News

Finger Lakes town of Tyre awarded 1 of 3 casino sites

6 hours ago
Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

The state Gaming Facility Location Board has selected three proposals for casinos in in economically distressed communities in upstate New York in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca Counties.

The Seneca County site selected was the proposal by Wilmorite Corporation to build Lago Resort and Casino off the New York State Thruway in the small town of Tyre.

Marie Cusick / Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will prohibit hydrofracking in New York state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said at a cabinet meeting this morning that he was recommending a ban. Cuomo had repeatedly said he would defer to Martens and acting health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in making the decision.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Onondaga County lawmakers hope to help the operators of the Syracuse Chiefs build on a successful season of baseball.

County lawmakers have agreed to lend $1.2 million to the operators of the Chiefs, who want to make stadium upgrades that would allow large groups to host parties or events during games. Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says this is a concept that can help bring more business to the stadium.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

An officially designated convention center hotel in Syracuse has been a goal of Onondaga County officials for decades. It looks like they’ve found it in the soon-to-be renovated Hotel Syracuse.

Onondaga County lawmakers Tuesday designated the Hotel Syracuse as the convention center’s official hotel. It’s a key move in rehabilitation of the hotel, which has been shuttered for a decade.

Legislator Kathy Rapp says the county legislature’s move ultimately unlocks some state money developer Ed Riley will be able to use, as he plans to bring the landmark back to life.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

A reform group studied votes taken by local governments across the state on whether to allow hydrofracking, and found numerous potential conflicts of interest that they say could have tainted the outcome of the votes.

The New York Public Interest Research Group studied 59 municipalities that voted to permit hydrofracking in the past few years, if New York state eventually approves the process. They found numerous questionable activities, including locally elected officials holding gas leases and town attorneys who also represented oil and gas companies.

The state health department announced more than 154,000 previously uninsured New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance since open enrollment began Nov. 15.

Elisabeth Benjamin, vice president of health initiatives at the Community Service Society, a key navigator agency in New York, says her agency has experienced a high volume of requests for assistance enrolling in the state exchange, despite early speculation that it would be more difficult to reach uninsured people this year.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

A temporary ban on the controversial gas extraction method hydrofracking has dragged on for years. Even as the governor says a long-awaited study is nearing completion, a large group of local officials want the ban to continue.

Elected Officials to Protect New York, made up of more than 850 local-level elected officials, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration still has not properly studied fracking enough.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO file photo

Over the years, as businesses in Utica left or closed, the city has faced a problem of what to do with the empty buildings. In recent years, Utica has ramped up its efforts to sell these vacant commercial properties in an attempt to generate sales and property tax revenues for the city.

Since 2012, the city has sold at least eight vacant commercial properties to private developers, including a former Superfund site that was dormant for more than a decade. The buildings, which must be empty for at least three years before the city can foreclose on them, are scattered throughout Utica. Fourteen properties are currently being marketed by the city's Urban Renewal Agency.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Madison County is hoping to turn environmental stewardship into jobs. At least one business is putting up  shop near the county’s landfill, with the intent to use energy captured from decaying trash.

Johnson Brothers Lumber, a third generation company out of Cazenovia, is taking their sustainability initiative to the next level. They’re building a kiln that will dry wood next door to the Madison County’s Gas-to-Energy facility in Wampsville, according to company vice president Mike Johnson.

It’s looking less and less likely that state senators and Assembly members will get a pay raise as a holiday present this year, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers still have a number of issues they need to resolve before the year ends, ranging from the siting of gambling casinos to how to close a Thruway deficit and whether to go ahead with hydrofracking.

Daniel Lobo/flickr

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will soon have an innovation team to help develop new ways to solve city problems.

Syracuse is one of a dozen cities to win a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to create an innovation team. Miner says they’ll look at using big data to solve some of what she calls the city’s "intractable problems."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

If you’ve been to a Syracuse University basketball game this year, you may have noticed a different tint to the toilet bowl water in the restrooms. Here's why:

The Carrier Dome is now collecting rain and snow that falls on about half of its six acre puffy white roof. That water filters down the building into 50,000 gallon underground tanks. It’s then treated and stored, ready for a game break bathroom rush.

NY State of Health enrollment deadline extended

Dec 15, 2014
Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The national deadline to enroll in health care during the second year of open enrollment is today, December 15, but New York state has extended the deadline through Saturday, December 20.

If you plan to use the New York State of Health Marketplace to sign up for health care, you have five more days to enroll if you want your coverage to start on January 1. The extension applies for new or renewing coverage.

Keeping families from becoming homeless over the holidays is the idea behind a program offered by central New York attorneys this time of year.

