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Gouverneur, NY, 13642
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Ryan’s Wish Foundation Golf Tournament raises funds to further mission

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The 2019 Ryan’s Wish Foundation Golf Tournament raised funds to help those diagnosed with cancer and serious illnesses throughout St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Franklin and Lewis counties. The annual benefit golf tournament was held last Saturday, August 17 at Emerald Greens in Gouverneur. The format was a four-man captain and crew. A gross amount of $7,000 was raised, and $14,000 were received through generous corporate sponsorships.

Dr. Robert Saidel and his wife Rita founded Ryan’s Wish Foundation in memory of their son, who strived to live life to the fullest even as he battled cancer. Ryan Saidel from Gouverneur, NY was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was 14 years old and fought the disease for five years before he passed at age 19 on February 7, 2004. During his five-year struggle, Ryan touched the lives of countless people. To those around him, Ryan defined the word courage as he lived his life inspiring others to make the best of each and every day.

A year after Ryan’s death, the Ryan’s Wish Foundation was created to celebrate Ryan’s inspirational life, and is dedicated to helping others who are battling a serious illness “play and live strong.”

Ryan's Wish can provide financial assistance to individuals with cancer and serious illnesses as they travel to treatment appointments, no matter their age or diagnosis. Whether it is helping to provide gas cards, money for lodging and meals, or funds for medical co-pays or medications not covered by insurance, the foundation can help..

“Thank you everyone for coming,” Dr. Saidel said. “There’s probably not a person here that hasn’t been affected by cancer in their family in one way or another. It’s not about us today. It’s about who we can help this week, next week, and in the following years getting to their treatments, getting help going to Hepburn, going to Boston, going to NYC.”

He then reported that the Ryan’s Wish Foundation helped 164 individuals in 2018, giving out over $66,000. Since January, the foundation has helped 120 individuals, giving out over $43,000.

“You can see the need is out there,” Dr. Saidel said. “We’ve got a lot of new sponsors this year, and lots of sponsors from last year. We are just so grateful that you believe in our mission, and that you continue your generous donations, helping out, buying stuff, playing skins, giving corporate money, and stuff has been able to make us function really well.”

Gratitude was shown to local businesses and organizations for their generous support. This includes the following: Gouverneur Central School (Pink Zone and Dress Down Friday), Father-Daughter Dance organized by Vickie Mussaw-Kipp, St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Ogdensburg Free Academy, Enterprise, Inc., Nutn’ Fancy, Kinney Drugs Foundation, Gouverneur Savings and Loan Association, Community Savings Bank, Casablanca Restaurant, Superior Plus, Bonaparte Pharmacy, LLC, Judy Brown, Frank and Diane Bergau, Northland Veterinary Hospital, Cives, Stewarts Shops, RSI Roofing, Gouverneur Medical Staff, Gouverneur Hospital, Andrew and Sharon Williams, Dr. Scott Day, Andrew and Crystal Leonard, Jenne & Carr Insurance Agency, Inc., Carthage Turkey Bowl, St. James School, Emerald Green Golf Course, Jules of Life, Northern Credit Union, Ice Cream Bowl (Bowhall family), Weekes Agency, Dr. Curt Ross, DDS, G&R Auto, O.D. Green, Gretchen E. Tessmer Attorney At Law, Newvine Auto Parts LLC, Joe Laurenza, Car Freshener, Sandy Green (in memory of Brian Green), Dr. Nicholas Gardner, DDS, Donna Sheen Besaw Tax Consultant, Dr. Mark and Robin Truax, Clearview Motel (Pistolesi family), New York Pizzeria, Mike and Brenda Saidel, LP Thompson Insurance Agency, LTD, ENI Mechanical, Inc. (Andy Leonard), and Frary Funeral Home.

Dr. Saidel also said that Ryan’s Wish Foundation received generous contribution from the St. Lawrence County Cancer Fund from the Edward I. Moses Run/Walk For Life Event, which is held annually in April. And also received over $10,000 from the Carthage Turkey Bowl, a touch football game held annually the first Saturday in November. Dr. Saidel also added that the Ryan’s Wish Foundation benefits from many other fundraising events throughout the year.

Also, gratitude was extended to the generous businesses that provided tournament prizes: Ives Hill Country Club, Texas Roadhouse, Willowbrook Golf Club, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Fins Eatery and Pub, Mary Lawrence – St. Lawrence University Golf Course, Fairgrounds Inn, Savory Downtown, Watertown Golf Club, and Casablanca Restaurant.

Dr. Saidel encourages those facing a cancer diagnosis who need financial help to contact Ryan's Wish and provide the organization with as much information as possible, including how far away their treatment is, how long the trip would be, and their diagnosis and prognosis. People can contact the Saidel family at (315) 287-1344 or Gary West at (315) 955-2101 or at gwest29@gmail.com, if they know of an individual or family who may benefit from the Ryan’s Wish Foundation.

The Ryan’s Wish Foundation Board of Directors includes Dr. Robert and Rita Saidel, Dr. Don and Glenda Schuessler, Sandy Green, Mary Lou Robinson, Karen Keenan, Matthew Hudson, Heather Bowman, John and Mary Cunningham, and Gary and Kim West.

