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NCPR News Staff: Nora Flaherty

Digital Editor, News

Nora Flaherty began her career in public radio as a reporter and on-air host at Michigan Radio, where she did stories on environmental issues, housing, the arts, among other things. Nora moved to New York City in 2005, and became a producer at WFUV. At WFUV, Nora hosted a weekly interview program and reported on the long-term issues faced by September 11th survivors, education, and less serious topics like fairy tales, freak shows and pop music.

At NCPR, Nora has hosted the daily news program All Before Five, and reported on local politics, the arts, agriculture and entrepreneurship. She has recently taken on a new role as Digital Editor for News.

Nora’s work has won awards from the Associated Press, New York State Broadcasters Association, and Public Radio News Directors, Inc., as well as a Gracie Award.

A serious dog person, Nora loves hanging out with her "pack" (her husband and their two dogs), cooking, and driving in foreign countries. E-mail

Stories filed by Nora Flaherty

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Director Bruce Hansen conducts the Goldenaires, as Chris Riordan (blue shirt) sits in the front row. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Director Bruce Hansen conducts the Goldenaires, as Chris Riordan (blue shirt) sits in the front row. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Barbershop chorus is longtime Canton tradition

The Canton Goldenaires have been singing four-part harmonies for fifty years now. They're a chorus, not a quartet, but their sound is very much what you'd expect from a barbershop group--although they don't wear the striped blazers and boater hats.

You might think a barbershop group, with its old-timey singing style, would attract a distinctly older demographic. But the Goldenaires' singers range in age from 28 to 78.  Go to full article
Brandon Mendelson. Photo: Matthew Farenell
Brandon Mendelson. Photo: Matthew Farenell

Former marketing consultant calls social media "B.S."

There's no avoiding social media these days--even if you're not on the internet, TV commercials urge you to like companies on Facebook or follow them on Twitter, newscasters read influential people's tweets on the air, and if you're not on Facebook, well, you're in for a lot of funny looks.

If you run a business or an organization, pressure to have an active social media "presence" can be intense--but the benefits you actually get from that presence may not be anywhere near as huge as what you were led to expect.  Go to full article

Brandon Mendelson: full interview

Nora Flaherty's full interview with author Brandon Mendelson on his new book, Social Media is Bulls**t  Go to full article
Sharon Bastille ("Mom") presents a pie. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Sharon Bastille ("Mom") presents a pie. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Serving up meatloaf, pie and community at Mom's Schoolhouse Diner

At its best, Thanksgiving is about food, family, and community--and Sharon Bastille, better known around her West Potsdam stomping ground as "Mom", has built her business around all those things.

Bastille and her husband, who's a carpenter, own Mom's Schoolhouse Diner, located in a former one-room schoolhouse. Mom's is a '50s diner, where the staff wears red and white checked circle skirts under their aprons.

Bastille has had Mom's for about a decade, after a couple decades spent at home with her kids. She tries to make the diner as much like home as possible by knowing customers' names, likes and dislikes, for example. Though Mom's is a business, Bastille doesn't think of herself as a businesswoman. She told Nora Flaherty she doesn't make a living from the diner. But as long as it breaks even, her priority is creating a nice place for people in the community to come together.  Go to full article
The Locks. Photo: Jennifer McCluskey
The Locks. Photo: Jennifer McCluskey

Five-statistician family writes improbable textbook

Statistics isn't exactly the sexiest subject in school--for people who aren't mathematically inclined, taking a statistics class usually means doing a lot of equations that don't seem to have any relevance to your life, and then then forgetting everything you learned almost immediately.

Now, a family of statisticians has written a new text book that's looking to change that reputation, by teaching statistics in a different way.

Patti Fraser Lock and her husband, Robin Lock, are both professors at St. Lawrence University--and their three grown children are also statisticians. Their book is called "Statistics: Unlocking the Power of Data"--A little nod to the five co-authors. It focuses on how statistics plays out in real life situations, not just on paper.

The five Locks wrote the book over a few years, including a summer spent working in the family home in Hannawa Falls. Nora Flaherty asked Patti Lock what it was like having all her kids back home and working together.  Go to full article
Jennifer Knack. Photo: Clarkson University
Jennifer Knack. Photo: Clarkson University

Researcher looks at bullying's long-term health effects

The school year is in full swing now, and for some kids that unfortunately means the start to another year of being bullied.

One strategy for kids who are bullied is often to stay home from school as much as possible. But those kids may not just be faking their stomach aches--being bullied may be making them sick, and not just for the day.

Jennifer Knack, assistant professor of psychology at Clarkson University, researches the health effects of bullying, by looking at how stressful experiences like being bullied affect college students' levels of cortisol--often known as the 'stress hormone'.

She told Nora Flaherty she's seeing serious health problems in students who have experienced long-term bullying:  Go to full article
Photo courtesy www.visit1000islands.com
Photo courtesy www.visit1000islands.com

Survey finds seasonal residents spend about $28m/year in Jefferson County

A new survey out from Jefferson Community College for the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council finds seasonal residents are spending about $28 million a year in the local economy. The Center for Community Studies at JCC put together the 100-question survey, and sent out about 4,000 copies. The center got back 974 "credible" responses, and DeYoung says they're revealing.

Nora Flaherty had a chance to talk with DeYoung, and asked him what the council was hoping to learn with the survey.  Go to full article

All Before Five: 07/19/12

A multi-car accident in Jefferson County leaves six people dead. Investigation into the crash is ongoing. And an Adirondack group presents its vision for a 'sustainable' life for everyone in the park...not just some people.  Go to full article
The back of Sergi's pizza. The building's roof was destroyed in the storm. Photo: Sandy Demarest
The back of Sergi's pizza. The building's roof was destroyed in the storm. Photo: Sandy Demarest

Potsdam cleans up, looks ahead after huge storm rips through village

Things seem to be calming down after a huge rain storm passed through Potsdam Tuesday afternoon, bringing down trees and power lines and damaging several buildings.

Potsdam police lifted a state of emergency at around 4:00 Wednesday morning, with at least most people expected to have power back by Wednesday evening . As of early Wednesday afternoon, about 200 people were still without power, and National Grid was on the scene working to fix dangerous power line situations. Police say there still could be travel delays in certain areas, because some streets remain impassable.  Go to full article

At Mom's Schoolhouse Diner, business plan is to create community

Continuing our occasional series on North Country entrepreneurs, we talk with Sharon Bastille, better known around her West Potsdam stomping ground as "Mom." Bastille and her husband, who's a carpenter, own Mom's Schoolhouse Diner, which is located in a former one-room schoolhouse. Mom's is a '50s diner, where the staff wears red and white checked circle skirts under their aprons.

Bastille has had Mom's for about a decade, after a couple decades spent at home with her kids. She tries to make the diner as much like home as possible by knowing customers' names, likes and dislikes, for example. Though Mom's is a business, Bastille doesn't think of herself as a businesswoman. She told Nora Flaherty she doesn't make a living from the diner. But as long as it breaks even, her priority is creating a nice place for people in the community to come together.  Go to full article

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