June 23, 2013

Business briefs: June 23, 2013


---- — Appointment announced

PLATTSBURGH — Christina Wallenhorst has joined the sales team at Northern Insuring/Northern Benefits.

“We are excited to welcome Christina to our sales team,” said Rosemary Souza-Botten, senior vice president. “She brings a very high energy level and is driven to succeed.”

Wallenhorst has 24 years of insurance experience, most recently working for State Farm in Massena, and holds both the Property and Casualty and Life and Accident licenses.

She is a graduate of the Massena School of Business. In addition, she is a Notary Public. She is looking forward to working toward her Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation with the first course of five scheduled for late June 2013.

Above and beyond her professional achievements, Wallenhorst is a local Sunday school teacher, offers weekly ministry with the local nursing homes and is on the Board of Directors of the local Boys and Girls Club of Massena. She has lived in Massena for 30 years.

Northern Insuring/Northern Benefits celebrates 83 years in business in 2013 and has been selected by The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and Reagan Consulting as a Best Practices Agency for the last three years.


Donation bestowed

PLATTSBURGH — Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County recently received a $4,360 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Organization to support its literacy programs. Specifically, the grant will support the LVCC’s new Technology Integration Project, which will put the computer and digital technologies at the center of language and literacy acquisition, with digital literacy as both a goal in itself and a natural outgrowth of other computer-assisted learning.

This funding is expected to triple access to the online world and computer-assisted learning for LVCC’s basic literacy and English language learners as well as the community volunteers who regularly work with them.

“At Literacy Volunteers, we believe that digital literacy is an integral part of adult literacy,” said Executive Director Norma Menard. “And we recognize the need to encourage all of our adult learners along a digital learning continuum that prepares them for tasks they must accomplish to succeed in an ever more competitive job market, support a family and participate in civic activities. We are extremely grateful to Dollar General for recognizing that in the 21st century, functional literacy no longer means only the ability to access printed materials.”

Literacy Volunteers of Clinton County was founded in 1972. It provides one-on-one tutoring, free of charge, for both basic literacy and English language learners. The mission is to empower residents who seek to improve their literacy skills including reading, writing and speaking English, as well as math and computer skills.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2013, the foundation supports initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, it has awarded more than $81 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 4.7 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education.

To access literacy services or to volunteer to help, contact Literacy Volunteers at 564-5332.


Grant funds offered

PLATTSBURGH — The New York Credit Union Foundation has awarded UFirst Federal Credit Union a Smart Money Grant in the amount of $2,500.

This grant will be used for any student within Clinton County who would like to attend the Summer Safari 2013 Money and Me Program and needs financial assistance to attend the session.

This program is for anyone ages 13-18 and will be running from July 29 to Aug. 2 from noon to 3 p.m. located at Plattsburgh State University. This course is designed to help students learn the essentials of financial literacy before they enter college or a career.

Students learn how money is used, develop personal budgets, handle personal banking, compare investments, manage credit wisely, fill out tax forms and evaluate insurance needs. If you need additional information about the program or want to register, visit, look under page 2 for the program and the registration page at the bottom.

If you need financial assistance for attending, contact Jody Carpenter, VP of marketing and business development at UFirst Federal Credit Union by email, or 324-0611 and ask about the Money and Me Program. Funds are limited, so applicants are encouraged to act early.


Prices reduced

PLATTSBURGH — Eurowest Cinemas has decided to lower ticket pricing at Cumberland 12 Cinemas effective immediately.

Dale Chapman, regional manager of Cumberland 12 and Essex Cinemas, has a close connection with the local communities and decided to introduce these new prices to make today’s great movies more affordable during these difficult financial times.

”In reaction to a recent price increase in cinema ticketing, we looked at our Essex and Plattsburgh pricing and felt that we should and could offer the same pricing to both communities,” he said. “Entertainment is an important aspect of any community, and if we can make it more affordable then we believe that we can offer our entertainment to a larger population. This pricing change is our way of helping to make cinema more accessible to everyone.”

The new pricing schedule can be seen at along with the latest cinema news.


Health seminar 

PLATTSBURGH — Burnham Benefit Advisors is sponsoring a Health-Care Reform Seminar to be held on Tuesday at The West Side Ballroom in Plattsburgh.

The seminar will highlight the key considerations of health-care reform and what employers should expect this year and in 2014. Now that the viability of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been settled, employers have a relatively brief window to make and implement critical decisions about their health benefits in time for the 2014 effective dates that apply to many of the most significant requirements.

The ACA places new responsibilities on employers that, over time, may well change the nature of employer-provided health care. The act overhauls the healthcare environment in the U.S. and will affect individuals, families, businesses, physicians, hospitals, municipalities and health-insurance carriers. The format will be an interactive presentation on “hot button” issues facing employers with respect to ACA.

