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Great Lakes Cruise Company

A luxury cruise ship on its maiden voyage up the St. Lawrence River from Montreal to Chicago will stop in Clayton this May. It will be the first visit there for the MS Saint Laurent. The ship’s new route will bring it to the Thousand Islands village almost a dozen times this summer, each time with as many as 200 people aboard.

Medical malpractice is a difficult issue for both patients and doctors. The frequency -- and threat -- of lawsuits have changed the way medicine is practiced, to some degree. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO’s health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with health care attorney Chris Stern Hyman of the Medical Mediation Group in New York City. Hyman discusses how frequent medical errors occur and how the healthcare industry has responded.

Lorraine Rapp: What is the legal definition of medical malpractice?

JECO photo / via Flickr

College graduation season is nearing and along with finding a job, student debt is also on grad’s minds. One program New York is hoping will help and keep those grads in the state.

Upstate New York is known for its idyllic college campuses, but its towns and cities struggle to keep those young people around once they graduate, as they’re drawn away by jobs and more trendy cities.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse-area National Guard Reserves are preparing for the worst this week.  Troops are in New Jersey, taking part in drills that mimic manmade and natural disasters.

The full-scale disaster exercise means 180 soldiers with the National Guard’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team in Syracuse boarded a military convoy Thursday to head south to take part in the exercises. They joined guard members from across New York and New Jersey.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There continues to be a shortage of organ donors in New York State and central New York. The donor council at Upstate University Hospital is urging the community to learn about the issue, and join the organ donation registry.

Ken Teegardin / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer used this year's tax deadline to call for more help for the victims of tax refund fraud, which he said is the most common form of identity fraud.

The New York Democrat told reporters Wednesday that he is pushing legislation that would create a new resource at the Internal Revenue Service for the victims of refund fraud, which he says affected 70,000 New Yorkers and 2.3 million Americans last year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

With some successes but little political momentum, organized labor and low wage workers are continuing to call for a $15 minimum wage. 

Brittany Buffman once earned minimum wage in a job at the dining halls of Syracuse University. She says union efforts to pump pay the college allowed her and her husband to buy a house and raise a family.

This week, a bipartisan team of New York state senators announced a round of four hearings around the state addressing the heroin epidemic.  The state poison control center received 255 calls about toxic exposures to heroin throughout upstate New York state last year. 82 of those toxic exposures were from Onondaga County.

State senators are turning to police, doctors, and their constituents for proposed solutions to the increase in deaths from opioid overdoses.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse city councilor Chad Ryan has served in the chamber for a fraction of the time as some of peers but he’s also asked a fraction of the questions, in public at least.

Councilor Chad Ryan sits at the end of the table during council study sessions or committee meetings, he’ll often wave off his chance to ask a question. It’s not shyness, he says in an interview, but maybe a little humility.

"I guess I wouldn’t say I’m shy," he said. "Certainly tentative about what you say in the chambers."

Jake Gamage / WRVO

There were nearly 50 accidents involving Syracuse public works vehicles this past winter, mostly for minor mishaps.

Despite the difficult weather conditions for much of this winter, the number of accidents for public works crews in the city of Syracuse declined from the winter before.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Toxic chemicals lurk in some of the popular children’s toys purchased in stores in Onondaga County, according to a report released this week by the group Clean and Healthy New York. The group hopes the study will force New York state lawmakers to keep hazards like this out of the state.

Bobbi Chase Wilding, deputy director for Clean and Healthy New York, points an X-Ray Floresance Analyzer at a children’s xylophone, purchased at a local dollar store.  

Michael / via Flickr

Syracuse residents say the way the city is proposing to update billing for ornamental street lights goes way beyond just nickel and diming taxpayers.

After decades of not collecting fees or updating billing on more than a hundred special lighting districts, Syracuse is trying to update its regulation of ornamental street lights, but it means bills for thousands of city resident could skyrocket.

Solvejg Wastvedt/WSKG News

On the Ithaca College campus, Kyle James has a pretty sweet office. James is vice president of the college's Student Government Association. His view overlooks the quad, where he can see students crossing back and forth between classes. James says lately, there have been some disruptions to life on campus.

“This actually started in 2011 with an exploratory committee about bias on the Ithaca College campus,” he says. “From that they found that microaggressions were a big problem.”

Ellen Abbott

Bicycle commuters in Syracuse are hoping that the next roadway that’s revamped with bike infrastructure is Euclid Avenue.

Courtesy Andy Daddio / Colgate University

Hours after Hillary Clinton formally announced her campaign for president Sunday, several New York officials and fellow Democrats quickly threw their support behind the former Secretary of State, who also served as U.S. senator from New York from 2001-2009. 

belsondesign.com

Updated, 5:57 p.m.

After conducting a thorough sweep with bomb-sniffing dogs, the New York State Police recommended that Hamilton College fully lift its shelter-in-place order.

Updated, 5:35 p.m.

College officials say canine units are still searching building on the South Campus, which remains locked down. The shelter-in-place order has been lifted for North Campus.

