Country Star Jimmy Charles to give concert for Gouverneur man fighting cancer battle

by Rachel Hunter
Stage IV Prostate Cancer Warrior Mark Smith of Gouverneur sat at the dining room table surrounded by family when his daughter, Jacey Lynn of Gouverneur, presented him with news of a special early Father’s Day gift: Nashville Country Recording Artist Jimmy Charles will give a private concert for Mark and all of his friends on Tuesday, March 20, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Casablanca Restaurant, Gouverneur.
Jimmy Charles is a soulful, genuine and passion-filled Country Singer and Songwriter that brings unparalleled energy to all his performances.  Jimmy has had an impressive beginning to his professional career as a Season 9 contestant on "American Idol" and also was named in the Top 50 on the show "Nashville Star." On September 1, 2015, Jimmy’s song and Music Video “Superman” was Premiered World Wide with CMT and was also Broadcast Nationally on GAC, Zuus TV and Heartland! The Video Trended #1 on for 2 days and in the top 5 for a week. On the Premiere Date Jimmy was in the Top 5 searched artists in the world next to the likes of Taylor Swift and Luke Bryan. Charles penned the song, “Superman,” in honor of prostate cancer patients and survivors – and the song has had a big impact on Mark’s life, encouraging him in his battle against prostate cancer.
In a recent interview, Jimmy Charles explained the story behind the song as follows:
“I’ve done a lot of charity work over the years,” he said. “I was at Chesapeake Urology Center in Baltimore and they work with ZERO, who are tied to thirty-seven prostate centers across the country. In Baltimore they knew me, watched my career and asked me to come back to perform at one of their [ZERO's] events. I did it, then they called me back and asked if it was possible to write a song to raise awareness for men to get their prostate checked.
“It was a very awkward question and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I wrapped myself around it. I read as much as I could and spoke with a man, Phil Shulka, who was a Stage 3 Gleason 10 survivor. He wasn’t supposed to make it. He wasn’t given much hope, but he battled through and he won. Now he is a mentor at Chesapeake Urology where he goes to bedsides and helps other men with cancer.
“We brought him to Nashville, set up in a writer’s room with myself and my friend Goose Gossett and we just listened to his stories for over an hour. It was an emotional experience, and when he finished we went to work and we came up with this song. As soon as we were done we knew we had a hit on our hands. We sent an acoustic version from the writer’s room to Chesapeake and they called us back crying. We recorded it and I sang it in front of 3,000 survivors and their families at one of their races, after which, everyone was coming up to me, hugging and thanking me.
“ZERO then asked me to be their national spokesman in the coming year and I said yes, but wanted the song to have a video because I knew the world needed to hear this song. It’s a song for prostate cancer, but not just for prostate cancer—it’s for anyone who has been affected by cancer, which is everyone. They agreed, we and we put a video together.
“Prostate cancer doesn’t show symptoms and when it does, it’s too late. A lot of men think they’re healthy; they don’t go to the doctor to get checked or tell anyone they have prostate cancer. So the song acknowledges that men can feel strong like superman, but there is something that can kill you, it’s a matter of life or death and it’s not just about you.
“Some men suffer alone, and don’t even tell their families. We don’t want them to feel like have to hide or be alone. It’s nice for me as a younger man to be the voice for these men and bring awareness to it. It’s incredible to believe that 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and every nineteen minutes in the U.S. a man dies from it, which is more than breast cancer. Women have a great, strong voice and it’s more fun to talk about saving the tatas than it is to talk about the prostate, but you never hear about it.”
This year Jimmy was named an Official Spokesperson for Zero Cancer and has been flying out to major cities across the country speaking and performing at their benefit races in front of thousands of survivors, their families and those battling.  They have adopted "Superman" as their "Anthem".
Jimmy Charles’ style is best described as "Country, a lil' Rock & Roll and Whole Lotta Soul." Whether he is playing some of his favorite Country, Classic Rock covers or playing one of his own compositions, Jimmy is a mesmerizing entertainer with amazing stage presence and personality, keeping his audience on the edge of their seats or dancing in the aisles.

Benefit to be held at VFW on Jan. 27 for local man Todd Sears Sr.

by Jessyca Cardinell

A benefit for local Richville man Todd Sears Sr., will be held January 27 at the Gouverneur VFW starting at 4p.m.

