Builds Upon $100,000 Secured by Senator Ritchie to Help Cover Costs
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced the Town of Orleans will be eligible for an interest-free loan to construct a water system that will provide clean drinking water and spur job growth by rectifying a contamination problem that has plagued residents and businesses along Route 12 in the Towns of Alexandria and Orleans for decades. In addition to the loan—which will be provided by the Environmental Facilities Corporation—Senator Ritchie previously informed Town of Orleans officials she requested $100,000 in special funding to help cover project costs.
Funding to Benefit Central and Northern New York Schools
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $84,000 to help support music and arts programs in Central and Northern New York Schools.
“Often times, when schools are forced to make cuts it’s programs like music and art that are the first to go,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I know that these programs are an integral part of a child’s education; allowing them to develop and express their talents. I’m pleased to be able to provide this funding, which will go a long way towards ensuring that music and arts programs remain in our schools to offer students with the opportunities they deserve to learn and grow.”
Funds Will Assist St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has obtained $50,000 to help the St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force expand its efforts in the fight against the heroin epidemic sweeping the North Country.
“Earlier this year, I held a forum on the heroin and opioid crisis facing small towns across Northern New York and local law enforcement leaders told me they needed more resources to crack down on major dealers,” Senator Ritchie said. “This additional funding will help our law enforcement community focus on the criminal element responsible for bringing so much misery to so many families.”
“The St. Lawrence County Drug Task Force is very grateful to Senator Ritchie for obtaining funds that will allow us to expand our investigations into the sources of the heroin and other narcotics being sold in our communities,” said St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells. “When we told Senator Ritchie we needed more resources, she promised to go to Albany to get us the help we needed to take back our neighborhoods.”
Teams With Law Enforcement, Local Hospitals to Host Events in August and September
State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting people who are looking to dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to attend three “Shed the Meds” events she will be hosting in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.
Last month, thousands of individual pills totaling more than 150 pounds were disposed of at a similar event held in Ogdensburg. Her upcoming events are being hosted in conjunction with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, River Hospital, Alexandria Bay Police Department, Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage Police Department, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Govuerneur Hospital and Gouverneur Police Department.
“Unused, expired and unwanted prescription drugs pose a number of risks—including acting as the gateway drugs for other substances such as heroin, getting into the hands of children and potentially polluting water through improper disposal,” said Senator Ritchie.
State Senator Patty Ritchie is teaming with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) and other local leaders to urge people to stand up for Fort Drum by signing an online petition launched today at www.StandUpForFortDrum.com.
The petition follows a proposal by the Army to assess the impact of reducing troop levels to numbers not seen since the beginning of World War II. Taken across the board, the reductions could mean significant cuts at Fort Drum, the North Country’s leading economic engine, which supports thousands of jobs and pumps roughly $1.4 billion into the local economy annually.
“Ft. Drum is a huge part of the North Country—it’s a major job-creator, a significant part of our economy and its troops and their families are not only defenders of our freedom, they are also our friends and neighbors,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I’m joining forces with the FDRLO and local leaders to help send a clear message to the Army that Fort Drum is a vital part of our region, our state and our nation. Our community has welcomed Fort Drum and now, we need to stand together to show our continued support and eagerness to help the post grow and succeed.”
Takes Part in First Meeting of “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs”
State Senator Patty Ritchie joined today with fellow members of the Council of State Governments “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs” to discuss ways to improve services and outreach to veterans and active members of our nation’s military.
The discussion was the first for the group, which is tasked with identifying key issues facing veterans and includes legislators and state officials from across the country.
“As the State Senator representing Fort Drum, I make it a priority to look out for the 18,000 soldiers, 20,000 family members and nearly 3,000 veterans who call our region home,” said Senator Ritchie.
Special Funding Will Aid Organizations in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 in special funding to help victims of domestic violence in Central and Northern New York.
“Whether it’s physical or psychological, anyone can become a victim of domestic violence; and often times, it’s difficult for the individual being harmed to seek help,” said Senator Ritchie.
“That’s where our local organizations that assist victims of domestic violence come in. They lend a helping hand, and give individuals the courage to get back up on their feet. I’m pleased to provide this funding to these vital organizations, and commend them for the work they do to promote safety in our communities.”
Thousands of individual pills totaling more than 150 pounds were disposed of at State Senator Ritchie’s “Shed the Meds” event, held Tuesday in Ogdensburg.
