Donations made

PLATTSBURGH — For the fourth year in a row, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel, Darn Tough Vermont and Smartwool have teamed up to donate over $13,500 worth of socks and support to representatives from local homeless shelters.

The donations are the result of a joint effort among the three businesses to help provide warm Merino wool socks and much-needed support to the area's homeless population in preparation for the state’s colder months.

Over the weekend of Sept. 4–7, Lenny’s Shoe & Apparel held their fourth annual Charity Sock Sale. Darn Tough Vermont and Smartwool agreed to donate one pair of socks for each pair sold of their respective brands at Lenny’s stores across Vermont and New York during the sale.

In addition to the sock donation, Lenny’s made a monetary donation for each pair sold. The organizations receiving the donations include the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) in Williston, Vt.; the Samaritan House in St. Albans, Vt.; the Good Samaritan Haven in Barre,Vt.; and the JCEO Community Outreach Emergency Services Program C/O United Way of the Adirondack Region Inc. in Plattsburgh.

To date, Lenny’s has donated over $56,000 worth of socks and support to these shelters.


Clinic opened

PLATTSBURGH — Osika and Scarano Psychological Services has opened a satellite office in Elizabethtown.

The offices serves dual purposes. First, providers will offer mental-health treatment and neuropsychological evaluations to adult and pediatric patients. Providers will be able to conduct neuropsychological evaluations to assess for autism, attention deficit disorder and all types of learning disabilities. Family custody services include therapeutic visitations and custody evaluations. Providers will work in conjunction with local school officials, attorneys and law guardians after providing services.

The second purpose is to offer services to the underserved. Even those without health insurance can be seen by a doctoral level psychologist for $25 per hour. Providers will also accept Medicaid NY, Vermont Medicaid and FIDELIS.

Offering highly specialized pediatric and adult forensic psychology services in rural areas is made possible by the owners', married couple Dr. Thomas Osika and Dr. Gina Scarano-Osika, agreement to supervise and train recently graduated doctoral-level psychologists. New York State requires one year of supervision after a psychologist has graduated before a doctor can apply for licensure in New York State.

Over the past five years, APPIC (American Association of Psychology Post-doctoral and Internship Centers) has helped Osika and Scarano create a training curriculum that has proven to be competitive at the national level. They have selected their trainees from a national pool of recently matriculated psychologists.

Dr. Angela Pietrantoni will begin seeing patients in Elizabethtown alongside Scarano-Osika on Nov. 18.

Pietrantoni is a 2014 graduate of the APA Accredited Program in Clinical Forensic Psychology at California School of Forensic Studies. In August, she completed her pre-doctoral internship at Juvenile Forensic Services in California. She has extensive experience servicing juveniles and adults involved in domestic violence, legal matters and custody disputes.

For more information, call 745-0079.


Agency changes

PLATTSBURGH — NBT-Latremore Insurance Agency has begun doing business as NBT-Mang Insurance Agency, according to CEO Rick Mirabito. 

NBT-Latremore Insurance Agency is a partner agency to Mang Insurance Agency. Mang became a part of the NBT Bancorp organization in 2008, and in 2011 Mang acquired the Latremore Insurance Agency in Chazy, Plattsburgh and Malone. Over the last several years, the agency has expanded into new markets and introduced new trade names, including NBT Insurance Agency.

The organization has now announced a consistent name for all of the insurance agency operations. Bringing all of the company’s trade names under the NBT-Mang Insurance Agency brand will allow customers to more fully access all of the company’s insurance offerings and better identify all its offices in New York and Vermont.

“As we continue to grow and bring our insurance services to more and more communities within the NBT Bank footprint, it’s important that we do business using a single name that reflects our affiliation with NBT as well as the longstanding Mang name that has served us well for over 100 years,” Mirabito said.

Agency leaders have worked with all insurance carriers to make the appropriate changes to insurance contracts.

“We want to assure our clients that this is simply a name change and requires no action on their part,” Mirabito added. “Clients will continue to be served by the same experienced insurance professionals they know and trust.”

NBT-Mang Insurance Agency is a full-service insurance agency based in Norwich that provides a wide range of insurance services to individuals and businesses from more than 20 offices in upstate New York and Vermont. The agency is a wholly owned subsidiary of NBT Bancorp Inc., a financial holding company also headquartered in Norwich.


