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News stories tagged with "military"

Watertown Copes With Growing Pains

The greater Watertown area is experiencing a period of tremendous growth. Once known as an industrial city powered by the Black River, Watertown's economy today is driven by the nearby Fort Drum Army base. Almost 6,000 new soldiers and their families are moving to the region as a part of a military reshuffling - almost a 20% population increase. The growth is fueling new home construction and new businesses. And the city is reshaping its downtown and its waterfront. Local leaders have invited renowned economic development expert Michael Kinsley to help them harness growth in the region. Kinsley will speak at a community forum at Jefferson Community College tonight at 7. David Sommerstein spoke with 3 community leaders about the challenges and opportunities they face. Mary Corriveau is the city of Watertown's manager. Don Alexander is with the Jefferson County Job Development Corporation. And Denise Young directs JCC's Center for Community Studies. Young says she wants to preserve Watertown's small-town feel as the community expands.  Go to full article

Ft Drum Support Group Gets Federal Grant

The community group in Watertown that spreads good news about Fort Drum will get $500,000 to help keep the army base open. The state grant will allow the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization to advocate for the base as the Pentagon enters a new round of base closures this year, known as BRAC. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

A Soldier in Iraq Goes Home

For the last 10 months, we've been hearing audio diaries from Baghdad from Corporal Bill Putnam. He's a photojournalist with the Army's 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. He and David Sommerstein met in Kosovo several years ago. Earlier this month, Putnam completed his tour of duty in Iraq. He flew out of the country on a Blackhawk helicopter and sent one last audio diary.  Go to full article
A U.S. soldier guards the suspected terrorist cell leader before the interrogation.  (Photo by Bill Putnam)
A U.S. soldier guards the suspected terrorist cell leader before the interrogation. (Photo by Bill Putnam)

In the First Person: An Insurgent Interrogation in Baghdad

Iraqi officials estimate voter turnout was higher than the 57 percent predicted before the yesterday's election. Iraqis stood in long lines to vote in defiance of mortar attacks, suicide bombers and boycott calls. But in some regions, turnout is estimsted in the single digits, as the pace of bombings and other violent attacks dissuaded many from voting. The capital city, Baghdad, is among the most dangerous places. That's where Army photojournalist Bill Putnam is stationed. Putnam's with the 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. He's been sending us audio diaries of his experiences. Today he tells us about the December interrogation of a suspected insurgent.  Go to full article

Coalition Developing Homeless Safety Net

A shortage of affordable housing is also pinching people outside the Adirondack Park. An influx of 5000 new soldiers to Fort Drum near Watertown has caused a real estate boom in Jefferson, Lewis, and western St. Lawrence Counties. As David Sommerstein reports, a new coalition wants to help low-income people struggling to find a place to live.  Go to full article

Drum Boosters Braced for Base Closure Process

This year the U.S. military will conduct its first base closure process since the Griffis and Plattsburgh Air Bases were closed in 1995. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has said the military needs to trim its infrastructure by as much as 20%. Many lawmakers agree small- and medium-sized posts are most vulnerable. But as David Sommerstein reports, supporters of Fort Drum near Watertown are taking no chances.  Go to full article

Audio Diary: A Raid on an Insurgent Suspect

There are fewer than three weeks until national elections in Iraq. Insurgent attacks on U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and citizens continue. Last week, the commander of American ground forces in Iraq told the New York Times 4 of 18 provinces in the country are still not safe enough for people to vote. One of those provinces is Baghdad, where Army photojournalist Corporal Bill Putnam is stationed with the 122nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment. He's been sending us audio diaries. Troops frequently conduct raids to find insurgent leaders. Putnam went on one raid last month in the Al-Rashid neighborhood of Baghdad. Soldiers were looking for a suspected cell leader of Sunni insurgents. Here's Putnam's audio diary.  Go to full article

National Guardsmen Return From Iraq Delayed

National guard officials say north country reservists won't make it home in time for a New Year's Eve ceremony at Fort Drum. A demobilization ceremony scheduled for next week is now slated for January 3rd. Families were informed this week that the 2nd of the 108th battalion ha been delayed inside Iraq. It remains unclear when the seven hundred New York soldiers will leave the war zone. Two soldiers from the Glens Falls area were killed over the last year by Iraqi insurgents. Two other reservists from other parts of New York state were also killed. A half-dozen other members of the unit were seriously wounded.  Go to full article

More Ft. Drum Deployments Bring Acceptance, Frustration

Up to 10,000 soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum near Watertown, will rotate into combat beginning next spring or summer. Members of the 1st Brigade will go to Iraq. Soldiers in the 3rd and 4th Brigades and a headquarters company will go to Afghanistan. It's the second deployment for many of them since September 11th, 2001. As David Sommerstein reports, the orders came as no surprise, but they're stirring up some resentment.  Go to full article
Concerned forest residents gather at Michael and Lis<br />Barsuglia-Madsen's house.
Concerned forest residents gather at Michael and Lis
Barsuglia-Madsen's house.

Military Training in State Forest Upsets Residents

The public will get a chance to weigh in this week on a controversial proposal to train Fort Drum soldiers in a Lewis County state forest. The Department of Environmental Conservation will hold a meeting Wednesday night at 7 at the Harrisville Central School regarding the Jadwin State Forest. Fort Drum is undergoing a massive expansion. Military planners are seeking more places to practice complex operations and maneuvers. But as David Sommerstein reports, many locals who live near the forest say it should be left alone.  Go to full article

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