Ritchie Honored At 2019 Gouverneur & St. Lawrence County Fair

Dan McClelland

NYS Senator Patty Ritchie pictured with Organizer Sean Peck at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Carlton Peck Band Day. Sean is the son of Carlton Peck of Gouverneur, the founder of the Peck Awards which were started 55 years ago this year. (photo provided)

NYS Senator Patty Ritchie pictured with Organizer Sean Peck at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Carlton Peck Band Day. Sean is the son of Carlton Peck of Gouverneur, the founder of the Peck Awards which were started 55 years ago this year. (photo provided)

During the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair, State Senator Patty Ritchie, who was inducted into the St. Lawrence County Fair Hall of Fame last year, was honored for her support of area marching bands and school music programs.

During her time as State Senator, Senator Ritchie has delivered funding to ensure marching bands throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties had equipment and instruments, and that programs in schools were saved from budget cuts. 

In addition, she has helped various school musical groups with funding to participate in national events such as the 4th of July parade in Washington, D.C. and has invited students to share their musical talents at numerous community events she has hosted.

Talent acts impress crowd at county fair

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Talent Show was held on the evening of Friday, August 2 at the grandstand.

The talent show draws a great crowd of people to witness the local talents that surround us. Performers in the talent show range in age (three years of age and up) and were judged in various age groups on who gave the best overall performance.

Each year, Fair Director Jennifer Peck works diligently to ensure that the talent show is a success, and everything goes as smooth as possible.

This year’s judges included: Kimberly Adams of Lisbon, who has an extensive music background. Julie Peck, gymnast, who formerly owned a dance studio in Gouverneur also acted as judge for the talent show. Chris Gates, of Gouverneur, was the third judge, as he has a great musical and theatrical background. It was up to the judges to decide the fate of the contestants and who would be moving on to the state level of competition at the New York State Fair.

The three to 11 years age group provided adorable song performances and beautiful dance routines, showcasing the hard work and efforts these youngsters put forth. First place went to Josslyn Fishel, second went to Lilah Siebels, and third place went to Stevie Petrie.

It was then time for the 12 to 16 age group, many of which performed inspiring and beautiful songs and instrumental numbers. First place went to Jaelyn Stevens, second went to Holly and Brooke Goddard, and third place went to Holly and Brooke Goddard, and Sophia Cicchinelli.

Finally, the 17 years and older group was up to showcase their exceptional matured talent through their singing abilities. Performances provided a range of experience and notes reached. First place went to Richard Fitzgerald, second place went to Samuel Roesnegilles, and third went to Kaitlyn LaShomb.

Many words of congratulations were extended to these contestants on their tremendous accomplishment.

Final Phase of the Capital Project

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Finale PHASE 1 pic copy.jpg

by Jessyca Cardinell

The final phase of the 2015-2020 Capital Project for the Gouverneur Central School District is in full swing, as recently the demolition of the Dean building, formerly the Middle School, began.

The Dean building was built through the largess of Mrs. Mira Dean and her daughters Cora and Jennie Dean. A bronze tablet was dedicated to the women in 1914 and was on display until the renovation project started.

“The demolition of the building was not made lightly,” said Superintendent of Schools Lauren French. “With all factors to be considered, the decision was presented to the Board of Education for final approval that we cannot compromise the safety of our students, employees and visitors. The project was presented to voters, through 32 different public presentations and received voter approval. The goal, keeping everyone safe, provide equal access to 21st century education and extend the legacy of the Dean family, which was quality education for the citizens of Gouverneur, will be completed by January 2020.”

The Capital Project began in 2014 with March Associates with a proposed project cost in excess of $42,000,000. As the first proposed project plan was rejected due to it not being financially feasible for the community, March Associates worked on a second proposal which included the addition of four UPK classrooms at the Elementary building, six classrooms and a new gymnasium at the Middle School and ending with the demolition of the Dean Building at the Middle School/High School Complex.

“The proposal allowed for safety and security measures to be addressed, corrected and improved at all three buildings, for all ADA compliance issues to be corrected and for the necessary infrastructure to be addressed within the complex. As a result of the building project, all UPK-4 scholars are housed on the elementary campus, all 5-8 scholars are housed on the middle school campus and the High School will remain at the 9-12 building,” said Mrs. French of the efficiency this proposal would allow the community.

The project is being completed in stages, the first stage was the abatement of asbestos. This phase was then followed by the removal of glass and aluminum frames, doors and items that will be reused in the renovation project. There were marble columns for the original entrance and those have been saved to become part of the new structure in Gouverneur on a site that is yet to be selected. There are other pieces of shaped marble and those will be used in a location of the school district as a permanent display to the history of the district.

“This visual display will include the commemorative plaques, early presentations to Judge James C. Dolan and other artifacts and pictures that commemorate the history of the school system. Anyone with a unique item may want to contact myself, for possible display opportunities,” said Mrs. French.

The beautiful stained glass window, which is reported by Mrs. French to be fondly recalled and remembered by every student attending Gouverneur High School will be included in the new entrance at the school.

“The design calls for the three paneled window to be displayed at each of the three levels of the building, within a protective glass case and lit with LED so that the panels can be viewed 24 hours a day, seven days a week from both interior and exterior vantage points,” said Mrs. French of the new exciting display to be anticipated.

