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74 Trinity Avenue
Gouverneur, NY, 13642
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Local News

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NP Coates Joins DeKalb Health Center Team

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ NP Coates at DeKalb Health Center pic copy.jpg

Nicole Coates, NP, will be practicing full-time at Gouverneur Hospital’s DeKalb Health Center effective May 20, 2019.

Coates received her degree from SUNY Upstate Medical in Syracuse, NY and completed two of her clinical rotations in Antwerp and Edwards. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College of Nursing with Cum Laude honors, where she gained nursing experience in the fields of cardiology, traumatic brain injury, emergency medicine, and critical care medicine. 

Coates is a Gouverneur native and has always called the North Country home. She is pleased to be able to provide healthcare to the community she considers family.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call (315) 347-3830.

Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 installs officers

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 installs new slate of officers on Sunday, April 7. Front (from left): State Vice President (North Central District) Brian Dezell, Esteemed Lecturing Knight Sheila Ogborne, Inner Guard Linda Westcott, Esteemed Loyal Knight Tina Vanderbogart, Esquire Krista Wainwright. Second row: Secretary Jimmy Jackson (PDDGER, PSVP, PER), Past Exalted Ruler Roderick Pryce, Esteemed Leading Knight Gresford Speid, Exalted Ruler Randy Durham, Chaplain Frederick Ogborne II, Back Row: Treasurer Garnet Weaver and Tiler Lisa Durham. (Rachel Hunter photo)

Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 installs new slate of officers on Sunday, April 7. Front (from left): State Vice President (North Central District) Brian Dezell, Esteemed Lecturing Knight Sheila Ogborne, Inner Guard Linda Westcott, Esteemed Loyal Knight Tina Vanderbogart, Esquire Krista Wainwright. Second row: Secretary Jimmy Jackson (PDDGER, PSVP, PER), Past Exalted Ruler Roderick Pryce, Esteemed Leading Knight Gresford Speid, Exalted Ruler Randy Durham, Chaplain Frederick Ogborne II, Back Row: Treasurer Garnet Weaver and Tiler Lisa Durham. (Rachel Hunter photo)

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035 installed its officers for the 2019-2020 fraternal year on Sunday, April 7, 1 p.m., at the Gouverneur Elks Lodge home, 1419 U.S. Highway 11, Gouverneur.

A fresh slate of officers was recently elected by membership of Gouverneur Elks Lodge No. 2035. The installation ceremony was presided over by State Vice President (North Central District) Brian Dezell of Ogdensburg with assistance from Gouverneur Elks Lodge Past Exalted Ruler Roderick Pryce and Jimmy Jackson (Past District Deputy to the Grand Exalted Ruler, Past Exalted Ruler, and Past State Vice President).

The officers installed were: Exalted Ruler Randy Durham, Esteemed Leading Knight Gresford Speid, Esteemed Loyal Knight Tina Vanderbogart, Esteemed Lecturing Knight Sheila Ogborne, Chaplain Frederick Ogborne II, Tiler Lisa Durham, Esquire Krista Wainwright, Inner Guard Linda Westcott, Secretary Jimmy Jackson, and Treasurer Garnet Weaver. Lodge Trustees are as follows: Five-Year Trustee (Jonathan Davenport), Four-Year Trustee (Carl Gamble), Three-Year Trustee (Mark Finley), and Two-Year Trustee (William LaMere), and One-Year Trustee (Rick Newvine).

Following the ceremony, all were invited to a light luncheon. The Gouverneur Elks Lodge looks forward to continued growth and opportunities to serve the Gouverneur community in the upcoming year. Much gratitude was extended to all those in attendance.

Gouverneur Community Chorus to present “The Song Everlasting” on Sunday

Dan McClelland

The Gouverneur Community Chorus and instrumentalists, under the direction of Dr. Donald Schuessler, Jr., preparing to present “The Song Everlasting,” written and arranged by Joseph Martin, at the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur, 34 Grove St., on Sunday, April 14, 4 p.m. (Rachel Hunter photo)

The Gouverneur Community Chorus and instrumentalists, under the direction of Dr. Donald Schuessler, Jr., preparing to present “The Song Everlasting,” written and arranged by Joseph Martin, at the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur, 34 Grove St., on Sunday, April 14, 4 p.m. (Rachel Hunter photo)

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Community Chorus is set to present “The Song Everlasting,” by Joseph M. Martin. It will take place at the Gouverneur First United Methodist Church, 34 Grove Street (across from the U.S. Post Office) on Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m.

The Gouverneur Community Chorus of local church and community members will blend their voices with an instrumental ensemble of piano, flute, clarinet, guitar, violin, cello and percussion under the direction of Dr. Donald Schuessler, Jr.

