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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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Tim McAtee, owner of Dry Hill Ski Area in Watertown, says an early snowfall like this year's can get his business season off to a strong start. Photo: Joanna Richards
Tim McAtee, owner of Dry Hill Ski Area in Watertown, says an early snowfall like this year's can get his business season off to a strong start. Photo: Joanna Richards

Ski season gets underway

The winter sports season is underway in the north country. Thanks to the pre-Thanksgiving snowstorm, some skiers in Jefferson County got an early start this year.  Go to full article
Work begins on the Woolworth building in Watertown's Public Square. Photo: Joanna Richards
Work begins on the Woolworth building in Watertown's Public Square. Photo: Joanna Richards

Work begins on Watertown's Woolworth building

Work has begun to revive a long-vacant eyesore at the center of downtown Watertown.  Go to full article
Wind turbines are already visible from Cape Vincent's shoreline - on Canada's Wolfe Island. There could be a lot more if BP's proposed project moves forward under a new owner. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kingstongal/3944763056/">NapaneeGal</a>, Creative Commons. some rights reserved.
Wind turbines are already visible from Cape Vincent's shoreline - on Canada's Wolfe Island. There could be a lot more if BP's proposed project moves forward under a new owner. Photo: NapaneeGal, Creative Commons. some rights reserved.

Cape Vincent meeting may clarify wind farm's future

A proposed wind farm in Cape Vincent, in Jefferson County, has been in limbo since energy company BP said earlier this year that it's planning to sell off its entire wind power division. Town officials have been anxious for news about the wind farm's fate since then.  Go to full article
Clayton town supervisor Justin Taylor. Photo: David Sommerstein
Clayton town supervisor Justin Taylor. Photo: David Sommerstein

Clayton supervisor fingered in Inspector General's report for misusing state vehicle

An Inspector General's report finds that Clayton's town supervisor is among dozens of current and former state prison officials who misused their work-issued vehicles at taxpayer expense.  Go to full article
Fort Drum soldiers take a break after carrying and unpacking boxes full of Christmas decorations at the Watertown Urban Mission. Photo: Joanna Richards
Fort Drum soldiers take a break after carrying and unpacking boxes full of Christmas decorations at the Watertown Urban Mission. Photo: Joanna Richards

Soldiers pitch in to help needy celebrate Christmas

The Watertown Urban Mission is busy around the holidays. Along with running its regular programs like the food pantry and thrift store, it also distributes warm winter coats and Thanksgiving turkeys, puts on a craft fair, and holds a sale of Christmas items. Fortunately, it's gotten some help from a small army of volunteers - literally.  Go to full article
Drew Mangione, director of development for the Watertown Urban Mission, stands in front of a capital campaign sign during the nonprofit's busy holiday season. Photo: Joanna Richards
Drew Mangione, director of development for the Watertown Urban Mission, stands in front of a capital campaign sign during the nonprofit's busy holiday season. Photo: Joanna Richards

Black Friday alternative at Watertown craft sale

On Black Friday, people cram into stores, treating shopping like a full-contact sport. Others are hold off for a calmer experience in front of their computer screens on Cyber Saturday. But some people still want a fun, communal holiday shopping experience - minus the chaos.  Go to full article
An old doorway tells the Woolworth building's history. Photo: Joanna Richards
An old doorway tells the Woolworth building's history. Photo: Joanna Richards

Work begins soon to bring Watertown landmark back to life

The state of Watertown's historic Woolworth building tells you a lot about the health of the city. And for years, the message hasn't been good. But the vacant eyesore is on track to re-emerge as evidence of the downtown's steady improvement.  Go to full article
Business start-up loans will be harder to come by in Jefferson County, as the Industrial Development Agency's microenterprise loan fund dries up. Photo: JCIDA
Business start-up loans will be harder to come by in Jefferson County, as the Industrial Development Agency's microenterprise loan fund dries up. Photo: JCIDA

Jefferson County startups will have harder time finding funds

Entrepreneurs in Jefferson County are going to have a harder time finding start-up money, now that a loan fund meant to help them is running low. That's good news and bad news.  Go to full article
David Coleman, the Jefferson County Historical Society's caretaker, says he spends three hours most mornings pressure-washing walkways to remove what the crows leave behind. He just installed the rug on the porch, too - after about 30 schoolchildren marched bird poop into the building during a field trip. Photo: Joanna Richards
David Coleman, the Jefferson County Historical Society's caretaker, says he spends three hours most mornings pressure-washing walkways to remove what the crows leave behind. He just installed the rug on the porch, too - after about 30 schoolchildren marched bird poop into the building during a field trip. Photo: Joanna Richards

Winter crows invade Watertown

Every winter, Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror movie, "The Birds" gets a replay in Watertown. But not on the silver screen. Thousands of crows fly in from the countryside to roost overnight. The city's trying to evict them.  Go to full article
Teresa Macaluso, left, says goodbye to her final guests - her mother and sister - after a small election-day party at her home. She retained her seat on City Council. Photo: Joanna Richards
Teresa Macaluso, left, says goodbye to her final guests - her mother and sister - after a small election-day party at her home. She retained her seat on City Council. Photo: Joanna Richards

Split decision for Watertown City Council

Watertown's City Council contest pitted two fiscally conservative incumbents against two political newcomers who want city government to think more broadly about its role. The voters went for one of each.  Go to full article

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