News

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Federal authorities are ratcheting up terror warnings across the country in advance of this Fourth of July holiday weekend.  

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are asking local law enforcement officials to be prepared for any potential terrorist activity. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says this alert reflects a new kind of radicalization.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced this week that he is leaving that position, just two days after he issued the final environmental impact statement banning hydrofracking in the state.  The final report on fracking is a signal for others to move on as well. Anti-fracking groups say they are using New York’s stance to help convince other states -- and even countries -- to also ban the gas drilling process.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse University has joined the ranks of college campuses that are now smoke free.

The ban goes in effect this month.  Work crews dismantled all of the cigarette butt receptacles and signs went up alerting anyone to the new policy, which prohibits the use of all tobacco products -- cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipes,  and chewing tobacco.  

Gail Grozalis, executive director of the University Wellness Initiative, says vaping is also on the list.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A Syracuse man, who was being a good Samaritan, is believed to have drowned after a freak accident during Tuesday night’s torrential rains.

Authorities believe 28-year old Brandon Closure was swept away into the city’s storm sewer system, after he accidentally stepped into an open manhole blown open by surging rain water. He was trying to help a disabled motorist at the corner of Croly and East Fayette Streets on Syracuse’s eastside.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Now that school’s out, the Syracuse City School District will start offering breakfast and lunch to inner city children through its Summer Food Service Program.  But the program doesn’t reach all the children who may be going hungry without that daily breakfast, lunch and snack they get during the school year.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Watertown's City Hall celebrated its 50th anniversary Friday. The city commemorated the day by opening a time capsule sealed and hidden in the wall of the building since 1965.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham and former Mayors Tom Walker and Joseph Butler slowly opened a rectangular metal box in front of a crowd outside City Hall. 

“Not sure what to expect here but we’ll grab a corner and pull it off," said Graham.

slgckgc / Flickr

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a new rebate check for property taxpayers, they touted it as a significant, “real” benefit to average homeowners. But fiscal watchdog groups say the program is severely flawed and the money could be better used on something else.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

Student teams pitched their start-up companies at the Syracuse Student Sandbox demo day. The sandbox is a six-week program for aspiring entrepreneurs that teaches them how to turn an idea into an actual company. The program has been expanding their reach internationally.

 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

With so-called “swatting” attacks on the rise across the country and central New York, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced a new federal bill to crack down on the practice. Swatting involves deliberate false alarms called into authorities that often cause deployment of a police SWAT team.  

Swatting will become a federal crime Schumer has anything do with it.  

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

A wage board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking before a packed crowd of fast food workers, says it will authorize a substantial raise for fast food workers, but would not say when, or even if the increase would be the $15 an hour that many groups are seeking.

A three-member board picked by Cuomo to examine whether fast food workers need a raise say they are in agreement that the current wage of $8.75 an hour needs to be much higher.

Escaped prisoners planned to flee to Mexico

Jun 29, 2015
Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

The two convicted murderers who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility had initially planned to drive to Mexico.

Bruno Raymond / Flickr

So far, this month has been the fourth rainiest June in central New York, measuring at more than seven inches. For farmers that’s been a little bit of a mixed bag.  

The crop that’s suffered the most is strawberries. Baldwinsville farmer Brian Reeves says the berry does not mix well with a lot of rain.

Joseph Morris / Flickr

Regulations surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes and the liquid nicotine that fuels them continue to increase in New York state, but anti-smoking activists are hoping for more.

The Clean Indoor Air Act of 2003 prohibited smoking in public places, but that doesn’t automatically apply to the newest trend in tobacco use, e-cigarettes, says American Heart Association Spokeswoman Kristy Smorol.

The link between brain disease and our gut

Jun 28, 2015
James Joel / Flickr

The hip bone is connected to the back bone. The back bone is connected to the chest bone. But is the brain connected to the gut?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Perlmutter sits down to discuss the connection between gut and brain health. Perlmutter is an associate professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine, a board-certified neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition.

Kevin Krejci / Flickr

With the sun beating down during these summer months, many of us lather on some sunscreen and find relief in the nearest body of water. Pools however, often used as a shield from the sun’s harmful rays, might not be as harmless as we think.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Emmy Graber, assistant professor of dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, addresses chlorine and its effect on our skin and hair.

New York State Police

Updated 7:45 p.m.

In a news conference in Malone Sunday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico lauded the actions of NYSP Sgt. Jay Cook, who took down escaped prisoner David Sweat, as courageous.

Refugees honored for keeping the American spirit alive

Jun 27, 2015
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Hundreds of immigrants from around the world, now living in Syracuse, came out to Schiller Park on the city's north side last Saturday to celebrate World Refugee Day. 

 

Drummers from the African country of Burundi kicked off some of the cultural performances at World Refugee Day. The morning started with a soccer and volleyball tournament.

