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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.
Kate Ebbing takes inspiration from the real clouds on a beautiful day in Clayton. Photo: David Sommerstein
Kate Ebbing takes inspiration from the real clouds on a beautiful day in Clayton. Photo: David Sommerstein

Hairdresser in Clayton applies artsy side to patriotism

It's Memorial Day weekend. Villages across the North Country are adding a patriotic flare to their Main Streets.

Just down Riverside Drive from the new hotel in Clayton, a hairdresser at River Day Spa & Salon was decorating their window front with an American flag motif on Tuesday. Kate Ebbing has been cutting hair there for two and a half years.  Go to full article
Soldiers in the River Hospital program created these "PTSD masks", now on display at the Antique Boat Museum. Photo: David Sommerstein

St. Lawrence River as therapy for Ft. Drum soldiers with PTSD

A new collaboration in the Thousand Islands will allow Fort Drum soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder to harness the healing qualities of the St. Lawrence River.

River Hospital in Alexandria Bay runs the nation's first outpatient therapy program for active-duty servicemen and women. 30 soldiers, many of them veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, spend every weekday at the hospital. They use group therapy and art therapy to learn to cope with the after effects of war.

Now the soldiers will display their art work at the Antique Boat Museum in nearby Clayton.  Go to full article
Darrel Aubertine as NYS Commissioner of Agriculture in 2012. Photo: NYS

Aubertine denies link to vote trading allegations

Allegations surfaced in the New York Post this week that longtime North Country politician Darrel Aubertine traded votes for campaign cash in 2008. The Cape Vincent Democrat denies the claims.

Martha Foley spoke with David Sommerstein to sort out who's saying what.  Go to full article

NY-21 GOP candidates Doheny and Stefanik both to appear at Watertown luncheon

The race for the North Country's congressional seat gets a little more up close and personal today, with Republican challengers Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik appearing at...  Go to full article
The Black River last Thursday, when it was over its banks. High water on the river is being cited as a hindrance in recovery efforts, as are fast-moving water and debris. Photo: Brian Caird

Canoeist missing on the Black River

Update 4/24: The search for a man missing on the Black River continues.

The unidentified man and an unidentified woman were canoeing just east...  Go to full article
"Lighthouse Rock Island" Rock Island Lighthouse, Thousand Islands, New York. Photo: Ted Van Pelt

Are the Thousand Islands scenic...enough?

The ice is out along much of the St. Lawrence River and the colors, sounds, and movement of Spring in the Thousand Islands region are on their way.

But here's a...  Go to full article
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter <em>Neah Bay</em>, homeported in Cleveland, works to keep the <em>CSL Laurentien</em> moving during an escort in eastern Lake Erie March 27, 2014. Photo: courtesy USCG

Relentless winter's ice delays St. Lawrence River shipping

Three U.S. Coast Guard cutter vessels are to help with annual ice-breaking operations in Thunder Bay's harbour on Lake Superior--the far end of the St. Lawrence Seaway....  Go to full article
Jefferson County legislative chairwoman Carolyn Fitzpatrick looks on as Sen. Charles Schumer speaks in Watertown Wednesday. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Schumer: Ft. Drum shouldn't "come within a whiff" of Army cuts

New York Senator Chuck Schumer says he's not afraid to use his political might to protect Fort Drum from cuts to the military budget. Schumer held a press conference at...  Go to full article
Congressional hopeful Elise Stefanik tours the Urban Mission in Watertown. Photo: David Sommerstein.

NY-21: Stefanik tours Watertown businesses

Congressional candidate Elise Stefanik swung through Jefferson County yesterday.

The Republican toured the Knowlton Technologies plant in Watertown, then visited...  Go to full article
Music Director Richard Probert conducts the Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble during a rehearsal at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards

Listen: Sackets Harbor choral group rehearses

The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble is preparing for a spring concert in Watertown.

Joanna Richards dropped by the group's second rehearsal to learn about...  Go to full article

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