It will not be long before thousands of high school students throughout our region put on their caps and gowns and walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. Every student will have his or her eyes on the future, but every student’s future will be different, and filled with new and exciting experiences. […]
While the risk of violence is always present in correctional facilities, it seems that in recent times that violence has escalated. Last year, inside New York State prisons, there were 798 reported assaults on corrections staff and 1,220 assaults on inmates by other inmates statewide. In addition, officials confiscated more than 3,000 weapons and contraband items.
Every day, farmers are in barns, fields and yes, even offices, working to see that people here in New York State and beyond have fresh, nutritious food and drink. Not only do our hardworking farmers put food on our tables, their efforts also help to support the strength of our state’s leading industry, agriculture. June is “National Dairy Month,” a time to honor the contributions of the dairy industry to our country.
Brian Hartman of Alexandria Bay will remember this season’s walleye fishing for years to come, thanks to the record-sized fish he recently caught in the St. Lawrence River. The 32-inch fish was weighed three times to verify its official weight of 18 pounds, two ounces. His massive catch proves that when it comes to fishing, New York State, and especially Lake Ontario, the Thousand Islands and the St. Lawrence River Valley, is the place to be.
Across our state, there are rural communities that struggle to provide access to quality health care, due to the challenge of not attracting doctors, nurses and others in the medical field. Upon graduation, many medical professionals are reluctant to establish themselves in rural areas for several reasons, including large student loan debts and a lower salary than those in urban and suburban settings. In fact, according to the New York State Department of Health, 46 percent of the state’s health professional shortage areas fall in rural counties.
One of the most special days of my year is when the men and women of Fort Drum are able to visit the State Capitol for “10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day.” This year, that day was February 6. Holding this event on February 6 is unusually early compared to years past. We had to do that though, because Fort Drum’s Commanding General Major General Walter Piatt and many other 10th Mountain Division leaders were getting set to deploy to Iraq.
The month of April may have left you believing that summer is a long way off. Soon, hopefully, though, we will be able to start enjoying the outdoors, as well as the warm weather. In those travels, I hope you will be able to visit some of our local state parks.
As we continue to battle the heroin and opioid epidemic here in Central and Northern New York, the conversation is most often focused on the users, the dealers, rehabilitation and law-enforcement. While these conversations are critical to helping our communities rid themselves of these drugs, I cannot help but think that there is one other aspect that may not be receiving the attention it deserves, how is this problem affecting children?
From a child using a book that opens their imagination, to a job seeker learning the skills needed to enter the workforce, libraries have long been the foundation of our local communities. However, just as times have changed, so have the needs of our public libraries and the demands of their patrons.
I will never forget the day my father got the call. In need of a new kidney, a match from a donor had been found. It was one of the happiest moments my family has ever shared. After a successful transplant, my father’s improved quality of life, and my family’s ability to enjoy it, has meant the world to all of us.