The Gouverneur Community Chorus includes the following members: Kristine Battersby, Karen Brungard, Mary Dixon, Linda Golja, Stephen Jadlocki, Franny Knott, Kathy Kopchinski, Paige McCrea, Marlene Morris, Sid Peters, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Quick, Jenny Reddick, Chris Rediehs, Jay Rizza, Glenda Schuessler, Marla Shampine, Blane Shrewsberry, Harry Smithers, Isaiah Sochia, Sam Sochia, Sue Spilman, Max Tessmer, Gail Thomas, Donna Thorpe, Mark Tomford, Pastor Mike Tomford, Lily Towne. Instrumentalists include the following: Lauren Correa, Violin, John Dixon, Percussion, Chris Hosmer, Cello, Beth Johnson, Piano, Laura Rediehs, Flute, Glenda Schuessler, Organ, Mike Welch, Guitar, Jenelle Yeoman, Clarinet. The narrator is Henry Leader.

The Gouverneur Community Chorus has been practicing for weeks in preparation for the annual Easter cantata. “The Song Everlasting” masterfully weaves together hymns, spirituals and folk songs to dramatically present the life of Christ – the miracle and blessing of Christ’s earthly ministry, the humility of His passion and the victory of His resurrection. The song list includes the following selections: :Alas, And Did My Savior Bleed?,” “Christ Is Risen,” “Come Unto Me,” “I Will Arise And Go To Jesus,” “I Will Sing The Wondrous Story,” “Journey Of Hope And Promise,” “Procession Of Praise,” “Sacred Head,” “Wondrous Love,” “Song Of Humility,” “Songs Of The Wayfarer,” “The Sure Foundation,” and “The Wondrous Story.” Thoughtful narration and spectacular orchestrations crown the cantata with variety and skill. It will also include opportunities for audience participation.

The Gouverneur First United Methodist Church is handicapped accessible and the nursery staff will be available to care for young children.

For more information please visit www.gouverneurumc.org or call 315-287-2440.


GCS staff members recognized

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur Central School Staff Recognition Awards were held on the evening of Monday, March 11 at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting in the high school auditorium.

Throughout the school year, members of the staff are asked to send in their nominations for recognition with a letter explaining why the staff member is deserving of the award. The committee then decides who will be the recipients of the staff recognition awards.

Jerrilyn Patton, Co-President of the GTO, presented these awards to two deserving individuals and read the letters received upon their nomination.

“The first recipient is Heather Davis, who works in the Elementary. She goes above and beyond her duties when she uses her own money to buy supplies or snacks when needed. She washes all the dishes, even though they are not hers to do. When we cook a large meal or our teacher is out she goes out of her way to provide the best working environment for her students. Heather is always there to help, inside and outside of the classroom and has been doing so for years.” Mrs. Patton read of the deserving award recipient as she presented her with her certificate of recognition.

“Mrs. Barb Gauthier of the Middle School is next to be recognized. She also goes above and beyond everyday for her students and families. One year a student expressed that their Christmas tree had broke and the mother was sad because they couldn't afford another one. That day at lunch Mrs. Gauthier went out and purchased a Christmas tree, she dropped it off on the porch before the student and his family returned home. The following day the student told her all about their new Christmas tree and how his mom was so excited that she gave him the biggest hug ever. Mrs. Gauthier has also been known to quietly purchase shoes, jackets and food for students and their families. She is empathetic and understanding to the various needs of all students and staff members. A teen has had many health concerns this year and she is always checking in and supporting our team. Congratulations!” said Mrs. Patton, as she presented Mrs. Gauthier with her award of recognition.

Mr. David Fenlong, President of the Board of Education gave a heartfelt sentiment to this award process.

“I am on the Shared Decision Committee who has the pleasure of helping to choose those two winners. We also get to read all of the thoughtful sentiments and stories of heroism, like so many staff members we're lucky to have them all, congratulations to the winners.”

Fantastic job to each recipient of their recognition award, your efforts and contributions truly do make a difference in the lives of many.

Village of Gouverneur looks to improve village park

Dan McClelland

The proposed scope of work ahead for the Village of Gouverneur in the park improvement project, which will be made possible by grant funding through Senator Patty Ritchie's office. The services of Bernier, Carr and Associates in Watertown, NY were retained to assist the Village of Gouverneur in the upgrades.

The proposed scope of work ahead for the Village of Gouverneur in the park improvement project, which will be made possible by grant funding through Senator Patty Ritchie's office. The services of Bernier, Carr and Associates in Watertown, NY were retained to assist the Village of Gouverneur in the upgrades.

by Rachel Hunter

Grant funding secured through New York State Senator Patty Ritchie’s office will allow the Village of Gouverneur to make a series of upgrades to the Gouverneur Village Park. The list of suggested improvements is estimated cost over $150,000.

The Village of Gouverneur retained the services of Bernier, Carr and Associates, Engineers, Architects and Land Surveyors, P. C. (BCA) in Watertown, NY to assist them with the planned upgrades. The area studied encompasses the triangular area formed by East Main Street, Church Street and Grove Street in the Village of Gouverneur. The area is approximately 34,800 square feet and in located in central Gouverneur in the B-1 Business Zoning District. The existing site has several featured elements throughout the park including a bandstand gazebo, a memorial archway, a village clock and water fountain.

The report received from BCA was utilized by the Village of Gouverneur to scope a project that the Village plans to undertake with the grant funds expected from Senator Patty Ritchie. In preparation of the report, BCA collaborated with Mayor Ronald McDougall and Department of Public Works Superintendent TJ Simmons and developed a list of suggested improvements and their associated costs. From this list, the Village of Gouverneur will be able to select improvements to implement.

Mayor McDougall expressed to BCA that the bandstand gazebo should be a primary focus for improvement funds. After an evaluation of the existing conditions of the gazebo that was donated by Gouverneur citizens in 1976 during the Bicentennial Year, there are several degrees of improvements that can be made. The improvements could be as simple as repainting, to adding aesthetic elements or to the extent of replacing the entire structure. Visually, the structure looks structurally sound and the roof is only a few years old. Therefore, total replacement would not be necessary but may be desired.

BCA recommended replacing the floor boards and adding aesthetic elements (such as a cupola, braces, decorative trim, lights, etc.) to the existing structure to improve the overall appearance while keeping the structure intact, and then to repaint everything. Since the gazebo has historical importance BCA reported that it sees the value in restoring the existing structure and improving on it over demolition and replacement with a new structure.

However, if total replacement is desired, there are two options with pros and cons for both. The first option would be to replace the structure with a pre-fabricated gazebo from a supplier such as North Country Storage Barns. The benefit of this would be a lower cost but available sizes will be much smaller than the existing structure. The other option would be to design-build a custom gazebo, with would allow for flexibility in size, but the cost will be significantly greater.

The extent to which the Village of Gouverneur decides to improve the gazebo will very much dictate the remaining improvements for the village park.

BCA also recommends adding significant foundation landscaping around the base of the gazebo, which would add an additional aesthetic improvement to draw the eye to the gazebo as people pass by. Going this route, would also leave a significant amount of funds to accomplish other needed improvements throughout the village park.

BCA also reported that one element the village park lacks is a flexible outdoor plaza for the community to use for regular community events and programs such as movies in the park, outdoor fitness classes, civic gatherings, small concerts, etc. Proximity to the bandstand gazebo is important and placement along Church Street would provide a more quiet intimate setting versus the bustle along East Main Street. Flexible seating areas would be ideal and therefore, BCA suggests installing the site benches initially, and then when more funds become available, add tables and chairs to facilitate users to sit and enjoy their lunch.

Although additional programming was not initially discussed as a desired improvement, BCA believes that the Village Park’s use would greatly increase with the addition of a paved plaza to serve as a flexible gathering space. “Not only would it facilitate activities occurring at the bandstand gazebo, it could provide additional seating for users looking to enjoy their lunch in the park or those attending the summer farmers market,” the report reads. “With the addition of this paved gathering space, BCA also suggests creating another crossing on Church Street off the plaza at mid-block. This would encourage pedestrians to use a safe means of crossing in a third location along Church Street while encouraging drivers to drive slowly.”

The Village of Gouverneur has also indicated that it would like to repoint the stone memorial arch. There are several cracks in the stone that will need to be thoroughly evaluated to determine if the cracks are causing any major defects or if repointing will be sufficient. The memorial arch is a main feature in the park and therefore the repointing of the stone should be completed. Further evaluation of the arch condition and proposed repairs is warranted. A repointing allowance was included in the budget.

In addition to the plantings at the gazebo, BCA also highly suggests increasing the landscaping around the memorial arch. The arch serves as an important visual element in the park and adding landscaping will only increase its appearance as significant. BCA also suggests when more funds become available to also install additional plantings around the other significant features of the park such as the village clock, fountain, and LifeSavers sign. A maintenance plan should be implemented in order to preserve the design intent of the landscape and ensure the park is upkept.

BCA also recommended removing and replacing the overgrown trees on the existing site. “Not only are the overgrown trees not aesthetically pleasing, they also pose as safety hazards because of their poor branching structure,” the report reads.

Another proposed improvement to upgrade the overall quality of the park suggested by BCA would be to relocate the several electrical outlets into the ground or with smaller electrical outlets hidden with tree circles or planting beds. “Not only will this make the park look less cluttered, it will better facilitate multiple uses of the park without restriction of the outlets in the way,” the report reads.

A few of the improvement areas in the Gouverneur Village Park mentioned in the proposal.

A few of the improvement areas in the Gouverneur Village Park mentioned in the proposal.

As far as accessibility improvements are concerned, BCA reported that overall ADA accessibility could be greatly improved throughout the park. Recently, the NYS Department of Transportation replaced the ADA accessible ramps on the north side of the park along Main Street. BCA recommends replacing the remaining three ADA ramps along Church Street. Additionally, the existing interior asphalt walks are deteriorating and need replacement to meet the requirements for ADA accessible walks. “Accessibility throughout the park is certainly imperative and therefore we highly recommend not only replacing the internal walk with accessible concrete walks but also replacing the existing ADA ramps along Church Street,” the report reads.

BCA also reported that the current site furnishings are in good condition but need upgrades. “The existing pedestrian site lights are in great condition but are currently metal halide lights and should be converted to LED lights which tend to last much longer, are more energy efficient, and require less maintenance intensive technology,” the report reads. “Conversion of these exact pole-top lights was already completed at the Community Center and provide a great example to the benefit of conversion. The existing benches, trash receptacles, and bollards should be replaced with modern furnishings that could set the Village standard for these items moving forward for future projects in the village. “

BCA recommends converting the existing 12 pedestrian site lights (currently metal halide lights) to LED lights, which tend to last much longer, are more energy efficient, and require less maintenance intensive technology. Implementing this improvement will have monetary benefits for the village ultimately.

Updating all site furnishings would be ideal but with limited funds, BCA suggests replacing the site benches initially as they will have the most significant impact visually for the park. “When selecting a bench, we suggest considering setting a standard bench to use throughout the village to create a cohesive look,” the report reads. “We additionally recommend putting two new benches in the bus shelters for users.”

BCA also said that the existing flagpoles along the western corner are in bad condition and should be replaced or removed considering there are other flags in the park. “The POW/MIA flag will need to be hung on one of the other flagpoles near the memorial arch,” the report reads. “The existing flagpoles at the memorial arch are in good condition and will not need replacement.”

Additionally, at the western corner of the Village park, in the smaller triangle, the existing LifeSavers sign is overcrowded with other signs and could benefit from relocating these smaller signs or integrating them into the LifeSavers sign.

The total estimated cost to implement the aforementioned recommendations is $152, 685.

The grant funds through Senator Ritchie’s will aid the Village of Gouverneur in developing a compelling park to serve the community now and into the future.

The existing conditions and proposed options for improvement of site furnishings in the Gouverneur Village park.

The existing conditions and proposed options for improvement of site furnishings in the Gouverneur Village park.


Gouverneur man jailed for allegedly committing Hermon bank robbery

Dan McClelland

Timothy Alan Shippee, Jr. of Gouverneur. (mugshot provided)

Timothy Alan Shippee, Jr. of Gouverneur. (mugshot provided)

Timothy Alan Shippee, Jr., 30, of Gouverneur was arrested on Saturday, March 2 for robbery in the second degree, a Class C felony. Mr. Shippee is alleged to have entered Community Bank, NA, 111 Church St., Hermon, on Friday, February 28 at approximately 12:50 p.m. and brandished what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money from the teller. After the teller had placed the money, as ordered, into a backpack, Shippee left the bank and walked to a vehicle and left the area.

Upon notification of this bank robbery, the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the New York State Police immediately started into a joint investigation with several other federal, state and local police agencies. A command post was utilized in the Town of Hermon Municipal Offices and law enforcement began fielding leads as they came in from the public.

This investigation involved hundreds of leads and interviews and this successful result with an arrest was completed in large part due to the assistance of the people of the Town of Hermon, Community Bank, NA employees, other St. Lawrence County residents, and local media sources.

Timothy Shippee was arraigned in the Town of Pierrepont court in front of Town Justice Filiatrault and was ordered held without bail at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility. Shippee does have prior felony convictions, which include being list on the New York State Sex Offender Registry.

The Sheriff’s Office Detectives and Deputies worked in conjunction with the New York State Police, NYSP Major Crimes Unit, NYSP Computer Crimes Unit, NYS DEC Police and US Border Patrol, St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua and the North Country Crime Analysis Center and all were instrument in this investigation.

Lead investigating officers were Detective Sergeant Caringi and Detective O’Brien.

Security footage from the Community Bank, NA in Hermon as it was being robbed. (photo provided)

Security footage from the Community Bank, NA in Hermon as it was being robbed. (photo provided)

Village board recognizes 2018 GCS Wildcat Football Team

Dan McClelland

The 2018 Gouverneur Wildcat Varsity Football Team was honored for its outstanding season by the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its Feb. 19 meeting. The plaque was presented by Mayor Ron McDougall and accepted by Head Coach Sean Devlin, joined by the coaching staff and student-athletes. From left: Coach Frank Bush, Coach Travis Dann, Garrison Gonyeau, Coach Sean Devlin, Nick Jenkins, Mayor Ron McDougall, Dave Baker, Shane Shampine, Jake Shippee, Mitchell Shippee, Logan Garrison, Cayden Stowell, Keegan Matthews, Caleb Farr. (Rachel Hunter photo)

The 2018 Gouverneur Wildcat Varsity Football Team was honored for its outstanding season by the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its Feb. 19 meeting. The plaque was presented by Mayor Ron McDougall and accepted by Head Coach Sean Devlin, joined by the coaching staff and student-athletes. From left: Coach Frank Bush, Coach Travis Dann, Garrison Gonyeau, Coach Sean Devlin, Nick Jenkins, Mayor Ron McDougall, Dave Baker, Shane Shampine, Jake Shippee, Mitchell Shippee, Logan Garrison, Cayden Stowell, Keegan Matthews, Caleb Farr. (Rachel Hunter photo)

by Rachel Hunter

The Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on Feb. 19 bestowed a special commendation to the 2018 Gouverneur Central Wildcat Varsity Football for their outstanding season.

The Wildcats were once again undefeated in regular season, and went 8-0 before being dominated by the Ogdensburg Free Academy Blue Devils in the Section 10 Class C Championship. This is the third season in a row that the Wildcats went undefeated, under the coaching of Head Coach Sean Devlin, Assistant Coach Travis Dann, Assistant Coach Justin Young, Assistant Coach Cody Hartle, and Assistant Coach Frank Bush (who also serves as the GCS athletic director). The team included the following GCS student-athletes:

Joseph Cummings, Mitchell Shippee, Jacob Shippee, Mitchell Tyler, Caleb Farr, Connor Wood, David Baker, Cayden Stowell, Nicholas Embry, Blaine Platt, Riley Simmons, Slater Rusin, Shane Shampine, Garrison Gonyeau (Captain), Jared Wilson, Jacob Link (Captain), Peyton Schmitt (Captain), Daniel Hall, Logan Phillips, Brock Cox, Dawson Miller, Carter Hance (Captain), Keegan Matthews, Christian Butler, Carter Simmons, Carter Wilson, Zackary Macaulay, Logan Garrison (Captain), Steven Jackson Jr., Joseph Rotundo, Nicholas Jenkins.

This string of undefeated seasons is one that has not been accomplished in Gouverneur for decades.

“It has been a great three-year run,” Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall said. “There’s not a question about that. We’re very happy about that, and very happy to honor the football team. I’ll just say one thing… certainly to a number of us who attended the games for the past three years, but particularly this year, it was something to see. There’s no question about that. Not a state championship, but the best three-year run in quite some time in Northern New York, whether it be the old Northern League, back to eight-man football, or whatever.

“In particular interest from a personal view was the pre-WWII team my father-in-law (Bill Scozzafava) who passed away in December talked about. He said, “They might be a bit faster than we were, you know.” In particular, when it comes to half-back, and yeah they are faster. When I said, “They are bigger and better,” he didn’t agree with that… but maybe a little bit faster.”

Mayor Ronald McDougall and Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine also mentioned that they represented the Village of Gouverneur at the 2018 GCS Wildcats Varsity Football Awards Banquet, held recently at the Gouverneur Community Center. Mayor McDougall also mentioned that Town of Gouverneur Supervisor David Spilman, Jr. “It was a great night,” Mayor McDougall.

An recognition plaque, by Harland Brown of Brown’s Jewelry Store in Gouverneur, was presented by the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees by Mayor Ronald McDougall to Head Coach Sean Devlin and assistant coaching staff in attendance (including GCS Athletic Director Frank Bush), and team members present.

“On behalf of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees, congratulations,” Mayor McDougall said. “It has been a great run.”

Mayor McDougall then opened the floor for the coaching staff and football team members to speak. Head Coach Sean Devlin then said the following: “We just want to thank the community, of course, the school for their continued support, and the village board for recognizing what we do, our success. Coach (Frank Bush) and I will be around for a few years, some of these guys won’t be back, and it really means a lot to us for them to have the opportunity to be recognized at this level. This is the third or fourth year being invited here, and it never gets old. And we hope it is a trend that continues the next three or four years also. So we appreciate it.”

There were no more comments made to the village board, or by the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees except for congratulations to the 2018 GCS Wildcat Varsity Football Team for their outstanding season.

The next meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees is to be held on Tuesday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.

Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 to honor Ruth Mead as VFW Auxilian of the Year

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

FRONT _ Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 to honor Ruth Mead copy.jpg

Ruth Mead of Richville will receive the annual Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338’s Auxilian of the Year Award at the anniversary dinner on Saturday, March 9.

Ruth Mead is one of eight children born to Ernest Eugene McEathron and Rosa (Weiss) McEathron, and she got her membership in the VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary from her father, a World War II veteran, who joined the VFW in November of 1984. Her uncle Harold McEathron also was a member of the VFW Post 6338. The brothers dressed into their uniforms and attended parades, funerals, and veteran occasions for almost 20 years together.

Serving in World War II, Ernest was a corporal with the U.S. Army Air Force Detachment A 42nd Repair Squadron 42nd Air Depot from January 27, 1943 until his honorable discharge on June 22, 1946 from 1946 from Erlangen, Germany. Ernest’s enlistment in USAAF sent him from Fort Niagara, New York to Biloxi, Mississippi for training and then for a short time to Georgia before being sent to Fort Warren, Wyoming.

At Fort Warren, he spent eight weeks in auto mechanics training school, where he “learned to tear apart a GMC engine and put it back together without think nothing of it.” Ernest also did the same with personal carrier and Jeep engines. After mechanics training, Ernest was sent back to Georgia for “replacement depot” as he called it. At the Winter Robbins Air Force Base he was supposed to drive a truck but ended up in the 1180 QM Service Group where he performed clerical work and was not thrilled with this task.

On December 1, 1943, he and other troops were sent to Fort Devons, Massachusetts where they would be deployed overseas. After 13 days on the ocean, troops landed in Wales, England on December 13, 1943. From there, they were taken by train to Stony Cross, England. Ernest served our country in the battles of Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe for three years. He was decorated with the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and Army of Occupation Medal.

At the time of his discharge in Germany, Ernest decided to stay and work as a supply clerk for the Civil Service in the Army, throughout different regions of Germany until 1953. From 1953 until 1954, Ernest stayed in Germany as a tourist until his funds were almost depleted and had to head back to the U.S.

During the post-war years in Germany, he was a sales commissary officer in the regions of Swabach and Erlangen and at some point along the way met Rosa Weiss, whom he married on May 16, 1953. The couple lived in Gouverneur for three years prior to buying their home in Richville in the spring of 1956.

Ruth (McEathron) Mead was born in Germany, but was raised in Richville. She attended the Richville elementary school and graduated from Gouverneur High School in 1966. She attended Harlem Valley School of Nursing and became a Registered Nurse. She also earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from SUNY Paltz. She married Vietname veteran Ronald Mead in 1978, and they made their home in Dutchess County, but moved back home in 2007 after her father passed away to take care of her mother.

It wasn’t long before she needed something productive to do in the community, and she joined the VFW auxiliary in October of 2011. She served as color bearer from 2017 to 2018, and now serves the auxiliary as chaplain. Her love for people has driven her to help the VFW Post 6338 in any way that she can – through Post 6338’s Monday Night Dinners, private function funerals and more.

“I love the people that I work with,” Mrs. Mead said. “I love serving the community and especially the veterans. There are a lot of veterans in my family. I want to make them proud. My Dad was very involved with Post 6338. I just want to do all that I can and I want to make my Dad proud… I enjoy being a member of the auxiliary.”

All are invited to help honor this year’s VFW Auxilian of the Year Ruth Mead at the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338’s Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, March 9, at the VFW Hall, 100 W. Main St., Gouverneur. Cocktail hour will be at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. For more information and to make reservations, call the VFW at (315) 287-4682.

Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 to honor John Holt as VFW Member of the Year

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

FRONT _ Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 to honor John Holt pic copy.jpg

John Holt of Gouverneur will be honored with the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 Member of the Year Award at Post 6338’s Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, March 9.

Mr. Holt was nominated by Darryl Sapoff for his dedication to Post 6338. Mr. Holt serves as Post Adjutant, Service Officer, and Assistant Quartermaster.

John Holt, born in Boston, Mass., fell in love with the North Country during his military career, which brought him to Fort Dum twice. He retired after 20 years on active duty and three and half years in the reserves. Mr. Holt was first stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, and worked as a track vehicle mechanic, fixing tanks, armored personnel carriers, etc. He got out for a short time, and when he went back into military service, he became a generator mechanic at Fort Drum, NY.

“That’s what I did for the rest of my military career, just based off of mechanical ability. I have ended up working on everything from single cylinder Diesel engine all the way up to a 1790 cu. inch V12 Diesel. “That weighs twice what my van does,” he said. “It powers a 56-ton tank. Big engine. I worked on everything from generators to tanks to bulldozers.”

Mr. Holt was sent from Fort Drum to Germany, and was supposed to be there for two years, but ended up only serving there for one year because he got “caught up in of the lovely congressionally mandated base realignment closure moves.” He then was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.

“I was stuck on Fort Bliss for two and a half years, went to Korea for a year, finally got myself back here to Fort Drum,” Mr. Holt said. “I was here for four months and deployed to Kuwait for 15. Coming back from Kuwait, I was here for about six months and got sent to recruiter school. Came back from recruiter school and they sent me down to Central Massachusetts to be a recruiter, and I finished up my military career in recruiting. I retired from that.”

Mr. Holt said at first his recruiting numbers were low, but is proud that two men he recruited went on to serve with the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery. “So I may not have put in a lot of quantity, but I put in quality,” he said.

After retiring, Mr. Holt entered into civilian life as an appliance repair technician. “I pretty much learned how to fix just about anything,” he said. “As an appliance repair technician, I used to fix washer, dryers, microwaves, ranges.”

John and Julie Holt fell in love with the North Country and decided to retire here. Mr. Holt became disabled and now is a full-time college student, in his fourth semester at SUNY Canton where he studies emergency management with a minor in accounting. “Every semester I have carried either an 18 or 19 credit hour load, and I have a cumulative GPA right now of 3.97,” he said. He also is an accounting tutor at SUNY Canton. He aspires to work for St. Lawrence County in the Office of Emergency Services. Mr. Holt said he was looking for a career he could pursue even if he ends up in a wheelchair.

“It’s a daily fight with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and at least Emergency Management or Accounting is something I can do seated,” Mr. Holt said. “I don’t have to be up running around. I can’t fix things anymore. I can still fiddle around and fix them eventually but my body just won’t handle fixing diesels anymore. I am not even about to pickup a 75-pound starter again. But I can at least use the knowledge to help others. That’s what I like doing.”

Mr. Holt is also active in the community, also having membership in the Gouverneur Masonic Lodge No. 217, where he has served as worshipful master. He also is a director of the Greater Gouverneur Area Chamber of Commerce, have been voted in after becoming involved as VFW Post 6338’s representative to the local chamber.

“My plate is pretty full,” Mr. Holt said. “It keeps me busy. If you don’t keep your mind and your body busy, it goes to mush.”

Mr. Holt’s hobbies include Lego model building. His most recent project is a New England Patriots football helmet that his wife is able to wear, and did most recently during the annual championship game of the National Football League on Sunday, February 3.

All are invited to help honor this year’s VFW Member of the Year John Holt at the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338’s Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, March 9, at the VFW Hall, 100 W. Main St., Gouverneur. Cocktail hour will be at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. For more information and to make reservations, call the VFW at (315) 287-4682.

