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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.

NY lawmakers push back on passport plan

Republican Congressman John McHugh is joining with a Democratic colleague from Rochester to keep fighting a passport requirement for border crossing. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Blizzard bears down on the North Country

The snow storm that moved through the area could go down as one of the biggest in Vermont's history. More than two feet of snow were expected to fall by morning, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist John Goff. That was welcome news to struggling ski areas. Schools closed, so did many public offices and even private businesses. Sometimes these closures mean more people on the slopes, but warnings that a blizzard was bearing down on the region may have kept a lot of people in doors. Goff explains why the National Weather Service issued the blizzard warning.  Go to full article

Returning soldiers face another fight: reacclimation

As many as 9,000 troops are expected to return to Fort Drum from Iraq and Afghanistan by the end of August. Speculation has run rampant on the impact this influx will have on Watertown and the rest of the North Country. Jefferson County Sheriff John Burns - when running for re-election - said crime will rise. And there may not be enough housing or jobs for returning soldiers. The military - and military families - are asking a different question: What impact will coming home have on the soldiers themselves? Retired Army Captain Jim Wilkes knows that impact first-hand. After returning from overseas, he started the non-profit Angel Trax to serve soldiers and their families. Jonathan Brown asked him what issues the soldiers are likely to confront once they're back home.  Go to full article
Seaway Admin. Terry Johnson

Seaway: invasive species "high priority"

We've been reporting on invasive species in the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes for years, ever since foreign freighters brought zebra mussels from the Caspian Sea. ...  Go to full article

UpNorth Music: Queen August

NCPR is in the middle of a year-long recording project called UpNorth Music. The goal is to record as many as 150 music acts from all over the North Country and...  Go to full article

Riding the plow: Farming under several feet of snow

People across the country are fascinated by the recent snow squalls off Lake Ontario. Almost 12 feet of snow piled up in Oswego and Lewis Counties. It's the stuff of big,...  Go to full article

McHugh urges tightening Iraq War purse strings

The North Country's representative in Congress is urging fellow House members to use legislative means to influence how the U.S. wages war in Iraq.  Go to full article
The removal of the Intorcia Donut Shop sign is one of several changes to downtown Carthage.

Downtown Carthage, five years later

Downtown Carthage is trying to rebound from a fire that gutted half a block of the historic village five years ago. Today the site of the fire is a parking lot. Plans to...  Go to full article

Snow slams parts of the North Country

This week, lake-effect snow squalls have hit Oswego, Jefferson and Lewis Counties... hard. Measurements could go over 100 inches in some places.
James Martin is Director...  Go to full article

River advocates to push for cleaner ballast

The environmental group Save The River is kicking off a campaign to urge Seaway freighters to clean their ballast water this weekend in Alexandria Bay. At the group's annual...  Go to full article

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