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New York Sen. John Sampson. Photo via <a href="http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/john-l-sampson">nysenate.gov
New York Sen. John Sampson. Photo via nysenate.gov

Early reactions to Sampson corruption arrest

Former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson turned himself in to federal authorities Monday, after being accused in a nine count indictment of embezzling nearly half a million dollars from mortgage foreclosure accounts, and then trying to cover it up.

According to the federal compliant, Senator Sampson is accused of embezzling $440,000 in funds that he was entrusted to care for as a court appointed referee on four foreclosed Brooklyn properties.  Go to full article
A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. NCPR file photo

For Fort Drum soldiers, frequent deployments "'til the end" in Afghanistan

It's a busy time for Fort Drum, near Watertown. Even as the country prepares to leave Afghanistan, the Army post has parts of two brigades deployed. Its aviation unit is about to ship off for a nine-month tour. And the 10th Mountain Division is expecting more orders from the Pentagon soon.  Go to full article
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will easing dairy manure rules do much at all?

Last month, Governor Cuomo carried through on a promise he made to dairy farmers, loosening environmental regulations for small farms.

Right now, a farm with 200 cows or more has to prepare detailed and costly manure management plans. Starting this week, that threshold will be bumped up to 300 cows.

Speaking at last summer's Yogurt Summit, Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said the change would help boost milk production to meet demand fueled by Greek yogurt's popularity. "Simply put," said Aubertine, "this will make it much easier for small farms to grow."

North Country lawmakers and the state Farm Bureau praised the rule change. But environmental groups say more unregulated manure means more farm runoff in rivers and streams. It remains a big question whether the change will do much of anything at all - to the environment or for the economy.  Go to full article
Crews containing a forest fire along the tracks between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake last summer. Photo: <em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em>

Why there's a burn ban for the next week

The snowy, cold early spring has quickly given way to wildfire season. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation cautions people against residential brush burning...  Go to full article

Skelos: NYS shouldn't have approved gun laws so fast

The leader of the Senate Republicans says he regrets the way gun control legislation was rapidly approved earlier this year, and he hopes that the end of the session won't...  Go to full article
Sen. Dean Skelos. NCPR file photo

NYS GOP stands against expansion of public campaign financing

Republicans in the State Senate plan to hold hearings Tuesday, May 7, on what they say are abuses in New York City's public campaign finance system.  Go to full article
Ship discharging ballast water. Photo US Geological Survey

National Wildlife Federation expands challenge to new invasives rules

A national environmental group is expanding its legal challenge to new state and Federal rules designed to keep invasive species out the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great...  Go to full article
John Ferry, co-owner of Milk Street Dairy in Tylerville, in Jefferson County, shows off his new dairy barn. Photo: Joanna Richards

National Grid power upgrade grant helps Jefferson County dairy farm expand

A Tylerville dairy farm, in Jefferson County, is growing, in part thanks to help from National Grid. The company awarded the farm a grant of $50,000 to increase its access to...  Go to full article
Kim and Reggie Harris.

Kim and Reggie Harris bring "Dream Alive" to Saranac Lake

Kim and Reggie Harris will bring their music and stories of the Underground Railroad and the modern civil rights movement to Saranac Lake tonight and tomorrow. The duo...  Go to full article
Lilies divided to make a fence border at the back of a perennial bed. Photo: <a heref="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kidmissile/4429824109/">kidmissile</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Shaping up perennials in the spring garden

Perennial beds need some attention in the spring. Dividing tubers can give them a renewed lease on life. And with a dry spring, a little irrigation might be in order. Martha...  Go to full article