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NCPR News Staff: Lucy Martin

Ottawa Correspondent
Lucy Martin covers regional news and events from her home in rural Ottawa. Her radio roots go back to the early years of Hawaii Public Radio, where she had many roles, including news anchor and station announcer. A family move traded ordinary Honolulu for exotic Canada in 1999. Lucy enjoys village life with her husband, Craig Miller. When not editing sound or text on her laptop, she likes to garden, read, travel and play outdoors. E-mail

Stories filed by Lucy Martin

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Enjoying the skateway in 2011. Photo courtesy C. Miller
Enjoying the skateway in 2011. Photo courtesy C. Miller

Rideau Canal Skateway opens today

This month's 'January thaw' was followed by colder temperatures. Enough, apparently, to put the final freeze on Ottawa's famous Rideau Canal Skateway.

Organizers said a 2.2 kilometer section would be open to the public as of 7 a.m.  Go to full article
Broken tree limbs on a Toronto, ON street, after high winds from Hurricane Sandy hit downtown on Monday night. Photo <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephmorris/">Joseph Morris</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
Broken tree limbs on a Toronto, ON street, after high winds from Hurricane Sandy hit downtown on Monday night. Photo Joseph Morris, CC some rights reserved

As Sandy weakens Ontario expects moderate wind and rain

Hurricane Sandy came ashore along the U.S. coast as a dangerous, powerful storm.

But by the time it is expected to cross into Canada later Wednesday, the much weaker system might only bring a few days of rain.  Go to full article
Ontario Plowman's Association president Ray Dedman.
Ontario Plowman's Association president Ray Dedman.

Ontario plowing contests celebrate farm skills

Plowing contests have been a popular feature of agricultural life in Ontario for well over a century. The gatherings put key skills on display, with different classes, based on age or equipment used. Horses, tractors and techniques are part of the show too, for the pleasure of interested crowds.

Retired dairy farmer Ray Dedman is this year's president of the Ontario Plowman's Association, which hosts an International Plowing Contest and Rural Expo this September, near Waterloo. Ontario's 44 regional plowing associations typically hold smaller contests in August as well.  Go to full article
Bert Cunningham enjoys the history behind each model ship
Bert Cunningham enjoys the history behind each model ship

Doran Bay Model Ship Museum: Bert Cunningham's labor of love

It's easy to miss the Doran Bay Model Ship Museum. Just off County Road 2 in Ontario's South Dundas Township, it fills the first floor of a solitary house overlooking an inlet on the St. Lawrence River.

The museum opened in September of 2011 to showcase a large private collection of model ships, from the very famous to little-known vessels. Founder Bert Cunningham told Lucy Martin this unexpected hobby grew to the point where sharing it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Go to full article
Dean Beckstead
Dean Beckstead

Ontario apple orchard surveys this year's crop damage

Unusual weather this spring took a heavy toll on fruit growers across the region. Industry observers estimated crop damage to Ontario's apple crop at well over 80%. Smyth's Apple Orchard in South Dundas, Ontario was planted in the mid-1800's, very near where the first McIntosh Red apple was discovered in 1811. About 90 acres of apples are still grown at the 5th generation family operation. Smyth Orchard's Dean Beckstead told Lucy Martin it's going to be a very difficult year.  Go to full article
Ross McDonald and his son Stewart are closing the store together
Ross McDonald and his son Stewart are closing the store together

Clark's Shoes in Cornwall says good-bye after 116 years

In Cornwall, Ontario, Clark's Shoes has been meeting footwear needs for customers on both sides of the border since 1896. Ross McDonald has spent over half a century running the store his maternal grandfather founded. For shoppers of a certain age, this is what buying shoes has always been like: helpful, personable service in a family-owned business. McDonald is retiring near the end of this month and a lot of his customers are feeling the loss. Lucy Martin dropped by the store earlier this month, when most everything was on sale and business was brisk.  Go to full article
Bill and Brenda Gosse with cycle buddies Judy Geraghty and her husband Bob Weber
Bill and Brenda Gosse with cycle buddies Judy Geraghty and her husband Bob Weber

Cycling Ontario's Waterfront Trail: good friends, good times

Leaving Cornwall last Friday, Lucy Martin stopped for gas on Highway 2 just past Ingleside, overlooking the St. Lawrence River. She was about to leave when four heavily-laden cyclists pulled in for a rest.

The two couples are enjoying a 400-mile journey of exploration along Ontario's Waterfront Trail and setting a terrific example of fitness at any age.  Go to full article

Storm front sweeps Ottawa-Montreal region

Powerful thunderstorms crossed parts of Ontario and Quebec Friday evening. In Ottawa, a cyclist was struck by lightning in a park near Carleton University and died after being taken to hospital.

Further east in Quebec, several communities near Montreal suffered property damage but no loss of life when two tornadoes touched down there. Lucy Martin has more.  Go to full article
CJHR volunteer Mary Alice Enright with Dai Bassett and Bill Parker
CJHR volunteer Mary Alice Enright with Dai Bassett and Bill Parker

"The People's voice" CJHR celebrates Ottawa Valley Heritage

All sorts of radio stations these days are busy blending old content with modern technology. Staying relevant, while reaching out to new listeners.

Take CJHR, a non-profit station in Renfrew, Ontario. "Valley Heritage Radio" serves up an eclectic mix for a mostly-rural audience. The format is at least half Canadian content, and about 20% of that is local. The station saves space for something called Ottawa Valley music, a country style influenced by Celtic and French roots, refined in lumber camps that once spanned the region.

Lucy Martin dropped by the CJHR booth at the Ottawa Valley Farm Show in March to hear how they're making community radio happen.  Go to full article
Hakmet product specialist Jeff Lancaster. (Photo: Lucy Martin)
Hakmet product specialist Jeff Lancaster. (Photo: Lucy Martin)

Curiosity fuels Ottawa's farm show

The Ottawa Valley Farm Show recently marked its 85th year with a three-day run at the new CE Centre next to Ottawa's main airport. This event started as a seed fair in Pembroke and grew into the largest farm show in Eastern Ontario.

As you'd expect, a lot of the space is devoted to pitching shiny new machinery. Lucy Martin stopped at the Hakmet display to ask vendor Jeff Lancaster how these big shows work from his side of the booth.  Go to full article

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