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Local and Regional News

by Bob LaRue

October 24, 2014

CANTON – North Country Congressman Bill Owens will tour Corning’s manufacturing facility in Canton today to review with plant officials a planned $21.5 million expansion which, according to Corning, will add 16,000 square feet and 40 new jobs at the facility.  Corning’s Canton plant currently employs about 235 people, manufacturing and selling specialty glass products for uses ranging from aeronautics to fiber optics.  The products manufactured there include radomes such as heat‑resistant missile nose cones for the defense industry; and Polarcor, an optical glass, for the telecommunications and other industries.

ALBANY – The New York State Public Service Commission says  utilities providing natural gas service in the State have adequate supplies, delivery capacity and storage inventory to satisfy customer demand this coming winter, even under severe conditions.  They say while bill impacts will vary by utility, natural gas bills in general are expected to be lower this winter compared to last year.  On the electric side, this winter’s prices statewide are expected to be lower.  On average, a residential customer using 600 kWh per month is expected to pay about $55, or about 20 percent, less than last winter, but the amount will vary by utility.  The state’s major energy utilities, including National Grid and St. Lawrence Gas Company, have developed programs to assist customers in managing winter energy bills in an effort to avoid a repeat of last winter’s large price increases to levels never experienced before.  Statewide, average electric commodity prices jumped by about 175 percent from December to January last year, and remained relatively high through March.

POTSDAM – A Potsdam man was arrested last evening after an alleged scuffle with Potsdam village police.  Authorities say 19-year-old Corey McGregor was observed in an argument.  When police advised him that he were under arrest for harassment, McGregor allegedly became upset and combative, interfered with the investigation and resisted arrest after being informed he was also under arrest for obstructing governmental administration.  Police say he allegedly shoved the arresting officer several times. McGregor was arraigned on three charges in Potsdam village court  and released on his own recognizance to face further court action.

POTSDAM – Two people were hurt in a three-vehicle accident late yesterday afternoon on U.S. Route 11 near Cowan Road in the town of Canton.  The chain-reaction collision resulted in part of Route 11 shut down and traffic backed up for two miles or more in either direction.  Initial reports indicated that one vehicle was struck from behind, causing it to be pushed into an oncoming vehicle. The vehicles involved including a pickup truck, dump truck and a moving van.  Two of the drivers were transported to Canton-Potsdam Hospital for treatment.

CANTON – SUNY Canton officials say classes and activities will resume today as scheduled, after a harrowing day yesterday after the campus received two death threats by an unknown person, posted on a social media website.  Meanwhile, an open house for today has been rescheduled.  College officials indicated last evening in a Facebook statement, after a thorough search by University Police and cooperating local and state law enforcement agencies, lockdown was lifted on campus as of about 6:45 p.m. No incidents were reported or identified on campus during this process, and all campus buildings were checked and cleared.  Students, faculty and staff who were in lookdown for nearly four hours were free to move about campus.  However, students are being urged to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious circumstances to University Police.  Other nearby campuses – St. Lawrence, Clarkson and SUNY Potsdam also issued alerts to their students.   

CANTON – Police are following leads and getting assistance from the social media site Yik Yak in tracing leads as to the identity of the person who issued the anonymous death threats against SUNY Canton.  In the first message shortly after midnight, the writer warned students against going to classes, indicating he would take his own life and taking along several other students with him.  “I plan on killing myself, but before that, I plan taking as many of you worthless piles of crap, be ready.”  A second message appeared late yesterday morning, indicating the threat could be carried out around midday, at which point the campus was shut down.

CANTON – The reaction of students and parents we spoke to yesterday was focused on why SUNY Canton officials did not initially take the death threats against the campus seriously.  SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran’s initial statement drew considerable criticism for not taking the threat seriously sooner.  It said, “We recognize the concern about the recent threat that came over the anonymous social media site Yik Yak.  There is no evidence at this point that the threat is either credible or imminent. SUNY Canton will be holding classes and activities as scheduled.”  It was the second message that resulted in a total lockdown and a swarm of police agencies to the campus.  Students were then advised to take shelter and lock their doors.



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Your weather just got better.