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3:02pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Regional Coverage

East Syracuse voting on future of police department

The village of East Syracuse is deciding this evening whether it can afford to continue staffing a fulltime police force.

In October 2012, residents of the village voted down the idea of dissolving its police force and merging it with that of neighboring DeWitt. But since that vote, taxes for residents have shot up 22 percent and the town board again approved the measure this spring.

For Janini Puliatti, having more eyes watching over the village is worth the expense.

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7:58am

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Extra state aid helps Syracuse balance school budget

Katie Keier Flickr

The new budget for Syracuse public schools includes more state aid than the district asked for, but the school district still has to dip into the fund balance to level its finances.

The Syracuse City School District asked for $7 million from the state in order to balance its budget. Legislators came up with an extra $1.9 million, part of an overall state spending increase on education.

The extra cash will allow them to restore some previous cuts, Suzanne Slack, the district’s chief financial officer, said.

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6:25am

Wed April 16, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Utica considers launching freedom trail

Doug Kerr Flickr

Almost 200 years ago, Utica was home to a passionate abolitionist community determined to rid the young nation of slavery. Now a local group is trying to remind the public of the significance of the city’s role in the anti-slavery movement.

Nearly sixty people came out recently on a typically chilly winter morning to walk downtown Utica streets, each of which had a story to tell from the days of the Underground Railroad.

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7:43pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Environment

Groups call growing oil shipments in NY Cuomo's "Keystone" moment

Environmentalists protestor oil transportation through New York state in Albany Tuesday.
Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

National environmental groups are trying to focus the spotlight on Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over the issue of the growing international oil distribution center, located just blocks from the state Capitol, at the Port of Albany.   

A small band of demonstrators chanted and held signs Tuesday to protest a confluence of events that has turned upstate New York into a major center for oil distribution.

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12:14pm

Tue April 15, 2014
Regional Coverage

Onondaga Nation files human rights petition over land claims

Oren Lyons, the faithkeeper for the Onondaga Nation.
Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

With its domestic options exhausted, the Onondaga Indian Nation has taken its land claim case to an international commission.

It’s been six months since the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the Onondaga’s claim to 2.6 million acres of land in central New York. In the lawsuit first filed in 2005, the nation says land was illegally taken from it in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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7:51am

Tue April 15, 2014
Regional Coverage

Utica's arterial project provides city with next step in revitalization process

An outline of the changes that will take place along the north-south arterial.
NYS Department of Transportation

In the city of Utica, the north-south arterial, which connects three major state routes, has divided the west side from the rest of the city. But after years of debate, the state Department of Transportation is now rebuilding the road, with the goal to make the arterial safer and allow people and cars to move more freely between the two sections of Utica. The city says the project will also help its revitalization effort.

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7:05am

Tue April 15, 2014
Education

Schumer says schools struggling to fund safety programs

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stands in front of Fayetteville-Manlius High School to discuss school safety.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was at Fayetteville-Manlius High School Monday announcing an initiative to restore funding to school safety programs. Funding for the federal grants has declined by more than $100 million over the past four years.

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5:31am

Tue April 15, 2014
Politics and Government

April 15 marks assault weapons registration deadline

Mike Saechang Flickr

April 15, besides being tax day, is the first day that owners of semi-automatic weapons will be required to register their guns with the state police. 

The head of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, a gun owners and pro-Second Amendment rights group, says his members don’t like the new requirement that they register any assault weapons they own under the state’s gun control laws.  

Tom King says while he’s not advising gun owners about whether or not they should register, he says those that want to comply are finding the new rules hard to navigate.

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7:42pm

Mon April 14, 2014
Politics and Government

On budget victory lap, Cuomo says best is yet to come

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued his publicity tour Monday on the recently passed state budget with a stop in Syracuse.

Cuomo, a Democrat, was a late edition to the agenda at the annual meeting of CenterState CEO, a business development group. About a thousand business owners and local leaders attended the luncheon at the OnCenter.

The governor praised CenterState CEO's president, Rob Simpson, and Onondaga County's "phenomenal" Executive, Joanie Mahoney.

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3:38pm

Mon April 14, 2014
Education

Report: Only half of Onondaga County kids ready for kindergarten

A new report finds only half of Onondaga County children are ready for kindergarten.
Katie Keier Flickr

Only half of the children in Onondaga County are ready to start their primary school educations when they reach kindergarten, a new report from the Onondaga Citizens League has found.

The report, the latest from OCL in annual studies looking at community issues, says more focus needs to be put on educating children before they reach a classroom.

There are 27,000 children under the age of five in the county. They'll go to 18 different school districts.