The Gouverneur School District has made great advancements to its educational programs and building infrastructures in the last five years. As it continues to do so there will be some impactful changes to the district, but also a new beginning that embraces the old.

County Fair kicks off with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Dan McClelland

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair on Tuesday, July 30. From left: Associate Director Nicholas Whitney, Fair Director and Past President Lyle Hotis, Fair Director John Hunter, Fair Manager Don Peck, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Fowler Baptist Church Pastor Howard Maxson, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Fair President Beth Martin. (Jessyca Cardinell photo)

The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair on Tuesday, July 30. From left: Associate Director Nicholas Whitney, Fair Director and Past President Lyle Hotis, Fair Director John Hunter, Fair Manager Don Peck, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Fowler Baptist Church Pastor Howard Maxson, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr., Fair President Beth Martin. (Jessyca Cardinell photo)

by Jessyca Cardinell

A huge crowd gathered in the grandstands for the opening ceremony of the 2019 Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair on the evening of Tuesday, July 30.

The guest speaker was David Zembiec, treasurer of the board of trustees at Advocate Drum (formerly known as the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization). He discussed` the importance of job opportunities in the North Country. He expressed the importance of Fort Drum and how inclusion for the community has been so beneficial to everyone.

Pastor Howard Maxson of the Fowler Baptist Church said a prayer blessing over the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair.

It was then time to cut the red ribbon, as done each year to officially open the fair. Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall and Town of Gouverneur Supervisor Dave Spilman, Jr. were welcomed on stage to assist the fair officials during the ceremony. The crowd cheered as the ribbon was cut and the festivities began.

The national anthem was sung beautifully, and the pride of the community really showed through.

The crowd patiently waited for the John Michael Montgomery concert to begin, as each year an excitement filled concert kicks off the first evening of the fair.

Fantastic job to all the fair board members who put in so many extensive hours and a great amount of hard work behind the scenes to ensure that all needs are met and everyone enjoys a fantastic time.

Edwards Firemen’s Parade draws crowd

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The North Country community gathered along Main St. in Edwards to enjoy the Edwards Fire & Rescue’s Second Annual Firemen’s Parade on Saturday, July 6.

The excitement was palpable as a crowd amassed in front on both sides of the road to watch the parade. While they were waiting for the parade to commence, all were welcomed to stop by the concession and vendor booths that were set up in the parking lot of the Edwards Health Center, 8 Church St., Edwards.

Meanwhile, the parade participants lined up on First Street and Second Street, and at the 6 p.m. fire whistle, the parade commenced. The parade made its way down Church Street before making a right turn onto Main St. in Edwards.

Leading the parade was a St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office apparatus, Car 121.

Next in the parade lineup was the Silas Wainwright VFW Post 6338 color guard featuring VFW Commander Richard Fisher, Gerald Barker (presenting the American Flag), Michael Webster (presenting the VFW Post Flag), and Wayne Knowles.

The Edwards Fire & Rescue then showcased their E-27 and TA-75.

The Edwards History Center then had a float, reminding all those in attendance that it had been 200 years ago, in June 1819, when Scottish settlers first came to Edwards. All were encouraged to stop by the Edwards History Center at 222 Main St., Edwards to learn more. The float also featured music by the New Horizons Band.

Next were the Heuvelton Central Marching Bulldogs then performed, thrilling all those gathered with their exceptional performance. Also appearing was Ogdensburg Free Academy Blue Devils Marching Band, which awed with selections and acrobatic performances inspired by from the movie, “The Greatest Showman.” A judging panel, with members on the ground and on a flatbed truck (from Jim’s Auto in Edwards), evaluated the marching band performances.

Russell Fire and Rescue then showcased its E-104 and TA-37 trucks.

Janet Otto-Cassada, Democratic candidate for SLC Clerk, also marched in the parade. She was joined by an Elect Janet Otto-Cassada for St. Lawrence County Clerk float, and all were reminded of her over 20 years of experience helping St. Lawrence County. She was joined by a host of supporters and SLC Democrats, who passed out candy to those along the parade route. This included Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall.

Next was the Degrasse, Clare, South Russell Fire Department, showcasing its E-100 truck.

The Gouverneur Fire Department then showcased its shiny new R-4 truck in one of its first parade appearances.

Next was an appearance by Sandy Santamoor, Republican and Conservative candidate for SLC Clerk, who was joined by supporters including St. Lawrence County Republican Party Chairman Tom Jenison As the Elect Sandy Santamoor float went by all were reminded of the current deputy SLC clerk’s eight-year track record.

SLC Undersheriff Brooks Bigwarfe for SLC Sheriff was surrounded by supporters as he made his way down the parade, waving hello to all those in attendance. Joining him was SLC Legislator District 4 William Sheridan (R-Hammond). All were reminded that Bigwarfe was born and raised in St. Lawrence County, and has been serving for the past 32 years in the SLC Sheriff’s Office.

The Hermon Volunteer Fire Department was next in the lineup, and showcased their ETA-43 truck.

The end of the parade was signaled by the appearance of Edwards Fire & Rescue Chief Richard Anson on the department’s ATV-13.

All in attendance were invited to the Edwards Fire Hall to enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments. A Block Dance then followed at 8 p.m. with music by local bands, Homegrown and Man Fights Grizzly. All was provided for free to the North Country community members and visitors present.

