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News stories tagged with "crime"

Story 2.0: A fresh start at Moriah Shock

Even many prison reform advocates, who want fewer New Yorkers sent to prison, say the state's so-called "shock" program offers alternatives that can benefit low-level, non-violent criminals. Inmates from Moriah Shock have long served useful roles in the region as well, helping forest rangers battle wild fires in the Adirondacks. Over the weekend, they were among the volunteers building the ice palace for Saranac Lake's Winter Carnival. A decade ago, Brian Mann spent a day behind bars at Moriah Shock, attending a graduation, talking with the inmates and their families.  Go to full article

Region's representatives to join forces to fight prison cuts

State prisons pump tens of millions of dollars into North Country communities. Gov. David Paterson's budget would close three of them: one in Ogdensburg and the others in Lyon Mt. and Moriah. nearly 500 jobs are at stake.

A day after the budget's release, the region's representatives in Albany were laying plans to fight the closures. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Budget would cut 3 North Country prisons, nearly 500 jobs

For the North Country, the biggest blow contained in the Governor's budget proposal is the planned closure of three of the region's prisons. Governor Paterson wants to mothball correctional facilities in Ogdensburg, Lyon Mountain, and Moriah putting nearly 500 high paying jobs on the line. State Senators Darrel Aubertine and Betty Little said they would join the effort to save the prisons. As Brian Mann reports, today's proposal came as a terrible shock in communities already facing hard times.  Go to full article

Challenger Sprague wins Essex County DA race

After a week of ballot recounts challenger Kristy Sprague has won the race for Essex County District Attorney. When all the absentee and affidavit ballots were counted on Monday, Sprague had prevailed by 126 votes over incumbent district attorney Julie Garcia. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Peru town supervisor convicted of official misconduct

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican is reporting this morning that Peru town Supervisor Donald Covel has been found guilty of official misconduct. According to the newspaper, Covel faces up to a year in jail. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article
Maria Zobniw and her daughter Chrystia in happier times (Photo used by permission)
Maria Zobniw and her daughter Chrystia in happier times (Photo used by permission)

In Binghamton, sorrow, questions and the search for a way forward after violence

Three months have passed since a gunman opened fire at an immigrant services center in Binghamton. Jiverly Wong, a mentally-ill immigrant from Vietnam, murdered thirteen people before taking his own life. Brian Mann was one of the reporters NPR sent to cover the shooting. NPR asked Brian to go back to Binghamton this summer, to talk with families and to find out what happens to a community blindsided by such devastating violence.  Go to full article
Captain Phillip Esposito, who was murdered in Iraq, with daughter Madeline and wife Siobhan (Photo provided)
Captain Phillip Esposito, who was murdered in Iraq, with daughter Madeline and wife Siobhan (Photo provided)

A double homicide in Iraq slows the rise of New York top general to national post

The top soldier in New York state is facing new questions and new scrutiny following his nomination by President Obama to head the Army National Guard. Major General Joseph Taluto, who lives in Fort Ann in Washington County, had been expected to win easy confirmation by the U.S. Senate. But now the widow of one of his officers killed in Iraq says General Taluto mishandled discipline and morale during a deployment in 2005. Brian Mann reports.  Go to full article

Mohawks: tobacco smuggling answers lie in cooperation

Last week, the Center for Public Integrity released an exhaustive investigation on the confluence of illegal tobacco, drugs, and organized crime on the Mohawk reservations on the St. Lawrence River. Yesterday we spoke with the report's author.

Today, the Mohawks' side of things. Chiefs of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe near Massena say Canada and the United States are raising cigarette taxes without considering historic tribal rights to trade tobacco. Chief Jim Ransom says the author of the Center for Public Integrity report didn't even request an interview with tribal chiefs. The Mohawks have endured a reputation as smugglers even before tobacco companies worked with some natives to traffic untaxed cigarettes into Canada in the 1990s. This year's surprise hit film, Frozen River, has brought Akwesasne's reputation to the big screen and the nation. Chief Ransom told David Sommerstein he condemns the drug trafficking and crime that happens in Akwesasne. But he says the characterization ignores the history of oppression and environmental degradation brought on the Mohawks.  Go to full article

Report ties organized crime, drugs to Akwesasne tobacco trafficking

A new report details the billion dollar trafficking of untaxed cigarettes into Canada from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation near Massena. The investigation by the Center for Public Integrity documented 5 to 10 unlicensed tobacco factories in Akwesasne and on the Kahnawake reserve near Montreal.

Smugglers carry cigarettes across the Canadian border and sell them in Ontario and Quebec for $20 a carton. A legally taxed carton costs $80 to $90. The Canadian government estimates it is losing $1.6 billion a year in taxes while health care costs associated with smoking are rising. William Marsden of the Montreal Gazette reported the story. He told David Sommerstein the tobacco smuggling has attracted more organized crime and drugs to an already porous region of the U.S.-Canada border.  Go to full article

Binghamton bears up after shooting tragedy

Funerals for those killed in Friday's mass shooting have already begun in Binghamton. At an area mosque, an imam chanted over the bodies of two women killed in Friday's massacre. Mustafa al-Salihi is the son of one of the women. He says his family moved to the U-S from Iraq to escape violence. He adds that he'll especially miss his mother later this spring, when he graduates. People from eight countries have been identified as the victims of the deadly rampage at the city's immigrant community center. It remains unclear exactly why a Vietnamese immigrant strapped on a bulletproof vest, barged in on a citizenship class and killed the victims and himself. Brian Mann has been on assignment for NPR in Binghamton since the shooting Friday. Martha Foley spoke with him this morning.  Go to full article

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