 

  A group of young girls take a break from watching. They're wearing brightly colored head scarves of pink, blue and purple. Dahabo Layli used to live in Somalia.

 

New York State Police

Saturday morning update:

Authorities continue to search for convicted murderer David Sweat, focusing their search about 30 miles west of the Clinton Correctional Facility where he and Richard Matt escaped from more than three weeks ago. Matt was shot and killed by a U.S. Border patrol agent Friday afternoon. Roadblocks are still in place in the towns of Malone and Duane. Heavy rain is forecast for the area late Saturday and is expected to last into Sunday, which could hamper the search for Sweat. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state legalized gay marriage four years ago. Today, state leaders reacted with enthusiasm to the Supreme Court ruling.

In honor of the court ruling guaranteeing the constitutional right to same sex marriage, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the lights on the World Trade center tower will be lit in rainbow colors on Sunday night.  

Cuomo, who arm twisted state Senators to win the same sex marriage vote in 2011, said in a statement that the court “is on the right side of history."

Is the brain connected to the gut?

Jun 26, 2015

In recent years, medical researchers have been discovering more about the link between gut health and overall health. This week's on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," neurologist and author Dr. David Perlmutter talks about the idea that microbes in the gut could affect neurological conditions. Dr. Perlmutter writes about explores this connection in his book “Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – For Life.”  

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

Julia Botero / WRVO News

 

When Steven Winkler’s hogs are full grown and ready for slaughter, he loads them into his truck on his farm in Rodman and drives 70 miles to a processing plant in Rome. From there, his pork is shipped to stores in Syracuse. 

“I’m very loyal to the customers and the processes I utilize down there. They do a great job.  But this is my home,” Winkler said.

Winkler wants to sell his meat close to home and he wouldn't mind a shorter trip to place that can make that happen.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It was another step forward in the restoration of the historic Hotel Syracuse Thursday with the renaming of the iconic hotel.

    

It’s a transition from a name that’s meant memories for over 90 years in Syracuse, to a name travelers across the world recognize. 

"The Hotel Syracuse moniker, brand, is going to retire," declared hotel owner Ed Riley. "The new name of this hotel, and the new partnership we will have, will be the Marriott Downtown Syracuse.”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the legislature finally settled all of their differences to finalize the legislation to end the session.

The measure, colloquially known as “the big ugly," contains a four-year extension of the rent regulations, and a corresponding continuation of a property tax cap, as well as new rebate checks sent to homeowners just before Election Day 2016.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Syracuse University announced Thursday that assistant men's basketball coach Mike Hopkins will succeed head coach Jim Boeheim when Boeheim retires in three years. Hopkins played at Syracuse from 1989- 1993 and has been an assistant coach on the team since 1996.

Onondaga County

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says he is optimistic there will be an announcement soon regarding an opening act for the county’s new amphitheater on Onondaga Lake.

“We’ve had a much shorter time period to put one together than what most other venues have.  They usually have a year and a half to get things booked.  We’ve only had 60 days.  But it’s going to happen.”  

McMahon also points out that the New York State Fair has had difficulty finding acts for the Grandstand at the fair this year.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Downtown Committee of Syracuse is celebrating its 40th birthday. The group that was created in 1975 is watching over a neighborhood that’s dramatically changed.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was in Syracuse this week promoting legislation that will give employers a $5,000 tax credit for training workers in an apprenticeship program in high-demand industries. Gillibrand said as the number of high-skilled jobs increase, employers are struggling to fill them.

 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The legislature ​hoped to pass final end of session bills Thursday, two days after a framework deal was announced by legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The session is limping to a close, after a year that’s seen the resignation of both leaders of the legislature over corruption scandals, and ongoing federal probes.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of central New Yorkers demonstrated during a busy noon hour in Syracuse’s Clinton Square Tuesday, calling attention to racism in the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina shootings at a historic black church

During a hot, muggy midday, protesters made their way around the Farmer’s Market in Clinton Square to the Jerry Rescue monument, a symbol of Syracuse’s anti-slavery past, chanting against violence and racism.

Amelia Lefevre of the Syracuse Peace Council says that history can’t be forgotten.

Ithaca restricts access to Ithaca Falls amid lead concerns

Jun 24, 2015
Samuel Whitehead / WSKG News

 

Ithaca Falls is a popular spot. People come to see the falls, wade in, and fish. It’s there that Fall Creek takes its final plunge before flowing into Cayuga Lake.

But a recent discovery has cut off access to this beloved space. Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found something concerning: lead.

Nels Bohn, director of the city of Ithaca’s Urban Renewal Agency, said that early testing is preliminary. He also said that some composite samples “have measurements above 400 parts per million of lead” within 25 feet of the gorge wall.

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