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.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

New York U.S. Senator Charles Schumer made his first visit to St. Lawrence County as Majority Leader Wednesday. The Democrat called on the Biden Administration to hammer out a concrete plan with Canada for reopening the border.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

Lake Ontario is eight inches lower than average for this time of year. That’s the lowest it’s been in early April since 2015 and a hopeful sign the chance of flooding on the lake and St. Lawrence River is relatively low this summer.


Another huge tourism attraction to the Adirondacks is a victim of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers of the Empire State Winter Games announced yesterday they’re canceling the event this winter.

@TamaraKeithNPR / Twitter

The political conventions are over and now the Presidential campaign is in the final sprint. Leading the covering of it all is NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith. She’s also co-host of the NPR Politics podcast. Keith has been reporting from the White House since 2014, covering the last two years of the Obama Presidency and Donald Trump since day one. She also appears regularly as a commentator on PBS News Hour.

Keith will join public radio listeners Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. for a special online conversation. It’s free, but you have to register advance. Click here to register.

Lyle Wood

The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a major disconnect in the dairy industry. On one hand, milk shelves at the grocery store have been sometimes bare. On the other hand, North Country dairy farmers are having to dump their milk for lack of a market. It's a worst-case scenario for the region’s dairy farms as the industry’s been hurting for years.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse University will suspend residential instruction from this Friday until at least March 30 and move to online classes, over concerns from the coronavirus that continues to spread across New York, the university announced Tuesday.

Finger Lakes Construction and Diving

The Marshall Island flagged Federal Biscay was finally dislodged from ice in the Snell lock near Massena this weekend. St. Lawrence Seaway crews, including three tugs, had worked for five days to move the massive international freighter. It was blocking passage for four other ships on their way down the St. Lawrence River to Montreal as the Seaway tries to close for the winter.

Michelle Laffin

Prolonged arctic cold is wreaking havoc on the maritime industry across the Great Lakes. The latest problem: A commercial freighter is stuck in ice in a lock near Massena, N.Y., and it's preventing the St. Lawrence Seaway from closing for the winter.

There are few regions in the world where you can make true "ice wine," a sweet, dessert-style vintage. You need warm summers to grow quality grapes. But the fruit must be picked and pressed when it's well below freezing. So you need frigid winters.

Most of the ice wine in the U.S. is imported from Canada or Germany. But a growing number of wineries in places like upstate New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania have started making their own, giving American consumers the option of buying domestically produced bottles.

Photo provided / NCPR News

Many Mohawks are mourning the loss of a high-profile and often times controversial, leader. Born in Buffalo, Kakwirakeron - also known by his English name, Arthur Montour Sr. - died on October 31. He was 75 years old and left behind 59 grandchildren.

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.