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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

Inside the Cascade Inn in Canton. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Inside the Cascade Inn in Canton. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Hearing from the female swing voter herself

Both presidential candidates are placing a lot of their attention on women voters as the election draws near. Women make up more than 52 percent of the vote. And according to at least one Democratic pollster, blue collar women may be the last swayable part of the electorate.

We spoke with women of different ages and experiences about the issues they most care about, and whether or not they'll be voting this year.  Go to full article
Image: NYS Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR)
Image: NYS Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR)

New electoral districts make strangers out of candidates

Newly-drawn New York State electoral districts are taking candidates far from their home bases and into strange territory.

One extreme example of this is the 118th Assembly district, which now includes parts of five counties, stretching from southern Herkimer up to northern St. Lawrence County. Marc Butler holds the seat and is running again as a Republican; Democrat Joe Chilelli is the challenger.  Go to full article
Jigsaw puzzle. Photo: <a href="">Scott Hadfield</a>. CC <a href="">some rights reserved</a>
Jigsaw puzzle. Photo: Scott Hadfield. CC some rights reserved

Heard Up North: One thousand easy pieces

At McBrier Park Manor, a retirement community in Hermon, the common room is simply laid out: a sofa, a few chairs, a table, and a TV. But every closet and set of drawers is packed to the brim with boxes of jigsaw puzzles.  Go to full article
Unloading biosolids at the Grasslands facility in Chateaugay, NY. Photo: Casella Organics
Unloading biosolids at the Grasslands facility in Chateaugay, NY. Photo: Casella Organics

North Country company finds farm value in human waste

Waste management companies are finding it's increasingly expensive to send garbage to a landfill. So they're trying to find more ways to recycle what we throw out. That includes what we throw out of our own bodies.

A new facility in northern Franklin County, run by the Potsdam-based company Casella Resource Solutions, is turning sewage into fertilizer. And it's for sale.  Go to full article

Lecture hall becomes a wild forest: Listen to the full performance here.

Listen to the entire two minutes of human birdsong during a surprise performance at last night's Climate Change Forum.  Go to full article
The Magnolia Warbler, one of the species of birds on the decline in the Adirondack region. Photo: Audubon Society
The Magnolia Warbler, one of the species of birds on the decline in the Adirondack region. Photo: Audubon Society

Heard Up North: Lecture hall becomes a wild forest

Last night veteran journalist Bill Blakemore gave the keynote presentation at St. Lawrence University's Climate Change Forum. That talk has been publicized all over the North Country, and Blakemore appeared on NCPR Thursday, so you may have known about that already. But chances are, you didn't know about the surprise flash mob.

Earlier in the semester, the organizing committee for the Forum asked St. Lawrence art professor Peter Nelson to come up with an installation related to the theme of climate change. But as Nelson was coming up with an idea, it dawned on him that the materials and energy needed to create a typical installation would be wasteful, and go against the whole spirit of the event. So instead, he came up with a way to transform Eben Holden Hall into a forest grove, using only the human voice.  Go to full article
Lunchtime in the mess hall. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Lunchtime in the mess hall. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Special report: A look inside Moriah Shock Prison

Two years ago, Moriah Shock Prison near Port Henry was next on the list of correctional facilities New York State wanted to close. Camp Gabriels near Saranac Lake and the Summit Shock Prison near Albany had already been shut down, and the prisons in Lyon Mountain and Ogdensburg were also on the chopping block.

But the local community and Essex County officials rallied enough support to keep Moriah open. Today, 188 men live on the spartan campus, set in a former mining facility at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.

Corrections officers and some inmates at Moriah Shock say the prison's program offers a fresh start to men willing to work hard. But a quarter-century after the state's "shock" program was created, the question of whether it really works remains unresolved.

[CORRECTION: Martin Horn was misidentified earlier as former commissioner of New York's Department of Corrections. He is former commissioner of New York City's Department of Correction and Department of Probation, and headed Pennsylvania's Department of Corrections.]  Go to full article
The student center at St. Lawrence University.
The student center at St. Lawrence University.

Heard Up North: Looking for the heart of Saturday night

The student center at St. Lawrence University has a vaulted wooden ceiling and a wide column of open space down the middle, giving it the feel of an Adirondack concert hall.

Late on Saturday night, the bottom floor is noisy with groups of friends getting pizza or playing pool; the ground floor is dotted with pairs of students leaning into each other; and on the top floor, a few lone students are scattered in giant armchairs silently studying or texting. And on some Saturday nights, one young man comes up to the top floor and plays the piano.  Go to full article
Photo: Village of Massena
Photo: Village of Massena

Village of Massena may bring back youth curfew

The village of Massena is considering reviving a 40-year-old curfew. In the past couple decades, juvenile curfews have been challenged by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and often failed constitutional tests in the courts. But the Massena police are confident that this one passes the test.  Go to full article
The Palace Theater in Lake Placid, late on a Saturday night. Photos: Natasha Haverty
The Palace Theater in Lake Placid, late on a Saturday night. Photos: Natasha Haverty

The Last Picture Show? The future of small movie theaters in the North Country

The last decade or so, the North Country has seen a rebirth of its small-town movie theaters. Screens from Tupper Lake to Indian Lake to Ausable Forks have reopened. From Canton to Old Forge, small cinemas are often a big part of the local nightlife, offering a spark of light and glitz.

But the movie industry is changing, shifting fast from old-fashioned film projectors to new, high-tech digital systems. As Natasha Haverty reports, the price tag for that conversion is high and some North Country theater owners worry they might not survive the transition.  Go to full article

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