Halloween fest

PLATTSBURGH — Plattsburgh Housing Outlet will hold its 15th annual Halloween Festival on Oct. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Children 12 and under are encouraged to come in costume. The model homes, displayed in a community setting, allow children to trick-or-treat in a controlled environment. Local businesses and civic organizations have sponsored individual homes and will staff the homes and hand out candy or treats during the event.

Children will be entertained by magician Ishkabibble, held inside next door at Della Honda. There will be arts and crafts, a raffle and 25-cent games. Participants can enjoy cider and munchkins.

District 3 will have a firetruck on display and offer fire-safety advice, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department will be offering a child fingerprinting and ID service. Parking will be available on site as well as at Della Honda.

Plattsburgh Housing Outlet will again contribute all proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House in Burlington. Since the festival started, Plattsburgh Housing Outlet has raised over $52,000 for the charity. Statistics show that over 70 percent of the families using their facility are from the New York side of the lake.

The suggested $1-per-child donation, as well as funds collected from the games and raffle, will all benefit the Ronald McDonald House and its support of families in need.

Full details are available at www.plattsburghhousing.com and on their facebook page. For more information, contact Michelle LaBounty at 563-6250, Ext.21.


Resort honored

LAKE PLACID — The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort has been named a 2014 Family Vacation Critic Favorite by the top family travel website. Out of a possible 3,500 hotels, the resort was one of 400 nationwide and the only Adirondack property to receive this honor.

“The Family Vacation Critic Favorite Award is given to hotels that are truly family-friendly and offer an exceptional experience for those traveling with kids,” said Lissa Poirot, editor at Family Vacation Critic. “Each hotel on Family Vacation Critic offers a kid-friendly environment, but those honored with this award have our seal of approval as being the best of the best based on first-hand feedback from our team of editors and a community of family travelers.”

In order to achieve this status, the Golden Arrow needed to obtain a rating of 4+ from the editorial staff in addition to receiving a 4+ online review rating from at least 75 percent of visiting families. 

Among the Golden Arrow’s family-friendly offerings, the resort has a private Mirror Lake beach with complimentary access to paddling equipment, an indoor pool, family-oriented travel packages and one of the Adirondacks’ leading green lodging programs, which has educated travelers young and old on the importance of environmentally conscious travel since launching in 2005. 

“To receive this recognition really illustrates how important family is to us here at the resort,” Owner/General Manager Jenn Holderied said. “The Holderied family is celebrating 40 years of family ownership this year, and it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come.”

For more information, visit www.golden-arrow.com. To learn more about Family Vacation Critic, visit www.familyvacationcritic.com.


Stable energy supply

PLATTSBURGH — Although the fall season is just underway, many already are looking to forecasts for the coming winter. On the energy front, natural-gas heating customers in upstate New York could see an overall reduction of 10 percent or more on their total natural-gas bill this winter compared to last year, while electricity customers are projected to see bills that are 3 percent to 9 percent lower than last winter depending on where they live, according to National Grid.

The potential decrease in natural-gas bills is the result of current forecasts that call for lower natural-gas supply prices on the wholesale market. A typical residential heating customer who uses 711 therms during a normal heating season (November to March) is forecasted to pay about $554 during the five-month period, or $65 less than last year for the same amount of usage.

The forecasted lower electricity supply costs for residential and small commercial customers assumes normal winter weather and typical usage. The decrease is in part due to additional steps the company has taken to further hedge — or lock in — electricity supply prices to reduce monthly volatility in customer bills. National Grid also has asked the New York Public Service Commission to approve a mechanism that would allow more flexibility in how the company recovers supply costs that turn out to be significantly higher than those forecasted for residential and small commercial customers.

If the request is approved, National Grid could collect the higher wholesale prices over a number of months, instead of in a single month, to reduce customer impact.

While these steps should help reduce the dramatic swings on the supply portion of bills many experienced last winter, the company cautioned that severe cold can affect both the market price for supply and the amount of energy a customer uses.


Certification received

PLATTSBURGH — Kathryn Pearse of Canine Adventure LLC has been awarded the Pet First Aid certification, according to the Pet Professional Guild, a professional pet industry member-association that advocates for force-free dog training and pet care.

According to PPG President Niki Tudge, "Having pet first aid skills is fundamental to our industry and to the PPG's guiding principles. Everyone can benefit from learning some basic first aid, and earning this certificate of competence not only demonstrates the member's skill and knowledge, but also shows a commitment to the pet industry profession."

