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NCPR News Staff: David Sommerstein
News Reporter and Producer

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North Country Transportation Study Public Comment Hearings Scheduled

Last week consultants for the North Country Transportation Study announced their findings after a year and a half of research. The study recommends an East-West highway across the North Country along Route 11. St. Lawrence, Lewis, and Franklin County leaders have been effusive in their support of the results. The so-called "rooftop highway" is what they've wanted for decades. David Sommerstein reports the areas that already have a four-lane highway see the plan as a backbone for other projects.  Go to full article

Seaway Relicensing Process Wraps Up

A report from the last meeting of the group that's been negotiating with the New York Power Authority on conditions for relicensing the Moses Saunders hydro project--David Sommerstein has reactions to the experimental, collaborative process.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence River Towns Settle With NYPA

Town leaders along the St. Lawrence River approved a settlement Friday with the New York Power Authority as a part of its bid for a new license to operate its power dam near Massena. The $115 million deal includes recreational improvements, returns of land, and payments to St. Lawrence County and its towns affected by the power project. David Sommerstein reports the agreement ends years of often tense negotiations.  Go to full article

St. Lawrence County Leaders Praise Transportation Study

St. Lawrence County political and business leaders had nothing but praise for the results of the North Country Transportation Study. David Sommerstein reports the study's recommendation of a 4-lane highway from Watertown to Plattsburgh closely mirrors what they've been seeking for decades, but it may take almost as long to build. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Mohawk Catskills Casino Will Have Company

On the heels of the largest expansion of gambling in New York State history, the St. Regis Mohawks have announced plans to break ground on their casino in the Catskills by the end of next year. David Sommerstein reports the tribe wasn't surprised by the legislative action, but news they may not be the only game in town did catch them off guard.  Go to full article

Sen. Clinton Talks With Ft. Drum Families

Senator Hillary Clinton returned to Fort Drum near Watertown Saturday. She scheduled the extra trip especially to show her gratitude for soldiers and their families in the wake of September 11. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Sen. Clinton Visits Ft. Drum on North Tour

During her second visit to Fort Drum in less than two months, Senator Hillary Clinton called preparations for military downsizing, including base closures, a distraction. She said U.S. military personnel should be allowed to focus on stopping terrorism. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Army Corps of Engineers Seaway Study Hearing Held in Canton

The US Army Corps of Engineers explained its study of the St. Lawrence Seaway to a full house in Canton last night. After years of similar reviews and proposed changes, river residents are wary. Last night's presentation raised as many questions as it answered. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

North Country Life After Terrorism and Anthrax Scares

Anthrax scares are spreading around the world and here in the North Country. David Sommerstein went to the Walmart parking lot in Ogdensburg to see how people are coping with the mundane activities of life.  Go to full article

NYS Assembly Minority Leader Honored by St. Lawrence County Republicans

The state assembly's minority leader was the featured guest at the St. Lawrence County Republicans' annual dinner Friday night in Ogdensburg. Albany Assemblyman John Faso praised his fellow Republicans for their leadership since the attacks of September 11, and took an opportunity to do some campaigning. Faso is a Republican candidate for State Comptroller in 2002. David Sommerstein reports.  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: