News

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State lawmakers planned to hold meetings throughout the weekend as they put the finishing touches on the state budget. But, a couple big issues remain unresolved.

Senate Republicans are trying to modify Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require full disclosure of law clients in legislators’ outside business.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who works part-time at a private law firm, says he expects to agree on a “robust” new disclosure law, but concedes that it may only apply to new law clients, not existing business arrangements.

The top foods for boosting your immune system

Mar 27, 2015

This cold and flu season you may have heard experts recommend ways to avoid catching diseases, like washing your hands often. But is there anything you can do to build up your body's immune system? This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with author, chef and registered dietician Michelle Dudash about ways to adjust your diet to improve your natural defense system.

Lorraine Rapp: What are some of the foods that you recommend we incorporate into our diets that have been shown to boost our immune system?

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

As state budget negotiations continue, one of the proposals that hang in the balance is a plan to bring more Internet access to rural areas of the state.

A majority of homes and businesses in the North Country don’t have access to high-speed Internet. Gov.Andrew Cuomo has pledged to change that by connecting every New Yorker to the Internet by 2019.

Government officials from across the region gathered at Jefferson Community College in Watertown Thursday looking for more information on Cuomo’s New New York Broadband Program.

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This is a big weekend for central New York’s hospitality industry – 30,000  people are rolling into town this weekend for the NCAA men's East Regional basketball games at the Carrier Dome held Friday and Sunday. And they’ll bring plenty of dollars to spend. 

Tracey Burkey of the Syracuse Visitors Bureau says this is one of the biggest events the city hosts over a short period of time. They’ve been planning for months. But they decided against what many other communities do when hosting games, that is creating a fan festival that brings visitors to one place.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The state Assembly, Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo continue to work on sticking points in the state budget, as yet another item has now been dropped from the spending plan -- raising the state’s minimum wage.

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Ski slopes this winter had some of their best snow in years, but record cold temperatures kept many skiers sheltered indoors. Now a cold March is allowing ski resorts to get a late-season boost to business.

This will be the last weekend of operation for Labrador Mountain, located south of Syracuse. Peter Harris, who owns Labrador and Song Mountains, says there will be a few more weekends to ski and ride at Song, which has a slightly deeper snowpack.

He says business all year has been about average, balancing the great snow with cold temps.

Ash Carter / via Flickr

The newly-appointed secretary of defense will visit Fort Drum and Syracuse University's veterans institute early next week, WRVO has confirmed.

It will be Secretary Ash Carter's first domestic trip since taking over at the Pentagon, according to Stars and Stripes, which first reported the trip.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are considering a commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield now has a better idea of why four out of every ten upstate New York adults don’t always take prescriptions as prescribed. The insurance company got the answers from patients through a comprehensive survey.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Maj. Gen. Jeffery Bannister has officially become the new commanding general of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, after a change of command ceremony on post Wednesday. 

Soldiers and a small audience stood at attention as the 10th Mountain Division band honored outgoing commanding general Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend with ruffles and flourishes and a gun salute.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer says increasing the amount of federal funding available as grants for sewer repairs and upgrades will make the work more affordable for local governments.

Last year New York was only allowed to give out $10 million in federal money as grants to towns villages for sewer projects. The rest had to be given as loans.

"Cash-strapped local government have difficulty affording the big wastewater infrastructure projects, so they have no choice, they put them off for another day," Schumer said Wednesday. 

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As budget discussions in Albany rumble towards a conclusion, supporters of the Rebuild New York Now coalition are pressing their case, that surplus money in the state budget should fix roads and bridges and water systems across the state.  

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders say they are making progress on the budget. Cuomo, after a private meeting with Senate Republicans, says he’s closer to an agreement on ethics reform, but the governor is getting some criticism for dropping some items out of the budget, including the Dream Act.

courtesy Justin Blodgett

During the wartime periods of American history, including the last decade, life in the military could be a career.  With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan officially over, and with troop cuts looming, the Army is sending soldiers a message - start thinking about your civilian life.

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A major instance of academic fraud with the Syracuse University basketball program was the work of "rogue individuals," according to now former S.U. athletic director Daryl Gross.

Gross, who stepped down last week following an NCAA investigation into Syracuse athletics, spoke with WRVO News Tuesday.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse will be on display as tens of thousands of basketball fans flood to the Carrier Dome for the NCAA East Regional Basketball games this weekend. The city is working on putting its best foot forward.

Syracuse Department of Public Works Commissioner Pete O’Connor admits the end of March isn’t the best time to show off Syracuse.

“Because we are between seasons. A cold winter, a lot of dirty snow out there, a lot of potholes, and unfortunately when the snow does melt, it uncovers all the dirt that’s been accumulating all winter” he said.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

A protest to raise the minimum wage drew hundreds to the state Capitol, and included a brief occupation of the building’s Dunkin' Donuts. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers are considering hiking the minimum wage in the new budget, but protesters say it is not enough.

