Longtime Reporter Jack LaDuke Retires - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Longtime Reporter Jack LaDuke Retires

Jack LaDuke Jack LaDuke

Plattsburgh, New York - December 31, 2008

This is a sad day at Channel 3; we're saying goodbye to an old friend. Jack LaDuke is retiring after 40 years of working for Channel 3; first as a free-lancer, and then for nearly 20 years as our New York bureau chief.

Last summer, he reflected on how it used to be.

"Well I really started doing material for Channel 3... oh, about 40 years go," Jack said. "And back then a good portion of it was silent. We had one sound camera and the rest of it was shot on 16 mm film; Bolex cameras, Bell and Howell cameras, and the narration went over the picture."

To Jack, picture was paramount-- be it still picture, 16 mm film, or more recently video. He went everywhere to cover all sorts of stories, often looking for that odd angle that made his story stand out.

From asbestos to agriculture... city hall to the Clinton campaign... from crime to call boxes... he covered everything in three counties.

His work in the 1970s on our magazine program Dimension helped win us an EMMY. Jack plowed through snow as deep as the horses did to get the pictures.

There were two exceptional stories in the North Country over the past 40 years. The first was the Winter Olympics of 1980. Jack was the audio-visual director of that effort and took many of the pictures. He hired dozens of photographers to put together a nightly film for worldwide broadcast of the events.

"The 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid turned out to be one of the most controversial Olympics that have been held in recent memory, because right away the press said it's too small a town to hold them in; they can't do it. And as it turned out they did do it. Did a very good job of it and more Olympic records were broken during the 1980 winter Olympics than any Olympics up until Lillehammer," Jack recalled.

The other major event was the closing of the Plattsburgh Air Force Base. It had been the single biggest employer in the North Country and the biggest SAC base in the world; home to B-1 bombers, KC 135 tankers and nuclear weapons. Thousands of good paying jobs all gone in a Pentagon cost cutting move in 1995.

"Well... over the years I think the biggest shock that came to the community was the closing of the Plattsburgh Air Force Base," Jack said. "They didn't expect it... they had had it for 40 years. It was an integral part of the community both economically and personally. The relationship with the Air Force and the community were unprecedented."

But it was his relationship with the region-- his appreciation for the Adirondacks which endeared Jack to the audience. His images, his style; he was often up before dawn looking for just the right picture-- Noelle the news hound on top of Whiteface. We all wept when Noelle died and cheered the arrival of Kirsty ... one of four rescue dogs over the years that have accompanied Jack almost everywhere on his rounds... sometimes wondering why they were there.

Jack has always been interested in the history of this region, rich in reenactments of the battles of our early years. He brought those stories to life-- a task he has done so well and so long.

"Well you just keep your eye out for the story. Wherever the story is, you go and Channel 3 has had that philosophy, thank God, for years," Jack said. "They never tell you what to do. They leave it up to you to keep your ears open and find out what THE story is and do that story."

Though he and his wife Marina like to travel, Jack will stay in his native North Country, still pursuing stories, working occasionally for Mountain Lake Public Television.

We will miss him a lot and wish all of them the best of luck.

Jack, Marina and Dixie-- the latest news hound-- it won't be the same without you.

Marselis Parsons - WCAX News

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Rutland pharmacist accused of stealing meds

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:43:47 GMT
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
    In Rutland a pharmacist is accused of stealing meds from his employer. 32-year-old Brandon Cigana worked at the Walgreens Pharmacy on Woodstock Avenue. Prosecutors say he used his position there to access the pharmacy's inventory stealing regulated drugs like benzodiazepines, Hydrocodone and Suboxone for himself without a prescription. The Whitehall, New York man faces up to two years behind bars.More >>
  • Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Drug bust in Burlington's Old North End

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:04 GMT
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
    Police made a drug bust Wednesday night in Burlington's Old North End. Police and the U.S. Marshal's raided this home on Cedar Street around 8 o'clock. They say they seized heroin and cocaine. Six people were inside when authorities went in. But they're not saying how many arrests were made. The raid was part of an ongoing drug investigation.More >>
  • Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Fire damages Lyndonville tree farm

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:21 GMT
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
    Fire has damaged ten acres of a Lyndonville tree farm. Eight department were called in to battle the blaze. And it took four hours to get the flames under control. Fire officals say a discarded cigarette combined with dry conditions are to blame. One firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.More >>
  • A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    A warning for bird watchers: Give eagles space

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:36 GMT
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
    Bird watchers are being reminded to give nesting bald eagles plenty of space. The Vermont Fish Wildlife Department is urging anyone who sees a nesting eagle not to get closer than 300 feet. Activity too close to their nest can result in them abandoning their young. Harassing a bald eagle is illegal and a violation of the state endangered species statute.More >>
  • Gun fired into New Haven home

    Gun fired into New Haven home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:44:48 GMT
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
    Police are searching for who fired a gun into a home in New Haven. It happened late Tuesday night at 2420 Munger Street. Police say a bullet passed through a window of the home. Luckily no one was hurt. Investigators say a stop sign at the intersection of Munger Street and Cobble Road had also been shot. Anyone with information should call state police.More >>
  • What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    What triggered a shooting inside the Bennington police station?

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:57:35 GMT
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
    A Bennington man is in stable condition after being shot by an officer inside the Bennington Police Department. Investigators say Gregory Filo had a knife and was behaving erratically.More >>
  • Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    Former Fortune 500 exec indicted in fatal NH crash

    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in connection with a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
    A New Hampshire grand jury has indicted a former Fortune 500 executive on second-degree murder charges in a crash that killed a Vermont couple in December.More >>
  • Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Convicted Vt. embezzler charged with stealing from employer

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:36 GMT
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer. More >>
    Nearly two decades after her first conviction, a white-collar criminal returns to court once again charged with stealing from her employer.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.