Updated, 3:25 p.m.:

Central New York will need to innovate and come up with new ideas about how to address the needs of its senior population. That was the message of a forum held to discuss how to shape an age-friendly region.

Michael / via Flickr

The ornate metal street lamps that line downtown or some Syracuse city streets aren’t free to keep on. Property owners are supposed to pay the electric bill, but for decades the city has been. Now, city hall wants to change that.

Business districts and neighborhoods in Syracuse that have upgraded or ornamental street lights are in what the city calls "special lighting districts." Problem is, many of them were put in place decades ago and the city either hasn’t been fully collecting those fees, or hasn’t increased them in decades either.

timlewisnm / Flickr

The move to refuse the state standardized tests scheduled for later this week is getting more vocal, as test dates approach for children in third through eighth grades. Teachers unions, and some parent organizations are organizing opt out sessions and email blasts meant to let families know how to refuse the tests that start Tuesday. For one Central New York family, keeping their children from taking the test sends a message to Albany about a complicated issue they say, goes deeper than using tests to measure teachers performance. 

Why energy drinks aren't your average cup of joe

Apr 12, 2015
Tambako the Jaguar / Flickr

Caffeine gets many people through the day. An increasingly popular form of caffeine comes in energy drinks, but when consumed in large doses, it can pack quite a punch – sometimes a dangerous one. How do you know if you have consumed too much caffeine? When is it time to stop?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Kathleen Miller discusses the dangers of energy drinks and their effects on the body. Miller is a senior research scientist and assistant professor in sociology at the University at Buffalo.

Inside the ambulance: from dispatch to hospital

Apr 12, 2015
Penn State / Flickr

When you hear those high pitched sirens coming from the road, you know someone somewhere is being transported to a local hospital or urgent care center. There’s a lot of science that goes into those transports to ensure their safety and efficiency.

This week on “Take Care,” Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Scott Matin on how ambulances and their crews operate. Matin is a 25-year veteran of emergency medical services and vice president of clinical, education and business services for MONOC Mobile Health Services in Wall Township, New Jersey.

The New York State budget process was different this year than years past. There was a new “man in the room,” and there were many significant policy proposals attached to it; some were incorporated and some were tabled for later consideration.  On this week’s edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher breaks down that process with State Senator Dave Valesky, who argues that the process was actually better in many ways.  Valesky also comments on his Independent Democratic Conference, its new role in the Senate, and its future prospects. 

It's only been a little over a week since the state legislature approved an upstate economic development competition in the budget, but central New York community leaders are already beginning to try to figure out their entry. At stake is $500 million from the state to help revitalize the economy in the manner of the Buffalo Billion in western New York.

Potential risks of energy drinks underestimated

Apr 10, 2015
Mike Mozart / Flickr

Energy drinks have become increasingly popular in the last 15 years, becoming a staple on college campuses. But are they safe? And how do they impact the health of teens and young adults? This week on Take Care, WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Kathleen Miller, a senior research scientist at the University at Buffalo, who has extensively researched the effects of energy drinks.

Schumer calls for more inspection of railroad bridges

Apr 10, 2015
Alan Kotok / via Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer says the federal government needs more railroad bridge safety inspectors. The New York Democrat says that while the federal government is responsible for the safety of bridges it owns, many others are owned by private rail companies.

Schumer says while there are 3,000 of those bridges in New York state, there is only one inspector assigned to audit them, in addition to the bridges in 13 other states.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is calling on Congress to replenish the highway trust fund, to fix and upgrade the city’s interstates, saying the fund’s stability has implications for the future of Interstate-81.

Whatever the decision on I-81 in Syracuse is, money to rebuild or remove it will come from multiple sources, one those being the federal government. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named former Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll as New York’s next commissioner of the Department of Transportation.

This announcement comes as the DOT is trying to narrow down possible options to replace the aging viaduct portion of Interstate-81 that goes through downtown Syracuse.

The decision over whether to keep the route through downtown or to divert traffic around Syracuse has been controversial.

Current Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said it's always helpful to know people in positions of authority when decisions like this are being made.

Ithaca gun factory site in decontamination mode

Apr 9, 2015
SAMUEL WHITEHEAD / WSKG

From 1885 to 1986, the Ithaca Gun Company produced shotguns in a hillside factory northeast of downtown Ithaca. The factory’s smokestack still overlooks the city and Ithaca Falls. 

In the years since, the site has been the focus of extensive environmental remediation. Now, stakeholders are approaching the beginning of the end of the cleanup.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse VA Medical Center is seeing more than nine in 10 patients in a timely fashion, according to a review of six months of patient appointment records, but an “anomaly” in one area of care shows veterans waiting more than three months to be seen by a doctor.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has released what she calls a good, strong budget to the Common Council. The spending plan shows a city that’s emerging from years of fiscal uncertainty. 

The $674 million spending plan won’t raise taxes or water or sewer rates. There are no layoffs of city employees; and there’s increased revenue from building permits, parking garages and meters. There is still a $9 million deficit. But that pales in comparison to the numbers the mayor was throwing around a few years ago, when she suggested the city could go broke. 

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