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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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"Electing a coroner is a holdover from British Common Law." Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/36606530@N00/4608471444/">Degi Hari</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
"Electing a coroner is a holdover from British Common Law." Photo: Degi Hari, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Talking with a voter about the coroner race

It's almost election day. And in St. Lawrence County one of the races is a public office you might forget about -- coroner. There are 2 open seats this year, and 3 candidates.

The coroner's job is to respond when somebody has died. One of them takes the call, drives to the scene and pronounces the person dead. They also figure out where to transport the body, and coordinate with police, courts, and hospitals.  Go to full article
Kevin Crosby takes the mic at the St. Lawrence County Republicans meet-the-candidates dinner. Photo: Sarah Harris
Kevin Crosby takes the mic at the St. Lawrence County Republicans meet-the-candidates dinner. Photo: Sarah Harris

Why do we elect a coroner, anyway?

In St. Lawrence County, four coroners are notified when a fatal accident happens.

One of them takes the call, drives to the scene, day or night. Besides issuing an official announcement of a death, the coroner also figures out where to transport the body, and coordinates with police, courts, and hospitals.

It's a behind-the-scenes job - and one you might forget is actually a public office.

But almost 1600 counties around the country still elect coroners St. Lawrence County is one. Two of three candidates will be elected next Tuesday.  Go to full article
Congressman Bill Owens and Richard Eakins talk about corn storage. Photo: Sarah Harris.
Congressman Bill Owens and Richard Eakins talk about corn storage. Photo: Sarah Harris.

Owens: farm bill may happen in 2013

There's still no Farm Bill this year.

The Farm Bill sets policy for agriculture nationwide. But most of the bill--money-wise--goes to food stamps. And disagreement over cuts to food stamps has held the overall bill up for over a year.

This week, members of the House and Senate will start hashing out a new compromise version of the bill. At a visit to a North Country soybean farm, Congressman Bill Owens said that may mean progress.  Go to full article
One of the approximately 11,000 fish released. Photo: Sarah Harris.
One of the approximately 11,000 fish released. Photo: Sarah Harris.

Stocking sturgeon in the St. Lawrence

The St. Lawrence River has more sturgeon than it did yesterday. About 11,000 baby sturgeon were released into the St. Lawrence and its tributaries.

State environmental officials hope to restore the sturgeon population in the region.  Go to full article
Ron Flannery connects a Dickinson Center camp. Photo: Sarah Harris
Ron Flannery connects a Dickinson Center camp. Photo: Sarah Harris

Local internet provider connects the North Country

The Internet is a big part of 21st century life - people use it get news, watch movies, apply for jobs, and pay bills. But the North Country lags behind the rest of New York state in connectivity. 20 percent of people in the region don't have fast, reliable internet connections. That's compared to just 5% of people state-wide.

SLIC, a local internet provider that grew out of Nicholville Telephone Company, is trying to change that.  Go to full article
Looking across Lyons Falls to the old Gould Paper Mill in Lyons Falls, NY. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/roys-stuff/4496716472/">Roy Saplin</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Looking across Lyons Falls to the old Gould Paper Mill in Lyons Falls, NY. Photo: Roy Saplin, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Lyons Falls, Glens Falls, Fort Edward awarded money for brownfields

Three North Country communities were awarded grant money from New York State yesterday to address contaminated sites called brownfields.  Go to full article
The Capitol Building in Albany.
The Capitol Building in Albany.

Education commissioner cancels Common Core meetings, Cuomo reacts

Last week New York State Education Commissioner John King cancelled town hall meetings about the new Common Core curriculum after a meeting in Poughkeepsie turned rowdy.  Go to full article
Art Sennett, holding a sculpture. Photo: Sarah Harris
Art Sennett, holding a sculpture. Photo: Sarah Harris

Art Sennett: Making magic with clay

For 35 years, Art Sennett taught ceramics at SUNY Potsdam. He inspired generations of students to work with clay and create art. And he made a lot of his own pottery from raw materials he found in the North Country. Now, Art's retired. He spends his summers in Potsdam, and winters on an island off the coast of Georgia, where he teaches art classes.  Go to full article
The WIC program serves about 10,000 people from Watertown to Malone.
The WIC program serves about 10,000 people from Watertown to Malone.

WIC nutritional program will close alongside children's clinic

There's more fallout from the closing of the North Country Children's Clinic.

The clinic administers a nutrition program for women, infants and children, called WIC. It serves about 10,000 people from Watertown to Malone, giving families healthy food, nutritional advice and food vouchers that can be used at participating grocery stores.

But because of the clinic's financial problems, WIC will close too.  Go to full article
County administrator Karen St. Hilaire. Photo: Julie Grant
County administrator Karen St. Hilaire. Photo: Julie Grant

A new budget for St. Lawrence County

It's budget time in St. Lawrence County again. The budget for 2014 raises the sales tax, allowing property taxes to come down. Officials say the county is finally on the way to fiscal health.  Go to full article

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