The protesters, who have been holding rallies every week, stepped up their efforts when around 100 stormed into the Capitol’s Dunkin' Donuts and demanded that the state’s minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour.

Derek Bridges / via Flickr

By using people with firsthand knowledge of guns and gangs, a program is trying to interrupt violence on Syracuse’s streets.

The national Cure Violence program was created by a former public health doctor and so it’s modeled off of treating infectious disease: you have to treat the cause of the illness, not just the symptoms.

Credit njxw / Flickr

 

Many working parents may find it hard to imagine a daycare center right in the same building as their job. But Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to change that. She has introduced a bill to increase tax breaks for businesses that build onsite child care.

Having child care at work could make a big difference for parents like Stephanie Walsh. Walsh says sometimes she barely leaves the house in over a week. She used to go to work every morning, as an accountant at a Southern Tier construction company. But then she had her son Jacob.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Union members at financially distressed hospitals across the state are taking action to urge state budget negotiators to include funding for these hospitals in the final state spending plan.  

The state’s biggest health care union, 1199SEIU, is highlighting what it says is a critical piece of funding, vital to keeping 28 financially troubled hospitals afloat.  

www.co.oswego.ny.us

The Oswego County hearing in the case of Heidi Allen resumes Tuesday after a six-week break. Gary Thibodeau is seeking a new trial, claiming there is new evidence pointing toward his innocence. He was convicted of kidnapping Allen from the convenience store where she worked in New Haven more than 20 years ago. The defense wrapped its case last month, but Syracuse Post-Standard reporter John O'Brien, who has been covering the hearing, reports that Thibodeau's attorney has asked the judge if she can call new witnesses before the prosecution begins its case.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

With just over a week until the state budget is due, there’s pressure to drop a number of unrelated items in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state spending plan.

Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree. 

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A new poll finds voters disagree with most of Gov. Andrew’s Cuomo’s tactics during the current budget negotiations. Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  

A Siena College poll finds that, while New Yorkers think ethics reform and school funding are important, they don’t want the issues linked to the budget, and they say an on-time spending plan is important to them, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

Hearing in Heidi Allen case scheduled to resume Tuesday

Mar 23, 2015
www.co.oswego.ny.us

The Oswego County hearing in the case of Heidi Allen resumes tomorrow after a six-week break. Gary Thibodeau is seeking a new trial. He was convicted of kidnapping Allen more than 20 years ago. Allen was 18 when she disappeared while working at a convenience store in New Haven. WRVO news director Catherine Loper spoke with Syracuse Post-Standard reporter John O'Brien who has been covering this hearing from the beginning.

Catherine Loper: Can you bring us up to date on what happened when the hearing ended?

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Several thousand Fort Drum backers sent a loud message to the Pentagon Friday. They said the Army base near Watertown should be spared from deep cuts as the military downsizes after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army brass toured Fort Drum and the region as they near the end of a review of 30 installations to determine where to cut.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Cyclists in the Syracuse University area have had it with the shutdown of a portion of some bike infrastructure. It was closed due to a lawsuit between Syracuse University and the potential builder of a bookstore on University Avenue.

Office of Eric Schneiderman / Flickr

There’s still no final three way deal on an ethics reform proposal at the state Capitol.  And reform groups say a proposal offered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Assembly does not go far enough.

The plan by Cuomo and Assembly Democrats requires that lawmakers disclose the source of all outside income they receive above $1,000. Lawyers must reveal the names of their clients if they earn more than $5,000. They would also have to prove they are actually in Albany, through an electronic monitoring system, before receiving their expense payments.

Broome County

 

Among the issues up for discussion in budget talks this year is an overhaul of New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. It offers tax breaks for the development of contaminated industrial sites.

Getting to the guts of the matter of 'gut health'

Mar 22, 2015
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If you watch television, you probably have seen commercials advertising products that claim to help improve your “gut health.” The idea of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in a person’s digestive tract has been around for a while, but researchers are learning more all the time about the connection between gut health and overall health.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas, discusses gut flora and how to maintain good gut health. Jain is also a partner at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants and clinical assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Kidney stone basics, including some ways to avoid them

Mar 22, 2015
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Often described as the worst pain imaginable aside from child birth, kidney stones can seemingly happen to anyone. But what is a kidney stone? How is it formed? Is passing one as painful as they say? More importantly, is there any way to prevent kidney stone altogether?

Joining us on “Take Care” to talk about the basics of kidney stones and how to prevent them is Dr. Glenn Preminger. Preminger is a professor of surgery and chief of the division of urology at Duke University.

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