She said the new program is very comprehensive requiring the PPG member to pass a rigorous knowledge and practical examination in order to earn the certification. The American Red Cross and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommend that all pet caregivers learn pet first aid skills to help keep animals safe and healthy. Pet owners and professionals that are trained in pet first aid measures and proper life-saving techniques are better prepared to handle routine and life-threatening emergencies when they occur. 

"Our PPG First Aid Program has been developed by a certified veterinary technician in accordance with American Veterinary Medical Association's guidelines and teaches the basic skills and procedures that may possibly save a pet's life by providing the knowledge to administer basic treatment to a sick or injured animal until professional veterinarian help is available," Tudge said. 


Business workshop

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and KeyBank are co-sponsoring a business workshop on merchant services. The workshop, called Grow Your Business with Merchant Services, will be presented by Barbara Baker, regional sales executive, Key Merchant Services.

The workshop will focus on generating more income for a business and offering more paying options for customers. This event will provide a generic understanding of merchant services, explain how rates are determined and how risk enters into the rate calculation. Baker will also explain Interchange, the latest merchant-services technology and the changes in liability for 2015.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the North Country SBDC, 194 US Oval in Plattsburgh, and is free and open to the public. Sign-in and networking will begin at 7:30 a.m. with light refreshments provided courtesy of KeyBank. To register, contact the North Country SBDC by calling 564-2042 or register by email at sbdc@plattsburgh.edu.

The North Country SBDC is part of a statewide program funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.


Festival planned

PLATTSBURGH — Locally crafted wines, hard cider and beer will pair with local gourmet food vendors at the third annual Adirondack Coast Wine, Cider and Beer Festival at the Crete Civic Center in Plattsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 2 to 7 p.m. 

This festival and New York State Farmers Market is one-of-a-kind to the region and will serve up unique local cold-climate wines, ciders, beers and farm products from local artisans.

Festival goers will enjoy sipping and sampling regional delights while surrounded by nonstop entertainment including live music by Rick Davies & The Latin Funk Thugtet, art classes and more.

For the first time, the festival will open up its doors to families, allowing children to enter. With this, the festival will feature a day of arts presented by The Strand Center for the Arts (SCA) featuring free kids crafts, drawing and clay-wheel demonstrations and more.

In addition, The SCA will offer its Mud & Marquette: Hand Building class at the festival. Participants will have the opportunity to create their own clay projects under the guidance of instructor Rebecca Conklin. These pieces will then be fired at The SCA and be available two weeks after the completion of class. Participants can register for classes by contacting The SCA at 563-1604 or registering online at plattsburgharts.org.

Tickets for the festival are as follows: General Admission with Beverage Tasting Ticket, includes tasting glass, $25, at the door $30; Designated Driver General Admission Ticket, $10; attendees 20 and under are free.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit adirondackcoastwinetrail.com/festival.

The festival is still accepting vendors from beverages and food to gifts and unique businesses such as artisans, crafts and pottery. Businesses interested in displaying regional products may visit adirondackcoastwinetrail.com/vendors.


ARC fundraiser

PLATTSBURGH — On Thursday, Oct. 23, the ARC Foundation and Twinstate Technologies will host the 7th Annual Artist Supporting ARC Art Show and Wine Tasting.

Visitors may sip, savor and shop from 5 to 8 p.m. at the West Side Ballroom, 253 New York Rd., Plattsburgh.

Local artists will display and sell their original artwork and donate 20 percent of their sales to the ARC Foundation. The evening will also include wine tastings and food pairings. Admission is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Contact ARC at 563-0930, Beth Davis Ext. 304 or Sharron Graves Ext. 124, or email edavis@cviarc.org or sgraves@cviarc.org.

The event is billed as a great way to start holiday shopping with one-of-a-kind gifts while enjoying a relaxing evening out and donating to a worthy cause.


Business mixer

LAKE PLACID — The North Country Business Council Business After Hours will be held on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Courtyard by Marriott, 5920 Cascade Rd., Lake Placid.

Attendees will enjoy complimentary beer, wine, soda and hors d'oeuvres. A cash bar will be available for cocktails and specialty drinks. Visitors will meet the Courtyard team, tour the hotel and see what's new including the renovated Bistro, Starbucks and lobby.

Business After Hours is open to members of the North Country Business Council, North Country Chamber of Commerce and all partner chambers. The council is a division of the North Country Chamber. Anyone who is not a member of the NCBC or any partner members may contact the council for a guest pass.

Admission is $2 with a reservation and $3 without. For more information or to make reservations, call Kerry at 524-6974.

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