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News stories tagged with "rural"

Enviros & health advocates praise burn ban

New York's ban on open burning took effect yesterday. With the exception of small brush and campfires, it's now illegal to burn trash, papers, plastics and even leaves anywhere in the state. The new law's provoked applause and outrage in places like the North Country, where backyard burn barrels have been a sign of everyday rural life. Supporters of the ban celebrated yesterday. And a project is ramping up to help farmers recycle the agricultural plastics many used to burn. David Sommerstein reports.  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

Planning giving in rural communities

Martha Foley talks with Jeff Yost, president and CEO of the Nebraska Community Foundation. He's in Canton today to speak to St. Lawrence County community leaders as keynote for the North Country Symposium.  Go to full article

Aubertine named head of NYS rural commission

State Senator Darrel Aubertine will head the state's legislative Commission on Rural Resources. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article
Bill Bishop
Bill Bishop

In 2008 rural America shows new political textures

Pundits and politicians are still sorting out the significance of last month's election. One big question is the role of rural voters. Small towns were Republican territory four years ago. But there are signs that some rural counties, especially in the Northeast, are trending Democratic. Brian Mann spoke with journalist and rural policy expert Bill Bishop, who says Democratic-leaning towns tend to have more educated citizens and higher incomes.  Go to full article

Crisis to force fundamental change in rural America?

One expert on rural communities believes the crisis gripping the financial markets is going to force fundamental changes in the country. Chuck Fluharty directs policy programs for the Rural Policy Research Institute. He told David Sommerstein a shortage of capital could create what he calls "a Main Street crisis."  Go to full article
Republican Sandy Treadwell canvases the fair
Republican Sandy Treadwell canvases the fair

Will rural voters stem the Democratic tide in the Northeast?

Republicans are struggling across the Northeast. The GOP suffered big losses in the region two years ago and polls suggest that 2008 could be even worse. One bright spot for the GOP is its rural base. Those same surveys show that small town voters still favor Republicans by wide margins. As Brian Mann reports, the rural advantage could make all the difference in key races, from New Hampshire to New York state.  Go to full article

GOP?s rural stronghold remains intact

This is widely seen as a year when Republicans are struggling. The GOP's "brand" has been damaged by scandals, by President Bush's low approval ratings, and by the unpopular war in Iraq. But surveys suggest that the GOP's rural stronghold remains largely intact. According to a recent Zogby poll, small town voters nationwide favor Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama by a sixteen-point margin. Those conservative rural voters could make the difference in key battleground states, from Colorado and New Mexico in the West to Ohio in the Midwest and New Hampshire in the East. Martha Foley talks with Brian Mann who covers rural politics for NCPR.  Go to full article

Communities invest in wind coops

Last week, the Spanish utility, Iberdrola, announced it wanted to invest $2 billion in wind power development in New York. Governor Patterson praised the company, saying the move would be an "unprecedented investment in clean energy" in the state. Big corporations are no strangers to New York wind power. Iberdrola is already part-owner of the massive Maple Ridge wind farm on the Tug Hill Plateau. JP Morgan owns the new wind farms in Clinton County. And BP Global wants to erect turbines in Cape Vincent. Many of the debates over wind farms in the North Country center around whether these companies give back as much as they reap in profits. A smaller company based in Minnesota is rolling out a different model on the High Plains of the Midwest. National Wind is developing 700 megawatts of wind power by inviting the host communities to become co-owners. CEO Leon Steinberg told David Sommerstein traditionally wind developers buy leases from landowners to erect turbines on their property. National Wind takes a different approach.  Go to full article

Roundtatble: politics keeps a high profile in New York and the North Country

With Republicans defending just a one seat majority in the state Senate, the race for the 48th Senate District seat has broad significance for New York. That was the first question this morning when David Sommerstein joined Martha Foley and Brian Mann for a roundtable on state and national politics.  Go to full article

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