Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York Public Interest Research Group released its annual report on potentially hazardous toys for children this year. NYPIRG is focusing on four areas of hazards:  toxicity, choking, magnets and excessive noise.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

An energy developer out of Albany is considering building a 32-turbine wind farm on Galloo Island, six miles offshore, on Lake Ontario. But residents in the Jefferson County town of Henderson, on the shores of the lake, say all they would get out of the project is a ruined view.

If you’ve ever visited Henderson you know that the homes along the harbor are big and beautiful, with sweeping views of the Lake Ontario. The town is small and quiet. 

When Entergy announced earlier this month that it will close the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant, they cited potential economic losses. Yet some New York officials are suggesting that wasn't the whole story.

"Placing our families and students in the cross hairs in the Indian Point debate is unacceptable," said Sean Bruno, the Mexico School District superintendent. He said Fitzpatrick is being used as leverage.

Jason Devaun / Flickr

The Syracuse City School District is revisiting the debate over how far children should have to walk to school. A group representing parents, teachers and students contend that two miles is too far to walk.

Kama Ndbay is a junior at Henninger High School. He’s an honor student and his first class of the day is Advanced Placement English.

“In all my other classes I have a 90 or above," Ndbay said. "But in that class I have an 83.”

lindenbaum / Flickr

Maple sugar operators, scientists and forest managers have known for years that the sugar maple is very sensitive to acid rain. So when the federal acid rain levels dropped levels dramatically after federal regulation, it could only mean good news for one iconic tree that found living with acid rain difficult -- right? A recent study published by the SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse shows that hypothesis doesn’t hold water.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Friday is Plaid Friday, the independent, local business alternative to Black Friday, the major chains’ big sales day for consumers. The buy local movement continues its push in Syracuse.

The nonprofit SyracuseFirst launched the holiday giving season by organizing the Buy Local Bash in Syracuse. The event, which is in its sixth year, hosts venders from local businesses that give out samples, sell goods and educate the public about their companies.

Ithaca College

Ithaca College students will release the results of a confidence vote in their college president Monday, and the college faculty hold their own vote next month. President Tom Rochon has faced criticism and protests for his handling of racial incidents and what some call top-down leadership. 

He spoke to reporter Solvejg Wastvedt about how the college has responded and what he’s learned. Here are the highlights:

Payne Horning, Leah Landry / WRVO News

Oswego officials commemorated the completion of its $19 million breakwater wall renovation Wednesday. The Oswego Harbor's wall stops incoming waves, but the magnitude of 2012's Superstorm Sandy devastated the structure.

"Just three years ago, Superstorm Sandy ravaged the northeast," said Lt. Col. Karl Jansen, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo district. "A lot of that attention goes to the Atlantic coast, but it impacted the great lakes, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie to a degree as well."

Side Hill Farmers Meat & Market's Facebook page.

At tables across the country, Americans will be gathering around to eat turkey and the demand for local, pasture-raised turkeys is growing. The more expensive, small farm birds and the conventional turkeys from large farms both have their benefits and disadvantages.

According to recent statistics, 2.1 million New Yorkers are cheated out of $3.2 billion in wages and benefits. Activists are trying to get the word out that this wage theft is happening here in central New York.

Rebecca Fuentes is an organizer with the Workers’ Center of Central New York. She says wage theft happens when employers underpay workers, don’t pay overtime, or classify them in the wrong job description. And it makes it harder for a working family to get by.

Rescue Mission Alliance

Syracuse’s Rescue Mission is getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Alan Thornton, with the Rescue Mission, said you need a lot of food when you’re making meals for about 2,000 people.

“It’s about 1,200 pounds of turkey, 375 pies, 42 pans of stuffing and mixed vegetables, and mashed potatoes, 20 gallons of gravy," Thornton said. "I don’t know how many people measure gravy in gallons, but we do here at the Rescue Mission.”

Brit Hanson / NCPR

There was a deep sigh of relief in Massena Tuesday, if only a temporary one. After announcing massive layoffs three weeks ago, aluminum manufacturer Alcoa reversed course. The company said it will keep its smelter in Massena open and guarantee 600 jobs for 3 1/2 years. In exchange, New York state will give the aluminum giant almost $70 million in cheap power and cash for capital and operating expenses.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some Syracuse residents are trying to focus the spotlight on poverty in the city.

More than a dozen members of some Syracuse churches marched through downtown during a busy midday, calling for more action to prevent poverty in the Salt City. Organizer Raymond Blackwell says there are three things that need to happen for Syracuse to lose the distinction of having the highest rate of concentrated poverty among minorities.

"One, is job training and job placement. Two, is fair housing policies, and three, is fully fund the public schools,” said Blackwell.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

The energy company Kinder Morgan has formally applied to install a pipeline connecting Pennsylvania gas wells with Massachusetts.


