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

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Senator Stafford: In Retirement, A Force To Be Reckoned With

Republican Senator Ron Stafford announced this spring that he'll step aside after nearly four decades in office. But documents filed this month with New York's Board of Elections, show that Senator Stafford's campaign war chest continues to grow. As Brian Mann reports, that money will help give the Senator political clout, long after his retirement.  Go to full article

Canadian Border Guards Near Plattsburgh Exposed to Tuberculosis: Health Officials Say Case Poses No Public Risk

Five Canadian workers at the Champlain border crossing, north of Plattsburgh, have been infected with tuberculosis. Officials say the source was a refugee, detained at the border for several days. As Brian Mann reports, dozens of travelers may have been exposed, but north country health officials say there's no cause for alarm.
Update: A spokesman for the US Customs service says there've been no recent cases of TB exposure among American border agents. Mike McMullen says infectious diseases are a well-known hazard for workers at the border. Testing and vaccinations are offered regularly. According to McMullen, the recent case won't affect safety procedures at the Champlain crossing.  Go to full article

The American Freedom Trail: An Adirondack Correction?

Brian Mann talks with Dr. Milton Sernett, author of North Star Country, Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom. It's a closer look at the Underground Railroad in New York. Sernett is vice chair of the New York State Freedom Trail commission.  Go to full article

Tour Bus Loses Control On Whiteface: Second Incident In A Week

A tour bus lost its brakes on a steep section of the road that climbs Whiteface Mountain on Tuesday. The bus, carrying 21 passengers, crashed through a section of the road's toll booth. As Brian Mann reports, passengers suffered only minor injuries.  Go to full article

Guilt-Free Boating: Environmental Officials Push Low-impact Outboard Motors

More than twelve thousand boats are registered on Lake Champlain, most of them using 2-stroke outboard engines. Environmental officials in New York and Vermont say those engines are noisy and inefficient, dumping as much as a third of their gas and oil directly into the water. The states are teaming up with the EPA and industry groups to phase out 2-stroke engines. But as Brian Mann reports, the effort is meeting resistance from some dealers:  Go to full article

Rock Climbing: A Sophisticated Art

Rock climbing in the Adirondacks. These days it's more sophisticated and much safer. But the reasons people climb are much the same. They go looking for adventure and amazing views, and a deeper connection to the mountains. Brian Mann climbed Hurricane Crag during the peak of last year's leaf season, and sends this report.  Go to full article

The Culture of Climbing: Chasing the Pure Route

If you've driven through the Adirondacks in mid-summer, you've probably seen tiny figures dangling from massive cliffs. Rock climbers in the North Country have been braving the rain and bugs for nearly a century, pioneering some of the most rugged routes in the world. For many, time spent on the rock isn't just as a battle against nature. It's also a form of personal expression. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article

A Fife Tune From the Colonial Era

Listen to Gregory Veens rendition of Free America on the fife.  Go to full article

Battle of Valcour Island

The site of a historic Lake Champlain battle may get some renewed attention. Road improvements have made the memorial to the Battle of Valcour Island hard to spot. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is creating a small historic park near the southern tip of Valcour Island. The October 11, 1776, battle was an American defeat, but it was crucial to America's eventual success in the Revolutionary War. Re-enactors are bringing the brutal struggle to life. Brian Mann joined re-enactors on the island for last summer's recreation.  Go to full article

Study: High Mercury Levels in Adirondack Loons

The final report from a study of mercury levels in Adirondack loons is out. It finds that 17 percent of the birds scientists sampled last summer had high enough levels of mercury to affect their reproduction and behavior. The findings suggest that acid rain's effects on the Adirondack Park have spread throughout the food chain. But the long term effects are still to be determined. Brian Mann was with the researchers late last summer, and reported on what were then the preliminary findings.  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
January 2, 2014 | NPR · Parts of the Northeast and New England are expected to be hit the hardest today and Friday. More than a foot of snow may fall on Boston. The wind chill may plunge to 40 degrees below zero in the Adirondacks. Flight delays and cancellations are piling up along with the snow.
 
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.
 
October 29, 2013 | NCPR · With just a hundred days to go before the Winter Olympic Games open in Russia, even many gold medalists are still fighting for a place on Team USA. Justin Olsen, a bobsledder from San Antonio, Texas, helped the U.S. win a historic gold medal four years ago in Vancouver, but he's struggled to overcome injuries in the lead-up to Sochi.
 
September 10, 2013 | NPR · New York adopted one of the toughest gun control laws in the U.S. — banning the sale of assault rifles and banana clips. Many of the state's county sheriffs hate the law and some say they won't enforce it. The fight over gun rights and gun safety has become a hot issue in sheriff races, as local law enforcement officials seek re-election in rural counties.
 
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.
 
July 11, 2013 | NPR · In Lac Megantic, Quebec, locals are waiting impatiently for answers following Saturday's train explosion that left 50 people dead. The provincial government in Quebec is blasting the railroad at the center of this disaster for responding too slowly — and requesting more aid from Canada's federal government to help the rural town rebuild.
 
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.
 
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.
 
September 4, 2011 | NPR · The massive clean-up from Tropical Storm Irene continues in upstate New York, but some cash-strapped rural communities say they're not sure how much they can afford to rebuild.