FRONT _ Benefit to be held at VFW on Jan. 27 for local man Todd Sears Sr..jpg

Mr. Sears was diagnosed with kidney failure on October 28, 2016 leaving his family feeling devastated at the news.
As Mr. Sears was in search of a kidney for a kidney transplant, three amazing women stepped forward to be tested to see if they would be a match and able to provide the life saving kidney. Todd's wife Tammy and friends of the family Cindy Ferry and Melissa Byrns Hall.
“We were so amazed and appreciative that these two women were willing to be a donor for Todd, it truly means the world,” said Tammy, who stated she would do anything for her husband.
All three women went to Syracuse together for the extensive testing and Mr. Sears will be receiving a kidney from family friend Melissa Byrns Hall, who proved to be the best match.
“Her generosity is outstanding. We are so thankful for her doing this. Anyone and everyone should become a donor if they can. It is a really awesome gift to be able to give someone.” said Mrs. Sears.
While there is a donor with a good kidney waiting to help Mr. Sears, the transplant has not gone so smoothly.
“It's been really hard on Todd and on everyone really, as well as stressful. His transplant has been canceled three times now due to various reasons including insurance, a pneumonia diagnosis and high heart rate which put him at risk of stroke or heart attack.” said Todd's wife Tammy Sears, who stated the latest date for the transplant is to be February 6.
When it comes to the community's response Mrs. Sears stated how great everyone has been, including her Cives Steel coworkers.
“My work has truly been wonderful, I've had to take so much time off and you couldn't ask for a better group of guys. They really care and are always asking how Todd is doing.” said Mrs. Sears.
She stated Todd's mother has been a huge help, along with many friends and family members. Todd and Tammy especially wanted to thank their children Tasha Bogrette and Todd Sears Jr. and his wife Shawna, along with Nancy Carpenter, Tanya Sears, Sally Sears, Jen Shippee, Lila Youngs and Mike Yette. These are some of the contributors who drove around asking for donations for Todd.
The Sears' have enjoyed a great help from their grandsons Ayden and Ashten Sears and Hentry Bogrette, who contributed in many areas including helping to keep the driveway shoveled
The benefit held at the VFW will be put on by the Richville Ladies Auxiliary and the pork roast dinner from 4-6p.m. by the Richville Firemen, including Chief Mark Shippee, who's put in a great effort in helping. There will be a variety of raffles and a silent auction. Common Ground will be the featured band of the evening starting at 7p.m.
The benefit will help pay for the extensive amount of travel Mr. Sears and his family must undergo for doctor's appointments to the Renal Center in Syracuse.
“If everything goes well with the surgery we will be going to Syracuse at least twice a week. If anything doesn't go well it could be more time or even staying in Syracuse. After awhile we will have to go once a week, then once a month and after a lengthy period every six months.” said Mrs. Sears.
Through all the hard times, the Sears family has proven to be strong and bonded together.
“Todd has been told he's all done working now, at age 50, that's very hard on him. What gets us through and keeps us going is our love for each other. I would do anything for Todd. We've been married thirty-two years now and this is the hardest thing we've had to deal with. Another big part in getting through this is our kids, their spouses and our grandchildren. We were close to begin with but we are closer than ever now.” said Mrs. Sears, of this emotionally and physically challenging time.
Best of luck to Mr. Sears as he goes for what will hopefully be his kidney transplant on February 6 at Upstate Transplant in Syracuse.


Funeral services for Trustee Nelson Lawrence Thursday

The Village of Gouverneur office and department of public works will close on Thursday at 1:30 a.m. so that officials and staff can attend the funeral service of their beloved colleague Trustee Nelson Lawrence.
Nelson's obituary is published below:

