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

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New Chapel For State Prison, Built by State Prison Inmates

A crew of state prison inmates in Ray Brook has spent the summer building a new chapel. The men doing the work come from all the prison's religious groups. Jews and Christians and Muslims will share the chapel. As Brian Mann reports, inmates say the project has brought them closer to their faith.  Go to full article

Wildfires Require More Resources: Johnsburg Blaze at 170 Acres

Wildfires continued to grow on Tuesday, with forest rangers and volunteer fire crews battling a major blaze in the town of Johnsburg. The state continued to build its fire-fighting forces, adding army helicopters and re-enforcements from out of state. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

People: Mike Coffey, On Poetry and Language

Our literacy series concludes as poet Michael Coffey reads his poem "Marie" and talks about language.  Go to full article

Winds and Low Humidity Fuel Fires

It was another tough day Monday for fire crews across the North Country. Steady winds and low humidity fueled blazes in Johnsburg and Wilmington. Brian Mann has this update.
 Go to full article

Blazes Double In Size: Thirty Forest Fires Now Burning In North Country

Forest fires across the north country spread through the weekend, doubling in size to more than two hundred acres. Forest rangers and local fire departments are focusing on fast-moving blazes in the town of Johnsburg. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Forest Fires Heat Up On Thursday: Burn Ban Activated; Crews "Fatigued"

A state official has banned open burning on wild forest land in the Adirondacks. The move comes as firefighters in the north country face continued hot, dry weather. Crews are stretched thin, with half-a-dozen new fires popping up on Thursday. Brian Mann has this update:  Go to full article

Cedarlands Conservation Deal Near Long Lake Draws Praise, Raises Eyebrows

Conservation groups in the Adirondacks are praising a deal that will protect more than four thousand acres of forest and shoreline near Long Lake. But the project also allows a prominent environmentalist to buy a 60-acre piece of shoreline property. As Brian Mann reports, a plan to build a private home on the parcel has drawn sharp criticism:  Go to full article

Fires Burn Across Region, Near Niagara Mohawk Corridor

This week's heat wave - and a flurry of lightning storms - have spread forest fires across the north country. Forest rangers are battling a half-dozen blazes, from Willsboro in the east to Diana in the west. As Brian Mann reports, the latest fire is burning in Lewis County, near one of Niagara Mohawk's main power corridors:  Go to full article

Hot Weather Brings Forest Fires To Eastern Adirondacks

Hot, dry weather in the north country has brought a rash of forest fires to the eastern Adirondacks. New York forest rangers and crews from two state prisons are battling the blazes in rugged terrain near Lake George. Brian Mann has details:  Go to full article

Literacy and Illiteracy in the North Country, pt. 2

Looking at the two dominant methods of teaching reading, phonics and whole language, how they work, and how they don't. Brian Mann reports.  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:

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.
 
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.