There aren’t necessarily more evictions approaching the holidays, but Michael Balanoff of Legal Services of Central New York says losing a place to live this time of year is just more difficult, especially when children are involved. That’s the idea behind the “Home for the Holidays" program, which brings attorneys from all over the region to Syracuse City Court in the days leading up to Christmas.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The summer shipping season is about to come to an end for the Port of Oswego. The port says its seen growth in the amount of goods coming through its facility, which it attributes to recent infrastructure investments and the continued success of several companies the port does business with.

According to the American Great Lakes Ports Association, the St. Lawrence Seaway saw a five percent increase in cargo coming through its system this season, but that pales in comparison to the success the port has seen this year.

William Hartz / Flickr

A state panel is examining whether workers whose income is supplemented by tips should receive an increase in the minimum wage. The wage board, appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has held hearings and will make its decision early next year.

ACR Health in Syracuse put on a special workshop for educators recently to explore ways schools can become more supportive of transgender students. The session also offered a firsthand look at the challenges these kids face.

Schools are often ground zero for transgender kids, says Terri Cook, co-author of the book “Allies and Angels” and parent of a transgender child.

“School can be a safe space for a student, or it can be a living hell,” said Cook.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A student holds a stack of laminated cards, each with a picture of a household item. She works her way through the cards, identifying each picture in Oneida.

The Oneida language is being taught the old fashioned way in a community room on nation territory. Flashcards for repetition and nearly every item in the room is labeled with its name in Oneida.

Christiana Care / Flickr

A vocal doctor-patient relationship is crucial especially when a patient's needs should be addressed. 

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Atul Grover discusses the importance of increased communication between doctors and patients. Grover is chief public policy officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Gout -- how it starts and how to decrease its risk

Dec 14, 2014
Ivan Lian / Flickr

When an individual has their first encounter with gout, it can develop quite suddenly, over a period of hours.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Robert Shmerling talks about risk factors and how to reduce your likelihood of getting gout.  Shmerling is a Harvard Medical School professor and clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

First time farmers gathered at the Stone Barns Center, a teaching farm in rural Westchester County for the Young Farmers Convention. The 3-day conference provides supportive classes and networking opportunities to new businesses in agriculture.

The Stone Barns Center helps young farmers build the foundation they need to for successful, sustainable farms.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO/file photo

United States Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is supporting the nearly $1 trillion omnibus spending bill now under consideration in Congress. One reason is the inclusion of money that will help municipalities fix broken sewer systems.

Schumer says negotiators were able to lock $1.4 billion in the final budget bill for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund that offers municipalities grants or loans to fix sewers.  

Wallyg / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tamped down hopes for a special session of the legislature before the year ends, saying legislative leaders have still not agreed to ethics reforms that the governor is seeking. Cuomo says he also wants more time to develop a comprehensive criminal justice reform package.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

New York state Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy gave what was likely his last public address at an awards ceremony for the Regional Economic Development Councils, where he was praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others.  

Gene therapy presents potential treatments to disease

Dec 12, 2014
Universtiy of Rochester Medical Center

Medical researchers are putting a lot of resources into understanding genes as both the causes and solution to many diseases.

University of Rochester Medical Center professor of pediatrics Dr. David Dean studies the best way to treat diseases through gene therapy.

His laboratory recently received a  four-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dean explains one challenge facing researchers in his field.

Focusing on the patient

Dec 12, 2014

Doctors used to be seen as authority figures who could not be questioned. But as society becomes more service oriented, patient-centered care has become something that the medical community is increasingly focused on. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp speak with Dr. Atul Grover of the Association of American Medical Colleges about how this emphasis is changing the way doctors are trained.

wamc.org

Support organizations that work with immigrant farm workers are trying to understand how President Barack Obama's executive action affects people in upstate New York.

"We've won a small victory but we really have a huge fight in front of us," said Carly Fox, an organizer with the Worker Justice Center of New York. She describes her reaction to Obama's announcement as bittersweet.

Fox works with many individuals who won't qualify for deportation relief, and it turns out, that's not uncommon.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Hotel Syracuse is receiving a multi-million dollar state grant through New York’s competitive economic development funding program. The project is part of $80.2 million in funding central New York won.

Central New York’s regional economic development has been named a "top performer" for the third time in four years in the state’s flashy economic development funding program. It competes against other regions of the state for aid. The state gave out $709 million in all.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A slow moving nor'easter continues to cause travel problems around central New York Thursday morning. Winter storm warnings for central New York expired at 7:00 a.m., but travel advisories remain in effect for some parts of central New York. The heavy snow from Wednesday night and Thursday morning also caused dozens of school districts to delay opening or close this morning.

J J / via Flickr

There has been a groundswell in recent months to equip police officers nationwide with body cameras. These cameras are becoming more commonplace in law enforcement agencies, but some officials still have concerns.

Following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown during confrontations with police, President Barack Obama announced his proposal to spend more than $260 million of federal funding to help purchase 50,000 body cameras and provide additional training for police.

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