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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.

Preview: The Sweet Life

A new comedy written by a Jefferson county native, and featuring a North Country cast, gets its world premiere in Sackets Harbor next week. The Sweet Life is written and directed by Craig Thornton. It opens Friday, June 16th at the Lake Ontario Playhouse. Thornton grew up in Theresa, and has worked extensively in film, television and theatre. He's worked in New York City and Los Angeles as a screenwriter and playwright. He told Todd Moe that The Sweet Life is the first full-length play he's written since returning to the North Country in 1999.  Go to full article
Prairie Smoke in bloom on the Chaumont Barrens

Chaumont Barrens: The North Country's Prairie

If you're looking for a unique hike in the North Country, try this. Tucked in the northwest corner of Jefferson County, just inland from Lake Ontario, there's an area that's more North Dakota prairie than northern New York forest. It's called the Chaumont Barrens. It's owned by the Nature Conservancy. It's the only "alvar" landscape in New York State. And best of all, its wildflowers are in full bloom right now. David Sommerstein took a nature walk and sent this audio postcard.  Go to full article
The word comfrey is derived from the Latin word for "grow together".

In Praise of Comfrey: An Herbal Healer

It's been cultivated since 400 BC as a healing herb. Greeks and Romans used comfrey to stop heavy bleeding and heal broken bones. Today, the leafy herb is more of a pain than a prize for some gardeners. But Todd Moe spoke with an Antwerp gardener, who praises the hardy plant.  Go to full article
An "Empty Bowls" wall display at South Jefferson Middle School

South Jefferson School Fights Hunger with "Empty Bowls"

Hundreds of clay bowls that were made over the last few months by students and staff in a Jefferson County school will raise thousands of dollars for hunger relief. South...  Go to full article

Latinos on the Farm, in the Shadows

In the North Country, two groups are watching the immigration debate closely: dairy farmers and the Mexicans and Central Americans who work for them. There are no numbers on...  Go to full article

Pentagon Releases Drum Casualty Names

Yesterday the Army released the names of the 10 soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan last week. Two were native New Yorkers. All were members of the 10th...  Go to full article

Heard Up North: 3 Words (The Particular Language of the North Country, Cont.)

Southern-born Steve Diehl says there are 3 words he hears in Antwerp that he's never heard anywhere else. He called up in response to our series about the Language of the...  Go to full article

Drum Families Cope With High-Profile Loss

Last Friday night, 10 soldiers from Fort Drum were killed when the Chinook helicopter transporting them rolled down a mountainside in Afghanistan. The families, friends, and...  Go to full article

Jefferson County Woman Wants Greater Gay/Lesbian Tolerance

Legalizing same-gender marriage was one of a number of issues presented yesterday during Gay-Lesbian Equality and Justice Day in Albany. And today advocates for gay rights...  Go to full article
The Schuckman and Esplin families Sunday outside Ft. Drum.

Copter Crash Stirs Drum Families

10 Fort Drum soldiers died in a helicopter crash Friday night in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan. The military says the chopper was not downed by enemy fire. The...  Go to full article

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