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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein

Reporter/ Producer
David Sommerstein, NCPR's roving St. Lawrence Valley/Fort Drum/Tug Hill reporter, began his career in radio, strangely enough, as a high school Spanish teacher in Buffalo. While drilling verb conjugations and teaching a love for Latino culture during the day, he sat in as a late night jazz and Latin DJ at Buffalo's NPR affiliate, WBFO. The radio bug bit, and David found his way to southern Colorado/northern New Mexico (the Taos/Santa Fe area) where he was Program Director, Music Director, Volunteer Coordinator, and "Just About Anything Else You Can Think Of" Director at NPR affiliate KRZA.

Since joining NCPR's news department, David has reported from the chilly deck of a St. Lawrence icebreaker, the power-chord filled stage of the High School Rock Band Festival, and the tense Albanian street market of post-war Kosovo with soldiers from Fort Drum. David also gets to fulfill his passion for music of all kinds when he spins world dance and groove music on editions of The Beat Authority. E-mail

Stories filed by David Sommerstein

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Benton House in Oxbow
Benton House in Oxbow

Napoleon's Brother in the North Country

David Sommerstein visits the historic Benton House in the town of Oxbow in Jefferson County, the former home of Joseph Bonaparte's extramarital daughter. In the 1800s, the basement was used as a temporary jail and a secret tunnel may have been a part of the Underground Railroad.  Go to full article

State Grants for St. Lawrence River Tourism

Six towns along the St. Lawrence River will receive $475,000 from the state for community projects. David Sommerstein reports the grants are designed to promote tourism for the region.  Go to full article

118th Assembly: A Wider Debate in the River District?

With under three weeks to Election Day, the 118th Assembly, or "river," district race looks to be among the closest in the North Country. Democrat Darryl Aubertine, a dairy farmer and former Jefferson County legislator, faces Republican St. Lawrence County Clerk Patricia Ritchie. If he wins, Aubertine will be the first North Country Democrat in Albany in almost 30 years. Meanwhile, a third candidate is trying to widen the debate beyond the two major parties. David Sommerstein reports on Tuesday night's candidate forum in Watertown.  Go to full article

Two Economic Approaches in the 122nd Assembly District

Some 50 people gathered at the Northside Improvement League in Watertown last night to hear a debate among Assembly candidates in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. In the mostly rural and Republican 122nd district, Republican incumbent Dee Dee Scozzafava faces a challenge from Democrat Andy Byrnes. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Lewis Co. Residents Pursue Ames Replacement

A group of women in Lewis County has gathered more than 4000 signatures petitioning the county legislature to pursue replacement stores aggressively when Ames closes. The Ames location in Lowville is the only department store in the county. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Lockout Raises Shipping Profile For Seaway

Longshoremen on the West Coast returned to work last night after a ten day lockout left hundreds of ships waiting to unload cargo. The stoppage did not affect traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway. But as David Sommerstein reports, it does highlight the role of shipping in international trade.  Go to full article

Democrats Pour Big Money into River District Assembly Race

The Democratic state committee is putting major money into a North Country Assembly race. Darrell Aubertine almost unseated incumbent Bob Nortz two years ago, and is working hard to win the new "River District".  Go to full article

Ambassador to Canada Visits North Country

Paul Celucci, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada and former governor of Massachusetts, discussed cross-border issues with North Country leaders Tuesday in Potsdam. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

The Case For Weapons Inspections in Iraq

While President Bush made his case to the nation last night for broad war-making powers against Iraq, one of his most outspoken critics was trying to sway audiences in Canton. Scott Ritter was a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq for seven years. He's an unlikely candidate to lead opposition to war against Iraq. But as David Sommerstein reports, Ritter says the American public needs to know all the facts.  Go to full article

New York Leaders Oppose Seaway Expansion

This week two of New York's political leaders came out against expansion of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system to accomodate bigger ships. They say it would be an environmental disaster for the St. Lawrence River and doesn't consider all the river's users. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

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