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Region

Educators  and community leaders talk about how to collaborate. Photo: Sarah Harris
Educators and community leaders talk about how to collaborate. Photo: Sarah Harris

Will community partnerships save North Country schools?

The 2014-2015 New York State budget grants an additional $1.1 billion to schools. It sounds like a lot of money.

But many North Country schools are still struggling financially. They're not getting the state aid they need. They've cut staff and classes. And next year, many schools still have will have to dip into their fund balances to pay for programs. Yesterday at St. Lawrence University, educators and community leaders came together at an annual gathering called the North Country Symposium. This year, they talked about how to keep schools and the economy strong.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July.  File photo.  Brian Mann

Chateaugay prison closure will hurt local business, town supervisor says

The town of Chateaugay in northern Franklin County is still reeling from news that their local correctional facility will close in July of this year. That news was confirmed last week in the budget deal hammered out in Albany.

Don Bilow, Chateaugay town supervisor, says the prison closure will hurt the community's wider business community.  Go to full article
"Lighthouse Rock Island" Rock Island Lighthouse, Thousand Islands, New York. Photo: Ted Van Pelt

Are the Thousand Islands scenic...enough?

The ice is out along much of the St. Lawrence River and the colors, sounds, and movement of Spring in the Thousand Islands region are on their way.

But here's a question: is the Thousand Islands--the fifty mile archipelago with its constellation of villages, castles, cottages, and parks--scenic enough? And what's more: is it significant? That's what around 60 people from the community gathered late last month to figure out.  Go to full article
Architects' rendering of Old Snell and Congdon Halls. Image: Clarkson University

Potsdam takes baby step in historic building redevelopment

Clarkson University has picked two developers to give 100-year-old historic buildings in Potsdam a new life. The announcement is the latest step in turning Old Snell and...  Go to full article
Kodi Kadeem Beckles. This photo was used in the missing poster issued by lostnmissing.com

Vigil held for Kodi Kadeem Beckles

A vigil was held last night in Plattsburgh for Kodi Kadeem Beckles, the SUNY Plattsburgh student found dead on Monday morning after a city-wide search.

Arlene...  Go to full article

Environment

Robin Nagle, from Saranac Lake, is the anthropologist-in-residence in the New York City Sanitation Department.  Photo: Brian Mann
Robin Nagle, from Saranac Lake, is the anthropologist-in-residence in the New York City Sanitation Department. Photo: Brian Mann

America's never-ending war against garbage

We've all had the experience of being told that it's our turn to take out the trash. Or sort the recycling. Or make the weekly trip to the dump.

More and more of us are trying to reduce the amount of waste we produce, by composting and buying stuff with less packaging.

But Americans still produce massive amounts of garbage.

And the way we deal with it shapes our lives and the future of our communities and our environment.  Go to full article
Brett McLeod over the evaporator. Photo: Sarah Harris

Too cold? Too warm? Hitting the sweet spot for maple

Continuing deep cold through the end of March had maple producers worrying if they'd have a season at all this year.

But remember two years ago, when it felt like we barely had a winter? Maple syrup producers struggled then, too, because it wasn't cold enough.

That year, Sarah Harris went to an usually warm Adirondack "boil" (click "listen" to hear the sounds of the boil.)  Go to full article
Estimated change in annual mean sea surface pH between the 1700s and the 1990s. Graphic: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WOA05_GLODAP_del_pH_AYool.png">Plumbago</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: How rising CO2 levels are changing our oceans

Most of the concern about carbon dioxide is focused on the quantity in the atmosphere and its effect on climate. But rising CO2 levels in the oceans can have equally significant effects on the ecosystems of the seas. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the changing aquasphere.  Go to full article

Features

NPR East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner, one-time NCPR host of "All Before Five." Photo: Pearl Gabel/NPR
NPR East Africa correspondent Gregory Warner, one-time NCPR host of "All Before Five." Photo: Pearl Gabel/NPR

Gregory Warner: there's no word in Russian to describe who he works for

The first story listed in the NCPR archive from Gregory Warner dates to April 2005. He came to the station to help us develop afternoon news, and host All Things Considered. Perhaps you remember his occasional impromptu accordion breaks during ATC? We do! Gregory moved on from NCPR after a couple years and many, many creative, touching, humorous, and vivid stories from across this region.

After freelancing from conflict zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Congo, and a stint as senior reporter for APM's Marketplace, he's sort of settled down. Gregory's now NPR's East Africa correspondent, based in Kenya, and we hear his reporting from all over a region of the world that's experiencing tremendous economic growth, and a rising threat of global terrorism. His stories are still vivid, touching, and engaging, and he continues to find the surprising, human stories behind the news of the day.

