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The Black River in full spate, almost four feet above flood stage, noon Thursday April 17.  Photo: Brian Caird
The Black River in full spate, almost four feet above flood stage, noon Thursday April 17. Photo: Brian Caird

Updated: Black River receding, but officials urge caution

UPDATE - 2 P.M. High water in the Black River continues to fall. According to the the National Weather service, the water level at Watertown reads 11.5 feet at this hour. The Schroon River also continues to fall, but remains in the moderate to major flood zone, at just over 9 feet at Rivebank.

UPDATE - 8 A.M. The Black River is falling this morning. According to the National Weather Service, it's now just over 12 feet at Watertown, still two feet above flood stage, but down a foot and a half since it crested early yesterday morning.

It had been expected to crest at 14.2 feet, but after reaching 13.8 feet the river fell through the day. Those levels are still the second highest the Black River has been in recorded history. Flood warnings remain in effect for Jefferson and Lewis counties, and counties along Lake Champlain.


APR 18, 2104 - People along the Black River in the Watertown area were watching the river closely today, after forecasters predicted the Black would come close to setting a new record for high water as it crested. But as of this afternoon, the water levels are going down, according to the National Weather Service and emergency crews on the ground.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/danielleellis55/13295727434/in/photolist-mfU5xU-mfS6bc-cenaT-Jyndv-4PsCEL-4KNJ9Q-65SpkG-5DbZz4-aDrE9x-aqV1pK-5SviVC-5xG6CF-gpwP73-j2iq6X-65G8XH-jFr6Gt-jFrmQz-jFrE2D-jFsgDv-jFsrcr-jFstic-jFsKi8-jFsKUM-jFsNXk-jFt4zt-jFtoD8-jFtp3W-jFtsqN-jFtvXg-jFtEgG-jFtHrE-jFtW9o-jFtYZJ-jFuhsb-jFunvA-jFuxkq-jFuRzw-jFvoAj-jFvV33-jFso6B-jFsPje-jFsRtp-jFsZkX-jFu469-jFu6w1-jFujoU-jFuAbW-jFv1au-jFvbsy-jFvoMJ">Danielle Sprags</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Cheap, easy, deadly: heroin use rising in rural NYS

Early this month, the Food and Drug Administration approved a prescription device that can inject a fast acting antidote to heroin and other opioid drugs. It's the latest response to a surge in opioid abuse.

Heroin use has doubled between 2007 and 2012. It's no longer just an urban street drug--it's now common in small town America.  Go to full article
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Export-Import Bank president Fred Hochberg, and Congressman Bill Owens in Ogdensburg. Photo: Zach Hirsch

Exporting North Country goods with fewer headaches

Each year, billions of dollars in material goods flow between New York and Canada. On the North Country side of the border, more and more businesses are realizing they could make good money when they export their products.

For smaller businesses, though, dealing with foreign customers and distributers can be complicated and expensive.

But at a roundtable discussion in Ogdensburg on Friday, officials told North Country business owners they can make it easier to jump into the game of international trade.  Go to full article
The Canton United Methodist Church regularly offers free meals. Photo: Zach Hirsch

Systemic hunger, right here in the North Country

In the North Country, there is an ongoing conversation about poverty, health, and hunger. Over the last five years, 40 percent more people living in St. Lawrence County have...  Go to full article
A photo from a National Transportation Safety Board powerpoint from 2012 shows how DOT-111 tankers can puncture. Photo: NTSB.

How rail safety became a key issue in the energy policy debate

Much of the oil arriving at the Port of Albany passes first through the North Country, carried on rail tanker cars through communities in the St. Lawrence and Champlain...  Go to full article
Downtown Glens Falls. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Growing Glens Falls region means more infrastructure needs

During a visit to Glens Falls yesterday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the campus of Adirondack Community College to meet with local economic development leaders. Unlike...  Go to full article

Environment

Demonstrators at the capitol call for state action against transport of crude oil on New York train tracks. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Demonstrators at the capitol call for state action against transport of crude oil on New York train tracks. Photo: Karen DeWitt

Green groups pressure Cuomo on rail oil trains in NY

National environmental groups are putting the spotlight on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over the issue of the expanding international oil distribution center, located just blocks from the State Capitol, at the Port of Albany.

They call this Cuomo's "Keystone" moment.  Go to full article

Features

Spring surprise--voles at work. Photo: Martha Foley
Spring surprise--voles at work. Photo: Martha Foley

Why does my lawn look like a giant ant farm?

