GOUVERNEUR - School tax bills mailed out this week by St. Lawrence County to property owners in the Gouverneur Central School District will be reissued because they omitted veterans exemptions.
Darren W. Colton, director of the county’s Real Property Tax Office, said his office became aware of the mistake after being called Wednesday by a Gouverneur veteran who received his tax bill and noticed the error.
“A computer glitch removed the veteran’s exemption from the bills,” Mr. Colton said Wednesday, “A property owner called who was exempt last year so we started looking into it. Even though the exemptions are on file, they weren’t applied.
The state started allowing veterans exemptions on school tax bills last year and Gouverneur Central is the only St. Lawrence County school district offering them.
Between 100 and 150 Gouverneur property owners receive the veterans exemption, with the amount varying among recipients, Mr. Colton said.
“It can be between $10 and $400,” Mr. Colton said.
He said new tax bills will be reissued to all Gouverneur property taxpayers because the exemptions impact how much is charged to the other taxpayers. The bills will be accompanied by a letter and his office plans to mail out the corrected bills on Friday.
“We have to re-run them, but most people will be barely impacted,” Mr. Colton said.
Property owners will have 30 days to pay their bill from the date of the second mailing.
The Gouverneur Village Clerk’s Office collects school tax bills and received about 50 payments on Wednesday, according to village Clerk Barbara A. Finnie.
“Some people get their bill and come right down to pay,” Mrs. Finnie said.
Village Mayor Ronald P. McDougall said there is some confusion over whether the village is allowed to accept payments made on the original bills from those who don’t receive the veteran’s exemption.
“We’re trying to get our arms around this,” he said.
A small portion of St. Lawrence County residents pay school taxes to the Tupper Lake Central School District which also approved exemptions for veterans. Mr. Colton said those bills were correct and the exemptions were included.
CANTON — An Ogdensburg man will be sentenced up to life in prison after he accepted a plea deal Wednesday in St. Lawrence Court that halted his trial for a 2014 burglary.
Andrew R. Sharpe, 31, of 1420 Jay St., pleaded guilty to a reduced count of the violent felony of second-degree attempted burglary as a persistent felony offender.
Oct. 1, 2014 Mr. Sharpe unlawfully entered a home located at 421 Judson St. in the city where he stole a lockbox containing marijuana, he told County Court Judge Jerome J. Richards. Mr. Sharpe, who was on parole, was released from state prison six months prior to the crime.
Ogdensburg police responded to the burglary, which occurred at about 5 p.m. and arrested Mr. Sharpe several hours later, during a traffic stop as part of their investigation. The marijuana was found during the stop with the use of the city police’s K9 Unit.
The plea, which came as a deal with the district attorney’s office, was entered just prior to the opening arguments in a trial where Mr. Sharpe was facing charges of second-degree burglary, fourth-degree grand larceny, both felonies, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fifth-degree criminal possession marijuana.
Mr. Sharpe’s attorney, Bradford C. Riendeau, had received new evidence in the form of recordings of phone conversations his client had while being held in St. Lawrence County jail. After an argument for the evidence to be precluded from the trial, Mr. Riendeau was given a several hour recess to listen to the recordings with Mr. Sharpe. Judge Richards scheduled opening arguments for 1 p.m.
But at about 12:25 p.m., Mr. Sharpe, took a plea deal after it was discovered that he would have been inevitably tied to the burglary if the tapes were entered into evidence.
Through the recordings according to Mr. Riendeau, Mr. Sharpe was heard telling the person on the other line that if the person showed police where the safe was “I’ve got a problem.”
“It was the first evidence they had that he had knowledge of the safe, Mr. Riendeau said. “The admissions would have overcome any reasonable doubt we could have created with witnesses.”
Mr. Riendeau said there had been other portions of the recording that would not have been favorable to his client, which is what convinced him to take the plea deal.
In the plea deal, Mr. Sharpe will be sentenced to a minimum of 12 years and a maximum of life. If he had gone to trial and found guilty, he could have been sentenced to a determinate life sentence.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 23 and Mr. Sharpe was returned to St. Lawrence County jail where he is being held without bail.
STOLEN PROPERTY - WADDINGTON - Canton-based state police charged Jonathan L. Solomon, 23, and Akeem T. Johnson, 24, both of Rochester, with fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property following an investigation into a complaint received at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday from the town of Waddington. The arrests were made at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Valero parking lot in the city of Ogdensburg. Mr. Johnson was arraigned in local court and sent to the St. Lawrence County jail, Canton.
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION - MASSENA - Massena-based state police charged Deer Ranonhsomi, 20, of Kahnawake, Que., with unlawful possession of marijuana at 7:04 p.m. Tuesday at the U.S. port of entry in Rooseveltown. He was turned over to troopers by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers following a secondary inspection at the port of entry.
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION - WINTHROP - Massena-based state police charged Chad N. Curran, 23, of Massena with unlawful possession of marijuana and ticketed him for an equipment violation - loud exhaust at 8:37 p.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop on County Route 49 in the town of Stockholm.
PETIT LARCENY - MASSENA - Malone-based state police picked up Bridget Thompson, 50, of Akwesasne on a warrant charging her with petit larceny after she was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at the port of entry in Rooseveltown. The charge stemmed from an incident reported July 15 from the town of Malone.
