State police report that their Click or Ticket Campaign netted a total of 462 citations for drivers across ST. Lawrence County. According to Northcountrynow.com, the crackdown resulted in 5 people being charged with DWI, while 153 motorists were not wearing their seat belts, and another 14 were distracted in some way or another. The crackdown on seatbelts and distracted driving will continue through Sunday.
Unemployment numbers are down across St. Lawrence County. The State Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate dropped .6 percent between April of this year and last year, currently sitting at 7.1 percent. Overall, forty-four thousand people were employed across the county last month. Employment numbers are up in neighboring Franklin and Jefferson counties as well.
Two Ogdensburg men have been charged following the discovery of a meth lab during a parole check Tuesday. Ogdensburg Police and New York State Parole officers attended a pickering street residence to check on 27 year old Rusty Simmons. While there, officers discovered a one put meth lab, which forced the evacuation of the occupants. Subsequently, Simmons was charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance. Another resident, 50 year old John Pratt was charged with possession of a weapon after police found two billy clubs. Simmons was sent to County correctional on fifteen-thousand dollars bail while Pratt was released on an appearance ticket.
Although the investigation is ongoing, the Gouverneur fire chief has declared that the fire which destroyed a barn in Rossie on Tuesday night has been ruled an arson. Chief Tom Conklin tells 7 News that since February there have been five suspicious fires, and four this month alone. Anyone who might have information on the recent fires is asked to come forward.
The murder trial against Robert Bartlett is underway in St. Lawrence County. Opening statements were heard Wednesday morning, and it has been suggested that Bartlett's lawyer is considering an assisted suicide defense. Barlett stands accused of killing 82 year old Betty Babcock and burying her behind her home in 2011. The crime was discovered when the state began a fraud investigation. Witness testimony could begin tomorrow or Monday.