athletics and good ol' GHS. I always enjoyed playing for GHS. No matter where I go when people talk about where they are from, I always mention Gouverneur. There is no “i” in team. It takes everyone on the team to win or lose. I thank all my teammates and all my family, my daughters and all those who have come out to support Gouverneur sports.” said Mr. Tehonica, who as well shared some advice to those athletes playing for Gouverneur today.

“Work hard, listen to your coaches, be respectful to your parents-these are the words I live by. Thank you for this induction, it's an honor,” said Mr. Tehonica in closing.

Nathan Slate, Class of 2006 was next to be honored for his dedication and hard work throughout his school years.

“Nate Slate was a much talked about presence in Gouverneur High School athletics, though small in stature, Nate was a force on both the football field and the wrestling mat. As a running back in football, Nate possessed both the ability to make opponents miss and the power to take them head on. Selected as a First Team All-North selection in both his Junior season of 2004 and his senior season of 2005, Nate would rush over 2,000 yards in his career and be named Section X Back of the Year in 2005. In addition, he would be named a Watertown Times Honorable Mention All-North Selection in 2004 and be named the Times All-North Section X MVP in 2005, when he led Section X in rushing yards(1,049), points scored(90) and break the Section X single game rushing record, held by Brian Leonard, by running 361 yards versus Seton Catholic. On the wrestling mat, Nate would continue the long line of success by great Gouverneur wrestlers, as he would post a career record of 159-57, while winning Section X Championships at 152lbs in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He would then go on to place in the NYS Wrestling Tournament all three seasons, finishing 3rd in 2004, 5th in 2005 and 2006. In addition, Nate is a member of the single-season 40 win club and the 100 career takedowns club with 104.

Coach Mark Dailey presented the induction of Nathan Slate.

“We logged many hours together in the weight room and training, and throughout all that time, he did not say one word. I've got about 1,007 stories wrote down that I could talk about, but they would be more 'me' stories than presenting for Nathan.” said Mr. Dailey, who expressed his background with the Slate family, who to him are all great men.

“I always admired Nathan, he was more mature than I was when he was a ninth grader and I was a grown man. He is now a loving husband to his wife Emma and loving father as he loves his children more than anything. He is devoted in many ways and to people. He has grown into a fine young man. His coworkers speak highly of him, it's hard to find anyone to say a crass word about Nate Slate. He always had a close circle of friends and was able to make friends from other towns. He's a fine young man to be around and I consider myself fortunate. As I look back at some of the memories as there is many, I'd say football as a JV player, he's the greatest I've ever coached. He also has the highest winning percentage of any kid I've ever coached. Many times he's made me look like a gosh darn good coach. I don't know if that was always the case, the best coaches have the best players. As they read through all his accolades, but more that than I think just the person that he was and the person that he is. I can read his stats over and over again and continually be impressed but it never impressed me as much as the person that he is. I would say had he been my son, they would have been the proudest moments of my life. There really are very few people I admire more than Nathan. In retrospect, I'm glad he turned out to be the man that he is. If I was any part of that then fantastic.” said Coach Dailey of Nathan Slate's abilities and character.

Nathan Slate was then introduced to speak on his behalf.

“I have a lot of people to thank today, including my wrestling coaches, Coach Baer, Coach Cummings and Coach Morrison. What can I say? Besides thank you very much. You guys sacrificed so much time away from your families and I appreciate it. You still do and that's something that words cannot even describe. I am so happy to see that you are still making a great impact on kid's lives. I started wrestling in seventh grade for the Varsity team in the year 2000, so I was on that team for six years. What you guys did in the wrestling room was a lot more than just learning, you guys built a culture. It radiated not only in the wrestling room or the school but in the community as well. It was just an attitude that everyone should live with and deal with. It was sacrifice, hard work and being respectful. In those six years I barely ever even remember you guys yelling at us because that was the atmosphere. It was also a very rare thing to not see you guys show up, it was all three of you and all the time.

I love football, I am thankful to Coach Besaw, Coach Dailey, Coach Wahl and Coach Devlin. I was always a wrestler that played football. Football was my outlet to just let loose. It is more than just a game, it's a lot of hard work.

I was part of a wrestling team that was inducted in 2004. I am so proud of being a part of that. That was a time when I actually had to speak up because I had just won in States. Remember Coach Morrison told me, now that you are a leader, you need to step up and talk.

Mr. Dailey, you said just a minute ago that you spent 3,000 hours with me. I think you underestimate that time because there isn't a memory in that six years that I don't have with you in it. I'd like to thank you for introducing me here.” said Mr. Slate, who in closing congratulated Peyton Schmitt on breaking one of his impressive records that previously Mr. Slate broke from Brian Leonard.

Congratulations to these two athletic individuals who have shown great sportsmanship, attitude and the true meaning of being a Gouverneur Wildcat!

After the ceremony, the inductees were able to place their GHS Athletic Wall of Fame plaques in the case outside of the gymnasium. It was then time to head to the Casablanca Restaurant, a local favorite, to reminisce and relive the many memories these two Wildcat players enjoyed on the field, mat and with their teams and coaches.

When it comes to being inducted into the Wall of Fame, there is a criteria standard that has been in place. Those who would like to make a nomination of a Gouverneur student athlete, Gouverneur School coach or made a significant contribution to Gouverneur High School athletics, must have detailed information.

“Athletes must have graduated at least ten years prior to being inducted, athletes that have been named All-League Selections, MVP, All State selections, Sectional Champions or NYS Champions. Coaches we look at wins and championships won in a span of coaches career here at Gouverneur but also how did they contribute to the overall success of their athletes and the school sports they coached. Contributors are people who have helped promote Gouverneur athletics and helped in the success of sports programs from behind the scenes. In team nominees we look for sectional, regional and hopefully NYS championships,” said Mr. Besaw, who stated that nominations can be submitted by anyone.

The committee simply asks that if you are to nominate someone, please do throughout background work to include concrete truth as to why this person deserves to be inducted such as facts and statistics. As of now the Committee looks to induct approximately five individuals or teams each year.

