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

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Lake George Hotel On Fast Track: APA Favoritism?

The Adirondack Park Agency meets today, to consider fast-track approval for a major new hotel on Lake George. The developer says a quick answer is necessary to save the project. But a pro-environment group claims that the Park Agency is showing favoritism to a former commissioner. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

45th District Senate Race: Democrat Struggling To Compete

On November 5th, voters will choose a new state Senator to replace 37-year veteran Ron Stafford. Stafford announced his retirement this spring, but the race for his seat hasn't generated much excitement. A much-anticipated Republican primary never materialized. Now, Republican Assemblywoman Betty Little is facing Boyce Sherwin, an under-funded Democrat from Malone. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Interview: Ursula Bauer

The head of the Tobacco Control Program for the state Department of Health says poor people in the North Country are especially vulnerable to cigarette addiction. She spoke with Brian Mann.  Go to full article

Despite North Country Cancer Clusters, Anti-Smoking Campaign Lackluster

New York's Department of Health says lung cancer rates across the North Country are a hundred percent higher than expected. But despite new revenue from cigarette taxes and the tobacco settlement, there's little funding for tobacco programs. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
 A discussion group at the Wildlands Exchange Conference.
A discussion group at the Wildlands Exchange Conference.

Canada's Parks: A More Restrictive Model for the Adirondacks?

This summer, visitors to the High Peaks found more rules and regulations than ever before. The new unit management plan bans campfires and limits the size of hiking groups. But compared with parks in Canada, the Adirondacks are still wide open.
At a conference this weekend, recreation users and pro-environment groups debated a future where that could change, with access to the backcountry limited by quotas and permits. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

113th Assembly District Debate: Jobs & Politics

Assembly candidates in the 113th district gathered last night for a debate in Lake Placid. The talk was mostly about jobs and strategies to revive the struggling North Country economy. This race promises to be one of the most competitive in the region - with three strong candidates on the November ballot. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

Lake Placid: Sewer Woes Delay Development Projects

The village of Lake Placid is scrambling to raise ten million dollars needed to rebuild the sewage treatment plant. Local officials have already doubled water rates - a move that angered many hotel owners. Mayor Robi Politi now says major new development projects - and tourism events - will have to wait until the new plant comes on-line. As Brian Mann reports, some business leaders worry that the sewage bottleneck will derail Lake Placid's prosperity.  Go to full article
Stewart Belkin, President of Newstech NY, Inc., stands outside the mill in Newton Falls.
Stewart Belkin, President of Newstech NY, Inc., stands outside the mill in Newton Falls.

Newton Falls Paper Mill Reopens: Economic Victory For St. Lawrence County

A Canadian company will spend more than twenty million dollars refurbishing the paper mill in Newton Falls. The plan--which will mean roughly 120 job--was unveiled Sunday at a ceremony in the village. The economy in southern St. Lawrence County was devastated three years ago when the Newton Falls mill shut down. As Brian Mann reports, many locals say yesterday's announcement was the pay-off for years of hope and hard work.  Go to full article

Bombardier Announces Layoffs

Transportation giant Bombardier announced today that the company will lay off six percent of its workforce. The move is a blow to the economy in Quebec, where more than a thousand jobs will go. Brian Mann reports it appears that the decision will affect plants in Vermont, but not in New York.  Go to full article

Keeseville: Tanker Crash Threatens Water Supply

A tanker truck crash early Wednesday on the Northway is threatening Keeseville's water supply. Between four and five thousand gallons of transformer oil spilled into a creek that feeds the village's main reservoir. Brian Mann has details:  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:

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.
 
istockphoto.com
April 30, 2012 | NPR · The Obama administration backed off a proposal to restrict kids under 16 from working on farms after a major push by conservatives and farm state Democrats. But farmers themselves weren't too happy about the restrictions, either.
 
February 18, 2012 | NPR · U.S. bobsled racers triumphed at the 2010 Winter Olympics, but it's been tough sledding ever since. The American team has lost big sponsors and struggled to win big races. This weekend, the world's top sled teams face off in Lake Placid, N.Y., for the world championships. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports that American athletes hope the home-track advantage will give them a shot at a medal.