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Saranac Lake village officials shined spotlights into the night sky Wednesday, following the announcement of major funding for two local hotel projects.  (Photo:  Mark Kurtz)
Saranac Lake village officials shined spotlights into the night sky Wednesday, following the announcement of major funding for two local hotel projects. (Photo: Mark Kurtz)

Adirondack Park celebrates state funding

The Adirondack Park is divided between three different regional economic development councils -- and yesterday in Albany all three of those groups received extra grant funding from state officials.  Go to full article
Chris LaBarge describes an architectural rendering of his proposed 90-room hotel on Lake Flower at Wednesday night's Saranac Lake planning board meeting. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy <em>Adirondack Daily Enterprise</em>
Chris LaBarge describes an architectural rendering of his proposed 90-room hotel on Lake Flower at Wednesday night's Saranac Lake planning board meeting. Photo: Chris Knight, courtesy Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Regional Council funding hopes high in Saranac Lake

At 10:30 this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo will announce the winners of this year's Regional Economic Development Council process.

The North Country's Council has established sixteen projects here in our region as priorities to receive state funding. They range from a plan to upgrade Plattsburgh's booming airport to a proposal to improve the port in Ogdensburg on the St. Lawrence River.

But the big anticipation this year is in Saranac Lake, where two hotel projects are in the works. Brian Mann, our Adirondack bureau chief, joined Martha Foley on the line for a preview.  Go to full article
Milk Not Jails' Lauren Melodia and her team want to convince New York to invest in farms, not prisons. Photo: David Sommerstein
Milk Not Jails' Lauren Melodia and her team want to convince New York to invest in farms, not prisons. Photo: David Sommerstein

What could replace the North Country's prison industry?

This week, our Prison Time Media Project is examining the North Country's vast complex of prisons. It's an industry from Cape Vincent to Chateaugay that employs thousands of people in a region with few other options.

Today we ask - what if? What if the crime rate continues to drop and the number of inmates locked up continues to fall? What if, as Governor Cuomo has advocated, New York keeps closing prisons, as it did in Lyon Mountain and Gabriels?

What's next for the North Country's prison towns?

One tiny not-for-profit from New York City has an idea. Take the money saved from shuttering prisons and spend that money on agriculture. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Community leaders meeting in Chateaugay to orchestrate fight to save the state correctional facility. Photo: Brian Mann
Community leaders meeting in Chateaugay to orchestrate fight to save the state correctional facility. Photo: Brian Mann

How prisons became the North Country's normal

This year, North Country Public Radio has been looking in-depth at New York's Rockefeller drug laws and how those laws reshaped our state over the last forty years.

This week, the series will focus on the North Country, which is home to more than a dozen state and federal prisons.

Corrections work has grown into one of the region's biggest and most controversial industries, providing thousands of high paying jobs, and anchoring the economies in towns from Malone to Moriah.

As part of our Prison Time Media Project, Brian Mann has a special report on how the North Country became a magnet for new prisons and how the industry is facing new scrutiny.  Go to full article
Non-profit leaders and government officials met last week at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake to talk about growing the region's non-profit sector. Photo: Brian Mann
Non-profit leaders and government officials met last week at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake to talk about growing the region's non-profit sector. Photo: Brian Mann

North Country non-profits struggle to grow jobs and attract dollars

This week NCPR is looking at the role that non-profit organizations are playing in the North Country's economy.

Hospitals, research labs, and universities provide some of the best jobs, bringing new investment and grant money to our small towns. But even as non-profits work to grow and attract even more economic development to the region, they face big hurdles, including the loss of government dollars.  Go to full article
The new study found that non-profits drive nearly half a billion dollars of economic activity in the North Country.
The new study found that non-profits drive nearly half a billion dollars of economic activity in the North Country.

Non-profits grow up into major North Country industry

When a lot of people in the North Country think about non-profit organizations, the image that comes to mind is the local community theater or small social-service groups or environmental activists.

But non-profits have grown into one of the region's biggest economic forces. A new study released last week found that one out of every seven jobs in the private sector in our region is provided by a not-for-profit.

Leaders of non-profits gathered last week in Tupper Lake to talk about their impact and their challenges.  Go to full article

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Eileen Simollardes (at right) from Vermont Gas outlines the pipeline project.  Cornwall select board chairman Bruce Hiland (in blue) looks on at left.  (Photo:  Brian Mann)
Eileen Simollardes (at right) from Vermont Gas outlines the pipeline project. Cornwall select board chairman Bruce Hiland (in blue) looks on at left. (Photo: Brian Mann)

NY-VT tension shapes Ticonderoga gas pipeline project

The US and Canada are carrying more and more energy produced in North America on rail tank cars. That's controversial, especially after this summer's disaster in Lac-Megantic.

But there's also a fierce debate underway over construction of new pipelines to carry the surge of domestic natural gas and oil. Much of the controversy has focused on the Keystone XL project in the Midwest. But we have our own pipeline battle shaping up here in the North Country.

A company in Vermont hopes to build a new line that would feed natural gas from Vermont underneath Lake Champlain to the International Paper mill in Ticonderoga. Some environmental activists and local government leaders in Vermont are promising to block the project unless major changes are made.  Go to full article

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