News

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Veterans who’ve retired or left the Army sometimes have a difficult time transitioning back to their civilian lives. Many have trouble finding satisfying work. Others suffer from depression. In recent years, thousands of veterans have found a purpose in farming. The Cornell Cooperative Extension is introducing soldiers at Fort Drum to careers in agriculture through tours of North Country farms.

The first stop on the tour today is Windswept Farms, just outside Watertown. 

A group follows Delta Keeney past rows of her organically-grown vegetables.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The New York state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.

The latest version of teacher and principal evaluations were pushed through in this year’s state budget by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It requires that the reviews be based more heavily on controversial standardized tests. The new plans are due this fall.

David Stone / Flickr

Many central New York communities are considering deer management programs to curb the rising deer population. A bait-and-cull approach is catching on but some animal rights activists are against it.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Country music star Miranda Lambert played to a full house at Onondaga County’s new Lakeview Amphitheater Thursday night. Now that the stage has its first concert under its belt, what does the future holds for the entertainment venue?

First off, it’s going to be intimately intertwined with the New York State Fair. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made that clear this week when he outlined specifics regarding a $50 million renovation of the town of Geddes fairgrounds. 

Cuomo orders review of Common Core

15 hours ago
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to address the controversy over the use of Common Core standards in the state's public schools. Thursday he made his strongest comments on the teaching guidelines yet.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) encouraged New York State Fair attendees to build on the legacy of women’s rights in New York state. Gillibrand was the keynote speaker for the fair's Women's Day on Wednesday. She said 87 percent of the American workforce has no access to paid leave in the case of a medical or family emergency.

Gillibrand has introduced a bill that would give every worker access to paid leave. It would be an earned benefit that workers and employers pay into at a rate of about two dollars a week.  

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

The standardized testing process is a little mysterious. Third- through eighth-graders take New York state exams every spring. But once they’re done, everybody goes on summer break. Where do the results go?

Last month schools around the state received those results. If you’re picturing big thick envelopes full of bar charts and Excel spreadsheets, guess again, says Chenango Valley Assistant Superintendent Liz DiCosimo.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County's Lakeview Amphitheater comes to life tonight for the first time, when country star Miranda Lambert takes the stage. Many in the community hail the entertainment venue, along the shores of Onondaga Lake, as an economic engine for years to come. But there are still environmental concerns from one front, about the choice to build a stage on top of 80 feet of industrial waste beds. 

"We’re very concerned that we have lost a chance to clean up next to the lake,” said Joe Heath, who has been the attorney for the Onondaga Nation for more than three decades.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

There is about $14 billion in lost money or unclaimed funds owed to residents in New York state. People attending the New York State Fair can check out the new state comptroller's booth to see if they have any unclaimed funds.

NIAID / Flickr

New rules for school vaccines in New York take effect September 1. The updates impact students entering kindergarten through seventh grade.

The major change is that kindergarteners need to have all their shots done before they start school. Previously, they could be part-way through the set of vaccines for four- to six-year-olds and still go to class.

The update also changes requirements for three vaccines that older kids get. It brings New York in line with federal recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Nurses Association held a rally at the state fairgrounds yesterday to launch their “Protect Quality Patient Care for Central New Yorkers” campaign. Many upstate medical centers and health department nurses are in the early stages of negotiating new contracts with hospital management.  Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, the president of the union, came out to the event and said they are pushing for an increase in nurse staffing and community input for care.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his yearly visit to the New York State Fair yesterday. Between the sausage sandwiches and glad-handing, the Democrat made one stop that was profoundly personal.

It was just in front of the International Building that Cuomo, flanked by politicians, security and the media, heard the voice of Judy Rice of North Syracuse.

"How’s your girlfriend?” shouted out Rice.

“She’s doing better, thanks for asking,” replied Cuomo

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought some more specifics about the upcoming $50 million renovation of the New York State Fair when he visited the Syracuse fairgrounds Tuesday.  

Julia Botero / WRVO News

This month, two soldiers made history by becoming the first women to graduate from Army Ranger school. The course is the most exhausting and mentally demanding in the Army -- designed to create leaders who can excel amid the stresses of combat. This April marked the first time woman were admitted to Ranger School.

Capt. Michelle Kelly is the only woman from Fort Drum who qualified for the course. She didn’t pass, but she says she’s glad she tried. WRVO's Julia Botero sat down with Kelly to talk about that experience.

timlewisnm / Flickr

School administrators are closely watching a letter campaign that’s taking place in the as school starts that could lead to even more children opting out of state standardized tests.

