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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.

Developers, Investors meet in Fort Drum Housing Forum

More than 300 developers, investors and elected officials met in Watertown on Thursday for a daylong summit aimed at solving Fort Drum's housing crunch. Both Senator Clinton and Senator Shumer spoke at the event.

An influx of nearly 6-thousand soldiers at Fort Drum has led to a severe housing shortage. Most have already arrived, but the Army estimates it still needs 2-thousand-60 single-family homes and approximately 225 two-person apartments in the Watertown area to provide housing. Then there's the problem of providing housing for low-income families displaced by the arriving soldiers.

John Deans is chair of the Fort Drum regional liaison organization. He told Gregory Warner that yesterday's forum was a good networking opportunity.  Go to full article
Klaus Ebeling and one of his snowsculpting tools.

Of Ice and Snow: Art for Winter's Sake

Snow sculptors love winter. And in terms of ideal conditions, they learn to make due with what they get from nature. Todd Moe talks with world class ice and snow sculptor Klaus Ebeling. The 75-year-old artist lives in Jefferson county. He's just published a book on 25 years of traveling the world in search of ice and snow. For more information, contact Klaus at: ebeling@twcny.rr.com, or PO Box 134, Adams Center, NY 13606.  Go to full article
Freed hostage Bernard Planche

Drum Soldiers Find Escaped French Hostage

Soldiers from Fort Drum near Watertown were involved in the escape of a French engineer held captive in Iraq. Bernard Planche was kidnapped in Baghdad on December 5th. Planche fled from his captors Saturday. He approached members of the 10th Mountain Division who were conducting a checkpoint. Freelance journalist Bill Putnam is embedded with the 10th Mountain's 1st Brigade Combat Team in Iraq and sent us this story.  Go to full article

Heard up North: Retirement, with Yaks

Kenneth Wilson flies helicopters for the army. He's based at Fort Drum. He's a few years away from retirement. After years of traveling around the world away from his family,...  Go to full article
Front view of Flower Memorial Library on Washington Street in Watertown.

Flower Library Gets Facelift

There is noise and congestion at Watertown's public library - but this time the librarians don't mind. The Flower Memorial Library - a landmark in Watertown - is undergoing...  Go to full article

Surviving Deployment: Six Women's Stories

"A Year of Absence" tells the stories of six military wives coping with their husbands' deployments to Iraq. Author Jessica Redmond is at Ft. Drum this afternoon, and will be...  Go to full article

Transition After School: Knowing Yourself

While children with disabilities are in special education, they're also preparing for what educators call "the transition" - what they'll do after they graduate from high...  Go to full article

Song: Old Joe Clark by Grindstone Island square dance band

Old Joe Clark, the square dance staple, performed by Grindstone Island square dance band: Eliza Moore, fiddle and vocals; Judy Hunt, concertina; and Keith Hunt, fiddle...  Go to full article

Two songs performed by Great Bear Trio

Andrew VanNorstrand (right) and brother Noah (left), two-thirds of the Fulton NY family band Great Bear Trio, brought the Clayton Opera House audience to their feet as part...  Go to full article
Napolean and the Festival Queen in Cape Vincent.

A Cultural Melange at the French Festival

In the early 1600s, French Jesuit priests paddled hundreds of miles up the St. Lawrence River. They settled on the fertile land by the river's source at the eastern end of...  Go to full article

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