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NCPR News Staff: Natasha Haverty

Reporter and Producer

Natasha Haverty has an English degree from Brown University and got her radio training at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine.

From Maine she went to work at The Moth, a nonprofit in New York City devoted to the art of live storytelling, where she was the coordinator of the community outreach program that teaches workshops to schools and community centers and brings storytellers to the Moth stage (and the radio). She also helped produce the first two seasons of Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour (now playing on NPR stations across the country).

Tasha returned to her home state after receiving the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities’ “Liberty and Justice for All” grant to create an oral history of the Norfolk Prison Debating Society, which had an outstanding record against top college teams in the Forties and Fifties. She recently premiered her original 'improvised audio drama' The Yankee City Series at a live listening event at Harvard University. Tasha arrived in the North Country on April Fool's Day, 2012. E-mail

Stories filed by Natasha Haverty

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St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility. Photo: Office of the Sheriff, St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility. Photo: Office of the Sheriff, St. Lawrence County

Proposal to un-crowd county jails waits in the Assembly

Today is set to be the last day of New York's legislative session. Two bills in front of the Assembly, put forth by State Sen. Patty Ritchie, aim to ease overcrowding in our region's county jails. The bills would require the Department of Corrections to assume responsibility for men and women caught violating parole within ten days of receiving their violation warrant. Richie says too many of those men and women are instead held in county jails, at local taxpayers' expense.  Go to full article
Michael Powers, speaking at a rally in Albany to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. Photo from Powers' website, used by permission
Michael Powers, speaking at a rally in Albany to save the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility. Photo from Powers' website, used by permission

North Country corrections officer could be next to lead the union

Next month, New York will close four more of its prisons. Among them: Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in Saratoga County. The closures come as part of Governor Cuomo's pledge to "reduce the madness of an incarceration society." And the Department of Corrections has reported empty beds in their prisons--they estimate the recent series of closures will save taxpayers $184 million.

The loudest voices fighting to keep those prisons open are members of New York's prison guard union--NYSCOPBA--which is set to elect their next president next month. One of frontrunners in the race to head up the union hails from the North Country.  Go to full article
Photo courtesy of Amy Moulton
Photo courtesy of Amy Moulton

What it takes to be Dairy Princess

This year St. Lawrence County celebrates the 50th anniversary of its dairy princess tradition--tonight in Madrid, at the annual pageant, a new princess will be crowned, and tomorrow morning she and her court will star in a parade through downtown Canton.

For the past half century, a group of judges has been selecting a wholesome young woman from the community to be the face of the local dairy industry. To become the dairy princess a girl has to be between 16 and 21 years old, and has to compete in a pageant where she is judged on her public speaking ability, her general poise, and her knowledge of dairy products.  Go to full article
The first group of St. Lawrence students to travel to Kenya, in January of 1972. Furthest to right: Peter French; Anne Chene os next to him. Paul Gilbert is sixth from the right. Photo: St. Lawrence University, Special Collections and Vance University Archives
The first group of St. Lawrence students to travel to Kenya, in January of 1972. Furthest to right: Peter French; Anne Chene os next to him. Paul Gilbert is sixth from the right. Photo: St. Lawrence University, Special Collections and Vance University Archives

How a North Country college + an African country = community

This past weekend St. Lawrence University saw a record turnout for its alumni reunion. On top of the usual festivities, this year marked another big moment in St. Lawrence history: the 40th anniversary of its study abroad program in Kenya. The first group of students travelled from Canton to Nairobi in 1972, for a two-week program, but since 1974 it's been a semester-long experience. And the connection to the East African country runs even deeper--each year since the mid-'80s, St. Lawrence has been awarding two Kenyan students full scholarships to come and do their four years of college here in the North Country.

Alumni in attendance included two members of Kenya's parliament, as well as several founders and CEOs of nonprofits devoted to bettering the lives of people in Kenya.  Go to full article
A St. Lawrence University student making music and playing guitar with Kenyans on the side of a country road. Photo: St. Lawrence University, Special Collections and Vance University Archives
A St. Lawrence University student making music and playing guitar with Kenyans on the side of a country road. Photo: St. Lawrence University, Special Collections and Vance University Archives

What Kenya and Canton have in common: SLU celebrates 40-year program anniversary

This weekend St. Lawrence University expects a record turnout for its alumni reunion. And on top of the usual festivities, this year marks another big moment in St. Lawrence history: the 40th anniversary of its study abroad program in Kenya.

The program is one of the oldest college study abroad programs in the world. Since 1972, 2,000 students have spent a semester in Kenya. And the school's connection to the East African country runs even deeper: Each year since the mid-Eighties, the university's been awarding two Kenyan students full scholarships to attend St. Lawrence.  Go to full article
"As the world keeps turning..." Photo: Mitchell Joyce
"As the world keeps turning..." Photo: Mitchell Joyce

Comptroller DiNapoli says start saving your kid's college $ now

The State of New York wants you to remember that it's never too early to be thinking about your children's education. This week, the State Comptroller's office is pushing their 529 College Savings plan, which lets someone invest money in an account that's tax deductible.  Go to full article
Photo: cpualexd, CC, Some rights reserved.
Photo: cpualexd, CC, Some rights reserved.

Voter vox pop: Are you tuned in to the NY-21 race?

Tonight is the first Republican debate in the race for the North Country's congressional seat, with the primary coming up in just a few weeks.

But one big question is: are voters paying attention?

Reporter Natasha Haverty tried to get some sense of that yesterday afternoon, asking the people scattered along Higley Flow State Park in Colton just how tuned they are to this election. The folks she spoke to turned out to be a motley crew--from a couple of non-voters, to a former North Country congressional candidate.  Go to full article
Police investigating the scene of Garrett Phillips' death in 2011. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Police investigating the scene of Garrett Phillips' death in 2011. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Hillary offered bail after pleading not guilty

College soccer coach Oral Hillary was returned to jail Friday on bail after a court hearing in Canton.

Hillary is charged with second degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips in Potsdam. The arrest Thursday followed four days of closed-door grand jury testimony. Hillary is accused of suffocating and strangling Phillips in October, 2011. Defense attorney Christopher Renfroe entered a plea not guilty on behalf of his client.  Go to full article
Naloxone (also known as Narcan). Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/punchingjudy/1934879517/in/photolist-3WYLgF-7Z11kZ">PunchingJudy</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Naloxone (also known as Narcan). Photo: PunchingJudy, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Heroin overdose-fighting drug comes to the North Country

Last month, almost 300 police officers from across the state gathered in Albany, to learn how to use what some health officials call the "magic weapon" in the fight against heroin. It's called Naloxone or Narcan, and if administered early enough, it can save the life of someone overdosing.

Officers came away from the two-day training not only knowing how to administer the medication, but also with prescriptions and kits of it to keep in their vehicles, all free of charge. And April's training was just the first: the plan is to bring the trainings around New York--including up to the North Country, where, for example, Malone Village police will train to use Naloxone next Wednesday.  Go to full article
Police investigating the scene of Garrett Phillips' death in 2011. Photo: Nora Flaherty
Police investigating the scene of Garrett Phillips' death in 2011. Photo: Nora Flaherty

Hillary pleads not guilty in Garrett Phillips murder

This morning, officers led Oral Hillary into the St. Lawrence County courthouse for his bail hearing. Potsdam police arrested him at his home the afternoon before. Hillary is charged with second degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips in Potsdam. The arrest followed four days of closed-door grand jury testimony.  Go to full article

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