Plattsburgh JCPenney to remain open

PLATTSBURGH — J. C. Penney Company announced Wednesday that it plans to close 33 underperforming stores by early May.

The store at Champlain Centre mall in the Town of Plattsburgh is not on the list, however. Nor is the location in South Burlington.

The closures will result in approximately 2,000 lost jobs, the company said, noting its decision is expected to save about $65 million annually. 

“As we continue to progress toward long-term profitable growth, it is necessary to reexamine the financial performance of our store portfolio and adjust our national footprint accordingly,” said J.C. Penney Chief Executive Officer Myron Ullman III in a press release. 

“While it’s always difficult to make a business decision that impacts our valued customers and associates, this important step addresses a strategic priority to improve the profitability of our stores and position JCPenney for future success.”

The company has approximately 1,100 stores.

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Vermont Air National Guard plans night fights

BURLINGTON, Vt. — The Vermont Air National Guard will be doing night flying tonight and then Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24.

During these training periods, there will be multi-aircraft takeoffs. All F-16s are expected to be on the ground and all operations completed no later than 11 p.m.

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Saranac Lake Ice Palace work awaits colder temps

SARANAC LAKE — Work on the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace has been delayed by the unseasonably warm weather.

”Right now, it says it’s 35 (degrees),” carnival spokesperson Colleen O’Neill said at about 3:15 p.m. Wednesday. “It’s just been so warm.”

The castle crew had planned to begin cutting ice from Lake Flower for the iconic castle today; O’Neill hoped colder weather forecast for Wednesday night — 23 degrees with snow showers — would allow work to begin by week’s end. 

Heavy equipment needed for the annual erection of the palace sat unused at the site.

Locals worried over the delay — and the possibility that Mother Nature would not cooperate at all this year.

”However, this is the excitement of the Ice Palace ,and what it’s all about,” O’Neill said in a statement. “We are one of the very few winter carnivals that still harvests ice, so the unexpected nature of that element only lends to the authenticity and tradition here.”

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Assemblyman to feature weekly ‘Stec Speaks’ video

ALBANY — In an effort to keep North Country residents aware of happenings in Albany, Assemblyman Dan Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury) has launched his first installment of “Stec Speaks,” a weekly video update of his actions during the legislative session.

The videos will be posted to his Facebook page (Facebook.com/AssemblymanDanStec), as well as on YouTube. Find this week’s installment at http://youtu.be/zVm2OTVSJZA.

Among the topics addressed in it is a measure to have the state primary election day sync up with the Congressional primaries in June, a measure that would save localities millions annually, Stec said in a press release.

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NCCC Board of Trustees schedules meeting Jan. 21

SARANAC LAKE — The North Country Community College Board of Trustees will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the board room on the Saranac Lake campus, 23 Santanoni Ave.

Agenda items are expected to include administrative reports, personnel and a financial update.

The board will vote to go into executive session at 11 a.m. and will return to open session between noon and 12:30 p.m.

Board meetings are open to the public.

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Sports licenses available in Beekmantown

BEEKMANTOWN — Hunting and fishing licenses may be purchased at the Town of Beekmantown Town Hall, 571 Spellman Road from Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. to noon.

Call 563-4650, Ext. 2 for further information.