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House fire in Washington County leaves six children dead

A house fire in Fort Edward over the weekend left six young children dead from smoke inhalation.

Washington County officials are investigating the Saturday morning blaze but say they don't suspect foul play. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

Big companies fight back on river clean-ups

The Environmental Protection Agency was to be in Ft Edward last night for an information session on the dredging of PCB-laden sediment from the Hudson River. The $780 million project is expected to take six years. It's the biggest clean up of a river in the country. The first phase of the cleanup concluded in October.

PCBs are considered probable carcinogens. General Electric plants in Fort Edward and neighboring Hudson Falls dumped PCB-contaminated wastewater into the Hudson for decades before PCBs were banned in 1977. GE has been doing the clean up, supervised by the EPA. They'll review this past summer's work over the winter. The next dredging work is expected in 2011.

GE fought the plan to dredge PCBs for years. Spokesman Mark Behan told the Albany Times Union the company has not committed to continue to pay for the clean up when dredging resumes.

A fight over dioxin pollution from a Dow Chemical plant in central Michigan also dates back over 30 years. It's a local issue that's made national news, like the Hudson River PCBs. And it's still unresolved, despite administration changes, Congressional hearings, and whistle-blower awards. Shawn Allee met the man who first took the issue to Congress and who feels it should make news again.  Go to full article
The first day of dredging to remove PCB-laden sediments. It will be loaded onto barges, treated nearby, then shipped by rail to a waste site in Texas. Photo: David Chanatry.
The first day of dredging to remove PCB-laden sediments. It will be loaded onto barges, treated nearby, then shipped by rail to a waste site in Texas. Photo: David Chanatry.

Hudson River dredging: making it better, or worse?

Four hundred years after Henry Hudson sailed up the river that bears his name, one of the biggest toxic waste cleanups ever is underway. It's an attempt to restore the Hudson to health. Environmentalists fought more than 30 years for the cleanup, but not everyone's on board. As part of a collaboration with Northeast stations, David Chanatry reports.  Go to full article

PCB dredging begins today on upper Hudson River

After years of lawsuits and political wrangling, General Electric will begin removing toxic PCBs from the bottom of the Hudson River today. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Currier & Ives rendering of Jane McCrea's murder
Currier & Ives rendering of Jane McCrea's murder

Digging for the truth of Jane McCrea

Jane McCrea was a young North Country woman who became a martyr of the American Revolution. In 1777, McCrea and a neighbor, Sarah McNeil, were captured at Fort Edward by British soldiers. McNeil survived, but McCrea was murdered and scalped -- most likely by native warriors who were fighting as part of the British army. Her death sent a wave of anti-British rage through the American colonies. In the centuries since, a lot of mysteries have grown up around McCrea. How exactly did she die? Is she really buried within the Fort Edward monument that became a tourist attraction? In a new article for Adirondack Life magazine, David Starbuck tries to answer those questions. Starbuck lives in Chestertown and teaches anthropology at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. Over the last three years, he led the team that dug up McCrea's remains and used forensic science to learn about her life. Starbuck told Brian Mann that the controversial project didn't answer all the questions, but turned up some pretty big surprises.

Postscript: Last year, after the research was finished, Jane McCrea and Sarah McNeil were reburied in adjacent graves.  Go to full article

Heard Up North: Amateur Archaeologists Discover 250-year-old Burial Site

Last November a couple of amateur archeologists and local historians in Fort Edward found something potentially huge... an old burial site they say contains scores of skeletons dating back to the French and Indian War. But on Monday, Fort Edward Police ordered the couple to halt their excavation of the site. Richard Fuller says police gave him and his wife a cease and desist order after being contacted by Washington County officials concerned over the handling of burial sites. The Fullers covered the site in tarps. But they gave Gregory Warner a sneak peek, by telephone.  Go to full article

GE, EPA Announce Hudson River Dredging Deal

The US Environmental Protection Agency and General Electric have struck a deal on dredging PCB-contaminated sediment from the bottom of the upper Hudson River. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

Hudson Dredging History Stays Local

Federal officials have agreed that any historic artifacts dredged from a stretch of the upper Hudson River will stay in the town of Fort Edward. The agreement comes as the EPA prepares to dredge tons of PCBs from the river. Brian Mann has details.  Go to full article

GE Strike Looms In Fort Edward

General Electric's factories in Fort Edward and Schenectady are facing their first national strike in more than thirty years. GE's largest unions - representing some twenty thousand workers - say they'll stage a two-day protest next week. As Brian Mann reports, local businesses worry that a longer dispute could follow.  Go to full article

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