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NCPR News Staff: Julie Grant

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Stories filed by Julie Grant

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Scientists say warmer temperatures could lead to increasing asthma rates and mosquito-borne diseases.
Scientists say warmer temperatures could lead to increasing asthma rates and mosquito-borne diseases.

Scientists: Climate change in New York could increase diseases

A new report finds that New York may suffer disproportionate effects of climate change in the coming decades, when compared with other regions. The report was co-authored by scientists from Cornell, Columbia University, and Hunter College. It finds that because New York is a northern state, it has already warmed more than twice the global average--2.4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last forty years.

The report paints a harsh picture, including possible extreme temperatures in the coming decades, along with sea-level rises, downpours, droughts, and floods. The changes are projected to affect nearly every region and every facet of New York's economy, including upstate ski resorts and dairy farms.

The report finds that the changing weather patterns will also affect public health. Co-author Patrick Kinney is director of Columbia University's Climate and Health Program. He spoke with Julie Grant about the diseases and other problems that could be in the north country's future.  Go to full article
Linda Barberic's partner Keith helps her prepare a healthy meal, using olive oil instead of butter. (Photo by Julie Grant)
Linda Barberic's partner Keith helps her prepare a healthy meal, using olive oil instead of butter. (Photo by Julie Grant)

Trying for a healthy Thanksgiving

With so many Americans facing diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems, the Thanksgiving meal has become a battleground in some families. Some family members want to make it a healthy meal, others want to stick with their traditional family dishes. Julie Grant reports:  Go to full article
Cathy Matthews looks at canned goods on the pantry shelves.
Cathy Matthews looks at canned goods on the pantry shelves.

Pantry hopes to nourish both sides of the "giving" equation

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends - and food. But more and more people in the north country need help with putting food on the table. Asking for that help can be hard. Julie Grant visited one pantry in Canton that tries to make it easier. The director hopes to nourish both people who need food, and people who donate.  Go to full article
A hydro-fracking tower. (Photo: The Innovation Trail.)
A hydro-fracking tower. (Photo: The Innovation Trail.)

Financial expert criticizes economics of shale gas exploration

Drilling companies have been criticizing New York for delaying permits to drill for gas in the state's underground shale formations. The Department of Environmental Conservation says it is still considering regulations, and might not issue permits until 2013.

Deborah Rogers is glad New York is asking questions before allowing this type of drilling. Rogers has become a leading critic of the economics of shale gas exploration. She's an advisor to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas. Rogers spoke Tuesday night at Clarkson University, and earlier in the day with Julie Grant.  Go to full article
Lead wheel weights.  Photo:  Jeff Gearhart
Lead wheel weights. Photo: Jeff Gearhart

New York among leaders getting lead out of the environment

The U.S. has worked to get lead out of gas and out of paint, but the biggest source of lead in a consumer product is still on roadways. It's in the form of wheel weights, used to balance the tires on our cars. The Environmental Protection Agency says about 1.6 million pounds of lead falls off of vehicles each year, and winds up in the environment. New York is among a handful of states that is leading the effort to ban lead wheel weights. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
Border patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.
Border patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.

Rights advocates charge abuse in Upstate NY by U.S. Border Patrol

Immigrant rights advocates and the New York Civil Liberties Union are accusing the Border Patrol of abusing its authority by questioning train and bus passengers about their citizenship, and for targeting people in the North Country and in towns miles away from any international crossing. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article
Mary Lou Rupp. Photo: St. Lawrence County GOP
Mary Lou Rupp. Photo: St. Lawrence County GOP

Rupp is new St. Lawrence County clerk

St. Lawrence County voters chose Republican Mary Lou Rupp as their next county clerk. Her margin over Democrat Gavin Regan was better than two to one.

Regan had been appointed to the post by Gov. Andrew Cuomo when then-clerk Patty Ritchie won a seat in the state Senate. Rupp had served as deputy to Ritchie in the clerk's office.

Rupp says she's ecstatic and thankful about the win. She says she was part of making the clerk's office a money-maker for the county, so voters supported her.

"I think it's because people know how hard we've worked to make our local offices so well run and efficient - customer friendly and revenue generating offices. There was no need for a change."  Go to full article
We are already for the north country a resounding success going forward...we also want the money.

North Country Economic Council gets ready to submit its plan

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is sifting through project proposals this week. The projects it chooses will be entered into the state competition for the first round of economic development dollars.

Julie Grant reports that while the priority projects have not been revealed, the North Country plan is getting more specific.  Go to full article

NC Council hears more debate over Rooftop Highway

The North Country Regional Economic Development Council is finishing work on its strategic plan. Late last week, the Council held its first meeting since releasing a draft of the plan. Some people criticized it for being short on details, but one project it did mention specifically is the controversial Rooftop Highway - a proposed interstate that would run from Watertown around to Plattsburgh.

The plan doesn't specifically endorse it, but it does acknowledge the need for improved infrastructure.

John Casserly is with a group called YesEleven. It wants to improve Route 11 - and opposes construction of a new interstate. Casserly told the council that most people don't know what the Rooftop Highway is - even people who would be directly affected by it.  Go to full article
Tony Collins.
Tony Collins.

NC Economic Development Council to vet draft plan Friday

Monday was the deadline for businesses and others who want a share of state money from the 10 new regional economic development councils.

The councils, including the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, are now approaching a deadline of their own. Their plans are due in Albany Nov. 14. The state will choose the four plans it likes best. Those regions will get $40-million dollars for their "priority projects."

The money is specifically focused on shovel-ready building projects and new business ventures.
Friday, the North Country Council will hold its first meeting since publicly releasing its draft plan last week. But so far, the draft doesn't outline the region's priority projects, and that uncertainty has led to some criticism of the council.

Julie Grant spoke with co-chair Tony Collins, who is president of Clarkson University in Potsdam. He says a council committee will vet 200 to 300 applications before sending their plan to Albany. Julie asked him if the public will see the list of proposed projects this week.  Go to full article

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