News

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

The standardized testing process is a little mysterious. Third- through eighth-graders take New York state exams every spring. But once they’re done, everybody goes on summer break. Where do the results go?

Last month schools around the state received those results. If you’re picturing big thick envelopes full of bar charts and Excel spreadsheets, guess again, says Chenango Valley Assistant Superintendent Liz DiCosimo.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County's Lakeview Amphitheater comes to life tonight for the first time, when country star Miranda Lambert takes the stage. Many in the community hail the entertainment venue, along the shores of Onondaga Lake, as an economic engine for years to come. But there are still environmental concerns from one front, about the choice to build a stage on top of 80 feet of industrial waste beds. 

"We’re very concerned that we have lost a chance to clean up next to the lake,” said Joe Heath, who has been the attorney for the Onondaga Nation for more than three decades.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

There is about $14 billion in lost money or unclaimed funds owed to residents in New York state. People attending the New York State Fair can check out the new state comptroller's booth to see if they have any unclaimed funds.

Matthew Horseler of Auburn did not know about the comptroller’s office of unclaimed funds until he received a call from them. New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli traveled to the state fair and presented Horseler with a check for $627.

“It’s going to go to great use I think, a lot of fun,” Hoseler said.

NIAID / Flickr

New rules for school vaccines in New York take effect September 1. The updates impact students entering kindergarten through seventh grade.

The major change is that kindergarteners need to have all their shots done before they start school. Previously, they could be part-way through the set of vaccines for four- to six-year-olds and still go to class.

The update also changes requirements for three vaccines that older kids get. It brings New York in line with federal recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Nurses Association held a rally at the state fairgrounds yesterday to launch their “Protect Quality Patient Care for Central New Yorkers” campaign. Many upstate medical centers and health department nurses are in the early stages of negotiating new contracts with hospital management.  Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, the president of the union, came out to the event and said they are pushing for an increase in nurse staffing and community input for care.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his yearly visit to the New York State Fair yesterday. Between the sausage sandwiches and glad-handing, the Democrat made one stop that was profoundly personal.

It was just in front of the International Building that Cuomo, flanked by politicians, security and the media, heard the voice of Judy Rice of North Syracuse.

"How’s your girlfriend?” shouted out Rice.

“She’s doing better, thanks for asking,” replied Cuomo

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought some more specifics about the upcoming $50 million renovation of the New York State Fair when he visited the Syracuse fairgrounds Tuesday.  

Julia Botero / WRVO News

This month, two soldiers made history by becoming the first women to graduate from Army Ranger school. The course is the most exhausting and mentally demanding in the Army -- designed to create leaders who can excel amid the stresses of combat. This April marked the first time woman were admitted to Ranger School.

Capt. Michelle Kelly is the only woman from Fort Drum who qualified for the course. She didn’t pass, but she says she’s glad she tried. WRVO's Julia Botero sat down with Kelly to talk about that experience.

timlewisnm / Flickr

School administrators are closely watching a letter campaign that’s taking place in the as school starts that could lead to even more children opting out of state standardized tests.

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Eileen Buckley / WBFO News file photo

New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen is clarifying her stand on the opt out movement in an interview with New York State Public Radio & Television.

This year, 20 percent of children boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says parents absolutely have the right to opt their kids out of state standardized tests, but she says she still wants to talk to them to try to bring them back into the fold.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A $57 million renovation will turn the former Hotel Syracuse into the new Marriott Downtown Syracuse,  scheduled to open in the spring of 2016. Now, the hotel is partnering with a branch of SUNY to help train inner city residents for some of the available jobs.

U.S. Treasurer speaks at a Seneca falls forum on the new $10 bill

Sep 1, 2015
GREG COTTERILL / WXXI News

A top U.S. Treasury official led a town hall meeting Monday at the Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls.

It was all about the discussion of putting a woman on the $10 bill. The Treasury Department is working on a redesign of the $10 bill, with plans to put a woman on that currency in time for the 100th anniversary of the amendment that gave women the right to vote.

Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios spoke before a standing room crowd in the Wesleyan Chapel. As she read through questions submitted by the audience, one came up again and again.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY’s latest strategy to try and help students graduate on time with less debt is a guarantee that credits will be transferred from one school to another

SUNY students begin the academic season this year with a promise from the state: they can transfer any general education requirements as well as some discipline-specific courses from one school to another in what Chancellor Nancy Zimpher calls the “guaranteed seamless transfer of credits.”

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s labor commissioner is likely in the next few days to finalize a phased in hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food workers. That action dismays some business groups, who say it will have some unintended consequences.