Gouverneur Central School Closed For Two Days Following Sewage Issue

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

Gouverneur Central School was recently closed to its students on Thursday, September 27 and Friday, September 28, as per the GCS Superintendent Lauren French.

Busing was provided for those students attending St. James School and those needing transportation to schools outside the district.

“At 3:30 Wednesday, Middle School Principal Steve Coffin shared that there was a problem in the crawl space under the new construction area of the Middle School,” Superintendent French said. “Upon review we could not determine the amount, source or cause of the problem. The decision was made to close schools because at the time, we didn't have the presence of contractors until Thursday morning.”

Superintendent French stated that contractors were able to arrive Wednesday night and they were able to use their expertise and determine that a malfunction had taken place in the grinder station that allowed sewage to backup.

“They restarted the device, pumped out the waste and gave the area an initial cleaning. The contractors returned Thursday morning, the area remained clean, but the pump had shut itself off twice,” said Mrs. French, who stated from there more work needed to be accomplished in regards to the source of the electrical problem.

She stated the area was cleaned and sanitized once again, the staff and contractors hoped to have full understanding of the malfunction by Friday morning in order to prepare for the upcoming school week.

“I made the decision to close the school as it is in keeping with our philosophy: We will not comprise the student or staff safety,” said Mrs. French.

Don’t miss the Gouverneur FFA Chapter Benefit Auction this Saturday

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The 7th Annual Gouverneur FFA Auction on Saturday, October 6, 10:30 a.m., at the Gouverneur Fairgrounds.

It is sponsored by the Gouverneur Agriculture Advisory Board – a group of nine individuals (Don Peck, Lyle Hotis, Allyn Tubbs, Karen Rizza, Robert Andrews, Kari Schermerhorn, John Hunter, Doug Thompson and Benjamin Hoffman) that work diligently to support the local FFA Chapter and agricultural education program at Gouverneur High School. The money raised goes directly towards funding for FFA field trips, the Summer Agriculture Program, the Youth Leadership Recognition Awards and the R.D. Gibbs Scholarship.

Due to the generous support from both local businesses and community members, last year's auction generated over $6,500. This money was used to supplement field trips for the FFA students and Agriculture classes at Gouverneur Central School. The trips included the NYS FFA Oswegatchie Educational Center ("Camp O") in Croghan, The Wildlife Center, Cargill Nutrition Feed Mill, MLS Equipment, and Empire Livestock. They also assisted with funding for annual FFA competitions and conventions not only at the local level but also for the FFA State Convention held in Rochester and the National Convention in Indianapolis.

Hannah Hight and Chloe Renaud received their Empire Degrees at the State Convention and five students attended the National FFA Convention. The Gouverneur Agriculture Advisory Board also paid $2,300 for the Summer Agriculture Program which consists of judging competitions at St. Lawrence and the NY State Fair, as well as leadership, community service and educational activities.

In July, the FFA members worked on the mobile sugar house and assisted with set up for the county fair.

The FFA continues their Annual Fruit and Cheese sales, the Maple Program, Pancake Breakfast and Annual Banquet.

These trips and events help the youth develop agricultural awareness, leadership skills and life skills including public speaking, interviewing skills and leadership qualities that will assist them throughout their adult life.

At the end of each year, the ag advisory board, through the R.D. Gibbs Youth Leadership Scholarship Fund, has the pleasure of awarding $500.00 Youth Leadership Recognition Awards to two Gouverneur FFA graduating seniors and $3,000 to the R.D. Gibbs Scholarship recipient.

“Evidence of why we do what we do can be summarized in the thank you notes from our recipients,” a donation-seeking letter to local businesses reads. “They all cite the FFA experience as being an essential part of their high school experience. In many cases, the leadership skills that they gain through FFA are the only opportunity they might have to do so. The skills that they have learned will carry over to whatever occupation they choose and be the groundwork for future leadership development throughout their careers. Your generosity and continued support is much needed and greatly appreciated by each of us on the board and by the youth themselves.”

Big ticket items have already started rolling in. A registered Holstein calf has been donated by LaVack Farms in Gouverneur. The calf is named JLR LaVack Roxanne Jedi, and was born on September 11, 2018. Her sire is Cookiecutter Jedi 12258-ET. Her dam is Woodcrest Bradnick Rolins (VG86), who was purchased in the 2013 Woodcrest Bridge to Excellence Sale. Rolins has 7 Excellent dams, including the world famous C Glenridge Citation Roxy EX 9.

New this year, the Gouverneur FFA Chapter Benefit Auction will include farm equipment, vehicles, lawn and garden, calves, on donation or to sell on commission with all commissions going to the Gouverneur FFA program.

Other items already donated include the following: new merchandise, cases of oil, bales of straw, bales of hay, cords of fire wood, wood pellets, oil changes, homemade pies and cakes, tools, furniture, quantity of gift certificates, fall harvest items, JD toys, clothing, plus much more.

Auctioneers will be Don Peck and Dave Bush.

At noon, there will be a chicken barbecue with all the proceeds going to benefit the students attending the National FFA Convention. The chicken barbecue will be handled by the FFA with supervision by the experienced members of the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association. There is only 150 chicken halves available, and it will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

All are invited to come out and support the Gouverneur FFA Chapter at the annual benefit auction tomorrow, Saturday, October 6, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Richville Free Library faces changes

Dan McClelland

 Pictured above with the charter of the Richville Free Library is (from left) Brenda Woodward, President of the Richville Library Board of Trustees, Lila Youngs, retiring Richville Library Director after 26 years of dedicated service, and Britny Harmer, incoming Richville Library Director. (Rachel Hunter photo)

