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7:26am

Wed April 23, 2014
Environment

Madison County leads state e-waste recycling movement

DPW workers work during a Madison County e-waste collection event in Hamilton on Earth Day.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There’s more urgency now than ever for New York state residents to dispose of certain electronic equipment. That’s why e-waste was emphasized in one central New York community on Earth Day this year.
 

Starting in 2015, you won’t be able to dump old TVs or computer monitors in any New York state landfill. Madison County has a head start, with a ban in place for several years now, and has been shipping these TVs to a Rochester-area recycler. But Madison County Landfill Director James Zecca says they’ll still feel an impact.

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7:01am

Wed April 23, 2014
Politics and Government

Moreland fallout continues for Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new poll finds that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still feeling the fallout from the demise of his Moreland Commission, a panel that was investigating corruption in the legislature. Cuomo disbanded the commission as part of the state budget deal.

The Siena poll finds Cuomo’s decision to end the Moreland Commission, in the midst of a corruption probe, doesn’t sit well with voters. Since the budget was settled, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has said he’ll continue with the investigations, and has asked for and received all of the paperwork on the probes.

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6:44am

Wed April 23, 2014
Science

Cornell synchrotron gets $100 million shot in the arm from NSF

http://www.chess.cornell.edu/

Cornell University’s state-of-the-art particle accelerator won’t face a loss of funding for the next few years at least. The National Science Foundation will spend $100 million to keep the synchrotron running.

Cornell’s High Energy Synchrotron Light Source, or CHESS, is one of only two of its kind in the United States. CHESS uses high intensity x-ray and radiation to test hypotheses in physics, biology, and chemistry.

The lab will now receive $100 million over the next five years.

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1:34pm

Tue April 22, 2014
Infrastructure

Syracuse has repaired 2,000 potholes since April 1

Kevin Hunter, a Syracuse public workers employee, prepares the city's new pothole patching truck.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Public works crews have already patched 2,000 potholes on Syracuse streets in April, but there are so many more, they now have their own email address.

City officials Tuesday unveiled a new pothole repair truck and called on residents to help report potholes around town. A quarter of those repaired so far came from city complaints, officials said.

Finding more shouldn't be a problem.

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9:11am

Tue April 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cortland among counties to pull out of SAFE Act pilot program

Franklin gun shop

The Cortland County clerk’s office has backed out of a pilot run of a re-certification program for gun owners, part of the state’s stricter gun control laws, because it didn’t feel it was getting enough support from the state.

Under a provision of the January 2013 SAFE Act, current pistol permit holders must update their permits by 2018. That means verifying addresses and what weapons are owned.

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6:50am

Tue April 22, 2014
Politics and Government

New poll shows Cuomo vulnerable on the left

Zack Seward WXXI

A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo with a double digit lead against his Republican opponent for the fall elections. But the survey finds that ratio changes if a progressive third party candidate emerges.

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6:44am

Tue April 22, 2014
Sports

Syracuse runners show they're Boston Strong

Runners take part in an event at Onondaga lake Park.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

About 200 central New York runners marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings last night. The running bond remains strong a year after the bombing that left three people dead and scores injured.

A bagpipe serenaded runners hitting the pavement of Onondaga Lake Park to mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
 

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10:49pm

Mon April 21, 2014
Education

Study finds New Yorkers don't want school mergers

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature approved a plan in the state budget to encourage local governments and schools to merge and share services over the next few years, in an attempt to lower property taxes. But according to a study by school administrators, attempts at school district mergers in recent years have failed, partly because the public doesn’t want them.

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7:40am

Mon April 21, 2014
Food

Wegmans takes a stance on genetically modified food

Wegmans says federal food regulators should better identify genetically modified foods.
Robyn Lee via Flickr

Upstate New York grocery store chain Wegmans has come out and said federal food regulators should develop standards and labeling practices for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

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7:00am

Mon April 21, 2014
Politics

Gillibrand says she isn't giving up on military sexual assault bill

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) speaks with reporters during a Watertown event in late January. (file photo)
Joanna Richards WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says in the next few months she is going to revive her military sexual assault bill, which changes how those types of crimes are prosecuted by the military. The legislation failed last month following a filibuster.

Gillibrand says her bill, which would allow military prosecutors to handle sexual assault cases instead of officers in the regular chain of command, still has the support of 55 senators, including Republicans.

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6:45am

Mon April 21, 2014
Environment

Documents show fracking health study is ongoing, group claims

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

Documents obtained by a group opposed to hydrofracking show the Cuomo administration is conducting a thorough health study on the controversial natural gas drilling process. The Finger Lakes based organization is now wondering why the review has been conducted almost entirely in secret.

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6:09am

Mon April 21, 2014
Energy

Some billing relief for National Grid customers after bitter winter

The Niagara Mohawk buidling in downtown Syracuse, now the regional headquarters of National Grid.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

National Grid customers should get some relief from their next energy bill after prices skyrocketed during a frigid winter, thanks to supply costs for electricity ticking down slightly.

National Grid says customers can expect their next electric bills to be 40 percent cheaper than the month before. A bill for 600 kWh of energy used will drop from $130 in March to $75 in April.

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6:04am

Mon April 21, 2014
Business

Tioga Downs announces expansion in push for casino bid

Matt Martin WSKG

Tioga Downs, the Southern Tier horse racing and gaming club, has announced plans to expand by purchasing the Tioga Country Club. It’s just the latest push to strengthen their bid for a full casino license from the state.

