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Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to meet all week, but no agreements are finalized yet on a state budget that’s due Friday.

Julia Botero / WRVO News File Photo

Republican senators have proposed a state budget for this year that includes $3 million towards helping upstate farmers recover from last summer’s drought, the worst the state has seen in decades. In some cases, the dry summer weather resulted in the loss of entire crops. The federal government designated more than 20 counties national disaster areas due to the severity of the drought.

No strike for Ithaca College contingent faculty

5 hours ago

In final negotiations yesterday, the Ithaca College administration agreed to all the demands of the non-tenure track faculty union

"The union just literally won on everything," said Chris Machanoff, organizing director with SEIU Local 200United, in an email.

The full terms of the contract have yet to be released, but the administration agreed to a significant pay increase for part-time faculty and longer contracts for full-time, non-tenure track faculty, according to Machanoff.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The New York State Fair will be a little friendlier for young families this year. Suggestions from fairgoers submitted in recent years have complained about the lack of areas for families to tend to their children.

Acting director of the fair Troy Waffner says that's why they have constructed new baby care centers that will offer privacy for nursing mothers and a place for families to change diapers in an air-conditioned and safe environment. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Several proposals in Washington could mean multi-billion-dollar budget gaps for New York state. With the budget due in one week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders think that at the very least, they may have to come back later in the year to revise the spending plan.

business.syrgov.net

The city of Syracuse has developed a business web portal that allows users to access information to start or grow their businesses. The database application is meant to spur economic development in small businesses.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick has joined other law enforcement officials across the state in recent days who are criticizing "raise the age" legislation that’s being debated in Albany.

Raise the age would take 16- and 17-year-olds accused of certain crimes out of the adult justice system and into family court. Advocates say dumping teens into the adult criminal justice system makes it much harder for them to get their life back on track.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Community Development Block Grant is funding distributed by the federal government to local governments and states to use on housing and economic and social development. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminates CDBG funds. That means some programs in Syracuse could be hit hard, if not eliminated, by the cut.

The Syracuse Common Council recently approved the distribution of nearly $4.5 million in CDBG funding for this year. Syracuse Common Councilor Helen Hudson said that means the city’s community centers and housing partners can stay on track.

Debunking asthma diagnoses

Mar 25, 2017
NIAID / Flickr

You've heard it before in a wheezy cough or the puff of an inhaler. Asthma is a common inflammatory disease. It is estimated that one in every thirteen adults is affected by asthma, which comes out to roughly 17 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But in a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that 33 percent of diagnosed patients did not, in fact, have the disease.

To understand more about these findings, “Take Care” was joined by the author of this study, Dr. Sean Aaron. Aaron is a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, and a senior scientist at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute in Ontario, Canada.  

Who's who in the exam room

Mar 25, 2017
Spanish Virtually / Flickr

Have you ever gone into a doctor’s appointment and been left wondering who took your blood pressure? Who asked about that prescription? Chances are you’re not alone.

Sometimes it’s difficult to know who’s who in the exam room. This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Robert Schmerling, associate physician and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School, talks about this exam room dilemma.

Is asthma being overdiagnosed?

Mar 24, 2017
NIAID / Flickr

The Centers for Disease Control says that 1 in every 13 adults in the U.S. has asthma. But now there's evidence asthma may be overdiagnosed and other conditions are often the cause of a patient's breathing problems. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Sean Aaron, a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. His team's recent study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that one-third of people diagnosed with asthma do not actually have the disease.

formulanone / Flickr

Another sitting state legislator, Sen. Rob Ortt, has been indicted on corruption charges, along with George Maziarz, who held the western New York Senate seat before him. The indictments come as ethics reform proposals in the state budget are faltering.

Ortt is accused of creating a no-show job for his wife to pad his own salary while he was mayor of North Tonawanda in Niagara County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

While the idea of merging the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County isn’t getting much traction, a special legislative committee has begun work that could lead to some other kinds of government consolidation.

The Consensus Commission proposal to create one large metropolitan government is dead on arrival, according to county lawmakers, but some of the 49 other proposals in the Consensus report could have legs.

A special subcommittee is now looking over those ideas, first by identifying consolidations that could be easy to accomplish, according to chairman Kevin Holmquist.

