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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.
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.
Oil escaping the containment boom around the NEPCO barge.

Slick of '76: The Social Impacts

30 years ago today, on a foggy morning, the NEPCO 140 barge hit a shoal in the St. Lawrence River near Alexandria Bay. The barge spewed 300,000 gallons of thick, gooey oil into the river. The "Slick of '76," as it's known today, stretched as far downriver as Massena. It remains among the largest inland vessel oil spills in the United States. Next week on The 8 O'Clock Hour, we'll hear from the people who saw the spill unfold, the people who helped clean it up, and the people who are passing on the memories of the oil spill to a new generation. Today, Martha Foley talk with someone who tried to measure the Slick of '76 in human terms. John Omohundro is a professor of anthropology at SUNY Potsdam. In 1976, he got a grant from the Coast Guard to study the spill's impacts on people's work, their recreation habits, their social networks.  Go to full article

Farm Will Power Operations With Manure

The 2006 Bioenergy Conference is at Clarkson University this week. It promises to bring together all the players in the growing alternative energy market. From the money-folks to the entrepreneurs, the university researchers and foresters and farmers. Today the conference begins in earnest with expert panel discussions. Yesterday attendees took field trips to various bioenergy projects around the north country.

One stop was Shetland Farms in Adams. Gregory Warner spoke with co-owner Doug Shelmidine just before the tour group arrived. They were there to see the amazing things he's doing...with manure.  Go to full article

Minutemen Plan Boat Patrol on St. Lawrence

The controversial civilian border watch group known as the Minutemen has started a new Watertown chapter. They have a handful of members so far, but ambitious plans... next month they hope to start patrolling for illegal immigrants along the St Lawrence River, in what would be the first-ever Minuteman boat. Problem is, they don't have a boat yet. Gregory Warner spoke with chapter founder Bart Bonner about what they'll do if they get one.  Go to full article

Virus Threatens River Muskies

Biologists are concerned a new fish virus may become an ongoing threat in the St. Lawrence River. DEC officials have confirmed Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, or VHS, killed...  Go to full article

Grant to Fuel Drum Housing Boom

A $734,000 federal grant is supposed to provide another boost to Watertown's tight housing market. Congressman John McHugh and Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton...  Go to full article

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...  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...  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...  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

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