Pictured above with the charter of the Richville Free Library is (from left) Brenda Woodward, President of the Richville Library Board of Trustees, Lila Youngs, retiring Richville Library Director after 26 years of dedicated service, and Britny Harmer, incoming Richville Library Director. (Rachel Hunter photo)

by Rachel Hunter
The Richville Free Library will continue to meet the needs of the community as it faces a change in library director and goes through the automation process, essentially bringing the local library into the 21st Century.
In the autumn of 1992 Lila Youngs of Richville became the library director to stop the library from closing. From her first day of work in the autumn of 1992 until her last on Wednesday, August 29, 2018, Mrs. Youngs’ love of books and her love for the community have made the Richville Free Library a place for the community to meet, engage, and learn for more than a quarter-century.
The Richville Free Library was established in 1932 and endeavors to maintain and improve the quality of life for all members of our community by providing resources and programs that enhance and contribute to individual knowledge, enlightenment, and enjoyment.
In the past 26 years, Lila Youngs has seen the Richville Free Library through several building improvements.
More than a decade ago now, the small stall bathroom in the Richville Free Library was removed. It was formerly located in the back corner of the kids reading area. It was taken out when the library was told (along with the Village of Richville) that it needed to install a handicap-accessible bathroom. It is now shared by the two entities in the place of a former office and storage room.
“We talked it over with the village and they decided to combine the two, have more space, because we would have had to have a lot more room than the little one that you could just barely walk into,” Mrs. Youngs said.
Other upgrades included a new furnace, new chimney, new windows, wall replacement, new carpet installed, and new shelving. Mrs. Youngs said that everything inside the Richville Free Library had to be removed before the upgrades could be completed. This was accomplished with the help of the members of the Richville Rockets 4-H Club as well as the library kids.
“We had days that we carried the boxes,” Mrs. Youngs said, remembering the laborious task.
In 2006 the Richville Free Library received an email from the North Country Library System to see if they were still interested in pursuing funds for new construction. On March 13, 2007, the Richville Library Board was informed of a $23,348 grant. The money was used for a 16-foot-by-36-foot addition as well as other updates throughout the building.
“It was a miracle at that time to have one public computer,” Mrs. Youngs said. “Now we have 10. It’s been super… We just replaced all of them. We put money aside every year, which North Country Library Systems recommended. When it comes time to do that again, they can replace them all at once too. They’ve updated the speed on them too. That’s nice, really nice.”
Mrs. Youngs also added that they worked through former NYS Senator Jim Wright’s office for assistance with the addition, flag poles, and library sign.
The Richville Free Library has also served as the launching pad for the Richville Playground. It all started when Amber Morrow asked if the library could hold “baby days.” Mrs. Youngs said baby days were held for a long time, up until there were no longer any babies in the Village of Richville. The same group that were active in library’s baby days then were active in putting the wheels in motion for establishing the Richville Playground.
“None of those things would have happened without the community and the board of trustees, I’ll tell you,” Mrs. Youngs said. “And then of course we got on the school ballot.”
Mrs. Youngs last day serving as director at Richville Free Library was last Wednesday, but she will still keep herself busy by volunteering with the Richville Historical Association, St. Lawrence County Historical Association, among other projects.
The new library director, Britny Harmer of Richville, will be faced with the challenge of bringing Richville Free Library fully into the 21st Century as it joins North Country Library System’s automated libraries’ list.
“It’s a big deal,” Mrs. Youngs said. “Britny’s already spent quite a bit of time on it.”
Gone are the days of using pencil and paper to log the books that are lent from the local libraries. All of the resources will be cataloged in an online database through North Country Library Systems.
“There will be no more signing the card or worrying about that. They will have cards. It’ll be real nice to do inventory and things. Plus, (Britny) is a computer whiz. So it will be nice, and it will be exciting for that next step, to be starting out and have that innovative lovely new thing.”
North Country Library System now has a mobile app where local residents can link their card to the mobile app, and then access all of the app’s features.
“You can look up what you have and when it is due,” Mrs. Harmer said. “You can actually renew it right on there. I know I have done that with my kids because they have almost been overdue, and we’re not going into town yet. So I’ll just renew it really quick. You can do holds. A lot of the homeschooling community will get on there and they know that they are going to need a book for their curriculum, so they’ll put a hold on it or request it, so they’ll that in a couple weeks it will be here.”
Mrs. Youngs said one of the tasks she thought was horrible was to generate overdue notices. The automation process will allow for those overdue notices to be generated automatically and digitally to users.
“That is a lifesaver,” Mrs. Harmer said, explaining that it issues email reminders that tell when a resource is due – whether it be on that day, the next or if it is way overdue. “It’s very helpful for parents. All the kids they can get their own cards. It is very convenient. They are e-books that I haven’t even gotten into.”
Mrs. Youngs said that she has downloaded a couple e-books. “When I am at home, I always have to have a book. On the plane, it is hard to have a paperback. You are afraid you are going to lose it… But if you have your phone or tablet, it is in your purse and you’ve got it.”
Mrs. Youngs said another exciting development is that Mrs. Harmer will have a stand-alone North Country Library Systems catalog.
“The computer will sit somewhere, and people can go on the website, in the catalog part, and type in keywords,” Mrs. Harmer said. “You can place books on hold in the NCLS. We will now be a part of that system. So if somebody looks it up and they say, ‘Oh Richville has it, they can request it and then that actually gets recorded as our lend. So that’s really nice. There are a few books, in doing our inventory, that only we have. That was kind of fun to see. We have 10 or so that we are the only ones to have them.”
Mrs. Harmer also said that she has reorganized the library shelves so that all juvenile materials will be together, and all young adult materials will be together.
“As a parent, my son is 12. He’s got a year or two and he will be getting into those things, and I can say, “This where you can go. You can look here. Don’t pull that out or look at the back of it. This is where you can be. This is a safe space.” I appreciate that as a parent.”
Mrs. Harmer has great anticipation for all that the future holds for the Richville Free Library. One thing she said she would like to implement is a dedicated tutoring or study space.
“You’re not home. You’re not at school. You’re not distracted. You can get your homework done, use the computers… Just having a place for them to come, and they get on the computer, do their work, and have a really dedicated space. They can’t get on absolutely anything. There is a growing homeschool community around here, and having a place where you are not in their home. It is not a visit. You are focused. You are studying. The books are available. You can look things up. It is just a really focused time. I am really hoping that is something the library is used for.”
Mrs. Youngs said that tutoring has always been something that could be done here when the library was not open. “It is hard to tutor when the library is open and there is a bunch of kids,” she said.
According to Mrs. Youngs and Richville Library Board of Trustees President Brenda Woodward, the Richville Free Library has also offered several workshops over the years in an effort to meet the needs of community – including genealogy, candy-making  children’s workshops and so much more.
Much is in store as Britny Harmer takes the helm, and starts as library director on Monday, September 3. The new hours for September through May at Richville Free Library are as follows. Mondays, 2 to 4 p.m., Tuesdays, 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Closed on Thursdays. Open on Fridays, 2 to 5 p.m.
The Richville Free Library is located at 87 Main Street, Richville.

