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NCPR News Staff: Chris Morris

Tri-Lakes Correspondent

Stories filed by Chris Morris

Chandler Ralph (Source:  AMC)
Chandler Ralph (Source: AMC)

AMC exec Ralph talks in-depth about coming health care battles

Health care is likely to top the agenda of state and federal lawmakers in the coming weeks, as New York's new governor aims to reform the Medicaid system and Congress considers a measure to repeal last year's health care reform legislation.

Chris Morris sat down to talk about possible changes to the health care system with Chandler Ralph, head of Adirondack Medical Center.

Ralph says hospitals in the North Country want lawmakers to take a measured approach, and she opposes a wholesale scrapping of the Federal healthcare reform plan.  Go to full article
Broadband internet should be something that every home and business in the town of Keene, and in general, should have.

Keene paves way for broadband

The North Country has had mixed success in winning Federal stimulus dollars to expand broadband internet service to rural towns and villages. But the Essex County town of Keene has moved forward with a grassroots effort, using a mix of grants and local fund raising, along with new, less expensive technology.

As Chris Morris reports, the organizers hope their project will serve as a model for other communities in the region.  Go to full article
Advocates want more funding for sites like Crown Point
Advocates want more funding for sites like Crown Point

NY parks see surge of visitors

Attendance at New York's parks and historic sites soared last year, with more than a million additional people making visits.

That surge followed a threat last spring by Governor David Paterson to close dozens of sites, including John Browns Farm near Lake Placid and the Crown Point Fort in the Champlain Valley.

The state restored $11 million to keep those areas open. But a new report by two advocacy groups found that funding has still declined by more than $30 million in recent years, leaving many parks understaffed and in need of repair. Chris Morris reports.  Go to full article
If everybody was on the same schedule, that would be most advantageous for the kids...

In Tri-Lakes, different spring break schedules muddle schools, families

School districts in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake that have traditionally shared the same schedule for spring break have conflicting calendars this year.

That may not sound like a big deal, but it affects dozens of teachers and families, as well as the regional BOCES program which serves all three districts.

As Chris Morris reports, discussions of the schedule change have raised questions about the benefits and drawbacks of school vacations.  Go to full article

DEC offers ice safety tips

With winter in full swing, officials with the state Department of Environmental Conservation are reminding outdoor enthusiasts to be cautious on lakes and rivers.

Hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowmobiling on frozen lakes and ponds are among the many winter delights enjoyed by residents and visitors of the Adirondack Park. Chris Morris offers some tips on how to be safe on the ice this winter.  Go to full article

State keeps shorter school sports seasons to save money

For the third straight year, high school sports seasons will be shorter in New York as a shaky economy has school districts looking to save money.

Cuts vary by sport. Baseball teams that play 24 regular-season games will go to 20, football teams went from 10 games to 9 or 8, depending on regional officials. Chris Morris reports.  Go to full article
Those payroll dollars—all of that money—is going right back into the community... and if it weren't there, you'd notice

State finances threaten healthcare, economy

A report published this week by the Healthcare Association of New York State found that North Country hospitals are one of the region's biggest economic engines. The study shows that, statewide, hospitals employ nearly 687,000 New Yorkers and generate $108 billion in economic activity.

As Chris Morris reports, this report is the latest salvo in a debate over how to fund hospitals and the state's healthcare system.  Go to full article
Wesley Wamsganz is the subject of a search in the Adirondacks (Source:  Wamsganz family)
Wesley Wamsganz is the subject of a search in the Adirondacks (Source: Wamsganz family)

Search continues for Saranac Lake man

Police, state forest rangers and volunteers are expanding a search for a young man who went missing over the weekend near Adirondack Loj, just south of the Village of lake Placid.

Family members reported 22 year-old Wesley Wamsganz missing to Saranac Lake Village Police on Sunday.  Go to full article
We're going to show the state that we can do this, and do it in a way that's better than the past.

Lake Placid pools resources to save winter games

Officials from across the North Country were shocked Wednesday when the state announced it was canceling the popular winter and summer Empire State Games to help close New York's growing budget gap.

Within a day, community leaders from the Lake Placid region announced they would save the 2011 winter games, despite losing state funding.

Representatives from the towns of North Elba and Wilmington, the village of Lake Placid, the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the state Olympic Regional Development Authority decided Wednesday night to pool their resources.
Chris Morris has our story.  Go to full article

Empire Games loss will hurt Lake Placid

The Paterson Administration has cut funding for the 2011 Empire State Games, citing the state's ongoing fiscal crisis. The popular annual competitions are run by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The news came in a letter from Lisa Del Signore, the administrator of the games, to athletes informing them that the winter, summer, and senior games, as well as the games for the physically challenged, have all been canceled.

The Poughkeepsie Journal, which broke the story, reports Del Signore's letter also said, "Perhaps in the future the economic climate will improve and the games will experience a rebirth."

The winter games were scheduled to take place in Lake Placid in late February. As Chris Morris reports, athletes and tourism officials will miss them:  Go to full article

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