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Inside the Seaway's Aging Locks

The locks and channels of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system are getting old. Some were built more than 75 years ago. The U.S. and Canada are conducting a multi-million dollar study to determine how to keep the aging waterway functional, so ships can continue to haul cargo between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. While the Seaway is closed in winter, workers empty the locks of their water for annual maintenance. Last year, David Sommerstein climbed eight stories down to the bottom of the Eisenhower Lock on the St. Lawrence River near Massena. He filed this report.  Go to full article

Four Die in North Country Snowmobile Accidents

Four more snowmobile riders died over the weekend in the north country. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article
Author Nelly Maude Case and cunductor Brock McElheran
Author Nelly Maude Case and cunductor Brock McElheran

Call-in Special: A Conversation with Crane Conductor Brock McElheran

A conversation about the life and work of renowned Crane conductor Brock McElheran. A new biography, Worry Early, written by Crane faculty member Nellie Maude Case, details McElheran's early years growing up in Ontario and his more than 40-year career at SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music. Brock, Nellie and host Todd Moe take calls from listeners.  Go to full article

Developer Buys Deferiet Mill, But Not for Paper

A Syracuse-area developer has bought the Deferiet paper mill near Carthage. But as David Sommerstein reports, the plant isn't likely to make paper again.  Go to full article

For Olympic Sledder, A Dream Ends

The Winter Olympics are underway in Turin, Italy. The week began with more terrible news for the Lake Placid-based US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

Families React to Ethan Allen Report

On Friday, Warren County sheriff Larry Cleveland issued his final report on the Ethan Allen tour boat disaster. Cleveland says there was no criminal culpability in the tragedy, which left 20 elderly tourists dead. In October, the Ethan Allen capsized on Lake George. Cleveland told reporters that he thinks the Ethan Allen was overloaded, saying "The total number of people by weight is going to far exceed the capability of the vessel." But Cleveland found that the weight was within legal limits. The case has been referred to the Warren County District Attorney's office and is still being reviewed by the National Transportation Safety Board. Nineteen of the twenty victims of the disaster lived in Michigan. Tracy Samilton, with Michigan Public Radio, found that some families were upset by the sheriff's report.  Go to full article
Vince and Louise Boyea in their rural Westville, NY home.
Vince and Louise Boyea in their rural Westville, NY home.

People, Places, Things: Farmer-Fiddler Vince Boyea

Every so often during The 8 O'Clock Hour, we'll introduce you to a North Country resident, someone with an odd job or a story to tell. It could be your neighbor or a friend. Today, we visit a farm in Franklin County - a stone's throw from the Canadian border and a Mecca for old-time fiddle music. Vincent Boyea is a quiet, shy man. But put a fiddle in his hands and he knows how to start a few toes tapping. Vince was named to the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame in 2004, and is a regular at fiddle flings around the region. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article
A checkpoint on Rt. 37 near Waddington.
A checkpoint on Rt. 37 near Waddington.

Border Stops Inside Border Raise Concerns

This week the Department of Homeland Security announced it will require U.S. and Canadian citizens to show new ID cards at the Canadian border. Officials say they're necessary to tighten security. The U.S. border patrol uses another method to stop smugglers and potential terrorists - road checkpoints inside the U.S.-Canada border. The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a feasibility study on whether to make a border checkpoint on the Adirondack Northway permanent and staffed 24 hours a day. 4 people died and more than 50 were seriously injured in accidents there in 2004. But there are also dozens of border patrol checkpoints on smaller roads across the North Country. The Border Patrol says they're a critical second line of defense for stopping terrorism and smuggling. But some citizens and civil liberties groups say they're an invasion of privacy and may not be very effective. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes

Lesson Learned From SARS

SARS was the first epidemic of this century. Like the bird flu, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome also arose in chicken flocks in Asia. SARS spread from chickens to humans, and then made the jump to human to human transmission. At first, everyone who came down with SARS died. The outbreak began with one case in China in November 2002. It spread from China to Europe, the US, and, notably, Canada. There were travel bans and quarantines, people wore masks on the streets of Toronto. In July 2003, Toronto was officially declared SARS-free. After, the American Public Health Association asked Burlington writer Tim Brookes to write a book about the epidemic. It's called Behind the Mask: How the World Survived SARS.
The book traces the emergence of SARS beginning in 1997, then its spread, and eventual containment. Brookes visited health officials, hospitals and survivors in China and Ontario. They told a common story: all were overwhelmed by the new infectious virus. Martha Foley talked to Brookes last fall, as the emergence of Asian bird flu began to focus new attention on infectious diseases, and how our health system is set to cope with them.

Tim Brookes is the author of books on asthma and hospice. He's also a commentator for National Public Radio, and this radio station. He's director of the professional writing center at Champlain College in Burlington.  Go to full article
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source:  Nature Magazine
Avian flu has made headlines globally (Source: Nature Magazine

Influenza a Global Risk: One Town Plans Ahead

Avian influenza is still extremely rare. Fewer than a hundred people have died worldwide. But many scientists worry that the risk of a deadly influenza strain spreading among humans has been growing. A full-blown pandemic could quickly overwhelm America's medical infrastructure, especially in rural areas. In Saranac Lake, an informal group of scientists, county health officials, and hospital workers began meeting last fall. As Brian Mann reports, they say an avian flu outbreak will require a community response that goes well beyond the hospital door. This report first aired in October 2005.  Go to full article

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