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NCPR News Staff: Jonathan Brown

Stories filed by Jonathan Brown


48th district could tip the Senate

A deeper look at the new state Senate poll and what it might mean for the North Country.

Jonathan Brown asked Siena's Steven Greenberg to analyze the poll numbers for a sense of what voters are thinking.  Go to full article
Bats infected with White Nose Syndrome (NYS DEC)
Bats infected with White Nose Syndrome (NYS DEC)

Athlete's foot drug could help bats

State health officials say they've identified chemical compounds that could help bats fight off White Nose Syndrome. This is the disease that has killed hundreds of thousands--possibly millions--of bats across New York and the eastern U.S.

New York health commissioner Richard Daines says researchers identified what he called "safe chemical compounds" that can help fight off the cottony white substance that develops around an infected bat's snout and wings.

Health department researchers believe they've identified the specific fungus responsible for White Nose Syndrome. Then, they tested 2000 chemicals in an attempt to kill the growth.

In the laboratory, some of the most effective treatments involved drugs used on common human infections like athlete's foot.

One of these researchers, Dr. Vishnu Chaturvedi told Jonathan Brown it's not clear how to treat the disease in the wild, because there is still a lot they don't know.  Go to full article

Doheny's lead grows in House race

Absentee ballots from across the 23rd House district are giving Watertown businessman Matt Doheny an even bigger lead over Lake Placid accountant Doug Hoffman.

Elections officials are in their final stages of counting votes from last week's Republican primary.

On its website yesterday, the Watertown Daily Times says Doheny edged out Hoffman by 769 votes.

With only around 800 ballots still to be counted, that makes it nearly impossible for Hoffman to catch up. Jonathan Brown has more.  Go to full article
Rick Bates stands next to his wood-powered truck
Rick Bates stands next to his wood-powered truck

Fill 'er up - with wood

For just about everybody who drives, filling up the tank is one of those things you just have to do. But not Rick Bates. His pick up truck runs on wood.

So, instead of stopping at the corner gas station, Bates just walks into the woods behind his house and chops down the fuel he needs. And the burning branches smell like a campfire.

Using trees instead of gasoline for internal combustion isn't a new idea, but, as Jonathan Brown reports, it's gaining popularity--especially here in the woodsy North Country.  Go to full article

Doheny-Hoffman count coming Thursday

Nearly a week since the primaries, it's still not clear whose name will be on the Republican line in a high-profile North Country Congressional race.

An initial tally of votes in the 23rd district put Matt Doheny ahead by more than 500 votes. Doug Hoffman, already on the Conservative line, says at least 1900 military and absentee ballots still need to be counted.

As Jonathan Brown reports, a final, certified vote count isn't expected until later this week.  Go to full article
NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Photo: Steve Barrett.
NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Photo: Steve Barrett.

Analysis: NPR's Liasson on the Tea Party

With results of the Doheny-Hoffman GOP primary still up in the air, it still isn't clear whether the general election race for the 23rd Congressional District will be a two-way race, Democrat vs. Republican, or a three-way race, Democrat vs. Republican vs. Conservative.

A three-way contest would be a re-play of last year's special election, in which Hoffman and Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava split voters on the Right. Bill Owens became the first Democrat to take the district and put it in the Democrats' hands for the first time since the Civil War.

NPR political correspondent Mara Liasson says this was a painful lesson for the Right. But speaking with Jonathan brown, she says that race was the exception. Now, she says, Tea Party voters across the country are very much in synch with the core Republican Party. She says results from yesterday's primaries show how emotion fueled many of the Tea Party's chosen candidates to victory.  Go to full article

An early start?and finish?to this year's apple season

More on the growing season and the condition of the apple crop. Debbie Everett tells Jonathan Brown everything just seemed to happen earlier this year than in past seasons.  Go to full article

A good apple crop, but pickers delayed by U.S. Immigration officials

North Country apple growers say it's been a good season, but they had to fight U.S. Immigration officials to harvest their crop. For decades, orchards in northern New York have relied on experienced workers from Jamaica. Many of these laborers make the trip from the Caribbean several times a year to prune trees, tend them throughout the season and pick the fruit.

Debbie Everett is part of the family that has owned and run the Everett Orchards, near Plattsburgh, since the Revolutionary War. She says problems getting H2A visas for farm workers delayed apple picking even as the fruit was ripe, ready and nearly falling from the trees:

"The remainder of our workers just came in Tuesday," she said. "It was pretty touch and go there. But they are here. That's the good news."

As Jonathan Brown reports, an apparent misunderstanding by U.S. Immigration officials nearly prevented the Jamaican workers from making their harvest trip to the North Country.  Go to full article
Jennie Bacon (l) and Tom Nichols in the voting machine store room (at the end of each cable hanging down are electrical outlets to charge the machines)
Jennie Bacon (l) and Tom Nichols in the voting machine store room (at the end of each cable hanging down are electrical outlets to charge the machines)

Elections lessons learned in St Lawrence County

As we heard in Karen's story, voters already used electronic ballot readers in many New York counties--including St Lawrence, where Jennie Bacon is the Democratic elections commissioner.

She says the County is better prepared after last year's election. And, as she tells Jonathan Brown, the elections office recently gathered volunteers to try out every voting machine the county owns.  Go to full article

CVPH wins $3.5 million to expand emergency department

The Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh won a three-and-a-half-million-dollar state grant yesterday. Across New York, 17 medical centers were awarded funds as part of a 50-million-dollar push to help the facilities operate more efficiently and lower health care costs. Jonathan Brown reports.  Go to full article

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