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NCPR News Staff: Joanna Richards

Watertown Correspondent

Joanna Richards grew up in Louisville, Kentucky but feels like a true north country native now that she owns winter boots rated for temps down to forty below zero. She worked for an alt weekly paper, as an associate editor for the NPR series This I Believe, and as a staff writer for an arts and entertainment weekly in Louisville, before moving to Watertown in 2008 to work as a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times.

She's thrilled to be working in radio again as the Watertown correspondent for North Country Public Radio and especially enjoys doing stories about intriguing local subcultures. Outside of work, she is a regional explorer, vegetarian cook, and regular volunteer for various community groups, as well as a voracious reader, aspiring pool shark and an orange belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. E-mail

Stories filed by Joanna Richards

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Photo: Joanna Richards
Photo: Joanna Richards

Falconry pairs humans and birds in hunting

Falconry, the sport of hunting with birds of prey, is ancient: its history goes back thousands of years. It was once used as a way to catch small prey, like rabbits and pheasants, before humans had guns. And the sport is still practiced today.

It takes many years to become a master falconer under New York state law. It's small game hunting season right now in northern New York, and reporter Joanna Richards went out with falconer Rick West last year, to learn what keeps him practicing this ancient sport.  Go to full article
Fort Drum cultural resources intern Michael Sprowles refers to a map to find grave markers at Sheepfold Cemetery on the Army post.
Fort Drum cultural resources intern Michael Sprowles refers to a map to find grave markers at Sheepfold Cemetery on the Army post.

Maps make Fort Drum's historic cemeteries more accessible

With the outbreak of World War Two, the Army installation then known as Pine Camp expanded, to become Camp Drum and eventually Fort Drum today. In the process, it swallowed up several villages, including their cemeteries.

Fort Drum researchers have created a database and new maps that will help family members of those buried at the cemeteries to find and visit their loved ones' gravesites, both in person and online.  Go to full article
Gen. David Petraeus testifying before a congressional committe in 2009 about U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/talkradionews/">Talk Radio News Service</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Gen. David Petraeus testifying before a congressional committe in 2009 about U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Photo: Talk Radio News Service, CC some rights reserved

Soldiers, family members reflect on fidelity in wake of General Petraeus's affair

Marital fidelity is a sensitive subject for many in the military. Relationships are stressed by distance, frequent moves and the dangers of war. Gen. David Petraeus's admission that he had an extramarital affair has led some Fort Drum families to reflect on the difficulties of keeping their personal relationships whole - and their image among a public that often doesn't understand their culture.  Go to full article
DEC spokesman Stephen Litwhiler reads out audience questions during a public meeting about pollution in the north side neighborhood at North Elementary School in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards
DEC spokesman Stephen Litwhiler reads out audience questions during a public meeting about pollution in the north side neighborhood at North Elementary School in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards

Concerned Watertown residents want Air Brake site study

People who live in Watertown's north side community are raising concerns over pollution surrounding the New York Air Brake industrial site, which was cleaned up beginning in the 1990s.

Officials from the state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation held a public meeting Wednesday, Nov. 7, at a nearby elementary school to try to respond to those fears.  Go to full article
State Sen. Patty Ritchie celebrates re-election last night.
State Sen. Patty Ritchie celebrates re-election last night.

Ritchie defeats Tresidder in 48th state Senate district

Incumbent Republican state Senator Patty Ritchie easily won reelection in the 48th district, covering Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties. She beat Democrat Amy Tresidder by a more than two-to-one margin. Now Ritchie looks ahead to tackling the economic issues facing the state.  Go to full article
The Jefferson County town of Henderson's Volunteer Fire Department Election Dinner. Photo: David Winters
The Jefferson County town of Henderson's Volunteer Fire Department Election Dinner. Photo: David Winters

Voter voxpop: Jefferson county

Jefferson County voters Kent Collier, of Evans Mills, Stephen LaFontaine, of Chaumont, Sue Lail, of Cape Vincent, and Jeff Miller, of Evans Mills, talk about what candidates and issues motivated their votes on Election Day.  Go to full article

Ritchie, Tresidder face off in 48th district for state Senate

The race for state Senate in the 48th district - which includes Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties - pits incumbent Republican Patty Ritchie against underdog Democrat Amy Tresidder.

Both women stress the need for state mandate relief for local communities, and for measures to boost the upstate economy, although the strategies they'd take for doing that differ.  Go to full article
The New York Air Brake industrial site has been the subject of resurgent concern for north side residents in Watertown.
The New York Air Brake industrial site has been the subject of resurgent concern for north side residents in Watertown.

Health, environmental officials to respond to Air Brake site worries at public meeting

The New York Air Brake industrial site in Watertown has been the subject of resurgent concerns among residents of the city's north side neighborhood. Some have come forward about illnesses they say are linked to pollution at the site.

The state departments of Health and Environmental Conservation are holding a community meeting Wednesday, November 7 in Watertown to hear those concerns.  Go to full article
Workers at Harbor's End Marina on Lake Ontario in Henderson, Jefferson County, hoist a boat out of the water, in preparation for dry winter storage. Photo: Joanna Richards
Workers at Harbor's End Marina on Lake Ontario in Henderson, Jefferson County, hoist a boat out of the water, in preparation for dry winter storage. Photo: Joanna Richards

Jefferson County prepares for high winds, waves, power outages

As the wind began picking up Monday afternoon in Jefferson County, residents and officials were preparing for the high winds and water along shorelines expected from Hurricane Sandy.  Go to full article

Voters react to Owens-Doheny debate

While military issues were a big part of Thursday night's debate between congressional candidates Matt Doheny (R) and incumbent Bill Owens (D), the economy and unemployment were on most voters' minds. Joanna Richards took a sampling of public opinion right after the debate.  Go to full article

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