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Heard up North: Slab City, Sodom, and Swastika

We've been running a series about place names in the North Country. It started out by accident - a feature on Saint Lawrence led to more calls about local place names and their origins. Yesterday on All Before Five, host Gregory Warner and our own resident poet and historian Dale Hobson sat down to talk about a few place names you asked us to investigate. Starting with Slab City, a small area in West Potsdam. Gregory called Joretta Creighton, a 3rd generation Slab City resident who owns Bailey's Florists. She says the place got its name from the slab wood that was the refuse of the area's paper mills.  Go to full article
Swan's "Joaquin Nin-Culmell, composer" - from the collection of Benjamin Franklin V, South Carolina.

"Lost Art Found," the recovered works by Paul Swan

Todd Moe talks with the curators of a new exhibit at SUNY-Potsdam that includes some of the paintings of artist, actor, dancer, poet and musician Paul Swan. The New York Times called him "America's Leonardo DaVinci," but many of his works disappeared for decades. After years of research, Colton residents Janis and Richard Londraville have uncovered some of the art and life of Paul Swan. With access to Swan's personal papers, letters and an unpublished memoir, the Londraville's have documented the story of his complicated family life, bisexuality and personal eccentricities in the book, The Most Beautiful Man in the World: Paul Swan, from Wilde to Warhol.  Go to full article
A U.S. Coast Guard inflatable boat at Chippewa Bay with deployed oil booms in the background.

Spill drill exposes Seaway response needs

A tanker had gone aground on Whiskey Island shoal on the St. Lawrence Seaway, spilling 100,000 gallons of thick oil. That was the nightmare scenario emergency responders on both sides of the river faced in a drill exercise last Thursday and Friday. 150 people charted the simulated oil's progress downriver, laid booms to contain it, and then reviewed what went right and wrong. As David Sommerstein reports, the exercise demonstrated the first hours after an accident need the most attention.  Go to full article
Michael Swamp (r) & son Nolan

StoryCorps: Mohawk ironworker remembers 9/11

Inside soundproof booths across the country, friends and loved ones are interviewing each other about their lives. The booths belong to StoryCorps, a project that collects...  Go to full article

Teen canoeist repeat champ

The teen champion of Interpretive Freestyle Canoeing did it again last weekend. 14-year-old Jonathan Hammond of Clayton edged out Marc Orstein to win the men's national...  Go to full article

Thanksgiving Address dispute divides Mohawk tribal council

A dispute over readings of the Iroquois Thanksgiving Address in the local public school has divided the Mohawk Tribal Council. The issue appears headed for federal court...  Go to full article
Karen Solgård plays the distinctive Hardanger fiddle, which has an added  set of drone strings and is richly decorated--the lion of Norway replaces the traditional scroll.

Karen Solg?rd: Hardanger fiddle music of Norway

A taste of Scandinavia! Norwegian-American fiddler Karen Solgård, from Minnesota, joins us live in the studio for folk music and conversation. She's in the North Country to...  Go to full article

School Prayer Issue Divides Mohawk Community

A school prayer issue at a predominantly Mohawk school is headed to federal court despite a compromise offered this week. And the debate has divided the Akwesasne tribal...  Go to full article

Readers & Writers: Welcome to the Homeland, Brian Mann

Red or blue? Country, or city? Since the last two presidential election nights, we've gotten used to seeing that "quick shot" of our political landscape. Simple to see, but...  Go to full article
Photo courtesy SLWGMD

Farmers wary of more wetlands

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to expand a program that helps farmers convert untillable acres into wetland habitat for birds. The program has already protected...  Go to full article

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