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News stories tagged with "low-income"

Gouverneur-Watertown bus debuts in May

St. lawrence County is starting a new public transit route, bussing people between Gouverneur and Watertown. Missing links connecting the towns and villages of the rural North Country have long been considered an obstacle to economic development in the region. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Lowville, pt.2: inside the safety net

This week, we're viewing the recession through the lens of one North Country community: the village of Lowville in Lewis County. Yesterday we heard from Main Street merchants struggling to make a living. Climb the hill from Main Street, up the Tug Hill Plateau, toward the East's largest wind farm, and you reach Lewis County's social services building. Inside, caseworkers are flooded with new clients. Heating assistance and food stamp applications are up 40%. As David Sommerstein reports, those who hold the safety net want even more people to use it.  Go to full article
Gov. David Paterson spoke to a capacity crowd in Watertown.
Gov. David Paterson spoke to a capacity crowd in Watertown.

Paterson says 2009 "year of bad medicine"

Coming off his first State of the State address, Governor David Paterson is taking his prescription for the state's $15.4-billion deficit on the road. The first stop on his Upstate tour was last night at the North Side Improvement League in Watertown. His message to the packed house of 400 people was as grim as it was simple: 2009 will be "the year of bad medicine" for New York State. Paterson offered little new from previous speeches. But as David Sommerstein reports, his frankness appeared to win the crowd.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: CITGO to suspend free fuel to Akwesasne?

A piece of news yesterday brings us the next installment of our new series, "Story 2.0". We're revisiting stories from the North Country Public Radio archive to see what's happened since. CITGO, the U.S. branch of the national oil company of Venezuela, is stopping shipments of free heating oil for poor families in America's cities. That word came yesterday from the non-profit organization that distributes the fuel. CITGO also donates free heating oil to native tribes, including the Akwesasne Mohawks. The company has given away $1.5 million in heating oil to Mohawk families. David Sommerstein was there in 2006 when CITGO began the program, sparking some geopolitical controversy.  Go to full article
Tom Slater inside the Food Bank of CNY's warehouse.
Tom Slater inside the Food Bank of CNY's warehouse.

In tough times, a food bank is ready to provide

The economic recession is already hitting the North Country hard. St. Lawrence County has the highest unemployment rate outside of New York City. Layoffs and budget cuts across the region are forcing more people to food pantries and soup kitchens to feed their families. And it hasn't even gotten really cold yet. Food banks are reporting an increase in demand of anywhere from 10 to 50%. The Food Bank of Central New York sends millions of pounds of food to 47 pantries and soup kitchens in St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties. It's been preparing for years for tough times like these. Now the system believes it's ready. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Jane "Granny" Bashaw, Katie Cariffe, and Lee Ann Pierce fear this winter's high heating costs.
Jane "Granny" Bashaw, Katie Cariffe, and Lee Ann Pierce fear this winter's high heating costs.

North Country prepares for winter heating crisis

It's still plenty hot outside, but North Country residents are already bracing for the cold. Heating oil prices have almost doubled. Kerosene and natural gas are way up, too. People are scared. Local officials fear a season-long crisis, with people have to choose between eating and staying warm. Many communities are taking unprecedented steps to get prepared. David Sommerstein has the first of two reports.  Go to full article

Drum housing crunch to crest in spring

North Country Public Radio is looking at a boom of large-scale real estate developments across the region in an ongoing series. In the Watertown area, homebuilders and rehabbers have been trying to catch up with a population explosion driven by the Army's expansion at Fort Drum. The military's expecting roughly 10,000 people -- soldiers plus families -- to relocate to the region as the 10th Mt. Division grows. Kevin Jordan is with the Development Authority of the North Country, which is overseeing a housing plan for the region. He told David Sommerstein the real crunch will come in the spring, when more than 6,000 Fort Drum soldiers return from a year in Afghanistan.  Go to full article

CITGO to heat Akwesasne for free

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe is getting a big gift from South America. Venezuela's state-owned CITGO oil company is offering free home heating oil to residents who live on the U.S. side of the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Advocates hope for more LIHEAP funding

National Grid expects the price of natural gas to decline sharply this winter by about 11 %. Weather forecasters are calling for another relatively mild winter, but the odds are it'll still be colder than last year. Low income advocates are worried about heating assistance for the poor. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

Doctors learn strategies to treat Amish

Providing health care to Amish communities poses unique challenges. So unique that the subject will have its own breakout session this week at the 5th Annual Conference on Rural Health. The conference starts today in Chatauqua.
Melissa Thomas is a social worker with the Community Outreach of Ohio Health. 10 years ago she got a grant to do breast cancer screenings in the Appalachian area of Ohio. She realized that Amish women weren't showing up at the mammogram clinics. So she got a mobile booth to come to them. As she told Gregory Warner, that still wasn't enough.  Go to full article

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