David Sommerstein / North Country Public Radio

The Burrville Cider Mill just outside Watertown embodies everything people love about autumn. They have warm cider donuts, crates full of fresh apples and lots of decorative gourds for sale. If you visit the mill in the mornings you might get the chance to watch apples pressed into cider.

WRVO's Julia Botero and David Sommerstein of North Country Public Radio visited the cider mill on a crisp fall day and filed this audio postcard.

The Burrville Cider Mill is open every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. this fall. They make cider on weekend mornings and on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Time Warner Cable News

What role, if any, the government should play in job creation was at the forefront of Thursday's Time Warner Cable News debate between the three candidates running in the 22nd Congressional District.

Jaime / Flickr, Creative Commons

Saturday is Drug Take Back Day for people across the country. Educators with a program out of Cornell University and SUNY are particularly urging people who live near the Great Lakes to bring leftover prescription drugs to nearby collection sites.

Helen Domske, with Sea Grant New York, says unused prescription drugs are often dumped down the drain or the toilet. That means antibiotics, hormones and vitamins are making their way into our waterways, threatening marine life.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

After several years of budget surpluses, New York state tax revenue is coming in at a lower-than-expected rate.

That could affect big-ticket programs like school aid and health care as well as a multi-year tax cut planned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators.

Income tax collections are down nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars from what Cuomo’s budget division projected in April, at the start of the state’s fiscal year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A court ruling doesn’t seem to have quashed the bad blood between the Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci and County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s administration. Both sides are claiming victory following a lawsuit that accused county lawmakers of illegally giving themselves and other elected officials a raise last year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Department of Transportation is hosting neighborhood meetings regarding the Interstate-81 reconstruction project through downtown Syracuse. Many residents in Skaneateles are concerned that the project could negatively affect their area.

Catherine Loper / WRVO News

With less than three weeks to go until Election Day, candidates for office around central and northern New York have been holding debates. The candidates running for the 24th Congressional District, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Democrat Colleen Deacon, sat down with WRVO for their first debate of the campaign.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Surrounded by dozens of central New York firefighters in Syracuse on Wednesday, Sen. Charles Schumer launched a push to create a national firefighter cancer registry.  

The idea is to get a closer look at a cancer risk Schumer said can be double that of others because of exposure to toxic chemicals.

It used to be a badge of honor for a firefighter to come back to the station with a dirty, charred uniform. No more, according to Syracuse firefighter Mike Valenti.

Catherine Loper / WRVO News

By now, most central New Yorkers have seen several political ads from both candidates running for the 24th Congressional District. Incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has criticized his Democratic opponent Colleen Deacon for what he calls a lack of knowledge of national and international security. Deacon has tried to tie Katko to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The opioid epidemic claims more victims than those who die of an overdose. Families, friends and loved ones are left living through grief singed with shame and judgment. But there’s now somewhere they can go to get help in central New York.

Quinnika Ayers of Syracuse lost her son Drequan Robinson last year to a lethal cocktail of MDMA, Zanax and fentanyl. He was a student at SUNY Morrisville, and was found unresponsive at a friend’s home after a party. Ayers says Robinson had a troubled youth, but felt he’d turned a corner—or so she thought.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

With less than three weeks before Election Day, Hillary Clinton is even further ahead of Donald Trump in New York state, and that could affect downballot races, including seats for the state Senate.

Clinton is 24 points ahead of Trump, at 54 percent to 30 percent, a jump from when Siena College did a survey in September. Spokesman Steve Greenberg said the biggest change is independents moving over to the Democratic presidential candidate’s camp. A two-point lead among independents for Clinton has grown to a 17-point lead.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A group of energy companies and power plants are challenging New York's recently approved Clean Energy Standard (CES), which aims to reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions in the state by subsidizing financially distressed nuclear power plants, including the FitzPatrick and Nine Mile Point plants in Oswego county. The plaintiffs in the case say the state has overstepped its legal boundaries.

PNI / Flickr

Pipeline companies are not having a lot of success in New York so far in 2016; opponents say they are dirty and continue New York’s over reliance on fossil fuels. Two projects have already been canceled. But a pipeline company representative says the projects are not as harmful as opponents say, and essential for the state’s current electric needs.

Until recently, expanding and building pipelines was not terribly controversial, as most people agreed that there was a common need to transport oil and gas for fuel and electricity.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

An experiment in government consolidation has failed in central New York -- a victim of a difference of opinion over how to create jobs and promote economic growth in Syracuse and Onondaga County and the continued deterioration of the relationship between the mayor and county executive.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Members of the Academic Governance body at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry plan to hold a vote of no confidence in President Quentin Wheeler. Some faculty members have been raising issues about Wheeler's leadership for more than a year.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Two candidates are running against one another in the 116th Assembly District that runs along the St. Lawrence River in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. Republican candidate John Byrne, a former town councilman from Cape Vincent, is challenging incumbent Democrat Addie Russell for the second time. Both exchanged heated words during the race’s first debate last night. It was hosted by WWNY-TV in Watertown. 

WRVO News File Photo

WRVO will air the first debate between Republican John Katko and Democrat Colleen Deacon on Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m. Grant Reeher, host of “The Campbell Conversations," will be moderating the hour-long debate.

