What were your top North Country stories of 2012?

This is Brian Mann thinking very seriously about the big stories of 2012. (Photo: Courtesy of Kathleen Keck, Paul Smiths College)

Monday during the 8 O’clock Hour, Martha Foley, David Sommerstein and I will kibitz about the stories that topped our list of the most significance and eye-catching of 2012.

The 20th district congressional race?  The dairy farm-farm bill crisis?  Struggling North Country schools?  How about the serial killer lurking in our midst?

We’ll talk about all that and more during the 8 O’clock Hour Monday.

But you can chime in right now.  Maybe you’ll remind us of a big event that we’ve let slip our minds.  Or maybe it was a story that we missed altogether and failed to cover.

What were the big items that stood out for you in 2012 in your community, in the region — not to mention statewide and beyond?

It’s the 2012 Big Story Round-up — the In Box edition.  Have at it.




14 Comments on “What were your top North Country stories of 2012?”

  1. Newt says:

    Neither exciting nor positive, but it seems to me that the big story is the continued stress on North Country institutions resulting from State cutbacks from the fiscal crisis and chronic, long-term problems economic ( so well-covered here). In recent weeks and months NCPR has carried stories of health providers, schools, social service agencies and others programs cutting back and laying off, and businesses closing down (actually the business part seems more balanced). The story you ran earlier in the week, I believe, about Canton HS facing the elimination of virtually all electives and sports was particularly sobering. Removing electives and extra-curriculars from a school is a virtual guarantee of making it a joyless, and failing shell. As a former teacher and still parent, these kind of prospects are very discouraging. I don’t see much hope of improvement in sight.

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  2. One story that seldom gets mentioned is the reality that the industrial wind projects proposed for the Golden Crescent and Thousand Island Regions of the North Country will have a devastating effect on the value of homes of those who live within the wind turbine sacrifice zones. Every wind turbine sacrifice zone in the world has experienced severe loss of home value, loss of sales and abandonment.

    Just one example is loss of assessment in the wind turbine sacrifice area of the Wolfe Island industrial wind project.

    Just a few examples.


    82 – Oak Point Rd.: -$118,000
    23 – Nine Mile Point Rd. -$143,000
    429- Nine Mile Point Rd. -$119,000
    433 -Nine Mile Point Rd. -$117,000
    496 -Nine Mile Point Rd. -$107,000
    136 – Lucas Point Lane -$101,000

    Total reductions – 3 million dollars. On the East end of Wolfe Island with no view of turbines and no noise, property assessments were raised.

    Just south of us 63 property owners are suing a wind developer for their loss.

    Even the threat of industrial wind in North Country towns like Clayton, Lyme, Hammond and Cape Vincent have had severe impacts on the real estate market. And, for many families, this loss represents much of their life savings.

    In Northern New York thousands of home owners face the possibly of being targeted as a wind turbine sacrifice zone.

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 7 Thumb down 5

  3. George Nagle says:

    APA’s approval of the Tupper Lake project and the ensuing controversy over the Agency’s interpretation of the APA Act.

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  4. Brian Mann says:

    These are good ones – keep them coming!

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  5. michael coffey says:

    Upstate counties turning blue in November, and a deeper shade than in 2008–and I’m not talking about a cold snap.

    In fact, global warming and its affect on the region is another story.

    (Perhaps these are linked!)

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  6. Anita says:

    I think that the failure of Congress to pass a Farm Bill has the potential to be a top story of 2013, but the impact has not yet hit. The top dairy story of 2012 probably is the pressure put on margins by volatile milk prices, rising feed prices, and persistent dry weather in the spring and early summer. It’s unusual for north country farmers to be short on hay, but this year some are.

    Another top story is the growing impact of the 2% property tax cap, especially on county governments and schools. One problem is that mandate relief has not accompanied the tax cap, so that counties especially have seen their budgets swamped with increases in mandated costs (Medicaid, retirement, and the like). Newt’s comment covers the impact on schools. Following the news on this, it seems that all counties in our region have had to make some hard choices this year that will have impacts on services available to their citizens.

    A story to cover in 2013: is our region’s success in putting together winning packages in the annual Regional Economic Development Council competition translating into economic development over and above what we could have expected under the old funding procedures?

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  7. Mike Flynn says:

    The need for ‘Gun Control’ in America for the safety of our citizens, especially our children is paramount and one of the most important issues that will need to be addressed in 2013. Mike Flynn ‘Middle Class Mike’

    Popular. Like/Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  8. Zach Gullo says:

    City Councilwoman Burns keeping her job after lying about the whole situation. Just a thought.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  9. Peter Hahn says:

    The train vs rec trail controversy was big but it continues so maybe that doesn’t count.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. tootightmike says:

    Richard, About those wind farms. Those things are such a threat to real estate prices that our son in Boston has lost nearly two thirds of the value of his home….but wait, he doesn’t live anywhere a wind farm! In general, numbers are meaningless. One can find numbers to support any argument.
    By comarison, you should see what’s happened to my sister’s neighborhood in Ohio. Just around the next bend in the road, there IS no neighborhood anymore,,,,but there is a coal mine.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  11. tootightmike says:

    Michael C. The big story that’s not getting enough attention is the drought, and the CONTINUING drought. There may not be a wheat crop next year, and our country’s planners have allowed the grain reserves to drop below 120 days supply. With any luck, we could join the third world in famine next winter.

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  12. Rancid Crabtree says:

    Maybe not the biggest story, but the St Lawrence County Board of Legislators refusal to deal with fiscal reality has affected us greatly.

    Like/Dislike this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  13. frank says:


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  14. tootightmike says:

    Rancid, I hardly ever agree with you, but you’re right on this one. Ineptitude and corruption are rampant in our local governing bodies. Ethics and appearances of propriety are ignored completely, and those with a vested interest get elected because of their zeal instead of their vision. This may be because nobody wants that job…I certainly don’t.

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