Watertown365 Podcast August 20, 2021

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Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of Watertown365 podcast for the week of August 20th . We bring you Watertown’s latest scoops, news & stories, with 2 business spotlights that you must watch out at the later part of this episode. Sit back and relax, and let’s begin with our first story. The Watertown American Legion is looking for volunteers for 9/11 remembrance ceremony. Can an old building turn into a homeless shelter? A Watertown property owner is willing to donate old Globe Mini Mall to help house homeless people. Early Wednesday city firefighters and police responded to unattended campfire at old mill in Watertown. Looking for some entertainment on a Saturday? A free Family Movie Night is happening at Historic Thompson Park. And finally, area schools are ready to kick off fall sports season. Let’s see the latest COVID guidelines imposed by the school districts. At the end of the episode, we are sharing the latest updates about COVID 19 in Jefferson County. Also, let’s show some love and support to our local businesses especially during this pandemic as we give the spotlight to 2 businesses in Watertown this week. All that and more today in this week’s Watertown365 podcast. 

Watertown American Legion looking for volunteers for 9/11 remembrance ceremony

The Watertown American Legion will be hosting a remembrance ceremony on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on America at the legion on Sterling Street. For this specific ceremony, the legion needs 70 volunteers who will read the names of first responders, EMTs, and police officers who were lost in the World Trade Center attacks. List also includes 10th Mountain Division soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice. According to the chair of the 9/11 Commemoration Committee, Carl DiSalvatore, this event is an opportunity for the citizens of Watertown to show the world that we love our freedom and stand firm in external threats to that freedom. DiSalvatore is also looking for local businesses, groups, organizations, and individuals to be nominated to read names. You must submit those names to the email, adjutant61@outlook.com by September 5th. The Watertown American Legion is also hosting “Watertown Project 3,000.” The goal is to have residents donate 3,000 items of non-perishable food items for the CPAC food pantry, in memory of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on 9/11. The legion will start to accept donations from September 5 to 11 at its post on Sterling Street, and the VFW post on Bellew Avenue. 

Turning old building into homeless shelter – can it be done?

It’s a generous offer, but can it be done? On Wednesday, A Watertown property owner said he’d be willing to donate the old Globe Mini Mall to the Watertown Urban Mission to help house homeless people in the area. The site of the former Globe Mini Mall in Watertown is mostly empty. It has been gutted and paint is chipping from the sides. Could this be the future site of a homeless shelter? On Wednesday, Dick Alexander, the owner of the property said that’s his goal. Alexander wants to donate the 30,000 square-foot building to Urban Mission. Dawn Cole, Urban Mission’s executive director, says she was delighted by the offer, but it’s not that simple. Cole says she’s certainly open to the idea, but it will take a lot of planning and staffing to get a project like that going. Jefferson County Board of Legislators Chairman Scott Gray says the former mini mall could be an option, but it’s just too early to make anything happen. Gray says the county is in need of a homeless shelter, especially after the examples we’ve seen in the past few weeks, like the situation at 661 Factory Street. Gray adds that Jefferson County did receive $2.9 million from the American Rescue Plan. He says some of that money could go towards helping homeless people in the county.

Crews respond to unattended campfire at old mill in Watertown, find belongings

A campfire early Wednesday morning brought a problem to the attention of Watertown city officials. Early Wednesday city firefighters and police were called to Mill Street. Smoke had been spotted coming up the riverbank. The smoke came from down a very steep embankment, where an old industrial facility sits. All below ground, it extends way back from the riverbank beneath a parking lot. Watertown’s chief code enforcer, Dana Aikins, took a guess at what it is. The smoke was coming from someone’s fire inside the structure. There were slices of pizza, needles, and bags of clothing among other things. Aikins called it a hazard. From the opening on the riverbank, the foundation extends back farther than most people would care to venture. Some have said possibly all the way across to the north branch of the Black River. Aikins says the opening at least, appears to belong to a hydropower company in Massachusetts. 

Family Movie Night – Free

Navy Federal Credit Union invites the community to attend its upcoming Movie Night, happening on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 21, at Historic Thompson Park. This family-friendly, free event is sponsored by the credit union and is open to the entire community. To show appreciation, Navy Federal will also be donating $5,000 to Camaraderie of Courage, a local nonprofit whose mission aligns with the credit union’s – serving military servicemembers and their families. Camaraderie of Courage is dedicated to supporting soldiers and family members of 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade at Fort Drum. The Free Movie Night will happen on Saturday, August 21 – Festivities will kick off at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will begin around 8:20 p.m at Historic Thompson Park.

Area schools ready to kick off fall sports season

Next week marks the beginning of the high school fall sports season. Area schools are ready to get going with preseason practice. For Watertown Cyclones athletic director George Emrich, he’s happy to see the fall season start on time after a chaotic 2020-21 school year. With COVID still a topic of conversation in and out of high school sports, Watertown, like the other local school districts will be focusing in on keeping an eye on protocols that were set up last school year. The only specific guideline right now as a district is that temperature checks will be done at practices and before games for the athletes. The New York State Public High School Athletic Association and the state Department of Health left the guidelines up to the local jurisdiction and the local school districts.

Jefferson and Lewis counties add 19 more cases of COVID-19

Together, Jefferson and Lewis County have tallied another 19 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday.

Jefferson County

County officials reported 14 new cases since Tuesday. Three people are hospitalized. Since the pandemic began, there have been 7,524 cases of COVID in Jefferson County. 7,329 people have recovered so far.

Lewis County

County officials reported 5 new cases of COVID-19 since Tuesday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 2,487. Two people remain hospitalized with the virus. So far, 2,420 people have recovered.

Business Spotlight

Diamond Storage

Whether you’re looking for a Self Storage Unit to store your valuable personal belongings, or managing logistics for your business, Diamond Storage is your complete resource for home or business self storage in Watertown! Diamond Storage. They have built the business around making sure they have fixed these typical problems, and has ensured 100% customer satisfaction guarantee.

Location: Diamond Self Storage 24561 New York 37

Tel. No:  315-788-3036

Hours: offers 24 hour access, rentals and payments through their onsite Kiosk.

True Cut Tree Service

Whether the weather took you down, your tree is old and dying, or you just want to see more of your own yard, True Cut can remove any unwanted Trees efficiently and effectively. True Cut Tree Service provides professional Tree Trimming and has the equipment to deal with 24 Hour Emergency Tree Removal (from Winter Blizzards, to Ice Storms and Microbursts, they have seen it all.)

Location: True Cut Tree Service 20377 Reasoner Rd

Tel. No:  315-836-4828

Hours: n/a


Thank you for tuning in to this week’s episode. Don’t forget to visit our website, https://watertown365.com/, to stay up-to-date on our local news. You can also visit and like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/watertown365 and leave us some comments! Stay tuned for next week’s exciting episode! Have a great weekend and always stay safe!