Community spirit was high in Edwards last Saturday night, and all expressed gratitude to those who made the parade and block dance possible. Much fun was had by all in attendance.

2019 GHS Honors Group announced

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Honors Group pic copy.jpg

Gouverneur Central High School is excited to announce the 2019 Honors Group. Eligibility for the senior Honors Group is based on an overall average of 90 or above for 3 ½ years of high school. Gouverneur Central has 17 members in the Class Of 2019 Honors Group:

Harley Austin. Harley is the daughter of John and Crystal Austin. She plans to attend North Country Community College for an associate’s degree in Radiologic Technology.

Jenneca Cook. Jenneca is the daughter of Andrew and Katrina Cook. She plans to attend SUNY Potsdam, majoring in Sociology.

Grace Cummings. Grace is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shawn Cummings. She plans to attend St. John Fisher College as a Nursing major.

Sophie Fawcett. Sophie is the daughter of Ian and Shari Fawcett. Sophie is currently undecided about her plans, but plans to attend either SUNY Potsdam or Jefferson Community College. She is also considering pursuing a career in cosmetology.

Hannah Hight. Hannah is the daughter of Ron and Wendy Hight. She plans to attend Paul Smith’s College for Culinary Arts and Service Management. Hannah hopes to graduate and become a personal chef with the long-term goal of opening her own restaurant.

Collin Hutton. Collin is the son of Scott and Julie Hutton. He plans to attend St. Lawrence University for biochemistry. Collin hopes to become a forensic toxicologist after completing his education.

Kurtis Knight. Kurtis is the son of Leo and Lisa Knight. He plans to attend St. Lawrence University to major in Computer Science with a minor in Sports Management.

Virginia Knowlton. Virginia is the daughter of Erin Weldon and Jacob Knowlton. She plans to attend SUNY Oswego to study business with a focus in marketing.

Ireland Martin. Ireland is the daughter of Mark Martin. She plans to attend SUNY Canton with an undecided major.

Keegan Matthews. Keegan is the son of Scott and Kiera Matthews. He plans to attend the University of Rochester where he will be joining the NROTC Program (Marine Option).

Mitchell Mcmaster. Mitchell is the son of Jessica and Randon McMaster. He plans to attend Rochester Institute of Technology to study Engineering Technology.

Elaina Porter. Elaina is the daughter of Bob and Alicia Porter. She plans to attend Clarkson University to study environmental engineering in Sustainable Energy Systems Engineering.

Abigail Riutta. Abigail is the daughter of Roger and Sarah Riutta. She plans to attend SUNY Cortland, majoring in Biomedical Sciences and Pre-Chiropractic Studies.

Nathan Sitts. Nathan is the son of Rob and Christine Sitts. He plans to attend Clarkson University in the fall to study Computer Engineering.

Hannah Spilman. Hannah is the daughter of Marty and Julie Spilman. She plans to attend Clarkson University to major in Psychology with a focus in Pre-Physician Assistant Studies.

Jayden Strawder. Jayden is the son of Jay-R and Lacey Strawder. He plans to attend Kent State University.

Melody Webster. Melody is the daughter of Mrs. Carrie Lawlor. She plans to attend SUNY Potsdam to study art and English.

Fiery Blaze

Dan McClelland

Gouverneur Fire Department trucks on the fire scene.

Gouverneur Fire Department trucks on the fire scene.

The Gouverneur Fire Department provided mutual aid for a reported two-structure fire on Rock Island Road (County Route 11) in the Town of DeKalb at 11:58 a.m. Monday, June 3. The GFD’s Engine 18 arrived on scene just behind the first engine from the Dekalb Fire Department. Engine 18's crew was assigned interior operations, and the four-person crew reportedly did an excellent job of getting water on the fire in the well involved dwelling. Heuvelton Fire arrived just after and also provided interior firefighters. Overall the dwelling had extensive damage but a lot of personal property was saved and removed from the dwelling by firefighters. The shed-type structure that was initially ablaze was a total loss. The GFD’s response was as follows: 11-1, 11-2, Engine 18, ETA-101, TA-6, Rescue 4. A total of 17 members responded. (Rachel Hunter photos)

Gouverneur High School Small Ensembles perform

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur High School auditorium was opened up and the community welcomed out on the evening of May 22, as the Gouverneur High School Small Ensembles performed.

The high school students have worked diligently this school year and were ready to showcase all their hard work and skills.

The select strings were first to perform under the direction of Mr. Victor Correa III. They performed Gates of Valhalla, Jupiter from the Planets, Themes from the New World Symphony. Executing all notes and providing a terrific entertainment for all those in attendance.

The chamber singers were next to perform, under the direction of Mrs. Renee Powlin, with a wonderful selection of songs they sang with excellence and great talent. Songs included Home and the Heartland, Three Madrigals, Changes and a version of the classic Jolene by Dolly Parton. Senior Jenneca Cook proved to be a fantastic vocalist as she did the solo performance of the song.

The jazz band came out to finish the evening, under the direction of Ms. Jenelle Yeoman. The jazz band offers a fun, uplifting and unique musical performance. The jazz band performed In the Mood, Little Brown Jug, Someone Watch Over Me followed by 25 or 6 to 4.

It was a night full of fantastic music and true young talent. The students of Gouverneur High School proved they excel in their musical performances.

