State’s Highest Honor Presented in Recognition of Efforts During Amish Kidnapping
State Senator Patty Ritchie recently presented the New York State Senate Liberty Award to members of the Ogdensburg Police Department who assisted the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies with the investigation of surrounding the abduction and recovery of two Amish girls in August.
“Members of law enforcement put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Ritchie. “When tragedy struck this past summer and two young Amish girls went missing, members of the Ogdensburg Police Department stepped up to the plate to assist with efforts to return them safely home. Their bravery and willingness to come to the aid of their neighbors is to be commended and it is my pleasure to present them with the New York State Senate Liberty Award.”
In September, law enforcement who attend a special “Community Thank You” event, hosted by Senator Ritchie to recognize those who assisted with the search for the Amish girls, were also presented with the Liberty Award. Those honored recently were unable to attend the event.
As lawmakers prepare to head back to the Capitol for the upcoming Legislative Session, State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting her constituents to weigh in on issues facing New York State through her 2015 Legislative Survey.
Available here, the survey asks individuals to voice their opinions on major topics including government spending, Common Core, agriculture, college tuition, job creation and others.
“As State Senator, it’s my top priority to make the voices of my constituents heard and to represent their views in Albany,” said State Senator Patty Ritchie.
“I’m eager to hear the opinions of the people in Central and Northern New York whom I represent on the major issues—everything from education to government spending—in an effort to make sure I’m accurately representing their interests when I head back to Albany.”
Landmark New Law Latest in Effort to Combat the Disease That’s Claimed Lives in CNY;Focuses Health Experts on Finding Vaccine
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that the Governor has signed into law her bill to help speed the discovery of potentially life-saving vaccines for deadly diseases including Eastern Equine Encephalitis, the mosquito-borne virus that’s claimed five lives in Oswego County and Central New York. The measure (S.2115), which passed both houses of the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, creates a new “21st Century Workgroup for Disease Elimination and Reduction” within the state Department of Health. Comprising experts in diseases, infection and public health, the group is tasked with identifying obstacles that may be preventing development of effective vaccines for EEE and other diseases, including West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, tuberculosis and more.
State Senator Patty Ritchie is applauding nearly $144 million in new, job-creating Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) investments awarded to projects across Central and Northern New York.
Awards were announced Thursday at a special event held at the Capitol. At the event, the North Country—which includes Jefferson and St. Lawrence County—was awarded $63.4 million. The Central New York region, which includes Oswego County, was named a “Top Performer” and was awarded $80. 2 million through the annual economic growth competition. The new investments bring the four-year total of REDC awards for the two regions to roughly $691.2 million.
“Throughout the past four years, the Regional Economic Development Council awards have been a catalyst for tremendous growth in the regions I represent; giving key projects the support they need to get off the ground, create jobs and bolster their local economies,” said Senator Ritchie.
Receives Nod for Fourth Consecutive Year for Support of Agriculture Industry
In recognition of her strong support for our state’s agriculture industry, State Senator Patty Ritchie was named to the New York Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” for the fourth consecutive year.
“As New York’s leading industry, agriculture is vitally important to the economic success of our state. Not only that, but in many families, farming is a tradition, passed down from generation to generation,” said Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.
“As someone who grew up on a farm and the representative of a region that is largely rural, I am thrilled to once again receive this special recognition. As the 2015 Legislative Session approaches, I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with the Farm Bureau in an effort to further expand the industry and provide a boost to our hardworking farm families.”
As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee Senator Ritchie has led the charge to repeal costly mandates affecting farmers, restore budget cuts to programs utilized by those in the industry, launch new initiatives to protect the future of agriculture and cut red tape and to help ensure farming remains a viable profession in New York state.
State Senator Patty Ritchie visited St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Northwest Tech in Ogdensburg recently to talk about educational opportunities available to young people across Northern and Central New York.
During her visit, Senator Ritchie toured programs for students in several fields of study, including cosmetology, welding, graphics and criminal justice.
Lowering Costs to Taxpayers by Recruiting Local Experts
State Senator Patty Ritchie is once again turning to leaders of local government, including newly elected members of the St. Lawrence County Board of legislators, to help eliminate unfunded state mandates and reduce costs for local taxpayers.
Senator Ritchie announced that she has named County Legislator Joe Lightfoot of Oswegatchie, and incoming Legislators David Forsythe of Lisbon and Larry Denesha of DeKalb to her Mandate Relief Working Group, which she created in 2011 to help deliver on her promise to reduce expensive mandates that drive up costs for counties and local governments. The group will be co-chaired by St. Lawrence County Legislator Kevin Acres of Madrid and Lightfoot.
Since then, the panel of city, county, village, town and school leaders has proposed two dozen recommendations, and several have been enacted into law.