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7:41am

Mon April 14, 2014
Higher Ed

Syracuse University formally enters "The Kent Syverud Years"

Kent Syverud, Syracuse University's 12th chancellor, enters Hendricks Chapel during his inauguration ceremony.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse University has formally entered “The Kent Syverud Years,” as the school’s new chancellor was inaugurated Friday evening.

Syverud took over for Nancy Cantor as the university’s 12th chancellor in January, but the school laid out the orange carpet Friday, and laid on the pomp and circumstance, in a ceremony at Hendricks Chapel.

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6:58am

Mon April 14, 2014
Business

U.S. Export-Import Bank president promotes benefits of selling products overseas

From left: Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Congressman Dan Maffei (D-NY), and Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the first member of Congress to offer the U.S. Export-Import Bank the opportunity to visit small businesses in her state. The result was a meeting last week at Filtertech in Manlius with the bank's president.

Filtertech designs and manufactures industrial size liquid filtration systems.  

In 2008, the U.S. Export-Import Bank financed the manufacturing of a project Filtertech produced with a company in Italy; a project that helped keep them in business at the time.

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6:29am

Mon April 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Quality of life, infrastructure investment key to urban renewal

NathanaelB / Via Flickr

Upstate New York’s cities need to make investments in quality of life if they want to recreate their past economic vitality, according to a local expert on cities.

Mildred Warner of Cornell University recently held a conference at the college on the economic state of upstate New York’s largest urban centers.

She says the region’s cities aren’t getting the "full gamut" of rediscovery by younger generations because they’re not investing enough in areas like quality of life and infrastructure.

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6:15am

Mon April 14, 2014
Technology

App turns social media posts into charity dollars

Centscere founder (from left) Michael Smith, Frank Taylor and Ian Dickerson. The three Syracuse University grad students hope their app can connect charities and millennials.
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Young people today are a giving generation, according to a recent poll that shows that  75 percent of millennials donated to causes in the calendar year.  

But the tried and true charitable strategies of galas and golf tournaments often don't cross the generational divide. With this in mind, one Syracuse start-up is hoping to offer charities a chance to reach younger givers using something they relate to: social media.

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7:01pm

Sun April 13, 2014
Health

Death is hard, but hospice can help patients and families

dreamingofariz Flickr

Most people don't want to make plans for their own death, or for the death of their loved ones. But talking about death can assure that needs and wishes are met, and that patients are as comfortable as possible.

This week on Take Care, Amy Tucci, president and CEO of the Hospice Foundation of America, discusses how hospice care can ease the pain of death. Tucci explains how hospice care can not only help patients, but also their families.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Amy Tucci.

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7:00pm

Sun April 13, 2014
Health

Angioplasty: How balloons can save your life

Angioplasty balloon
Denise Chan flickr

If bent the right way, a balloon can be used to make an animal. If pumped with hot air, a balloon can be used to fly. Balloons have many different functions, mostly in the realm of fun. But, balloons have also been used to save lives through a procedure known as angioplasty.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Amar Krishnaswamy discusses angioplasties. Dr. Krishnaswamy is an interventional cardiologist in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and interventional cardiology.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Krishnaswamy.

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6:19pm

Sun April 13, 2014
Politics and Government

Susan Wood and Thomas Drake on The Campbell Conversations

Susan Wood and Thomas Drake speak with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

In a continuation of last week's conversation about government whistleblowing, host Grant Reeher talks this week with two actual whistleblowers, both of whom tell powerful stories about their experience.  Susan Wood blew the whistle on the Food and Drug Administration's political stonewalling on the approval of the morning-after pill "Plan B," and Thomas Drake blew the whistle on the National Security Agency's "Trailblazer" data collection project, and was later charged with espionage, bef

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8:34am

Sat April 12, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Ant-poverty tour highlighting inequality in New York state

Sister Simone Campbell speaking at the New York State Community Action Association 8th Annual Symposium on Poverty
Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

A campaign by the New York State Community Action Association to change perceptions of poverty was launched last week in Albany. The "From Poverty to Opportunity Tour 2014" is running in conjunction with a series of speaking events around the state that will feature people sharing personal stories of their experience of poverty.

Karla Digirolamo, CEO of the New York State Community Action Association put together the anti-poverty tour to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Economic Opportunity Act or as it's more commonly known, President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty.

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4:03pm

Fri April 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Area politicians want smartphone manufacturers to install technology to prevent thefts

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse), New York State Sen. David Valesky (D-Oneida) at news conference in Syracuse Friday.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Several local politicians, including Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman appeared at city hall in downtown Syracuse to throw their support behind the federal Smartphone Theft Prevention Act.

The act would require smartphone makers to install a “kill switch” on their devices that would allow customers to delete data and deactivate their phone remotely.

Schneiderman says the major manufactures have the technology to do this but are choosing not to.

