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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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NYCLU says this kind of solitary confinement cell is widely used in New York's prisons, including Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU
NYCLU says this kind of solitary confinement cell is widely used in New York's prisons, including Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU

NY will limit solitary confinement time for prison inmates

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to sweeping changes to the way state prisons use solitary confinement. The deal was prompted by a federal lawsuit filed by critics who say thousands of inmates, some of whom are pregnant or have mental illness, are being held for months and even years in isolation, often for minor infractions.

The deal will end the use of solitary confinement for the most vulnerable inmates, and will also mean strict limits on the length of time an inmate can be locked away.

The lawsuit focused in part on inmates housed at Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone, but will affect disciplinary procedures at a dozen state prisons across the North Country.  Go to full article
Nancie Battaglia has been covering Olympic Games, summer and winter, since 1980.  Photo:  Nancie Battaglia
Nancie Battaglia has been covering Olympic Games, summer and winter, since 1980. Photo: Nancie Battaglia

Nancie Battaglia: A photographer's Olympics

After months of anticipation, and weeks of dramatic competition, the 2014 Winter Olympic Games are officially over.

North Country athletes wrapped up their Olympic contests over the weekend in Sochi. Biathlon racer Lowell Bailey from Lake Placid raced well in the Men's Relay, though his team finished in 16th place. Yesterday, the US bobsled team, which trains often in Lake Placid, captured another bronze medal with its four-man sled. North Country athletes Andrew Weibrecht and Erin Hamlin both medaled at these Winter Games, capturing a silver and a bronze.

Brian Mann checked in for a recap of the games with Nancie Battaglia, one of our correspondents in Sochi, just as she was preparing to fly out for home in Lake Placid.  Go to full article
Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Photo: Nancie Battaglia

Sochi recap: some big wins, some losses, some bittersweet moments

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi have given us a dramatic couple of weeks in Russia, for the US, for our neighbors in Canada, and certainly for athletes here in the North Country.

There is more action to come today and over the weekend. Brian Mann has been our Olympics editor, reporting regularly for us and NPR. He checks in with Martha Foley about what's come and what's still coming in Sochi.  Go to full article
Lowell Bailey churns hard in Sochi, but falls short of medal podium.   Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Lowell Bailey churns hard in Sochi, but falls short of medal podium. Photo: © Nancie Battaglia

Hard times for North Country's Olympic veterans

Three of the North Country's strongest medal hopefuls struggled again yesterday in Sochi.

Nordic combined skier Bill Demong, who won gold and silver medals four years ago, was hobbled by a poor showing on the ski jump. That forced him to start with a heavy penalty in the cross-country ski portion of the race. Demong, who finished 31st, told the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that the race was "kind of devastating." The 33-year-old from Vermontville says he expects these to be his last Winter Olympics.

Meanwhile on the biathlon course yesterday, veteran Olympians Tim Burke from Paul Smiths and Lowell Bailey from Lake Placid finished well out of medal range in part because of shooting penalties.  Go to full article
After triumph in Sochi, where will Andrew Weibrecht's journey take him next?  Photo:  © Nancie Battaglia
After triumph in Sochi, where will Andrew Weibrecht's journey take him next? Photo: © Nancie Battaglia

Andrew Weibrecht's remarkable journey to Sochi

Over the last couple of months, our Adironadack bureau chief Brian Mann has been focusing a lot of his attention on the Winter Olympics in Sochi. He's interviewed remarkable athletes and seen amazing feats of strength and speed and courage.

Through all of that reporting, Brian says Sunday's remarkable silver medal win for Andrew Weibrecht stands out. Weibrecht's trip to the podium came after years of struggle and illness and defeat.

Brian talked again with the alpine skier from Lake Placid yesterday, following Weibrecht's triumph in Sochi, and sends this reporter's notebook.  Go to full article
Andrew Weibrecht on the podium Sunday in Sochi. Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Andrew Weibrecht on the podium Sunday in Sochi. Photo: © Nancie Battaglia

Weibrecht's silver upset sparks celebrations

Andrew Weibrecht from Lake Placid is the latest American star for these Olympic Games in Sochi.

Following his silver medal win yesterday in the Alpine Super-G race, Weibrecht is making the rounds of the morning TV shows today, with appearances on Good Morning America and the Today Show.

It's a shocking, and wonderful, outcome for a skier who struggled over the last four years. His win also sparked celebrations in Sochi and Lake Placid.  Go to full article
Andrew Weibrecht from Lake Placid, NY scores a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics Mens Alpine Super-G race 2/16/14. Photo: © Nancie Battaglia
Andrew Weibrecht from Lake Placid, NY scores a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics Mens Alpine Super-G race 2/16/14. Photo: © Nancie Battaglia

Lake Placid's Andrew Weibrecht captures silver in Sochi

In a break-out race that matches the great come-back performances in Olympic history, Lake Placid's Andrew Weibrecht snatched a silver medal in men's Super-G.

The last time Weibrecht reached a podium was in the last Winter Olympics four years ago in Vancouver. He was asked about his remarkable winter success after finishing competition early this morning.

"It's unbelievable. I knew I skied well and knew I had a good run. You gotta be kidding me," Weibrecht said. "There's so much energy here and my skiing's been really improving the last little bit."  Go to full article
Andrew Weibrecht's crash in Sochi was captured on the big screen.  Photo:  Nancie Battaglia
Andrew Weibrecht's crash in Sochi was captured on the big screen. Photo: Nancie Battaglia

Sochi: Lake Placid's Weibrecht stumbles in first alpine race

After skipping the first Olympic downhill racing event, Lake Placid bronze medalist Andrew Weibrecht competed in the Super Combined race this morning eastern time.

Weibrecht, who is 28, finished in 20th after the downhill portion of the race. But when he returned for the slalom he crashed.  Go to full article
Lowell Bailey had a break-out day in Sochi, which could bode well for two races still to come. Photo:  Nancie Battaglia
Lowell Bailey had a break-out day in Sochi, which could bode well for two races still to come. Photo: Nancie Battaglia

Sochi: Lake Placid skier Lowell Bailey cracks top 10

Lowell Bailey had a break-out race Thursday in Sochi, skiing in the 20k biathlon individual race.

After two tough races at the Winter Games, where he faded in the ranks, Bailey surged in the 20k, finishing in 8th spot.  Go to full article
Aaron Woolf has been chosen by Democratic Party leaders in the North Country to seek the NY-21 House seat. Photo provided by NYS Democratic Party
Aaron Woolf has been chosen by Democratic Party leaders in the North Country to seek the NY-21 House seat. Photo provided by NYS Democratic Party

Dems pick doc filmmaker Aaron Woolf to seek NY-21 seat

Democratic leaders in the North Country have chosen a political newcomer to seek the House seat in the 21st congressional district.

County chairs from across the region met yesterday in Long Lake and chose Aaron Woolf, an award-winning documentary filmmaker who lives part of the year in Elizabethtown and also operates a grocery in Brooklyn.  Go to full article

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