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News stories tagged with "crime"

District Attorney Derek Champagne from Franklin County says counties need to begin tracking and reporting heroin overdoses and deaths more accurately. He also wants better regional crime intelligence. NCPR File photo: Brian Mann
District Attorney Derek Champagne from Franklin County says counties need to begin tracking and reporting heroin overdoses and deaths more accurately. He also wants better regional crime intelligence. NCPR File photo: Brian Mann

Franklin County DA wants North Country crime intelligence center

One of the North Country's prosecutors says the region needs better intelligence-gathering to deal with the spread of crime, including a surge in heroin trafficking. Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne says he hopes to see crime analysts based in Malone who would help share information throughout the North Country.  Go to full article
Yard signs like this have kept the Garrett Phillips case in the public eye.   Photo: Julie Grant
Yard signs like this have kept the Garrett Phillips case in the public eye. Photo: Julie Grant

Garrett Phillips case in St. Lawrence County grand jury today

After two and a half years, evidence in the murder of 12-year-old Garrett Phillips of Potsdam is being heard in a St. Lawrence Country Grand Jury today. Phillips was killed in the apartment he shared with his mother in October, 2011. Investigators said he'd been strangled, and smothered.

Since then, there's not been much hard news in the case. Last week, WWNY-TV in Watertown reported that County District Attorney Mary Rain would present evidence to the grand jury today. WWNY's John Friot also reported that at least two dozen witnesses had been served subpoenas ordering them to testify.

According to Friot, there's been no big break. But there was a high-level meeting recently between Rain and other prosecutors and investigators around the state who've been involved in the ongoing investigation. He said, "What I am being told is, the consensus was, when you connect all the dots, it brings the dots to a certain person of interest."  Go to full article
State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson Photo: NYS Senate
State Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson Photo: NYS Senate

Lawmakers look to "close gap" on domestic violence laws

Activists and lawmakers say better protections are needed for battered men, women and children across New York. New York Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson is co-sponsor of a group of bills that supporters say will close gaps in the protection of victims of domestic and sexual violence.  Go to full article

Nine heroin overdoses in one day escalate calls for change

This week NCPR is looking in-depth at the crisis of heroin use in rural New York and Vermont (hear those stories here.) Some officials say there needs to be a better way to track heroin overdoses and deaths. On Tuesday, nine people in Burlington overdosed in a single day, prompting calls for better coordination between police and healthcare experts.  Go to full article
Cooking heroin. Experts say the drug is cheap and easy to find in the North Country. Photo: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Heroin.JPG">Psychonaught</a>, public domain
Cooking heroin. Experts say the drug is cheap and easy to find in the North Country. Photo: Psychonaught, public domain

Hooked on heroin, searching for treatment

This week, North Country Public Radio has been looking at the rapid spread of heroin in rural New York (find those stories here). It's easy to find and cheap to buy and experts say it's ruining people's lives at an unprecedented rate.

But this isn't the first time heroin has surged in the North Country's small towns. A decade ago, rural heroin spiked in small towns and college campuses across the region. Today, we're returning to Brian Mann's story from 2004 about two recovering heroin addicts struggling to find methadone treatment, driving long-distance to Syracuse.  Go to full article
District Attorney Derek Champagne from Franklin County says treatment, not more arrests, is the best strategy for the heroin crisis.  Photo: Brian Mann
District Attorney Derek Champagne from Franklin County says treatment, not more arrests, is the best strategy for the heroin crisis. Photo: Brian Mann

Heroin fight shifts from "war" to public health

This week, we're looking in-depth at the heroin epidemic that's hitting small towns in rural New York and Vermont (find more stories).

In many ways, the spread of cheap heroin in rural America mirrors the urban drug crisis of the 1970s that sparked America's national war on drugs.

But these days, even many police and prosecutors say they want a new approach, one that will send more addicts for treatment and recovery, with fewer men and women going to prison for lengthy sentences.  Go to full article
Shawn McKeen from Plattsburgh saw his life derailed, first by prescription drugs, then by street heroin.  Photo:  Brian Mann
Shawn McKeen from Plattsburgh saw his life derailed, first by prescription drugs, then by street heroin. Photo: Brian Mann

North Country heroin stuns small towns, wrecks lives

Over the last few years, Vermont has grappled with a growing heroin epidemic. The drug's painful reach into small towns has drawn national headlines. Now there's growing awareness that heroin has also arrived in the North Country. The drug is cheaper and easier to find.

At a public hearing held by a new state Senate task force, formed in March, addicts, treatment experts, police and prosecutors talked about a wave of heroin.  Go to full article
State Sen. Patty Ritchie. NCPR file photo
State Sen. Patty Ritchie. NCPR file photo

Heroin fears: Plattsburgh, Watertown hold public forums

A new state Senate task force on heroin addiction and other drugs derived from opium will hold public forums today in Plattsburgh and Watertown. The task force was formed following a surge in heroin use and deadly overdoses statewide.  Go to full article
State Trooper John Jackson pulls a driver over for talking on a handheld phone while driving. Photo: Natasha Haverty
State Trooper John Jackson pulls a driver over for talking on a handheld phone while driving. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Ten distracted driving questions, answered!

Today we've already ridden shutgun in one of the unmarked vehicles the state police use to crack down on distracted driving. Now that we've gotten a look into that world, let's tackle some questions about distracted driving.  Go to full article
Donnie (in the foreground) and Didd on the bus leaving the North Country. Photo: Amy Finkel, for Gothamist, used with permission.
Donnie (in the foreground) and Didd on the bus leaving the North Country. Photo: Amy Finkel, for Gothamist, used with permission.

North Country inmates on the bus: free and nowhere to go

Every year, hundreds of men are shipped to prisons here in the North Country, to correctional facilities in Watertown or Malone, Moriah or Ray Brook. We've been telling the story of the region's prison industry with our Prison Time Media Project.
But every year, hundreds of men are also released back into society after serving their time in state or Federal lock-ups.

Often, former inmates are sent back downstate with little preparation and few resources for reentering society. Many begin their new lives with a bus ticket, a new set of clothes, and a small amount of cash.

Amy Finkel is a journalist and documentary filmmaker. She's working on a new project looking at reform and education programs in prisons and she recently published a photo essay in the online magazine Gothamist.

Her photos capture the bus journey that one group of men made from Saranac Lake after being released from prison back to New York City. She spoke about her work with Martha Foley.  Go to full article

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