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Editors’ preview of this week’s Lake Placid News

September 29, 2017
By PETER CROWLEY and MORGAN RYAN ( , Lake Placid News

News broke on deadline Wednesday as we were finalizing this week's Lake Placid News print edition. Reporter Justin A. Levine got a tip that at long last, Judge Robert Main Jr. had made a decision on the rail-trail lawsuit.

Not knowing what the decision was, Justin jumped in his car and drove to the Franklin County Courthouse in Malone, where Main is based. There Justin got a copy of the decision, which had been filed that morning, and read that the judge and sided with the plaintiff, the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, against the state of New York. In the strongest possible terms, Judge Main ordered the state to completely abandon its plan to remove 34 miles of train tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and replace them with a trail for biking, snowmobiling, jogging and other recreation.

Justin dictated the first version of the story over the phone to our newsroom staff in Saranac Lake and then updated the story throughout the day as he got more details of the decision and talked to more of the involved parties. Other reporters also gathered reactions from Lake Placid and the other Tri-Lakes villages. We sent the News print edition to press with not the earliest version, but not as updated as some from later that night. Yet we kept updating our website well after that with the most updated version available, including one with a PDF version of the judge's decision so people could read it themselves. We had to pay the county roughly $15 for a printout of that document - even though the county had it digitally - but then Justin scanned each page on his home scanner, and we posted it online for free downloads. If the public servants won;t offer that public service for free, we will.

Article Photos

Anyway, that's just the lead story in this week's issue. Staff Writer Antonio Olivero offers an "Up Close" profile of the couple that owns the relatively new Salt of the Earth Bistro on Sentinel Road. They have a flair for funky decor, and they want to focus on catering to local residents. As Keith Richards sang in the eatery's namesake Rolling Stones song, this couple wants to "raise your glass to the hard-working people."

This week's Artist Profile is about the hard-working Robin Foster, who makes remarkable small sculptures out of scrap bits of glass. Thanks to Steve Lester for doing a great job of keeping up with local artists.

Getting into hard local news, Antonio examines the nuts and bolts behind that current tourism economy with two reports on the state Olympic Regional Development Authority: one on the work it's doing to upgrade the Olympic Center, the ski jumps and the elevator inside Whiteface Mountain; and another on how ORDA's board is staring down another massive operating deficit - $12.2 million last fiscal year.

Another major piece of local infrastructure is the single power line that feeds the village. As most of us remember, it failed a couple of times this year, and now NBC is concerned about it for the upcoming Skate America, in which the world's best figure skaters will compete in late November as they gear up for the Olympics in February. That's not good for this tourist and sports town's rep. Also, the power line comes into Lake Placid along the railroad corridor, and some officials question whether it would be easier to upgrade the line if the tracks weren't there - a confluence of controversies, as it were.

This week's issue also has a trio of in-depth reports on school enrollment: K-12 and at each of our local colleges, North Country and Paul Smith's.

Antonio also offers a poignant story of Skip Baker, who was found dead in the High Peaks Wilderness this summer. It's a chance to really get to know the subject of one of this area's massive search-and-rescue efforts.

This week's issue is also full shorter news items about things such as a new trout statue in Wilmington honoring legendary fly fisherman Fran Betters, plus plenty of info on things to do this week around the area.



Columnist Naj Wikoff reports on the farmers, miners and loggers who preceded Lake Placid's tourism-based economy as he reports on the local history museum's Heritage Day Fair. Martha Allen is distracted by a dead mouse. Frank Shatz interviews a poet and professor about America's history of slavery. And Annoel Krider reports from the Mutt Strut, a fundraiser for animal shelters.

In our editorial this week, we urge you to visit the "Dreaming of Timbuctoo" exhibit at John Brown Farm before it closes for the winter. It provides an excellent telling of an amazing story.



This week's Lake Placid News sports pages are filled with a variety of topics.

The opening page is highlighted by the Lake Placid High School soccer teams, which have been struggling a bit as of late but appear to be on the rise after a couple of close losses. Senior Sports Writer Lou Reuter provides readers with a detailed story and several action photos from the girls' game against Seton Catholic.

Lou was also in attendance for North Country Community College's first athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The school's sports teams have always been a big part of the experience at the two-year school.

Shifting over to the ice, Christie Sausa writes about Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker, an ice dance team that will perform in Lake Placid at the Skate America event Nov. 24-26 at the Olympic Center.

Also in sports this week, we learn about Team USA bobsled driver Jamie Greubel Poser's added incentive to make the Olympic team that will compete in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It would truly be a family affair.



On our Adirondack Expeditions page, Justin Levine describes a relatively new trail to the top of Loon Lake Mountain. A lot of historical events have taken place in the area surrounding the fire tower at the summit.

With hunting season right around the corner, columnist Joe Hackett runs through a few suggestions to help keep hunters and hikers safe this fall. He writes that if hikers stay on the trails and hunters stay off the trails, many confrontations can be avoided.



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