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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.

Life in Jefferson County? Good, not perfect

People in Jefferson County are pretty happy with their quality of life, but they have some worries. The annual Jefferson Community College survey finds 75 percent of residents think life's "getting better" or "staying the same."

Statistics students, working with the college's Center for Community Studies research staff, completed 422 telephone interviews in early April. It's a snapshot, now taken for the 15th straight year, that the college shares with the public and community leaders.

Martha Foley talked with the Director of the Center for Community Studies, Dr. Ray Petersen. What's good? Shopping, access to higher education (at the highest rate recorded since the first year of the survey), and availability of housing. And, what's not so good? The cost of energy, real estate taxes, the availability of good jobs, and the overall state of the local economy.  Go to full article
Elise Stefanik declares victory in Glens Falls Tuesday night, with her family and GOP county leaders behind her. Photo: Brian Mann

Stefanik overwhelms Doheny in NY-21 GOP primary

November's ballot is set after yesterday's primary elections. Among the races decided yesterday, Elise Stefanik beat Matt Doheny in the GOP primary for the 21st District Congressional seat opened up by Democratic Congressman Bill Owens' decision not to run this year.

Stefanik's win sent shock waves through the North Country last night. She was unknown before moving to Willsboro in Essex County last year. Yesterday, she won 60 percent of the votes in the Republican primary for the region's House seat. She toppled Watertown businessman and investment banker Matt Doheny, who was running for the third time.

After a sometimes bruising and bitter campaign, Stefanik, who is 29 years-old, won every county in the sprawling district.

We have two reports this morning, the first from Brian Mann -- who was at Stefanik's victory rally last night in Glens Falls, then from David Sommerstein, who was with Doheny supporters in Watertown.  Go to full article
Green groups are hoping the new water levels plan improves wetlands along the St. Lawrence River. Photo: Jenni Werndorf

After decades, major breakthrough on water levels for Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence

Standing between Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River is a dam that a lot of people say operates under outdated rules.

The regulations for the Moses-Saunders Dam between Cornwall and Massena haven't changed since the 1950s. For over a decade, lawmakers and activists have said that the rules on water levels have harmed wetlands, fish and wildlife, and even the tourism economy.

They've tried and failed to find a way of reversing that damage. Last year, officials came up with a new concept, called Plan 2014. Yesterday the International Joint Commission unanimously endorsed it.  Go to full article
A driverless tractor. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driverless_tractor#mediaviewer/File:Case_IH_745_XL,_Claas-M%C3%A4hdrescher.jpg">Lifetec18</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Robots are coming to North Country farms

A Potsdam-based startup company called Agbotic is working on machines that can till soil, plant seeds, and even kill pests without a human operator. The company plans on...  Go to full article
Republican Matt Doheny poses with Carol Enslow, left, and Chris Whitmarsh, two women who run the Am Vet post 11 Ladies Auxiliary Wednesday lunch. Photo: David Sommerstein

NY-21: Does Doheny have a likeability problem?

Three of the four candidates for the North Country's seat in Congress will take questions at a public forum tonight in the Warren County town of Hague. Republicans Elise...  Go to full article
Specialist Terry J. Hume of Merced, CA. Photo: U.S. Army

Fort Drum soldier dies in Afghanistan

A 10th Mountain Division Soldier died Monday in Logar province, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident.

According to a press release from Fort Drum's...  Go to full article
The Federal Kivalina was aground and at anchor for over 2 days and stopped shipping on the St. Lawrence. Photo: Emmett Smith

Shipping resumes on the St. Lawrence Seaway

Shipping has resumed through the St. Lawrence Seaway, after salvage crews moved a disabled freighter that was aground near the Thousand Islands Bridge to Wellesley Island....  Go to full article
The Federal Kivalina remains grounded near the Thousand Islands Bridge. Photo: Emmett Smith

Seaway shipping suspended pending efforts to free grounded freighter

Shipping traffic remains suspended along a stretch of the St. Lawrence Seaway as salvage efforts get underway for a freighter grounded between Alexandria Bay and Clayton.  Go to full article
Workers beginning to lay out the landscaping and sidewalks outside the future Thousand Islands Harbor Hotel. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Luxury hotel in Thousand Islands nears completion

The luxury hotel in Clayton is getting close to completion. And local officials hope it will draw a new kind of tourist to the region.

Two Buffalo-area developers...  Go to full article
Kate Ebbing takes inspiration from the real clouds on a beautiful day in Clayton. Photo: David Sommerstein

Hairdresser in Clayton applies artsy side to patriotism

It's Memorial Day weekend. Villages across the North Country are adding a patriotic flare to their Main Streets.

Just down Riverside Drive from the new hotel in...  Go to full article

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