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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein
News Reporter and Producer

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Big Plans For Dark Island Castle

A group of investors has purchased Dark Island and its Scottish-style castle on the St. Lawrence River for 1.8 million dollars. David Sommerstein reports the group has big plans to renovate the historic property.  Go to full article

People: Jill Vaughan, home literacy educator

David Sommerstein talks with Jill Vaughan, the home educator with Even Start in Franklin County, about how poverty and class issues figure into literacy and school success.  Go to full article

Even Start Program Helps Franklin County Families Learn to Read

Traditional research says that a child's ability to succeed in school is strongly related to his or her parent's--and especially mother's--level of education. If a mother learns to read or gets her GED, the idea goes, she's better prepared to read to her children, teach them the skills they'll need when they get to school. But further research says the situation may be more complicated. David Sommerstein explores the field of family literacy with a profile of the federal funded Even Start program in Franklin County.

Even Start programs in the North Country:
Franklin County: Joe Campbell, (518)4830290
St. Lawrence County: Faye Bartley, (315)379-9201 x164
Clinton & Essex Counties: Jeanette Mitchell, (518)942-3077
Herkimer County: (315)867-2079
There is currently no Even Start program in Jefferson or Lewis Counties.  Go to full article

Learning to Read Late in Life

Coming out of the illiteracy closet. David Sommerstein profiles two people who have learned to read late in life with the help of Literacy Volunteers in Jefferson and Lewis counties.  Go to full article

North Country Senior Citizens Gather

David Sommerstein talks with Robert Miller, regional director of the New York Statewide Senior Action Council, which is holding its annual "Seniorama" at the Mohawk Bingo Palace in Akwesasne today.  Go to full article

Ames to Close All Stores

Ames Department Stores chain announced today it will close all its locations nationwide, leaving some 22,000 people without jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Ft. Drum Fires Cause Smoke in St. Lawrence County

Ground fires at Fort Drum are causing residents north and east of the army base to complain of smoke and brown skies. David Sommerstein reports state officials have fielded calls from towns throughout St. Lawrence County.  Go to full article

Stream Boosts Downtown Watertown

The decision of Stream International to build a high-tech customer service center in the heart of Watertown gives new life to economic development propects downtown. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Stream To Bring 700 Jobs To Watertown

Stream International has committed to opening a high-tech customer support center in Watertown. David Sommerstein reports the Massachusetts based company will invest $8 million and create 700 new jobs.  Go to full article

Crisis Bug Management for the Garden

David Sommerstein has this week's chat with horticulturalist Amy Ivy of the Cornell Cooperative Extension. We talk with Amy Ivy every Monday this summer.  Go to full article

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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: