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News stories tagged with "lewis-county"

Students in math class. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/8081867203/">woodleywonderworks</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
Students in math class. Photo: woodleywonderworks, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

Why Common Core is having a rocky start

New York's hasty implementation of the Common Core curriculum has become a lightning rod for criticism statewide. Tomorrow state education commissioner John King is holding public meetings to address teachers' and parents' concerns in Schroon Lake and Plattsburgh.

Steve Todd has been visiting classrooms across St. Lawrence county to see firsthand the stumbles and successes of the new curriculum. Todd is assistant superintendent of instruction for St. Lawrence & Lewis BOCES.

He told David Sommerstein he's seen teachers and students alike "rolling up their sleeves" to get used to more rigorous classwork and more homework.  Go to full article
Slicing and serving cheesecake in Lowville. Photo:  creamcheesefestival.com
Slicing and serving cheesecake in Lowville. Photo: creamcheesefestival.com

Lowville to unveil colossal cheesecake on Saturday

NCPR is media sponsor for Saturday's 9th annual Cream Cheese Festival in downtown Lowville. The event celebrates Lowville's distinction as home of the world's largest cream cheese manufacturing plant. Todd Moe spoke with Eric Virkler, Director of Economic Development and Planning for Lewis County, who says the event includes music, art, contests and lots of cheesecake. Virkler says a team from the Lowville Kraft plant will attempt to make a 6,000-pound cheesecake and set a new world record.  Go to full article
Loretta Lepkowski's <i>The Cow with the Golden Tail</i>, a pastel of Eric Sherman and Carl.
Loretta Lepkowski's The Cow with the Golden Tail, a pastel of Eric Sherman and Carl.

Old Forge Library exhibit highlights Tug Hill family farms

Lewis County artist Loretta Lepkowski's exhibit, Farming and Folks of the Tug Hill and Adirondack Region, is on display at the Old Forge Library this month. She says the inspiration for her narrative paintings comes from growing up on a southern Lewis County farm.  Go to full article
Juan Carlos (left) lives in a converted farm office in the barn of this dairy farm. He and Freddy want to be able to go home and come back to work on dairy farms here. Photo: David Sommerstein
Juan Carlos (left) lives in a converted farm office in the barn of this dairy farm. He and Freddy want to be able to go home and come back to work on dairy farms here. Photo: David Sommerstein

What undocumented dairy workers think of immigration reform

Dairy farmers - and their workers - have a lot at stake in the immigration debate underway in Washington.

A survey by Cornell University found that 2,600 Spanish-speaking people work on New York dairy farms. Of them, two thirds or more are here illegally. That's in part because there's no visa program for the kind of year-round workers dairy farms need.

The Senate's reform plan offers dairy farms new options for a legal supply of immigrant labor.

Undocumented Latino workers are scattered on bunches of dairy farms in the North Country. David Sommerstein spoke with some of them to see what they think of immigration reform.  Go to full article
People like Evaristo would become much more visible members of North Country communities if immigration reform passes. Photo: David Sommerstein.
People like Evaristo would become much more visible members of North Country communities if immigration reform passes. Photo: David Sommerstein.

How would legal immigration reshape the North Country?

Congress remains deeply divided over the shape of immigration reform. A split within the House GOP caucus endangers any kind of new legislation.

But let's imagine for a moment that the several thousand Latinos working on dairy farms in New York and Vermont could get legal working papers.

How would that change the region's rural communities?

Tom Maloney of Cornell University has been talking with dairy farmers and Latino dairy workers about this for years. He told David Sommerstein farmers are ready to guide their undocumented workers towards legal status.  Go to full article
Broadway star Lisa Vroman leads singers from Jefferson and Lewis counties in a vocal workshop last month in Lowville.  Photo:  Todd Moe
Broadway star Lisa Vroman leads singers from Jefferson and Lewis counties in a vocal workshop last month in Lowville. Photo: Todd Moe

Lisa Vroman: returning to her roots, sharing some musical inspiration

World-renowned soprano Lisa Vroman took a break from concerts and musical tours to return to her native North Country this spring.

Vroman, who grew up in Adams, just south of Watertown, and graduated from SUNY Potsdam's Crane School of Music, hosted a workshop for dozens of young singers in Lewis and Jefferson counties. The students auditioned before a panel of judges, including Vroman, in an event dubbed "Broadway Idol."

Some of the top students got an opportunity to sing on stage with Vroman at Lowville Academy as part of the Black River Valley Concert Series. Competition aside, for many of the students it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet a Broadway star with local roots.  Go to full article
Lewis County is best known for rolling hills and farm fields, but residents are feeling good about its economy, too. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougtone/">Doug Kerr</a> CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved </a>
Lewis County is best known for rolling hills and farm fields, but residents are feeling good about its economy, too. Photo: Doug Kerr CC some rights reserved

Lewis county residents bullish on economy

Earlier this year, Lewis County had the second highest unemployment rate in New York, behind the Bronx. But residents of Lewis County have a more positive economic outlook than they've had in years. That's according to a survey by Jefferson Community College.  Go to full article
The North Country's food deserts are in pink. Image: USDA
The North Country's food deserts are in pink. Image: USDA

Irrigating a rural "food desert"

You may have heard about "food deserts", low income areas in cities where supermarkets won't open because they won't make enough money. Area residents struggle to find affordable and fresh fruits and vegetables. Food deserts are widely considered to be one cause of America's obesity epidemic.

It turns out rural areas have "food deserts", too - even when there's a roadside farm stand right down the road, and the USDA's food desert map shows much of the rural North Country falls into that category.

Cornell Cooperative Extension recently won a $96,000 grant to try to improve both consumer access to fresh fruits and vegetables and local farm production. Jefferson and Lewis County Extension Research Educator Amanda Root spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article
Slicing and serving cheese cake at last year's festival in Lowville. Photo: creamcheesefestival.com
Slicing and serving cheese cake at last year's festival in Lowville. Photo: creamcheesefestival.com

All things Cream Cheese in Lowville

The largest cheesecake in the country will be the centerpiece of the 8th annual Lowville Cream Cheese Festival on Saturday. The event celebrates the region's dairy industry and the village's cream cheese plant. The day's events include music, activities for kids, contests, lots of food and the gigantic cheese cake. Todd Moe spoke with organizer Eric Virkler.  Go to full article
Synthetic drugs are marketed as "bath salts" or "plant food." This product is thought to mimic Ecstasy. Photo: <a href-"http://www.flickr.com/photos/666_is_money/">Raquel Baranow</a>, cc <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Synthetic drugs are marketed as "bath salts" or "plant food." This product is thought to mimic Ecstasy. Photo: Raquel Baranow, cc some rights reserved

Lewis County considers synthetic drug ban

Like many other local governments in New York, responding to the bizarre behavior of people using the drugs known as "bath salts," Lewis County is considering a ban on many of the compounds used in synthetic drugs. Reporter Joanna Richards spoke to Sheriff Michael Carpinelli about why the ban is needed. Joanna Richards reports.  Go to full article

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