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News stories tagged with "champlain-valley"

After the explosion, the bridge's skeleton remained (Photos:  Mark Kurtz)
After the explosion, the bridge's skeleton remained (Photos: Mark Kurtz)

After eight decades, historic Crown Point bridge meets fiery end

The Crown Point bridge across Lake Champlain was demolished yesterday morning, just after ten o'clock. The span had served as a major link between Vermont and upstate New York for eight decades. It became a part of the North Country landscape and lore. Deterioration of the bridge and its closure in mid-October have crippled the Champlain Valley economy, straining ties between communities on both sides of the lake. As Brian Mann reports, many local people hope that yesterday's massive explosion marks a first step toward getting their lives back to normal.  Go to full article
Workers repair the cement supports of the Crown Point bridge (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Workers repair the cement supports of the Crown Point bridge (Photo: Brian Mann)

Lake Champlain bridge in worse shape than believed, fix could take years

One of the most important land crossings between Northern New York and Vermont is in worse shape than once believed. According to transportation officials from New York, some of the most important steel girders and cement pilings that support the Crown Point bridge are deteriorating rapidly. The route is used by more than 3,000 vehicles every day. About half of those cars and trucks are driven by people going to work. The bridge is also an important route for tourists. As Brian Mann reports, state and Federal agencies say replacing or permanently repairing the bridge could take half a decade.  Go to full article
The Forrence Family at their apple orchards in Peru (photo: TAUNY)
The Forrence Family at their apple orchards in Peru (photo: TAUNY)

A devotion to apples for generations

The Forrence Family Orchards, in Peru, NY, will be given an award by Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, this month. TAUNY will hand out its annual North Country Heritage Awards on Sunday, October 18th, in Canton. The Forrence family can trace its farming roots back to the early 1800s in the Champlain Valley. In the 1940s, the farm switched from producing milk to apples as its main crop. Today, it is owned and run by third and fourth generation Forrences, who use state-of-the-art technology to grow and harvest apples. But they still maintain many of the farm's original 18th century buildings. Todd Moe spoke with Mason Forrence about this year's apple harvest and a lifetime in the orchard.  Go to full article
The Depot Theatre in Westport NY
The Depot Theatre in Westport NY

Theatre Review: "Almost, Maine" at the Depot Theatre

Almost, Maine is running at the Depot Theatre in Westport through September 20. Resident theatre critic Connie Meng was at the opening night and has our review.  Go to full article

Feuds, lawsuits, criminal charges embroil Clinton County town of Peru

Small-town politics can be a tough business. Feuds over local taxes and skirmishes for control of village boards can be every bit as nasty as the political fights in Albany or Washington DC. But the rancor that has enveloped in the town of Peru, in Clinton County, is in a class by itself. For nearly four years, town supervisor Donald Covel has battled openly with members of his town board. There have been public shouting matches, a recall effort, and a flurry of costly lawsuits. Covel is now facing criminal charges of official misconduct and abuse of power. As Brian Mann reports, many locals say the rancor and bitterness have crippled their local government.  Go to full article

Preview: "Affliction" in Willsboro

Author Russell Banks visits the Champlain Valley Film Society in Willsboro this Saturday. He'll introduce the film, Affliction, based on his novel. It'll be shown at 8 pm at Willsboro Central School. David Reuther, with the Champlain Valley Film Society, told Todd Moe that he's thrilled Russell Banks will talk about the film.  Go to full article

State considers expanding "forever wild" protections outside Adk blue line

Pro-environment groups says the state of New York has agreed to consider expanding the forest preserve beyond the Adirondack Park's famous "blue line" boundary. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Al Hicks inspects a bat for white nose syndrome.
Al Hicks inspects a bat for white nose syndrome.

New breakthrough in study of "white nose" bat disease

Researchers in New York state and around the country have made a major breakthrough in their study of "white nose syndrome." That's the mysterious ailment that's been killing thousands of bats (including endangered Indiana bats) in New York, Vermont, and around the Northeast. NPR's Dan Charles reported on the study; Brian Mann was in the cave with New York's top specialist, Al Hicks.  Go to full article

Federal visa program available, but most farmers prefer "illegal" workers

We've been reporting this week on the Federal farm-worker visa program known as H2A. The system has caught on in the North Country, gaining wide acceptance in the Champlain Valley's apple orchards. Dairy farmers say they hope H2A can be adapted to help fill their labor shortage. But nationwide, the vast majority of farms still prefer to use undocumented or illegal workers. As Brian Mann reports, they say the Federal visa program is just too bureaucratic and too expensive.  Go to full article
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source:  Brian Mann)
A slow day at the track in Saratoga (Source: Brian Mann)

North Country harness racing tradition gambles on a future

The North Country has a big presence in horse-racing, from a top thoroughbred breeder in Ray Brook, to the group of friends in Sackets Harbor who raced into the record book with a horse named Funny Cide. Their success on contemporary tracks draws from a long tradition of racing in the region. This week, we'll wrap up the summer by telling some of their stories. For many fans in the North Country, the sport of choice has always been harness racing. That means sturdy, standard-bred horses pulling drivers in stripped-down racing carts. You can still see cutthroat competitions at county fairs from Malone to Westport. But harness racing has fallen on hard times in recent years. As Brian Mann reports, new efforts to bring the sport back have meant bigger purses and also new controversy.  Go to full article

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