north country


Tue April 1, 2014

Winter dealt a blow to some North Country businesses

The relentless snow that pounded part of the North Country this past winter kept kids out of school and people home. That also meant a hit for some businesses in the region.

Lori Wells co-owns Café Mira, a restaurant in Adams, south of Watertown. The eatery employs about a dozen people and is only open four days a week. So when Wells and her partner, Lisa Reed, had to make the call three times this winter to not open, that was a hit to their business.

They hadn’t had to close at all in the four years they’ve been owners, Wells said.

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Thu February 20, 2014
Fort Drum

Army officers anxious as they await word of cuts

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 8:55 am

A soldier trains at Fort Drum
Joanna Richards

In any company town, when the major employer is planning layoffs, people get worried. How will they earn a living if they lose their job? How will they remake their identity?

This is the picture for many Army officers stationed at Fort Drum. By early summer, some will find out they have to go.

It’s part of an overall downsizing of the military as the war in Afghanistan winds down. Evaluations this spring will determine whether some officers can stay in the service.

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Thu January 23, 2014
Polar Vortex

Downed trees from ice storm will be turned into energy

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:18 am

Kids play amid downed tree limbs in Watertown after last month's ice storm.
Joanna Richards WRVO

All the power lines have been fixed after last month’s ice storm, and the crystal coatings have melted off the trees, but there’s still a persistent sign of the damage: lots of downed limbs.

Yards in the northern half of Jefferson County are full of tangled branches, sunk in the snow. Extricating them is going to be a long process, but there’s a plan in the works to give them a new life as fuel.

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Wed January 15, 2014

Buyout could mean growth for Watertown employer Stream

An important Watertown employer will be bought out by a larger company, but a spokeswoman says workers have reason to be optimistic about the sale.

The $820 million deal will merge Stream Global Services into Cincinnati-based Convergys. Both companies run customer service call centers for big businesses around the world.

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Fri January 3, 2014

Drum soldiers' housing allowance up, but rents still expected to stabilize

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:58 am

John Bartow, executive director of the Tug Hill Commission, says despite the housing allowance for Fort Drum soldiers rising again this year, rents are stabilizing in the region.

The growth of Fort Drum and its fluctuating soldier population have always complicated the housing market around Watertown. But the Army post throws another factor into the mix: soldier’s housing allowances. They just went up.

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