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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.
Gary Walts and Captain Honk.
Gary Walts and Captain Honk.

StoryCorps: Captain Honk

Story Corps just wrapped up a month of recording interviews in Canton and Watertown. Recently, photographer Gary Walts from Chaumont talked with his long-time friend, Thomas Bintz, at the StoryCorps Mobilebooth in Watertown. Thomas is an artist and is better known as Captain Honk. He specializes in creating art from found objects, especially those located along ocean and lake shores.  Go to full article

Heard Up North: the haunted mansion ride

It's county fair season across the North Country. And if you haven't been for awhile, you're missing out on the good ole' Haunted Mansion ride. Fear not, because Katie Booth and Hannah Maturkle of Philadelphia take us along for today's Heard Up North.  Go to full article

Revisiting "The Slick of '76"

Tonight and tomorrow are the last performances of The Slick of '76, A Musical Catastrophe at the Clayton Opera House. The revived musical commemorates the 30th anniversary of a 300,000 gallon oil spill in the heart of the Thousand Islands. Thick, gooey crude coated the shoreline from Alexandria Bay to Massena. The accident remains one of the largest inland oil spills in the United States. Many river residents still remember where they were on June 23, 1976. The event re-shaped the way a generation views its relationship to the river and the giant freighters that ply its waters. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Craig Jaster, Kathy Sommer and Paul Hubert

Folk, jazz and swing: The Buskers begin North Country tour

Todd Moe talks with The Buskers fiddler Kathy Sommer about the band's tail-wagging, jazz-infused roots music. Kathy lives in Redwood and also performs with the jazz...  Go to full article

Clayton Opera House gets boost

An effort to make the Clayton Opera House a year-round anchor of the Thousand Islands village got a big boost yesterday. Governor Pataki announced a $700,000 grant for...  Go to full article
Larry "The Fish Guy" LaRue of Ogdensburg.

Heard Up North: Larry's fish truck

All summer long, seafood lovers in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties are keeping their eyes open for a white truck with a big red lobster on its side. It's Larry's fish...  Go to full article
Coast Guardsmen get ready for their Waterway Watch presentation.

Coast Guard wants eyes on the border

If you're among the thousands of people making a splash in the St. Lawrence River this summer, the Coast Guard wants you. Its "Waterway Watch" program enlists river goers to...  Go to full article
Coast Guard Auxiliary on patrol.  Below, a gap between the U.S. and Canada where smuggling was popular during Prohibition.

A tour of smugglers' havens on the St. Lawrence

Among the people most likely to see suspicious activity on the river are members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary. Formed to patrol America's waters at the beginning of World...  Go to full article

Ft. Drum Fuels Upbeat Attitudes

People in Jefferson County are more satisfied with their job prospects and quality of life than they've been in many years. According to Jefferson Community College's 7th...  Go to full article

Virus Killing More Fish in Lake Ontario?

Thousands more dead fish are washing up on the shore of eastern Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence River. Biologists and local businesses are concerned because many...  Go to full article

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