Environmental Conservation Officer Katie Jakaub reported that on May 29, during an off-duty kayak trip, she came across animal waste mixed with sawdust along the bank of the West Canada Creek, a protected trout stream, in the town of Russia.
ECO Jakaub noted the location and visited the property the following day. The landowner informed the ECO that pigs were on the property and that what the officer had found was the manure and straw bedding that had been dumped during the winter. The landowner admitted to depositing the waste and was issued summonses for the offense, returnable in Town of Russia Court.
Photo of pig disposal site from the bank courtesy DEC.
In October 1884, St. Lawrence County newspapers reported that a notorious miscreant, who had been arrested many times on various charges, had turned over a new leaf. “Ben Harder, of Black Lake, has reformed and is waging an uncompromising warfare against the fish pirates of the lake.” He had removed one illegal hoop net and a half-mile of illegal gill nets from Black Lake (in Morristown) and turned them over to the local game protector, who burned them.
However, rather than proof of reform, Harder’s removal of the nets was undertaken for a less than savory reason: to thwart his rivals. Charges of burglary and illegal fishing were brought against him, and a court appearance was scheduled for mid-December. When he failed to show, an arrest warrant was issued and successfully executed, but Harder, too drunk to stand before the judge, was locked up overnight. The next morning he argued to delay the case, but when that proved unsuccessful, he pleaded guilty to taking fish illegally and was sentenced to a month in jail. » Continue Reading.
Three events benefiting the Wilmington Historical Society have been set for June 16th. Events include the annual Whiskey Run, a Wilmington Whiteface Heritage Celebration, and a Speakeasy Soiree at Pourman’s Tap House.
Many of the activities of the Heritage Celebration focus on the area’s historically recurrent theme of whiskey. In its early days, the part of Jay that is now Wilmington was said to have had the reputation for providing daily rations of good rye whiskey to American troops at the Battle of Plattsburgh during the War of 1812. About 100 years later, being a small, quiet Northern village close to the Canadian border, Wilmington became a safe haven for bootleggers and rum runners transporting illicit spirits across the border during Prohibition. Today, Wilmington is home to the whiskey barrel cooperage US Barrel. » Continue Reading.
Ben Harder’s life story intrigued me after I encountered his name while researching a violent crime of more than a hundred years ago.
He was described as an elderly, disabled war veteran, a “helpless cripple, and he drags himself about from place to place on his hands and knees.” I wondered, could that have been true? Could he have made his way through life in that manner for more than forty years? The need to know was irresistible, so the digging began.
As farmers across the state get ready for the 2018 growing season, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is preparing to oversee a second year of industrial hemp field trials across New York State.
Cornell has been funded to develop, support, and advance the best management practices for optimal growing and processing of industrial hemp. Cornell scientists and research technicians are continuing to study and evaluate potential production barriers (e.g. disease and insect pests) and to identify and breed the best commercially available hemp cultivars for the state’s broad range of agricultural environments. The goals of the program include establishing certified seed production within the state and developing basic agronomic and production-cost information for growing industrial hemp in different locations around New York State. » Continue Reading.
Author, sociologist and juvenile justice expert Alexandra Cox will speak in Lake Placid on Sunday, April 8 at 4:30 pm on the flaws in the Juvenile Justice System in New York State.
Just 22 North Country teenagers were sent to prison as adults in the last two years, but New York State is investing millions of dollars to convert a medium-security prison in Ray Brook to a juvenile facility. » Continue Reading.
According to a DEC press release, on February 22, ECOs Tim Worden and Zach Brown assisted the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department with a complaint about two young men shooting at road signs. » Continue Reading.
According to a press release sent to the media by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, on Feb. 6, Environmental Conservation Officer Jeff Hovey was patrolling ice fishing activity on Lincoln Pond in the town of Elizabethtown when he spoke to a angler who had a large German Shepherd with him on the ice.
