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News stories tagged with "st-lawrence-valley"

Plant Closure Another Blow to Dairy Industry

North Country Congressman John McHugh called the losing of the Kraft plant a dark period for Canton's economy and the region's dairy farmers.  Go to full article

A Regional Dairy Perspective for 2004

2003 was a surprisingly good year for dairy farmers in the North Country and around the Northeast. Crops grew well and the price farmers get paid for their milk rebounded after a two year slump. To get a forecast of the issues facing dairy in 2004, David Sommerstein spoke with Susan Harlow, managing editor of Northeast Dairy Business Magazine, a trade publication for dairy farmers in New York, New England, Pennsylvania and Maryland. She says the top issue will always be the price of milk.  Go to full article

Art Without Borders: Carmen D'Avino

Today we begin a series on art in the North Country with an artist profile. Carmen D'Avino began his career as a painter in the 1930s. He's been a World War II military filmmaker, a sculptor, and an avant-guarde animator in New York City. He was even nominated for an Academy Award. For the past 15 years he's lived in an old farmhouse in the St. Lawrence County town of Hammond. David Sommerstein stopped by for a visit and found a portrait of the creative process in action.  Go to full article

Alcoa Cuts 107 Jobs in Massena

The Aluminum Company of America is cutting more than a hundred jobs at its smelting plant in Massena. The decision announced late last week comes just after a one year reduction in power costs expires. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Agriculture Lobbyists Find Good News in Pataki Agenda

Governor Pataki's most prominent reference to agriculture in his State of the State speech Wednesday was a commitment to expand the state's farmland preservation and conservation program. Yesterday Pataki announced $12 million in grants to protect active farmland statewide, including on two North Country farms. As David Sommerstein reports, other good news for agriculture was hidden in the details of Pataki's message.  Go to full article

State Releases Smoking Violation List

The state health department has fined half a dozen North Country businesses for violating the smoking ban that went into effect in July, according to recently released records. Some bar owners are meeting next week to plan a strategy to fight back. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Housing Privatization Protects Fort Drum's Future

Last week, the Army announced California-based housing developer, Actus Lend Lease, won a contract to build 1200 new homes around Fort Drum for the base's soldiers and their families. The construction is expected to cost more than $300 million over ten years. Decisions the company makes will affect the base itself, as well as towns in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties, where many soldier families live. The plan is a part of a massive nationwide project to privatize military housing, called the Residential Communities Initiative, or RCI. David Sommerstein spoke with John Deans, chairman of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, about the privatization plan. Deans has toured bases around the country to learn more about RCI. He says on many bases, soldiers live in aging homes.  Go to full article
Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent)
Assemblyman Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent)

Aubertine Against Sales Tax Hike

Facing skyrocketing Medicaid and pension costs, county governments are mulling raising the sales tax to boost revenue next year. One North Country lawmaker who would have to approve the increase says he's against the idea. He says first, the state should take responsibility for causing the financial problems in the first place. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Counties Survive Budget Crunch Until Next Year

This fall, county governments across the North Country faced what many called 'a perfect storm' of financial distress. Increased pension and health care costs and skyrocketing payments into New York's Medicaid system were sucking money out of county coffers. But budget cuts and property tax hikes weren't as bad as expected. As David Sommerstein reports, the real problem may be next year.  Go to full article

Preventing Flu at School: To Close or Not

Yesterday, Colton-Pierrepont schools closed due to a large number of students reporting flu-like symptoms. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Guardino Elementary School in Clayton stayed open despite 15% of the student body being home sick. David Sommerstein got two opinions on whether closing school for a day helps stall spreading the flu.  Go to full article

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