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NCPR News Staff: Greg Warner

Stories filed by Greg Warner

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Works begins on new facility for sex offenders in Ogdensburg

Work is already underway on a new state facility for sexually violent predators in Ogdensburg. Local opponents to the plan hope they can still stop the project with the coming change of administration in Albany. Gregory Warner reports.  Go to full article
Switchgrass, a native prairie grass, has remarkable biomass potential.
Switchgrass, a native prairie grass, has remarkable biomass potential.

The Biofuel Economy, part 3: switchgrass and solid fuel

Solid fuel isn't a sexy technology, but it's amazingly energy efficient. In fact there's really no comparison. The amount of energy you get burning corn in a corn stove, say, is way more than you'd get out of ethanol from the same corn. But the United States has always been a liquid fuel economy. Our infrastructure and our government subsidies reflect that. And so with alternative energy, liquid fuels like ethanol and biodiesel get a lot more attention. It's different in Europe. Now many farmers are looking across the Atlantic to find solutions for the North Country. Gregory Warner reports.  Go to full article

The Biofuel Economy, part 2: ethanol alternatives

Ethanol fuel is grain alcohol blended with regular gasoline. E10 is the most common blend, 10% ethanol, 90% gas. It runs in regular cars. About a third of the gas sold in America is E10. E85 is 85% ethanol and only runs in specially designed engines. Ethanol is big business for American corn farmers. But corn isn't the only crop you can make ethanol from. And it may not be the best, for the environment or for North Country farmers. New York State is taking steps towards a radically different kind of ethanol production. Gregory Warner reports.  Go to full article

Biofuel Economy, Part I: Biodiesel

Biofuel. You hear a lot about it these days. And how the growing industry means new opportunities for farmers and foresters and other businesses in the North Country. Over the next few days we're going to take a closer look at what the biofuel economy might mean for the North Country. We'll look at big plans and small solutions.

First, what is biofuel? Biofuel means using biological material for energy. Like burning wood in a woodstove for heat. There are two kinds of biofuel used for transportation: ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is a gasoline additive made from vegetable crops - mostly corn. We'll talk more about ethanol tomorrow.

Today we'll look at biodiesel. Biodiesel is basically vegetable oil with the glycerin removed. It can run in diesel engines. It's mostly made from soybean oil. As fuel prices rise, It's becoming more cost-competitive. But as Gregory Warner reports, many consumers and farmers are still wary.  Go to full article

Baby booms and other complications: local health care challenges

The 5th Annual Rural Health Care Conference is in its second day in Chatauqua. This year, all the discussions take place in the shadow of the New York State Right Sizing Commission. The commission was formed earlier this year to take a comprehensive look at health services across the state. It's likely some hospitals will close, and some services consolidated as a result of its recommendations. Patty Bishop looks at the big picture in this region. She is director of the Northern New York Rural Health Care Alliance, based in Watertown. She said local providers and agencies will have their say before the right-sizing commission makes its recommendation. But she told Gregory Warner the challenges the rural health care community faces are special, and she worries that message won't be heard clearly. And she said the North Country has particular problems because of Ft. Drum.  Go to full article

Griffo, Julian face off for 47th Senate District

Two Republicans are vying for their party's support to replace departing State Senator Ray Meier for the 47th District. Joseph Griffo faces off against Timothy Julian in tomorrow's primary. The race pits a well-endorsed political veteran against a relative newcomer. Gregory Warner reports. The Democratic primary for the 47th State Senate district also features two Utica-area candidates. Attorney Leon Koziol is a former Utica city councilman. John Murad is a retired state Supreme Court Judge. Koziol has the endorsements of Democratic Commitees in Oneida and St. Lawrence County. He'll also appear on the Working Families party line. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Koziol has called the North Country "the neglected part of the district". He's pushing for better health care for farmers. And he wants the New York Power Authority to transfer to private hands more land along the St. Lawrence River. Murad will only appear on the Democratic line. He's called for reform in Albany, including an overhaul of New York's workers' compensation system. Murad also wants to boost funding for tourism in Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.  Go to full article

Doctors learn strategies to treat Amish

Providing health care to Amish communities poses unique challenges. So unique that the subject will have its own breakout session this week at the 5th Annual Conference on Rural Health. The conference starts today in Chatauqua.
Melissa Thomas is a social worker with the Community Outreach of Ohio Health. 10 years ago she got a grant to do breast cancer screenings in the Appalachian area of Ohio. She realized that Amish women weren't showing up at the mammogram clinics. So she got a mobile booth to come to them. As she told Gregory Warner, that still wasn't enough.  Go to full article

School Prayer Issue Divides Mohawk Community

A school prayer issue at a predominantly Mohawk school is headed to federal court despite a compromise offered this week. And the debate has divided the Akwesasne tribal council. Gregory Warner reports.  Go to full article
Capt. Dan Moreland at the helm of the <i>Picton Castle</i>.
Capt. Dan Moreland at the helm of the Picton Castle.

Pay tuition, sail a ship

The Picton Castle sets sail today down the St. Lawrence River, on its way to the Carribean Islands. It's a 100-foot tall ship retrofitted like a commercial sailing ship of the 19th century. And for a fee, you can ride aboard, as a member of the crew. The Picton Castle is a training ship, owned by a company in Nova Scotia. About 40 "trainees" will set sail this year. They'll help stand watch, and take workshops in seamanship, navigation, and the other arts of square-rig sailing. Gregory Warner stopped by the ship when it was docked in Kingston, Ontario. He met a former crew member, revisiting the ship after a long absence.  Go to full article

Counties demonstrate disability accessible voting machines

New York State has lagged far behind the country in replacing its lever voting machines. Now New York's counties are scrambling to comply with their part of HAVA - the Help America Vote Act. Each county has leased at least one machine to make it easier for people with disabilities to vote. But with so few machines, access will be a major issue. Gregory Warner went to a demonstration of the machines in Canton.  Go to full article

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