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Eileen Buckley / WBFO News file photo

New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen is clarifying her stand on the opt out movement in an interview with New York State Public Radio & Television.

This year, 20 percent of children boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says parents absolutely have the right to opt their kids out of state standardized tests, but she says she still wants to talk to them to try to bring them back into the fold.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A $57 million renovation will turn the former Hotel Syracuse into the new Marriott Downtown Syracuse,  scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. Now, the hotel is partnering with a branch of SUNY to help train inner city residents for some of the available jobs.

U.S. Treasurer speaks at a Seneca falls forum on the new $10 bill

Sep 1, 2015
GREG COTTERILL / WXXI News

A top U.S. Treasury official led a town hall meeting Monday at the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls.

It was all about the discussion of putting a woman on the $10 bill. The Treasury Department is working on a redesign of the $10 bill, with plans to put a woman on that currency in time for the 100th anniversary of the amendment that gave women the right to vote.

Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios spoke before a standing room crowd in the Wesleyan Chapel. As she read through questions submitted by the audience, one came up again and again.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY’s latest strategy to try and help students graduate on time with less debt is a guarantee that credits will be transferred from one school to another

SUNY students begin the academic season this year with a promise from the state: they can transfer any general education requirements as well as some discipline-specific courses from one school to another in what Chancellor Nancy Zimpher calls the “guaranteed seamless transfer of credits.”

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s labor commissioner is likely in the next few days to finalize a phased in hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food workers. That action dismays some business groups, who say it will have some unintended consequences.

The governor, after unsuccessfully trying to raise the minimum wage further through the legislature, appointed a wage board, which voted in July to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour over the next several years. Cuomo spoke to jubilant fast food workers and union leaders when the vote was announced.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

There are about 1,800 vacant buildings in the city of Syracuse, according to the Syracuse Land Bank, which steps in to stabilize a property and resell it to responsible buyers when it gets foreclosed. A recently released audit of the land bank by Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse finds that while the organization has many successes, some potential problems lie ahead.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Politicians are a familiar sight at the New York State Fair. But it’s mostly central New York or statewide representatives that show up -- usually for an event, or the traditional eating of a hot sausage sandwich. But this year, the state’s new speaker decided to bring a downstate delegation to take in the fair.

How to prevent blood clots during travel

Aug 30, 2015
Christopher Doyle / Flickr

Blood clots can serve a lifesaving function, but they also can be deadly if they form when a person has been immobile for a long period of time. The problem is most common on a long plane flight or car trip when people might be sitting in the same cramped position for several hours.

This week on “Take Care,” we talk to Dr. Menaka Pai, a hematologist at the Hamilton General Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, about why blood clots form and why they can put your life at risk. Pai is also an executive member of the organization Thrombosis Canada.

Are Fido & Fluffy disturbing your sleep?

Aug 30, 2015
Andy / Flickr

Sometimes, no matter how well trained a pet might be, it simply doesn’t want to sleep at any convenient time, keeping you up throughout the night.

This week on “Take Care,” Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp speak with Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist at their Sleep Disorders Center in Arizona, on why some pets might be disturbing their owner’s sleep.

bandita / Flickr

It is human nature to squat when defecating. It was not until the invention of the modern-day toilet that humans started to sit upright for waste elimination. A new invention, the Squatty Potty, is bringing back that natural human instinct.

Dr. Rajeev Jain joins “Take Care,” this week to talk about the Squatty Potty and whether or not it really helps. Jain is the chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas and a partner at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants.

stefanik.house.gov

Elise Stefanik, New York's first-term congressional representative for the North Country's 21st district, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  At issue in her campaign last year was just how moderate the young Republican would be when she reached the chamber.  Host Grant Reeher talks with her about her record so far, what she views as her most important accomplishments, and how well Congress is currently functioning. 

Liz Truskowski

Eight thousand acres of pristine wetlands just north of Watertown in Jefferson County are open to visitors until Sunday. For most of the year, the Perch River Wildlife Management Area is off-limits to the public. The area is a breeding and nesting ground for threatened and endangered birds like bald eagles and black terns.

Why long flights can lead to blood clots

Aug 28, 2015

Between weather and security concerns, commercial air travel can seem more and more difficult. But there's also a health concern associated with very long flights if you are unable to move around -- blood clots. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Menaka Pai, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, about how blood clots form and why they can be deadly. Dr. Pai is also an executive member of the organization Thrombosis Canada.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner was on the city’s west side on Thursday, highlighting efforts of police and other officials to improve troubled neighborhoods. But some residents are upset that some neighborhoods have been struggling for years.

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