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News stories tagged with "recession"

Green businesses in the black

When the banks failed and the recession hit last fall, lots of people predicted that the burgeoning green economy would get nipped in the bud. But that's not what happened. Julie Grant spoke with some business experts about the status of green companies.  Go to full article

County lawmakers confront impacts of a bleak state budget year

St. Lawrence County crafted an austere budget this year, one that would have been worse if not for $3 million in stimulus funding to help pay for Medicaid.

County legislators met with state lawmakers yesterday to assess the state's financial situation and its impact on the region's counties. There were few answers, and the meeting became a bleak lament of Albany gridlock. Martha Foley has more.  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

Common Wealth, Common Wisdom, pt.3: looking the Great Depression in the mirror

Each Monday this month, we're featuring new features from our Common Wealth, Common Wisdom project. North Country teens paired with senior citizens to explore the concept of entrepreneurship during the Great Depression, and today's Great Recession. When Chelsea Ross went across the street to interview her 90-year-old neighbor, Bill Cullen, she expected to hear some stories about working hard as a kid in the Great Depression era. She expected to get a 'how to' guide for surviving today's recession. What she got instead was different. What she got was a weird mirror on her life from 70 years before.  Go to full article

Story 2.0: heating oil prices less volatile

This morning, in our Story 2.0 series, we'll update the cost of home heating oil. In the North Country, the price per gallon is hovering around 2.50, a little lower than 2005 through 2007.
That's a relief to homeowners, and their suppliers. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Mary Rain, St. Lawrence County's Public Defender, shows her staff's overbooked schedules.
Mary Rain, St. Lawrence County's Public Defender, shows her staff's overbooked schedules.

Year of Hard Choices: public defenders swamped

Tonight, the St. Lawrence County legislature takes up a measure to increase the salaries of its public attorneys. The vote comes after more than half of the county's 21 lawyers have resigned in the last year. Many cited low pay and high workload for their departure. St. Lawrence may be an extreme example. But across the North Country, the recession is putting increased stress on lawyers in public defenders and district attorneys' offices. For our series, A Year of Hard Choices, David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

WEB EXTRA: more from the Open Space Institute on the land conservation crunch

Full interview with Kim Elliman, executive director of the Open Space Institute. Based in New York City, OPI is involved in land conservation from Maine to Georgia. Elliman spoke with Martha Foley for our series on how the recession is complicating the dynamics of land acquisition for conservation in the Northeast.  Go to full article

Dairy farmers drowning in debt

A Congressional panel overseeing the federal financial bailout says the recession is plunging many farmers deeper into debt and parts of the agricultural economy are in crisis. The panel singles out dairy farmers as among the hardest hit. Milk prices remain at 30-year lows. North Country lawmakers are pushing legislation in Congress to help. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Proposed Massena Community Center. Source: Salvation Army
Proposed Massena Community Center. Source: Salvation Army

Massena abandons Kroc center plans

Another blow for the reeling community of Massena. After years of work and planning, the village is giving up on its bid to build a $25-million community center. Massena was the only town in Upstate New York to win a highly competitive Kroc grant to build the facility. But the community couldn't raise enough money to fulfill the grant requirements. Massena town supervisor Gary Edwards says the community is shocked and disappointed. Massena has been devastated by job losses, with about 1000 layoffs this year, including the permanent closure of the General Motors plant and the temporary shutdown of an Alcoa smelter. Massena had to raise $2.4 million in operating expenses for the Ray and Joan Kroc foundation to give $23 million for the construction and endowment for a state-of-the-art community center. Major Donald Lance is the regional division commander for the Salvation Army, which was leading the campaign and would have run the center. He told David Sommerstein after three years of fundraising, the campaign had only raised a third of its goal.  Go to full article
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe
Ken and Katrina Hebb, owners of the Blackbird Cafe

A Year of Hard Choices: Bucking the trend, a business built to last

On Monday, SUNY Potsdam economics professor Greg Gardner described a theory of development that he believes may be a good fit for the North Country in today's economy. Instead of trying to hook that big fish to create hundreds of jobs at once, Gardner says make your community attractive to young entrepreneurs. "Having educated creative people who then want to live in your community because it's a nice place to live," Gardner says, "and if they can't find a job, they'll just make one." For today's installment of A Year of Hard Choices, we meet a Canton couple who fit this profile to a "T". Ken and Katrina Hebb own the Blackbird Café on the main corner in the village. They say despite the recession, their business is thriving. David Sommerstein has their story.  Go to full article

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