Give Now NCPR is made possible by
Your Donations
 

NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein
News Reporter and Producer

Show             
Root crops at the Glens Falls Farmers Market. Archive Photo of the Day: Stuart Delman, Chestertown NY.
Root crops at the Glens Falls Farmers Market. Archive Photo of the Day: Stuart Delman, Chestertown NY.

North Country gets $1M agribusiness loan fund

The North Country will get a new one million dollar revolving loan fund to seed agricultural businesses. Empire State Development announced the fund Monday.  Go to full article
The general sketch of a "rooftop highway" as envisioned in a 2003 report for the Development Authority of the North Country.
The general sketch of a "rooftop highway" as envisioned in a 2003 report for the Development Authority of the North Country.

Canton, Potsdam bypass study starts, but Interstate supporters want more

State transportation officials say they're ready to start studying whether Canton and Potsdam need a bypass. Field work is expected to begin around the beginning of August.

Governor Cuomo made specific mention of the $2.5 million dollar study in his annual budget address back in January. He said it will also take one more look at the possibility of an Interstate highway between Watertown and Plattsburgh.

"This is a roadway that the North Country has talked about for a long time," Cuomo said. "Different people have different opinions over whether it will work. Let's spend the money. Let's do the study, and let's find out if it works because if it does, it could make a tremendous difference for the North Country."

Supporters and critics of the so-called "rooftop highway" will be watching closely.  Go to full article
The St. Lawrence County Courthouse, built in 1893. Photo: Mark Kurtz
The St. Lawrence County Courthouse, built in 1893. Photo: Mark Kurtz

St. Lawrence County DA disputes call for special prosecutor

St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain says she'll defend what she calls her obligation to conduct a grand jury probe into use of county money.

Her comments come after a state judge appeared to put the probe on hold while he determines whether a special prosecutor should replace her.  Go to full article
District attorney Mary Rain (right) during her campaign last summer. Photo: David Sommerstein.
District attorney Mary Rain (right) during her campaign last summer. Photo: David Sommerstein.

St. Lawrence DA asks county judge to disqualify himself

There were more legal twists involving St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain's probe into two county spending issues Monday.

At the start of court in Canton, Rain asked county court Judge Jerome Richards to step down from all cases involving her office. Rain argued Richards couldn't be "detached and neutral".  Go to full article
The St. Lawrence County courthouse and legislative building.
The St. Lawrence County courthouse and legislative building.

High-level legal feud escalates in St. Lawrence County

A legal feud between two prominent St. Lawrence County officials continues to escalate.

Days after being served a subpoena to deliver 10 years of financial records to a grand jury, county Administrator Karen St. Hilaire asked a stay of any grand jury action.

And she filed complaints with the state Attorney General's office against District Attorney Mary Rain.  Go to full article
Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein
Tri-Town Packing co-owner Tom Liberty. Photo: David Sommerstein

Schumer lends help in Tri-Town - USDA dispute

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer says he wants to help a St. Lawrence County slaughterhouse with a dispute with its meat inspectors.  Go to full article
Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority director, Wade Davis, and Assemblywoman Addie Russell show U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer the plans for extending the runway, indicated in blue on the diagram. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority director, Wade Davis, and Assemblywoman Addie Russell show U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer the plans for extending the runway, indicated in blue on the diagram. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Schumer: Ogdensburg airport ok "waiting on someone's desk"

The city of Ogdensburg is getting ready to take off into a bigger air travel market. The Ogdensburg airport signed a contract last month with Allegiant Air to fly 170-passenger jet planes on and off of its runway. Officials expect the new service will attract tens of thousands of Canadian passengers and become a new economic driver.

The problem is...the runway is too short.

The airport has submitted a $12-15 million plan to build a longer runway. But it's stalled in Washington. Yesterday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer came in person to say he's going to expedite the process.  Go to full article
County administrator Karen St. Hilaire. Photo: Julie Grant
County administrator Karen St. Hilaire. Photo: Julie Grant

St. Lawrence County DA seeks grand jury probe of county administrator

A legal feud is brewing between two top officials in St. Lawrence County.

First-year district attorney Mary Rain wants a grand jury to investigate whether county administrator Karen St. Hilaire mishandled two cases involving county money.

One regards a microphone system for the Board of Legislators. The second deals with a $500,000 grant the county failed to get. But a former county official says there's a reason for the missed grant.  Go to full article
A map of the Mohawk land claim.
A map of the Mohawk land claim.

Franklin County has the next move in Mohawk land claim deal

A federal appeals board has ruled the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe can make 39 acres of land it owns part of the Akwesasne reservation.

The tribe has used the land as a garbage transfer station for more than a decade. But it's technically within the borders of Franklin County, just west of the town of Fort Covington. The tribe originally petitioned to have the parcel added to the reservation seven years ago.

The details of the transfer will remain unclear until Franklin County decides what to do about a proposed settlement to the larger Mohawk land claim. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
The Moses-Saunders power dam near Massena. Photo: New York Power Authority
The Moses-Saunders power dam near Massena. Photo: New York Power Authority

St. Lawrence County towns seek more compensation from NYPA

Ever since the giant hydropower dam was erected across the St. Lawrence River 55 years ago, the towns that lost part of their riverfront have felt short-changed.

And even though the state agency that runs the dam has given the towns millions of dollars, those towns say they deserve more.

Negotiations have gone on for decades. The latest chapter ended last week when talks between the towns and the New York Power Authority broke down.  Go to full article

1-10 of 1979 stories   next 10 »   last »


David Sommerstein, NCPR's roving St. Lawrence Valley/Fort Drum/Tug Hill reporter, began his career in radio, strangely enough, as a high school Spanish teacher in Buffalo. While drilling verb conjugations and teaching a love for Latino culture during the day, he sat in as a late night jazz and Latin DJ at Buffalo's NPR affiliate, WBFO. The radio bug bit, and David found his way to southern Colorado/northern New Mexico (the Taos/Santa Fe area) where he was Program Director, Music Director, Volunteer Coordinator, and "Just About Anything Else You Can Think Of" Director at NPR affiliate KRZA. Since joining NCPR's news department, David has reported from the chilly deck of a St. Lawrence icebreaker, the power-chord filled stage of the High School Rock Band Festival, and the tense Albanian street market of post-war Kosovo with soldiers from Fort Drum. David also gets to fulfill his passion for music of all kinds when he spins world dance and groove music on editions of The Beat Authority. E-mail

Recent David Sommerstein stories carried by NPR: