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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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Is there a pond out there calling you to cool off? Brian Mann in Bone Pond. Photo: Brian Mann
Is there a pond out there calling you to cool off? Brian Mann in Bone Pond. Photo: Brian Mann

Adirondack Summer 101: Pond swimming!

One of our Adirondack Bureau Chief Brian Mann's assignments is to bring details of his beat to the larger regional audience. So we can forgive him when he turns a long lunch hour into a chance to bag a new pond for a cooling swim - especially if we get some vicarious enjoyment out of it. On a hot, muggy day last July, he sent this quick postcard from Bone Pond, near Tupper Lake. Today seems like a perfect day to go there again.  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin at Gore Mountain in North Creek on Sunday.  Photo: Brian Mann
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin at Gore Mountain in North Creek on Sunday. Photo: Brian Mann

NY, Vermont governors tout Adirondacks as "must-see"

Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo drew then-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the North Country for his first-annual Adirondack Challenge.

This year, the governor invited Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin as well as New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to take part in the event.

Under bluebird skies, dozens of politicians, business leaders, and state officials visited Indian Lake and North Creek, hiking, paddling, golfing, fly-fishing and touring on motorcycles.

Local officials inside the blue line say it was a remarkable opportunity to spread the word about the Park's attractions.  Go to full article
The crash scene on Friday in North Hudson, a remote Essex County community in the Adirondack Mountains.  Photo:  New York State Police
The crash scene on Friday in North Hudson, a remote Essex County community in the Adirondack Mountains. Photo: New York State Police

14-year-old Quebec girl dies in Adirondack bus crash

The victim of a fatal bus accident in Essex County on Friday has been identified as 14-year-old Chelssy Mercier from Quebec.

State Police say Mercier died when the tourist bus overturned in North Hudson while traveling from Quebec to New York City with 55 passengers. Officials say Mercier's mother was also aboard the bus.

There's no word yet on what may have caused the accident. According to police, the bus operated by a company called Autobus Fleur de Lys entered the median and flipped over.

Passersby tried to help Mercier, who was trapped under the bus, and State Police also attempted to revive the girl, but she died at the scene.  Go to full article
The crash scene at a farm on River Road outside Lake Placid was blocked by work trucks and crime scene tape on Sunday.  The downed plane has since been moved to State Police headquarters in Ray Brook as part of the investigation.  Photo:  Brian Mann
The crash scene at a farm on River Road outside Lake Placid was blocked by work trucks and crime scene tape on Sunday. The downed plane has since been moved to State Police headquarters in Ray Brook as part of the investigation. Photo: Brian Mann

Two Clarkson University students die in Lake Placid plane crash

Two Clarkson University students were among the dead on Saturday in a plane crash in Lake Placid. That's according to the Plattsburgh Press Republican.

The single-engine plane went down Saturday morning on River Road on the outskirts of the village, a half-mile from the local airport.

State police say the craft "burst into flames" on impact and there were no survivors.  Go to full article
The cause of the crash and the identities of the deceased are pending further investigation

Plane crash in Lake Placid claims three lives

State police say a single engine plane crashed near River Road on the outskirts of Lake Placid this morning just before 11 am.

"Lake Placid Fire Department responded and extinguished the flames after the aircraft burst into flames upon impact," according to officials.

Three persons were aboard the aircraft and officials confirm that all were killed in the crash. No identities have been released, nor did State Police offer information about a possible cause for the crash.

The FAA and NTSB have been notified and are enroute to assist in the investgation, according to the statement.

State police say Lake Placid Police and Fire Departments, as well as Saranac Lake Fire Department and New York State Police Aviation are assisting at the scene.  Go to full article
Assemblyman Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) speaking in Long Lake at a meeting of the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance.  Photo:  Brian Mann
Assemblyman Dan Stec (R-Queensbury) speaking in Long Lake at a meeting of the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance. Photo: Brian Mann

A golden age of dialogue and cooperation in the Adirondacks?

This week, the Adirondack Common Ground Alliance met in Long Lake. It was the eighth annual meeting of a group that formed in an effort to improve dialogue and reduce the amount of rancor and fighting in the Adirondack Park.

The idea seemed far-fetched at first. For decades, state and local officials, environmentalists and business leaders had been at loggerheads, trading harsh words and sometimes trading blows over everything from land conservation to new resort development.

But a growing number of leaders in the Park across the political spectrum say the Park's political climate has changed. And they say the Common Ground Alliance is part of the transformation.  Go to full article
Donald A. Combs, 84 of Sauquoit has been located. Mr. Combs had been missing for several days.

84-year-old hiker found alive in Adirondacks after search

New York State Police and New York State Forest Rangers say an elderly hiker missing since last Thursday has been located alive in the southern Adirondacks.

"Donald A. Combs, 84 of Sauquoit has been located," the release confirmed. "Mr. Combs had been missing for several days."

According to the Rome Sentinel newspaper, Coombs was last seen on Thursday of last week. He was hiking in the Black River Wild Forest.

The search for Coombs began on Sunday.

Local media report that Donald Combs of Sauquoit in central New York was located Thursday by search dogs about a mile and a half from a family camp site.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)

Owens votes for highway funds

North Country Congressman Bill Owens voted yesterday in favor of a short-term spending plan that would replenish the national Highway Trust Fund.  Go to full article
This 200-acre parcel of forest preserve land known as Lot 8 is likely to be mined under a deal approved by voters in November.  Photo: Dan Plumley, Adirondack Wild
This 200-acre parcel of forest preserve land known as Lot 8 is likely to be mined under a deal approved by voters in November. Photo: Dan Plumley, Adirondack Wild

Judge puts temporary halt on NYCO dig in Adirondack Park

A mining operation set to begin as early as tomorrow in the Jay Mountain Wilderness in the Adirondacks has been stopped by a New York state judge.

The temporary halt on NYCO Minerals' operation in the town of Lewis comes in response to a lawsuit filed by green groups who say the project needs more environmental review.  Go to full article
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens hauls a canoe over one of the carry trails between the Essex Chain Lakes.  Photo:  Brian Mann
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens hauls a canoe over one of the carry trails between the Essex Chain Lakes. Photo: Brian Mann

New to explore in the Adirondacks: the Essex Chain Lakes

This is the final week for public comment on the new management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes in the central Adirondacks.

The 11,000-acre chunk of wild forest and lakes near the town of Newcomb is part of the massive Finch Pruyn conservation deal that has expanded the Park's public land.

State officials are hoping the Essex Chain will offer a popular new alternative for paddlers and hikers and anglers, drawing more visitors to a part of the Park that often sees little traffic.

Our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann made the trip last week and has our story.  Go to full article

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