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Special Reports

IED
Audio Slideshow:
Soldiers learn to spot IEDs at Ft. Drum
Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, kill more American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other weapon. David Sommerstein visits a hands-on IED training exhibit at Fort Drum near Watertown.
amish school
Audio Slideshow:
Ian Coristine: Thousand Islands photographer
Todd Moe visits photographer Ian Coristine on Raleigh Island, his seasonal home. River residents and visitors have probably seen Coristine aloft in his red ultralight aircraft searching the Thousand Islands for the perfect photo.
oiled heron
Audio Slideshow:
The Slick of '76: Looking Back and Forward
This summer marks the 30th anniversary of the “Slick of ‘76,” a 300,000-gallon oil spill in the heart of the Thousand Islands. The event re-shaped the way a generation views its relationship to the river. David Sommerstein reports.
prairie smoke
Audio Slideshow:
Chaumont Barrens: the North Country's Prairie
David Sommerstein takes a nature walk on this unique Nature Conservancy land that contains some of the nation's easternmost prairie habitat.
La Duchesse
Audio Slideshow:
Aboad La Duchesse in Clayton
La Duchesse is a 110-foot Gilded Age treasure that's become the crown jewel of the Antique Boat Museum's collection in Clayton. Todd Moe tours the historic houseboat.
La Duchesse
Audio Slideshow:
At a Grindstone Island Square Dance
Only 11 people live on Grindstone all winter, but when the weather changes, families who’ve spent generations of summers there return. On Saturday nights, the place to be is the big dance at Dodge Hall, especially when some fiddlers and callers get together for an old-fashioned square dance.
Audio Slideshow
Preserving the Indian River Lakes
Between the high profile destinations of the Thousand Islands and the Adirondacks, there's a hidden gem of a region. It's called the Indian River Lakes. David SOmmerstein sends an audio postcard.
Audio Slideshow
Iraq Through a Camera Lens: Watertown Daily Times Photojournalist Mark Dye
Mark Dye, a photojournalist with the Watertown Daily Times, spent a month in Baghdad earlier this winter. He was embedded with troops from Fort Drum, and sent daily photos and stories documenting the lives of soldiers and civilians in Iraq.
Audio Slideshow
Kayaking: The Blackwater Challenge
The U.S. Freestyle Kayaking Team trials in preparation for the world championships this winter in Australia, was held on the "Route 3 Wave" on the Black River near Watertown. Kayakers have 45 seconds to add up points for each trick they make. If the whitewater flushes them downriver, they can paddle their way back to the wave until time runs out. David Sommerstein reports.
Animated Film Videos & Audio Slideshow
Art Without Borders: Carmen D'Avino
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. For many years he lived in an old farmhouse in Hammond. David Sommerstein stopped by for a visit. This special report features nine videos of D'Avino's film work, most unavailable anywhere for decades. The artist died later in 2004.
Audio Slideshow
The Joy of Junk: Beachcombing with Captain Honk
A North Country angler and artist who spends most of his time on Lake Ontario turns junk found along the shoreline into fish sculptures. It's just one of the hobbies that keeps Tom Bintz, aka Captain Honk, busy as he divides his time between fishing, travel, art and demolition derby competitions.
Photo/Audio Essay
Inside Dark Island's Castle
On the St. Lawrence River near Chippewa Bay, a representative for the buyers of Dark Island and its historic castle gave David Sommerstein a peek of what visitors could see as early as next summer.
Kingston's Town Crier (and Tourism Manager) Chris Whyman. Photo: Chris Whyman
Kingston's Town Crier (and Tourism Manager) Chris Whyman. Photo: Chris Whyman

Hear ye! Kingston's Town Crier wins world tournament

Kingston, Ontario has something to shout about. The city's official town crier, Chris Whyman, has taken the top spot at the World Town Crier Tournament in England.

Whyman traveled to Chester to participate in the competition, which draws dozens of town criers from around the world.

Whyman is also the honorary town crier for the annual Sackets Harbor Can Am Festival. Todd Moe spoke with him about winning his third world title.

You can also hear him cry forth his official proclamation of welcome to Kingston, Ontario.  Go to full article
A successful test launch of an intercept missile in 2013. Photo: U.S. Missile Defense Agency

Support at Ft. Drum for missile site that may never be built

Fort Drum is one of four locations the military is considering for a missile defense site for the East Coast. The project could bring up to 1,800 jobs to the Watertown region.

Most people who showed up to a public hearing Tuesday night in Carthage supported the idea. The biggest question is whether the project will be built at all.  Go to full article
Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan in 2009. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids/4192352567/">DVIDSHUB</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Ft. Drum's 3rd Brigade deactivates as part of cuts

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) One of the Army combat brigades based at Fort Drum in northern New York is deactivating as part of Pentagon reductions announced last year.  Go to full article
Coast Guard checking a boat off Alexandria Bay. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/coastguardnews/8862036256/">Coast Guard News</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Coast Guard rescues five on St. Lawrence, one on Lake Ontario

ALEXANDRIA BAY, N.Y. (AP) It was a busy weekend for the U.S. Coast Guard patrolling the waters of the St. Lawrence River.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.lethbridge.ca/living-here/getting-around/Transit/PublishingImages/Need%20Work.JPG">Lethbridge Transit</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY kicks in to help job-seekers in Jefferson and Lewis counties

New York is kicking in up to $1.3 million to help the long-term unemployed find work in Jefferson and Lewis counties.

The grant is funded through the United...  Go to full article
Smoke from an poorly controlled outdoor wood furnace. Photo: NYS DEC

NY wants to help you buy a high efficiency wood furnace

Winter's still somewhat far off. But North Country residents who burn wood to heat their homes are already stacking cords for seasoning.

According to state...  Go to full article
John Sullivan. Photo: NYS Police

Watertown postal worker charged with felony eavesdropping

State police in Watertown say they've arrested a Post Office worker for allegedly eavesdropping on other postal service employees.

John Sullivan, age 50, has been...  Go to full article
Photo: Brad Miller

NY Antique Boat Museum holds its 50th annual show

CLAYTON, N.Y. (AP) The Antique Boat Museum on the St. Lawrence River is holding its 50th annual show and auction this weekend.

The Watertown Daily Times reports...  Go to full article
Marina at Keewaydin State Park. Photo: NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Three Thousand Island-area state parks get upgrades

Long Point State Park in Lyme and Crane Point State Park in Redwood both have new boat launches.

Keewaydin State Park near Alexandria Bay also has two new...  Go to full article
Photo courtesy <a href="http://www.visit1000islands.com">Thousand Islands Tourism Bureau</a>

Thousand Islands want help on what's scenic

This summer, the Thousand Islands region is on a mission: to prove to the State of New York that it deserves recognition as an area of "Scenic and Statewide Significance."...  Go to full article

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