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NCPR News Staff: Brian Mann
News Reporter and Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Watertown businessman Matt Doheny in 2012. NCPR file photo: David Sommerstein
Watertown businessman Matt Doheny in 2012. NCPR file photo: David Sommerstein

NY21 Republican primary goes from sour to bitter

The bitter fight between Republicans Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik just got a little more fierce. The two are running to replace Democrat Bill Owens in the 21st Congressional District. Owens is retiring at the end of this year.

The Stefanik campaign announced yesterday that she plans to challenge petitions filed by Doheny for the Conservative and the Independence Party ballot lines.  Go to full article
The rusty blackbird may vanish from the Adirondacks. Photo: Larry Master, used with permission
The rusty blackbird may vanish from the Adirondacks. Photo: Larry Master, used with permission

Iconic Adirondack birds face sharp decline

A new study is raising alarm about the future of some of the Adirondack Park's most iconic birds. The report from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Program found sharp decline among six bird species that live in the Park's boreal wetlands.

Michale Glennon is the group's science director and her study was published this month in the journal Northeastern Naturalist. Glennon told Brian Mann that some of these birds may eventually vanish from the North Country, pressured by habitat loss, pollution and climate change.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake village Mayor Clyde Rabideau is pushing hard to see two new hotels built in his community. Photo:  Brian Mann
Saranac Lake village Mayor Clyde Rabideau is pushing hard to see two new hotels built in his community. Photo: Brian Mann

Rabideau's second term Saranac Lake bucket list

Clyde Rabideau has been a political fixture in the North Country for decades, first as the long-time mayor of Plattsburgh, and for the last four years as mayor of Saranac Lake. As he begins his second term as village mayor, Rabideau says he has a long list of projects he hopes to push to completion in the next four years.

Topping the list are two new hotels and a parking garage proposed for the downtown area. One of those hotels, on the shore of Lake Flower, has sparked questions about the size and the environmental impact, as well as concerns that the project might lie inside the Saranac River's flood plain.

Rabideau sat down this week with Brian Mann to talk about those challenges.  Go to full article

Gillibrand says she'll revive military sexual assault bill

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she plans to keep fighting for a bill that would change the way rape and sexual assault crimes are prosecuted in the US military.

She says thousands of service members now being assaulted each year deserve more protection.  Go to full article
Downtown Glens Falls. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Downtown Glens Falls. Photo: Mark Kurtz

Growing Glens Falls region means more infrastructure needs

During a visit to Glens Falls yesterday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand stopped by the campus of Adirondack Community College to meet with local economic development leaders. Unlike much of the North Country, the economy in the Glens Falls region is strong, with unemployment just over 5 percent and a wave of new construction and new businesses.  Go to full article
A rash of potholes in Westport, NY, is pretty typical of damage across the North Country. Photo: Brian Mann
A rash of potholes in Westport, NY, is pretty typical of damage across the North Country. Photo: Brian Mann

Cuomo says pothole rescue is on the way

If you feel like the shock absorbers on your car are giving out this spring-- you're not alone. The harsh winter did massive damage to roads across the North Country and that's made driving tough in many communities.

Now New York state says it will help local governments make repairs, adding tens of millions of dollars to grants for resurfacing roads and bridges. In a statement issued last week, governor Cuomo announced that $40 million would be added to the grants made available to local governments to help them with what he called the "exceptionally harsh winter."

That's about a 10 percent increase in state support for local transportation infrastructure - money that goes to counties, towns and villages.  Go to full article
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pursued an aggressive prison reform agenda in his first term. NCPR File photo: Mark Kurtz
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pursued an aggressive prison reform agenda in his first term. NCPR File photo: Mark Kurtz

Cuomo: "We must raise the age" juveniles are tried as adults

Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday named a new commission to look at whether teenagers should be tried in adult courts in New York. Last year, more than 30,000 16- and 17-year-olds were tried in adult courts in New York.  Go to full article
Robin Nagle, from Saranac Lake, is the anthropologist-in-residence in the New York City Sanitation Department.  Photo: Brian Mann
Robin Nagle, from Saranac Lake, is the anthropologist-in-residence in the New York City Sanitation Department. Photo: Brian Mann

America's never-ending war against garbage

We've all had the experience of being told that it's our turn to take out the trash. Or sort the recycling. Or make the weekly trip to the dump.

More and more of us are trying to reduce the amount of waste we produce, by composting and buying stuff with less packaging.

But Americans still produce massive amounts of garbage.

