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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein
News Reporter and Producer

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House Defense Bill Helps Fort Drum

$18 million in Fort Drum improvements are included in the Defense Authorization Bill passed by the House of Representatives last Friday. David Sommerstein reports the projects will help protect Fort Drum near Watertown from the next round of base closures.  Go to full article

McCall Impresses St. Lawrence County Dems

State comptroller and Democratic candidate for Governor Carl McCall made his first campaign swing through St. Lawrence County on Friday. He impressed party faithful with his fiscal experience and his stance on education. Strong winds forced McCall's airplane to abandon a planned stop in Hamilton County. He arrived early to the St. Lawrence County Democrats' annual dinner in Massena. David Sommerstein was there and has this report.  Go to full article
118th, or "river", and 122nd, or "foothills", assembly districts.
118th, or "river", and 122nd, or "foothills", assembly districts.

118th and 122nd: The New Political Landscape in the North Country

Every ten years, there's a sort of earthshaking rumble in state and local politics when district lines are redrawn. As people move around, the areas politicians represent must also change. This year, one of the most dramatic changes in the North Country is in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, where new assembly districts cut through both counties. David Sommerstein reports on the so-called "river" and "foothill" districts and what they might mean for the North Country's clout in Albany.  Go to full article

Senecas to Hold Casino Referendum

Tribal members of the Seneca Nation are preparing to decide the future of casino gambing on the reservation and in Western New York. David Sommerstein reports next week's tribal referendum on Seneca casinos is expected to be close.  Go to full article

Aubertine Declares for 118th

Races for state Assembly seats are shaping up for the two new districts in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties. After Republican Assemblywoman Dierdre Scozzafava announced last week she would run in the 122nd district, Democrat Darryl Aubertine yesterday officially kick off his campaign for the 118th district. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

New Plans For Wadhams Hall

The Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg has new plans for its seminary-college on Route 37 in Ogdensburg. Starting this summer, Wadhams Hall will host retreats and conferences for people both inside and outside the Church. David Sommerstein has more.  Go to full article

Cleaning the "North Coast"

David Sommerstein talks with Linda Gibbs, Natural Resources Coordinator for the New York State Tug Hill Commission, about last weekend's "North Coast" conference in Rochester. Agencies and citizens are looking for ways to clean the shoreline of Lake Ontario, from Cape Vincent and Sackets Harbor in the East to Niagara-on-the-Lake in the West. Much of the water from the Tug Hill drains into Lake Ontario.  Go to full article

On Patrol With 10th Mountain Division Peacekeepers In Vitina, Kosovo

Almost 4000 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum near Watertown, are nearing the end of their six-month deployment in Kosovo. They'll return home later this month. In February, David Sommerstein traveled to the former Yugoslavian province as a guest of the U.S. Army. Over the next three days we'll hear stories from Kosovo. Today, we go on a walking patrol in the town of Vitina, where Fort Drum soldiers maintain a delicate peace between Serbs and Albanians.  Go to full article

"Democrats for Pataki" in North Country

Some North Country Democrats are following the lead of their colleagues in other parts of the state and are backing Republican Governor George Pataki for a third term. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Bill Moore: Building a Wind Farm on the Tug Hill Plateau

David Sommerstein talks with Bill Moore, founder and principal of Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation, about the present and future of wind-generated electricity. Moore is designing and building a wind farm on the Tug Hill Plateau in Lewis County. He'll be speaking as a part of the North Country Sustainable Energy Fair this weekend.  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: