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

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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

Literacy and Illiteracy in the North Country, pt. 1

The first in our series on literacy and illiteracy in the North Country. Today--a look at the latest research into what literacy is. How do people learn to read? Why is it easy for some, but not or others? How does the brain learn and use language? Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article

Trail Derails Saturday In Westport: Emergency Alert, No Injuries

A train derailed in Westport on Saturday, spilling a flammable chemical over a seven-mile stretch of the rail bed. Emergency crews battled a small forest fire, triggered by the accident. As Brian Mann reports, five firefighters were exposed to the chemical, but no serious injuries were reported:  Go to full article

Fletcher Allen Hospital Faces Financial Scrutiny

One of the country's top bond analysis firms has downgraded the credit rating of Fletcher Allen Hospital, in Burlington. The move follows state and federal inquiries into the hospital's 200 million dollar expansion project. Brian Mann reports:  Go to full article

Adirondack Debate: Hunting Camp Development

The Adirondack Park Agency will hold a public hearing to decide the future of an eight-lot subdivision in southern St. Lawrence County. The developer says seven new buildings will be "hunting camps". Park Agency commissioners say the cabins could be used as homes. Brian Mann reports:  Go to full article

Special Report: Roman Catholic Priest Shortage Reshapes North Country Life

The Roman Catholic Church has been a powerful force in the North Country since the region was settled by whites hundreds of years ago. But the once-firm fabric of community parishes is under increasing strain. A shortage of priests has forced the Diocese of Ogdensburg to close churches, and move priests to serve more congregations. The process has continued through the summer and fall. Currently, one in four parishes in the North Country lacks a resident pastor. As Brian Mann reports, the crisis began long before the current sex-abuse scandals, and it's changing the work of the local churches.  Go to full article

Kid Radio: Praise For Summer, From Summer Camp

It's summer camp season. Hundreds of kids around the north country are swimming and hiking, earning merit badges, practicing their musical instrument--even making radio. This week, at the Town of Altamont Summer Day Camp, kids worked with our Adirondack reporter Brian Mann, learning how to make a story for radio. They interviewed each other, asking about the best parts of summer. Here's our special correspondent, 10-year-old Riti Spada, reporting from the gym at LP Quinn Elementary.  Go to full article

GOP Federal Spending Up, But Not in North Country

A report published today by the Associated Press finds that Republican lawmakers have funneled billions more dollars to their districts since taking over Congress in 1994. But North Country lawmakers lagged far behind. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article
Summer day on the Carry Falls Reservoir.
Summer day on the Carry Falls Reservoir.

Canoe Journey: Jordan River, Carry Falls Reservoir

The Carry Falls Reservoir lies hidden away in the northwest corner of the Adirondack Park. Twenty miles south of Potsdam, Carry Falls is the fifth-largest lake inside the blue line. It's also the gateway to one of the North Country's most pristine rivers. Brian Mann spent a day exploring and sends this audio postcard:  Go to full article

Regional Hospital Investigated

State officials in Vermont have joined with Federal investigators looking into the multi-million dollar expansion of Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington. As Brian Mann reports, the 1/4 billion dollar project may have skirted state laws.  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.