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NCPR News Staff: Julie Grant

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Stories filed by Julie Grant

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It's 52 degrees outside right now and there's no snow and it's February in upstate New York - it's very strange

DEC hosts national meeting on adapting to climate change

New York is hosting a meeting of federal agencies, northeastern states, and tribal groups this morning in Albany to talk about adapting to climate change.

Pat Riexinger, director of the division of fish, wildlife, and marine resources at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, says we can see the weather changing: the intense storms last year, and the mild winter, with little snowfall. She says 16 federal agencies collaborated to write a strategy and action plan to deal with changing weather patterns.

Today's meeting is one of four to be held around the country to discuss the plan. She spoke about it with Julie Grant.  Go to full article
We were hoping the state would relieve us of the obligation of paying for Medicaid costs altogether.

Counties disappointed, but state legislators say Medicaid relief just a start

County leaders around the North Country have been asking the state for mandate relief, especially since New York imposed a 2% property tax cap on local governments last year. Their biggest beef is paying for Medicaid. It accounts for the largest percentage of many county budgets, and many county leaders don't think those costs should be their responsibility.

The governor's budget proposal offers some assistance with local Medicaid costs. The administration has been fanning out around the state, trying to sell the plan he released last week. And Cuomo has gotten some support from north country state legislators. But county leaders aren't as pleased.  Go to full article
If the governor is the new advocate for children, he must not be the advocate for children in high poverty school districts.

North Country schools disappointed with Cuomo budget plan

Most of the education talk in Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget speech this week was about teacher evaluations. But Cuomo's written proposal also offers increasing aid to schools by 4% with a significant portion of that earmarked for high needs districts. That sounds like good news for struggling north country schools. But now that they're getting the details, some are fighting mad. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

North Country schools anxious for Cuomo's budget

North country school leaders are anxious to see Governor Cuomo's budget proposal when it's released Tuesday. Cuomo has committed to boosting state aid to schools by 4%. But local schools don't know how that will affect their budgets.

Some district superintendents have been lobbying hard to restore cutbacks made by the state last year. Julie Grant spoke with Stephen Putman, superintendent of the Brasher Falls Central Schools.
He says there are a variety of ways poor districts are losing out.  Go to full article
Generally speaking, it was an honest mistake.

53 New York towns wrongly exceed tax cap

More than fifty towns around New York inappropriately exceeded the state's property tax cap. That's according to the office of state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.  Go to full article
Anti-fracking protesters rally. Photo: still from the Innovation Trail video
Anti-fracking protesters rally. Photo: still from the Innovation Trail video

Boxes and boxes of comments for DEC on hydrofracking deadline

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has a lot of reading to do about hydrofracking. The deadline to comment about new regulations was midnight. The DEC already had more than 21,000 comments on the issue. And yesterday, both supporters and opponents of the controversial gas-drilling technique brought box after box filled with more comments.  Go to full article
They’re going to keep most capable, the most ready to be deployed... that defines Ft. Drum.

Owens optimistic about Ft. Drum's role in refocused defense

President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced sweeping plans for the country's defense yesterday. The new strategy has to accommodate a half billion dollars in budget cuts. Among other strategies, it predicts "smaller conventional ground forces." And a shift of focus to Asia.

The Army's 10th Mt. Division has been among the most heavily deployed units as America fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There were immediate concerns about what the new vision yesterday would mean for the Fort Drum. Julie Grant caught up with Congressman Bill Owens of Plattsburgh yesterday, and finds him optimistic.  Go to full article
Behind every mandate is a special interest, and … it’s very hard to know which mandate we can go after and eliminate.

Skepticism as governor says it's time for mandate relief

During his state of the state speech, Governor Andrew Cuomo said it's time the state provided mandate relief to local governments.

This is welcomed news to many in the north country. But some are concerned it could be only a token gesture.

Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
Joe Ehrmann.  Photo: coachforamerica.com
Joe Ehrmann. Photo: coachforamerica.com

Coach wants adults to get more serious about stopping child sex abuse

It's estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys in the United States experience sexual abuse before they turn 18. Those statistics are alarming. Most adults wince and turn away when the topic of child sex abuse comes up. But it's been harder to avoid after the recent scandals at Penn State and Syracuse University.

Joe Ehrmann hopes this is a watershed moment, where adults start facing the problem, and getting more serious about stopping it.

Ehrmann calls himself a Coach for America. He was a Syracuse All-American football and lacrosse player in the late 60s and early 70s. But it wasn't until Ehrmann started writing a book about coaching, that he had came to an epiphany. He remembered that at the age of 12, he himself had been raped. Ehrmann spoke with Julie Grant.  Go to full article
You're probably not going to get the huge upfront bonus money per acre that we were seeing a few years ago.

Landowners may get less money in shale lease deals

Experts say exploration of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale is expected to keep rising in 2012. But they say landowners may find that signing lease deals isn't as easy as in years past.

Drillers have swarmed in recent years to the Shale that lies beneath Pennsylvania, New York, West Virginia and Ohio. Pennsylvania is the center of activity, with more than 3,000 wells drilled in the past three years and thousands more planned.

Other states are opening up to the drilling, which often entails hydrofracking. That's when drillers drill down, and then horizontally into the bedrock. They use a mix of water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure to smash open the shale and release the gas.

New York has delayed issuing regulations to allow large scale hydrofracking.

Jerry Simmons is executive director of National Association of Royalty Owners. The group represents landowners who sell their mineral rights to energy companies. He says New York property owners would already get less for a well then their neighbors in Pennsylvania did a few years ago.  Go to full article

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