Rookie flying monkeys help Lowville Academy students head to the land of Oz

LOWVILLE — In what is sort of a recruiting tool, Penny S. Jay is enjoying watching the youngest performers in the winter school musical here this year go ape. [Read more...]

Organizers say Tri-Town Winter Carnival was another success

BRASHER FALLS — With the cooperation of Mother Nature, organizers say the 2015 Tri-Town Winter Carnival was another success.

Tri-Town Chamber of Commerce President Allen W. Fukes said he visited most of the events from Feb. 19-22, except for some games that were in North Lawrence.

“They were very well attended,” he said. [Read more...]

With roots in a Brooklyn pizzeria, Northern New York honey becomes a “hot” commodity

Honey produced in Jefferson County has become a “hot” commodity thanks to the creativity of a former gourmet pizza cook in Brooklyn who has found a hit with his condiment creation.

Mike’s Hot Honey, which is infused with chili peppers, is being used in everything from cocktails to its original pairing, pizza. [Read more...]

This February was Watertown’s coldest in recorded history

WATERTOWN — This February was the coldest in the city’s recorded history.

The monthly average temperature was a mere 6.1 degrees, according to data collected at the Watertown International Airport. That is the lowest February average on record in Watertown, beating an average of 7.9 degrees set in February 1978. [Read more...]

Five Things Friday – Feb. 27

Happy Friday! February’s coming to an end. Make the most of the end of the season!

[Just click an event title to see more details.] [Read more...]

Forum slated on Knickerbocker school traffic problems


WATERTOWN — Neighbors and parents will soon have a chance to give their views about solving the traffic congestion at Knickerbocker Elementary School.

A forum will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the school to get input about the traffic problems that have persisted for years. Letters also will be sent to residents of Knickerbocker and Harewood drives and Ward Street asking for their input. [Read more...]

JCC students express inspirational thoughts on mental health

WATERTOWN — In the hope of starting a conversation about mental illness and suicide, students at Jefferson Community College were invited to write an inspirational message, learn something new, and share their deepest secrets during the Alive! Mental Health Fair on Monday.

“We want to be able to get the word out about depression and suicide before people have to learn about the negative side when the media reports someone has died,” said H. Reese Butler II, founder and president of National Hopeline Network. “If we make one student connection, it’s worth it.” [Read more...]

Snowtown USA ends with a bang at Dry Hill Ski Area

WATERTOWN — Snowtown USA ended with a bang Sunday night as a fireworks display lit up the snowy sky.

About 250 spectators watched as the winter festivities came to a close at Dry Hill Ski Area. [Read more...]

Five Things Friday – Feb. 20

Happy Friday!

[Just click an event title to see more details.] [Read more...]

Bitter cold keeping skiers off area slopes

Winter break normally creates a frenzy of skiers taking to the slopes, but bitter cold over the past week stopped many people from wanting to snake their way down the hills.

Area ski resorts are confident that warmer temperatures will increase attendance this weekend.

“This is definitely one of the biggest weeks of the year for us,” said Lauren R. Garfield, sales and marketing manager at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid.

Whiteface had a slow start to the week because of the cold, Ms. Garfield said. However, Lake Placid is active this week with several big events to keep visitors busy during the colder days.

Representatives from Snow Ridge Ski Resort, Dry Hill Ski Area, Titus Mountain Family Ski Center, Whiteface Mountain and Big Tupper Ski Area all agree the conditions on the hills are great because of the natural snow.

“Honestly, the snow conditions could not be better,” said Chris Monette, one of the owners of Titus Mountain. “The snow is dry, with no ice. The skiing is amazing if you are dressed for it.”

Things at Big Tupper are great as well, general manager Ted Merrihew said.

“We have great natural snow,” Mr. Merrihew said. “The base is 6 inches, but our biggest problem is that it has been below zero.”

Judith E. Sweeney, manager at Snowridge, said the conditions on the hill are the best of the year.

“I call them superb,” Ms. Sweeney said.

Michael Pracht, of Theresa, is a patron of Snow Ridge, where he and his son Juliaun, 14, were just about to take their first run of the day.

“This is one of the bigger hills we have come too, it is fairly close,” Mr. Pracht said. “Dry Hill is fun and all, but there is not a lot to it. Snow Ridge is the next closest hill that has some oomph to it.”

Richard McKean of Port Ontario is a 50-year patron of Snow Ridge. He said his four children learned to ski there and his daughter, Vanessa McKean of Boston was there with her son Finnian Schmidt, 7, who is taking lessons.

“The people are really nice and it’s always got really good ski conditions; it is hardly ever icy,” Mr. McKean said. “It has enough challenge for a very good skier. It is an old-fashioned ski area.”

For some area ski hills, this is turning out to be a great year, but for others it is simply average.

“I think this is panning out to be one of our better years,” Ms. Garfield said. She said the rest of the season is dependent on March’s conditions.

For Titus Mountain, the resort is looking at a roughly 10 percent increase in skier visits from last year, Mr. Monette said. He attributes the success to all of the improvements made at Titus. Among them is the tubing hill, which has increased the number of tubers.

Titus is having family fun events this weekend, Mr. Monette said.

Meanwhile, Snow Ridge and Big Tupper are looking at average years for business.

Snow Ridge had 282 inches of snow last year, but this year it has received only 162 inches. Last year’s winter was more consistent, Ms. Sweeney said.

“It has been an unusual year,” she said. “It has been an up and down year.”

Mr. Merrihew, of Big Tupper, said the hills were closed Monday, but were reopened on Tuesday and will remain open through the weekend.

“We will have a really good weekend here,” he said.



By Whitney Randolph, Times Staff Writer