Gouverneur Chamber hosts Flag Day Parade

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter
The Greater Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored 2018 Flag Day Parade drew citizens of the Gouverneur community to the Gouverneur Village Park on Saturday, June 9 in time for its 2 p.m. start time.
Chamber Director Connie Spilman announced the parade lineup. In the lead car (Gouverneur Police Department Apparatus 411) was Gouverneur Police Department Patrolman Darren Fairbanks, bringing the parade from Johnstown St., down Main St., crossing in front of the village park before turning down North Gordon St.
Local dignitaries marching included: Town of Gouverneur Councilman Curran Wade, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall and Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin. Councilman Wade assisted the Greater Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce by passing out flags to the children in the crowd.
Next came the Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 Officers Exalted Ruler Randy Durham, Esteemed Leading Knight April Lewis, Esteemed Loyal Knight Gresford Speid, Esteemed Lecturing Knight Megan Mashaw, Esquire Krista Wainwright, and Inner Guard Linda Westcott. With them was the Elroy The Elk who encourages all area children to pause and remember that hugs are better than drugs.
The color guard from 10th Mountain Division Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Fort Drum followed. It included Sgt. Lumkin, SPC Royal, SPC Jeffers, PFC Martin.
Gouverneur FFA Chapter members, Boy Scout Troop 21, and Cub Scout Pack 21  carried the giant American Flag for all to honor in recognition of its 241st birthday.
The Gouverneur Fire Department Rescue Truck 4 with Daimon and Seeley Tuttle and the Gouverneur Rescue Squad A-173 also made an appearance.
Making its debut appearance was the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association’s Cow Train, recently created by students at Southwest Tech (BOCES), which also advertised the 2018 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair, which will run July 31 through August 5. Announced was the schedule as follows: Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m. Wynonna Judd and The Big Noise. Wednesday, August 1 at 7 p.m. Firemen’s Parade. Thursday, August 2 at 7:30 p.m., The Amish Outlaws. Friday, August 3 at 6 p.m. Local Talent Show. Saturday, August 4, Veteran Ride To Freedom Bike Rally and Confederate Railroad. Sunday, August 5 at 1 p.m. Demo Derby. The fair will also feature food, carnival games and rides by Coleman Bros. Free Ground Acts Daily include Eudora Farms Petting Zoo, and Rosaire’s Royal Racers. For more information, visit
Next was the Gouverneur Recreation Department, and all were encouraged to attend the School’s Out Celebration Week, June 25 to 28, 1 to 4 p.m., featuring daily activities including Rec Center Fun Fests and Youth Scout Events. Summer Recreation begins July 2.
The Gouverneur Wildcat Marching Band under the direction of Victor Correa and assistant Jenelle Yeoman, Jessica McMaster and Jessica Toppin, performed “Americana!”
Complete with the Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam, the Senior Citizens Group put out all the stops in their patriotic float, “God Bless America.” Much gratitude was extended to all the volunteers who helped with the float, and to the driver of the truck and trailer that were donated for the parade. There is no doubt that this entry was the “Most Patriotic” Float and deserving of the Chamber’s $50 cash prize.
Also appearing from Fort Drum was SPC Caleb Hall and SGT Lackins Patrick of the 110th Sustainment Brigade.
The Indian River Marching Warriors, led by Ashley Trudell and assisted by Kelly Furgison, Anita Harvell and Michelle Na, presented “Welcome to the Black Parade / Light Em Up.”
The New York State Police apparatus signaled the end of the parade, and Announcer Stowell encouraged all to stay and enjoy the events in the park
The 2018 Flag Day Event also included a farmers market, craft and vendor show, food vendors, children’s games by the Gouverneur Recreation Center (bounce house sponsored by Aubuchons Hardware), food vendors, and so much more. The Gouverneur Museum was open all day for the occasion and they also had a vast historical display in the village park. The event opened at 10 a.m. All were welcomed, and The Timberliners – featuring Billy Farr, Ann Whitton Goodale, and champion fiddler Donald Woodcock – performed in the village gazebo between 10 a.m. and noon, thanks to the Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association.
At noon, the Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 held its Flag Ceremony with the assistance of the Gouverneur FFA Chapter, Gouverneur Boy Scout Troop 21, and the Gouverneur Cub Scout Pack 21.
The Chamber handed out free American Flags to all those who wanted to wave on during the 2018 Flag Day Parade. Much joy was on the faces of those in attendance as the Gouverneur community once again to celebrate the birth of the American Flag.
For more information on the Greater Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce, visit The Chamber is currently celebrating 110 years of service.

