Flooding prompts state of emergency declaration for St. Lawrence County

Rising floodwaters across St. Lawrence County prompted county Legislature Chairman Jonathan S. Putney to declare a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon.

Several roads and bridges were closed because of flooding Tuesday in Winthrop, Brasher, Stockholm and Fine.

The towns of Brasher and Stockholm also have declared local states of emergency because of flooding along the St. Regis River.

Among the closures is a portion of County Route 53, just outside the hamlet of Brasher Falls. The area is frequently under water in the spring when the St. Regis River overflows its banks.

“There’s three feet of water or more over portions of the road,” county Deputy Fire Coordinator Frank W. Burns said. “I’ve never seen it that high there before. Luckily for us, the ice went out two days ago. You can plan all you want, but you can’t stop Mother Nature.”

Mr. Burns said he also was aware of reports of flooding on North Road and in the Hogansburg area. A portion of Barnage Road in the town of Lawrence and the Days Mills Bridge on County Route 49, Hopkinton, are closed. Route 11C in Brasher Falls was closed Tuesday evening. Flooding previously had closed portions of County Route 15 between Heuvelton and Rensselaer Falls, Route 58 near its intersection with Route 184 in Pope Mills and portions of County Route 3 in Rossie and County Route 7 in Macomb.
The Route 420 bridge south of Winthrop is closed as water is rising along the west branch of the St. Regis River, Michael J. LeCuyer, director of St. Lawrence County emergency services, said in a news release.
The South Edwards dam in Fine activated its emergency action plan, and Brookfield Renewable Energy has operators on site to monitor the dam.

Colton firefighter Shawn A. Wright stands in the doorway of the Masonic Temple in Colton Tuesday as water is pumped out of its basement. Jason Hunter / Watertown Daily Times

Colton firefighter Shawn A. Wright stands in the doorway of the Masonic Temple in Colton Tuesday as water is pumped out of its basement. Jason Hunter / Watertown Daily Times

The biggest concerns are the Oswegatchie and St. Regis rivers, but the Raquette and Grasse rivers could become greater concerns as 1 to 1.5 inches of rain was expected Tuesday, Mr. LeCuyer said. [Read more...]

1844 House honored for local foods commitment

Courtesy 1844 House

Courtesy 1844 House

Brian and Jenny Walker, owners of the 1844 House, Potsdam, have received GardenShare’s 2013 Growing Community Award for their commitment to using locally produced food at the restaurant.

The Walkers, who re-opened the restaurant as a classic American bistro in 2006, received the award at the 2013 Harvest Social at SUNY Potsdam on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have strengthened the community-based food system through their efforts to use local foods.

“Their emphasis on fresh, local produce, meats and cheese helps them create incredible meals while at the same time building awareness of the amazing bounty of our region and boosting our local economy,” GardenShare said of the Walkers in a release.

Past recipients of the award include North Country Public Radio, North Country Grown Cooperative, the UShare program of Canton’s Unitarian Universalist Church, Katherine Lang, Betsy Hodge and Carlton Doane.

GardenShare is a nonprofit that works to combat hunger and improve food security in the north country. This is the 11th year it has given the award.

A local investment

Randy L. LaValley, owner of LaValle Transportation Inc., at his 20 Madrid Ave. headquarters in Potsdam. The trucking firm has invested millions in new equipment in recent months. Jason Hunter/ NNY Business

Randy L. LaValley, owner of LaValle Transportation Inc., at his 20 Madrid Ave. headquarters in Potsdam. The trucking firm has invested millions in new equipment in recent months. Jason Hunter/ NNY Business

Potsdam-based LaValle Transportation secures $8.6m in new equipment [Read more...]

Small Biz Startup: The Hop

Daniel and Rebecca McDermott reopened the The Hop this summer at 3 Market St. in Potsdam. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/NNY Business

Daniel and Rebecca McDermott reopened the The Hop this summer at 3 Market St. in Potsdam. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/NNY Business

THE INITIAL IDEA The Hop’s new owners Daniel and Rebecca McDermott re-opened the 1950s-style restaurant known for its late night fare after eight years of dormancy after about six months of what Mrs. McDermott described as “a lot of detailed cleaning” and more than $10,000 in small-scale renovations that included a new basement floor, re-painting and new furniture. The Hop opened its doors in early June and had a formal grand opening and ribbon cutting in mid-September.

“We wanted to get all the kinks out on our main food and we had such high success with the Hop to begin with that we never had time to plan it,” Mrs. McDermott said of the decision to delay the grand opening. [Read more...]