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1:18pm

Fri April 11, 2014
Health

Onondaga County: Dr. Morrow's resignation was "premature"

Dr. Cynthia Morrow, former commissioner of the Onondaga County Health Department, speaking to the county legislature's health committee.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Onondaga County's deputy executive for human services says it was "premature" for the county's health commissioner to resign.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow resigned from her role as the county's top health expert last week over the county executive's plans to reorganize child and maternal health services within county departments.

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8:23am

Fri April 11, 2014
Gun control

Deadline for assault weapon registration nears

Mike Saechang Flickr

There’s an April 15 deadline for owners of assault-style firearms to register them with the New York State Police, but there’s concern the provision of the SAFE Act gun control laws will be ignored.

After New York passed strict gun control laws in January 2013, sales of assault-style weapons became illegal. But for those who already owned guns with features like a pistol grip and removable magazine, they must register them by Tuesday.

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7:15am

Fri April 11, 2014
Politics

Cuomo to local governments: Cut spending

The governor lauded four years of on-time budgets in Irondequoit Thursday.
MIchelle Faust WXXI

During a speech in Irondequoit Thursday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo kept up pressure on local governments to cut their budgets. 

Cuomo touted four consecutive fiscal years of on-time budgets, something he says hasn't happened since the Rockefeller era. He calls it his "grand slam" budget.

The governor highlighted state efforts to cut taxes, but focused on what he called "unsustainable property taxes" levied by municipalities.

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6:54am

Fri April 11, 2014
Environment

Shah’s resignation no surprise, say both sides of fracking debate

WBFO

There’s a "Help Wanted" sign at the state Department of Health after Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah announced his resignation effective at end of June.

The commissioner is unlikely to see out the release of a long-awaited health review on the impact of hydrofracking that he was commissioned to produce by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November 2012.

According to Cuomo, salary issues were the reason for his departure, in reported comments made during a meeting with the editorial staff of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Thursday.

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6:44am

Fri April 11, 2014
Politics

NY Legislature approves "National Popular Vote" bill

Credit National Popular Vote

New York lawmakers have approved a bill that would enter the state in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement to award electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.

Proponents of the National Popular Vote initiative believe that the Electoral College, in place since the first days of the nation, is not the best way to elect a president.

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5:34am

Fri April 11, 2014
Health

Hospice care can make death more comfortable

Nobody likes talking about death, but experts say having a conversation is an important part of making sure death is as comfortable as possible. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Amy Tucci, president and CEO of the Hospice Foundation of America. Tucci explains how hospice can help ease suffering for those who are dying and their families.

Lorraine Rapp: What are your suggestions of how to bring this up with people in your life so that you can talk about having a good death?

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4:20pm

Thu April 10, 2014
Health

Final enrollment day was busiest for state's health care exchange

March 31 was the busiest day for New York's new health insurance marketplace. It was also the final day of the six month open enrollment period.

Almost 470,000 people visited the site and 39,000 signed up on that last day, according to the state's exchange, to bring the total to 926,000 enrolled.

Those newly covered signed up for a combination of the expanded federal Medicaid program, Child Health Plus, or a private provider.

The exchange is crediting its early success in enrollment with a functioning website, something the federal exchange was plagued with.

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10:15am

Thu April 10, 2014
Government

Common Council begins work on Syracuse budget

The Syracuse Common Council is getting its hands on the mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which doesn’t call for a tax increase.

More than half of the city’s $660 million budget goes to the school district.

For the rest of the budget, on the upside, the mayor’s office expects to see increased revenue from sales tax, parking fees and property tax collection -- thanks to the land bank, the agency tasked with handling the cities massive list of vacant properties.

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8:04am

Thu April 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse superintendent apologizes over Fowler High School plans

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse City School District superintendent Sharon Contreras apologized Wednesday night for the way news about plans to phase out three of the city's schools was made public.

A letter from the state Department of Education leaked to the press Monday outlined possible plans for three underperforming schools in the city: Fowler High School, Hughes Elementary and Delaware Elementary.

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7:45am

Thu April 10, 2014
Education

Oswego City School District considers closing a school as part of proposed budget cuts

Oswego City School District Superintendent Ben Halsey discusses a series of proposed cuts to close the district's deficit.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego High School cafeteria was nearly full Tuesday night during a public forum held by the Oswego City School District regarding its proposed $81.5 million budget.

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7:13am

Thu April 10, 2014
Politics

New York State Gaming Commission hears testimony on problem gambling

Viri G Flickr

The New York State Gaming Commission is holding hearings on the issue of gambling addiction. It’s part of a process that will allow the building of up to seven new casino gambling resorts in the state over the next several years.

Among those testifying was James Maney, the executive director of the New York Council on Problem Gambling.

Maney, who’s organization is neither for or against gambling, says there’s no doubt the new casinos will increase the number of problem gamblers in New York.   

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