News

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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

10 hours ago
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.

stgermh / Flickr

A New York State Board of Elections investigator appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have found a back door way into breaking some of the secrecy surrounding a major campaign contribution loophole in New York.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It may have been the most momentous sausage sandwich moment at the New York State Fair since Senate candidate Rick Lazio refused to eat the state fair staple the year he ran against Hillary Clinton. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul bought a sandwich for one of the protesting teachers trailing her on the fairgrounds opening day Thursday.

Dozens of educators dogged Hochul around the fairgrounds yesterday chanting and repeating many of the concerns they’ve had about the Cuomo administration’s education policy for years now. And communication seems to be a big part of the dispute.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Today is the opening day of the New York State Fair which always has a great impact on central New York at this time of the year.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News file photo

The New York state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some back lash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher.  

At a recent conference held by the teacher’s group Educators for Excellence, New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she plans to try to convince parents not have their children repeat this year’s boycott of standardized tests associated with the Common Core learning standards, which resulted in 20 percent of students statewide opting out of the tests.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Almost a quarter of New York children live in poverty, and in the city of Binghamton, that figure is near 50 percent. State legislators and community leaders gathered in Binghamton Tuesday to discuss the problem.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced on Tuesday that construction is now complete on the new Lakeview Amphitheater along Onondaga Lake. Country singer Miranda Lambert will be the opening act, scheduled to perform on September 3.

Jenna Flanagan / WMHT

A small but passionate group of about 50 activists with the Sierra Club, gathered on the southern lawn of Albany’s Academy Park recently to deliver a 14,000 signature petition demanding Gov. Andrew Cuomo deny the bailout of the Cayuga Power Plant. 

The bailout would come via the New York Public Service Commission that currently subsidizes the plant to the tune of $4 million a month.

The Tompkins County installation has two units that burn coal, and one that uses natural gas or oil, depending on the market.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

The controversial state ethics commission is in the midst of a review by a panel appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature. Government reform groups say they’ve already been asked to give their opinions on how to fix some of the commission’s problems.

Closed anti-poverty meeting held in Rochester

Aug 25, 2015
Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Members of the New York state Assembly are on a statewide tour to hear from people living in poverty and local elected officials who are trying to address the issue. The first stop was Rochester, which was given money in this year's budget to establish an anti-poverty task force.

The round table discussion was closed to press, but a statement says the meeting was an opportunity for leaders to discuss the impacts of poverty on the community.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County is among many communities across the country supporting the effort to “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive.”  A new temporary display at the War Memorial in Syracuse is meant to preserve the legacy of those who fought during World War II.

Ninety-year-old Ed Zaluski remembers the battle of Iwo Jima like it was yesterday.

“Feb. 19, 1945,  normally is we had to bail out, we would fly at  15,000 feet but in this case, because of tunnels and the holes and everything else, we had to be accurate and you had to fly at 5,000 feet,” Zaluski says.

wadester16 / Flickr

New York’s first openly gay state legislator says it’s time to appoint an LGBT person to the state’s highest court.

When Assemblywoman Deborah Glick was first elected to her job nearly a quarter century ago, she was the first state lawmaker to publicly disclose that she’s a lesbian. Back then, there was no same-sex marriage, and there was not even a law against discriminating against New Yorkers based on their sexual orientation. Glick helped that law get passed in 2002.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

With more than two-thirds of Oneida City School District students refusing to take the Common Core aligned exams this year, the district has one of the highest student opt out rates in New York state. But the standardized tests can provide the district with useful information that they will not have in 2015.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse’s Innovation Team is developing new infrastructure ideas for the city. Public forums are being held to gather input from the community.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner created the Innovation Team to think up solutions to the city’s big problems. The team is funded by a three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Each year the team will choose a priority area and this year's area is infrastructure.  

Some of the ideas the participants came up with include public Internet service and consolidated city services, such as sewer and water.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

There’s been an unusual focus on upstate New York among top state politicians from the downstate area in recent weeks.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a speech in Utica Thursday, says downstate lawmakers -- who numerically dominate  the legislature -- have been unified in seeking aid and programs for New York City and Long Island. But he says upstate lawmakers are more balkanized and have been largely unsuccessful.

“There is no place called upstate,” said Cuomo, who said New Yorkers tend to identify with the city they leave nearest, like Syracuse or Buffalo or Rochester.

NYSFair/flickr

One of the biggest changes at the New York State Fair this year involves something everyone visiting the exposition will have to deal with -- tickets. This year, the fair in Geddes has started selling some tickets electronically.

Selling tickets at the state Fair hasn’t changed much over the years: you need a paper ticket to get through the turnstiles on any given day of the 12-day fair. And to figure out attendance, the fair counts them by hand, according to interim director Troy Waffner.

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