Nelson Lawrence
Nelson Lawrence of Gouverneur, NY lost his 10-month battle with Pancreatic Cancer on January 13th, 2018 at his home in the loving arms of his wife, Donna and daughter, Lisa while surrounded by his family.
Calling hours will be held at Greens Funeral Home, 33 Park St., Gouverneur, NY on Wednesday, January 17 from 12-2 pm and 5-7 pm. Memorial mass will be held on Thursday, January 18 at St. James Catholic Church, 164 East Main St. Gouverneur, NY. at 11 a.m.
Nelson was born on September 28th, 1936 in Syracuse, NY to Clinton and Olga Lawrence. In 1946, his family moved to the Star Lake area where his parents bought and ran The Benson Mines Hotel. He graduated from Clifton Fine Central School in Star Lake, NY.
He joined The US Army in 1960 and was stationed for two years in Germany where he spent his Saturday mornings showing the children in his neighborhood U.S. cartoons and became known as “The Movie Man”.
In 2000, Nelson and his wife Donna started what is known today as The Lawrence Manor B&B and Motel at 214 East Main Street Gouverneur, NY.  His mornings were filled with preparing breakfasts, sharing stories, and telling tall tales with the many guests that filled the breakfast room. When his wife Donna was asked during an interview at one time, what she would contribute the success of The Lawrence Manor compared to other B&B’s, her answer simply was “No other B&B has a Nelson”. In 2001, he retired from Viking Cives of Harrisville as a sales manager of 33 years.
Besides his wife of 26 years, Donna, he is survived by his daughter, Lisa Bango, of Harrisville, NY, his stepchildren, Amy Jo McIntyre of Rossie, Eddie Dowling of Star Lake, and his niece/ daughter, Courtney (Luke) Weldon of Dallas, GA. Granddaughters, Megan (Matt) Brown of Fowler, NY, Jonnilyn and Jamie McIntyre of Rossie, Eddie (Peanut) Dowling III of Star Lake, NY, as well as Mattis and Finnegan Weldon of Dallas, GA and great granddaughter, Mattie Clare Brown.
His sister, Patricia Langevin, Sylvia Lake  and sister-in-law, Delores (Tootie) Lawrence of Ocala, FL along with his mother-in-law Alberta Jenks of North East, PA also survives him.  
He is predeceased by his parents, Clinton and Olga Lawrence, sister, Rita, brother, Chuck, brother- in -law and nephew, Frank and Greg Langevin and his father-in-law Michael Jenks
At the time of his death, he was serving his second term as a Trustee of the Village of Gouverneur Board. He is a past board member of the Gouverneur Country Club and also was a member of the Gouverneur Lions Club.  
Besides his love of traveling with his wife, Donna, and spending time with his best friends, his hobbies included golfing and boating on the St. Lawrence River but his biggest joy of all was being called “Dah” by his grandchildren.
His beautiful smile, twinkling eyes and friendly personality only meant, to know him was to love him and you would have a forever friend.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Gouverneur Community Center in memory of Trustee Nelson Lawrence, earmarked for a special fund that was dear to his heart. Donations can be sent to the Village of Gouverneur, 33 Clinton Street, in care of Barbara Finnie.

Cranberry Lake First Strike Ice Fishing Derby is Jan. 27

Sponsored by the Cranberry Lake Vol. Fire Department the 2018 “First Strike” Cranberry Lake Ice Fishing Derby is scheduled for Saturday January 27th, 2018. The tournament is in its 9th year. The tournament runs from 7 A.M. to 3 P.M.
Known for its legendary fishing, Cranberry Lake is the third largest lake in the Adirondacks and one of the most popular fishing destinations, both summer and winter.
According to Derby Chairperson, Karen Soltau, “The extraordinary fishing, along with generous prizes have made this one the most memorable ice fishing tournaments in the northeast. Once again, we look forward to welcoming fisherman from all over the North Country, surrounding states & Canada. It’s always a remarkable day and lots of fun for the whole family”.
Due to the size of the tournament, Soltau strongly recommends early registration by mail. Pike Entry fee is $35.00 for Adults and kids and $10.00 for kids Perch Derby (12 and under) if registered by January 12th, 2018. Registrations postmarked by January 12th are eligible for a drawing for a $250.00 Gift Card from Bass Pro Shop. Entry fee after January 12th, 2018 will be $40.00
Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st – 5th place for the children’s (12 and under) perch derby. Every child who enters will receive a prize.
In the adult category hourly cash prizes will be to 1st – 3rd place. In addition to cash prizes, dozens of door prizes will be awarded. Up to $10,000 in total cash and prizes will awarded.
New for 2018: Mystery Weight Prize- Winners will be determined by the closest to the mystery weight, without going over predetermined weight. Prized denominations are $1000.00, $500.00, $250.00 and $250.00.
Registration forms and derby rules are available at or email
Updates are available on Facebook at