According to Hovey, the fisherman had a valid license, was using legal tip-ups, and had several northern pike he had caught within the daily possession and size limit which claimed were the only fish he had caught. » Continue Reading.
According to a press announcement sent by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. On the night of Jan. 8, Environmental Conservation Officer Alan Brassard received a call from New York State Trooper Bryan McCormack who was at a complaint in the town of Chester with Warren County Deputy Adam Hurlburt. According to DEC, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department had received a complaint from a couple that had found a dead buck in their backyard. » Continue Reading.
If you followed the story of Samuel Coplon, Santa Claus of the Adirondacks, which appeared here during the past several weeks, you know he was a remarkably caring and giving man dedicated to making Christmas a special time for many needy children and adults in the Adirondacks.
For more than a quarter century, he bought numerous gifts and collected thousands more from friends and clients (Sam was a salesman representing several toy distributors), packed and shipped them to North Creek at his own expense, and traveled north to distribute them just before Christmas Day.
The story ended when Samuel, struggling with health issues in his late fifties, was forced to retire from the Santa Claus business, but left a wonderful legacy of charity and Christmas joy. Sam lived for another twelve years after the Christmas trips to the Adirondacks came to a halt in the 1930s. It’s sad but true that his life ended under unfortunate and undeserved circumstances. To a degree, his good name and reputation were tainted amid lurid national and international headlines related to the activities of one of his children. » Continue Reading.
According to New York State Environmental Conservation Officers, in November ECO Lou Gerrain received a complaint that an individual in the town of Queensbury had posted pictures on Facebook of two deer he had shot a few days apart in the northern zone.
Frank “Pork” Lafave, whom accused murder John Kinney said actually committed the horrific murder of Adolphus Bouvia, testified that he had been in Chazy for two months, a fact confirmed by his hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Eaton. In rebuttal, the defense called William Laforce, an inmate in the county jail. Laforce was facing two charges of horse theft, which may have reduced his credibility as a witness. He claimed that during Frank Lafave’s visit to the jail, Laforce had overheard him admitting the crime and promising revenge on John Kinney for being a snitch. According to Laforce, the comment was, “Kinney, I killed old Bouvia and gave you ninety dollars.” Then, on his way out, Lafave added, “John, you squealed on me, and I will get even with you yet.”
Another inmate, Robert Morrison, was re-called to the stand after testifying earlier about letters he had supposedly written on behalf of Kinney. The DA pressed Morrison to admit that he had been paid by the defense to testify. At that point, attorney John E. Judge took the stand briefly, explaining that, just six hours earlier (at 3 am), he had been dispatched to locate Morrison in Burke, a Franklin County village about forty-five miles west of Plattsburgh. Morrison was informed he would be paid fifty dollars by the county for appearing in court later that morning. » Continue Reading.
George Lashway, murder suspect John Kinney’s father-in-law, testified that John didn’t support his family adequately (he and his young wife had three children), so Lashway was obliged to take care of them. In deep poverty and with nowhere to go, the family had recently moved into George’s home.
Lashway then told about an unusual incident involving his son-in-law. Kinney had asked to be awakened at 3 am on Wednesday, December 29, so he could go to his home (near Bouvia’s) and start a fire in the fireplace. When George went out to feed the horses at 6:30 that morning, he encountered Kinney, who said he had fallen asleep for a few hours after starting the fire. That absence identified a window of opportunity for Kinney to have committed the crime. Lashway also identified the gun that Kinney had borrowed for so long from George Trudeau, and had returned on January 2. » Continue Reading.
A century ago, it was common during the Christmas holidays for North Country lumber camps to empty, at least briefly. In 1909, in far northeastern New York, the men of Altona in Clinton County enjoyed a welcome break after several weeks in the woods.
Near the settlement of Purdy’s Mills, the camp cook, Adolphus Bouvia, closed down operations on December 23. Widowed a year earlier, he planned to return home and spend time with family, friends, and neighbors, some of whom worked with him on the lumber jobs. » Continue Reading.
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