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White House aide Conway says she was sexual assault victim

WASHINGTON — White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said she was once a victim of sexual assault on Sunday, but said women’s shared outrage over such misconduct shouldn’t affect Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

Conway made the comments on CNN’s “State of the Union” while defending Kavanaugh against sexual misconduct allegations. She argued that his opponents were wrongly politicizing his nomination and turning it into a “meeting of the #MeToo movement.” Conway said the news media and others often treat victims differently “based on their politics.”

“I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape. I’m a victim of sexual assault,” Conway said. But she added: “I don’t expect Judge Kavanaugh or Jake Tapper or (Republican Sen.) Jeff Flake or anybody to be held responsible for that. You have to be responsible for your own conduct.”

Conway did not elaborate Sunday on her experience, though she’s previously alluded to her own #MeToo moment. She told a Politico forum last December that during the 2016 presidential campaign she sought to denounce cases of sexual harassment by congressmen against her and others when she was a GOP political operative, but was ignored by the press.

In that talk, Conway referred to an MSNBC appearance she made in October of 2016, a day after the release of an “Access Hollywood” tape that caught then presidential candidate Donald Trump in 2005 boasting off-camera about groping women. She implied in those comments that members of Congress had behaved inappropriately.

“I would talk to some of the members of Congress out there. I remember when I was younger and prettier, them rubbing up against girls sticking their tongues down women’s throats. It was true,” Conway said during a post-presidential debate interview.

Conway did not offer additional details Sunday.

Asked about how she deals with her experience with sexual assault while working for Trump, who’s been accused of sexual harassment, Conway said: “Don’t conflate that with this, and certainly don’t conflate that with what happened to me.”

Conway said her experience helps her understand that victims “should all be heard, and they should be heard in courts of law.”

From pudding to tuna tartare, Glens Falls food fest serves up the sweet and savory

GLENS FALLS — Maple Street turned into a food lover’s paradise Sunday during the 26th annual Taste of the North Country.

One could get just about anything, from seafood chowder to fried chicken and waffles to edible cookie dough, as 31 area restaurants set up shop in Glens Falls’ City Park. The event, sponsored by the Kiwanis, raises funds for children’s programming.

Jerrod Ogden, one of the organizers of the food festival with the Kiwanis, said there weren’t quite as many restaurants participating as in previous years, but he was happy with the turnout. Less than an hour into the 4-hour event, he estimated about 3,000 people had come through.

A light and scattered sprinkle in Glens Falls did not turn into anything greater, and even the sun peeked in and out on the chilly day.

While food was the focus, Ogden said the festival committee worked on some other visitor comforts that he hoped made the day’s experience more enjoyable.

For example, Premier Recycling and Waste donated their truck and time to help manage garbage needs. There were also new portable restrooms, Ogden pointed out. He opened the door to one, showing hardwood flooring, a mirror and flushing toilets. He said music was playing inside, too.

“We just wanted to elevate the customer’s experience,” he said.

The layout of the event has had brides-to-be ask Ogden for advice on planning their outdoor weddings, he added, laughing.

While many of the area’s staple restaurants participated in the event, there were some newbies, too. Here’s a few of the tasty treats visitors could sample:

Giovanna’s on the Lake at the Georgian Resort

Executive Chef Gary Fairchild always gets asked about his pumpkin mousse since he brought it to the festival about three years ago.

“I’m trapped,” he said about keeping it on the Taste of the North Country’s menu.

Fairchild and his team also cook up one of the largest menus for the festival. He had sweet potato and bourbon bisque, seafood vol-au-vent, beef brisket with Pyrenees-style potatoes, a fall salad and an apple brown betty made similar to a cobbler.

“We like to have a lot of diversity with our menu,” Fairchild said. “Now it’s kind of become a standard that I carry a big menu.”

gcraig / Gwendolyn Craig, 

Giovanna's on the Lake at the Georgian Resort serves up its famous pumpkin mousse Sunday during the 25th annual Taste of the North Country in downtown Glens Falls. 

Doc’s Restaurant

Doc’s Restaurant inside the Glens Falls’s Park Theater is only about 3 1/2 months old, but it was serving up some of its tasty menu items outside Sunday.

Chef Michael Squires cooked up a bread pudding that included cranberry raisins and white chocolate chips with a hazelnut praline sauce. Also on the menu were popular filet mignon sliders served with horseradish and coleslaw. The sliders’ buns had a “Doc’s” insignia cooked on top.

“It’s unbelievable,” Squires said of the crowd. “We’ve had a line since the get-go, since we opened.”

gcraig / Gwendolyn Craig, 

Doc's Restaurant features name-brand buns in its filet mignon sliders served Sunday during the 26th annual Taste of the North Country in downtown Glens Falls. 

Sans Souci

Also new to the festival, Cleverdale restaurant Sans Souci was seeing impressive lines.

Michael Cirelli, chef and partial owner, has made dishes at other establishments, but he was particularly excited Sunday about the menu served up.

Sans Souci offered penne ala vodka, tuna tartare wakame salad and a mini cannoli for dessert. Wakame salad is a kind of seaweed salad, which included a marinated ahi tuna and cusabi dressing.

gcraig / Gwendolyn Craig, 

Sans Souci serves up a tuna tartare wakame salad Sunday during the 26th annual Taste of the North Country in downtown Glens Falls. 

