2016 Year in Review


Into the unknown

2016 was a turning point, but we’re not sure what it’s turning to. This year set us up for the unknown like few others have. No. 1 of our top 10 stories of the year is the manic campaign cycle that climaxed with the election of Donald Trump to the White House. Yes, these top 10 are local ...

Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally April 15 at the Crete Center in Plattsburgh. (Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

1. North Country GOP strengthens in year of Trump

PLATTSBURGH — Billionaire Republican Donald Trump may have become the president-elect on Nov. 8, but April 15, 2016 will go down as perhaps the most seminal day in the history of modern American politics for the Adirondacks. It was on that afternoon that candidate Trump took his ...

“Rosie,” one of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad’s engines, leaves the Saranac Lake train depot for perhaps the last time in October.
(Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

2. State decides on plan for rail corridor

After nearly three years of public comments and input, the state decided in February to move forward with a plan to build a trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake along the Remsen-Lake Placid travel corridor. In February, the state Adirondack Park Agency board voted to approve the plan ...

A person looks out over the water at Boreas Ponds, the future of which will be decided in the coming year when the APA and DEC determine what uses will be allowed.(Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

3. Boreas Ponds classification debate ignites

In May, Governor Andrew Cuomo came to the Adirondacks to sign the paperwork that officially finalized the state’s purchase of the more than 20,000-acre Boreas Ponds tract from the Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The move was long-awaited and much applauded, as the land was ...

Trish Wickwire, right, uses a paddleboard and two other women kayak on unfrozen Lake Flower, Saranac Lake, on Christmas Eve, 2015. (Enterprise photo — Catherine Moore)

4. Winter takes a vacation, impacting businesses

It wasn’t a good omen for the rest of the winter when Trish Wickwire of Saranac Lake went stand-up paddleboarding on an ice-less Lake Flower on Christmas Eve last year. The 60-plus degree temperatures that day spurred other people to go kayaking or play golf. It all turned out to be ...

The Hotel Saranac’s new rooftop sign is hoisted up the side of the building on Academy Street in September. (Enterprise photo — Chris Knight)

5. Saranac Lake hotel projects advance

SARANAC LAKE — The two major hotel projects that have dominated much of the news in this village for the past three years will likely continue to do so again in 2017. As 2016 came to an end, neither a proposed shoreline resort on Lake Flower nor a renovated and reopened Hotel Saranac ...

Hua Davis, center, smiles at her family's last gathering before Davis perished on MacNaughton Mountain in the High Peaks in March.
(Photo provided by the Davis family)

6. Tragic year in the outdoors

There was a spate of tragic deaths in the outdoors this past year, with some of the fatalities garnering national attention from media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post. The first in a series of eight untimely deaths in the Adirondacks was a man from Schroon Lake who ...

7. Sunmount faces several trials in 2016

Sunmount Development Center was busy in the court system this year with seven convictions and four acquittals of employees in 2016. In February, former employee Jimmy J. Beaulieu of Ogdensburg reached a plea agreement for a January 2015 incident between Beaulieu, employee Robert C. ...

Vacant chairs dangle over the disappearing snow in December on the slopes of the Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake. 
(Enterprise photo — Kelly Carroll)

8. ACR project was at a standstill

The Adirondack Club and Resort, a planned 6,200-acre luxury housing development, has continued to face financial challenges, not moving forward in the building process this year. After 12-plus years in the process, the ACR began 2016 by getting an 11th extension to its permit from the ...

Hikers prepare for a hike at the trailhead of Cascade and Pitchoff mountains.
(Enterprise photo — Antonio Olivero)

8. Hiking traffic soars to new heights

LAKE PLACID — Labor Day weekend 2016 was the perfect storm for crowds the size and scope of which the Adirondack High Peaks had seldom seen before. It was a sunny stretch of vacation days perfect for thousands of people to drive to the area to hike for the first time, or one last time ...

When covering a local high school team playing a non-local opponent, we rarely run a big photo of the other team’s player on page A1. On April 13, however, we couldn’t help but run this shot of Saranac softball pitcher Nikki Donah winding up to deliver the ball to a Saranac Lake batter amid a mid-game snowstorm. The intensity in her eyes is electric.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Hot shots: sports

The Enterprise has not employed a designated staff photographer since 2003, but our staff reporters still manage to amaze editors and readers with the excellent photos they take. Even when we had a staff photographer, our sports writers took their own pictures of the athletic ...

Gracee Jewtraw (Photo provided)

10. Two young lives lost too soon

SARANAC LAKE — Local residents have suffered through tragedy before, but this year brought a new level of grief with the death of two young girls: 10-year-old Gracee Jewtraw and 12-year-old Harlie Rascoe. Both were students in the same Saranac Lake Central School District building. ...

Change comes slow in small towns

Our daily lives are made up of myriad little routines and commonplace incidents, most of which never make it into the newspapers or news broadcasts. In a small town like Keene, it sometimes seems as if nothing much happened at all in 2016. “I’m putting together a year in review story for ...

More Stories of the Year, In Brief

Mount Van Hoevenberg starts making snow -     LAKE PLACID — The Olympic Sports Complex Cross-Country Ski Center at Mount Van Hoevenberg made history on Dec. 1 when it manufactured its first pile of artificial snow.     In late November, the state Olympic Regional Development ...

The Lake Placid high school nordic ski team celebrates its state championship title in February at the Olympic Ski Jump Complex in Lake Placid. From the left are coach Bill Frazer, Henry McGrew, James Flanigan, Jesse Izzo, Scott Schulz and Patrick Broaderick.		              (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

Highs and lows of North Country sports in 2016

Sports is a big deal in the North Country, and 2016 provided another wealth of memorable and significant events. There were many accomplishments, and a few losses too. January brought significant success to members of the United States bobsled and skeleton team as Jaime Greubel Poser, ...

New APA board members, from left, John Ernst, Barb Rice, Chad Dawson and incoming APA Chairman Sherman Craig smile at their first board meeting in July.
(Enterprise photo — Justin A. Levine)

Top outdoors stories of the year

The Adirondack Park is unlike any other place on Earth, with people living, working and recreating in the largest preserved area in the eastern U.S. And as such, outdoors news can dominate the headlines. 2016 was a year of changes, some contentious, some not. - APA board ...