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Demolition Derby Draws Fans

Summer in the North Country means field days and county fairs. It's tough to keep up with all the chicken barbeques, fire engine parades, and lawn mower races. For many motorheads, nothing beats the demolition derby. Hundreds of drivers sign up each summer for the chance to crash their rides into one another. David Sommerstein went to the demolition derby in Hannawa Falls last summer to hear the roar of the engines and the crunch of metal.  Go to full article
Anna Christner and David "Woody" Woodworth<br />Photos:  Ben Stechschulte, courtesy of <i>Adirondack Life</i>
Anna Christner and David "Woody" Woodworth
Photos: Ben Stechschulte, courtesy of Adirondack Life

Adirondack Profile: On this Trail Crew the Boss is 5-Foot-3 and Female

Each summer for a quarter-century, the Adirondack Mountain Club has sent professional trail crews into the backcountry. The crews - usually made up of college students - live in the woods for five days at a time. They build and repair some of the Adirondack's most popular hiking routes. After 25 years in the woods, the crews have become a fixture for the people who use the trails they're working on. They're a tradition. But they're a changing one. Last summer, one of the crews was led by Anna Christner, a 24-year-old psychology student from Pennsylvania. Being trail boss means pushing around giant boulders. And in Christner's case, it also means leading a half-dozen young men into the wilderness. Brian Mann has the story.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence Seaway: The View From Duluth

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Transport Canada are about halfway through a comprehensive study of the St. Lawrence Seaway system. The study group is holding a series of public meetings across the Great Lakes to get input from stakeholders. Officials expect a large crowd at the public meeting tonight at 6 pm in Clayton. To hear what people are saying in another part of the Great Lakes, we called a colleague from Minnesota Public Radio, Stephanie Hemphill. She attended last month's meeting in Duluth, where many shippers and ports rely on the Seaway. She sent us this story.  Go to full article

Pataki Approves Expanded Ag Coops

Governor Pataki yesterday signed a bill into law that allows agricultural cooperatives to take advantage of New York's Empire Zones. Dairy farmers sell their milk to coops, like Allied and Dairylea. Those coops sometimes invest in factories. But previously they weren't eligible for the tax breaks and cheap power available to other plants under the Empire Zone program. The St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau says the new law may help find tenants for places like the soon-to-be-vacant Kraft plant in Canton.  Go to full article
By train through the wilderness
By train through the wilderness

Adirondack Rail: On the Old New York Central Line

In 1891, William Seward Webb began construction of a rail line that ran from Herkimer in the south up into the heart of the Adirondacks. The track cut through some of the region's deepest wilderness. For seventy years, the New York Central carried passengers to Malone and Lake Placid and points in between. The old line is all but abandoned now. But trains still make the run a few times each year, bringing supplies and equipment to the tourist railroad in Lake Placid. Brian Mann made the trip this spring. He found that a small army of train buffs are fighting hard to keep the historic route alive.  Go to full article
Tracking turtles in a wetland
Tracking turtles in a wetland

Saving Turtles from Traffic

It's the time of year when turtles are laying eggs across the North Country. Often their favorite spots are alongside highways, making them easy candidates for roadkill. Turtles live and reproduce for decades, some more than 60 years. When an adult is killed prematurely, it can have a big effect on turtle populations. Researchers at Clarkson University are trying to find out how often turtles cross the road and how to help them get safely to the other side. David Sommerstein filed this report last summer.  Go to full article

Scientists Watch Farm Pastures for a New Tent Caterpillar Threat

Rising populations of the coming eastern tent caterpillar this year may be a danger to horses and cows in the North Country. Steve Van Der Mark is the point person on this year's tent caterpillar outbreak for St. Lawrence County's Cooperative Extension Service. He says researchers in Kentucky and now New York are looking at unexplained abortions among grazing animals.  Go to full article

Controlling Speed in the American Narrows

With Memorial Day behind us, the boating season on the St. Lawrence River is gearing up. Locals, seasonal residents, and tourists will launch their skiffs and pleasure crafts for days of fun and sun on the water. And the annual Alexandria Bay Poker Run at the end of June will attract thousands of eager power boaters. Some boaters may not be familiar with the rules of the river. In preparation, state park police are posting speed limit signs in the American Narrows between Clayton and Alexandria Bay. Last summer David Sommerstein reported on conflicts over speed and noise on the river.  Go to full article

Iraq Diary, pt. 8: MREs, Calls Homes & Daily Attacks

Next month, the Bush administration says it will establish a sovereign government in Iraq. Despite the transition, U.S. troops are likely to remain in the country for along time. National Guard troops from northern New York are hunkered down near a vast Army base in the Sunni Triangle. In his latest audio diary, Major Eric Olsen, a chaplain from Saranac Lake, describes the effort to settle in and establish a daily routine, while also dealing with the tension of daily attacks. This installment was recorded two weeks ago and none of the casualities mention in Major Olsen's diary occurred recently.  Go to full article

Call-in: Close to Homeless

Listeners discuss NCPR's week-long series of reports on homelessness in the North Country with news director Martha Foley, Franklin County Social Services Commissioner Leslie Lyon, commentator Jill Vaughan, and Cornell University sociologist Kai Schafft.  Go to full article

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