The spring thaw has finally reached dirt, revealing the winter damage underneath. On lawns, that could include dramatic networks of dirt-lined runways left under this winter's snow pack by voles.

Voles work the surface, tunneling through where the snow meets the lawn. They're vegetarians, and like to eat away at the roots of the grass. Horticulturist Amy Ivy says the lawn's probably too soft to walk on yet, and it's probably too soon to do too much in the way of repair just yet. When things dry out a bit, she suggests raking the damaged area lightly, to level the tunneled areas out. And have some grass seed on hand to reseed after the weather warms up.

Moles throw up bigger mounds of dirt from their underground tunnels. Rake those to spread the dirt around; those areas can be reseeded to grass later as well.

Amy says it's also time to do some remedial pruning where trees and shrubs were broken during the winter. And she talks about best practices for pruning flowering shrubs now.  Go to full article
Nelson Mandela and Denis Goldberg. Photo courtesy of Denis Goldberg

A belief in justice: Denis Goldberg, Mandela's trialmate

Today is the first day of Passover, a Jewish holiday celebrating liberation. One visitor to the north country this week has devoted his life to the struggle for freedom--Denis Goldberg.  Go to full article
Students from Beekmantown and Saranac Lake gathered at Pendragon Theatre this month for a playwrighting festival, led by      Executive Artistic Director Karen Lordi-Kirkham (right).  Photo: David Zwierankin

Saranac Lake's Pendragon Theatre taps next generation of playwrights

High school writers gathered in Saranac Lake this month to learn more about theater and writing plays. Pendragon Theatre hosted a day of playing with words and acting as part of its newly revived Young Playwrights Festival.

More than 30 young writers from across the region entered their original one-act plays that were judged by a panel of experts. Two plays were given public performances. It's part of Pendragon's mission to help foster the next generation of theatre artists.  Go to full article
Barred owl in the rain. Archive Photo of the Day 12/19/12: Butch Bramhall, Croghan, NY

Natural Selections: Barred Owl

The barred owl is often heard but seldom seen. Dr. Curt Stager and Martha Foley discuss the habits of this nocturnal hunter, and Curt demonstrates his own highly-regarded...  Go to full article

This weekend in the Adirondacks

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

High waters and flooding remain a concern as...  Go to full article
Andy Toy fixes up a drawing that's gotten smudged. Photo: Sarah Harris

Chalk is Burlington-area amateur artist's favorite medium

During his day job, Andy Toy is a salesman. But he's has always been a doodler, an amateur artist. He just never thought he'd make any money at it.

A few years...  Go to full article

Politics

Photo courtesy of Rob Astorino's office
Photo courtesy of Rob Astorino's office

Astorino brings gubernatorial challenge to the North Country

Last month, Rob Astorino announced his campaign to unseat Andrew Cuomo in the coming race for governor. The Republican candidate faces obvious challenges: lack of name recognition, Cuomo's high approval ratings and the governor's huge campaign fund. But Astorino brings his own kind of impressive track record. He recently won a second term as Westchester County executive by a wide margin, in a county that has more Democrats than Republicans.

Astorino has seven months to get his name out there and get voters on his side, which means a lot of handshaking and a lot of conversations Yesterday he came to Franklin County, kicking the morning off in North Bangor.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake village Mayor Clyde Rabideau is pushing hard to see two new hotels built in his community. Photo:  Brian Mann

Rabideau's second term Saranac Lake bucket list

Clyde Rabideau has been a political fixture in the North Country for decades, first as the long-time mayor of Plattsburgh, and for the last four years as mayor of Saranac Lake. As he begins his second term as village mayor, Rabideau says he has a long list of projects he hopes to push to completion in the next four years.

Topping the list are two new hotels and a parking garage proposed for the downtown area. One of those hotels, on the shore of Lake Flower, has sparked questions about the size and the environmental impact, as well as concerns that the project might lie inside the Saranac River's flood plain.

Rabideau sat down this week with Brian Mann to talk about those challenges.  Go to full article
A pleased Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the signing of the NY SAFE Act. Photo: Gov. Cuomo's office via <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/">Flickr</a>

April 15 marks assault weapons registration deadline

April 15, besides being tax day, is the first day that owners of semi-automatic weapons will be required to register their guns with the state police.  Go to full article
The six nations of the Iroquois Confederacy c. 1720. Graphic: <a href=" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iroquois_6_Nations_map_c1720.png">Nonenmacher</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Onondaga land claim will go to OAS human rights commission

The Onondaga Indian Nation has brought its decade old land claim case to an international human rights commission.

A lawsuit first filed in 2005 argues land was...  Go to full article