Thompson Park announces USDA survey results, talks winter hours

JUSTIN SORENSEN / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES Two otters arrived at the Thompson Park Zoo in July. The Thompson Park Zoo said they recently passed a United States Department of Agriculture inspection, following a negative review earlier this year.

JUSTIN SORENSEN / WATERTOWN DAILY TIMES
Two otters arrived at the Thompson Park Zoo in July. The Thompson Park Zoo said they recently passed a United States Department of Agriculture inspection, following a negative review earlier this year.

By GORDON BLOCK
GBLOCK@WDT.NET

The Thompson Park Zoo said they recently passed a United States Department of Agriculture inspection, following a negative review earlier this year.

The USDA review in June criticized the zoo for poor animal handling and for not having an adequate animal curator. Among the issues were an injury to a lynx kitten from an unsecured playpen, and a decision to handfeed the kittens without full consultation with their veterinarian.

“The June 2016 inspection was less than favorable but staff and volunteers used this report as motivation to correct all concerns immediately,” said Lesley Clark, the zoo’s director of operations, in a statement. “The October 2016 report shows the progresses the staff and volunteers have made at the zoo.”

She told the Times on Wednesday that the zoo resolved many of the USDA’s issues within a week.

The zoo’s news release said that the zoo is nearing the end of its search for a curator that would meet the USDA standards, and expects to have the position filled by mid-winter.

The zoo’s next inspection will be in October 2017, which Ms. Clark noted was a change from the quarterly inspections that the zoo has had on and off for a couple of years.

The zoo’s news release said that it will be open every Saturday starting in November, after three years of being closed due to safety concerns. The zoo said those safety concerns have been addressed.

“It’s very important for our members,” Ms. Clark said, in a phone call with the Times earlier in October. “Our members support us, and they want to enjoy all four seasons of the zoo. The past few years we haven’t been able to offer that for them.”

She also said that many of the animals are more active during the colder months of the year.

Orleans, Lowville, other communities to receive funds needed for water projects

Road salt contamination has caused extensive corrosion at Andy Greene’s home in Fishers Landing, as seen here in his basement where he sits behind a corroded pipe on a hot water heater ruined by salt, holding a kitchen faucet he replaces every few years. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Road salt contamination has caused extensive corrosion at Andy Greene’s home in Fishers Landing, as seen here in his basement where he sits behind a corroded pipe on a hot water heater ruined by salt, holding a kitchen faucet he replaces every few years. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Several north country municipalities, including the town of Orleans, are getting millions of dollars in state funding for various water infrastructure projects. [Read more…]

Antique Boat Museum announces new director

The Antique Boat Museum has picked Rebecca Hopfinger, its current acting director, to become its executive director. [Read more…]

Malone, Potsdam, Watertown airports receive funding

Airports in Malone, Potsdam and Watertown received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal support for paving and safety projects. [Read more…]

Sunoco finalizes $76.4 million deal for Valentine shops, gas stations

Sunoco, one of the nation’s largest gas distribution companies, said it finalized its deal to buy Valentine Stores Inc. entire collection of convenience stores, gas stations and restaurants. [Read more…]

Fort Drum session spreads awareness of agriculture industry to soldiers

As a small handful of soldiers listened to a pitch about getting into agriculture, organizers said their military service could make them the right fit to build the industry’s future. [Read more…]

Watertown airport receives nearly $530K in federal support

Watertown International Airport will receive $527,136 in federal aid to purchase snow removal equipment. [Read more…]

NNY businesses report strong tourist turnout for Memorial Day weekend

Lydia Maloney clears a table at Bella’s in Clayton. Warm weather has drawn large numbers to locations dependent on seasonal business. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

Lydia Maloney clears a table at Bella’s in Clayton. Warm weather has drawn large numbers to locations dependent on seasonal business. Photo by Amanda Morrison, Watertown Daily Times.

On Memorial Day Monday, Melissa A. Ringer-Hardy said customer traffic was so high at her bistro, Bella’s, that she had trouble getting enough staff in place. [Read more…]

Clayton approves wind moratorium, timing set to encourage urgent action

The town supervisor said its new six-month wind moratorium was timed to encourage quick action from the Town Council. [Read more…]

Thousand Islands Bridge Authority pushes forward on improvements

Vehicles pass through the toll booth at the Thousand Islands Bridge on Thursday afternoon. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority is making improvements to toll areas on both sides of the border, as they look to make it E-ZPass compatible. Photo by Gordon Block, Watertown Daily Times.

Vehicles pass through the toll booth at the Thousand Islands Bridge on Thursday afternoon. The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority is making improvements to toll areas on both sides of the border, as they look to make it E-ZPass compatible. Photo by Gordon Block, Watertown Daily Times.

The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority is pushing forward with renovations to its toll booth areas on both sides of the border, as they look to eventually become compatible with the E-ZPass system. [Read more…]