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Peace and War

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NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

What Owens still needs to know before Syria vote

North Country Congressman Bill Owens says he needs more information before deciding whether to vote for or against military action against Syria.

The Democrat says he believes President Obama has demonstrated that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was behind a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria last month.

Owens praises President Obama for seeking Congressional approval before authorizing military action against Syria. "There's been a fair amount of criticism against the executive branch over the last, probably, 30 or 40 years," says Owens, "for usurping Congress' prerogative relative to the declaration of war, so I thought this was a good move."

But how Owens will vote is another matter. He's still undecided. And he says he recognizes that Americans are weary of war.  Go to full article
Josh Jones, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, takes a chemistry test at Paul Smiths College. Photo: Mark Kurtz

As war winds down, vets face job hurdles

The U-S has made big gains in recent years, helping young military veterans re-integrate into civilian life. Unemployment for men and women who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq has dropped.

But the jobless rate and homelessness for young service-members remains higher than for the population overall.

And veteran advocate groups say many vets still face discrimination and a lack of opportunity.

Last year, we profiled a group of military veterans studying at Paul Smiths College.

That series, produced in partnership with WBEZ-Chicago, was recognized this summer with a national award from the Public Radio News Director's association.

Here's the second part of Brian Mann's profile that first aired in November.  Go to full article
U.S. Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)

Owens: no "troops on the ground," undecided on Syria authorization

President Barack Obama is trying to convince Congress that the U.S. should take military action against Syria's regime. Administration officials say President Bashar Assad's forces used chemical weapons on their own people last month near Damascus.

After senior administration officials briefed dozens of members of Congress Sunday, there were some Republicans and Democrats who said they need more evidence.

In a statement over the weekend, North Country Congressman Bill Owens, a Democrat from Plattsburgh, said he's still "opposed to placing United States troops on the ground." But he said was "encouraged by the president's decision to seek Congressional authorization before carrying out any military action."  Go to full article
Photo: Claudia Marshall

Charlotte, VT studio hosts the return of the Sierra Leone All Stars

The story of the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars is one of triumph: Displaced by a bloody civil war, a group of musicians forms a band in a refugee camp.

They meet...  Go to full article
Winooski residents applauded when the city council voted to oppose the F-35. Photo: Sarah Harris

Winooski city council says no to fighter jets

Two communities near the Burlington Airport are voting on the F-35 this week. On Monday, South Burlington approved the plane. But the Winooski City Council voted unanimously...  Go to full article
An anti F-35 sign in front of Chamberlin School. Photo: Sarah Harris

South Burlington city council approves fighter jet

Last night the South Burlington City Council changed their mind on the F-35. The council voted three to two in support of basing the fighter jet at the Burlington airport....  Go to full article
Student crews work on the MQ-9 Reaper at the Hancock field Air National Guard base near Syracuse, NY. Photo: David Sommerstein

Military drones raise local questions

There's controversy about the Obama Administration's use of drones, or unmanned military aircraft, to kill alleged terrorists. Critics have said the attacks violate...  Go to full article
World War II veteran Robert Thomas and his wife, Margaret, view vintage copies of the Watertown Daily Times from the 1940s.  The newspapers are part of an exhibit at the Colton Museum. Photo: Todd Moe

Colton remembers World War II with stories, music

The Colton Museum will remember World War II history tonight with an evening of music and stories from the 1940's. Local historians collected remembrances from Colton...  Go to full article
An unidentified girl plants a flag on Memorial Day in Saranac Lake (NCPR photo)

A beautiful day to remember

Memorial Day services were held across the North Country yesterday, with parades and prayers and wreath-layings.

"The freedoms we as Americans enjoy and cherish...  Go to full article
A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. NCPR file photo

For Fort Drum soldiers, frequent deployments "'til the end" in Afghanistan

It's a busy time for Fort Drum, near Watertown. Even as the country prepares to leave Afghanistan, the Army post has parts of two brigades deployed. Its aviation unit is...  Go to full article

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