A fresh start in 2019

On paper, 2018 was a difficult year. As we were discussing what should be the Top 10 stories for this year’s Year in Review publication, we were stunned at the number of “bad news” stories over the number of good news. Locally, there were many tragic deaths from drug overdoses, suicides and traffic accidents, as well as number of violent crimes and several officials allegedly behaving badly. We wanted our year in review to report a lot of good news that happened in 2018, but it was hard to find as “top stories.”

As we head into 2019 today, we head into an open book of opportunities.

Locally, many of the criminal cases in Fulton and Montgomery counties will probably wrap up and we will move forward from them. Mayor Dayton King will go to court on charges he used the city’s postal meter for his own use, charges he denies. Assemblyman Robert Smullen will also have his court case settled — given his background and lack of criminal record, more than likely a plea deal will be worked out so that his political career is not affected. James Glorioso Jr., Dorothy Hart and Melvin Dopp will also have to face the court system for their alleged crimes.

Michaela’s MacVilla’s accused killer will have his day in court in 2019, as will the men accused of killing Joshua Laveck and Delaney Akins, accused of kidnapping and torturing his victim, will eventually either plead or go before a jury. We may even find out in 2019 what really happened to the young man whose body was found submerged in the Cayadutta Creek.

On the good news side, we are looking forward to the continued revitalization of downtown Gloversville and Johnstown, as well as continued growth in the outlying villages and towns. We are on to something here and it is beginning to show.

New businesses, such as Dorn Space, Twelve Green Yoga Petals and Second Wind Coffee cafe, are opening their doors and taking a leap of faith in our communities.

Established businesses, such as Century Linen, Townsend Leather and Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home continue to invest in our community, offering more jobs, tax revenue and incentives.

Infrastructure improvements, cell tower reception and increased reliance on solar farms are helping our region to grow, as are major companies opening local hubs in our area, including Dollar General.

Positive marketing of Fulton, Montgomery and Hamilton counties is increasing local tourism. Caroga Lake, as a result of the hard work and dedication of the Caroga Lake Arts Collective and Caroga Lake Music Festival organizers, has seen a true upsurge of people visiting the area for what it has to offer.

The celebration of the Erie Canalway, the renovation of the Glove Theatre and the Fultonville Starin Opera House being placed on a historic list to save are actions in the right direction. The list is growing longer and longer of people, organizations and companies who see the tri-counties as “the place to be.”

So while the 2018 may look difficult on paper, lots of good is slowly overshadowing the “bad news,” and we plan on being here to bring you, dear Readers, that good news.

Here is to 2019 and all the good times we envision for the future.