Marie Cusick | KUOW News and Information

Marie Cusick

Marie Cusick is the WMHT/Capital Region reporter for the Innovation Trail and New York NOW.

She contributes television, radio, and digital reports to public stations throughout the state. Her television reports can be seen on New York NOW and on WNET Thirteen's New York City public television show, MetroFocus.

Her radio work has appeared nationally on NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Weekend Edition and regionally on WNYC.

Marie joined WMHT from her hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania where she was a general assignment reporter for a cable TV news station. She previously worked as an anchor and reporter for the ABC affiliate in Casper, Wyoming. She began her broadcasting career on the assignment desk at WBZ-TV in Boston.

The U.S. is one of only a few countries in the world that allow private individuals to own the minerals under their land, a policy that dates to the Founding Fathers as they sought to elevate private interests over those of the British Crown. This financial incentive to allow new drilling goes a long way in explaining the nation's natural gas boom. The National Association of Royalty Owners estimates some 12 million American landowners receive royalties for the exploitation of oil, gas and other mineral resources under their property.

Just as President Trump takes power promising to ramp up oil and gas production, a sudden resignation in a key agency threatens to put such projects on hold across the United States.

On Thursday, Norman Bay, one of just three current members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), said he would resign effective Feb. 3, even though his term isn't up until next year. His announcement came shortly after Trump decided Bay's fellow commissioner, Cheryl LaFleur, would serve as the Commission's new chair.

On the side of a mountain road in Pennsylvania's Tiadaghton State Forest, I'm trying to avoid a steady stream of heavy truck traffic. Acres of freshly cut tree stumps stretch out in front of me.

Kevin Heatley lives in the area and has come to these woods for years to hike. He's an ecologist by trade and he's concerned about what he's seeing.

Three years ago, a report from the National Academy of Sciences exposed serious problems in the nation's forensic science community. It found not only a lack of peer-reviewed science in the field, but also insufficient oversight in crime laboratories.

Little has changed since that report came out, but concerns are growing as scandals keep surfacing at crime labs across the country.

Critical Errors