DWI - ST. REGIS FALLS - Malone-based state police charged Charity A. Hayes, 39, of St. Regis Falls with driving while intoxicated and consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle on a public highway and ticketed her for failure to dim her lights and a stop sign violation following a stop at 3 a.m. Monday at 119 Spring St. in the town of Waverly.
BURGLARY - NORFOLK - Massena-based state police reported they have charged two more juveniles with second-degree burglary following an investigation into a larceny from a building complaint filed with troopers at 2:45 p.m. Monday from the town of Norfolk. Troopers said they arrested a 13-year-old male from Norfolk, a 14-year-old male from Winthrop and a 15-year-old male from Norfolk in connection with the incident. The juveniles, who were arrested on Bank Street, will have their cases turned over to the probation department, where they will likely be petitioned to St. Lawrence County Family Court.
FALSELY REPORTING - POTSDAM - Village police charged Jessica K. Willems, 22, of Madrid on Tuesday with falsely reporting an incident stemming from an investigation into an incident that reportedly took place on Aug. 14. Police said Ms. Willems had reported an on-going domestic dispute on Aug. 14, but their investigation revealed that incident had never occurred.
FOLLOWING TOO CLOSELY - POTSDAM - Village police ticketed Joseph M. Crowley, 72, of Norwood for following too closely at 2:20 p.m. Tuesday following a property damage accident on Main Street.
SPEEDING - POTSDAM - Village police ticketed Cody D. Doviak, 20, of Pine Bush for speed in zone (48/30 mph zone) at 8:05 p.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop on Market Street.
The Police Blotter
Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015
0740 Commercial burglar alarm on Elm Street.
0835 Received bench warrants for Jacqueline L. Paige, 33 of Chase Mills, and Robert Glassburn, 60 of Canton.
0953 Dispatched Potsdam Rescue to a call.
1030 Received a fraud complaint.
1058 Dispatched Potsdam Rescue to a call.
1122 Patrol completed fingerprints for a subject.
1310 Traffic stop on Elm Street. Verbal warning issued.
1423 Patrols responded to a property damage accident on Main Street.
1446 Patrol completed an equipment inspection.
1519 Received a report of found property.
1530 Received a larceny complaint.
1542 Patrols assisted with an escort through the village.
1552 Received a harassment complaint.
1609 Received a harassment complaint.
1615 Issued a handicap parking permit.
1635 Traffic stop on Maple Street. Verbal warning issued.
1645 Property damage accident on Market Street.
1648 Received a report of a gas drive off on Maple Street.
1815 Received a report of a disabled vehicle on Sandstone Drive.
2005 Traffic stop on Market Street,.Ticket issued.
2045 Noise complaint on Cedar Street.
2158 Barking dog complaint on Bay Street.
2204 Traffic stop on Elm Street,. Verbal warning issued.
MASSENA - Village police charged Joshua A. Barrett, 27, of 74 Ames St., Massena, with consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle and refusal to take a breath test at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Police said Mr. Barrett went to the station to file a complaint that he was being harassed by an ex-girlfriend. While he was in the station lobby, officers reportedly thought they detected an odor of alcohol coming from him. They said when they followed him outside to his vehicle they observed an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. He refused to take a roadside breath test.
CRIMINAL OBSTRUCTION BREATHING - MASSENA - Village police charged Christopher J. Konsul IV, 31, of 1 Grinnell Ave., Massena, with criminal obstruction of breathing and second-degree harassment at 9:29 a.m. Tuesday after responding to a domestic dispute complaint. He allegedly choked Amber Agens during an argument, leading her to throw up and complain that she was having difficulty breathing. She was treated by Massena Rescue. Mr. Konsul was released on appearance ticket for Massena Village Court.
UNSAFE BACKING - MASSENA - Village police ticketed Jennifer L. Pecore, 35, of Massena for unsafe backing following a property damage accident at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on Andrews St. Police said Ms. Pecore was backing out of the Rosario’s parking lot off Andrews Street and struck the passenger side of a vehicle being operated by Ryne R. Martin, 56, of Brasher Falls. Police said Mr. Martin’s vehicle sustained significant damage to its passenger side.
INADEQUATE EXHAUST - MASSENA - Village police ticketed Catherine M. Susini, 52, of Tamarack Street, Massena, for operation of a vehicle with an inadequate exhaust at 9:03 p.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop on East Orvis Street.
UNSAFE LANE CHANGE - MASSENA - Village police ticketed Amber Mist Fetterly, 28, of Jenner Road, Lisbon, for making an unsafe lane change at 8:21 p.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop on state Route 37.
STOP SIGN - MASSENA - Village police ticketed Steven L. Shatraw, 48, of Buckton Road, Winthrop, for failure to stop at a stop sign following a two-vehicle property damage accident at 6:08 p.m. Tuesday on Willow Street.
UNINSPECTED MOTOR VEHICLE - MASSENA - Village police ticketed Aaron R. Plourde, 44, of East Orvis Street, Massena, for operation of an uninspected motor vehicle at 3:35 p.m. Tuesday following a traffic stop on East Orvis Street.