Fowler Zinc Mine Reopens

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Fowler Zinc Mines pic.jpg

Fowler Zinc Mine Reopens
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 12 at Empire State Mines, a zinc mine in Fowler. The mine officially reopened after the completion of a comprehensive, $33 million investment by Titan Mining Corporation, which has created more than 200 jobs at the site, exceeding the firm's commitment to the state. The Empire State Mines project is being directly supported with a four-megawatt allocation of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority's St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena, New York. Pictured is Keith Boyle, COO of Titan Mining Corporation, making the big cut. See complete coverage from this event in the June 22 edition of the Gouverneur Tribune Press. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Gouverneur High School presents annual Dean Oratoricals

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

Gouverneur High School presented the115th annual Dean Oratoricals in the high school auditorium on the evening of Tuesday, April 17.
Family and community members came in anticipation of seeing the student's hard work unfold into stellar performances.
The Dean Oratoricals are sponsored by The Gouverneur Foundation, Buckets for Bob and including money donated by the Rotary Club and the family of Colleen McCarthy, who was a guidance counselor of the school.
High School students volunteer to be a part of the program and practice and rehearse on their own, while meeting with their advisor for guidance a couple of times.
Mr. Cory Wood, High School Principal, introduced the seven students performing their speaking part this year, along with new advisor of the program Mr. Mike Bason.
Six retired school staff members were placed around the auditorium as the judges for the competition, including Mrs. Nona Hilts, Mr. Frank Palumbo, Ms. Judy Poticher, Mr. Arnie Roberts, Mr. Dale Streeter and Mr. Phil Shatraw.
First up to show off her talent was Katrina Wells with 'A Question of Courage' about young love, giving a taste of seriousness.
Next, Jenneca Cook brought the auditorium to life as she had the audience in stitches with her hilarious rendition of “I Kissed A Boy Once” showing she has what it takes in acting.
Taylor Ormasen portrayed the innocence in tragedy with “Just a Date” which showed her great acting abilities through a horrific drinking and driving accident.
Ebin Salsman gave a serious, yet mysterious performance in “Asylum”.
Javien Spence captivated the audience as he spoke “The Fifties II” as he talked about why the 1950's were the best decade to be alive in.
Katelyn Hughes mastered her performance of “What Are the Chances” depicting young love and betrayal.
Sydney Gale was the last act of the evening, leaving everyone with a good laugh and a sweet craving as she spoke of the wonderful fitness powers of “Dark Chocolate”.
After the performances were complete, it was time for the judges to make their decision on who would hold bragging rights for first, second and third place, along with a monetary award.
During the deliberations, Mr. Victor Correa's Select Strings section entertained the crowd with fantastic performances of songs including Forest Gump feather theme song, Beauty and the Beast Tale as Old as Time and Jurassic Park theme song. The students truly showed how hard they work to ensure they deliver stellar performances.
It was then time to announce the winners, chosen on a variety of skill sets used to execute such outstanding performances.
A total of $700 was awarded. First place honors weren’t to Jenneca Cook, second place to Sydney Gale, and third place to Taylor Ormasen. Fantastic job to all students who participated in this event, as well to Mr. Bason on his first year as advisor.

 Ebin Salsman with his dialog of “Asylum” during the 2018 Dean Oratoricals. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Ebin Salsman with his dialog of “Asylum” during the 2018 Dean Oratoricals. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

 Javien Spence shows off his talent with his dialog from “The Fifties II” where he explains why the 1950's were the best decade to be alive. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Javien Spence shows off his talent with his dialog from “The Fifties II” where he explains why the 1950's were the best decade to be alive. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

 Katrina Wells gives her performance of “A Question of Courage” during the 2018 Dean Oratoricals. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Katrina Wells gives her performance of “A Question of Courage” during the 2018 Dean Oratoricals. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

 First Place Winner Jenneca Cook during her hilarious performance of “I Kissed A Boy Once” which left the audience well entertained. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

First Place Winner Jenneca Cook during her hilarious performance of “I Kissed A Boy Once” which left the audience well entertained. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

 Taylor Ormasen third place winner of the 2018 Dean Oratoricals gives a heart wrenching performance of “Just a Date.” (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Taylor Ormasen third place winner of the 2018 Dean Oratoricals gives a heart wrenching performance of “Just a Date.” (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

 Katelyn Hughes gives her great performance of “What Are the Chances” explaining the hardships of young love. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Katelyn Hughes gives her great performance of “What Are the Chances” explaining the hardships of young love. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

 Sydney Gale, second place winner of the 2018 Dean Oritoricals, gives her funny rendition of “Dark Chocolate” which she claims gives her the best fitness results. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Sydney Gale, second place winner of the 2018 Dean Oritoricals, gives her funny rendition of “Dark Chocolate” which she claims gives her the best fitness results. (photo by Jessyca Cardinell)

