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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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Jason McCullom in the milking parlor of his dad Kevin's farm.
Jason McCullom in the milking parlor of his dad Kevin's farm.

Budgeting on Dairy Farms Without a Steady Paycheck

In this first part of our series on the dairy industry in the North Country, David Sommerstein looks at the price of milk as seen through the eyes of one mid-size dairy farmer.  Go to full article
Akwesasne ironworker Bill Sears holds a photo of himself taken during the construction of the World Trade Center.
Akwesasne ironworker Bill Sears holds a photo of himself taken during the construction of the World Trade Center.

Profile: Mohawk Ironworker Remembers the WTC Twin Towers

A few North Country residents are grieving over a unique relationship to the destruction in New York City last September 11th. A few days after the terrorist attacks David Sommerstein profiled an ironworker from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation who helped build the twin towers of the World Trade Center nearly three decades ago. Here again is that profile.  Go to full article

Border Security in Akwesasne Since 9/11

The U-S has stepped up border security in the year since September 11th with more patrol officers, greater scrutiny at border crossings, and new collaboration with Canada. Washington has also been working with the 19 tribes whose lands lie along the borders. The Akwesasne Mohawk reservation actually straddles the border east of Massena, and is known as one of the most difficult areas to patrol. David Sommerstein checks in with Mohawk police to see how their job has changed.  Go to full article

122nd District Republican Primary

One of the quieter races in today's primary elections is for the Republican nomination in the 122nd Assembly district in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis Counties. Both candidates will appear on November's ballot ? Dee Dee Scozzafava on the Conservative Party's line, Michael Behling on the Independence Party's. But as David Sommerstein reports, the new district is overwhelmingly rural, and a Republican stronghold.  Go to full article

Democracy Matters

As students return to college campuses, a nationwide group called Democracy Matters is trying to get students charged up about campaign finance reform. David Sommerstein talks with the group's director about how to hook students on reforming money in politics.  Go to full article

Local College Enrollment Up

The North Country's colleges and universities are welcoming a near record number of new students to their campuses this year. That's good news for tight budgets. But as David Sommerstein reports, schools have different ways of dealing with the influx of students.  Go to full article

A Summer Sail on the St. Lawrence

David Sommerstein hitches a ride on Jim Benvenuto's "Gypsy Wind" near Chippewa Bay, following in the wake of rumrunners, hermits, and other river rats.  Go to full article

Inside Dark Island's Castle

The details of a new tourism destination on the St. Lawrence River near Chippewa Bay are starting to emerge. Buyers of Dark Island and its historic castle gave state and local officials a peek yesterday of what visitors could see as early as next summer. The media was also invited on the tour. David Sommerstein went along.  Go to full article
Lewis Hine's famous photograph of Mohawk Ironworkers in NYC.
Lewis Hine's famous photograph of Mohawk Ironworkers in NYC.

Honoring Mohawk "Skywalkers"

A special ceremony will pay tribute to Akwesasne residents who helped build--and clean up--the World Trade Center in New York City. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe will honor the tradition of Mohawk ironworkers this weekend with concerts and celebrations. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Forest Fire Near Oxbow

Jefferson county fire crews are fighting what they call a small but stubborn forest fire near the town of Oxbow the northern part of the county. Jefferson county deputy fire director Greg Brunell says the fire started ten days ago when a property owner failed to fully extinguish a campfire. Todd Moe has more.  Go to full article

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