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NCPR News Staff: Sarah Harris

Reporter and Producer

Sarah Harris was a sophomore in college when the radio bug bit. She spent the year producing audio narratives of students' journeys to Middlebury (where she went to school) through the Middlebury Fellowship in Narrative Journalism. A long-time public radio listener, Sarah thought she might've found her niche. She spent the money she earned from the fellowship on equipment and promptly headed abroad to the Maldives and Nepal, where she did a ton of interviews and spent a month at Community Radio Madanpokhara, South Asia's first rural-based community radio station.

Upon returning to the United States, Sarah decided she needed to learn how to do radio for real. So she called NCPR on a Friday afternoon and proceeded to pester station manager Ellen Rocco until she agreed to give Sarah an internship. Sarah spent the following summer interning at the station and living on Ellen's DeKalb farm. She's been producing stories for NCPR ever since -- first covering the Champlain Valley in Vermont and New York, and now covering St. Lawrence County. 

Sarah's work has aired on Morning Edition and All Things Considered and has been published in The American Prospect and Slate. She reported on cement production in Chanute, Kansas through the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism and contributed to the award-winning NPR/Center for Public Integrity collaborative series "Poisoned Places." Sarah assistant taught the first session of the Transom Story Workshop in fall 2011. She lives with her partner Joe, a cat named Louie, and soon, two llamas. E-mail

Stories filed by Sarah Harris

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Strand advocate Leigh Mundy explains the theater's renovations to Governor Cuomo. Photo: Sarah Harris
Strand advocate Leigh Mundy explains the theater's renovations to Governor Cuomo. Photo: Sarah Harris

In Plattsburgh, Cuomo touts economic revitalization

Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Plattsburgh Wednesday, where he toured the Strand Theater and the Bombardier plant. It was the third installment in a series of tours he's made to check on the progress of projects awarded grants through the Regional Economic Development Councils last year.  Go to full article
Meeting of the Stop the F-35 Coalition. Photo: Sarah Harris
Meeting of the Stop the F-35 Coalition. Photo: Sarah Harris

Burlington area residents debate F-35 noise

Last spring the Air Force announced that Burlington was one of two preferred sites for a fleet of new F-35 fighter jets. The F-35s are a lot louder than the F-16s that currently take off and land from Burlington International Airport.

Many area residents are worried about the noise from the jets and its effect on their property values. Others are glad that the F-35 would guarantee a continued Air Force presence in Burlington.  Go to full article
Sea lamprey larvae that washed up on shore. The longer they are, the older they are. Inset: mouth of adult lamprey, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo: Sarah Harris
Sea lamprey larvae that washed up on shore. The longer they are, the older they are. Inset: mouth of adult lamprey, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo: Sarah Harris

Combating sea lamprey on Lake Champlain

If you're fishing for salmon or lake trout in Lake Champlain, you might end up with a fish you didn't bargain for. Sea lamprey are parasitic fish that look like eels. They latch on to larger fish and slowly drain out their body fluids.

Lamprey can decimate entire fish populations, so every four years the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with help from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and New York's DEC, treats Lake Champlain tributaries with pesticides to control lamprey populations. This year's first treatment took place last week in the Saranac River delta in Plattsburgh.  Go to full article
Reenactors portraying British soldiers advance through the woods at Beekmantown. Photo: Sarah Harris
Reenactors portraying British soldiers advance through the woods at Beekmantown. Photo: Sarah Harris

Plattsburgh commemorates War of 1812 victory

Tuesday was the 198th anniversary of the Battle of Plattsburgh. In 1814, British and American forces clashed on Lake Champlain and in the city of Plattsburgh. The Americans prevailed, and the war ended two months later.

This year is also the bicentennial of the start of the war, and for the past two weeks, Plattsburgh has hosted a series of commemorative events, including concerts, lectures and dances. It even opened a temporary tavern serving period fare. The celebrations culminated this past weekend with re-enactments on water and land and a downtown parade.  Go to full article
Transmission cycle of Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Transmission cycle of Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Vermont combats Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Vermont is working to prevent the spread of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Two cases have been reported so far, both on the western side of the state. One man died from the disease Tuesday.

Aerial spraying of insecticide is scheduled to begin in Addison and Rutland counties on Thursday night between 8 to 11 p.m. The health department encourages people to stay inside during the spraying, and to protect themselves against mosquito bites.  Go to full article
Algae bloom. Photo: Lake George Waterkeeper
Algae bloom. Photo: Lake George Waterkeeper

Blue green algae may have caused fish kill in Lake Champlain

Blue-green algae blooms in Lake Champlain have intensified with late summer heat. Rouses Point, Missisquoi Bay, and North Beach in Burlington all issued warnings last week, and scientists say the algae blooms may have triggered a fish kill several weeks ago in Missisquoi Bay.  Go to full article
Lake Champlain during Tropical Storm Irene, as seen from Charlotte, Vermont. Photo: Robert Coleburn
Lake Champlain during Tropical Storm Irene, as seen from Charlotte, Vermont. Photo: Robert Coleburn

Bells toll in Vermont for one-year Irene commemoration

Communities across Vermont and New York commemorated the one-year anniversary of tropical storm Irene yesterday. Last night at 7 p.m., bells in churches and town halls across Vermont tolled to mark the occasion.  Go to full article
Lisa Campbell in Peavine Park, Bethel, Vermont. Photo: Sarah Harris
Lisa Campbell in Peavine Park, Bethel, Vermont. Photo: Sarah Harris

A year after Irene, Vermont reflects on recovery

Tropical Storm Irene devastated mountain villages across the Northeast a year ago. Vermont was particularly hard hit. Major flooding downed bridges, tore houses off their foundations, washed out roads, and even left some towns inaccessible. The state's been hard at work rebuilding since.  Go to full article
Father Delbel addresses parents and parishioners at a meeting shortly after the school closure was announced.
Father Delbel addresses parents and parishioners at a meeting shortly after the school closure was announced.

Champlain's St. Mary's Academy closes its doors

Another Catholic school is closing in the North Country. St Mary's Academy, a pre-kindergarden to 6th grade elementary school within the Clinton County town of Champlain, won't reopen in the fall.

Catholic officials blame declining enrollment, a budget deficit, and worries about long-term debt.

But for parents of the 46 kids, from New York, Quebec and Vermont, who went to St. Mary's, the decision has meant painful changes.  Go to full article
Cover detail: 2012 State of the Lake Report from the Lake Champlain Basin Program
Cover detail: 2012 State of the Lake Report from the Lake Champlain Basin Program

State of the Lake: new report investigates water quality and health of Lake Champlain

Every few years the Lake Champlain Basin Program publishes a "state of the lake" report, detailing environmental quality in Lake Champlain. This year's report came out last week.

It says that while the overall health of the main lake is good, certain areas, like the Northeast arm and Missisquoi Bay, have higher levels of phosphorus pollution and algae blooms. Sarah Harris spoke with Bill Howland, director of the Basin Program, about the report.  Go to full article

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