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Phone book mistakes St. Lawrence County residents for Manhattan

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MASSENA — Victor Fregoe has never lived a day of his life in Manhattan, or even visited the Big Apple. For the past 52 years, he has lived at the same house in Massena.

“I wouldn’t want to live in the city,” he said. “I’m not a city guy.”

Those looking Mr. Fregoe up in the phone book might think otherwise. His listed address in the Verizon Superpages is on Parker Avenue in Manhattan.

“I don’t know how it ever got changed,” he said.

Mr. Fregoe is one of more than 20 St. Lawrence County residents whose listed addresses are in the Big Apple.

The phone book has correct street addresses and phone numbers. When it comes to the town, city or village, the book has mistaken some residents of a county of about 112,000 people as inhabitants of an island of more than 1.5 million. The misprints span the alphabet and the county, as residents of Norfolk, Massena and Ogdensburg all are listed as Manhattan residents.

Verizon Superpages spokesman John J. Bonomo did not have an explanation for the misprints. He called the Manhattan addresses “odd.”

“It’s something that bears our review,” he said. “We have to find these people ourselves, take a look at their account and find out why Manhattan would appear next to their name.”

The problem predates the 2012 phone book. Some of those with the Manhattan address have known for years but never contacted Verizon to change it. They did not know other St. Lawrence County residents were in the same predicament.

Mr. Fregoe had a friend tell him seven or eight years ago. A 2007 phone book also lists him as living in Manhattan.

“How you go about correcting, I don’t know,” he said. “I just never bothered.”

Diane A. Bell has lived in Ogdensburg her entire life. A friend pointed out her Manhattan address to her a couple of years ago.

“We never really thought about it too much,” she said. “Anyone who calls usually knows our number and knows who we are.”

Frederick J. Allen, Norfolk, did not know about the error and was amused by it.

“I’ll have to tell some of the kids,” said Mr. Allen, a father of seven. “They’ll think I’m crazy. It’ll give them something to talk about.”

Darrell A. LaMay of Massena also was unaware.

“I don’t look at my own phone number,” he said.

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