SUNY Canton SBDC offering fall training for entrepreneurs and small businesses

The Small Business Development Center at SUNY Canton is offering a series of workshops and training opportunities this fall for small businesses and entrepreneurs. For more information or to register, call the center at 386-7312.

The dates are as follows:

  •  Monday, Sept. 30, “Get on the map: Business listings and customer review sites,” 5:30 to 7 p.m., SUNY ESF Ranger School, Wanakena. Hands-on computer workshop on how to list a business on search engines, encourage customer reviews and get seen on mobile map applications. Free admission.
  • Monday, Oct. 7, “Buying and selling an existing business: Long-term planning for a profitable transition,” 5:30 to 7 p.m., SUNY ESF Ranger School, Wanakena. Workshop will address buying and selling a business, how to finance such a purchase and to plan in advance to transition a business as a seller. Free admission.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 8, “Women’s business bootcamp and luncheon,” 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton. Featured speakers Angela Gray, CPA, and attorney Cathleen O’Haro will give advice on managing the financial and legal aspects of a business. Attendees will have the opportunity to display and sell their products and services and network with other participants. Tuition: $30/person, includes program, lunch and mini-marketplace display.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 11, “Affordable Care Act 101,” 9 to 10 a.m., Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton. Presentation on how the federal health care overhaul will affect individuals, sole proprietors and small businesses by Katrina Kapustay, small business assistance program specialist at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce. Attendees can set up free individual appointments with Ms. Kapustay following the presentation. Free admission.
  • Thursday, Oct. 31, “St. Lawrence County Matchmaker,” 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Miller Campus Center, SUNY Canton. Sign up for 10-minute meetings with individual agencies to network and pitch your product or service in a speed dating-like setup. Representatives from colleges, federal agencies, state and local government and large regional institutions will attend. Tuition: $10 for business owners; free for purchasing officers.

A gift leads to recovery: North Country Millworks back in business after devastating fire

North Country Millworks owners Barbara Donnelly and Creig L. Donnelly have rebuilt their Massena cabinet businesses after a fire destroyed it over two years ago. Melanie Kimbler-Lago/NNY Business

A December 2010 fire destroyed North Country Millworks, a custom millshop owned by Creig L. and Barbara Donnelly on South Raquette Road, Massena.

An equipment donation from a stranger in Virginia helped them get back on their feet. North County Millworks primarily produces cabinetry and moldings that can’t be bought in a traditional retail store. It’s something it has done for 17 years, according to Mr. Donnelly, who follows in his father’s footsteps and has more than 30 years of experience in cabinet building. [Read more...]

WYBG celebrates 55: Local owners enjoy 25 years of success since purchase

WYBG Radio celebrated 55 years on the air this year, as well as 25 years under the ownership of Wade Communications Inc. Pictured at the station are owners Dorothy and Curran Wade. Bob Beckstead/NNY Business

Radio station WYBG 1050 AM signed on to the air 55 years ago this year, and for the past 25 years it has been under the local ownership and operation of Wade Communications Inc.

Today, the station that started as WSTS in the former Slavin’s building and played music for several years is housed on Andrews Street and offers a talk format. And, owner and general manager Curran Wade said, it is still live and locally owned and operated. [Read more...]

St. Lawrence and Lewis counties see sales tax increase

North country counties saw an increase in first-quarter sales tax receipts, with Lewis County seeing a particularly big jump following a return to more typical winter weather.

“I attribute it to the snow,” said Lewis County Treasurer Patricia L. O’Brien, whose county saw a 5.9 percent hike. “We didn’t have snow last year, and this year we did.” [Read more...]

Business booming at Massena Sportsman’s Expo

People meander around Sunday during the Sportsman’s Expo at the Massena Arena. A piebald deer mount sits in the foreground. Photo by Melanie Kimbler-Lago/Watertown Daily Times.

MASSENA — Lovers of the great outdoors filled the Massena Arena over the weekend for the 35th annual Massena Rod & Gun Club Sportsman’s Expo.

Hunting and fishing were on prominent display, with vendors peddling everything from smoked venison to all-terrain vehicles. [Read more...]

Champion boxer starts club

Gordon N. Griffith paints the inside of the old Balmat school Tuesday at Route 812 and County Route 24. Mr. Griffith is turning the old school into a boxing and wrestling club. Photo by Melanie Kimbler-Lago/Watertown Daily Times.

BALMAT — A two-time New York State Golden Gloves heavyweight champion is starting a boxing club in the former Balmat school.

“For a boxing gym, it’s absolutely beautiful,” said Gordon N. Griffith. “We’re close to being ready to open the club up.”

The club will be for anyone who wants to learn how to box or train. [Read more...]