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Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein
Hispanic men and women - some of them quite young - provide labor illegally on many dairy farms. Photo: David Sommerstein

Dairy farmers and Hispanic workers in legal limbo

The U.S. Senate passed its version of immigration reform Thursday. But the bill's future in the House is highly uncertain. Many conservatives oppose citizenship for those who are in the country illegally.

Others want to take up immigration reform piece by piece, rather than attempt a comprehensive bill like the Senate's.

With Congress wrestling with a new strategy for immigration policy, we thought it would be a good time to review the legal situation on many New York and Vermont dairy farms.

Several thousand undocumented immigrants, mostly Latino, work on those farms. They pay social security and other federal taxes because they give their employers false social security numbers when they're hired.

Farmers are not required to prove their workers are legal. In fact, they can be sued for discrimination if they challenge them.

In 2006, David Sommerstein explored this Catch-22. Here's a part of that story.  Go to full article
Fort Drum soldiers mark the departure of the 10th Sustainment Brigade for an Afghanistan deployment in October 2011.

Can the North Country economy survive Fort Drum cuts?

When the Army announced earlier this week that Fort Drum would lose 1,500 soldiers as part of a plan to reduce troops across the force, North Country community leaders started trying to figure out what the impact would be.

They seem to agree that Fort Drum escaped this round of personnel cuts relatively unscathed.  Go to full article
Instructions for 'CrowdHydrology.' Photo: Ashley Hassett

Buffalo-based project crowdsources water level tracking

A nationwide project based in New York is using crowd sourcing to gather up-to-date information on water levels.

The program's a partnership between the US Geological Service and the University of Buffalo. It's proving more and more useful at the USGS cuts back on the number of water monitoring stations across the country.  Go to full article
Monarch larva feed on Milkweed, which grows in abundance along North Country roadsides. Photo: Wikipedia

Adk group fights to protect Monarch butterflies from road mowing

A non-profit group in the Adirondacks is urging highway departments to avoid mowing roadsides whenever possible over the next two months.

The group Adirondack...  Go to full article

This weekend in the Adirondacks

Note: This conditions report occurred prior to flooding in some areas of the Adirondacks. Before you go out, please check your local weather and for road closures. More...  Go to full article
Ursula Trudeau and Max pose wearing favorite hats surrounded by dozens of others at the Saranac Laboratory in Saranac Lake.  Photo:  Todd Moe

Saranac Lake's queen of hats

Some of Ursula Trudeau's favorite hats are on display at the historic Saranac Laboratory in Saranac Lake. Ursula Trudeau is known in the community for her collection of...  Go to full article
Rally in New York City celebrating the Supreme Court's decision on the Defense of Marriage Act. Photo: <a href="">Phil Davis NY</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cuomo praises SCOTUS decisions on same-sex marriage

There have been large, daylong celebrations in Los Angeles and San Francisco by supporters of same-sex marriages over the last day. They're cheering a U.S. Supreme Court...  Go to full article
Gov. Andrew Cuomo discussing the Women's Equality Act in Pougkeepsie, NY on June 5, 2013. Photo: <a href="8967996833_7739e76434_z">Gov. Cuomo's office</a> via Flickr

Assembly may return to consider Women's Equality Act

The legislature left Albany last week with some unfinished business. They did not agree on Governor Cuomo's Women's Equality Act, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says at least...  Go to full article
The mill's closure in Newton Falls raises tough new questions about the economy in southern St. Lawrence County. Photo: <a href="">J. Stephen Conn</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

As mill is dismantled, tough questions for Clifton-Fine

A company called Scotia Investments has been dismantling the historic paper mill in Netwon Falls in southern St. Lawrence County. It's a devastating final blow to the local...  Go to full article
Lightning strikes triggered fire on Lyon Mountain. Photo: Mountain Lake PBS

Lightning strike knocks out regional PBS station

Mountain Lake PBS, one of the North Country's biggest public television outlets, was off the air in many areas this morning because of a transmitter fire on the summit of...  Go to full article

Cuomo to appoint panel to review campaign finance reforms

Governor Cuomo says he will be announcing his Moreland Act commission to investigate the campaign donation filings of the legislature, possibly as early as today.  Go to full article
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