Additional broadcasts occur over the weekend, on Saturday, October 22 at 6 a.m. and Sunday October 23 at 6 p.m. Audio and a full transcript will be available online (on "The Campbell Conversations" page) Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

State lawmakers with disabled children, along with people with developmental disabilities and their caregivers, rallied Monday at the state Capitol for more money in the budget to pay caregivers a living wage. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature approved a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 an hour downstate and $12.50 an hour upstate, saying mega-companies like McDonald’s and Burger King can afford to pay their workers more.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Earlier this fall, the Indian River Central School District in Jefferson County identified lead contamination in five sites around the district. Last month, state law went into effect requiring all schools test their drinking water for the toxic material. Lead is extremely harmful to young children, often leading to lower IQ’s, behavioral problems and even brain damage.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Eight police departments in Onondaga County will now have needle and drug drop boxes installed at their facilities. They include the Baldwinsville, Camillus, Cicero, DeWitt, Geddes, Manlius, Marcellus and Syracuse police departments. It is part of an effort to reduce the number of heroin and opioid addictions in the county.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Nine central New York law enforcement agencies are supporting Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in his re-election bid. Katko, a freshman Republican, worked with many police professionals during the years he was a federal prosecutor in Syracuse. 

At Forman Park in Syracuse Monday, Katko said there are ways he would like to support law enforcement at a time when racial issues surrounding police officers are widely reported.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News


The American Legion Post 80 in Binghamton is one of Bert Proper's favorite places. Aside from the plaques, pictures and flags that remind him of military service history, he loves the feel of the building. "You're around people that have been there," he explained.

Proper means been deployed. He served during the Persian Gulf War and had a tough transition back home. "I went up to the VA in Syracuse and committed myself," he said. "It's a little hard to talk about."

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Empty and abandoned houses, known as zombie homes, are a big problem in the North Country. The State Attorney General has awarded a total of $13 million to cities and towns across the state to help tackle the problem.

Watertown City Planner Mike Lumbis says right now the office is notified about a new vacant home in the city only if a neighbor complains about it. The $150,000 grant will allow Watertown to create a database of all the homes that are empty or going into foreclosure. That database will have information on the homeowner, Lumbis says, usually a bank.

governorandrewcuomo / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has spent the past year walking a fine line between environmentalists who believe nuclear power is a necessary evil in reducing the state's carbon dioxide emissions and those who think the plants pose too great a danger. But, Cuomo is no stranger to this kind of juggling act on nuclear policy.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A bill vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this month would have given Madison County some of the cash the Oneida Indian nation pays to state as part of a compact that’s been in place between the state and the nation since 2013. Madison County didn’t have gaming at that time, but it does now, and officials say it’s only fair that the county should get in on some of the gambling revenue. 

State Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) says a veto usually means the end of a story.  But he’s sees a glimmer of hope in this case, in the governor’s veto message.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

After several years of construction, SUNY Oswego has completed a major phase of its renovation of Tyler Hall, which houses part of the college's school of communication, media and the arts. Theatre professor Jonel Langenfeld said she's excited and relieved to be back on this stage. Her department has been housed in an adjacent building for two years, making use of temporary classrooms and performance venues.

Jo. / Flickr

Imagine you’re in an enclosed space that you feel you can’t escape easily, like a crowded elevator or a room with no windows. For some, this can automatically trigger their response to get out of there, or cause avoidance of these situations altogether.

Claustrophobia can cause these feelings, and is something many people can suffer from. This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Robin Zasio, a psychologist who specializes in treating OCD, anxiety disorders, and related conditions, helps define claustrophobia and the treatment that can help eliminate it. Zasio is founder, owner, and director of The Anxiety Treatment Center, The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center, and The Compulsive Hoarding Center, all located in Sacramento, Calif. Zasio is also the author of "The Hoarder In You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life."

Movement matters more than sitting or standing at work

Oct 15, 2016
Christoph Spiegl / Flickr

Recent research has suggested sitting all day is bad for a person’s health. According to U.S. News and World Report’s Anna Medaris Miller, standing desks have come in vogue due to companies using the research in marketing campaigns. But, she says solely standing is not the answer.

This week on Take Care, Medaris talks about the benefits and harms of standing at work she learned while reporting her story “5 Ways Your Standing Desk Is Doing More Harm Than Good.”

Loren Kerns / Flickr

Many Americans spend a good portion of the day sitting. Between a 40-hour work week and a commute, time spent sitting adds up, as do the associated health problems. Enter the standing desk. A popular option, the standing desk may be an effective way to combat risk factors associated with sitting.

But it's not just sitting that gets a bad rap. Standing for long periods of time can also take a toll on the body. Nurses, teachers and other professionals often complain of back pain and other stress associated with being on their feet day in and day out.

Jason Lawrence / Flickr

Along with insurance issues, handicapped accessibility has become one of the roadblocks to getting ride sharing services in upstate New York.

State lawmakers expect to make expanding ride sharing services to upstate New York a priority this upcoming legislative season, including Uber and Lyft. But they’ll have to get past the insurance and taxi lobbies, and also may also find roadblocks from the disabled community.

Access CNY Executive Director Paul Joslyn says it’s a matter of making sure disabled riders aren’t left out.