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74 Trinity Avenue
Gouverneur, NY, 13642
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Local News

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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.


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.