Weds news roundup: O’burg psych center, napkins, food stamps

Photo: Balu, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Today from the NCPR newsroom, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says that food stamps and milk prices are an important part of the new five-year Farm Bill that’s in the works now. She said food stamps are a “moral issue,” and that they should be paid for by trimming the crop insurance part of the bill.

And Adirondack Health’s proposed plan to convert the emergency room at Lake Placid hospital to an urgent care center is coming under a lot of criticism from local people; the company is holding several public meetings to get people’s feedback on the plan, and to explain and defend it (one of those meetings is tonight at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts — more info in the story.)

Lots more, too, including opposition by Sen. Patrick Leahy, of Vermont, and our own U.S. Rep. Bill Owens to a proposed border fee for travelers into the U.S. from Canada; Essex County OK’ing an earlier bar closing time; and new moves toward patients’ getting online access to their health information.

Elsewhere in the world of North Country news, there’s an online petition to save Ogdensburg’s St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center at savethecenter.net, and New York Sen. Patty Ritchie is encouraging people to sign it. North Country Now reports the petition will go to to a May 15 “listening session” with state Office of Mental Health officials (Assemblywoman Addie Russell will be there, defending the center).

Many believe OMH could close the center as part of a drive to streamline and save money on mental health care in the state, and they’re concerned on the effects of a closure on both patient care and the local economy. Jefferson County legislators have also passed a resolution opposing closure of the plant, the Watertown Daily Times reports. NCPR will be at the meeting on the 15th, by the way, so you can expect more on that.

And in the Jefferson County town of Brownville, a bit of a sad one as the holder of the mortgage on the Florelle Tissue Corporation’s mill filed for foreclosure yesterday. The Watertown Daily Times wasn’t able to reach Florelle President Harry Minas yesterday, but in January he’d told the paper the company (which makes napkins) had planned to have as many as 75 workers by the end of last year; and planned to add more production by June, which would bring it close to that goal. The company got a lot of help from the county, the Development Authority of the North Country, and other organizations; the company says it’s current on all those loans.

More later — it’s sunny in Canton today, hope yours is lovely!

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