In the Select Strings were the following students: First Violin: Shelbie Alguire, Amelia Beaver, Brittany LaForty, and Emma McDougall. Second Violin: Brynn Farley, Katherine Fullam, and Hailey Morrissiey. Viola: Kayleigh Orr and Cole Siebels. Cello: Kolby Wells. String Bass: Keegan Matthews.

In the Chamber Singers: Sopranos Madyson Bloxham, Madison Brooks. Ariana Zeller, Hope Leader, Taylor Ormasen. Altos Jenneca Cook, Lauren McCarthy, Jaelyn Stevens. Tenor/Bass Noble Baker, Connor Canell, Mitchell McMaster, and Cole Siebels/

In the Jazz Band: Alto Saxophone: Cassidy Hardy, Alissa Rivera, Ava Bartholomew, Elizabeth Ruitta, and Alexis Simmons. Tenor Saxophone/Clarinet: Hazen Given, Hailey Cook, Eve Beaver, Felicia Tallon and Sarah McMaster. Baritone Saxophone: Taylor Vickers. Trumpet: Jonathan Baez Jr., Jenneca Cook, and Richard Nichols Jr. Trombone/Baritone: Madison Kurdziel, Mitchell McMaster, Logan Phillips, Gavin Nichols, and Colby Leslie. Drumset: Noble Baker. Guitar: Tanner Pignone. Upright Bass: Gavin Latta.

Wonderful job to all students and their teachers who mentor and really influence the lives of these young people.

Gouverneur Elementary School Spring Concert draws crowd

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur Central High school auditorium was filled with friends and family members on the evening of May 23, as the third and fourth grade chorus entertained with their Spring concert.

Mrs. Betty Hall conducted the performance, as she had worked diligently with these students, perfecting and honing in on their talents.

The evening started with a combined performance for the song Neath a Mexican Moon, followed up by a performance from the third grade students of the song Eclipse.

The song Dancing in the Moonlight brought a fun filled performance from both the third and fourth grade students, followed by fourth grade's performance of Spooky Night.

The lights were dimmed and black lights lit up the stage as students waved stars around. A great show for all ages to enjoy.

Mrs. Hall exclaimed her excitement, as both the third and fourth graders performed Big World, Small World, one that the music teacher stated the students had worked so hard practicing for their performance.

Gouverneur observes Memorial Day

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

Remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice… The Gouverneur community gathered for the 2019 Gouverneur Memorial Day Observance on Monday, May 27, which was organized jointly by the Silas Wainwright VFW Pot No. 6338 in Gouverneur and the James Maloy American Legion Post No. 65 in Gouverneur. This year it was hosted by American Legion Post No. 65.

The parade marshal was the new American Legion Post No. 65 Commander Jason Carvel.

The parade commenced promptly at 10 a.m., and all were escorted down Main Street by Village of Gouverneur Chief of Police Laurina Greenhill in a Gouverneur Police Department apparatus, followed by St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells. Traffic detail was handled by Chief Greenhill, Sgt. Jason Whitton, Sgt. Darren Fairbanks, Officer Alexander Daggett, Officer Jesse Sheen, Officer Nathan Sheen. The Village of Gouverneur Department of Public Work assisted in allowing the use of traffic cones and barricades. Also, New York State Police Trooper Brian Shippee and Trooper Carina Shelmidine also assisted in traffic detail along with school crossing guard/special police traffic John Kelley. Much gratitude is extended to these individuals for ensuring the safety of all during the annual Memorial Day Observance.

Leading the parade was the joint VFW Post 6338 and American Legion Post No. 65 color guard, which displayed the flags proudly as they marched down Main Street. Next in the parade line-up was the VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary including President Jeff Platt, Treasurer Sara Platt, Chaplain/Historian Marlene Webster and joined by Mike Webster of the Gouverneur VFW Post 6338 and Gold Star Mother Nancy Cappellino.

St. Lawrence County Legislators District 4 William Sheridan (R-Hammond) and District 5 Henry Leader (R-Gouverneur), Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ronald McDougall, Village of Gouverneur Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine, Village Trustee Troy Besaw, and Village Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Finnie, Town of Gouverneur Supervisor David Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, and Town of Gouverneur Councilman Curran Wade joined the parade. Town of Fowler Supervisor Michael Cappellino was also in attendance at the observance.

Fire trucks from Gouverneur Fire Department and Richville Fire Department, an ambulance from the Gouverneur Rescue Squad and a couple military vehicles from Fort Drum also were entered into the parade to the delight of all those in attendance.

Local girl scout troops in addition to Gouverneur’s Cub Scout Pack 2035, Cub Scout Pack 21, and Boy Scout Troop 21 marched in the parade.

The American Legion Post No. 65 entered a float in the parade to honor America’s fallen soldiers, adorned in patriotic décor.

The Gouverneur Central School Marching Wildcats also joined the parade, performing
You’re A Grand Old Flag” under the direction of Victor Correa. The energetic music and the enthusiasm of the Gouverneur Wildcat mascot thrilled all those gathered.

Next in the parade-lineup was Joseph Wing of Gouverneur who serves the VFW Post No. 6338 Auxiliary, and also provides security detail around the Gouverneur community.

