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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 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
Rep. Richard Hanna (R. Utica, NY-22). Photo: US Congress
Rep. Richard Hanna (R. Utica, NY-22). Photo: US Congress

In NY22, Republican Hanna withstands tea party challenge

On Tuesday voters across the North Country went to the polls and decided the outcome of the 21st district Republican primary. Elise Stefanik won that race by a handy margin, beating Watertown businessman Matt Doheny.

But there was another House race Tuesday that we haven't talked about yet.
The 22nd district includes a chunk of our listeners in the southwestern corner of the Adirondacks and a piece of Herkimer County.

In that race, incumbent GOP Representative Richard Hanna from Utica beat a tea party backed primary challenger, Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.  Go to full article
Slain civil rights worker Andrew Goodman spent summers in Tupper Lake. Photo: public domain
Slain civil rights worker Andrew Goodman spent summers in Tupper Lake. Photo: public domain

Goodman Mountain a northern monument to civil rights hero

Last weekend marked the fiftieth anniversary of the murder of Andrew Goodman in Mississippi.

The young man with long ties to Tupper Lake had traveled south to take part in the "Freedom Summer." His goal was to help African-Americans register to vote. He was killed along with two other activists.

In the days before their deaths in Mississippi, in 1964, two civil rights activists from New York State visited the Adirondacks.

Michael Schwerner, who was 24 years old, vacationed with friends on Great Sacandaga Lake. Andrew Goodman, who was twenty, visited his family's retreat, Shelter Cove Camp, on Tupper Lake.  Go to full article
APA commissioner Richard Booth (at right) talking with APA chair Lani Ulrich (L). Booth will serve another 4-year-term on the APA commission. NCPR file photo: Brian Mann.
APA commissioner Richard Booth (at right) talking with APA chair Lani Ulrich (L). Booth will serve another 4-year-term on the APA commission. NCPR file photo: Brian Mann.

Lawmakers confirm Booth to APA board, Lack to ORDA

In the final days of the session, lawmakers in Albany approved the appointments of some key leaders of Adirondack organizations.

The Olympic Regional Development Authority will see a top national broadcast executive join its board. And a respected environmentalist has been confirmed for another four-year term on the Adirondack Park Agency commission.  Go to full article

How the Prison Time Media Project was born

NCPR's Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann is in Washington, DC for an awards ceremony tomorrow where reporting from NCPR's Prison Time Media Project will receive honors.

For more than a year Brian and Natasha Haverty have been digging deep into the culture of incarceration and fallout from the laws that launched the "war on drugs" back in the 1970s.

Brian talks with Todd Moe about how and why the project was started.  Go to full article
Governor Nelson Rockefeller surprised his own staff with his dramatic shift on drug policy.
Governor Nelson Rockefeller surprised his own staff with his dramatic shift on drug policy.

Murrow Award: How Rockefeller drug laws changed America

This spring North Country Public Radio's news team has been honored with several major national awards for some of the work we've brought you over the past year. Much of that recognition has gone to our Prison Time Media Project, which over a year and a half has looked in-depth at the growth of the prison industry here in our region, across New York and around the country.

The series unfolded as the country was beginning to take another look at the way we think about crime, and justice, and these stories became part of that national conversation. The first story of the series has just received one of the top honors in journalism: a National Edward R. Murrow award.

In January of 1973, New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller launched his campaign for what came to be known as the Rockefeller drug laws. Rockefeller demanded tough prison sentences, even for low-level drug dealers and addicts. It was an idea that quickly spread, influencing state and Federal law across the US.

In this first story, Brian Mann takes us back to the beginning, when New Yorkers were demanding solutions to a heroin epidemic that was scarring urban neighborhoods.  Go to full article
Grace Hudowalski chatting on Whiteface Mountain at the age of 98.  Photo provided by Adirondack 46er Club.
Grace Hudowalski chatting on Whiteface Mountain at the age of 98. Photo provided by Adirondack 46er Club.

Adirondack peak East Dix is now named Grace Peak. Here's why

One of the Adirondack Park's High Peaks has a new name. Last week, the US Board of Geographic Names approved a petition to rename East Dix, a summit that rises to 4,026 feet.

The summit in the Dix Range in the Essex County town of North Hudson will now be known as "Grace Peak" in honor of Grace Hudowalski, a founding member of the Adirondack 46er hiking club and a long-time activist in the Park.

The name change follows a twelve-year campaign by the 46ers that was joined by local government leaders and other groups.

Douglas Arnold, who led the effort, issued a statement last week describing Grace Hudowalski as "a mentor to thousands of people as she shared her enthusiasm for the Adirondacks."

Hudowalski passed away in 2004 at the age of 98.

This is the first time since 1973 that a High Peak has been renamed. In that case, Mount Marshall was named to recognize environmental activist Bob Marshall.  Go to full article

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