99 NEWS HEADLINES FOR WEDNESDAY, 12/9/09...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 10PM; DRIVE WITH CAUTION; SNOW-SLEET-FREEZING RAIN-RAIN EXPECTED; NUMEROUS SCHOOL CLOSINGS SEE OUR 'CANCELLATIONS' PAGE.
EMPLOYEE UNION, POTSDAM SCHOOL DISTRICT AT LOGGERHEADS OVER HEALTH INSURANCE--Members of CSEA Local 423 and its supporters turned out in force for the Potsdam School Board meeting Tuesday. The union and school district are at an impasse, after talks on a new contract stalled. The previous deal expired at the end of June. Local Vice President Dale Kinglsey said 'shame on you' to the board, because different bargaining units have differing health insurance contributions. Superintendent Pat Brady says an offer made during negotiations would have reduced contribution for the union, while lowering overall cost on top of a 3.5 percent pay hike. Brady says the union asked for a 5 percent pay hike and higher insurance costs. A federal arbitrator is scheduled to step in if the impasse does not break by early January.
POTSDAM TOWN, VILLAGE HAVE UNTIL FEBRUARY 24TH TO DECIDE ON SNELL PROPERTY ANNEXATION--The two boards met in joint session Tuesday for a public hearing on the proposed annexation from the Town to the Village of property owned by entrepreneur Jim Snell. Snell is seeking Village water, sewer, and police protection. There was a delay in the declaration of lead agency in a SEQRA review of the proposal; the Village now has that role in the process and the proposal was started a second time. Comments Tuesday were brief. The Village has opposed the annexation proposal while Town has supported it.
SPRAGUEVILLE BURGLARY INVESTIGATION BRINGS TWO FELONY ARRESTS--State Police in Gouverneur and Canton say 23-year-old Eric Jones and 25-year-old Michael Cook, both of Antwerp allegedly broke into vehicles and garages in the hamlet near the Jefferson County line early Monday morning. Cook was additionally charged with marijuana-related counts. Cook was arraigned and jailed on 20-thousand dollars bail; Jones on 5-thousand dollars bail.
SEVENTH ARREST MADE IN SIMONDS HOMICIDE CASE--29-year-old Derek Cook of Hogansburg was picked up last week on a federal warrant alleging he conspired with six other people to rob 31-year-old Daniel Simonds of hydroponically-grown marijuana. Simonds was shot and killed in the course of the robbery at his residence over a year and a half ago. Cook was arraigned and jailed without bail.
Lawrence "Larry" Churchill--61--Dekalb. Services 11am Thursday at Old Dekalb Cemetery. Arrangements are with Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur.