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1:55pm

Mon September 1, 2014
Labor Day

Unions celebrate the American workforce at state fair march

Ryan Delaney WRVO

It’s Labor Day, which marks both the unofficial end to summer as well as a day to celebrate the American workforce.

But there are half as many Americans in a labor union today as there were 30 years ago. It’s down to about one in 10 workers.

"We got to do everything we can to try and gain back that number and that’s important. We got to have the middle class again," said steelworker Brian Hoige. "It’s either the rich or the poor, there’s not really any middle class left to speak of anymore."

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7:43am

Mon September 1, 2014
Politics

Cahill calls on Schneiderman to return contributions tied to Moreland probe

John Cahill says Attorney General Eric Schneiderman should return some of the contributions given to himby donors who were targeted by the Moreland Comission's subpoenas.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

John Cahill, the Republican candidate for New York state attorney general was in Syracuse Thursday to call on current Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to discuss his role in the now-defunct Moreland Act Commission and to return contributions he received from people and groups that were subpoenaed by the commission.

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7:18am

Mon September 1, 2014
Technology

Common councilors add their voice to high-speed internet push in Syracuse

Marufish via Flickr

Syracuse common councilors are adding their voice to the ongoing fight for better internet access to the City of Syracuse.

Lawmakers unanimously agreed to a resolution that encourages Verizon to apply to the Public Service Commission for a franchise agreement that would establish FiOS internet and cable service inside city limits. Right now the fiber optic system is only available in select Syracuse suburbs.

Council President Helen Hudson says that’s not right.

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6:40am

Mon September 1, 2014
Education

DiNapoli says SUNY schools still need to do more to comply with Clery Act

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says SUNY's 29 state-operated colleges are doing a better job of reporting crimes on and around their campuses, but there is still more work to do. DiNapoli's office recently released an audit regarding the Clery Act, which he says was a follow up to an audit performed in 2008.
 

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6:14am

Mon September 1, 2014
Medical marijuana

Medical marijuana legal in N.Y., but will insurance pay for it?

Brett Levin Flickr

Marijuana has been approved in New York for medicinal uses for people with certain ailments, but that doesn’t mean using it will be simple.

It’s a bit of a going-nowhere-fast loop when it comes to health insurance providers offering coverage for medicinal marijuana.

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7:00am

Sat August 30, 2014
Arts

Utica art museum brings Golden Age artists to central New York

Gino Geruntino WRVO

This summer, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is hosting an exhibition featuring some of the world's greatest European painters, from Rembrandt to Rubens, called The "Golden Age of European Painting."

It isn't long after stepping foot into the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute that one sees why the city of Utica is excited to show off its most recent art exhibit, including the "Portrait of Madame Adelaide."
 

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6:48am

Fri August 29, 2014
Transportation

Another round of public comments on I-81 concluding

The second round of public input on the future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse begins Wednesday.
Zack Seward WXXI

Another study, another round of public comments. It may seem like the decision-making process on the future of the elevated Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse will never end.

An end is in sight, even if it’s still far off. Transportation officials say they hope to make a decision on whether to rebuild the viaduct, divert it around the city or tunnel it underground, in 18 months to two years.

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6:43am

Fri August 29, 2014
Politics

Teachout blasts Time Warner-Comcast merger, says she would stop it if elected

Zephyr Teachout says the Time Warner-Comcast merger would result in higher monthly bills for users.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

New York state gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout wants the Time Warner-Comcast merger to be on the mind of Democratic primary voters when they go to the polls next month.

Teachout, the upstart Democratic candidate appealing to the more liberal wing of the party, was in Syracuse Thursday in the midst of a whistlestop campaign tour and accused Gov. Andrew Cuomo of being subservient to the two cable giants because they’ve contributed heavily to his campaign.

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6:42am

Fri August 29, 2014
Politics

Katko addresses 14-year-old gun theft that resulted in double homicide

John Katko, republican candidate for New York's 24th Congressional district seat, at the New York State Fair on Thursday
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Republican congressional candidate John Katko says he has no regrets about legally obtaining a gun to use for protection while he was a federal prosecutor in Syracuse.

He accuses political opponents of rehashing a 14-year-old story about  the theft of that gun, and its use in a robbery that ended with the shooting death of two men in Syracuse.

“Despite all the threats I’ve been through over 20 years, I still stuck with it, and went after the worst criminals, the most violence criminals in El Paso, in Puerto Rico and here in Syracuse," Katko said.

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6:13am

Fri August 29, 2014
Travel

Travel up, gas prices down for Labor Day weekend

Oran Viriyincy via Flickr

More New Yorkers are planning to get away for an end-of-summer weekend than have in the past six years.

Travel service AAA says nearly 35 million Americans will travel over the three-day Labor Day weekend. That's more people than have traveled since 2008, before the recession.

And the “stay-cations” of recent years past are no longer. 

"The recession is really no top of mind for a lot of folks. So if they want to travel, they’re going to travel. We’ve seen a slow, steady rebound, so that’s been great news for the industry," said AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.

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4:34pm

Thu August 28, 2014
Health

State Fair infirmary equipped to handle emergencies big and small

The New York State Fair infirmary handles about 600 patients each year.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A steady stream of patients visit the infirmary at the New York State Fair each day. Though most people have minor maladies, one fairgoer did have a heart attack early in the fair's run and is recovering. Upstate Medical University Hospital ER Physician Erin Wirths isn’t surprised. She says the fairgrounds has all the pieces in place to deal with an emergency situation. For the most part the infirmary handles small things, and sometimes fairgoers who need a few minutes to rest up.

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3:33pm

Thu August 28, 2014
-Nature of Things

The Story of a Maple Part One

John Weeks tells a story about a tree close to his house. He appreciates this tree because it shades his house from the hottest days of the summer. The tree was damaged earlier in it's life and never recovered. The tree might be cut down for a highway.

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7:18am

Thu August 28, 2014
Health

5K run at state fair to help doctors perform hip replacements in Ghana

The Operation WALK team that traveled to Panama in 2013 to perform hip and knee replacements.
Operation WALK Syracuse

For the first time ever at the New York State Fair, there will be a running event at the fairgrounds. The Bubble Blast 5K run will take place Sunday.

One of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser is a group of central New York medical professionals who take their skills to third-world countries.

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7:16am

Thu August 28, 2014
Business

State pension funds hits another all-time high

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the state's estimated pension fund value has reached an all-time high, thanks to several factors.

"We've been benefiting obviously from the strong public markets, the stock market's been doing well and that's a significant part of our portfolio," DiNapoli said.

"So at the end of our first quarter -- and our fiscal year starts April 1 -- so at the end of the first quarter, which ended June 30, we were up to $180.7 billion. That is an historic high for us, so we're very, very pleased about the continued growth of the fund."

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7:05am

Thu August 28, 2014
Medical marijuana

How will medical marijuana use go over in the workplace?

dank depot via Flickr

While medical marijuana will soon be legal for some illnesses in New York, legal experts are warning there are some unanswered concerns over when and where it can be used.

In about a year and a half, people with illnesses like cancer or AIDS will be able to use medicinal marijuana legally for pain and loss of appetite.

But will those patients be allowed to be high in the workplace?

Labor attorney Michael Macomber, with the firm Tully Rinckey, says marijuana is still an illegal drug at the federal level after all.

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5:55pm

Wed August 27, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Craft distillers make their way to the New York State Fair

New York liquors, including moonshine, are on display at the New York State Fair.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As New York state continues to boost the craft brewery and distillery business, brews and spirits pushed into the wine court at the New York State Fair.

David Tadros has been collecting brews and spirits from Clayton to Brooklyn to sell at his stand on the edge of the wine court. State Fair Showstopper Ale, a brew concocted only for the run of the fair, by Empire Brewery, is sold here, along with other New York state beers. And for the first time distilled spirits are available outside, opening them up to a bigger audience.

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3:35pm

Wed August 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Visitors to state fair could find lost money thanks to comptroller

Those visiting the New York State Fair might stumble into some money, thanks to the state comptroller and the Office of Unclaimed Funds.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says there's about $13 billion in lost money throughout the state.

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8:47am

Wed August 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Lawmakers, preservationists call for historic building renovation credit to be saved

The main lobby of the Hotel Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Preservationists and Syracuse-area economic development specialists are uniting to try and save a federal tax credit that’s helped renovation of historic buildings.

They made the push  from one of the grandest rooms in an historic building that turned 90 years old this month, the Hotel Syracuse.

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8:18am

Wed August 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

North Country lawmaker, group, working to save Fort Drum jobs

Soldiers participate in a homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum. (file photo)
WRVO

Supporters of Fort Drum are coming out in full force to prevent the North Country installation from losing more soldiers. The fears come from the United States Army's proposal to reduce troop levels to pre-World War II numbers.

State Sen. Patty Ritchie's office has been working with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization to gather more than 9,000 signatures in support of keeping jobs at the base, which she says pumped about $1.4 billion into the local economy last year.

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6:25am

Wed August 27, 2014
State Fair

Classic midway prize missing from this year's state fair

Nine-year-old Kacen Chigaridis, left, and his brother Kyler, 7, play a game on this midway at the New York State Fair.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

It’s a common procedure at the state fair: step right up and try to win a prize at one of the midway’s many carnival games.

Pop a balloon with a dart; sink a basketball shot; hook a ring around a bottle. Do so, and spend the rest of a day at the fair slinging an oversized plush gorilla over the shoulder, or carrying a stuffed monkey under an arm.

But one game, and an iconic fair prize, is missing this year.

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3:11pm

Tue August 26, 2014
-Nature of Things

The Twin Miracles of Flight and Frenzy

John Weeks talks about different kinds of birds, especially robins, and the fruits they eat. Fruit is important this time of year as a main source for the energy they need to migrate in the Fall. Their behavior changes towards the end of the summer as they prepare for their long flight.

