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News stories tagged with "family"

Amish at odds with county DSS

A case now in St. Lawrence County Family Court sets the county Social Services Department against religious beliefs of the old order Amish in the North Country. Family Court Judge Barbara Potter ruled this week that an Amish couple neglected their year-and-a-half year old son by refusing medical treatment for his life-threatening heart condition. Gideon and Barbara Hershberger of Winthrop say surgery needed to repair the defect violates their religious beliefs. Judge Potter will decide next Tuesday whether to allow the social services department to remove Eli Hershberger removed from his parents' custody for the surgery. Public defender William Galvin represented the family. He declined to comment on the case.

Anthropologist Karen Johnson-Weiner has been studying Amish language and customs for 25 years. She's also become with many North Country Amish families during that time. She doesn't know the Hershbergers, or their son, but she testified at trial this fall on their behalf, particularly about the Amish sect they are part of: the ultra-conservative Swarzentruber Amish. Not all Amish live by the same rules; each church community sets its own. All Amish accept modern medical care, Johnson-Weiner says, but only to a certain point, and that point differs from community to community. Johnson-Weiner told Martha Foley Swartzentruber Amish draw the line at open heart surgery, and pacemakers. And that puts the Hershbergers at odds with the surgery doctors say Eli needs.  Go to full article

Advocate: after 7 years of war, military families need more support

America's military has been at war in Afghanistan and Iraq for seven years. The long campaign has brought new strains to soldiers and service-members. But the pressure is also growing on military families and children. Advocates are pushing for more financial support, better mental health programs, and better housing. Brian Mann was in Washington DC last week for a conference on the future of military families, hosted by National Public Radio. He spoke with Michele Joyner. She's a military spouse herself and works with the National Military Families Association.  Go to full article
Jane Jacobs and Ellen Butz
Jane Jacobs and Ellen Butz

StoryCorps: a violinist in the family

Each Friday this summer we've been introducing you to a different pair of participants from StoryCorps' visit to the North Country. The StoryCorps mobile booth was in Saranac Lake and Glens Falls earlier this summer, and it was in Glens Falls that Ellen Butz interviewed her friend, Jane Jacobs. Jane's father was a professional violinist and she recalled how he got started playing, and the joy of watching her dad perform.  Go to full article
Helen Demong and daughter Katy
Helen Demong and daughter Katy

StoryCorps: A close and generous community

Every day at StoryCorps booths across the country, ordinary people share extraordinary stories with friends and loved ones. Recently, Katy Demong from Burlington interviewed her mother, Helen Demong, who is Choral Director at Saranac Lake High School. Under her direction the students perform around the community, and one of these performances was particularly memorable.  Go to full article
Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Rebecca Wiliams, who goes by JR, with her daughter's artwork. Photos: Brian Mann
Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Rebecca Wiliams, who goes by JR, with her daughter's artwork. Photos: Brian Mann

For Fort Drum's military moms, deployment means extra duty and extra doubts

This week, soldiers from Fort Drum's 10th Mountain Division are heading back to Iraq for another 15-month deployment. Their families face a tough and nerve-wracking year of separation. The challenge is especially tough for military women, some of them leaving behind very young children. Brian Mann sat down to talk about life as a military mom with Sergeant First Class Jennifer Rebecca Williams. Her own daughter, Reilly, is three years old. Sgt. Williams is deploying with the Headquarters Company of the 10th Mountain Division. She says balancing family with military duty is getting harder as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan stretch on.  Go to full article
Julia Pascal
Julia Pascal

First person history: "Jewish Mothers and Daughters"

Julia Pascal is a director and playwright with her own production company, based in London. Her work deals primarily with the lives of Jewish women, particularly in relation to the Holocaust. But she's also written a documentary about Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre, and explored Black and Irish themes. She recently completed a film archive of interviews with close to 50 women Holocaust survivors and their daughters, entitled Jewish Mothers and Daughters. She's at St. Lawrence University this week and will give a public lecture tonight on this latest work. She spoke with Martha Foley.  Go to full article
Diane Sawyer, ABC, Disney, face lawsuit from North Country woman (PHOTO:  ABC News)
Diane Sawyer, ABC, Disney, face lawsuit from North Country woman (PHOTO: ABC News)

Controversial ABC documentary filmed in Vermontville sparks lawsuit

The Plattsburgh Press-Republican reported Thursday morning that a Lake Placid woman is suing ABC News, the Walt Disney Corporation, and news anchor Diane Sawyer. In her suit, Kyle Nelson claims that the network should have alerted authorities to abuse that they captured on film in her Vermontville home five years ago. The physical abuse was recorded while ABC was working on a documentary for the program "Primetime." The show's producers never contacted the police or social welfare agencies. Brian Mann's story first aired in 2006. The Plattsburgh Press- Republican is reporting that Kyle Nelson, now age 20, has declined to discuss her lawsuit against ABC with the media.  Go to full article
Tanya Towne holds a photograph of her two sons (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Tanya Towne holds a photograph of her two sons (Photo: Brian Mann)

After Iraq, National Guard soldier loses custody of son

Advocates for military families say a growing number of soldiers are losing custody of their children, not because they're bad parents but because they've been deployed overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan. A bill signed by President Bush last month strengthens protections for service-members and their families. But as Brian Mann reports, legal experts say some military moms and dads are still vulnerable.  Go to full article
Family fun at a recent Boogie Wonderland
Family fun at a recent Boogie Wonderland

'Boogie Wonderland' for kids and adults

If you and your kids are looking to shake off that cabin fever this weekend, try Boogie Wonderland Sunday afternoon. It's a family-friendly dance party at the Higher Ground Concert Hall in Burlington, with a real dance floor and a real disco ball. And adults can even have a drink while the kids dance. Tom Bacon is music lover, father, DJ, and host of Boogie Wonderland. He told David Sommerstein his wife read about similar family dance parties in New York and Philadelphia, and he thought why not in Burlington?  Go to full article
Elaine Sunde networking with other North Country historians
Elaine Sunde networking with other North Country historians

One family's history leads back to the North Country

There are families in this rugged part of the country who trace their roots back two centuries and more. Others simply passed through, migrating west. The trail still runs both ways. Our Adirondack reporter, Brian Mann, grew up in the Midwest and out on the West Coast. But it turns out his own family's story leads through northern New York and Vermont way back in the early 1800s. The discovery came as part of his mother's research and her journey back into American history. Here's Brian's audio diary.  Go to full article

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