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Keith Lobdell

Stories by Keith

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Essex County officials question state budget areas

As part of a series of informational forums held after Cuomo’s annual budget address, Deputy Secretary of State Dede Scozzafava was on hand at the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown to hear both praise and concern from government officials and the public.

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Richard Phillips packs Whallonsburg Grange Hall

The Champlain Valley Film Society showed the Academy Award-nominated, “Captain Phillips,” a viewing that included the chance to hear from the film’s title character, Merchant Marine Capt. Richard Phillips, who was taken captive by Somali pirates off the coast of Africa in 2009.

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Douglas opts out of NY-21 race

Douglas announced Feb. 4 that he would not be seeking the NY-21 seat, currently held by Plattsburgh’s Bill Owens, who has announced he will not seek re-election.

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Beat the blahs on the trails of CATS

However, if that exploring does not include a trip up a high peak, Champlain Area Trails, along with other town and community trail systems, offer the chance to get into nature and hike without the extreme conditions that come with higher elevation excursions.

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Olympic Flame to return to Lake Placid cauldron

The host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympic Games will again light the cauldron located at the Lake Placid Horseshow Grounds as the latest version of the games take place in Sochi, Russia.

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Winter Empire State Games to share stage with global counterpart

If not and you still seek the thrill of live winter sports action and competition, the Lake Placid area will again be filled with athletes from across the state of New York as the 34th annual Empire State Winter Games are set to begin Thursday, Feb. 6, and run through Sunday, Feb. 9.

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Lakes to Locks previews new tourism app

Those in attendance at a gathering of local chambers of commerce in Westport Jan. 23 got the chance to see a first-of-its-kind app being developed for Lakes to Locks Passages.

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Bickford earns Spelling Bee title at AFES

For three Au Sable Forks Elementary School students, their schools’ Spelling Bee has them her one step closer to competing for the national title.

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Willsboro elementary students present ‘Winnie the Pooh kids’

The school will present “Winnie the Pooh Kids,” based on the A.A. Milne story that has been retold in motion pictures and more starting Friday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Additional performances will take place Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m.

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‘Captain Phillips’ at Grange Hall comes complete with Capt. Richard Phillips himself

Capt. Richard Phillips, the Merchant Marine thrust into the global spotlight in 2009 when he and his ship, the Maersk Alabama, was taken captive by Somali pirates, will be the featured speaker when the Champlain Valley Film Society presents the film “Captain Phillips,” at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 2.

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Willsboro chorus students wanna rock with Foreigner

Members of the Willsboro Central School Chorus have the chance to take to the Flynn Center stage in Burlington, Vt., with 80’s rock band Foreigner as a finalist for a contest sponsored by local radio station WIZN as part of its 30th anniversary celebration.

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Beat the Winter Blahs: Social center Zumba

“It’s fun for people who like to move to music and get a little exercise as well,” Elizabethtown Social Center Director Arin Burdo said. “It is a fun atmosphere. You are really trying to focus on that party atmosphere and there is not a lot of pressure on you to have to know all of the moves and do them exactly right.”

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Empire State Winter Games names title sponsor in Hannaford

Games’ organizers announced Jan. 15 that Hannaford Supermarkets had signed a deal to become the first presenting sponsor of the Winter Games, which will take place from Feb. 6 through Feb. 9.

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State to fund improvements for trails

Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week announced $67 million in funding for bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use enhancement projects throughout the state of New York. Three North Country projects received funding, including $761,600 to the Village of Saranac Lake and $1,626,000 to the City of Plattsburgh.

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Hall found alive in Florida

A Middlebury man has been located by police in Orlando, Fla., after he was reported missing under “suspicious” circumstances.

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Stage may be set for legal challenge to NYCO amendment

Four environmental advocacy groups have joined with a California environmental “law organization” to express their concerns over the recent passage of a state constitutional amendment allowing for a land swap between the State of New York and NYCO Minerals, based in Willsboro with mining operations in Lewis.

