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Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/25947183@N04/5728324248/">Ove Overmeyer</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Ove Overmeyer, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NYS casino vote may be on hold for this year

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders tried to jumpstart negotiations over siting several new gambling casinos in New York. But they also concede that the plans might be delayed for another year.  Go to full article
Once a public school, the Lyon Mountain Correctional Facility operated from 1984 until 2011.  Now it's up for sale. Photo: New York state

Want to buy a North Country prison? Bargain basement prices!

What happens to prisons and correctional facilities when there aren't enough inmates to fill the jail cells?

That's the dilemma facing nearly a dozen communities in upstate New York. After a massive prison construction boom that continued for nearly four decades, the state has seen its inmate population decline steadily in recent years. The change follows a sharp decline in crime rates and changes to sentencing guidelines that mean fewer nonviolent drug offenders spending years behind bars.

Now a state agency called Empire State Development is struggling to auction off eleven former prisons and juvenile justice centers, including two facilities now for sale here in the North Country.

But many rural communities fear that another economic engine is dying with nothing to replace it.  Go to full article
John Johnson Jr. looks through some clippings from the Watertown Daily Times's archive Wednesday at the newspaper's offices in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards

John Johnson Jr. steps down at Watertown Daily Times

After a long career at the helm of the Watertown Daily Times, John Johnson Jr. is far from calling it quits. But he is stepping down from daily oversight at the Times and its parent company, Johnson Newspapers, helping to make way for a new generation of family leadership.  Go to full article
New York state's Senate chamber. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/-jvl-/5194328403/in/set-72157625436830710">JvL</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NYS Reproductive Health Act stalled in Senate

A key component of Governor Cuomo's 2013 agenda appears in jeopardy, as the governor concedes he does not currently have enough votes in the state Senate to bring an abortion...  Go to full article
Porcupine up a tree. Archive Photo of the Day: <a href="http://wizenedeye.com">Judy Andrus Toporcer</a>

Natural Selections: Porcupines

Dr. Curt Stager tells co-host Martha Foley why and how porcupines climb trees--and why it can be a dangerous job. Plus, what to do when one lives under (and gnaws on) your...  Go to full article
The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble performing Handel's "Messiah" in 2008.   Photo: Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble

Preview: "Remembering the Fallen" in Watertown

The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble will pay tribute, through song, to the 272 Fort Drum soldiers who died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade. The...  Go to full article