The governor, after unsuccessfully trying to raise the minimum wage further through the legislature, appointed a wage board, which voted in July to increase the minimum wage for fast food workers to $15 an hour over the next several years. Cuomo spoke to jubilant fast food workers and union leaders when the vote was announced.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

There are about 1,800 vacant buildings in the city of Syracuse, according to the Syracuse Land Bank, which steps in to stabilize a property and resell it to responsible buyers when it gets foreclosed. A recently released audit of the land bank by Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse finds that while the organization has many successes, some potential problems lie ahead.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Politicians are a familiar sight at the New York State Fair. But it’s mostly central New York or statewide representatives that show up -- usually for an event, or the traditional eating of a hot sausage sandwich. But this year, the state’s new speaker decided to bring a downstate delegation to take in the fair.

How to prevent blood clots during travel

Aug 30, 2015
Christopher Doyle / Flickr

Blood clots can serve a lifesaving function, but they also can be deadly if they form when a person has been immobile for a long period of time. The problem is most common on a long plane flight or car trip when people might be sitting in the same cramped position for several hours.

This week on “Take Care,” we talk to Dr. Menaka Pai, a hematologist at the Hamilton General Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, about why blood clots form and why they can put your life at risk. Pai is also an executive member of the organization Thrombosis Canada.

Are Fido & Fluffy disturbing your sleep?

Aug 30, 2015
Andy / Flickr

Sometimes, no matter how well trained a pet might be, it simply doesn’t want to sleep at any convenient time, keeping you up throughout the night.

This week on “Take Care,” Linda Lowen and Lorraine Rapp speak with Dr. Lois Krahn, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist at their Sleep Disorders Center in Arizona, on why some pets might be disturbing their owner’s sleep.

bandita / Flickr

It is human nature to squat when defecating. It was not until the invention of the modern-day toilet that humans started to sit upright for waste elimination. A new invention, the Squatty Potty, is bringing back that natural human instinct.

Dr. Rajeev Jain joins “Take Care,” this week to talk about the Squatty Potty and whether or not it really helps. Jain is the chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas and a partner at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants.

stefanik.house.gov

Elise Stefanik, New York's first-term congressional representative for the North Country's 21st district, is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.  At issue in her campaign last year was just how moderate the young Republican would be when she reached the chamber.  Host Grant Reeher talks with her about her record so far, what she views as her most important accomplishments, and how well Congress is currently functioning. 

Liz Truskowski

Eight thousand acres of pristine wetlands just north of Watertown in Jefferson County are open to visitors until Sunday. For most of the year, the Perch River Wildlife Management Area is off-limits to the public. The area is a breeding and nesting ground for threatened and endangered birds like bald eagles and black terns.

Why long flights can lead to blood clots

Aug 28, 2015

Between weather and security concerns, commercial air travel can seem more and more difficult. But there's also a health concern associated with very long flights if you are unable to move around -- blood clots. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Menaka Pai, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, about how blood clots form and why they can be deadly. Dr. Pai is also an executive member of the organization Thrombosis Canada.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner was on the city’s west side on Thursday, highlighting efforts of police and other officials to improve troubled neighborhoods. But some residents are upset that some neighborhoods have been struggling for years.

stgermh / Flickr

A New York State Board of Elections investigator appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have found a back door way into breaking some of the secrecy surrounding a major campaign contribution loophole in New York.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It may have been the most momentous sausage sandwich moment at the New York State Fair since Senate candidate Rick Lazio refused to eat the state fair staple the year he ran against Hillary Clinton. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul bought a sandwich for one of the protesting teachers trailing her on the fairgrounds opening day Thursday.

Dozens of educators dogged Hochul around the fairgrounds yesterday chanting and repeating many of the concerns they’ve had about the Cuomo administration’s education policy for years now. And communication seems to be a big part of the dispute.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Today is the opening day of the New York State Fair which always has a great impact on central New York at this time of the year.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News file photo

The New York state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some back lash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher.  

At a recent conference held by the teacher’s group Educators for Excellence, New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she plans to try to convince parents not have their children repeat this year’s boycott of standardized tests associated with the Common Core learning standards, which resulted in 20 percent of students statewide opting out of the tests.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Almost a quarter of New York children live in poverty, and in the city of Binghamton, that figure is near 50 percent. State legislators and community leaders gathered in Binghamton Tuesday to discuss the problem.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced on Tuesday that construction is now complete on the new Lakeview Amphitheater along Onondaga Lake. Country singer Miranda Lambert will be the opening act, scheduled to perform on September 3.

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