Let It Snow: Gouverneur students perform winter concert

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The 2019 Gouverneur Elementary School Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten “Let It Snow” Concert was enjoyed by all at the Gouverneur High School Auditorium on Thursday, January 31. All were greeted and welcomed by GES Principal Charity Zawatski.

The concert was scheduled for Thursday, January 24, but it was rescheduled due to inclement weather conditions. The concert was conducted by Betty Hall, Gouverneur Elementary music teacher. Mrs. Hall jokingly told the audience that she would have to think seriously before planning another snow-themed concert, which caused great laughter to fill the concert hall.

The hard work of the students was evident throughout the entire hour-long concert. First up on stage were the pre-kindergarten students, who sang the following songs: “Snowball,” “I’m A Little Snowman,” “Mittens on my Hands,” “Five Little Snowmen Chant,” and “Ten Little Snowflakes.” A moment of great glee was when the students threw snowballs toward the audience during the “Snowball” selection. As the students left the stage, Gavin Tulley of Macomb volunteered his services and shoveled the remaining snowballs off the stage and out of the way before the kindergarten students took to the stage.

When all the kindergarten students had taken their respective places on the risers, the students sang the following songs: “Snowpants” by Anne and Dave Ellsworth, “Snow Is Falling Today” by Anne and Dave Ellsworth, “I’m A Little Snowflake” by Teresa Jennings, and “Mittens and Gloves,” by Anne Ellsworth and Teresa Jennings.

Great applause sounded throughout the concert hall as family members and friends cheered on the aspiring vocalists during the winter concert.

Special gratitude was expressed during the concert to all the people who helped to prepare the students for the special night through their support of the music programs in the Gouverneur Central School District.

Also to the Gouverneur Central School District Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Lauren French, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Donna Runner, Gouverneur Elementary Principal Charity Zawatski, Gouverneur Elementary Principal Victoria Day, Gouverneur Elementary Office and School Staff, Gouverneur High School Principal Cory Wood, Gouverneur Central Transportation Staff, and Gouverneur Central Music Department.

And also, gratitude was extended, as always, to all the family and friends who support and encourage the students.

Gouverneur Central Plans Moving Forward to Hire SRO

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

As there has been more heightened concern and fear with sending students to school with the latest episodes of school violence; the Gouverneur Central School District administration and BOE Safety Committee has been looking into the possibility of hiring a Safety Resource Officer (SRO).

After many detailed discussions, the Safety Resource Officer position was voted into the budget by the community during the annual budget vote held in May of 2018.

Many throughout the community and school system have voiced that this Safety Resource Officer would enhance the safety at all four school district buildings, Elementary, Middle, High and St. James School. In the opinion of many, this SRO would also allow another confidant for students and staff to relay any concerning information to.

This topic has been thoroughly discussed and gone over throughout many of the Board of Education meetings.

This position was recently discussed once again at the Board of Education meeting held Tuesday, January 15. Mrs. Lauren French, Superintendent of Schools, was able to elaborate on the flow of things being set in motion.

“Lisa McGregor, Cory Wood and myself met with Trooper D'Ambro last week and got some very good ideas about expectations and best practices. Trooper D'Ambro is a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

“We are looking for a retired officer who will circulate through all the buildings, making relationships with students and connecting with the community. The successful candidate will work very closely with the administration team.” said Mrs. French.

The Board of Education Safety Committee, including BOE members Lisa McGregor, James Delity and Nick Ormasen along with High School Principal Cory Wood, Superintendent of Schools Lauren French and Business Manager Carol LaSala met on Tuesday, January 22 to discuss more details for the new position.

The Board Of Education Safety Committee discussed the details of the job duties, job posting options and contract prototype.

Moving forward, all items seem to be set in motion for this wonderful improvement to school safety for the Gouverneur Central School District.

Wonderful job to all administration and Board of Education members for working to ensure the safety of our students is a top priority.

GPD adds new officer to its ranks

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Police Department’s newest officer, Nathan B. Sheen of Gouverneur, with supporters during his official swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, January 2 in the municipal courtroom. From left: Village of Gouverneur Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Rick Wood, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Troy Besaw, Jeff Sheen (Nathan’s father), Nathan B. Sheen, Village of Gouverneur Chief of Police Laurina Greenhill, Village of Gouverneur Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie, Gouverneur Police Officer Jesse Sheen (Nathan’s twin brother), and Gouverneur Police Department Ptl. Alexander Daggett. (Rachel Hunter photo)

Gouverneur Police Department’s newest officer, Nathan B. Sheen of Gouverneur, with supporters during his official swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, January 2 in the municipal courtroom. From left: Village of Gouverneur Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Rick Wood, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Troy Besaw, Jeff Sheen (Nathan’s father), Nathan B. Sheen, Village of Gouverneur Chief of Police Laurina Greenhill, Village of Gouverneur Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie, Gouverneur Police Officer Jesse Sheen (Nathan’s twin brother), and Gouverneur Police Department Ptl. Alexander Daggett. (Rachel Hunter photo)

by Rachel Hunter

The Gouverneur Police Department officially added another officer to its ranks on Wednesday, January 2 as Nathan B. Sheen of Gouverneur took the oath of office.

