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Local and Regional News

by Bob LaRue


September 17, 2014

MASSENA – As we reported last week, Massena Democratic Party Chair Cortney Deshaies said the Republican and Conservative nominations of incumbent Mayor James Hidy violated state election law in that a number of voters who signed Hidy's independent petition also voted in the Republican and Conservative caucuses, thereby making his nomination at those caucuses illegal.  While Democratic mayoral candidate Tim Currier has said he won’t to challenge the matter, there is now a challenge coming from within Hidy’s own party – from former county legislator and Republican chair Charles Romigh.  It was Romigh who made a motion at last week’s GOP caucus to have no candidate in the mayor’s race, after which Hidy accused him of having a vendetta against him.

BRASHER – Brasher Democrats have nominated Frank Burns to run for the position that was previously held by his late wife Margaret.  Mrs. Burns passed away last November, shortly after being reelected to another four-year term as Brasher town councilwoman.  Burns was nominated over Independent candidate Wilfred Recore, who has publicly said that he is endorsing Mr. Burns for the position.  Recore was appointed to the vacant position last March.  The winner of the seat in November will fill the remaining three years of the term.

OGDENSBURG – A Cornwall real-estate developer whose business specializes in revitalizing brownfield properties for condominium construction on along the St. Lawrence River is expected to meet with Ogdensburg city officials tomorrow to discuss possible projects there.  Robert Pelda’s company, RMP Construction & Development Ltd., has had success in redeveloping riverfront properties and establishing large housing projects in Cornwall, Prescott and Gananaque, Ontario.  Last year, Pelda purchased a 1.3 acre parcel, adjacent to park property on Franklin Street in Ogdensburg for possible future development.

WADDINGTON – Three people are recovering from injuries they received when a deck – with about 30 partygoes  on it – collapsed over the past weekend in Waddington.  The people were attending a birthday party at a home on County Road 33.  Upon arrival, first responders were told that several people had been trapped under the debris, but other partygoers were able to free them.  One person suffered a broken leg, but non of the injuries were considered life-threatening.  Rescue units transported the injured to hospitals in Massena, Ogdensburg and Potsdam.  It was not immediately known what default or safety issues contributed to the deck’s collapse.

CANTON – An Amish buggy was left in several pieces after collision with a Chevy Impala last evening on County Road 14 in the town of Canton.  St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies were investigating the accident.  The auto reportedly struck the back-left side of the buggy, while both were traveling in the same direction.  The Amish rig was destroyed.  Canton Rescue along with Morley Fire and First Responders were on the scene.  No other details were immediately available. 

MASSENA – Two Massena brothers were both charged with driving while intoxicated yesterday – one of them after he allegedly arrived drunk at the Massena police station to pick up the other.  Village police arrested 42-year-old Chris Lefrancois, after a traffic stop on South Main Street.  In addition to the drunken driving charge, he faces counts of illegal signal and failure to keep right.  Two hours later, 46-year-old Mark Lefrancois allegedly drove drunk to the police station to get his brother.  His blood-alcohol level was listed at .27 percent, over three times the legal limit.  He was charged with DWI and aggravated DWI, along with unlicensed operation and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.  Both were later released on appearance tickets for a later court date.

POTSDAM ‑‑ Anyone traveling in the village of Potsdam today should be aware of minor traffic delays along Maple Street while New York State Transportation Department crews inspect the bridge over the Raquette River.  DOT officials say traffic will be reduced to just one lane, with flaggers directing alternating traffic across the spans.  Motorists are reminded to drive carefully through the work zone for the safety of DOT workers on the job.

POTSDAM – Clarkson University graduates have some of the highest salaries in the nation, according to the newest College Salary Report from PayScale Inc.  Alumni with Clarkson bachelor's degrees are in the top four-percent of wage-earners and those who went on to get additional degrees are in the top two-percent.  Sixty‑three percent of Clarkson alumni surveyed also found a high degree of meaning to their job, meaning that their work makes the world a better place. lists Clarkson in the nation's top‑30 private universities that offer a return on their tuition investment of at least $1 million. ACO also ranked Clarkson in New York state's top‑10 for colleges and universities that provide the highest return on investment.

HOGANSBURG — Country music legend Pam Tillis will be performing tomorrow evening at Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.  Tillis’ professional career has spanned more than 30 years, including her first Top 40 hit single “  Don’t Tell Me What To Do” in 1991 and numerous other hit songs since.



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