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

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A Wilderness Marathon: Near Indian Lake, Blacktop Gives Way to Black Bears

Next Sunday, athletes from around the world will gather in Lake Placid for the Ironman triathlon. Race organizers say the top finishes will be shown live on a giant TV screen in Times Square. This weekend, a very different kind of race was held near Indian Lake. The "Damn Wakely Dam Ultra-Marathon" is a grassroots affair, with amateur runners testing themselves against bogs and creek-beds and boulders. Brian Mann was there and sends this race-day postcard.  Go to full article

Fundraising Reports: 45th Senate District Race; 110th Assembly District Race

Fundraising reports filed this month show that Assemblywoman Betty Little raised just over $60,000 for her bid to replace Senator Stafford. Little says she's happy with fundraising efforts so far. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

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

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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.