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Martha Foley, left, with Natasha Haverty and Brian Mann, talk about the Prison Time Media Project.
Martha Foley, left, with Natasha Haverty and Brian Mann, talk about the Prison Time Media Project.

North Country prison industry transforming, shrinking

Over the last sixteen months, North Country Public Radio has broadcast a series of stories, reports and interviews looking at America's era of mass incarceration.

The 40-year drug war sent millions of Americans to prison. And it transformed the North Country as more than a dozen state and federal prisons were built in our back yards.

This week, we're wrapping up the first part of the series by looking at two communities transformed by the drug war: Chateaugay in northern Franklin County, which is currently fighting to save a local prison, and Brownsville, in New York City, a community that has seen a generation of men sent away to prison.

We'll start this special week with the two journalists who've done the work for the series, Brian Mann and Natasha Haverty. They have logged hundreds of miles and many hundreds of hours researching, reporting and producing our stories.  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo Photo:  Mark Kurtz

Budget deal in Albany reshapes NY education, taxes

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Saturday that lawmakers in Albany have hammered out a deal that would mean major changes to education in New York.

The agreement would delay implementation of controversial new "common core" standards, while also adding funding for pre-K education.

The deal also aims to rein in property taxes, which Cuomo has described as the highest in the US.  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

Budget deal closes two North Country prisons

A budget deal worked out over the weekend appears to lock in plans to mothball two North Country prisons, including facilities in Chateuagay in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County.

According to a report in the Auburn Citizen newspaper, a total of four prisons statewide will be closed in July.

Prison guards and local officials from the North Country rallied earlier this month in Albany, demanding that Governor Cuomo keep at least some of the correctional facilities open.  Go to full article
Mature apple tree before and after pruning. Photo: W. Lord, UNH Co-operative Extension

It's time to prune fruit trees

This is the best time of the season to prune your apple and other fruit trees. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has the best tips and how-to information to help insure good production.  Go to full article

Advocates criticizing NY public finance proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Good-government advocates are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative leaders for a budget agreement to test public campaign financing with...  Go to full article

Green groups cheer NY budget environment spending

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Conservation groups are glad to see the state's Environmental Protection Fund increased under the $140 billion budget agreement reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo...  Go to full article
Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. Photo: ORDA

NY's snowy winter lets Whiteface extend season

WILMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) The cold, snowy winter has been good to upstate New York ski areas. Whiteface may even be open until May.

Whiteface manager Aaron Kellet...  Go to full article