David Sommerstein

David Sommerstein, a contributor from North Country Public Radio (NCPR), has covered the St. Lawrence Valley, Thousand Islands, Watertown, Fort Drum and Tug Hill regions since 2000. Sommerstein has reported extensively on agriculture in New York State, Fort Drum’s engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the lives of undocumented Latino immigrants on area dairy farms. He’s won numerous national and regional awards for his reporting from the Associated Press, the Public Radio News Directors Association, and the Radio-Television News Directors Association. He's regularly featured on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Only a Game, and PRI’s The World.

Sommerstein started his career in radio as a sit-in jazz and Latin DJ at Buffalo NPR affiliate WBFO. He’s a huge baseball fan, speaks fluent Spanish, and hosts a bilingual music show featuring funk, hip hop, Latin and world beats, called The Beat Authority.

THOUSAND ISLANDS TOURISM BUREAU

(NCPR) Green groups and boaters along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario won a huge victory Thursday. The U.S. and Canada approved a new, more natural plan for managing water levels after 16 years of study that cost more than $20 million. 

David Sommerstein / North Country Public Radio

 

The battle lines are drawn over a lawsuit that could reshape agriculture in New York State. 

aidaneus / Flickr

 

New York State appears poised to take over funding of legal services for people who can’t afford a lawyer. 

Brit Hanson / North Country Public Radio

Alcoa announces a three-and-a-half-year deal to keep its smelter in Massena open, and increase its competitiveness. The agreement reduces layoffs at the plant to about 80, according to a spokesman.

In a statement, the company said the agreement with New York State will help maintain “hundreds of jobs” — approximately 600 - in the North Country. It will also support growth at the company’s sister operation in Massena, the cast house.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

Energy giant Entergy’s decision to close its nuclear plant near Oswego shocked the central New York community. 615 people will lose their jobs. State officials tried to get Entergy to change its mind, but the company announced Wednesday that talks have ended. The news also sent shock waves through New York’s electricity markets.

Entergy

“Never say never, but highly unlikely.” That’s what Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said Tuesday about the possibility of the company reversing course and keeping open the FitzPatrick nuclear plant near Oswego.

Adam W. / Flickr

Canada’s federal government has ordered the city of Montreal to halt its plan to dump about 2 billion gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the effect on the river would be “likely significant."

It's a hectic day at Production Unlimited in Watertown, N.Y. Everyone has to drop his regular work — making plastic binders, safety equipment, office supplies — for a huge order.

Beth Carpenter punches hole after hole into colored plastic tags. She and her co-workers are paid based on how fast they work, usually well below minimum wage. Carpenter has done all different kinds of tasks here for more than 15 years.

"And I like working here every day," she says. "I work here five days a week. That's why I'd like to make sure we fight to keep this place open."

The first black American hockey player in NHL history is telling his story almost 30 years after he retired.

Val James was a revered and feared fighter — known in hockey as an enforcer — during short stints for the Buffalo Sabres and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1980s. But he was defenseless to the racist taunts and slurs that showered down on him from opposing teams' fans.