The swearing-in ceremony was held at 9 a.m. last Wednesday in the municipal courtroom. Village of Gouverneur Chief of Police Laurina Greenhill welcomed all in attendance, and gave the floor to Village of Gouverneur Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine for a few words due to the absence of Mayor Ron McDougall.

In his address, Deputy Mayor Newvine offered the following: “I think everyone knows why we are here. We are welcoming a new officer to the Gouverneur Police Department. He makes a good part of the team. He’s young. I think he is ready to work. If he wasn’t a good choice, I don’t think (Chief) Laurina (Greenhill) would have listed him on. So, congratulations to Mr. Sheen.”

Deputy Mayor Newvine then gave the floor back to Chief Greenhill, who said the following: “This is going to be a different life, once you swear-in, from this day forward. Every one of us, our moms, dads, brothers, sisters, family, friends, ourselves, are guarded by those who have taken the oath before us. And by swearing in, you are swearing to uphold not only the constitution of the State, but of this great nation, and I think the life of a police officer is a very noble cause… and your character will be defined by that. Know that Nathan Sheen is very worthy of this life, and that swearing in, that he will continue to be worthy of our cause.”

Chief Greenhill then invited Nathan Sheen to the front for the administration of the oath of office by Village of Gouverneur Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie as follows: “I, Nathan Sheen, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New York, and I will faithfully discharge the duties of police officer according to the best of my abilities.”

Nathan B. Sheen of Gouverneur (left) signing the oath of office as he was welcomed to the Gouverneur Police Department in an official ceremony on Wednesday, January 2. The oath was administrated by Village of Gouverneur Clerk and Treasurer Barbara Finnie (right). (Rachel Hunter photo)

Nathan B. Sheen of Gouverneur (left) signing the oath of office as he was welcomed to the Gouverneur Police Department in an official ceremony on Wednesday, January 2. The oath was administrated by Village of Gouverneur Clerk and Treasurer Barbara Finnie (right). (Rachel Hunter photo)

Mr. Sheen then signed the oath of office as directed by Village Clerk/Treasurer Finnie.

Loud applause and many words of congratulations were given to Mr. Sheen following the official ceremony.

In attendance at this auspicious occasion, were dozens of village officials and employees along with Mr. Sheen’s friends and family. This included Village of Gouverneur Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Rick Wood, Village of Gouverneur Trustee Troy Besaw, Village of Gouverneur Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie, Village of Gouverneur Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Kristina Ayen, Village of Gouverneur Department of Public Works Supt. TJ Simmons and DPW employees, Village of Gouverneur Recreation Department Director Casey Canell.

Also, Gouverneur Police Department Chief of Police Laurina Greenhill, Gouverneur Police Department Ptl. Alexander Daggett, Gouverneur Police Officer Jesse Sheen (twin brother to Nathan Sheen who took the oath of office in October of 2016). Nathan Sheen was also supported at the event by father, Jeff Sheen.

Nathan B. Sheen was formerly employed with the New York State Police, Troop B.

GDAC commends IDA

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Area Development Corp presenting a resolution of commendation to Patrick Kelly, Executive Director of St Lawrence County IDA. The resolution was given to the IDA in appreciation of their work in the opening of the Empire Mines. From left: Dave Spilman, Gouverneur Town Supervisor, Alex MacKinnon, President GDAC, Patrick Kelly, Executive Director SLCIDA, Ron McDougall, Mayor Village of Gouverneur. (photo provided)

Gouverneur Area Development Corp presenting a resolution of commendation to Patrick Kelly, Executive Director of St Lawrence County IDA. The resolution was given to the IDA in appreciation of their work in the opening of the Empire Mines. From left: Dave Spilman, Gouverneur Town Supervisor, Alex MacKinnon, President GDAC, Patrick Kelly, Executive Director SLCIDA, Ron McDougall, Mayor Village of Gouverneur. (photo provided)

At its regular December meeting, the Gouverneur Area Development Corporation (GDAC) presented Patrick Kelly, Executive Director of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency, with a Resolution commending the IDA for its work throughout St. Lawrence County.

In particular, the members of the GDAC expressed satisfaction with the IDA’s efforts to assist in the recent reopening of the Empire State Mines in Fowler and for its assistance to Cives for a proposed equipment upgrade.

The IDA was instrumental in obtaining low cost NYPA power, one million in initial operating funds, sales tax relief and help from the Workforce Development Institute with job training. All used effectively to assist and encourage the development and reopening of the Zinc production facility. The Empire State Mines have added almost 200 new jobs to the Gouverneur Area.

The IDA has a long history of assisting both existing and new business development throughout St Lawrence County and in all sectors of the economic community. The GDAC was founded in 1979 to establish and maintain various mechanisms used for improving and supporting Gouverneur area business and meets monthly at the new Gouverneur Community Center.

Gouverneur Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop re-opened following location change

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Santa Claus visits DeKalb

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gouverneur Museum to exhibit realistic handcrafted birds

Dan McClelland

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

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

by Rachel Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remembering Those Who Served

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roland Roderick conducted the Presentation of Wreath from Gouverneur Students.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hermon Cub Scout Earns Two High Honors

Dan McClelland

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

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

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

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

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