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News stories tagged with "jefferson-county"

The fact is the Seaway is closed three months a year. Even then, it has to compete against rail rates.

Industry analyst skeptical of Seaway container growth

We heard St. Lawrence Seaway Administrator Terry Johnson talk about bringing "containers" into the Seaway. Those are the norm of international commerce - all-purpose boxes that fit on ships, trucks, and trains. They can carry anything from paper clips to teddy bears to computers.

Seaway officials have trumpeted container traffic as a huge growth opportunity for the better part of a decade. Yet the infrastructure's still not in place. Few, if any, Great Lakes ports have the cranes to off-load containers.

Todd Moe reports at least one industry analyst is skeptical.  Go to full article

Group opposes "rooftop highway"

The idea of an Interstate across the North Country to connect Watertown and Plattsburgh is more than 50 years old. It's had different names: the rooftop highway, the Northern Tier Expressway, Interstate 98. But it's never faced any organized opposition, until now.

A group of residents in St. Lawrence County has formed "Yes Eleven." They argue that with a price tag of at least four billion dollars, and opposition from the state department of transportation, the rooftop highway is a pie in the sky.

John Danis is the co-coordinator of YES-Eleven. He told David Sommerstein the group's name references the notion that the rooftop highway is siphoning precious funds from existing infrastructure on the region's main existing artery--Route 11.  Go to full article

Fort Drum's Rt.26 plans worry neighbors

As deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, soldiers are getting more time at home. That means a growing population around Fort Drum near Watertown, and more traffic.

One particularly clogged road is State Route 26, a publicly accessible road that divides the Army base in two. It separates Wheeler-Sack Airfield and some training areas from the main part of the base.

Army planners are considering putting controls on the free-flowing traffic on Route 26. And that worries nearby towns. Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article
President Obama arrives at Ft. Drum Thursday
President Obama arrives at Ft. Drum Thursday

Obama thanks Fort Drum troops

A day after addressing the nation about his plans for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, President Barack Obama came to visit Fort Drum.

The Army post has carried a heavy burden of the fighting in that country and in Iraq. The 10th Mountain Division's headquarters, including its commander, General James Terry, are currently leading coalition forces in southern Afghanistan. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article
Sgt. Shadrach Miller watches President Obama's speech from Maggie's in Watertown.
Sgt. Shadrach Miller watches President Obama's speech from Maggie's in Watertown.

At Ft. Drum, little change despite drawdown

Last night, President Obama unveiled a plan to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the summer, and another 20,000 soldiers by the end of next summer. That accounts for the troop surge Obama began two years ago.

Obama's first stop to sell his new Afghanistan strategy is this afternoon at Fort Drum near Watertown. The President will meet with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division and with families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fort Drum's been involved in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning. And as David Sommerstein reports, soldiers don't see their roles changing much yet.  Go to full article
WW II-era barracks being demolished to make way for new housing. Photo: Army Corps of Engineers
WW II-era barracks being demolished to make way for new housing. Photo: Army Corps of Engineers

Ft. Drum housing crunch requires public investment

The buildup of Fort Drum near Watertown has made Jefferson County one of the fastest growing places in Upstate New York. But it's also created a shortage of rental houses for military families and for civilians.

The problem hasn't come to a head yet because soldiers are constantly rotating in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan. But as the U.S. draws down troop presence in the Middle East, the military population around Fort Drum is expected to swell.

Officials have been leading a public-private effort to build more housing for years. Joanna Richards reports now is crunch time.  Go to full article
They’re worried about will this happen again to other Americans during the summer

Lawmakers question St. Lawrence boat seizure

Lawmakers on both sides of the border are looking for answers after a fisherman's boat was seized in Canadian waters on the St. Lawrence River.

Canadian border agents said U.S. citizen, Roy Anderson, didn't check in at a port of entry. They fined Anderson a thousand dollars.

But Anderson's boat wasn't docked or anchored. Lawmakers say requiring boats that drift across the international border to check in would wreak havoc on the fishing and tourism industries. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Mrs. Bowman's 7th grade science classes
Mrs. Bowman's 7th grade science classes

A field trip for future river stewards

Save the River is the only policy advocate on environmental issues on the U.S. side of the St. Lawrence River.

Now they are collaborating with area schools and taking students on field trips to learn from the river first hand. David Sommerstein tagged along with a group of seventh graders from Thousand Islands middle school and has this report.  Go to full article
Not only (are) summers tougher, but we're seeing just throughout the traditional year more need now than ever.

Food pantries gear up for a tough summer

The city of Watertown this week granted two food pantries' requests for special funding to buy more emergency food aid.

The pantries say they always see more need in summer, when children on free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches aren't getting those meals. As this summer approaches, the slow economy and rising costs means these nonprofit groups are struggling to keep up with increased demand. Joanna Richards has the story.  Go to full article
The poster for "In My Shoes".
The poster for "In My Shoes".

Fort Drum theater students respond to deployments

There are support groups for service members and spouses, but what about the children of 10th Mountain Division soldiers sent overseas? A theater class at Indian River High School teamed up with a local playwright to produce a very personal look at how teens respond to their parents' deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. The play, "In My Shoes", will be performed in the school's auditorium on Friday night. Todd Moe stopped by to meet the students and creative team.  Go to full article

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