During an appearance in Massena Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Alcoa's smelting plant would stay open for at least the next 3 1/2 years. Alcoa had previously announced that it would end its smelting operation at the end of this year, resulting in a loss of more than 500 jobs.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Anti-hunger advocates came to the state Capitol in Albany Monday to lobby for measures to help New York’s neediest.

The advocates placed empty paper shopping bags at the office doors of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislative  leaders, reminding them to remember the poorest New Yorkers in the upcoming legislative session.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Fayetteville Village Board voted unanimously in favor of a bait-and-cull program to control their deer population. The three month trial program will begin December 23.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Upstate Medical University is working together with the military to come up with a vaccine to prevent dengue fever. 

The medical research wing of the Army is willing to spend up to $12 million over the next three-and-a-half years, as Upstate researchers try to develop a vaccine for a disease that affects half the world’s population. 

Mark Polhemus of Upstate says while most people associate dengue with third world countries, the mosquito borne illness has a foothold in the U.S.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo


At a hearing held by the New York State Assembly on expanded voting, advocates argued that New York needs to join more than half of the other states who offer some kind of extended voting.

New York state has among the lowest voter turn out rate in the country, ranking 46th out of 50th in the 2014 statewide elections, which included the race for governor.

Downtown Committee of Syracuse

The “Elf on the Shelf” is coming to downtown Syracuse.  The holiday icon is part of an attempt to get more visibility for downtown shops during the holiday season.

The Downtown Committee of Syracuse is calling him “Dash.”  The elf will be turning up in shops, restaurants and museums throughout downtown Syracuse during the holiday season. Alice Maggiore of the Downtown Committee says it’s all part of a push to get people thinking downtown when they think about holiday spending.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Google’s program “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” came to Syracuse last week. The Internet giant has a goal of encouraging more small and medium sized businesses to take advantage of the web.

Dozens of owners of small- and medium-sized businesses sat along long tables, with laptops glowing, at SKY Armory last week, getting first-hand tips about how to use tools in the Google stable to spur business.  They ranged from the novice, to people who work with computers every day.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga-Cortland-Madison Boces is expanding their career-embedded programs and opening a new high school in Cortland County. This comes as a high percentage of students in Cortland County attend career and technical education programs.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News file photo

Audio recordings released by the U.S. attorney’s office at the corruption trial of Sen. Dean Skelos aim to show that the former Senate leader and his son colluded to use Dean Skelos' official position to help his son get employment, in what turned out to be a succession of no-show jobs. But the phone recordings paint a revealing picture about how Albany really works behind the scenes.

DCIS and what it means for women's health

Nov 22, 2015
dbkfrog / Flickr

Everyone is aware of breast cancer, but not everyone knows much about the various kinds of breast cancer. DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ, is a non-invasive type of breast cancer which may or may not become invasive breast cancer. This week on “Take Care,” we focus on DCIS with Dr. Tari A. King.

Dr. Tari A. King is Chief of Breast Surgery at the Dana Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and the associate division chief for breast surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Talking turkey about labels this Thanksgiving

Nov 22, 2015
wiphy / Flickr

With the holidays approaching, turkey is at the top of many shopping lists. A trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming with so many different options including organic, free-range and hormone-free meats. This week on “Take Care,” we discuss what these terms mean with Susan Moores.

Susan Moores is a registered dietitian and former national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Moores has also written for the Wall Street Journal and MSNBC and covers healthy eating at her website

DCIS: One of the most common forms of breast cancer

Nov 20, 2015
pixel displays / Flickr

One in five women diagnosed with breast cancer will be told she has DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ. This Sunday, on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Tari King, chief of breast surgery at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and the associate division chief for breast surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, about what DCIS is and how it differs from other kinds of breast cancer.

More of this interview can be heard on "Take Care," WRVO's health and wellness show this Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Uber and other ride sharing services are gearing up to win permission from the state legislature to operate in areas outside New York City. State Senators held a round table discussion of how to craft legislation.

Senators appear open to allowing Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing services to operate in New York state, as long as they can come up with the right rules. Sen. Phil Boyle, chair of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee co chaired the discussion.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Students and faculty at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse are becoming more interested in the Native American approach to the environment. The college is making more of an effort to connect with the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee people.

County of Oswego Industrial Development Agency

Entergy said it will close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant because it wasn't economically viable. Gov. Andrew Cuomo scolded that statement, saying there is much more in a company's "bottom line." As uncertainty about the plant's future grows, a new campaign to keep FitzPatrick open is putting a face on the issue.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A dispute over internet use at Syracuse City Hall is again headed to the courts. The issue over whether lawmakers should sign a city computer use policy hasn’t been able to be resolved through negotiations.

Councilor Kathleen Joy expects the Syracuse Common Council to file court papers in the next few days asking a judge to settle the issue of whether lawmakers should be forced to sign that computer use policy which is required of and agreed to by all city employees. A majority of councilors believe it would allow the Mayor’s office too much access to Council business.