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News stories tagged with "low-income"

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Photo: Mark Kurtz
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Photo: Mark Kurtz

Gillibrand wants food stamps, milk price reform in Farm Bill

Congress is back to work on a new five year Farm Bill. The Senate passed one last year, but the House of Representatives couldn't agree on the size of cuts to the food stamp program and other issues.

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says preserving food stamps is "a moral issue." And she says there's a way to pay for them.  Go to full article
Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Kirsten Gillibrand. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Gillibrand: minimum wage should be even higher

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making the case that New York's proposed minimum wage increase to $9 an hour is actually not enough. She is co-sponsoring a bill to raise the minimum wage nationwide to $10.10 an hour.  Go to full article
Then Chief Jim Ransom introducing CITGO officials in 2006. Photo: David Sommerstein.
Then Chief Jim Ransom introducing CITGO officials in 2006. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Story 2.0: Mohawks give thanks to Venezuela's Chavez

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is stirring up as much controversy after his death as he did during his life.

Chavez was a strident opponent of the United States. But he also helped many poor people, even in the U.S.

Republicans slammed New York Democrat Jose Serrano yesterday for praising Chavez on this point. Under Chavez, Venezuela's national oil company, CITGO, donated 200 million gallons of home heating oil to low income Americans, including to Mohawks in Akwesasne.

David Sommerstein reported on the program in 2006. He checks back in for our Story 2.0 series, where we revisit stories from the NCPR archive.  Go to full article

Plenty at stake in farm bill standoff

UPDATE: Thursday afternoon, the Wall Street Journal reports House Speaker John Boehner has officially confirmed that the farm bill won't be taken up until after the November elections.

North Country farmers are anxiously watching the status of the new farm bill in the House of Representatives. The current farm bill expires on September 30. The Senate passed a new five-year, $497 billion farm bill over the summer. But House leadership has yet to let its version come to the floor for a vote. "Tea Party" Republicans want to see much deeper cuts in the biggest item in the bill -- the federal food stamp program.

So what if the Farm Bill isn't passed by the end of the month? How would that affect North Country agriculture?  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

Budget leaves out vulnerable?

A number of groups have been left out of Governor Cuomo's budget - the largest- is schools, who have been cut by a billion and a half dollars, but many of society's most vulnerable are complaining that they received short shrift in the governors budget, too.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: Job hunting "worse than ever"

Millions of Americans whose unemployment benefits have run out are breathing a sigh of relief. The Senate is poised to pass legislation today restoring the benefits. The measure would then go to the House for a final vote. It is expected to pass then go on to President Barack Obama later this week.

A continuing fear of social services folks is what happens when unemployment benefits do run out. The jobless rate still hovers around 10%, and that doesn't include people who have stopped looking for a job out of frustration. Last December, the staff at One Stop Career Center in Canton predicted "a tsunami of job seekers" this year. It turns out they were right. In our ongoing series Story 2.0, we'll revisit the One Stop Career Center. But first, here's an excerpt from David Sommerstein's story from last winter.  Go to full article

Census 2010: the challenges of counting every head

This spring, an army of temporary workers will fan out across the North Country to count its residents for the 2010 census. The federal government is spending $300 million nationwide to remind people to fill out their census forms. The stakes are high, especially in places like New York, where the population has been declining. Census figures are used to draw legislative districts and distribute federal and state money.

So the pressure is on in northern New York to count as many people as possible. St. Lawrence County got a federal grant to reach out to hard-to-count populations, like college students, the Amish, and Mexican dairy workers. John Tenbush is a planner with St. Lawrence County. He spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article

Year of Hard Choices: Classes and hope at career centers, but few jobs

Over the last year, the NCPR news team has been reporting on the impacts of the so-called Great Recession in our series, A Year of Hard Choices. What we didn't necessarily consider is that the year after the recession could be even tougher for many people. Unemployment remains around 10% throughout much of the North Country. The manufacturing sector has been hit hard with massive job losses, from General Motors and Corning in St. Lawrence County, to Pfizer in Clinton County, to New York Air Brake and Covidien in Watertown.

During 2010, those workers' jobless benefits will begin to run out. And they will join an already overcrowded market of job seekers. The situation is making for stressful times at the state-run career centers across the region. At the One Stop Career Center in Canton, the unemployed are trying to stay busy and keep their hopes up. David Sommerstein reports.

CORRECTION: The correct title of the employment center is "One Stop Career Center".  Go to full article
Tom Slater inside the Food Bank of CNY's warehouse.
Tom Slater inside the Food Bank of CNY's warehouse.

Story 2.0: In prolonged time of need, food bank still provides

As the unemployment rate in much of the North Country remains just under 10%, more families are struggling to put food on the table. Thousands of people live with food insecurity - that means at some point, they don't know where their next meal will come from. Demand at the region's food pantries and kitchens is up. But the Food Bank of Central NY says it's been planning for this kind of crisis for years, and it's still ready and able to fill the demand. Todd Moe and David Sommerstein revisit a story from 2008.  Go to full article

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