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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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Anneke Larrance with her two young chickens, in the village of Canton.
Anneke Larrance with her two young chickens, in the village of Canton.

Zoning 101: Who gets to have chickens?

Here in the North Country, we live in communities that are divided up into different zones: Town or village, residential or agricultural. But is a village also part of a town? Is a town more rural than a village? Different zones have different rules. How do those rules get written? What if people disagree? What if the rules conflict? Or overlap? It can get complicated.

Take Canton. And take chickens.

A couple of weeks ago, after a year-long debate, the Town of Canton decided to allow people to have chickens, with some big caveats. You have to submit a plan to the planning board, pay $40, you can have a maximum of six chickens. But the ironic thing is that the Village of Canton already allows chickens.  Go to full article
The Long Sault Dam is part of the hydropower generating complex on the St. Lawrence River near Massena. Photo: New York Power Authority
The Long Sault Dam is part of the hydropower generating complex on the St. Lawrence River near Massena. Photo: New York Power Authority

Corning gets a boost from NYPA, pledges to add 40 jobs

Corning Incorpoarted's Canton Facility is getting a boost from the New York State Power Authority--2.1 megawatts to be exact. The low-cost St. Lawrence hydropower comes in exchange for the creation of 40 permanent jobs at the plant.  Go to full article
Homes in the village of Chateaugay. The prison there will close on July 26th. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Homes in the village of Chateaugay. The prison there will close on July 26th. Photo: Natasha Haverty

How prison closures could be a good thing for the North Country

This week we visited the town of Chateaugay, and heard from people there about what's it been like to lose their local prison.

Over the past year, the community fought to keep the Chateaugay Correctional Facility open, organizing rallies at home and with legislators in Albany, arguing that the state would be turning its back on Chateaugay if it went forward with its plans to mothball the prison.  Go to full article
Archival photo of the Lyons Falls mill. Photo courtesy of the Lyons Falls History Association
Archival photo of the Lyons Falls mill. Photo courtesy of the Lyons Falls History Association

Demolition begins on Lyons Falls paper mill

Demolition and clean up began yesterday at the Lyons Falls Mill site in Lewis County.  Go to full article
The St. Lawrence County courthouse and legislative building.
The St. Lawrence County courthouse and legislative building.

Bail hearing continues in Garrett Phillips murder case

Yesterday afternoon, the bail hearing for Oral "Nick" Hillary continued in St Lawrence County court. Hillary is charged with the 2011 murder of Garrett Phillips, a 12-year-old boy from Potsdam. Hillary has been held at the St Lawrence County jail for more than two months, since his original arraignment hearing.

But at the end of yesterday's proceedings which went for more than three hours,, Judge Jerome Richards did not announce his decision on whether to release Hillary, and telling the court that he needed more time to look things over and that he would be mailing his decision.  Go to full article
Brenda Brue was a nurse at the prison. She was a big voice in the fight to keep the prison open and she says she really loved her job.
Brenda Brue was a nurse at the prison. She was a big voice in the fight to keep the prison open and she says she really loved her job.

When a North Country prison closes, what happens to the town?

This morning, we visit a community that for the past year has been fighting to keep its local prison. Chateaugay Correctional Facility is just a few blocks outside of the village--a fifteen-minute walk down the main road leads you to an unimposing campus, set back from the road. Chateaugay was the newest facility in the system--one point community members used in their argument not to close the prison.

But despite the community's hard work, the state did not reverse its decision to mothball Chateuagay Correctional--and at the end of this month, the prison's doors will officially close.  Go to full article
The seal of St. Lawrence County rendered in stained glass at the county building in Canton. Photo: Mark Kurtz
The seal of St. Lawrence County rendered in stained glass at the county building in Canton. Photo: Mark Kurtz

After two months, Hillary bail hearing set to resume

The bond hearing for Oral "Nick" Hillary is set to continue in St Lawrence County Court Monday. Hillary is charged with the 2011 murder of Garrett Phillips, a 12-year-old boy from Potsdam.  Go to full article

Thousand Islands want help on what's scenic

This summer, the Thousand Islands region is on a mission: to prove to the State of New York that it deserves recognition as an area of "Scenic and Statewide Significance." And today, leaders of the effort have launched a website where they're asking people to help make the case.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, now on the NYS surplus property list. Photo: Empire State Development Agency
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, now on the NYS surplus property list. Photo: Empire State Development Agency

How to close a North Country prison

A few weeks from today, New York state will close four more of its prisons, including two here in the North Country: Chateaugay Correctional Facility in Franklin County and Mt. McGregor in northern Saratoga County.

It's a controversial decision, deeply painful to many people in those communities.

But how do you actually close a prison?  Go to full article
A group of students and staff from St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester Program in 2013. Photo courtesy St. Lawrence University
A group of students and staff from St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester Program in 2013. Photo courtesy St. Lawrence University

St. Lawrence University suspends its 40-year-old Kenya program

Earlier this month, we reported on one of the longest running study abroad programs to Africa, based right here in the North Country: St. Lawrence University's Kenya Semester program, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. Over 2000 students have travelled to Kenya with the program.  Go to full article

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