Sandy Cook
Chuck Poirier
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Local and Regional News

by Bob LaRue

 

July 1, 2015

DANNEMORA – The fallout continues in the aftermath of the prison escape at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora.  CNN reported yesterday that the top two officials at the prison – Superintendent Steven Racette and Deputy Superintendent Stephen Brown – have been placed on administrative leave.

The New York State Department of Corrections released a press statement yesterday saying that three members of the prison's executive team and nine security staff employees – all whose names were not released – were placed on leave.  In the meantime, Assistant Commissioner for Correctional Facilities James O'Gorman has taken charge at the prison.

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The FBI has reportedly launched an investigation into corruption, drug trafficking and other criminal conduct at the Dannemora prison.  The New York Times reported yesterday that the probe will focus on inmates and employees at the facility. 

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David Sweat’s condition continues to improve at Albany Medical Center, where he continues under 24-hour guard after being transported there, following Sunday’s capture.  His condition has been ungraded to “fair.”  Sweat was struck twice in the chest with gunshots when he tried to flee a Malone police officer.  NBC News reports Sweat told investigators that corrections officer Gene Palmer was not involved in the escape or plans.  However, he has bene arrested for alleged involvement of transporting tools used by Matt and Sweat inside frozen meat.  Sweat also told authorities that contrary to reports, he did not use any power tools, only a hacksaw blade to cut his way out of the prison.

ALBANY – North Country State Senator Joe Griffo said he is troubled by the mounting expense to capture the two prisoners who should never have escaped in the first place.  In a press statement Griffo said, “This devoured real taxpayer dollars that could have been spent on more important priorities.”  Griffo  said, “It is my opinion that prisoners today are being coddled in our correctional facilities, where we seem to be more concerned about the well being of the inmates than the well being of our dedicated corrections officers. Some of the latitudes that these two killers were allowed to experience should concern all of us. We need to make sure inmates are reined in, while doing whatever we can to provide corrections officers with the proper resources, training, protections and staffing levels necessary to ensure the safest and most secure facilities.”

AKWESASNE ‑- St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police and New York State Parole are on the lookout for two brothers who they say are “wanted for absconding from parole and may be considered armed and very dangerous.”  Police flyers with the men’s photos and descriptions was released yesterday showing 30-year-old John Logan and 27-year-old Edward Logan, who they say “have family ties to Akwesasne.”  Police say they were believed to be in the Akwesasne area.  The two were arrested in March 2012 for  going to a private residence where they shot another person in the leg.  They were convicted and sent to prison, but were since paroled and no believed to be on the run.  Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to contact the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police at 518‑358‑9200.

MASSENA – A Massena tax driver was attacked and injured during a Tuesday afternoon robbery near the Center Street bridge in the village of Massena.  Massena village police say the robbery reportedly took place around 3:30 p.m.  The suspect –  identified as a white male, about six feet tall and wearing dark clothing – grabbed the cabbie’s money bag containing $200 to $300, then fled in the direction of Violi's Restaurant.  The nature of the driver’s injuries were not released.  Anyone who might have information in the case is asked to call Massena village police at 769‑3577.

CANTON – A Gouverneur man has been indicted on 31 sex charges in the alleged rape of a then-15-year-old female in Gouverneur and Fowler between July and November 2014.  49-year-old Mark Hartle was arrested in January.  The grand jury indictment released yesterday charges Hartle with four countseach of first and third‑degree rape, along with 14 counts of first- or third-degree sexual abuse, and ten counts of first- or third-degree criminal sex act.  District Attorney Mary Rain said Hartle allegedly preyed on the victim over and over again, “cornering her when she was alone and vulnerable.”  Hartle remains jailed without bail, pending further court action.

POTSDAM – A Canton woman was arrested for issuing a bad check to her former landlord.  St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies say 44-year-old Stephanie Coulter was arrested for allegedly having failed to make good on a $975 check that she issued to a landlord when she formerly lived in Potsdam.  Coulter was issued an appearance ticket, answerable in Potsdam town court on July 24th.

POTSDAM – SUNY Potsdam is now home to the first Center for Applied Learning within the State University of New York system.  The center – funded through a one-million-dollar endowment from Potsdam graduate Joy Dorf and her husband Richard, a Clarkson graduate – is designed to ensure before each SUNY Potsdam student graduates, they will have had the opportunity to engage in one or more intensive educational experiences that connect classroom studies with hands‑on practice.  The center will combine the offices of experiential education, international education and student research, to offer internships, study abroad, service learning and research opportunities to all students.

POTSDAM – Clarkson University men’s basketball and baseball standout John Coleman has been named as THE 2014‑15 Capital One Division III Academic All‑America® of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.  The Potsdam native is just the third student‑athlete to be national Academic All‑America® of the Year in two different sports in the same academic year. Recently graduated, Coleman was a mathematics major with a 3.97 G.P.A.

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