Gouverneur Middle School Honor Roll

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Middle School Honor Roll

The Gouverneur Middle School issued its third quarter honor roll ending on April 13, 2018 as follows:
Fifth Grade
Academic Excellence honors were bestowed upon the following students: Destiny Blair, Kristen Jean Burns, Hannah R. Dafoe, Janaya M. Fuller, Paige J. Kirby, Gabrielle Murphy, and Hannah Maygrace Roderick.
High Honors were to the following students: Madison M. Breckenridge, Cadence Collette, Samuel James Cox, Hunter L. Curcio, Alexis Dake, Mckenzie J. Dixson, Lucas G. Griffith, Zoe Lauren Griffith, Graydon Nathaniel Hance, Camden Louis Haynes, Madison Hopper, Ava L. Isereau, Jayden Alana Jenne, Meghan Keen, Jadyn Rae Kirkendall, Willow G. Knapp, Abigail M. Lucas, Gracie Murphy, Tucker Mussaw, Raelyn M. Prashaw, Renisha H. Richards, Garrett William Shampine, Danielle R. Shattuck, Akaysha Shippee-Ray, Alexander S. TeVelde, Kaden Joseph Wells, Nathan Michael Worden.
Honors went to the following students: Hunter C. Bates, Louis A. Beaver, Jonathan A. Besaw, Kaymin Lee Besaw, Jada Blair, Ava Bunbury, Allysa M. Byrd, Mya R. Connor, Reese M. Cox, Brendan T. Cunningham, Tony Fiacco, Abigail M. Garrison, Beverly A. Graybill, Tiamane L. Hull, Alyssa M. Jonquil, Charley A. Newvine, Kaleb M. Platt, Raine D. Rumble, Lillianna May Shippee, Emily Rose Smith, Hannah Marie Trimm, Alexis J. Youngs.
Sixth Grade
Academic Excellence honors were bestowed upon the following students Jonavin Raymond Ayen, Sierra Billings, Llydia E. Blaine, Abigail R. Bowman, Brodie Burns, Meredith Bella Bush, Madelynne A. Hay-Spano, Deirdre McMaster, Riley B. Shepherd, Chloe M. Smith, Jakayla Spence, Caitlyn L. Storie.
High Honors went to the following students: Reigan A. Ayen, Mya Bos, Ashton Bowman, Chloe Rose Bright, Ivey Madison Louise Bulger, Brianna Dean, Sylvia Nicole French, Drew Martin Gates, Meadow Mae Greenhill, Emalyn Kulp, Rylie Mikal Redmond, William Henry Riutta, Nara J. Roberts, Scott J. Smith, Jude M. Wilson.
Honors went to the following students: Kendra M. Ashley, Connor K. Bishop, Chloe M. Boclair, Mazie Irene Bowhall, Hayley Burt, Gage Lawrence Cornell, Ashton Alexander Currier, Cael Levi Denesha, Matthew J. Filiatrault, Courtney Pauline Forsythe, Brook Garrett, Zaphire Hall, Elizabeth M. Hamilton, Aiden Storm Hiscock, Emily R. Infield, Dante Kio-Fernandez, Austin M. Lacey, Rylynn Martin-Mcintyre, Hunter James Mashaw, Emanuel H. Miller, Haley L. Morrow, Eli Murphy, Ninah Newcombe, Owen L. Nichols, Elaina Raven, Jacey Madison Sheen, Owen W. Siebels, Joshua Spilman, Chase A. Stowell, Holden R. Stowell, Hazel Whitford, Hyde Braxton Wood.
Seventh Grade
Academic Excellence honors were bestowed upon the following students: Ava R. Bartholomew, Addison F. Conklin, Rikki L. Griffith, Chelsea M. Manning, Mariah Manning, Elizabeth V. Riutta.
High Honors went to the following students: Markeyce R. Abar, Najuwa Abdul Muhaimin Ladan, Madison R. Ayen, Maya Bartleson, Shia Kay Bright, Lia Kate Canell, Allison M. Carvel, Ethan J. Fenlong, Saraphenna Lyn Filiatrault, Hazen J. Given, Randi E. Griffith, Aurora Kimberly Hayden, Richard R. Haynes III, Niciara House-Bowman, Hannah May Kirby, Noel Lapierre, Branden D. Loveless, Shane F. Muyano, Jack Schroeder, Abigail Ann Simmons, Jerricka M. Walton, Abigail L. Way, Raneissa Way,
Honors went to the following students: Jaelyn Trishelle Goodale, Sierra L. Harmer, James Jones Hayden, Aydeluna J. Hockenbary, Grace A. Holmes, Drew C. Jenkins, Gabriel Lewis, Maxwel C. Lucas, Alexandra K. McDougall, Deseree E. Miller, Nolan Ryan Reed, Jenika J. Richards, Riley M.M. Seaman, Nathan A. Shattuck, Piper C. Simmons, Trevor C.W. Sixberry, Kobe L. Steorts, Cale C. Stowell, Gabrielle Monique Williams.
Eighth Grade
Academic Excellence honors were bestowed upon the following students: Eve Marie Beaver, Cierra Besaw, Raelin Kelsey Burns, Edward Card, Alex M. Clancy, Alexis Jeanne Devlin, Brynn J. Farley, Kate M. Forsythe, Kaitlyn A. Gibson, Cassidy Jeanann Hardy, Ella J. Impaglia, Hailey Ann Morrissiey, Peyton R. Mussaw, Torie B. Salisbury, Jaelyn D. Stevens.
High Honors went to the following students: Sarah A. (Longstreth) McMaster, Carter J. Baer, Jonathan Baez, Jr., Aiden Scott Breckenridge, Liberty Bush, Katelyn M. Clancy, Cole G. Davis, Trinity A. Elliott, Sean P. Farrand, Ashlee L. Flood, Maranda M. Fuller, Emma E. Hicks, Lelani D. Hicks, Caleb Nicholas Hubbard, Kiarra J. Jenkins, Kortney E. Knight, Madison H. Kurdziel, Jadyn D. LaTray, Allie R. Martin, Leah G. Meyers, Leylanis Paredes-Perez, Sullivan M. Rumble, Cole Edward Siebels, Janay E. Smith, Alexia A. Taylor, Carter A.W. Todd, Trayton M. Tupper, Christopher P. Weaver, Connor R. Wood, Ariana M. Zeller.
Honors went to the following students: Makayla L. Cassell-Beck, Hailey D. Cook, Marissa L. Davis, Griffin Fenlong, Addison Nickolas Garlough, Avery Bradley Hayden, Matthew R. Helvie, Emily E. Hight, Katelynn R. Hocking, Shyanne R. Hutton, Colby P. Leslie, Alexander W. Lucas, Grace Michael Msahaw, Thomas McIntosh, Makyle R. Pankey, Olivia Carrie Rastley, Emma J. Riley, Germarie Rios, Emma Lynn Rushlo, Kyle E. Savage, Kaylin Shampine, Justin E.M. Speis, Matthew J. Spilman, Caden J. Storie, Felicia N. Tallon, Gabriel V. Wainwright, Kristy Walrath, Kaleb Tyler Webster, Mason Taylor Witherell.

