North Country

Capt. Michael Greenberger, Department of Defense CC some rights reserved via Flickr

Fort Drum's 2nd Brigade Combat Team is preparing for a January deployment to eastern Afghanistan. The deployment marks a shift for troops from combat to advising and assisting the Afghan security forces. 

Fort Drum connector road to I-81 opens

Dec 6, 2012

The highway project that creates a direct connection between Interstate 81 and Fort Drum's main gate opened Thursday.

New commanding general takes helm at Fort Drum

Dec 3, 2012

Major General Stephen Townsend has taken over command of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division following a ceremony at the post yesterday morning.  

Sarah Harris / NCPR

Over the last decade, new wind farms have changed America’s landscapes – and its power sources. The growth has been spurred by a production tax credit wind companies get in exchange for producing energy. But the credit is due to expire at the end of the year if Congress doesn’t renew it.

Owens holds on to North Country congressional seat

Nov 7, 2012

Democrat Bill Owens survived one of the most costly and bitter political campaigns in North Country history last night. He defeated Republican businessman Matt Doheny by about 4,000 votes.

Joanna Richards

As the wind began picking up Monday afternoon in Jefferson County, residents and officials were preparing for the high winds and water along shorelines expected from Hurricane Sandy.

Owens and Doheny face off in a televised debate

Oct 26, 2012
Amanda Morrison / Watertown Daily Times

The two major party candidates met for the last debate in the North Country's Congressional race last night in Watertown. Incumbent Democrat Bill Owens and Republican Matt Doheny sparred on well-trodden ground, like tax cuts, the deficit, and Medicare. They also differed, sharply at times, on a range of other issues.

Construction of the giant hydropower dam near Massena in the 1950s forever tamed the once wild St. Lawrence River. It allowed engineers to harness the river’s natural ebb and flow for energy production and to protect homes and ports at the same time. But in the process, it hurt the indigenous plants and animals that depend on those highs and lows to survive. The environmental group Save The River has been leading a charge to persuade the agency that controls water levels to return more natural ebbs and flows to the St. Lawrence. One way is by giving the younger generation of River residents a hands-on lesson.

Mark Kurtz

“Forever Wild” is the term in New York’s constitution used to describe state forest preserves in the Adirondacks. Community leaders in and around the park have used that term to inform their vision for economic development. Their slogan – and the name of a conference held annually at Clarkson University in Potsdam – is “Forever Wired.” The fourth conference continued a push to expand broadband internet access, and economic opportunity, in the Adirondacks.  

Local food economy overcomes obstacles

Aug 28, 2012
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Recently, local food has been turning up on more grocery store shelves and restaurants in upstate New York. But the local food economy still faces challenges to bringing agricultural products from farm to table.

Joanna Richards / WRVO

The remains of a Fort Drum soldier killed in Afghanistan earlier this month returned to home of the 10th Mountain Division on Sunday, and his funeral was held yesterday in Carthage, in Jefferson County.

At 28 years old, Staff Sergeant Daniel Rodriguez had a wife and three children – and four combat tours under his belt after 10 years of service in the Army.

Those who knew him said Rodriguez will be remembered for his humor, the love he had for his family, and the commitment he had to his military career.  

It's a national tradition for naturalization ceremonies for new U.S. citizens to be performed on Independence Day. This year,  a Fort Drum soldier participated in a ceremony at the White House on July 4.

Earlier this year, the American Lung Association unveiled an unpleasant surprise for Jefferson County residents. In a report on air quality across the country, the association gave the rural north country county a grade of "F" for ozone pollution, commonly known as smog. 

Army worms invade Jefferson County farms

Jun 30, 2012

A pest has invaded farm fields throughout Jefferson County. Army worms – actually caterpillars that transform into moths – migrate up from the south every year to Northern New York. But this year a major outbreak of the worms is causing a widespread threat to crops, and big financial losses to some farmers. 

Emergency services suffering from lack of volunteers

Jun 18, 2012

Recently, a local volunteer department was late responding to a fire in the town of LeRay in Jefferson County. The mutual aid system was activated and a nearby department responded to the blaze; fortunately, no one was hurt. But the incident did highlight a persistent and growing problem among the north country's primarily volunteer emergency services: a lack of manpower.

Bill Owens reaches out to Canadian companies

May 25, 2012

Representative Bill Owens is working to increase economic ties between the North Country and Canadian businesses.

The Democrat held a series of meetings in Canada this week in an effort to entice more Canadian companies to look to Northern New York for expansion.

Paco Lyptic via Flickr

Every spring, a state Department of Environmental Conservation biologist drives along north country highways at dawn or dusk, stopping every so often to pull over and listen to the nature sounds.

She's listening for the distinctive “peent” of the singing American woodcock, a brown speckled bird a little larger than a songbird with a long, narrow beak for pulling earthworms out of the newly thawed ground.

Russell, a Democrat from Theresa, has introduced legislation that will adjust the way school districts' wealth is measured.  Generally speaking, the poorer a district is, the more aid it gets. But it’s not a true sliding scale at the top and bottom ends.

Right now, the poorest districts are all lumped together in the same category, even though some may be much poorer than others. The same is true of the richest districts – they're all seen on equal footing, even though some may be much richer than others.

The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Wednesday issued an alert about a phone scam targeting residents of Watertown. A spokesman says three victims so far have contacted the office and have each lost between $300 and $700 to the scam. 

The scam offers consumers a loan, then asks them to wire the company hundreds of dollars – a supposed “application fee” or “loan insurance.”

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