News

Melissa DeRosa / Gov. Cuomo's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is again wading into national issues this week. He’s had a press conference against the latest attempt in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. And he met with the governors of California and Washington to discuss steps to slow climate change.

In both cases, the governor said he’s addressing the matters because the actions — or, in the case of climate change, inactions — in Washington have a harmful impact on New York.

Nancy Mueller / NYS Federation of Lake Associations, Inc.

Elevated levels of toxic blue-green algae have been discovered in the water of Skaneateles Lake. The lake is the primary water supply of the city of Syracuse’s water system. While tests show the public water is still safe to drink, residents who live along the lake’s shoreline and drink water directly from the lake could be at risk.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News

The Senate's latest attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act is getting bipartisan heat from some of New York's representatives. They are worried that the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill could disproportionately hurt the Empire State.

In Oneida County Tuesday, a group gathered outside of Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney's (R-New Hartford) town hall, holding up signs that said "HEALTH CARE, NOT TAX CUTS." They oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill that would cap health care funding for states and phase out the money that states like New York got for expanding their Medicaid program.

Marco Varisco / Flickr

Republicans in the state of New York met for a planning session in Albany on Tuesday in advance of the 2018 campaigns, which will begin shortly.

The party’s leader, Ed Cox, believes Republicans have a good chance at winning statewide offices against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others next year.

Republicans in New York face a daunting challenge in the race for governor next year. There are fewer GOP voters than ever, as the number of Republicans shrinks and Democratic ranks grow.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News

Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) was on the defensive for the majority of her first in-person town hall Tuesday night. More than 300 people attended the event that was hosted in the Oneida County town of Camden.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Another Democrat has announced she will seek the party’s nomination to run against Rep. John Katko's (R-Camillus) 24th Congressional District seat next year. Dana Balter, a Syracuse University professor, said she was compelled to run after the results of the 2016 election. Balter said she feels like the country, its people and its values are all being threatened in the wake of last year’s election.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

In light of the recent massive data breach at the credit reporting company Equifax, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is taking steps to make sure that in the future, the credit agencies have better cybersecurity in place.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

After months of requests from her constituents, Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is holding an in-person town hall tonight. It's the first such event the Republican congresswoman has hosted since she took office in January. Tenney avoided the events earlier this year, saying the decision was related to safety because threats were made against her.

Syracuse Councilor Joe Nicoletti is endorsing Juanita Perez Williams for mayor of Syracuse, after she defeated him in the Democratic primary last week. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Thirty historic sites in 21 counties in New York received $239,634 in preservation grant money, and they say it makes a difference in a region where the economy is struggling.

The grants were distributed by the Preservation League of New York State, along with help from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. They were awarded to groups ranging from an antique boat museum to a dance center to help with preserving cultural heritage across New York.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A family-owned supermarket on Syracuse’s west side, which has been open for nearly 100 years, is expected to close its doors next month. It is a loss for residents in an area with some of the highest concentration of poverty in the city.

Nancy Gardner has been living on the west side and coming to the Nojaim Brothers Supermarket her entire life. She said it was a shock to hear they are closing.

“This is like close to home where you can shop," Gardner said. "I don’t know what people are going to do without. Because there is no other shopping near here.”

Zach Hirsch / NCPR (file photo)

Congressional leaders are once again considering immigration reform, and some upstate representatives want to make sure they take farmers into consideration.

Rural areas struggle with health care availability

Sep 16, 2017
Mark Robinson / Flickr

Healthcare is readily accessible in urban areas and people living there have a lot of choices when it comes to the type of care they receive. That isn't the case for people living in rural communities. Dr. Alana Knudson is the program area director in the Public Health Department at NORC, an independent research institution at the University of Chicago, as well as the co-director of NORC’s Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis.

Knudson discusses the concerns rural communities might face when it comes to accessing healthcare in their area.

Incidental findings lead to more costs than benefits

Sep 16, 2017
Liz West / Flickr

A chest X-ray ordered by your doctor for the cough you have been dealing with may not reveal anything about your cough, but an entirely different problem. This is called an incidental finding. While these findings can occasionally lead to something good, they can also cause unnecessary worries and costs. Joining us this week to discuss incidental findings is Dr. Robert Shmerling.

Shmerling is the clinical chief of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, as well as faculty editor of Harvard Health Publications and an associate professor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

On the ballot in New York this Election Day, is a referendum on whether or not to hold a state constitutional convention. If approved, the entire state government structure could be up for reform, or even up for grabs. 

The state of rural healthcare today

Sep 15, 2017
Hamza Butt / Flickr

If you live in or near a city, you're never far from a healthcare provider if you need one. But if you live in a rural area, it can be a lot harder to find the medical help you need close by. And for some people, driving several hours each way to see a doctor may not be worth it. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show Take Care, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen talk with Dr.