How to keep safe during extreme cold

With frigid temperatures and snow fall continuing across many parts of the state this weekend and into next week, propane consumers need take a few important steps to stay safe and warm. The New York Propane Gas Association says homes and business that use propane to generate heat or run appliances should make sure to take the following steps:  
Clear snow and ice from around your propane tank, chimneys, flue pipes and vents. Use a broom rather than a shovel, and clear these areas frequently to reduce the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. If pipes freeze and crack, gas can leak out and cause potential danger.
Check your propane tank, chimneys, flue pipes and vent connectors for damage, blockage, or debris caused by snow or ice. Do not attempt repairs yourself. Call your propane dealer for assistance.
Keep path to propane tanks clear as winter progresses. Ensure that there is always a clear path to your tank for deliveries, including your filler pipe. And be sure to notify any snow plow drivers or contractors of your propane tank location.
Use extreme caution when operating portable generators. Never use a portable generator (gasoline, diesel, or propane) indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in carbon monoxide poisoning or death.
If you smell gas inside or outside of your home or business, follow these instructions:
No flames or sparks! Immediately put out all smoking materials and other open flames. Do not operate or turn on or off lights, appliances, telephones or cell phones.
Leave the area immediately. Get everyone out of the building or area where you suspect gas is leaking.
Shut off the gas. Turn off the main gas supply valve on your propane tank, if it is safe to do so. To close the valve, turn it to the right (clockwise).
Report the leak. From a neighbor’s home or other building away from the gas leak, call your propane retailer right away. If you can’t reach your propane retailer, call 911 or your local fire department.
Do not return to the building or area until your propane retailer, emergency responder, or qualified service technician determines that it is safe to do so.
Get your system checked. Before you attempt to use any of your propane appliances, your propane retailer or a qualified service technician must check your entire system to ensure that it is leak-free.
More safety tips are online at and
About the New York Propane Gas Association
The New York Propane Gas Association is a member-focused trade organization providing services that communicate, educate, and promote the propane industry in New York. The association was formed in 1948 to offer opportunities for training and networking with peers, and to aid with legislative issues that contribute to operating a safe and successful industry.

Assemblywoman Jenne introduces bill to protect Fort Drum training operations from wind farm development

Assemblywoman Jenne introduces bill to protect Fort Drum training operations from wind farm development