Stage may be set for legal challenge to NYCO amendment

Four environmental advocacy groups have joined with a California environmental “law organization” to express their concerns over the recent passage of a state constitutional amendment allowing for a land swap between the State of New York and NYCO Minerals, based in Willsboro with mining operations in Lewis.

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Valley Sports: AVCS ladies score second win in as many days

Boys and girls basketball; boys and girls bowling

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Tupper Lake to host ice car races

The Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club (AMEC) is scheduled to bring automotive ice racing to Tupper Lake for the fourth time in their 60 year history this weekend, Jan. 25-26.

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Who's in, who's out, who might for NY 21st

The announcement last week that Congressman Bill Owens would not be seeking re-election in November has both Republicans and Democrats moving around the deck chairs to seek out their top candidates for what may be a wide-open contest.

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Winter Fisherman gear up for Tupper Lake ice

It certainly has been cold enough, and now ice fishermen from across the country will be heading to Tupper Lake for a pair of major fishing tournaments.

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At-risk bridges to be replaced in North Country

A total of 14 bridges in Essex and Clinton counties will be replaced in an effort to shore up infrastructure in the wake of extreme weather.

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Essex County Committee assignments set

Chairman Randy Douglas released the committee assignments for the year at the annual Organizational Meeting, with North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi replacing former Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney as the chair of the Economic Development Committee.

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Friends of Poke-O seek funds for Ranger Trail

Friends of Mount Poke-O-Moonshine have started a fund raiser called, “Sum(m)it Up for Poke-O,” focused on making needed repairs and renovations to the Ranger Trail, a steep, one mile path leading to the top of the mountain located in the Taylor Pond Wild Forest area.

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Three supervisors sworn into office

One of the new members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors entered his first elected office, while a second moved up from his town council seat to the chief administrative position and a third returned after a two-year hiatus.

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Essex County Youth Bureau basketball season begins

Youth in grades 3-6 will have the chance to take to the court starting this Saturday with the beginning of another Essex County Youth Bureau basketball season.

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Cuomo property tax freeze raises concerns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo showed his fiscal hand two days prior to the annual State of the State address Jan. 6, proposing a two-year property tax free for residents as long as their political leaders keep budget increases within the state’s tax levy cap. Under his proposal, tax credits would be given to residents of any municipality where the government stays within the cap in the next two fiscal years which would, in essence, freeze their tax rate.

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Horace Nye sale delayed into new year

Members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors approved the use of $128,000 from fund balance to operate the currently county-owned facility in Elizabethtown for another month during its Jan. 6 Organizational Meeting.

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Douglas returned to Essex County stand as chairman for fifth term

The Jay Supervisor was unanimously elected to serve an unprecedented fifth term as the boards chairman, with vice chairman Bill Ferebee of Keene being re-elected as well.

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Lewis heading toward hearing on Comprehensive Plan

Supervisor David Blades said the town has scheduled two more Comprehensive Plan Committee meetings to be held Jan. 8 and Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lewis Town Hall before moving forward with a draft plan for the public to weigh in on.

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Keeseville Elementary officially part of ‘No Excuses’ network

The school recently earned membership into the No Excuses University Network of Schools, an organization that strives to build a bridge for all students to attend college as it begins promoting a comprehensive college readiness model starting in pre-kindergarten. Keeseville Elementary is only the second school in the state to earn membership.

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Keene hoops teams off to solid starts

Combined, the Keene varsity girls and boys basketball teams have started the season 10-1, with the girls opening Northern Basketball League Division III play with a perfect 4-0 record and the boys team starting season 6-1 overall and 5-0 in Division III.

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ELCS seeks public approval for new buses

A public referendum will be held for district voters Thursday, Feb. 6, from noon until 8 p.m. in the school lobby to consider a pair of propositions that would lead to the purchase of two new buses.

