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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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Sen. Schumer Rates State of the Union

New York Senator Charles Schumer gives President Bush an A+ for his agenda in the war on terrorism as outlined in the State of the Union. But as David Sommerstein reports, the Senator is more reserved in his praise on domestic issues.  Go to full article

McHugh Applauds Border Security Funding

President Bush plans to ask for a $2.1 billion increase next year for security along the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico. He called the borders the "domestic front" in the war on terrorism. The plan is drawing applause from the North Country's Congressman, but there are still questions. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

SUNY Potsdam Cuts Deep in Response to Budget Woes

The state and national economic challenges are coming home to roost at some of the North Country's colleges. Officials at SUNY Potsdam last week unveiled a five-year plan in response to low revenue expectations. In the short term, the changes include the elimination of an administrative division of the college. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Stream International Job Fair Draws Huge Crowd to Watertown

State economic developers are thrilled with the turnout at the Stream International job fair held this week. They say Watertown is one step closer to landing a customer service center that promises up to 900 jobs. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article
The US-Canada border on tribal land in the town of St. Regis is marked only by a small stone obelisk.
The US-Canada border on tribal land in the town of St. Regis is marked only by a small stone obelisk.

Akwesasne: Two Countries, One Nation and the Border

As the federal government seeks to beef up border security since September 11, it's begun working with tribal governments to make patrolling these areas more effective. The lands of the Akwesasne Mohawks near Massena are actually split in two by the U.S-Canada border. As David Sommerstein reports, the area highlights both the challenges of border security on and near reservations and some new initiatives in border patrol.  Go to full article

Stream International Job Fair Opens Today in Watertown

North Country officials are betting on a strong showing at a Watertown job fair that opens today. Stream International wants proof of an ample work force before it builds a customer service center in Watertown that would create up to 900 new jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawk Nation Radio Keeps the Language Alive

David Sommerstein profiles CKON-FM, Mohawk Nation Radio at Akwesasne. Last year, CKON began broadcasting Mohawk language classes over the air.  Go to full article

Watertown Developers Court Stream International Customer Service Center

The economic development engines of the western half of the North Country are at full throttle to convince Stream International to locate a customer service center in Watertown. The company says it would create up to 900 new jobs--a major investment in a recessed economy. David Sommerstein reports the opportunity hinges largely on how many qualified people show up at next week's job fair.  Go to full article

People: Jill Vaughan, home literacy educator

David Sommerstein talks with Jill Vaughan, the home educator with Even Start in Franklin County, about how poverty and class issues figure into literacy and school success.  Go to full article

Even Start Program Helps Franklin County Families Learn to Read

Traditional research says that a child's ability to succeed in school is strongly related to his or her parent's—and especially mother's—level of education. If a mother learns to read or gets her GED, the idea goes, she's better prepared to read to her children, teach them the skills they'll need when they get to school. But further research says the situation may be more complicated. David Sommerstein explores the field of family literacy with a profile of the federal funded Even Start program in Franklin County.

Even Start programs in the North Country:
Franklin County: Joe Campbell, (518)4830290
St. Lawrence County: Faye Bartley, (315)379-9201 x164
Clinton & Essex Counties: Jeanette Mitchell, (518)942-3077
Herkimer County: (315)867-2079
There is currently no Even Start program in Jefferson or Lewis Counties.  Go to full article

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