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NCPR News Staff: Brian Mann

Adirondack Bureau Chief
Brian Mann grew up in Alaska, where he fell in love with public radio. In 1999, Brian moved to the Adirondacks and helped launch NCPR's news bureau at Paul Smiths College. "I love the chemistry of water and mountains," Brian says. "But I'm also pretty crazy about village life in the north country. It's the kind of place where you know your neighbors." Brian lives in Saranac Lake with wife Susan and son Nicholas. He's a frequent contributor to NPR and also writes regularly for regional magazines, including Adirondack Life and the Adirondack Explorer. E-mail

Stories filed by Brian Mann

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DEC planner Chris Alberga points to a map of the Essex Chain Lakes.  The Conservation Department says it will revise its proposed plan and release a new draft this fall for public comment.  Photo:  Brian Mann
DEC planner Chris Alberga points to a map of the Essex Chain Lakes. The Conservation Department says it will revise its proposed plan and release a new draft this fall for public comment. Photo: Brian Mann

Snowmobile muddle forces rewrite of Essex Chain Lakes plan

State officials are going back to the drawing board as they develop a plan for public use of the Essex Chain Lakes near Newcomb.

The 11,000-acre complex of lakes, logging roads and rivers in the central Adirondacks is part of the massive Finch Conservation deal engineered by the Nature Conservancy.

The Conservation Department had hoped to have a plan for public recreation in place by the end of this year.

But DEC planners have run into a major complication over a proposal for using snowmobiles in the area, a plan that would include a bridge over the scenic Cedar River.  Go to full article
Padilla lost his footing and the current swept him over the waterfall where he became lodged below the surface

Buffalo man drowns on Raquette River

State police say rescue divers have recovered the body of a 20-year-old man who drowned on Saturday near Buttermilk Falls, near Long Lake, on the Raquette River.  Go to full article
Kevin Ward Jr. died Saturday night in a NASCAR accident in Ontario County.  Photo:  Kevin Ward Jr. Facebook page.
Kevin Ward Jr. died Saturday night in a NASCAR accident in Ontario County. Photo: Kevin Ward Jr. Facebook page.

Update: North Country man dies in race crash with top NASCAR driver

Race car driver Kevin Ward Jr., from Port Leyden, New York, in Lewis County, was struck and killed during a sprint car race Saturday night.

According to the Associated Press, Ward, age 20, left his sprint car following an accident and was walking on a section of track when he was struck and thrown roughly fifty feet.  Go to full article
Kodi Kadeem Beckles. This photo was used in the missing poster issued by lostnmissing.com
Kodi Kadeem Beckles. This photo was used in the missing poster issued by lostnmissing.com

SUNY Plattsburgh student died of "cardio-respiratory arrest"

State Police say a SUNY Plattsburgh student found dead in early April apparently died of natural causes.

Kodi Beckles, age 20, disappeared after going to a late-night party. His body was located in a wooded area on April 7 by a search team organized by Plattsburgh city police.  Go to full article
On a humid August day, the view of Mineville's old iron works from Cheney Mountain. Photo: Brian Mann
On a humid August day, the view of Mineville's old iron works from Cheney Mountain. Photo: Brian Mann

Ramble up Cheney Mountain and a view of history

It's been a brilliant summer for hiking, with long days often bringing mild temperatures. This week, Brian Mann and his wife Susan Waters set off for a ramble up Cheney Mountain in the Champlain Valley hamlet of Mineville.  Go to full article
Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz
Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz

Autopsy for a brutal winter season

It's hard to remember on a beautiful summer morning like this one, but last winter was long and grueling here in the North Country.

There was a ferocious ice storm in December and stretches of brutal cold that continued late into the spring. A lot of those road crews out on the highways this month are still repairing potholes and frost heaves caused by record-low temperatures.

The thing is, that's not what scientists were expecting. Weather models going into the winter predicted a fairly normal, or even a mild season. Meteorologists way the culprit was a dramatic shift in the big air currents that flow across North America.  Go to full article
The El Nino in 1997 as imaged by NASA.  Photo:  NASA, JPL
The El Nino in 1997 as imaged by NASA. Photo: NASA, JPL

How wintry will this winter be? Get your first forecast

As we head into the second week of August, it may seem a little too soon to start thinking about winter and the weather it may bring.

But the National Weather service is already developing early models designed to give some sense of snow and temperature conditions.

The very, very long-term forecast for this winter is for moderate to light snow and warm-ups that could mean a lighter snow pack in the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains.  Go to full article
Victory signs have been posted by supporters of the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake since the July court ruling that validated the resort's permits.  But the legal fight may not be over.  Photo:  Brian Mann
Victory signs have been posted by supporters of the Adirondack Club and Resort in Tupper Lake since the July court ruling that validated the resort's permits. But the legal fight may not be over. Photo: Brian Mann

Activists appeal Big Tupper resort court decision

Two environmental groups and "a neighboring landowner" in Tupper Lake say they'll appeal a sweeping decision issued last month by a state court that upheld state permits for the Adirondack Club and Resort project.

In a statement issued late Monday afternoon, Protect the Adirondacks and the Sierra Club announced that they will challenge a unanimous vote by the state appellate court upholding state permits for the massive development.  Go to full article
The Minerva Central School District will now have to scramble to make deep cuts before next school year.  Photo:  Minerva Central School District
The Minerva Central School District will now have to scramble to make deep cuts before next school year. Photo: Minerva Central School District

Minerva school budget falls short for third time

For the third time, the Minerva school budget has failed to win approval with voters.

After a second re-vote yesterday, the district in the eastern Adirondacks will now be forced to adopt a sharply reduced "contingency" budget.  Go to full article
Sabrina Jones translates the history and statistics of America's era of mass incarceration into a graphic, sometimes claustrophobic story. Image: Sabrina Jones
Sabrina Jones translates the history and statistics of America's era of mass incarceration into a graphic, sometimes claustrophobic story. Image: Sabrina Jones

A graphic account of America's love affair with prisons

One of the most complicated issues to talk about, here in the North Country and across the US, is our nation's massive prison system. America incarcerates far more individuals than any other nation on earth, far outstripping countries like China and Russia. It's a thorny topic that tangles up everything from race relations to small-town economies to our ideas about justice and drug addiction.

Sabrina Jones is a political artist who spends each summer in Saratoga County and she'll speak tonight at at 7:30 pm at Bluseed Studio in Saranac Lake. Jones uses comic books to capture the complicated, painful history of America's four-decade long era of mass incarceration.  Go to full article

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