New York State Reminds Farmers About Available Tax Credit Programs To Reduce Business Costs

Dan McClelland

New York State today reminded farmers about the availability of several tax credit programs designed to help offset business and labor costs for the agricultural industry for the 2018 tax season.  The New York State Department of Labor’s Youth Jobs Program and the New York State Tax & Finance Department’s Farm Workforce Retention Credit and Minimum Wage Reimbursement Program are among the nearly one dozen credit and exemption programs available to assist agricultural business owners.   
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The agricultural industry, especially the dairy sector, has experienced some challenging times over the last few years due to a number of factors, including weather and market conditions.  We want to remind our farmers that there are assistance programs available to them and opportunities to reduce costs that will have a meaningful impact on their bottom line.”
New York State Tax & Finance Commissioner Nonie Manion said, “Valuable tax credits, such as the recently increased farm workforce retention credit and a new credit for qualifying donations to food banks, provide farmers an opportunity to reinvest in their land and business. We encourage all farmers to take advantage of these incentives.”
New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, “New York’s agricultural industry is a critical sector as our State’s economy continues to expand. Farmers should know that there are a multitude of programs available – free of charge – that can help them keep operating costs low. New York relies on its farming communities and the Department of Labor stands ready to help ensure they enjoy sustainable success.”
As of this tax year, the Farm Workforce Retention Credit has increased to $300 per eligible farm employee who is working at least 500 hours annually.  It will increase to $500 in the 2019 tax year.  The Retention Credit, which may not be combined with other tax credit programs, is expected to save farmers an estimated $14 million in 2018.
The Minimum Wage Reimbursement Tax Credit is available to farms who employ students ages 16 to 20 for the 2018 tax year and are paid at the New York minimum wage rate. The credit is equal to the total number of hours worked by the employees during the taxable year for which they are paid the New York minimum wage, multiplied by the applicable tax credit rate for that year, which is $1.35 for 2018. A farm that has six youth employees, working 500 hours through the summer, can claim approximately $4,000 in credits.  In 2014, the latest year for which complete data is available, New York State issued nearly $5 million in minimum wage reimbursement tax credits.
Similarly, the goal of the NYS Department of Labor’s New York Youth Jobs Program is to help disadvantaged young people have a successful start and encourage businesses, including farms, to provide them with the opportunity to work and acquire critical workforce skills for the future.  The program was recently expanded statewide and participating farms can receive tax credits of up to $5,000 to hire eligible new, full-time employees between the ages of 16 and 24 who meet the criteria of the program.  Credits of up to $2,500 are available for part-time employees who meet the criteria.
Both farms and employees need to be certificated to participate in the New York Youth Jobs Program. To apply, businesses should complete the online application by November 30 at  For more information about the program, call 1-877-226-5724 or e-mail:  
New York State also rolled out a new tax credit this year, announcing New York farmers are eligible to receive a tax credit for qualifying food donations made to food banks and other emergency food programs beginning January 1, 2018. The tax credit is expected to save farmers a total of $10 million annually.
The tax credit, which is supported by the New York State Council on Hunger and Food Policy, is a refundable credit equal to 25 percent of the fair market value of qualified donations up to $5,000. Eligible donations include fresh fruits and vegetables grown or produced in New York State and provided to emergency food programs that qualify for tax exempt status. To claim the credit, the taxpayer must receive proof of the donation in the form of a receipt or written acknowledgment from the eligible food program.
A fact sheet on eligibility requirements for the tax credit is available here.  For additional tax credit and exemption programs available through the Department of Tax & Finance, agri-businesses can visit and choose Farming and Agriculture.

Gouverneur FFA presents camp scholarship

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter
The 2018 Gouverneur FFA Chapter presented a special honor to one of its own during the annual awards banquet on April 19.
Gouverneur FFA Chapter Vice President Faith Miller said, “In 1946, the New York FFA Association combined all of its resources to purchase 1200 acres of Adirondack forest and started a summer camp for teenagers. Their primary goal was to give youth a place away from home for them to recreate who they are and to learn what it takes to meet new people in a new place.  
“At Camp Oswegatchie, they believe that every summer should be unforgettable. "Have you ever ridden a 350' zipline through the Adirondack forest?" How about kayaked or canoed on four pristine ponds? Ridden a horse on Adirondack Trails? Mountain biked down rugged paths? These are all things that are a part of what is known as Oswegatchie Magic.”
Gouverneur FFA Chapter Sentinel Stephanie LaForty said, “Earlier in the year, Miss Foote (chapter advisor) was contacted by the Director of Camp Oswegatchie who let her know that an anonymous donor had sponsored one fully-paid camp membership to the Gouverneur FFA specifically so that one special member could have an unforgettable, memory-filled summer.
“After some discussion, the FFA Officer team and Miss Foote decided that they would make this a special award given to an FFA member who they believe not only would embrace every opportunity at Oswegatchie but also has and continues to go above and beyond in FFA activities. This year, we would like to present this award to Emily Hight.”
Congratulations were extended to Emily Hight by all those in attendance.

Dan McClelland

 Battle of the Books Congratulations to St. James students for their excellent participation in the North Country Library System’s local “Battle of the Books”. The event took place Monday, April 9th at St. James School Library.  Team, “Beast Mode Bookers” battled fellow schoolmates, team “Spaghetti Books”. “Spaghetti Books” took the win in a close match and will compete in the Regional “Battle of the Books” on May 5th. Pictured front row left to right: Team “Beast Mode Books”-Zackery Schiszler, Noah Friot, James Minckler and Joshua Billings. Pictured Back row left to right: Lynne Matott- St. James Librarian, Team “Spaghetti Books” (Faith Leader, Carly Barr, Jaden Rodriguez and Kaden Schiszler), Linda Adams-Director Gouverneur Public Library and Laurel Bartholomew, Book Battle Coach.

Battle of the Books
Congratulations to St. James students for their excellent participation in the North Country Library System’s local “Battle of the Books”. The event took place Monday, April 9th at St. James School Library.  Team, “Beast Mode Bookers” battled fellow schoolmates, team “Spaghetti Books”. “Spaghetti Books” took the win in a close match and will compete in the Regional “Battle of the Books” on May 5th. Pictured front row left to right: Team “Beast Mode Books”-Zackery Schiszler, Noah Friot, James Minckler and Joshua Billings. Pictured Back row left to right: Lynne Matott- St. James Librarian, Team “Spaghetti Books” (Faith Leader, Carly Barr, Jaden Rodriguez and Kaden Schiszler), Linda Adams-Director Gouverneur Public Library and Laurel Bartholomew, Book Battle Coach.

