Lots going on today. Some of what we’ve been covering in the newsroom:
Vermont has just become the sixth state to grant driver’s licenses to migrant workers — Sarah Harris has a great story today on how some local farmers, and migrant workers, are feeling about the new law.
In the ongoing corruption scandal that’s rocking New York state these days (in a slow but horrifying kind of way), nine more senators have been named as potentially involved in various kinds of graft. Interestingly, this information has come via a wire that convicted ex-senator Shirley Huntley (also corruption) wore at the request of prosecutors back in 2012.
Unnerved by all this? Well, try not to run over a deer. The Thruway Authority and state police Troop T have issued their semi-annual “antler alert” to remind people that deer are quite active in May and June, and may be showing up suddenly right in front of you as you’re driving, unsuspecting, down the road. Suspect the deer. SUSPECT THEM.
And Essex County’s new bar closure rules are raising some questions about, interestingly, the separation of church and state.
Elsewhere in our region, the St. Lawrence County District Attorney’s office is losing to assistant prosecutors, WWNY-TV reports. Amanda Nissen, who just finished prosecuting three Ogdensburg men for murder, will leave for a job with the state Police Counsel’s office. Jonathan Becker will be moving to Otsego County to work as an attorney. The DA’s office is expecting to replace both, although a county hiring freeze means they’ll have to get approval.
And a controversial halfway house in downtown Potsdam isn’t being built quite yet: New Hope Transformation Ministries, which plans to build the house, is still looking for funding to build on a Market Street lot (story from the Watertown Daily Times.) The house, the paper reports,
would provide a temporary home for women recovering from drug addiction. Those who have completed a rehab program would be eligible to spend six to 12 months at the home, learning job skills while cooking and cleaning for themselves. The home is to have beds for 12 women.
If the state’s Homeless Housing Assistance Program grants the organization the money it’s looking for, the house could open in 2014. The idea of a halfway house in this location has come under fire from people who live near the property (it’s been vacant since 1992) and are worried about an increase in crime. The Planning Board approved the project in October.