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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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The bus owned by the Tubby Tubes Rafting company was carrying 31 customers and 3 employees.

Tourism bus crashes in Adirondacks, killing 15-year-old

State police say a bus accident Saturday afternoon in Lake Luzerne has left one 15-year-old dead and injured another. The accident took place just after midday.

The bus owned by the Tubby Tubes Rafting company was carrying 31 customers and 3 employees. They were traveling to make an excursion on the Hudson River.

According to police, the bus overturned, apparently because of mechanical problems.

"A fifteen year old river guide employed by Tubby Tubes was ejected from the bus and died at the scene," according to the State Police statement.

A customer who suffered an ankle injury was transported to Glens Falls Hospital. An investigation of the one-vehicle accident is underway.  Go to full article
A painting in Lac-Megantic's St. Agnes Church by Louise Latulipe commemorates the oil train fire storm and the 47 people lost in the disaster.  Photo:  Brian Mann
A painting in Lac-Megantic's St. Agnes Church by Louise Latulipe commemorates the oil train fire storm and the 47 people lost in the disaster. Photo: Brian Mann

Quebec town struggles one year after oil train fire storm

This weekend the small town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec is preparing to mark the one year anniversary since that deadly train derailment, when a U.S. tanker train exploded killing 47 people.

Brian Mann has been covering this story since last July when the disaster first occurred and he's back in Quebec today. He spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Today's decision appears to clear the way for development of the massive Adirondack Club and Resort project in Tupper Lake.  Pictured are developer Tom Lawson, and lead developer Michael Foxman Photo: Mark Kurtz
Today's decision appears to clear the way for development of the massive Adirondack Club and Resort project in Tupper Lake. Pictured are developer Tom Lawson, and lead developer Michael Foxman Photo: Mark Kurtz

Cuomo weighs in on Adirondack Club and Resort decision

In a sweeping decision made public yesterday, the appellate division of New York's Supreme Court dismissed an environmental group's lawsuit that aimed to block the Adirondack Club and Resort project in Tupper Lake.

The ruling appears to give the green light to a project that has been on the drawing board for more than a decade.

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement praising the court's decision and the process that led to the permitting of the resort.

"This ruling confirms the Agency's approval was based on substantial evidence developed carefully and in strict accordance with mandated State statues and environmental regulations," Cuomo said.

"The Adirondack Club and Resort Project will bring significant economy activity, jobs, and new opportunities to Tupper Lake and the Adirondack Park."  Go to full article
A crowd gathered in the Lewis town fire hall on Wednesday to hear details of NYCO's proposed expansion at two mines that would mean additional truck traffic and hours of operation.  Photo:  Brian Mann
A crowd gathered in the Lewis town fire hall on Wednesday to hear details of NYCO's proposed expansion at two mines that would mean additional truck traffic and hours of operation. Photo: Brian Mann

NYCO mining expansion in Adirondacks raises new questions

Last November NYCO Minerals won a statewide ballot initiative that is expected to allow them to explore for a mineral called Wollastonite on 200 acres of the Adirondack forest preserve in the Jay Mountain Wilderness.

That controversial project, involving a chunk of land known as "Lot 8" is still on-hold, awaiting permits from New York state.

But the company is also moving forward with plans to expand two existing Wollasonite mines in the Essex County town of Lewis. Company officials say the project is needed to maintain NYCO's operations.

Green groups have raised questions about the plan's environmental impacts.

But this time, local residents and some local government officials say they too have questions about the impact on public safety and on quality of life  Go to full article
At North Creek Station. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/altuwa/8117850154/">Sébastien Barré</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
At North Creek Station. Photo: Sébastien Barré, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Adirondack tourism trains cut schedules

The Glens Falls Post Star is reporting that the tourism training serving the Gore Mountain area around North Creek will reduce its operations this summer.

The Saratoga and North Creek Railway has operated 7 days a week in past years. This summer, it will make runs four days a week, Friday through Monday.

A spokesman told the railroad that the runs were cut back after they analyzed mid-week ridership.  Go to full article
Neighbors tried to save the children but were turned back by "intense heat and smoke."

Two children dead in Clinton County fire

State officials say two children died Monday night in a fire in the Clinton County community of Harkness near Keeseville.

A 911 call was made Monday night at 9:30. State police, along with fire and EMS crews from Keeseville, Peru and other nearby communities responded and found the home on Clintonville Road "engulfed in fire."

When the fire was out, seven year-old Tucker Burnham, and four year-old Payden Burnham were found dead in the wreckage.  Go to full article
The views on a trail run beat the view from the treadmill or the running track.  This is the Saranac River between Saranac Lake and Bloomingdale.  Photo:  Brian Mann
The views on a trail run beat the view from the treadmill or the running track. This is the Saranac River between Saranac Lake and Bloomingdale. Photo: Brian Mann

Adirondack Postcard: A trail run to Moose Pond

There are so many great ways to be outdoors in the North Country this time of year, from the garden to the pontoon boat to mountain hiking trails. Our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann likes to go for short trail runs. It's a way to plunge into the back country for a quick taste of wildness that only takes an hour or so.

Brian hit the trail to Moose Pond recently near Saranac Lake recently and sent this audio postcard.  Go to full article

State police investigate dog killing in Tupper Lake

State Police in Tupper Lake say an investigation is underway into a possible animal cruelty case.

According to a statement, individuals reported finding a German Shepherd that had been drowned intentionally with a cinder block tied by a rope to its neck.  Go to full article
Matt Funiciello is a long-time business owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls.  Photo:  Funiciello Campaign
Matt Funiciello is a long-time business owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls. Photo: Funiciello Campaign

NY21: Baker turned Green Party candidate "angry in a nice way"

It's just over four months before the November election and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello is making his first campaign stops around the 21st district.

Funiciello says he's running to win the North Country's House seat, hoping to follow in the footsteps of other maverick members of congress like Bernie Sanders and Ron Paul.

A long-time business-owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls, Funiciello says he hopes to peel away disgruntled voters who in the past might have backed Republican or Democratic candidates.  Go to full article
State officials worked on Friday to recover a second body missing in the West Branch of the Ausable River.   Safety lines were laid to allow crews to work in the "Flume" area where fast currents were swollen by heavy rains.  Photo:  courtesy NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation
State officials worked on Friday to recover a second body missing in the West Branch of the Ausable River. Safety lines were laid to allow crews to work in the "Flume" area where fast currents were swollen by heavy rains. Photo: courtesy NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Second student's body found in Ausable River

The body of Michael Lawson was found Sunday afternoon by state rescue divers working in the west branch of the Ausable River.

Lawson was a Plattsburgh High School junior. He and another Plattsburgh High student drowned on Thursday while swimming near 'the flumes" during high water.

The body of Taoufik Maknani, age 17, was found late Thursday. Maknani was a popular two-sport star at the high school. He would have graduated over the weekend.

The recovery effort involved state police divers, Environmental Conservation crews, and local fire and rescue workers. It concluded Sunday when Lawson's body was recovered.

"Essex County Coroner Francis Whitelaw responded to the scene and authorized removal of the body to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake for an autopsy to be conducted [on Monday]," said State Police in a release.

Both teenagers have been mourned during vigils and graduation ceremonies in Plattsburgh over the weekend.  Go to full article

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