Tioga Downs will only purchase the club if it receives the full casino gaming license from the state. Developers at Tioga Downs are hoping the planned expansion will strengthen their application for a casino license.

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6:25pm

Sun April 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Joseph Fahey on The Campbell Conversations

Onondaga County Court Judge Joseph Fahey speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

One of Syracuse’s most intriguing mayors is Democrat James McGuire, who in 1896 bucked a Republican establishment to be elected into office, at just 26.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with his biographer, Onondaga County Court Judge Joseph Fahey, about the mayor’s times, his legacy, and his controversial activism on behalf of Irish independence. 

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3:27pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Pulaski company adds manufacturing jobs

A specialty paper producer in Pulaski recently more than doubled its production and workforce. Felix Schoeller, which makes inkjet papers and specialty products, added more than 170 employees in the past year -- boosting its total to nearly 300 people.

Michael Szidat, president of Felix Schoeller North America, says New York state’s economic development agency, Empire State Development, helped the company by giving it tax credits.

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7:39am

Fri April 18, 2014
Education

Students, parents defend Oswego school from possible closure

Students are allowed to choose topics related to their interests as part of ILPs, or individual learning plans.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego City School District needs to close a $1.7 million budget gap and is looking at a variety of areas to cut. One thing on the potential chopping block is the Buccaneer Junior/Senior High School. The alternative school was started just two years ago, but already has great support from its students and faculty.
 

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6:50am

Fri April 18, 2014
Agriculture

State of emergency in six counties due to weeklong flooding

Black River in Watertown Thursday.
Brian Caird

Most North Country rivers and streams appear to be cresting or starting to recede after days of rising water. 

A combination of rain and melting snow caused several rivers and creeks to flood in upstate New York, particularly in the North Country and Mohawk Valley. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a state of emergency for six New York counties this week due to flooding -- including Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties.

The Black River, which flows right through Watertown, was above flood stage beginning Monday and closed roads and bridges because of high water.

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6:28am

Fri April 18, 2014
Business

Ice in St. Lawrence Seaway delays shipping season at Port of Oswego

A ship docks near the Port of Oswego office.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Port of Oswego is expecting its shipping season to be delayed until next week, because of ice floes slowing down Great Lakes freighters coming through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Executive Director Zelko Kirincich says the shipping season was scheduled to begin April 11, but a large amount of thick ice along the seaway forced the Canadian Coast Guard to send out ice breakers to reopen shipping lanes earlier this week.

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5:52am

Fri April 18, 2014
Politics

Rep. Hanna will not face a Democratic challenger this fall

Transportation for America/via flickr

Local Democrats failed to meet a filing deadline to run a candidate in this year’s race to represent the 22nd Congressional District, which covers an area from Binghamton to Utica and west to Pulaski. Republican incumbent Richard Hanna will only have to get past two Republican challengers in this June’s primary.

Jim Testani is the chairman for the Broome County Democrats. He says the fact there isn’t a Democratic challenger isn’t from a lack of effort. Testani says he met with several potential candidates but says the rising cost of campaigning scared them all away.

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12:47pm

Thu April 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

East Syracuse votes to merge police force with DeWitt

Ken Hawkins Flickr

The chief of the East Syracuse police department is now faced with the task of phasing out his force by the end of the year. Residents of the village last night voted to dissolve the department and merge it with the DeWitt police force.

The village rejected the measure the first time it came up in October 2012, but taxes have gone up 22 percent since then. The town board resurrected the idea this year and voters passed the measure Tuesday.

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6:03am

Thu April 17, 2014
Energy

Nuclear waste facility in political and environmental limbo

West Valley Demonstration Project
Jim Day/WXXI


Audio FilePart 1Edit | Remove

  


The United States is the world’s largest nuclear power producer, and more than a quarter of New York’s electricity is supplied by atomic energy. As older nuclear plants in the state, and across the U.S., reach the end of their operational life, managing the nuclear waste left behind has become an ongoing national issue.

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5:48am

Thu April 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Amended taxi cab law passed by Oswego Common Council

Oswego City Hall (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego Common Council has voted five to zero to amend its taxi cab law, after working on it for more than a year. The law originally barred people convicted of felonies from driving taxi cabs within Oswego city limits, but sparked a lawsuit from the Workforce Advocacy Center, a group opposing job discrimination.

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5:36am

Thu April 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County combating jail overcrowding with technology

The Oswego County Jail is attempting to streamline pre-trial processes and enhance technology.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego County Jail's inmate population has grown over the past four years, and has forced Oswego County to send inmates elsewhere to be housed. County officials sat at least some of the blame lies with the state.

In this year's budget, Oswego County Sheriff Reuel Todd says he allotted $100,000 to cover the costs of housing inmates at outside facilities. But two months into the new year, Todd had already used $130,000 and is now requesting more funding.

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9:32pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Plan approved for Fowler H.S. remake; district nowhere on Delaware school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a special school board meeting Wednesday. Board Commissioner David Cecile is at the right.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school system has a plan in place for the future of Fowler High School, one of three it's overhauling this year. The school board has approved turning the school into one focused on public service and law enforcement.

Starting in the fall, incoming students will not attend Fowler High School, but the Public Service Leadership Academy.

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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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