Assemblywoman Addie A.E. Jenne, D-Theresa, has introduced legislation that would prohibit the state from granting subsidies to wind energy projects that could impact the military's training needs at Fort Drum.
“'The legislation that was finalized on Friday comes after of months of research on an issue that is critically important to Fort Drum's long-term viability." the assemblywoman said.
"It is the product of several briefings I've had at Fort Drum, with several military officials responsible for different aspects of training and operation. I've also discussed the issue with state and local officials, including representatives from the Development Authority of the North Country," Assemblywoman Jenne said.
She pointed out that her position is a result of being a North Country resident who has called the area surrounding Fort Drum home her entire life.
Assemblywoman Jenne said her position also reflects the knowledge that comes from serving on the state Assembly's Energy Committee since first being elected to the state Legislature.
The legislation calls for the state to not provide subsidies for the construction or operation of wind operations within 10 miles of the Wheeler Sack Army Airfield at Fort Drum, 10 miles of the Doppler radar weather station on Tug Hill, 5 miles of the airspace controlled by the Fort Drum air traffic control tower and 5 miles of the area currently used for live fire drills.
State funding for wind projects would also be temporarily be prohibited in an area currently used for low-level flight training.
The triangle would run northeast from Fort Drum north along Route 11 to Route 56, southeast on Route 56 along the border of the Adirondack State Park back to Route 3 and then west back to Fort Drum.
Assemblywoman Jenne, a long-time proponent of renewable energy, said approximately 10 new wind farms have been proposed or are under construction around Fort Drum and their impact on training operations, which translates to troop readiness and future mission readiness, cannot be ignored.
"I continue to have grave concerns that the installation could be negatively impacted if neighboring wind turbine projects hamper its ability to operate efficiently and effectively," she stressed.
"We currently allocate state funding to protect Fort Drum from encroachment. This legislation offers a balanced approach to level the playing field and place our national security interests over one form of alternative energy," according to the assemblywoman.
"It provides a fix to the inconsistent practice of our state government paying property owners to limit development around Fort Drum while at the same time offering subsidies to wind energy developers to do just that," Assemblywoman Jenne added.
"It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to be using state dollars to offer subsidies to wind energy developers that are working on projects that could have a negative impact on Fort Drum's training needs. We are using state funds to both build and to prevent wind farms. It's crazy," she said.
"This legislation is aimed at providing certainty for training and operations capability in the short term and gives energy developers time to step back and review potential steps that could be taken to mitigate the negative impact the wind turbines have on the weather station and on the safety of military personnel using the airspace around Fort Drum," Assemblywoman Jenne said.
"The North Country is a major producer of alternative energy in New York State, and it is already going to be a few years before improvements are made to our transmission facilities so we can effectively and efficiently move the power generated at these potential projects and other proposed energy developments throughout the state," she said.
"It is my belief that this legislation would give Fort Drum officials the time and space they need to fully determine proposed projects that are compatible with their training needs," Assemblywoman Jenne pointed out.
This legislation is attached to funding to ensure more leverage is given to the military training readiness needs of our soldiers training at the fort," she added.
"The state's Public Service Commission created a new financial incentive program that has essentially ignited a gold rush of wind development. The North Country has ideal wind patterns, so we're experiencing the brunt of the development rush. I'm very concerned about the potential impact of just under a dozen new wind farms currently in various stages of the regulatory process ringing Fort Drum and Montague," Assemblywoman Jenne stressed.
"This legislation is necessary because the process for siting wind developments at the state level doesn’t take into consideration other major competing interests that should have a higher priority over wind power generation. This legislation would place the current needs of Fort Drum on equal footing with those of wind developers," the assemblywoman said.
Fort Drum, home of the United States Army's 10th Mountain Division, is the preeminent military installation in the Northeast, providing unparalleled training opportunities and community engagement.
The installation includes troop quarters, the Wheeler­Sack Army Airfield, and the 78,000-acre training area utilized by the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, and National Guard. Taking advantage of its relatively remote location, troops stationed at Fort Drum have access to a wide variety of terrains, including urban combat simulations, vehicle maneuver training, live and simulated weapons firing, aerial gunnery and bombing, and team situational training exercises in a four-season climate.
As part of the installation’s mission readiness, radar is relied upon to predict weather patterns and provide real-time conditions, direct flights and simulate air-­to­-air combat scenarios, which reflect increasingly possible missions in a global environment.
Maintaining the integrity of the installation’s radar assets is of critical importance, and this legislation would help ensure large-scale wind energy developments don’t impede training operations.
With two currently operational wind energy developments inside the installation’s radar viewshed, - a radar tower at the Wheeler ­Sack Army Airfield - and the Doppler radar tower in Montague, and eight permitted or proposed developments in progress, it is it’s clear that current siting regulations and processes at the state and federal level are not providing a sufficient buffer around the installation and radar facilities. In particular, the impact of several proposed wind projects will significantly degrade the data from the Doppler radar facility. With a 15-year sunset provision, the legislation would enable the military to count on the installation's viability to provide quality training to soldiers that can be rapidly deployed as national security needs dictate and allow time for technological leaps and investments that could allow for co-­location of energy developments around Fort Drum in the future.

Stefanik Applauds President Trump’s Order on Rural Broadband

Stefanik Applauds President Trump’s Order on Rural Broadband

On Tuesday, January 9, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) issued the following statement applauding President Trump’s executive order to “use all viable tools” to accelerate the deployment and adoption of affordable and reliable broadband connectivity in rural America.
“As a Member of the Rural Broadband Caucus and the proud representative of New York’s 21st District, I commend the President for making rural broadband a priority,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Increasing access to rural broadband is a major priority for our region that will help grow our economy and increase access to educational opportunities. Specifically, I know increasing access to broadband internet for our farmers will help them bring their operations into the 21st Century. In Congress, I have been pleased to lead on two major legislative initiatives to increase access to rural broadband and I look forward to partnering with the Trump Administration on this important effort.”

Route 58 accident

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.


 The Gouverneur Tribune Press extends its gratitude to the Gouverneur Fire Department for these photos from the Route 58 accident, first published on their Facebook page on Aug. 4. (photos provided)

The Gouverneur Tribune Press extends its gratitude to the Gouverneur Fire Department for these photos from the Route 58 accident, first published on their Facebook page on Aug. 4. (photos provided)

Gouverneur Police Blotter

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.

Lots going on at the 2017 Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair

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.
Ground Acts
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.
Commercial Area
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.

Kruger Energy presents concept plan for solar project in Fowler

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.