Martha Foley caught up with Gregory this morning at his home base in Nairobi, via Skype. He's just back from assignments in Rwanda, covering the anniversary of the genocide there 20 years ago, and Ukraine, where he was one of the first NPR reporters on the ground as Russia consolidated its control over Crimea.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake's Witter Swanson (center) and the cast from his winning play, "Elmer", at Pendragon Theatre.  Photo:  Karen Lordi-Kirkham

In Saranac Lake, young playwrights take a bow

Two North Country teens got the chance to see their plays performed on stage at Pendragon Theatre in Saranac Lake last weekend. Witter Swanson, a student at Saranac Lake High School, received a full production of his one-act play "Elmer." The runner-up, Amber Baker, a student at Beekmantown, received a reading of her play "The Esteemed Institute." The two playwrights were the winners of this year's Young Playwrights contest at Pendragon.  Go to full article

This weekend in the Adirondacks

John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack looks at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks each weekend.

Higher than normal temperatures this weekend will keep trails wet and slushy at lower elevations.  Go to full article
Ray with one of his favorite lures made by the C.W. Lane Manufacturing Company in Madrid, NY. Photo: Todd Moe

In Canton, North Country-made antique fishing lures on display

Just in time for fishing season, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York is celebrating the art of antique hand-made fishing lures. In the 19th and early 20th century, anglers...  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cafemama/3554624390/in/photolist-6q7nZq-9bWxWy-4FjXbD-48C15n-4B7ks-d33Bcu-4B1fJL-84PDiw-hos2oJ-kmJZQ-Po95f-9kkqg2-hovRDL-ahtbyB-ieJUqN-adLfQb-9Ak9XY-6vikT9-JVDMJ-dAKsT8-83YQcJ-6tNG25-6bCcDi-eh96Pz-6fGSZF-db5C2U-db5BxQ-db5BMC-NxEpj-a4sQ2N-8o4Pya-6f6qui-7PKvEd-4WbwDb-6KeovC-5ek7mn-4X8zQM-2kaEaN-5fgsDp-6jCjBC-7YiN6B-8sZy9F-d33BaN-d33Be9-dWehH-89JiNr-avWqyt-9LbTLM-81LwZ9-4LAwRo">Sarah Gilbert</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gardening call in gleanings: potato scab, blueberry canes, green manure

Horticulturist Amy Ivy and Martha Foley takes up some odds and ends of questions listeners had during our ...  Go to full article

Politics

Governor Andrew Cuomo has pursued an aggressive prison reform agenda in his first term. NCPR File photo: Mark Kurtz
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pursued an aggressive prison reform agenda in his first term. NCPR File photo: Mark Kurtz

Cuomo: "We must raise the age" juveniles are tried as adults

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday named a new commission to look at whether teenagers should be tried in adult courts in New York. Last year, more than 30,000 16- and 17-year-olds were tried in adult courts in New York.  Go to full article
Dr. Nirav Shah, New York State Health Commissioner. Photo: NYS DOH

NY health chief resignation leaves fracking review in limbo

There's "Help Wanted" at the state Department of Health with the resignation yesterday of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's appointed Commissioner, Dr. Nirav Shah.

Salary issues were the reason for his departure, according to Gov. Cuomo as reported by the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper in Rochester.

His resignation leaves the future of the Health Department's much-anticipated health review of hydraulic fracturing in New York in limbo.  Go to full article
Neon sign at a medical marijuana dispensary in California. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/caveman_92223/3410000930/in/set-72157624415963106">Chuck Coker</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Medical marijuana: What's coming for NYS?

Now that the state budget is done, the focus at the Capitol shifts to some other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana. Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers, but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver caused a bit of a stir when he seemed to say that a bill to legalize medical marijuana might be dead for the year, saying he does not think "it has a future" in the 2014 session.  Go to full article
Syracuse-area job losses. Infographic: <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2013/04/18-job-sprawl-kneebone">Brookings Institution report</a>

Are Albany policies "starving" upstate NY cities?

A Cornell University expert says state policies are making it harder for upstate New York's cities to regain their past economic vitality.

Mildred Warner says the...  Go to full article
NYSUT's new officers: Martin Messner, Secretary-Treasurer; Catalina Fortino, Vice President; Karen Magee, President; Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President; Paul Pecorale, Vice President. Photo: <a href="www.nysut.org/news/2014/april/first-woman-to-head-nysut-promises-to-be-a-strong-voice-for-change">NYSUT Media Relations</a>

New teachers' union president wants more clout for group

There's a big change at state's largest teacher's union, New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), as members elected new leadership.

The union's new president,...  Go to full article

DiNapoli: I won't be "sacrificial lamb" on campaign finance reform

New York state comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he won't be participating in a new pilot public campaign finance program agreed to in the state budget, and government reform...  Go to full article