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NCPR News Staff: Julie Grant

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Stories filed by Julie Grant

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Photo: Thomas Seeley
Photo: Thomas Seeley

Bee expert sees lessons in hive democracy

As the Republican primary marches forward, researcher Thomas Seeley is reminded of his work with honeybees. That might sound odd, but Seeley has spent decades studying the relationships in a hive, and says bees have an even longer history than human beings of making decisions democratically. Dr. Seeley is giving a public talk tonight at St. Lawrence University.

He spoke yesterday with Julie Grant about new research that points to certain pesticides as the major reason for the death of bees around the world. Seeley also explained how honeybees decide where to build a new hive, and how that's similar to our own democratic process.  Go to full article
Historically, Republican women, such as First Lady Betty Ford, shown campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment, have held progressive views on women's health issues.
Historically, Republican women, such as First Lady Betty Ford, shown campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment, have held progressive views on women's health issues.

North Country Republican leaders worried about "war on women"

The Obama administration set off a firestorm when it released rules requiring employer-provided health insurance to cover the cost of contraceptives. Leaders in the Catholic Church said the policy violates their right to religious freedom.

Meanwhile, states around the country are considering hundreds of bills addressing women's health care: everything from forcing women to carry dead fetuses to term, to forcing women who seek abortions to go through invasive ultrasounds, to cutting funding for health clinics. Many women say these bills violate their right to to make their own health care decisions, and will limit access to quality health care..

The New York State legislature is considering a bill called the Reproductive Health Act. It codifies a woman's right to contraception and abortion. But even so, some women see a trend, and they're worried.  Go to full article
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel

With the state budget settled, schools must decide their budget plans

Now that north country schools have final budget numbers from the state, it's time to figure out where to cut. Canton Central Superintendent Bill Gregory says they picked up an additional $172,000 dollars in state budget negotiations. But that only covers 10% of the district's $2.5 million shortfall.  Go to full article
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel
Canton Central School. Photo: Lizette Haenel

North Country politicians, schools await state aid numbers

North Country educators are waiting to hear what the new state budget will mean for their schools. The budget includes $805 million for education statewide. In the final agreement, State Senator Patty Ritchie says $200 million of that was transferred to high needs schools.  Go to full article
Addie Russell speaking to visiting students from Potsdam Middle School in the Assembly Chamber. Photo: NY Assembly website
Addie Russell speaking to visiting students from Potsdam Middle School in the Assembly Chamber. Photo: NY Assembly website

NC Assemblywoman says budget victory first step for school aid

Assemblywoman Addie Russell of Theresa says there's some good news in the new state budget for North Country Schools. Governor Andrew Cuomo had proposed putting $250 million of education funding into a competitive grant program. Poor and rural schools said that would devastate their budgets. In Thursday's final agreement, Russell says $200 million of the competitive grant money was transferred back to the general education fund.  Go to full article

Sour weather worries apple growers

While some North Country apple growers are worried sick about the weather - others say it's too soon to be concerned. After a week of temperatures in the 80s, apple trees started to bud. Julie Grant spoke yesterday with Patricia Sheehan, co-owner of Rulfs Orchard in Peru. Forecasters were predicting lows of around 15 degrees.

The forecast calls for better apple weather later this week, with highs near 50, and lows in the lower 30s.  Go to full article
Potsdam Central School
Potsdam Central School

North Country parents await state school aid budget

Many North Country parents, students, and school officials are anxiously awaiting agreement on the state budget. Canton Central held two public forums this month, to explain the district's $2.5 million budget shortfall, and hear where residents recommend cutbacks. The district is considering up to 40 job cuts.

Rachel Wallace is mother of two third-graders in the Potsdam Schools. She's worried that class sizes will get larger, and extra-curricular activities will be eliminated. Wallace says the drop in state school aid could have lasting impacts.  Go to full article

Griffo wants $5 million to defend NY military bases

Both the House and Senate versions of the state budget include money to protect Fort Drum and other military installations in New York from the chopping block.

State Senator Joe Griffo of Rome says the Department of Defense is looking to cut as much as $400 billion. Two rounds of BRAC hearings have been scheduled, where decisions are made on military base re-allignment and closure. Julie grant reports.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence County leaders furious about redistricting

St. Lawrence County leaders are furious about New York's newly approved Assembly and Senate legislative district lines. The county has been split into four assembly districts, and three senate seats. Some say they were the big losers in Albany's backroom politics.  Go to full article
Air Methods Mercy Air Bell 412. Photo: Alan Radecki
Air Methods Mercy Air Bell 412. Photo: Alan Radecki

Medical air service returning to the North Country

It's been five years since the North Country had emergency air service. But that's about to change. Air Methods Corporation plans to begin operating medical helicopters in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties in June. The company is opening new air medical bases in Watertown and Potsdam.

The military previously provided air ambulance service in the region, through a program at Fort Drum called the MAST mission. Since it was removed, Fort Drum health officials say there have been more than 500 emergency cases in the region that qualified for air flight, but weren't able to get it.

Fort Drum has been working with the North Country EMS Program Agency to secure med-flights. Ann Smith, the agency director, says the new air medical bases in Watertown and Potsdam will each be staffed with four pilots, eight medical crew members, and one mechanic. The service will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

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