U.S. Census Bureau / Empire Center for Public Policy

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that New York's statewide population fell for the first time in a decade, largely a result of upstate population losses outpacing the gains made downstate.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Proponents of raising taxes on New York’s wealthiest say they have a new impetus to increase the state’s revenue — the continued bad news from Washington about deep federal cuts to health care and other areas.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has called an amendment to the federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would force the state to pick up county Medicaid costs “unconscionable.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A new report from the Brookings Institution puts the Syracuse metropolitan area last out of the country’s 100 largest metro areas in adding jobs from 2010 to 2015. The Syracuse metro area consists of Onondaga, Oswego and Madison counties. But some of the data is not as bad as it seems for the region.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New York officials are split over the Republican's proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act and how it will impact the state. As the House of Representatives prepares for the scheduled vote on the legislation, state and federal leaders are fighting to sway the public to their side.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The number of students who are choosing to enter the education profession is declining. SUNY, which trains 25 percent of the New York’s educators, is trying to address the issue because the state's school districts are now seeing a shortage of qualified teachers. 

The Syracuse Police Department is updating the way they keep track of gangs and gang violence in Syracuse.

At the city’s common council meeting this week, the council approved the department’s request to purchase a new software system called Gangscope. The program is an online database that allows authorities to closely monitor gang activity. Syracuse Police Department Captain Richard Trudell said their current database is outdated and sees this new technology as a way to be more proactive against gang activity.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A provision to shift Medicaid health care costs in New York from counties to the state as part of the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act by Congress is meeting with a cool reception from state leaders.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

A nomination to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary is moving forward. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting the application for further consideration. 

Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties put together the application after NOAA decided to add to its current list of 14 marine sanctuaries. It could help preserve dozens of known and unknown historic shipwrecks in 1,700 square miles of the southeastern portion of the lake for further study.

Lindsay Fox / Flickr.com

According to a recent study by the New York State Health Department, the number of teens lighting up cigarettes in New York state has dropped dramatically in the last 16 years.

When Chris Owens, who runs a tobacco health program at St Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, saw figures showing an 84 percent drop in the teen smoking rate since 2000, he was ecstatic.

"That made me feel so good when I saw it, that drastic decrease in cigarette use by adolescents, because that’s really the key to long term tobacco abstinence,” said Owens.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As negotiations on the state budget head toward an April 1, advocates for more spending on infrastructure are keeping up the pressure on lawmakers in Albany.

Rebuild NY Now, a statewide advocacy group, is calling on state leaders to make sure infrastructure gets its due in the state budget. Infrastructure spending is a part of the current budget discussin, with $2 billion proposed in the governor’s budget and an extra $5 billion in the GOP Senate proposal.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The next two weeks at the New York State Capitol are going to be very busy as lawmakers face the deadline for a new budget. Several issues remain unresolved.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County could soon be the latest county in the state to follow a trend that puts animal abusers on a comprehensive list.

Stephanie Heath, of the Cuse Pit Crew in Syracuse, says right now there’s nothing stopping someone who’s been convicted of animal abuse from adopting an animal from her shelter.

“When an adopter comes to a shelter, they have to do an application. And we can only go so far with an application process, and a home check and a reference check and a vet reference.”

So she is all for creating an animal abuser registry in Onondaga County.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim said he never had any intention of staying with the program beyond next year.

"I fully knew that next year would be my last year," Boeheim said. "I never, ever thought anything else, ever. I never tried to change that in any way, shape or form. I was thrilled that Mike Hopkins would be the coach here at the end of next year. That was set in stone."

yaybiscuits123 / Flickr

Numerous studies have shown that starting the day with breakfast has a positive influence for students.

The federal government funds a program that allows income-eligible students to eat that first meal of the day at school, but less than one third of those who qualify for the program in New York state take advantage of it.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim will stay on the bench at least through the 2017-2018 season, after his contract was extended, the university announced Sunday. 

The extension comes after associate head coach Mike Hopkins announced earlier in the day that he was leaving Syracuse to become the new head coach at the University of Washington. 

Marco Varisco / Flickr

Now that Preet Bharara is no longer the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York, some in Albany wonder who will investigate potential corruption now.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Despite receiving an invitation, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) did not attend a town hall in Syracuse on Saturday organized by the CNY Solidarity coalition. Those who did attend are urging the central New York Republican to oppose the actions of President Donald Trump’s administration.

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