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NCPR News Staff: Julie Grant

Reporter and Producer

Stories filed by Julie Grant

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This will not cost the state a nickel. This will not cost these individuals a nickel.

St. Lawrence seeks sales tax hike

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed bills this week to extend sales tax increases for a dozen counties. The measures are sponsored by legislators from the regions and passed by the Assembly and Senate.

Franklin and Essex counties are on the list. But St. Lawrence County isn't. Local officials want to raise the county's share of the sales tax to help fill a multi-million dollar deficit in the county budget. But they're having trouble getting the state's OK. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

Government revising diet guidelines as obesity rises

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the obesity epidemic in America continues to get worse. In nine states - all in the South or Midwest - a third of the population is obese. Not a single state had a rate of adult obesity below 15 percent, the goal set by federal government's Healthy People program.

The Northeast is slimmer than other parts of the country. But, still, a quarter of all New Yorkers are obese.

Jeffrey Levi of the Trust for America's Health calls obesity "one of the biggest public health challenges the country has ever faced."

Some people say the government is partly to blame for America's obesity problem - because of the federal dietary guidelines. Julie Grant reports on efforts to improve how the government offers nutritional advice.  Go to full article

Tough times in the cafeteria

These are challenging times for people who run school lunch programs. A national TV show this spring took on the school food system.

Leaders in Washington are debating how much money the country should spend on childhood nutrition. And new concerns about nutrition are an eerie echo of the origins of the public school lunch. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

Fixing the organic label

They cost more, but sales of organic foods are rising. Even in this down economy, organic food sales are going up three times faster than other foods. As Julie Grant reports, that's happening as the government is working to make sure everything that's labeled organic actually is organic.  Go to full article

Personal care products play role in behavioral disorders?

The Vermont Senate is expected to take a final vote this week on a bill that would phase out the chemical bisphenol-A in some types of packaging. The bill would ban use of the chemical in reusable food and beverage containers, as well as infant formula and baby food containers. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England says BPA has been linked to a high number of health problems, including infertility, miscarriage, and breast and prostate cancer. The American Chemistry Council, an industry group, maintains that it is safe and helps keep food safe by keeping it fresh.

There's been a rise in reports of behavioral disorders in kids over the past decade or so. Some researchers say genetics, lack of sleep, and chaotic households all contribute to things like ADHD. Now researchers say another cause could be personal care products. Julie Grant reports.  Go to full article

"Smart Grid" designed to prevent major blackouts

Remember that huge blackout in the summer of 2003? 45 million people in the Midwest and Northeast US, as well as 10 million in Canada, lost power. Government and utilities are spending billions of dollars on what's called a "Smart Grid," in part, so we don't have more large scale blackouts. But there's a lot more to the emerging system. Julie Grant has more.  Go to full article

No paperless office yet

When the computer-age took off in the 1990s, lots of people thought we'd use a lot less paper. But that hasn't happened. Julie Grant reports on why environmentalists are so concerned about all the paper we're still using in our offices and homes.  Go to full article

Green businesses in the black

When the banks failed and the recession hit last fall, lots of people predicted that the burgeoning green economy would get nipped in the bud. But that's not what happened. Julie Grant spoke with some business experts about the status of green companies.  Go to full article
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses two pounds of wrapping paper a year. Photo: 5ko at Wikimedia Commons
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses two pounds of wrapping paper a year. Photo: 5ko at Wikimedia Commons

Reducing gift wrap waste

There may be nothing prettier than beautifully wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree. But some environmentalists say the cost of that beauty is too high - and they want people to stop wasting so much paper on gift-wrapping. Julie Grant has more.  Go to full article

School lunches, pt 2: choices in the cafeteria

When we hear about kids and obesity, a lot of people point the finger at schools. Most kids today eat about half their meals at school, and many cafeterias are filled with junk food. In the second half of our school lunch series, Julie Grant reports that some districts are trying to improve what they serve - but there are a lot of challenges.  Go to full article

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