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News stories tagged with "st-lawrence-valley"

Water Woes In Adirondacks Could Change Constitution

In these final hours of the legislative session, North Country lawmakers are hoping to push through a bill that would allow local governments to drill for water on state forest preserve land. If approved, the legislation would launch a lengthy process to amend New York's Constitution. Brian Mann has our story.  Go to full article
Lynee Erlenbach and her sisters show off latch-hook rugs they made.
Lynee Erlenbach and her sisters show off latch-hook rugs they made.

Homelessness: Surviving the School Shuffle

In the North Country, homelessness often means something different than sleeping on a park bench or under a bridge. A family who can't afford a home may move in with relatives, then a month later into a motel room, then into a low-rent apartment, and on and on. Each time the family moves, the children have to get used to new surroundings, new people, and new routines. And in many cases, they have to go to a new school. Preliminary studies show up to a third of the students in many districts don't end the academic year in the same school they started. On the second day of our series, Close to Homeless, we look at how transiency affects kids' education and the schools they attend. David Sommerstein has our story.  Go to full article
Plattsburgh AFB
Plattsburgh AFB

Precision Jet Hopes to Build Maintenance Hub (and Jobs) at Plattsburgh AFB

A Syracuse-based company hopes to build a major aviation maintenance hub at the old Plattsburgh Air Force Base. On Friday, Precision Jet signed a memorandum of understanding with officials in Clinton County that brings the project one step closer to reality. But some critics say the company's reputation -- and their demands for tax relief --- raise serious questions about the deal. Brian Mann spoke with Joe LoTemplio, a reporter with the Plattsburgh Press Republican who has been following the story.  Go to full article
Lampson Falls
Lampson Falls

A Whitewater Paddle on the Grasse River

The high water season of spring gives paddlers an opportunity to run the North Country's best stretches of whitewater. Every year the Adirondack Mountain Club's Laurentian chapter sponsors a classic run on the Grasse River in southwestern St. Lawrence County. From the put-in at Lampson Falls to the town of Russell, the river roars down 9 cascades and miles of rapids. David Sommerstein hitched a ride in the trip leader's canoe and sends this audio postcard.  Go to full article

Massena Businessman Proposes Regional Airline

The federal program that subsidizes air service in rural areas, including the North Country, has faced cuts under the current budget deficit. Lawmakers have fought to keep the service alive, saying it's the only way for airports like Massena, Watertown, and Saranac Lake to remain viable. Under the current system, operated by Mesa Air, all flights go to Pittsburgh. A Massena entrepreneur sees the situation as an opportunity. Ed Kaneb, Jr. is seeking $30-50 million to start his own regional commuter airline based in Massena. It would fly to Syracuse, with connections to northeast cities like Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, and New York City. Kaneb Jr. spoke with David Sommerstein. He sees the large population centers across the border as potential markets.  Go to full article

Write-In Candidate Takes Messages to Colleges

A controversial St. Lawrence County activist is taking his write-in campaign for Congress to college campuses. Donald Hassig is challenging Republican Congressman John McHugh's expected bid for re-election. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Kraft Shutdown Later, Then Ripples

When Kraft ceases cheese production in Canton, the economic effects will be significant, but not bad enough to force many farmers out of business. That's according to Chuck Nicholson, a senior research associate at Cornell University. He prepared a computer model of a Kraft shutdown based on national markets. It predicts a drop in milk prices, the lowest in St. Lawrence County, with ripples felt throughout the Northeast. Speaking with David Sommerstein, Nicholson estimates the average dairy farm could lose up to $12,000. New York could lose $18 million statewide.  Go to full article
Ken Hill in his Atlasta Farms "office" in Lisbon
Ken Hill in his Atlasta Farms "office" in Lisbon

Redefining North Country Agriculture

There's a big change underway in North Country agriculture. The number of dairy farms has plummeted since the 1990s. Most of the victims are mid-size family operations. Large farms are on the rise, but so are small ones. According to the latest agricultural census, there are more 10 to 50 acre farms in New York now than any year since 1974. And most of those don't milk cows. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Specialist Mike Ames in Iraq
Specialist Mike Ames in Iraq

NY Guard on the Ground in Iraq

Families from across the North Country have already begun hearing from their loved ones in Iraq. More than 700 members of New York's National Guard have begun a year-long deployment there. They're a part of the United States' largest troop rotation since World War 2, involving more than 200,000 soldiers. Periodically we'll be checking in with soldiers and families. David Sommerstein spoke Tuesday with Molly Ames of Watertown about her son, specialist Mike Ames. She says his unit flew to Kuwait three weeks ago and then convoyed into Iraq.

The Ogdensburg Family Readiness Group is seeking donations for care packages for soldiers. You can contact Molly Ames at 315-323-0873, mba7@cornell.edu, or Sheri Smith at 315-347-2611, ssmith32@twcny.rr.com.  Go to full article

ESCO to Power Up North Country

North Country businesses will soon have a new option for buying electricity. A St. Lawrence County couple is starting an Energy Services Company, or ESCO, that will buy and sell power on long-term contracts. As David Sommerstein reports, the ESCO hopes to boost the local economy, support renewables like wind and hydro, and promote energy efficiency.  Go to full article

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