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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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Judge Orders Interest Paid on Cayuga Land Claim

A federal judge has ordered New York state to pay the Cayuga Nation in central New York over two million dollars in interest for lands the state acquired illegally two centuries ago. The decision could set a precedent for other native land claims cases in New York. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Fort Drum Troops Headed to Uzbekistan

The Pentagon has confirmed 1000 soldiers from the army's 10th Mountain Division are headed to the former Soviet state of Uzbekistan. The soldiers leave behind families and communities with no easy answers about where their loved ones are and when they're coming back. David Sommerstein visited Evans Mills just outside Fort Drum.  Go to full article

Revisited: the "Twisted" Story of a Young Canadian Writer

We revisit the case of the boy in Ontario who was suspended from his school and arrested for writing a story for drama class about a boy who blows up his school. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Sen. Schumer: Support Ft. Drum

New York Senator Charles Schumer visited Fort Drum last Friday and kept his message simple: the people of Fort Drum need our support. David Sommerstein was on hand for Schumer's visit and has this report.  Go to full article

New Regulations Place Cost Burden on Local Airports

Airports in the North Country are finishing up their second week of regular service since the terrorist attacks on the U.S. grounded all air travel on September 11. David Sommerstein reports local airports are complying with new regulations. But the costs associated with them burden a service that's always been tough to keep financially viable.  Go to full article

Primary Day in New York

Today is primary elections day around New York State. The primaries were suspended on September 11 when terrorists attacked the Wortld Trade Center and the Pentagon. David Sommerstein reports some think today's voting may be premature.  Go to full article

Schools Will Have Priority for New North Fiberoptic Link

David Sommerstein reports school districts in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties will be the first customers for a fiberoptics line that will bring high speed telecommunications to the North Country.  Go to full article

Visitors: Al-Haji Papa Susso, Mandinka Griot and Kora Player

An interview and in-studio performance from a West African Griot and master Kora player. Al-Haji Papa Susso will perform this weekend in Canton and Potsdam. David Sommerstein reports.

Al-Haji Papa Susso performs Friday, September 21 at 7:30 p.m. in SUNY Potsdam's Snell Theater and in Canton, Saturday, September 22 at 8 p.m. in St. Lawrence University's Sykes Common Room.  Go to full article

People: Bill Sears, Mohawk Twin Towers Ironworker

A few North Country residents are grieveing over a unique relationship to the destruction in New York City. David Sommerstein profiles an ironworker from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation who helped build the twin towers of the World Trade Center nearly three decades ago.

At left, William stands outside Ironworkers Local 440 in Akwesasne holding a picture of himself as a 19-year-old eating lunch at the World Trade Center construction site.  Go to full article

Flying Home

David Sommerstein returned from vacation in New Mexico over the weekend. Instead of the usual hustle and bustle at airports, he found a subdued and alert type of air travel. Crowds were quiet and sold-out flights had empty seats.  Go to full article

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