Bango Valley Percherons in Richville brought a horse-drawn wagon to the parade. The only Gouverneur business in the parade was an entry by MLS Equipment in Gouverneur, which showcased Ventrac all-wheel-drive compact tractors available for sale.

The parade paused for a moment over the Main Street bridge to present the U.S. Navy Wreath. The salute to the dead was presented by Michael Webster and Michael Knowlton. The conclusion of the parade was signaled with the appearance of a Gouverneur Police Department apparatus. All then made their way to the Riverside Cemetery in Gouverneur for the annual observance ceremony.

The Master Of Ceremonies was Gloria Weldon, former commander of the American Legion Post No. 65. The invocation was said by American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Chaplain Gloria Young. All then stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Master of Ceremonies Weldon then acknowledged all of the dignitaries who were invited to attend the observance, including NY State Senator (48th District) Patty Ritchie, NYS Assemblyman (116th District) Mark Walczyk, NYS Assemblyman (117th District) Ken Blankenbush, St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 4) William Sheridan, St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 5) Henry Leader, St. Lawrence County Legislator (District 6) Larry Denesha, St. Lawrence County Sherriff Kevin Wells, Village of Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, Gouverneur Police Chief Laurina Greenhill, Gouverneur Chamber of Commerce Executive Donna Besaw, and Town of Gouverneur Supervisor David Spilman, Jr., Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin, and other officials in the Village of Gouverneur and the Town of Gouverneur.

Master of Ceremonies Weldon then introduced retired Sergeant First Class (SFC) Eduardo Ramos as follows: SFC Eduardo Ramos joined the United States Marine Corps from February 1990 to May 1996 and served as Infantry Machine Gunner, Marine Security Force, and Marine Reconnaissance. After Ed Ramos completed his serves in the Marine Corps he joined the Army Reserves in May 1996 where he was part of the 101st Airborne Division Operations. In April of 1997 he entered Army active duty where he continued to serve with the 101st Airborne Division as an Infantryman. From February 2000 to August 2001 he was reassigned to Vicenza, Italy to the 173rd Airborne Brigade as an Airborne Infantryman. In August 2001 to June 2007 he was reassigned to the 10th Mountain Division. He was reassigned to Fort Benning, GA and served as Drill Sergeant from June 2007 till November 2011 when he was reassigned back to the 10th Mountain Division till March 2016. Once again, he was reassigned to the 174th Combine Arms Training Brigade in Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, in New Jersey where he assisted in the training and evaluating of National Guard units in the continental Northeast area from March 2016 till his retirement January 2018. He moved back to the North Country where he now resides in the town of Antwerp. His deployments include South America, Somalia, three trips to the Balkans (Bosnia, Kosovo), Haiti/Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and four deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Eduardo and his family continue to serve our community and our nation. He is an active member of the Gouverneur Volunteer Fire Department. His daughter is an active member of the Gouverneur Rescue Squad, and his two sons are currently serving – one in the United States Navy and the other in the United States Air Force.

A great applause sounded as the community welcomed SFC Ramos to the podium.

“It is a great honor and privilege to be up here in front of all you and pay tribute once again to our fallen,” he said. “Memorial Day to me is to celebrate the sacrifices of our soldiers, our American citizens that went and fought for the rights and privileges that we sometimes take for granted, but we love to have. From the Battle of Belleau Wood in World War I where the Marines got the best name ever, Devil Dogs… Semper fi, World War II Pearl Harbor where we called everybody to our nation. From the pacific battles, Iwo Jima, Midway, and to the beaches of France at Normandy, Omaha where we continue to fight.

“The North Country has been a great part of this, in this community. For example, Tyler Pickett from Antwerp and another one Chad Fuller from Potsdam. Chad Fuller was one of my soldiers at one point. I was his team leader. He decided to go to our battalions here at Fort Drum to be a part of our battalion scout and sniper team. On August 31, 2003 Chad Fuller with another comrade were on OP, overwatching as we continue operations Shkin Afghanistan, which is on the border of Pakistan, when there was a large route for the enemy to come through for supplies in that area. As they were on overwatch, they had eight insurgents come by them. We lost Chad that day, but before he perished six went down as he stood there. He believed what he was doing there…

“The bottom line, our citizens, Americans, didn’t matter where they came from, the color of their skins, their religions, their belief, whatever cloth they were cut from, the only cloth that mattered to them was the one that is hanging here, our flag, a symbol of our freedom. As we pay tribute to them today and we have our get-togethers with our families and friends, once again celebrate the sacrifices that they pay for us. I look up there and I know they are still on guard at the pearly gates and looking down upon us, and until we meet them again, we will keep doing our thing here. God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you!”

Great applause sounded, and much gratitude was extended to SFC Ramos.

The presentation of ribbons was then held, conducted by Mike Webster and escorted by Life Scout John Erdman of Gouverneur Boy Scout Troop 21 as follows: WWI (Gerald Barker), WWII (Cecil Steele), Korea (Donald Payne), Vietnam (Ronald Hartle), Panama (Michael Knowlton), Desert Storm (Randy Knowlton), Somalia/Haiti (John Holt), Bosnia (Darryl Sapoff), Afghanistan (Jason Carvel), Iraq (Todd Murray), POW/MIA (Richard Fisher), Women Veterans Memorial (Mie Webster), American Legion Post 65 (Jason Carvel), American Legion Post 65 Auxiliary (Deanna Cline), VFW Post 6338 (Richard Fisher), VFW Post 6338 Auxiliary (Jeff Platt), Gold Star Mothers (Nancy Cappellino), Daughters of the American Revolution (Lynda Andrews), and Sons of the American Revolution (Mark Jenkins).