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3:00pm

Tue August 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Snow shoveling legislation returns to Syracuse Common Council

People shovel snow along East Fayette St. following a February snowstorm. (file photo)
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Temperatures may still be in the 80s, but Syracuse's common councilors are looking beyond shorts and sandal weather. The issues of people not shoveling snow from their sidewalks is once again on the agenda.

Last year, Councilor Bob Dougherty couldn’t get the votes to pass a law that would have ticketed property owners who didn’t clear snow off their sidewalks. So he’s spent the summer looking at what went wrong and devising a way to encourage homeowners to keep sidewalks clear when the inevitable Syracuse snow begins to fall.

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11:24am

Tue August 26, 2014
Politics

Syracuse Common Council considers Ban the Box legislation

Syracuse lawmakers are making more changes to the proposed Ban the Box legislation. A scheduled vote has been put off until after another committee meeting, to discuss the latest iteration of the civil rights legislation.

Ban the Box legislation is meant to get rid of the check box on a hiring application that asks if applicants have a criminal history. For Brian Johnson of Syracuse, that box is keeping him from getting a job, even though it’s been seven years since his encounter with the law.

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6:57am

Tue August 26, 2014
higher ed

Syracuse University named top campus for LGBT students

Danilo Urbina via Flickr

Syracuse University has earned a top score for being a gay-friendly campus.

It’s hard for campus officials who work with the LGBT community to tell if more students today are coming to campus already out.

"I think they’re maybe a little more savvy and they realize that coming out is a continuous process. There’s no one way to do it," said Chase Catalano, director of the college's LGBT resource center. "And at least our hope is that coming out isn’t a requirement."

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5:34am

Tue August 26, 2014
Politics and Government

GOP continutes to wait for a viable GOP option to the Affordable Care Act

During the last two elections New York and Pennsylvania Republicans campaigned on repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare – but House Republicans have yet to vote on a replacement plan.

Remember “repeal and replace”? It’s the campaign slogan that helped Republicans gain control of the House in 2010 and keep that majority in 2012. House leaders have done what they can to repeal the law – the GOP has cast more than 40 votes to scrap or defund all or part of the Affordable Care Act. But where’s the replacement?

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4:34pm

Mon August 25, 2014
Business

Hotel Syracuse pilot program will help restore landmark to its former glory

George F via Flickr

Syracuse lawmakers agreed to a pilot program Monday that will ease the tax burden for developers renovating the historic Hotel Syracuse.

City Deputy Commissioner for Development Ben Walsh says this is a big step in moving the project forward.

“The project is complicated, and frankly, as expensive as this, it needs as much certainty and predictability as possible," Walsh said. "And that’s what the pilot provides. It provides a certain payment for a period of time when the hotel is most vulnerable in it’s initial years of operation.”

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6:57am

Mon August 25, 2014
Education

Beginning of college marks transition period for students and parents

Students leave their belongings on the sidewalk while they wait for help moving into their dorm rooms.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

As summer vacation comes to a close, many students will be heading back to school for the year. But for some parents, their children are leaving home for college. Parents and their kids both have their own worries about that day.

Jolie Cotner recently graduated from high school and is attending SUNY Oswego for her freshman year. Her family lives several hours away in Rockland County, but Cotner says being away from home isn't going to be an issue.

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5:35am

Mon August 25, 2014
Regional Coverage

Police departments get new vests through state-funded program

Bulletproof vests, like the one shown, have been given out to several regional law enforcement agencies, including the Syracuse and Utica Police Departments.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A new state program is providing bulletproof vests for police departments across the state. One Syracuse Police detective is living proof of how important these vests are to an officer on the street.

It was April 13, 2009, when Syracuse Police Detective Richard Curran and his partner found themselves in a shootout on Syracuse’s south side with a wanted parolee who was carrying an illegal .357 handgun. Curran was wearing an up-to-date bulletproof vest, and was shot at close range.

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7:01pm

Sun August 24, 2014
Health

Making healthy choices for a healthy lifestyle

Lake Mead NRA Public Affairs Flickr

It is a familiar occurrence.  You get home from work with plans to go for a run or head to the gym, but you decide that you are too tired and end up watching television instead.  Why is it that you watch television even though you know that exercising would be a much more productive and healthy use of your time?

This week on “Take Care,” B.J. Gallagher discusses the reasons why we do not always do what is best for us and how we can make positive changes to our lifestyles.  Gallagher is a sociologist and author of the book “Why Don’t I Do the Things I Know Are Good for Me?” 

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with B.J. Gallagher.

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7:00pm

Sun August 24, 2014
Health

Navigating the Blood Drive

César Astudillo Flickr

Although blood donations are a critical part of the healthcare system, many of us have never given blood.  While the American Red Cross and similar organizations work very hard to promote blood drives, they give less information regarding the specifics of the procedure and what to expect after walking into a clinic. 

This week on "Take Care," Dr. Patricia Pisciotto describes the blood donation procedure and the possible conditions that can prevent people from donating.  Pisciotto is the chief medical officer of the American Red Cross Northeast Division.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Pisciotto.

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