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NCPR News: Nora Flaherty, Reporter/producer

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Angler and TV personality Don Meissner holding a smallmouth bas. Photo courtesy St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce
Angler and TV personality Don Meissner holding a smallmouth bas. Photo courtesy St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce

Seven ways to keep bass safe when angling

With so much snow on the ground, bass fishing might seem far away, but for anglers it's always time to think about bass fishing. New research that finds the increase in catch and release bass fishing tournaments stresses fish got us thinking about ways to do it most safely. Here are some tips from B.A.S.S., the organization that puts on tournaments like last year's Bassmasters Elite in Waddington, NY.  Go to full article
Glens Falls, late this morning. Photo: Rita Grinbergs
Glens Falls, late this morning. Photo: Rita Grinbergs

Your pics of the latest storm

The last day has seen yet another snowstorm in our region, dumping up to two feet of snow in some areas, making travel hazardous, and reminding us all that winter's not going out without a fight.

We asked you via Facebook and Twitter to send your shots and share your impressions of what the snowstorm looks like where you are. We'll update this as more photos come in -- if you have a pic to send, please do so at nora@ncpr.org. You can also submit on Facebook or on Twitter @ncpr. Meanwhile, have fun digging out!  Go to full article
The Black River Rollers strike a pose. Photo: Nora Flaherty
The Black River Rollers strike a pose. Photo: Nora Flaherty

What's so great about roller derby?

Roller derby has a surprisingly long history: It first emerged as a contact sport in the late 1930s; started broadcasting on TV in the late '40s; and had a bit of a TV revival in the '80s and '90s.

The sport as we know it today is mostly an all-female, woman-organized amateur sport. This most recent incarnation got its start in the early 2000s, in Austin, Texas.  Go to full article
Bulk carrier Orsula aground off Tibbetts Point. Photo: USCGS
Bulk carrier Orsula aground off Tibbetts Point. Photo: USCGS

Why did the freighter Orsula run aground?

Update, Tuesday 10:50: As of 8 this morning, shipwatcher.com reported the Orsula and other ships still moving through the Seaway, and that the season would be extended.

***

The bulk freighter Orsula had been expected to clear the St. Lawrence Seaway before the Seaway closed. The freighter carrying 20,000 tons of wheat from Duluth, Minn., to Europe, is headed out to sea after running aground on Christmas Day off Tibbets Point near Cape Vincent. The vessel was freed Sunday night around six o'clock.  Go to full article
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris
An Amish farm in St. Lawrence county. Photo: Sarah Harris

Why more Amish aren't registering for the STAR exemption, and how it's getting fixed

New York state is urging people to re-register for their STAR property tax exemption before the deadline of December 31. Even if you've done it before, you need to sign up again - it's part of an effort by the state to curb fraud.

You can register online or by phone (here's how), but what if you don't have a computer or a phone? What if, say, you're Amish?  Go to full article
Registration for the STAR exemption, by county. Image: tax.ny.gov
Registration for the STAR exemption, by county. Image: tax.ny.gov

Why you have to register (again) for the STAR exemption

New York state is putting out the word that if you want your STAR Property Tax exemption to continue, you need to register. If you're a homeowner, you probably already know that: The state has, according to a press release, sent letters to all of the nearly 2.7 million homeowners who claimed the exemption last year. But if you've already claimed the exemption, why do you need to register again?  Go to full article
Checking out at the Canton Price Chopper. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Checking out at the Canton Price Chopper. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Where your money goes when you give at the store

The holidays are a very big time for charitable giving, and that means when you're out shopping, you may be called upon to donate at the register. But if you're feeling charitable and you make that donation, where exactly does the money go - and just how local is "local?" Not surprisingly, it depends on where you drop your coins.

Price Chopper and Stewart's Shops are two major chains in our area that do holiday charitable drives, and they offer very different takes on how your local donation stays local.  Go to full article
Sharon Bastille ("Mom") presents a pie. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Sharon Bastille ("Mom") presents a pie. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Mom's Schoolhouse Diner closes after a decade in West Potsdam

For the last ten years, Sharon Bastille - better known as "Mom" - and her husband Dick have been running Mom's Schoolhouse Diner in West Potsdam. But the Mom's era will come to an end this weekend, as the diner shuts its doors after Saturday, August 17.  Go to full article
Inside the Capitol, twists and turns lead to the passage of many laws. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/54021469@N00/394233312/">Holley St. Germain</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Inside the Capitol, twists and turns lead to the passage of many laws. Photo: Holley St. Germain, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How the $#%@# does a bill become a law in NYS?

As New York's legislative session wraps up this week, some of the major issues we've been hearing about for the last while remain unresolved, and it's looking like at least some of them aren't going to get resolved in this session.

Of course bills often come together and pass the legislature at the last moment, so what's going to happen in the next couple days is anyone's guess. But how is all of this happening? Turns out it's much more complicated, and less transparent, than what you might remember from Schoolhouse Rock.  Go to full article
Hammond, NY, where the crime is alleged to have taken place. Image: maps.google.com
Hammond, NY, where the crime is alleged to have taken place. Image: maps.google.com

Hammond man faces felony charges after cross burning

After allegedly burning a cross on his lawn and shouting racial slurs at the guest of a neighbor, Ryann Wilson, of the St. Lawrence County town of Hammond, is facing felony aggravated harassment charges.

Wilson is being held at the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with a $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond. Officer Robert Rusaw of the correctional facility says Wilson is headed to court Wednesday to face the harassment charge.  Go to full article

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Nora Flaherty got into public radio kind of by mistake--the local public radio station was in the same building as the office of the Anthropology department at the University of Michigan, where Nora was studying to be a professor. But after a few weeks as an intern, she was convinced she'd stumbled into the right place.

Nora became a reporter and on-air host at Michigan Radio, where she did stories on environmental issues, housing, the arts, among other things. Nora moved to New York City in 2005, and became a producer at WFUV. At WFUV, Nora hosted a weekly interview program and reported on the long-term issues faced by September 11th survivors, education, and less serious topics like fairy tales, freak shows and pop music.

A serious dog person, Nora loves hanging out with her "pack" (her husband and their dog), cooking, and driving in foreign countries.