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Special Reports

IED
Audio Slideshow:
Soldiers learn to spot IEDs at Ft. Drum
Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, kill more American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other weapon. David Sommerstein visits a hands-on IED training exhibit at Fort Drum near Watertown.
amish school
Audio Slideshow:
Ian Coristine: Thousand Islands photographer
Todd Moe visits photographer Ian Coristine on Raleigh Island, his seasonal home. River residents and visitors have probably seen Coristine aloft in his red ultralight aircraft searching the Thousand Islands for the perfect photo.
oiled heron
Audio Slideshow:
The Slick of '76: Looking Back and Forward
This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the “Slick of ‘76,” a 300,000-gallon oil spill in the heart of the Thousand Islands. The event re-shaped the way a generation views its relationship to the river. David Sommerstein reports.
prairie smoke
Audio Slideshow:
Chaumont Barrens: the North Country's Prairie
David Sommerstein takes a nature walk on this unique Nature Conservancy land that contains some of the nation's easternmost prairie habitat.
La Duchesse
Audio Slideshow:
Aboad La Duchesse in Clayton
La Duchesse is a 110-foot Gilded Age treasure that's become the crown jewel of the Antique Boat Museum's collection in Clayton. Todd Moe tours the historic houseboat.
La Duchesse
Audio Slideshow:
At a Grindstone Island Square Dance
Only 11 people live on Grindstone all winter, but when the weather changes, families who’ve spent generations of summers there return. On Saturday nights, the place to be is the big dance at Dodge Hall, especially when some fiddlers and callers get together for an old-fashioned square dance.
Audio Slideshow
Preserving the Indian River Lakes
Between the high profile destinations of the Thousand Islands and the Adirondacks, there's a hidden gem of a region. It's called the Indian River Lakes. David SOmmerstein sends an audio postcard.
Audio Slideshow
Iraq Through a Camera Lens: Watertown Daily Times Photojournalist Mark Dye
Mark Dye, a photojournalist with the Watertown Daily Times, spent a month in Baghdad earlier this winter. He was embedded with troops from Fort Drum, and sent daily photos and stories documenting the lives of soldiers and civilians in Iraq.
Audio Slideshow
Kayaking: The Blackwater Challenge
The U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team trials in preparation for the world championships this winter in Australia, was held on the "Route 3 Wave" on the Black River near Watertown. Kayakers have 45 seconds to add up points for each trick they make. If the whitewater flushes them downriver, they can paddle their way back to the wave until time runs out. David Sommerstein reports.
Animated Film Videos & Audio Slideshow
Art Without Borders: Carmen D'Avino
Carmen D’Avino began his career as a painter in the 1930s. He’s been a World War II military filmmaker, a sculptor, and an avant-guarde animator in New York City. For many years he lived in an old farmhouse in Hammond. David Sommerstein stopped by for a visit. This special report features nine videos of D'Avino's film work, most unavailable anywhere for decades. The artist died later in 2004.
Audio Slideshow
The Joy of Junk: Beachcombing with Captain Honk
A North Country angler and artist who spends most of his time on Lake Ontario turns junk found along the shoreline into fish sculptures. It's just one of the hobbies that keeps Tom Bintz, aka Captain Honk, busy as he divides his time between fishing, travel, art and demolition derby competitions.
Photo/Audio Essay
Inside Dark Island's Castle
On the St. Lawrence River near Chippewa Bay, a representative for the buyers of Dark Island and its historic castle gave David Sommerstein a peek of what visitors could see as early as next summer.
The Black River last Thursday, when it was over its banks. High water on the river is being cited as a hindrance in recovery efforts, as are fast-moving water and debris. Photo: Brian Caird
The Black River last Thursday, when it was over its banks. High water on the river is being cited as a hindrance in recovery efforts, as are fast-moving water and debris. Photo: Brian Caird

Canoeist missing on the Black River

An unidentified man remains missing after his canoe capsized on the Black River east of Watertown last night.  Go to full article
"Lighthouse Rock Island" Rock Island Lighthouse, Thousand Islands, New York. Photo: Ted Van Pelt

Are the Thousand Islands scenic...enough?

The ice is out along much of the St. Lawrence River and the colors, sounds, and movement of Spring in the Thousand Islands region are on their way.

But here's a question: is the Thousand Islands--the fifty mile archipelago with its constellation of villages, castles, cottages, and parks--scenic enough? And what's more: is it significant? That's what around 60 people from the community gathered late last month to figure out.  Go to full article
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter <em>Neah Bay</em>, homeported in Cleveland, works to keep the <em>CSL Laurentien</em> moving during an escort in eastern Lake Erie March 27, 2014. Photo: courtesy USCG

Relentless winter's ice delays St. Lawrence River shipping

Three U.S. Coast Guard cutter vessels are to help with annual ice-breaking operations in Thunder Bay's harbour on Lake Superior--the far end of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Canadian Coast Guard crews and their icebreakers are leading the effort after the harsh winter produced what are being called "unusually heavy and persistent" ice conditions.

The annual opening of the Seaway is one of the signs of spring in the North Country. But as with pretty much everything this year, winter is still having its way with the calendar.

The Seaway is holding its opening ceremony to welcome commercial ship traffic between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean this morning near Buffalo. But it's had to delay the opening of the St. Lawrence River part of the Seaway for three days until Monday due to ice.

David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley to discuss the annual debate over the Seaway's opening date.  Go to full article
Jefferson County legislative chairwoman Carolyn Fitzpatrick looks on as Sen. Charles Schumer speaks in Watertown Wednesday. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Schumer: Ft. Drum shouldn't "come within a whiff" of Army cuts

New York Senator Chuck Schumer says he's not afraid to use his political might to protect Fort Drum from cuts to the military budget. Schumer held a press conference at...  Go to full article
Congressional hopeful Elise Stefanik tours the Urban Mission in Watertown. Photo: David Sommerstein.

NY-21: Stefanik tours Watertown businesses

Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik swung through Jefferson County yesterday.

The Republican toured the Knowlton Technologies plant in Watertown, then visited...  Go to full article
Music Director Richard Probert conducts the Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble during a rehearsal at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards

Listen: Sackets Harbor choral group rehearses

The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble is preparing for a spring concert in Watertown.

Joanna Richards dropped by the group's second rehearsal to learn about...  Go to full article
Passengers wait for a 7 am flight to Chicago at the Watertown International Airport. Photo: Joanna Richards

Watertown airport switching flights from Chicago to Philadelphia

The Watertown airport has been much busier since it started offering direct air service to Chicago rather than Albany just over two years ago. Now, the merger between...  Go to full article
Turbines at the Marble River wind farm in Clinton, NY. Photo: Sarah Harris

BP killing Cape Vincent Wind Farm

After battling local residents for years, energy company BP says it's killing its proposal for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm. Some of the project's most vocal critics are...  Go to full article
Cars enter Fort Drum. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Fort Drum may fare better than other bases, but more cuts still likely

Since Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel detailed his proposal for deep military cutbacks Monday, officials in Watertown have been trying to divine what that could mean for Fort...  Go to full article
Watertown businessman Matt Doheny as he gave his concession speech in 2012. Photo: David Sommerstein

Doheny hopes fourth time's a charm in NY-21 run

The plot twists keep coming in the effort to win the 21st District Congressional seat that Bill Owens currently occupies. Yesterday morning, Republican Matt Doheny upended...  Go to full article

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