Cirelli said the restaurant itself is new, too, having opened its doors on May 27. It’s going to be open year-round and will also deliver.

Downtown Social

The new Glens Falls restaurant had two new menu items up for eating at the festival.

Journey Kerchner, who is with the restaurant, said the team had fried chicken and waffles served with a Sriracha maple syrup as well as pork belly mac and cheese.

gcraig / Gwendolyn Craig, 

Downtown Social offers fried chicken and waffles Sunday during the 26th annual Taste of the North Country in downtown Glens Falls.

Anvil Inn

The Fort Edward restaurant is the longest-participating in Taste of the North Country. Owner and chef Neal Orsini brought along his classic homemade cranberry pudding with whisky butterscotch sauce.

The 150-year-old Scottish recipe was passed down to him from a previous owner, and keeps the line of people coming.

“We have a great time every year,” he said of the event. “Then we, at the end of it, we like to sit on the patio of the Queensbury Hotel and enjoy ourselves.”

BOCES Culinary Arts

Culinary Arts students from the Southern Adirondack Education Career and Technical Education program helped their professional counterparts with serving on Sunday.

They volunteered by checking food temperatures and quality, according to a release.

“The Taste of the North County is a great opportunity for students to meet industry employers and visualize how HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plans are implemented,” said Chef Matt Young, an instructor, in a release.

Photos: 26th annual Taste of the North Country

Video evidence causing more work for DAs

FORT EDWARD — Video cameras are everywhere now — and the sheer volume of video to review is clogging up the workday for Washington County assistant district attorneys.

District Attorney Tony Jordan has asked the county to hire a sixth assistant district attorney — a cost of $100,000 — because of the increased workload.

A written document that could be read three times and memorized in less than an hour has been replaced by a video that could be six hours long, he explained.

For example, law enforcement routinely records all interviews with suspects now.

“Previously, all we’d get was that two-page statement,” he said. “Now a six-hour interview for a misdemeanor is recorded.”

He thinks that’s the right thing to do.

“Law enforcement is responding appropriately, I think,” he said.

But it takes his attorneys a lot longer to handle a simple misdemeanor if they must watch a six-hour video.

Similarly, law enforcement is wearing cameras.

“The volume of information you have to review — a DWI now could have an hour of body camera footage instead of maybe six pages to read,” he said.

He doesn’t want his attorneys to fast-forward or skip videos.

“Ultimately, we have to look at everything that comes our way,” he said.

They’re also finding huge amounts of evidence by watching videos and reading comments on social media, but getting a search warrant for Facebook can be an ordeal. Regular warrants also used to be fill-in-the-blank and are now much more comprehensive.

“The level of detail and work that goes into these search warrants can be days of work,” he said, before adding, “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It protects the person whose property is getting searched.”

Unfortunately, Washington County is also continuing to see a rise in crime.

Last year, there were 22 percent more felonies. Jordan had hoped it was a fluke.

“But this year to date we’re on track to exceed that slightly,” he said. “And it’s more severe cases. We had three murders in 14 months. I’m not sure we’ve ever had that before, three separate, distinct murders.”

Appeals are up, too.

Last year at this time, the county had seven appeals. This year, the county already has 13 appeals, he said.

Federal grant to aid restoration of state-owned Camp Santanoni

NEWCOMB — Adirondack Architectural Heritage received a federal award of $370,000 for conservation and restoration work at Camp Santanoni in Newcomb on Sept. 23 as the National Park Service announced the latest round of grant funding under its Save America’s Treasures program.

This was one of only nine historic building conservation grants awarded nationally in this round. The grant to AARCH will be matched by an equal amount of funding from the other Camp Santanoni partners: the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the town of Newcomb and the Friends of Camp Santanoni.

AARCH, based in Keeseville, is a private, nonprofit historic preservation organization for the Adirondack region.

“We are delighted to receive this critically important funding for our collaborative efforts to restore Camp Santanoni and to make it an even more exciting destination for visitors to the Adirondacks,” AARCH Executive Director Steven Engelhart said in a press release.

The grant will be used to undertake several exterior conservation projects at Santanoni’s Main Lodge, including foundation stabilization, log replacement, masonry repairs and flashing, and the installation of entirely new wood shingles for the building’s 15,000-square-foot roof.

“When the current asphalt shingle roof was installed on Santanoni’s Main Lodge about 20 years ago, the unit management plan for the camp had not been adopted, nor had it been designated as historic under the Adirondack State land Master Plan, so we could only take the project so far,” Engelhart said. “Now we are in a position to more fully remediate and restore these important features of the Main Lodge.”

Camp Santanoni was built beginning in 1893 for Robert and Anna Pruyn of Albany and eventually consisted of 12,900 acres and more than four dozen structures, including a large working farm and a Main Lodge designed by architect Robert Robertson, which was inspired by the Pruyn’s deep interest in Japan. Santanoni was acquired by New York state in 1972 and is the only great camp currently in state ownership. It is managed by the DEC with help, since 1997, from AARCH. It is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the state and national Registers of Historic Places.

These grants are awarded by Congress through the National Park Service, part of the Department of the Interior. The Save America’s Treasures program is funded through the Historic Preservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil leases to fund a variety of cultural preservation projects without expending public tax dollars.