Hosted in conjunction with the Ogdensburg Police Department and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, the event provided residents with a safe, responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medicines, which can pose a danger to children and pets. In addition, improper disposal can also pollute lakes and streams. Among the pills disposed of were painkillers, opioids and narcotics—substances which are often times the gateway drugs for addiction to illegal substances such as heroin.
“The thousands of prescription pills disposed of at my “Shed the Meds” event will go a long way towards our goals of preventing drug abuse, keeping our drinking water clean and stopping pills from getting in the hands of children or being consumed by pets,” said Senator Ritchie.
Legislation Will Boost Tourism, Create Jobs by Putting Local Wineries on the Map
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced her legislation to put North Country wineries on the map, create jobs and boost the economy has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Ritchie’s bill (S.6321-A) creates the “St. Lawrence Wine Trail,” highlighting for tourists and residents the increasing number of wines being produced locally.
“In recent years a significant number of new wineries have popped up across New York State—and that includes a number of new establishments that are right here in our backyard,” said Senator Ritchie.
“The creation of the St. Lawrence Wine Trail is a chance for the North Country to capitalize on the fast-growing wine industry. By putting these local businesses on the map, we can boost tourism, create jobs, encourage more people to shop local as well as strengthen current wineries and encourage more new businesses to open.”
Teams with County Sheriff, Ogdensburg PD to Host Free Prescription Drug Disposal Event July 22nd
State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting residents of St. Lawrence County to clean out their medicine cabinets and drawers and bring their unused, unwanted and expired prescription medicines to a special event for free, safe disposal.
Senator Ritchie is teaming with St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells and the Ogdensburg Police Department to sponsor the free event next Tuesday, July 22, from 4 to 6 pm, at the Ogdensburg Fire Station, 718 Ford Street.
“Nearly everyone has leftover, unwanted or expired prescription drugs lying somewhere around the house,” Senator Ritchie said. “But these pills can pose a danger to children and pets, they can find their way into the hands of pill abusers, and improper disposal threatens our water, lakes and streams. Events like this allow people to get rid of unneeded medicine in a safe and responsible way.”
“Pill abuse has been directly linked to the growing problem of heroin usage across the US, and there have been a number of stories nationally involving abusers who break into homes, especially those belonging to seniors, in search of unused drugs,” said Sheriff Wells. “Properly disposing of drugs you no longer need or want helps keep these pills from getting into the wrong hands."
More than 50 Libraries to Receive Support to Enhance Services
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $148,000 in special funding to help enhance services at libraries throughout Central and Northern New York.
“Libraries are extremely important parts of our communities in Central and Northern New York for a number of reasons; offering patrons opportunities to access books, technology, culture and a myriad of other types of information and entertainment,” said Senator Ritchie.
Funding Will Help Budding Musicians in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $59,000 in special funding to help support local high school marching bands throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence Counties.
Included in the funding is $5,000 for Pulaski High School; aid which helped to make a trip to represent New York State in the National Fourth of July Parade in Washington D.C. possible. Students—who spent a great deal of time recently fundraising for the trip—departed Thursday morning for the event, which will take place on Friday.
“As a former high school band member myself, I know that activities like this help students build invaluable life skills and also allow them to further develop their musical talents,” said Senator Ritchie.
$200,000 Kickstarts Project to Bring More Shipments, Jobs to the Facility
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that she has secured $200,000 in special state grant funding to start dredging at the Port of Ogdensburg.
“The future of Ogdensburg’s deep water port is at risk from 30 years of silt build up that makes docking more difficult, dangerous and costly,” said Senator Ritchie. “This funding helps kickstart the dredging project, protects jobs and adds to the Port’s potential to increase shipping and work opportunities.”
Group Will Explore Ways to Improve Services, Outreach to Those Who Served
State Senator Patty Ritchie has been picked to be part of a nationwide group looking at ways to improve services and outreach to veterans and active members of America’s military.
The Council of State Governments “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs” includes legislators and elected state leaders from across the country. The panel is charged with identifying key veterans’ issues and best-practices that are already in use in various states. The group’s findings will be used to help draft legislative proposals in New York and other states to aid veterans.
“As the State Senator who represents the largest military post in the Northeast, and tens of thousands of veterans who served from World War II to the continuing battles against terrorism, I’ve given top priority to the needs of veterans and active duty members of our military,” said Senator Ritchie, whose district includes Fort Drum, home to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.