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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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McHugh: U.S. Needs to Send a Strong Message to Saddam Hussein

President Bush is getting closer to the broad authority he wants to attack Iraq. The House has agreed with Bush on a resolution, and the Senate is getting closer. North Country Congressman John McHugh supported the resolution. McHugh says the U.S. needs to send a strong message to Saddam Hussein for diplomatic efforts and weapons inspections to work.  Go to full article

A-Bay Hospital To Close

Residents of Alexandria Bay are looking to keep the town's hospital open after Samaritan Health Systems said Monday it would close the facility. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence Water To Aid Montreal

The binational board that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River announced last week it will release more water from the St. Lawrence to accommodate ships arriving at the Port of Montreal. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Re-Creating the Raquette

The Raquette River has seen several incarnations of economic development in the North Country: first fishing and logging, then sandstone mining and hydroelectric generation. A group of businesses and citizens want to start a new economic era for the state's second largest river based on tourism and recreation. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Filling the Post-Ames Void

When Ames Department Stores close their doors for good in a dozen North Country communities later this fall, they'll leave behind a retail void. Small town residents will have to drive to larger towns to find everyday goods from socks to Christmas lights to dish drainers. Many areas are scrambling to find other retailers to fill the gap - the so-called "big boxes" like Target or Walmart. The village of Potsdam is one such place. But in the meanwhile, it's using college students to do market research to help local stores fill the Ames niche and keep shoppers close to home. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Tina Montroy has worked at McCadam Cheese Co. in Heuvelton for 15 years.
Tina Montroy has worked at McCadam Cheese Co. in Heuvelton for 15 years.

Can Milk Producers & Processors Collaborate?

The North Country dairy industry is built on manufacturing. Most of the milk cows produce is turned into something else - cheese, butter, yogurt, milk powder. The relationship between dairy farmers and the processing plants they sell their milk to is a symbiotic one. But like all close relationships, there can be tension, even outright feuds. In the second part of our series on dairy in the North Country, David Sommerstein looks at the relationship from one processor's point of view, who says the future lies in the two groups becoming one.  Go to full article

Who Sets the Milk Price?

David Sommerstein talks with Julie Suarez of the New York Farm Bureau about how the price of milk is set on the national market.  Go to full article
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

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