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr (File Photo)

New York State is getting $25 million in federal funds to help fight the opioid addiction epidemic.

Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul says among other things, the funding will target a particular population: addicts in more rural areas where treatment is an hour or two away.

Rome Capitol Theatre Facebook

The city of Rome will receive $10 million from the state for new downtown economic development projects. The city was one of the winners of the second round of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative. 

Cuomo announced Rome’s prize like an award ceremony.

“I’m going to open the envelope and find out, because they don’t tell me what the actual answer is," Cuomo said. "Congratulations Rome, you have won first place, which is $10 million.”

Doug Kerr / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New Yorkers who use the state Thruway will have a bit of a wait before more cashless tolling is installed on the nearly 500-mile tolled portion of the road.

The Cuomo administration’s Thruway Authority has adopted cashless tolls at the new Tappan Zee Bridge and will take down the toll booths on the Grand Island Bridge in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area early next year.

There already is an option for cashless tolling at the Woodbury exit of the Thruway in the lower Hudson Valley, although toll booths still exist as an alternative.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County lawmakers last week approved the bonds the county needs to update the aging War Memorial in downtown Syracuse. The $4.5 million will be supplemented with some state funds and ticket surcharges to pay for the $9 million project that will includes a new scoreboard and marquees. 

The War Memorial opened in 1951, and it doesn’t look much different now than it did then. The hulking gray structure with jutting marquees is home to several displays honoring veterans and the area's military history from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County shared services committee approved a county-wide shared services plan Wednesday, and local governments could be in line for $5 million in savings, plus a $5 million match from the state. 

The just over two month timeline to get something done that was required by the New York forced towns, villages, school districts and city of Syracuse to spend a lot of time communicating this summer. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

It is National Suicide Prevention Week, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Syracuse hosted an event honoring local efforts to raise awareness. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner issued a proclamation making this week Suicide Prevention Awareness in the city. The V.A. has been working with the Onondaga County Suicide Prevention Coalition for about a year. Veterans make up a significant percentage of suicide deaths.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The state Board of Regents is taking steps to make it easier for teachers to become certified in New York. But the state education commissioner denies that it’s a lessening of requirements.

Ellen Abbott

Juanita Perez Williams, a political newcomer whose grassroots campaign appealed to minority and new American voters, has won the Democratic mayoral primary in the city of Syracuse. According to unofficial election results, Perez Williams pulled in more than 52 percent of the vote in a three-way race.

www.co.oswego.ny.us

The health of the man who was convicted of kidnapping Heidi Allen from a New Haven convenience store is deteriorating.

Medical staff at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility have given Gary Thibodeau less than six months to live. The grim diagnosis comes as he waits for yet another appeal of the case that put him behind bars 23 years ago.

Thibodeau's lawyer Lisa Peebles says her client is currently living in the prison's medical residential unit suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that restricts airflow to the lungs.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Andrew Cuomo, in what has become an annual event for the New York governor, led a motorcycle ride along the path of a New York City firefighter rescue team to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Cuomo was introduced by actor Robert De Niro at a luncheon at the Javits Center in Manhattan, just before the final leg of the motorcycle ride. De Niro said when he heard he would be speaking before members of a motorcycle gang, he expected the Hells Angels. 

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Every year, local leaders assess the value of a municipality's property. The goal is to assess them at fair market value so all property owners are paying their share of county and school district taxes.

New York state has upheld Scriba's assessment every year since 2002. But this year, the state said the Oswego County town was undervaluing its worth, giving it a rating of 86 percent on a 100 scale. As a result, Scriba town attorney Kevin Caraccioli estimates that a house worth $100,000 will pay about $300 more in school taxes this year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Today is Primary Day in upstate New York and most voters will begin casting their ballots at noon. This year, the Onondaga County Board of Elections has had an unusual amount of challenges to petition signatures collected by candidates.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

On that sunny September 11 16 years ago, many had their eyes to the sky watching the twin towers fall. Under bright blue skies in Pompey Monday morning, all eyes were on the sky as two skydivers fluttered to the earth, each carrying an American flag.

It was part of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation program that builds functional homes for disabled vets. The program is named after Frank Siller’s brother Stephen, a New York City Firefighter who lost his life 16 years ago.

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

As schools across New York welcome students back for another year, they continue to grapple with the ongoing teacher shortage. The inability to find qualified applicants for certain subjects has left many districts without certified teachers.

That doesn't mean no one is teaching those subjects. Paul Heiser, a senior research analyst with NYSSBA, says it just means that the school district had to hire a teacher for that class who isn't certified in the subject.

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