With the help of dozens of families, individuals, schools and local organizations, State Senator Patty Ritchie has sent nearly 8,000 cards to troops through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
Sponsored by the American Red Cross, Holiday Mail for Heroes collects holiday cards, personally signed by donors, to distribute to service members at military bases, veterans’ hospitals and other locations to let them know their sacrifices are appreciated by those back home.
“During the holidays it’s so important to let the people who make a difference in our lives know we care—and that includes our troops,” said Senator Ritchie.
Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration. We received outstanding poems, essays, and artwork that exemplify the creativity of New York State’s young people.
The submissions received are remarkable in what they represent – showing gratitude and respect for family, friends, our troops fighting overseas, and many other important subjects and activities. I am humbled and honored to see such inspiring contributions in response to what is a deceptively difficult question: “What are you thankful for?”
On behalf of the New York State Senate, I would like to offer my wholehearted congratulations to all of the participants in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Creative Celebration.
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $50,000 in capital funding to assist the Hepburn Library of Madrid with much needed repairs to steps leading to the library’s main entrance.
“Libraries are essential parts of communities across our state, especially in rural areas like ours,” said Senator Ritchie. “I am thrilled to be able to provide this funding which will allow the Hepburn Library of Madrid make the necessary upgrades to ensure everyone has access to the wonderful entertainment and educational resources the library provides.”
Funding Announced Following Fire That Destroyed Historic Block
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $100,000 in capital funding to assist with the rebuilding of the Wellesley Island Fire Station following a devastating fire which happened last August at Thousand Island Park.
“For more than a century, Thousand Island Park has stood as a tight knit community where families and individuals go to spend quality time near the majestic St. Lawrence River,” said Senator Ritchie. “The fire that took place last August was truly devastating—destroying key parts of the community, including the fire station, which residents count on to help keep them safe. I am pleased to be able to provide this funding, which will help the area rebuild to become better and safer than ever before.”
$225,000 To Help Waterfront, Rt. 37 Corridor Growth
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced $225,000 in capital funding for the City of Ogdensburg waterfront projects including repairs to the Maple City Trail at The Crescent and the Greenbelt boat launch.
Aid will also be made available to support enhancements in the Marina District and a new loop that improves water service and fire protection at the International Order of Odd Fellows Hall on Linden Street and the City’s Southside.
“Ogdensburg’s Maple City Trail and Crescent Park provide a relaxing place for families to enjoy one of the most beautiful places in Northern New York. These funds will help the city repair some of the damages caused by last spring’s Oswegatchie River flooding,” Senator Ritchie said. “Repairing the boat launch and the trail will help bring more boaters and visitors to Ogdensburg’s waterfront as part of the City’s long term economic development plan to bring new jobs and businesses to its shoreline.”
Offices to Feature Drop Boxes for “Holiday Mail for Heroes” Program
State Senator Patty Ritchie is once again calling on Central and Northern New Yorkers to join her in sending warm wishes to troops through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
An initiative sponsored by the American Red Cross, Holiday Mail for Heroes collects holiday cards, personally signed by donors, to distribute to soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines at military bases, veterans’ hospitals and other locations to let them know they are remembered and appreciated back home. Last year, along with help from local residents, schools and other organizations, Senator Ritchie was able to deliver nearly 8,000 cards to the Red Cross.
“When someone thinks of the holiday season, spending time with family and friends are two of the top things that typically come to mind,” said Senator Ritchie. “In addition to putting their lives on the line to serve our country, members of the military make another big sacrifice—being away from their loved ones at this special time of year. To send a “touch of home” to our troops, I’m hoping that Central and Northern New Yorkers once again take the time to participate in this very important program.”
Aid Will be Used to Train Law Enforcement To Handle Incidents Involving Persons With Mental Illness
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced today that she has secured state funds for specialized training of law enforcement officers in the City of Ogdensburg to help them more safely and effectively respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
The state assistance will support the establishment of a local Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), which will be comprised of mental health providers and advocates, law enforcement officers, emergency services directors, and families of people with mental illness. The team will develop a curriculum and provide specialized training to help resolve potentially adverse situations involving people with mental illness and law enforcement.
“Many communities across the country are establishing Crisis Intervention Teams to train law enforcement officers to recognize different types of mental illness, to intervene appropriately and get the person the help they need,” Senator Ritchie said. “I’m pleased that this successful model is being brought to Ogdensburg so our local police can develop this expertise as well as create a safer environment for those with a mental illness as well as the entire community.
Event to Take Place 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Alexandria Bay
State Senator Patty Ritchie is reminding pet owners that she will be hosting a no-cost rabies clinic in conjunction with Jefferson County Public Health Service on Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Alexandria Bay Fire Hall, located on Walton Street.
“One of the biggest parts of being a responsible pet owner is making sure that your pets have the vaccinations necessary to stay healthy,” said Senator Ritchie. “Rabies is almost always fatal, and I encourage any pet owner who hasn’t had their animal receive its vaccination yet to attend Wednesday’s no-cost clinic.”