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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.
Teresa Macaluso, left, says goodbye to her final guests - her mother and sister - after a small election-day party at her home. She retained her seat on City Council. Photo: Joanna Richards
Teresa Macaluso, left, says goodbye to her final guests - her mother and sister - after a small election-day party at her home. She retained her seat on City Council. Photo: Joanna Richards

Split decision for Watertown City Council

Watertown's City Council contest pitted two fiscally conservative incumbents against two political newcomers who want city government to think more broadly about its role. The voters went for one of each.  Go to full article

Truck driver injured in Adams Center train collision

A Lacona man was in fair condition at SUNY Upstate Medical University yesterday after the dump truck he was driving was hit by a train in Adams Center.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department said the crash happened around 9 a.m. at a private crossing for Kings Quarry.  Go to full article
The 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel in Clayton is slated to open in spring, 2014. Photo: Catherine Loper

New hotel anchors Clayton waterfront re-do

It's a busy time in the town of Clayton. New businesses, infrastructure and public amenities hold the promise of more tourism, a stronger economy, and a better quality of life for locals.  Go to full article
The WIC program serves about 10,000 people from Watertown to Malone.

Children's Clinic, WIC open for business

Last week was a rough one for the North Country Children's Clinic in Watertown. As the non-profit confronted mounting financial problems, it announced that it had to close....  Go to full article
John Clayton Elementary School was one of eight buildings on lockdown Wednesday morning. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/leecannon/8785465775/">Lee Cannon</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Gun scare causes lockdown at Indian River schools

Parents, teachers, and students at a Jefferson County school district had a frightening morning when schools were locked down following a threatening phone call.
...  Go to full article

Charges brought against sex trafficking ring

A Syracuse man and two women were arrested and charged Tuesday with operating a sex ring that prosecutors say stretched from Watertown to Ithaca.  Go to full article
The New York Air Brake industrial site in Watertown is the subject of an impending class-action lawsuit by current and former neighborhood residents who say past chemical dumping caused illnesses and birth defects. Photo: Joanna Richards

Lawsuit against Air Brake dumping gaining momentum

Current and former residents of Watertown's north side neighborhood have been building a public case against the company New York Air Brake, over former chemical dumping they...  Go to full article
The North Country Children's Clinic has had a tumultuous week. It announced on Tuesday that it would cease operations Friday, but a last-minute deal with Samaritan Medical Center and the state Department of Health will keep it open for at least the next month. Photo by FDRHPO

Children's Clinic gets last-minute rescue

A last-minute deal was struck yesterday to rescue a long-standing health care safety net for needy north country children. The North Country Children's Clinic in Watertown...  Go to full article
The WIC program serves about 10,000 people from Watertown to Malone.

WIC nutritional program will close alongside children's clinic

There's more fallout from the closing of the North Country Children's Clinic.

The clinic administers a nutrition program for women, infants and children, called...  Go to full article
Limnologist Michael Twiss from Clarkson University. Photo: David Sommerstein.

A mystery at the bottom of the Great Lakes food web

Phytoplankton - the algae that are food for plankton which in turn feed fish - are behaving strangely. They're surrounded by a nutrient they need to grow. But for some...  Go to full article

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