And the way we deal with it shapes our lives and the future of our communities and our environment.  Go to full article
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July.  File photo.  Brian Mann
Chateaugay Correctional Facility, source of 110 jobs in northern Franklin County, is slated to close in July. File photo. Brian Mann

Chateaugay prison closure will hurt local business, town supervisor says

The town of Chateaugay in northern Franklin County is still reeling from news that their local correctional facility will close in July of this year. That news was confirmed last week in the budget deal hammered out in Albany.

Don Bilow, Chateaugay town supervisor, says the prison closure will hurt the community's wider business community.  Go to full article
Brian Fischer led New York's corrections department for seven years from 2007 until 2013, a time when nine state prisons were mothballed.  Photo:  Brian Mann
Brian Fischer led New York's corrections department for seven years from 2007 until 2013, a time when nine state prisons were mothballed. Photo: Brian Mann

The man who led a revolution inside NY prisons

For decades, New York has maintained one of the largest -- and fastest growing -- prison systems in the country.

At its peak, more than seventy thousand men and women were held in state correctional facilities, many on lengthy mandatory drug sentences.

But over the last few years, the prison system has begun to shrink dramatically, with thirteen facilities closed or in the process of shutting down.

That quiet revolution was led in large part by former Corrections commissioner Brian Fischer, who stepped down last year after seven years in the post.  Go to full article

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Brian Mann. Nancie Battaglia photo

Brian Mann
grew up in Alaska, where he fell in love with public radio. In 1999, Brian moved to the Adirondacks and helped launch NCPR's news bureau at Paul Smiths College. "I love the chemistry of water and mountains," Brian says. "But I'm also pretty crazy about village life in the north country. It's the kind of place where you know your neighbors." Brian lives in Saranac Lake with wife Susan and son Nicholas. He's a frequent contributor to NPR and also writes regularly for regional magazines, including Adirondack Life and the Adirondack Explorer.

Recent Brian Mann stories carried by NPR:

AP
January 2, 2014 | NPR · Parts of the Northeast and New England are expected to be hit the hardest today and Friday. More than a foot of snow may fall on Boston. The wind chill may plunge to 40 degrees below zero in the Adirondacks. Flight delays and cancellations are piling up along with the snow.
 
AP
December 16, 2013 | NPR · Forty seven people died in July when a freight train derailed and dozens of tanks carrying oil exploded and caught fire. Much of Lac-Megantic was leveled. For the first time since then, freight cars will travel through this week. Officials say they'll only carry "dry goods." Residents are worried.
 
October 29, 2013 | NCPR · With just a hundred days to go before the Winter Olympic Games open in Russia, even many gold medalists are still fighting for a place on Team USA. Justin Olsen, a bobsledder from San Antonio, Texas, helped the U.S. win a historic gold medal four years ago in Vancouver, but he's struggled to overcome injuries in the lead-up to Sochi.
 
September 10, 2013 | NPR · New York adopted one of the toughest gun control laws in the U.S. — banning the sale of assault rifles and banana clips. Many of the state's county sheriffs hate the law and some say they won't enforce it. The fight over gun rights and gun safety has become a hot issue in sheriff races, as local law enforcement officials seek re-election in rural counties.
 
July 26, 2013 | NPR · More than two weeks after a fiery train crash left 47 dead in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, the town's center remains in shambles, while a criminal investigation and lawsuits are underway.
 
July 11, 2013 | NPR · In Lac Megantic, Quebec, locals are waiting impatiently for answers following Saturday's train explosion that left 50 people dead. The provincial government in Quebec is blasting the railroad at the center of this disaster for responding too slowly — and requesting more aid from Canada's federal government to help the rural town rebuild.
 
November 4, 2012 | NPR · As New York City's first responders begin to show fatigue, and in many cases deal with losses of their own homes, replacement crews of firefighters are getting ready to roll into Manhattan and Long Island. Among them are a group of firefighters from a small rural fire station in the mountains of upstate New York.
 
istockphoto.com
April 30, 2012 | NPR · The Obama administration backed off a proposal to restrict kids under 16 from working on farms after a major push by conservatives and farm state Democrats. But farmers themselves weren't too happy about the restrictions, either.
 
February 18, 2012 | NPR · U.S. bobsled racers triumphed at the 2010 Winter Olympics, but it's been tough sledding ever since. The American team has lost big sponsors and struggled to win big races. This weekend, the world's top sled teams face off in Lake Placid, N.Y., for the world championships. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports that American athletes hope the home-track advantage will give them a shot at a medal.
 
September 4, 2011 | NPR · The massive clean-up from Tropical Storm Irene continues in upstate New York, but some cash-strapped rural communities say they're not sure how much they can afford to rebuild.