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First Night Saranac Lake lineup announced

Organizers of the eighth annual First Night celebration here have outlined the list of talent and venues that will be available to party-goers on New Year’s Eve.

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Whalen reaches 1,000 point milestone for ELCS Lady Lions

Whalen scored 14 points of her team’s 22 points in the second quarter, the final three coming on a wing jumper that gave her 1,002 career points. The Lions then cruised to a 60-30 victory to up their record to 5-2 as Whalen finished with a career-high 31 points.

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Essex County spending plan calls for over $18.6 million taxpayer share

Members of the board voted 10-8, or 1,758 to 1,163 in weighted voting, to approve the 2014 spending plan with a tax levy that represents a 13.35-percent increase over the 2013 levy of $16,461,016. The board voted earlier this month to override the New York State tax levy cap.

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Au Sable Forks Elementary students sell ornaments to help peers

Luis Perez, Dillon Goodrow and Autumn LaBrake, recently presented a check for $196 to Cindy Murphy of the M&M Diner in Au Sable Forks to go towards the annual Jay and Black Brook town toy drive.

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Local teams start season in new Northern Basketball League

As was the case with soccer in Section VII, the Mountain and Valley and Champlain Valley Athletic conferences have gone away in basketball, being replaced with the Northern Basketball League.

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Douglas seeks fifth term as county chairman

Jay Supervisor and current county chairman Randy Douglas recently announced he would again seek the top position which he has held for the past four years. Douglas also threw his support behind Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee to serve for a second year as vice chairman.

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Lake Placid to host college hockey, skiing championships

In the past week, the Olympic Regional Development Authority has announced the signing of two new hosting contracts for the National Collegiate Athletic Associations (NCAA) Division III hockey championships and the Division I skiing title meets.

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Essex County officials happy with APA land decisions

That is what four members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors felt made the difference in the Adirondack Park Agency’s Dec. 13 land classification of four parcels of land purchased by the state of New York from the Nature Conservancy, who had previously bought the same tracts from Finch and Pruyn.

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Essex seeks foreclosed land for water plant

Supervisor Sharon Boisen asked for a resolution during the Dec. 16 Finance Committee meeting to allow the town of Essex to purchase a property located at 288 School Street from Essex County for the cost of back taxes in the amount of $41,950.32.

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North Country again given state aid windfall

The North Country REDC was named as a Top Performer awardee Dec. 11 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, receiving $81.3 million as part of round three of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

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APA approves option 2A for former Finch land classification

Members of the Adirondack Park Agency Board of Commissioners moved the classification recommendations on four parcels of land purchased by the state of New York from the Nature Conservancy, who had previously bought the same tracts from Finch and Pruyn.

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ELCS art students combine their work

Students in both of Terry Crowningshield’s advanced art classes spent Monday, Dec. 9, putting together 22 panels, made individually, into a sole landscape to hang in the hallways.

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Local NY Rising committees hold joint meeting

Members of the two local NY Rising Communities Reconstruction Program met recently to talk about their early work.

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North Hudson seeks Frontier Town lands from county

The idea to forgive $16,933.01 in back property taxes and turn a portion of the former Frontier Town land to North Hudson was first presented in committee meetings Nov. 18, with discussion continuing during the Nov. 25 Ways and Means Committee meeting.

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Essex County honors jail educator

The board offered a resolution of appreciation to David Johnston at its Dec. 2 meeting, who had been the inmate GED instructor at the Essex County Correctional Facility for the past 10 years before announcing his retirement.

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ECH seeks to start Explorer program

Hospital CEO Rod Boula said they would be hosting an open house on the program Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. for youth between the ages of 14-21 in the surrounding school districts of Elizabethtown-Lewis, Keene, Westport, Moriah and Willsboro.

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Winter Sports Preview: Willsboro

Willsboro varsity sports teams are turning to plenty of new faces as they begin play in the 2013-14 Northern Basketball League seasons as well as the CVAC bowling schedule.

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