Gloria Weldon the gave the last roll call of deceased American Legion and VFW members as follows: Al Melisko, Hilliard Seaker, Ed Cousino, Steward Bush, William Scozzafava, Dwayne Martin, Betty Tuttle, Helen Knowlton, Elaine Hawk, Dorothy Macaulay, Audrey Sanderson, Vanita Pierce, Betty Benjamin, Jane Fuller, Joie McDougall, Mildred Hamilton and Paul Gates.

The VFW and American Legion Rifle Squad then presented the Salute to the Dead, followed by Taps (performed by Jenneca Cook) and Echo (performed by John Baez) Musical selections of “Armed Forces on Parade” and the “Star-Spangled Banner” were performed by the Gouverneur High School Band, under the direction of Jenelle Yeoman. The benediction was then given by VFW Auxiliary Chaplain Marlene Webster.

Much gratitude was extended to all those who took part and/or contributed to the annual Memorial Day observance. All those in attendance were then invited to the American Legion Post 65 for a free luncheon following the ceremony.

Spring Demo Derby drew racers, die-hard fans

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

The Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fairgrounds welcomed the sound of smashing and crashing as the annual Spring Demolition Derby kicked off a season of screeching good times.

Drivers came from all over the state to participate in this event, including Antwerp, Canton, Potsdam, Castorland, Croghan and Laurens.

The grandstands were filled with supportive friends, family and of course die-hard demolition fans, ready to cheer on their favorite driver.

A great amount of rules and regulations were in place ensuring that safety and precautions were taken to protect the drivers and audience. Drivers in the derby had to be at least sixteen years old with parent consent. Any drivers who did not obey the rules were to be immediately disqualified from the derby.

The Gouverneur Fire Department and Rescue Squads were on hand for any emergencies that could potentially arise from such an event.

Adrenaline and excitement filled the Fairgrounds as cars collided, smoke filled the air and dirt flew. A fun filled event for the whole family to enjoy.

Heat numbers one and four were both sponsored by Tresidder's Garage in Edwards, New York. As their motto is “No job is too big or too small. We do it all.”

The two-hour build was sponsored by Seaway Valley Prevention Council. This organization helps individuals and families who are impacted by alcohol and substance abuse. For more information, please visit the website www.svpc.net or call 315-713-4861.

Fantastic job to all organizers, staff and emergencies crews on the extensive work to ensure a great time was had by all and safety was forefront.

Congratulations to all the drivers who placed in this demolition derby.

The full results are detailed below as provided by the Gouverneur and St. Lawrence County Fair Association:

Heat No. 1: First place went to Adam Dean of Gouverneur, and second went to Cory Streit.

Heat No. 2: First place went to Brandon Lamere of Plattsburgh, and second went to Allen Dean.

Heat No. 3: First place went to Chris Ames of Gouverneur, and second went to Allen Dean.

Heat No. 4: First went to Chris Rookey of Lisbon, and second went to Bryan Brothers of Lisbon.

Heat No. 5: First place went to Bruce LaRock Jr. of Hermon, and second went to Chris Brothers of Madrid.

Heat No. 6: First place went to Terry Green of Potsdam, and second went to Johnathon Fafferty of Gouverneur.

Heat No. 7: First place went to Matthew Brothers of Rensselaer Falls, and second went to Tyler Brothers, Heuvelton.

Heat No. 8: First place went to Adam Dean of Gouverneur, and second went to Brian Davis, Gouverneur.

Consi: First place went to Harold Clement of Gouverneur, and second went to Devon Fourneir of Plattsburgh.

Feature: First place went to Chris Ames, Gouverneur, and second went to Brandon Lamere of Plattsburgh.


Fairgrounds Damage

Dan McClelland

FRONT _ Fairgrounds Damage pic copy.jpg

The Gouverneur Police Department on the morning of Wednesday, May 1 announced that it was seeking the public's assistance regarding damage to the Gouverneur Fairgrounds property on the grounds near the horse ring. It is alleged that the incident occurred sometime late night on Tuesday, April 30 to the early morning hours on Wednesday, May 1. The damage is shown in the above picture. Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Gouverneur Police Department at 315-287-2121. (photo provided)

GHS showcases students' public speaking talent at Dean Oratoricals

Dan McClelland

by Jessyca Cardinell

Community members gathered as the Gouverneur Central School District presented the 116th Annual Dean Oratoricals on the evening of April 24 in the high school auditorium.

Ushering the audience into the auditorium were seniors Grace Cummings and Elaina Porter.

Advisor Mr. Michael Bason worked with the four students who put together short skit performances to be judged by John Dixon, Mary Dixon, Arnie Roberts, Dale Streeter and Phil Shatraw.

Hope Leader was first to perform as she gave a heart wrenching performance of When It's Over by Christyna Belden, a story of the horror a young girl experiences through abortion.

Lisa Marie Lopez-Baez came out next giving her all as she performed The Seagull by Anton Chekhov.