This seminar is free and open to the public and pre-registration is encouraged. Additionally, a complimentary continental breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. followed by the 9 a.m. presentation. For more information, or to reserve a space, contact Burnham Benefit Advisors at 523-8100 or


Grant received 

ALBANY — The New York Department of State has provided $12 million in Local Government Performance and Efficiency Program (LGPEP) grant assistance in recognition of the recurring financial savings generated by 13 projects statewide. The grants will be distributed in equal parts over three years, and are contingent upon continued demonstration of savings.

The recipients include Essex County, which received $244,881.40 for creation of the Office of Community Resources and $984,250 for privatization of the Horace Nye Nursing Home.

A competitive program, LGPEP rewards local governments for undertaking significant and innovative actions that reduce the property tax burden confronting residents. The projects are estimated by applicants to generate $38.2 million in combined annual savings statewide. In accepting an award, these local governments commit to measuring and sustaining the financial impact of these savings.

“This program is an integral part of Gov. Cuomo’s agenda to improve efficiency and reduce costs at all levels of government,” said New York Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “The governor is yet again applying a competitive process to stimulate creativity and innovation among decision makers, and the big winners are the taxpayers who will benefit from smart, cost saving investments in their communities’ futures.”

Questions about the grant program should be directed to the LGE program manager at 473-3355.


Bank donation

PLATTSBURGH — Champlain National Bank has awarded a gift of $10,000 to College for Every Student (CFES) to help fund students from Clinton and Essex counties to become college ready.

Joseph P Shaw, president and CEO, said the bank is proud to support CFES because of how this gift will be used to help local students reach their college goals.

“Being based in Willsboro, N.Y., and having branches located in Clinton and Essex counties, it makes us unique in that we want to focus our community support on the area where the majority of our customers work and live,” Shaw said. “We want to see local kids succeed in college, and CFES is a great resource in our backyard to make that happen.”

During the past year, Champlain National Bank has shown a commitment to helping students in the North Country with several large grants and pledges, according to Jacqueline Hallock, AVP and director of marketing. 

CFES also provides an opportunity for the bank to support both education and economic development, as the organization recently moved its headquarters to Essex and is employing local people.

“We are the only national nonprofit organization that serves rural students,” said CFES president and CEO Rick Dalton. “Champlain National Bank recognizes our commitment to the North Country and we are extremely grateful for their contribution that will help us serve a larger number of Adirondack schools and students.”


Restaurant auction

LAKE GEORGE — The Montcalm Restaurant in Lake George has closed its doors after 57 years.

The well-known landmark restaurant that has operated since the mid ‘50s will be the site of a large liquidation auction on Thursday, June 27, at 10 a.m. Everything will be sold to the bare walls including a large collection of art work, wooden and composition carousel horses, many pieces of extravagant decorations, kitchen and food-service equipment, dining room tables and seating, office furniture and furnishings.

For a complete listing and hundreds of photos of items to be sold in this auction, visit

The existing buildings will be demolished and will become the site of a 49,000-square-foot, high-end outlet center. Restaurant owners, collectors and the general public are encouraged to attend this sale to take home a piece of local history.


Museum opens

WILMINGTON — The highest museum exhibit in New York opened on Thursday on the summit of Whiteface Mountain, New York State’s fifth-tallest peak.

The new exhibit was designed by The Wild Center working with the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) and other organizations. This inclusive experience takes visitors from the Whiteface Ski Center to the Town of Wilmington to the summit of Whiteface, 4,867 feet in the air. Visitors may learn about one of the toughest climates in the world and how this extreme place shapes the life that is able to survive there.

The new exhibit builds on the many attractions already on the summit and around the mountain. Visitors may drive up the Veterans’ Memorial Highway, walk the alpine nature trail, travel through a 426-ft.-long mountain tunnel and ride an elevator to the Round House and Weather Station on the summit. Vibrant signs, interactive exhibits, videos, 3-D models and panoramas can be explored that interpret the natural history of Whiteface Mountain and the Adirondacks, including geology, alpine flora and fauna, watersheds and weather.

“It was a great team effort,”  said Stephanie Ratcliffe, The Wild Center’s executive director. “Many people do not realize how much stewardship and science is happening on the mountain all of the time. Now the 75,000 people who go to the summit every year will get a great view and the story behind it, too.”

 Many experts, like the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Adirondack Mountain Club, Wildlife Conservation Society, Adirondack Nature Conservancy, Ausable River Association, Wilmington Historical Society, Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, SUNY Plattsburgh Geology Department and the New York Natural Heritage Program contributed content. ORDA and the Town of Wilmington staff assisted in the installation of the exhibit.