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Local and Regional News

by Bob LaRue


February 24, 2015

CANTON – On the fourth day of deliberation, a jury in St. Lawrence County court has found 34-year-old Andrew Regan of Norwood guilty of first-degree rape.  Regan was returned to St. Lawrence County jail without bail, pending sentencing on April 20th. Regan was found guilty of having sex with a then-26-year-old woman at her Norwood home while she slept and was intoxicated in 2009.  During the trial, Regan testified that the sex was consensual.  The woman claimed she was incapable of consent because she was tired and intoxicated at the time.

UNDATED – More bitter cold seeped into the North Country yesterday, made worse by biting wind chills.  The National Weather Service continued their wind chill advisory until 9:00 this morning for St. Lawrence and Franklin counties.  The thermometer dipped to 13 below in Massena just before daybreak today, 11 below in Saranac Lake.  Wind chills pushed as low as minus 25.  Temperatures are expected to climb a bit today, reaching to around 20 degrees with no sub-zero cold expected tonight.  With the ongoing or renewed cold sometimes 30 degrees below normal for the last week of February, the month may land among the coldest on record for the Great Lakes and the Northeast.


So what’s ahead as we approach March?  There are indications the worst of the cold will ease up next week.  However, as a byproduct of the weather pattern change, a series of storms may track into the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Valley. The stormy pattern may translate to wintry mix events that transition to rain for the region.

MASSENA – The Massena Memorial Hospital’s reorganization is continuing with the announcement that its senior director of practice management will be leaving for another job.  The hospital’s board of managers learned last evening that Zachary Chapman will be leaving after almost five years with MMH.  The hospital does not plan to find a replacement, but the position will be assumed by Mark Brouillette, who also serves as Senior Director of Ancillary Services.  Meanwhile, Sue Beaulieu, the chief nurse executive and corporate compliance officer, will retired at the end of the month.  The reorganization plan and related layoffs or retrenched positions are part of the hospital’s plan to cope with   financial losses and reimbursement changes affecting Massena Memorial’s fiscal picture.

UNDATED – For the first time in months, the price of gasoline is starting to tick upward.  Twice in the past week, North Country motorists saw two-cent increases.  After prices bottomed out in the 2.40s around much of St. Lawrence and Franklin counties two weeks ago, prices held steady for several days before creeping upward.  Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy, said “A refinery explosion and seasonal gasoline requirements are helping trigger the increase.  However, prices are still about $1.10 a gallon lower than they were at this time last year.

ALBANY – The New York Public Interest Research Group is calling on state legislators to set new limits on their outside work to reduce potential corruption.  NYPIRG says that most state lawmakers make little or no money from outside jobs.  Two-thirds make $20,000 or less from outside sources.  Just 21 officials bring in $100,000 or more.  The watchdog group recommended yesterday that legislators cap outside income at 15-percent of their legislative salaries, which is currently just under $80,000 a year.  Governor Andrew Cuomo has recommended no restrictions on income, but stronger disclosure laws.

CORNWALL – A Canadian man was arrested for alleged drug possession and attempting traffic drugs.  Cornwall Community Police say 51-year-old Russell Robinson of Maxville, Ontario traveled to Cornwall to have a package shipped to Prince Edward Island.  When the package was found to contain marijuana, police were contacted to investigate.  Robinson turned himself in to Cornwall authorities who charged him with possession of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. He was released to appear in court on March 24th to answer the charges.

POTSDAM – An Ontario man was arrested after allegedly passing a marked St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s department patrol vehicle in a no-passing zone along Route 11 in the town of Potsdam.  Deputies say 27-year-old Nicholas Lauren of Toronto was also found to have had his driving privileges suspended in New York State.  Lauren was charged with unsafe passing and third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.  Lauren was arraigned in Canton town court and remanded to St. Lawrence County jail on $200 bail or $400 bond.

POTSDAM – Three Clarkson University students are presenting their psychology research on bullying and memory at an international conference in Long Beach, California.  Assistant Professor Jennifer Knack said the students have been studying social pain, and damage or perceived damage to social relationships. The students examined how negative social relationships, such as bullying, affect mental health, cognitive processes and self‑regulation.  They hope their research can be used to develop clinical applications and preventative methods to help those who have been bullied.



Your weather just got better.
Your weather just got better.