Jenneca Cook provided hilarious entertainment and left the audience in stitches with her rendition of Thank You So Much For Stopping by Halley Feiffer.

Kayla Hocking gave an in depth performance of Romeo and Juliet by Hobo Jackson.

After the performances were finished the Select Strings gave performances under the direction of Mr. Victor Correa. The judges gathered collectively to decide the winners based on their performances.

High School Principal Cory Wood announced the winners of the event.

Fourth place honorable mentioned went to Kayla Hocking, third place went to Lisa Marie Lopez-Baez and second place was handed to Hope Leader. Jenneca Cook took home first place honors for her second year in a row.

Congratulations to all four young ladies who put together stellar performances. Sponsoring the event was The Gouverneur Foundation Buckets for Bob Wildcat Alumni Foundation.

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.

Crowd hears Gouverneur Community Chorus perform sacred cantata

Dan McClelland

by Rachel Hunter

The energy in the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur was palpable on Sunday, April 14 (Palm Sunday) as the Gouverneur community gathered to prepare their hearts for the Easter season by listening to “The Song Everlasting,” written and arranged by Joseph M. Martin, as performed by the Gouverneur Community Chorus and local instrumentalists, under the direction of Dr. Donald Schuessler Jr.

The Gouverneur Community Chorus has been practicing for seven weeks in preparation for the presentation of the sacred cantata based on early American songs. The Gouverneur Community Chorus consists of the following vocalists: Kristine Battersby, Karen Brungard, Mary Dixon, Linda Golja, Stephen Jadlocki, Franny Knott, Kathy Kopchinski, Paige McCrea, Marlene Morris, Sid Peters, the 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 and Lily Towne. The instrumentalists were Lauren Correa, Violin; John Dixon, Percussion; Chris Hosmer, Cello; Beth Johnson, Piano; Laura Rediehs, Flute; Glenda Schuessler, Organ; Mike Welch, Guitar; and Jenelle Yeoman, Clarinet. The narrator was Henry Leader.

“The Song Everlasting” incorporated hymns, spirituals, and folksongs and weaved them into a narration that told the story of Christ’s life in three suites of anthems, entitled “Ministry,” “Humility,” and “Victory.” The exalted themes reverberated throughout the sanctuary, reminding all of the assurance and promise of Resurrection Sunday.

All had the chance to reflect on the scripture (Zephaniah 3:14-17) of preparation before the start of the cantata: “Sing People of Zion; shout aloud, children of God. Be glad and rejoice with all your heart. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will forgive you and rejoice over you with singing.”

All were warmly welcomed to the cantata by Dr. Schuessler, and a prayer was offered by the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Quick of the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur.

The first song selection, “The Wondrous Story,” an American folk hymn, was performed by the Gouverneur Community Chorus with a sense of freedom that stirred the spirits of all those in attendance.

Narrator Henry Leader then introduced the “Ministry” song suite, which included the following:

The Gouverneur Community Chorus in a mournful, but steady sound offered “Songs Of The Wayfarer,” which, emphasized the woeful world in which Jesus was called to in his ministry.

“Come Unto Me” shared the burden-lifting nature of the Gospel as Jesus spread the message of peace in a weary world in need of healing. “Journey Of Hope And Promise” confidently told the story of the transformative power of God’s love. All those gathered then joined in a hymn, “I Will Arise And Go To Jesus.”

Narrator Leader then introduced the “Humility” song suite, include the following:

“Procession Of Praise,” was presented with a sense of regal confidence, reminding all those gathered about the tale of triumphant entry into Jerusalem when frenzied crowds took palm branches took palm branches from the trees and laid them before Jesus as He passed, shouting and singing, “Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Song Of Humility,” a Shaker melody, was simply presented in a flowing rhythm that invited all to feel the heart of Jesus as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, found peace, and quietly gave Himself to His captors.

The Gouverneur Community Chorus then presented “Sacred Head, Wondrous Love,” based on American folk tunes, which carried the sense of heavy grief. The song brought to mind the intense suffering Jesus took as He was stripped, savagely beaten, and weighed down by a cruel cross as he made His journey atop Golgotha’s hill. Gouverneur community members then offered the hymn, “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed?”

Narrator Leader then introduced the “Victory” song suite, include the following:

The Gouverneur Community Chorus boldly performed, “Christ Is Risen,” which told the story of the Resurrection. It was followed by “The Sure Foundation” which was presented with great energy and enthusiasm, and incorporated “How Firm A Foundation” as they shared the confidence of faith in Jesus Christ, who taught all how live more abundant and free during His ministry on earth. All were then encouraged to go forth with joyful singing and praise, sharing the wondrous story of Christ in everlasting praise.

The Gouverneur community closed the cantata with the singing of the hymn, “I Will Sing The Wondrous Story.”

The audience stood to its feet and applauded the Gouverneur Community Chorus, instrumentalists, conductor, and narrator on a job well done. Many words of congratulations were also shared as the Gouverneur community went down to the church fellowship hall for light refreshments, offered by the church’s Rip-It exercise group.

In addition to the crowd amassed in the First United Methodist Church of Gouverneur for the cantata, dozens gathered online to watch the live video. It is now available to watch through the First UMC Gouverneur Facebook page.

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.