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NCPR News Staff: Brian Mann
News Reporter and Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Assemblyman Chris Ortloff and sawmill owner Pat Mitchell testify in Albany.  <br />Photo provided by Ortloff's office.
Assemblyman Chris Ortloff and sawmill owner Pat Mitchell testify in Albany.
Photo provided by Ortloff's office.

Sawmills ?Saved?: Rule Change Approved In Albany

State officials in Albany have agreed to allow the use of rough cut lumber in construction projects. Without the change to state building codes, made on Wednesday, hundreds of small sawmills in the North Country would have been forced to shut down. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Political Fight In Tupper Lake: Altamont Town Supervisor Asked To Resign

Town officials in Tupper Lake are caught in an ugly political feud. Last week, the Altamont town board urged veteran supervisor Dean LeFebvre to resign. The move came after LeFebvre published a scathing letter in the town newspaper, attacking local leaders. As Brian Mann reports, the fight comes as the town is struggling with a major budget crisis, that's forced lay-offs and deep program cuts.  Go to full article
A freshman Senator faces a tough year in Albany.
A freshman Senator faces a tough year in Albany.

Budget Cuts Could Go Deep In North Country

If the Governor does balance the budget through cuts - rather than income tax increases - the North Country could be hit hard. Government employment is a huge factor in the region's economy, accounting for one in three jobs. But as Brian Mann reports, leaders also worry that more programs will have to be paid for using local property taxes.  Go to full article

Stewardship Award: A Lake Champlain Estate Honored For Conservation

A conservation group and a coalition of private landowners have announced their choice for this year's Adirondack Stewardship Award. The honor - given each year since 1996 - is meant to recognize organizations that protect open space in the Adirondack Park. As Brian Mann reports, this year's award has gone to the owners of a private estate near Willsboro.  Go to full article

Interim Chairman Named To Head Troubled Park Agency

On Friday, Governor George Pataki appointed an interim chairman to head the Adirondack Park Agency. Jim Frenette has been a member of the commission since 1992. As Brian Mann reports, Frenette takes over at a time when the Park Agency is struggling.  Go to full article
Dr. Horace Judson<br />Source:  PSU
Dr. Horace Judson
Source: PSU

SUNY Plattsburgh President Resigns

The president of SUNY Plattsburgh says he'll resign at the end of this academic year. Dr. Horace Judson has led the school for nearly nine year, but he's faced increasing pressure to step down. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Hunter?s Body Found Near Inlet

The search for a missing hunter in Hamilton County ended Wednesday afternoon, after three grueling days. Despite a foot of fresh snow and sub-zero temperatures, rescue workers located the body of 58-year-old Arthur Birchmeyer. The Syracuse man disappeared on Saturday in a remote area of the cemtral Adirondacks. As Brian Mann reports, forest rangers suspect that Birchmeyer died of hypothermia or natural causes.  Go to full article
North Country sawmill owners meet in Ray Brook
North Country sawmill owners meet in Ray Brook

Sawmill Operators Say New Building Code Would Kill Industry

More than two hundred sawmill owners from across the North Country met last night in Ray Brook, furious about a change to New York state building codes. The new code - set to take effect January 1st - would force homebuilders to stop using the kind of "rough cut" lumber made in many local mills. As Brian Mann reports, most family run mills say the code will put them out of business.  Go to full article

Search Underway: Hunter Lost In Hamilton County

State and local authorities are searching for a hunter lost in the town of Inlet. A 58-year-old man from Syracuse was last seen early Saturday morning, hunting deer in the Moose River Plains Wild Forest. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Santanoni's massive porch
Santanoni's massive porch

A Winter Postcard: Santanoni Great Camp

The wagon road to Santanoni Great Camp is one of the Adirondacks' classic trails. In summertime, it's a favorite with hikers and mountain bikers. In winter, the ten mile route from Newcomb offers one of the region's loveliest ski trips. After a gentle climb through rolling hills visitors find snowy views of one of the north country's most iconic pieces of architecture. Brian Mann made the trip this weekend. He sends this audio postcard.  Go to full article

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Brian Mann. Nancie Battaglia photo

Brian Mann
grew up in Alaska, where he fell in love with public radio. In 1999, Brian moved to the Adirondacks and helped launch NCPR's news bureau at Paul Smiths College. "I love the chemistry of water and mountains," Brian says. "But I'm also pretty crazy about village life in the north country. It's the kind of place where you know your neighbors." Brian lives in Saranac Lake with wife Susan and son Nicholas. He's a frequent contributor to NPR and also writes regularly for regional magazines, including Adirondack Life and the Adirondack Explorer.

Recent Brian Mann stories carried by NPR:

August 14, 2014 | NPR · Funeral services were held Thursday for Kevin Ward Jr., the driver killed on the track after being hit by former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann attended the service; he speaks with Robert Siegel about the funeral and possible investigations into the incident.
 
July 24, 2014 | NCPR · Small-town startups often struggle to attract serious investors. But efforts are under way to help entrepreneurs outside the urban beltway find financing.
 
AP
December 16, 2013 | NPR · Forty seven people died in July when a freight train derailed and dozens of tanks carrying oil exploded and caught fire. Much of Lac-Megantic was leveled. For the first time since then, freight cars will travel through this week. Officials say they'll only carry "dry goods." Residents are worried.
 
NCPR
August 28, 2013 | NPR · For the last four decades the Rockefeller Drug Laws have been impacting many in upstate New York. North Country Public Radio undertook an ambitious reporting project to tell this national story throughout this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of the Rockefeller Laws.
 
July 26, 2013 | NPR · More than two weeks after a fiery train crash left 47 dead in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, the town's center remains in shambles, while a criminal investigation and lawsuits are underway.
 
Getty Images
February 14, 2013 | NCPR · Forty years ago, New York enacted tough laws in response to a wave of drug-related crime. They became known as the Rockefeller drug laws, and they set the standard for states looking to get tough on crime. But a new debate is under way over the effectiveness of such strict sentencing laws.
 
Courtesy of Yvonne Prendes
February 14, 2013 | NCPR · George Prendes was 23 when he was sentenced under New York's Rockefeller drug laws — tough mandatory sentencing guidelines for nonviolent drug crimes. The 15 years Prendes served for a drug transaction still reverberate for him and his family.
 
November 4, 2012 | NPR · As New York City's first responders begin to show fatigue, and in many cases deal with losses of their own homes, replacement crews of firefighters are getting ready to roll into Manhattan and Long Island. Among them are a group of firefighters from a small rural fire station in the mountains of upstate New York.
 
August 29, 2012 | NCPR · New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to decide soon whether to allow natural gas companies to use the controversial drilling technique known as hydro-fracking. New Yorkers are sharply divided on the issue. Industry groups and activists are campaigning hard to shape how the decision will be received.
 
May 28, 2012 | NCPR · Farm worker advocates and top Obama administration officials have been pushing hard for new regulations that would improve safety for teenagers working on farms. But facing fierce opposition from the agriculture industry and its allies in Congress, the Department of Labor abruptly withdrew a set of rules that advocates said could save dozens of lives every year.