Assembly Passes Legislative Package to Expand Voting Opportunities for New Yorkers

Dan McClelland

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Election Law Committee Chair Charles Lavine on Tuesday announced the Assembly has passed a package of legislation designed to increase voting opportunities, modernize the voter registration process and create greater transparency and accountability in elections by closing the Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) loophole.
“For years, the Assembly Majority has fought to protect New York’s electoral process by proposing legislation to ensure eligible voters are given ample opportunities to vote and have access to a simple, modern registration process,” said Speaker Heastie. “Year after year, we have also passed legislation to close the LLC Loophole and ensure fairness in state elections. We urge our colleagues in the Senate to join us in protecting the integrity of state political campaigns.”
“The measures approved today by the Assembly would strengthen our electoral process by ensuring voter accessibility, facilitating participation and improving transparency in campaign financing,” said Assemblymember Charles Lavine. “Our democratic process is dependent on our ability to ensure that New Yorkers are able to exercise their fundamental right to vote with ease.”
To ensure accessibility, equity and efficiency in the state’s electoral process, the package includes legislation that would establish a seven-day early voting period for registered New York voters to vote in person prior to any primary, special or general election day (A.9608-B, Lavine). Each county would be required to provide a set amount of early voting hours, but would have the flexibility to offer hours that best meet the needs of its residents.
Another bill would amend the New York State Constitution to allow no excuse absentee voting (A.7623, Vanel). Under current law, absentee voting is only allowed if an individual expects to be absent on Election Day, or is unable to get to the polls because of physical illness or disability. This measure offers a more equitable voting experience by allowing busy New Yorkers more options for casting their ballots.
“There is no reason to restrict absentee voting eligibility requirements for New Yorkers to such narrow criteria,” said Assemblymember Clyde Vanel. “By providing voters with more options for exercising their right to vote, we can ensure that no one misses this important part of our democratic process for lack of convenience.”
The legislative package also includes the Voter Enfranchisement Modernization Act of 2018 that would modernize and streamline voter registration by establishing an online voter registration process (A.5382-A, Cusick).
“In 2018, modern technology allows us to conduct countless transactions online, including many state and federal applications,” said Assemblymember Michael Cusick. “It is past time that we modernize New York’s antiquated system by creating a streamlined online registration process to ensure greater accessibility.”
The Assembly has also passed legislation that would restrict LLC campaign contributions to the same $5,000 aggregate contribution limit that exists for corporations (A.9758, Simon). The bill would also require the disclosure of all direct and indirect owners of the LLC and that all contributions by an LLC be attributed to each member in proportion to each member’s ownership interests. Under current law, as interpreted by the State Board of Elections, a single individual is allowed to make multiple large contributions to the same candidate or committee through separate LLCs making it difficult to determine who made the contributions and evaded individual contribution limits.
“The LLC loophole allows the wealthy and special interests to anonymously pour unlimited money into campaigns in hopes of influencing candidates,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “The Assembly Majority has repeatedly passed this critical piece of campaign finance reform legislation. New Yorkers deserve greater transparency and fairness in the electoral process, and closing the notorious LLC loophole is an important step forward.”
Earlier this year, the Assembly passed other legislation to increase accessibility for voters and modernize polling sites, including a measure that changed the fall 2018 primary date from Tuesday, September 11th to Thursday, September 13th to ensure that all New Yorkers are able to participate in the election. The Assembly also passed legislation that would modernize polling sites and facilitate early voting by allowing electronic poll books containing voter registration lists to be used at poll sites.

Public invited to free concert

Dan McClelland

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music invites the public to enjoy Potsdam Community Chorus at 3 pm on Sunday, April 22, in Helen M. Hosmer Hall.  The concert is free. The chorus welcomes donations to help support its musical programming.
Musical director and conductor Matthew Gayle will lead the 70-voice mixed chorus in a program entitled “Life’s Journey.”  The program explores some of the most universal human experiences through a variety of contemporary multicultural pieces. Gayle says that he hopes the choir’s music will communicate a message of social harmony and positivity.
The concert will feature Raina Anderson, Erin Gingrich, John Lynch, Gabrielle McCormack, and Anna Rosen on vocal solos, as well as Rose Diolallevi on violin and Catie Dominy on percussion. Student conductor Alanna Pinard-Brace will lead the group in Randall Thompson’s arrangement of “The Road Not Taken.” The chorus' accompanist is Gerrie McGrath.
Gayle is a vocal and general music teacher at AA Kingston Middle School in Potsdam.
Now in its 17th year, the chorus is comprised of students at area colleges and community members from across St. Lawrence County. All voice parts are invited to practice and perform music in a variety of styles from many eras. Rehearsals are from 7 to 9:30 pm Mondays. The spring season began with rehearsals in late January. For more information, contact Gayle at

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit
Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.

NYS Budget includes funds to support tractor rollover safety program

Dan McClelland

State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie is announcing she has restored $250,000 in the new state budget for the lifesaving Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) Rebate Program, which equips tractors with special safety equipment to avoid tractor overturns.  Funding for this program had been eliminated in the Executive Budget proposal.
Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of death on American farms, claiming the lives of nearly 100 farmers across the country annually. While most tractors built after 1985 have built-in rollover protection, tractors manufactured prior to that date—which many farmers use—do not have the safety feature in place.
The ROPS Rebate Program helps protect farmers by covering approximately 70 percent of the expense of purchasing and installing ROPS, which typically cost between $800 and $1,200.
“These devices have proven to save lives, but many farmers already have a tight budget,” said Senator Ritchie. “Our hardworking farmers do so much for our state, it is only fitting that we try to help them do their job as safely as they can. I am pleased to see that that this funding has been restored in the state budget and that we can continue to save lives on our farms.”
In the last 11 years, the program has outfitted more than 1,500 tractors across the state with the rollover-prevention device. However, nearly half of the tractors on New York State farms are still operating without it.
Including this year’s funding, Senator Ritchie has secured $1.5 million for this program, operated by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.
For more information on the ROPS Rebate Program and details on how to apply, visit Senator Ritchie’s website at