News

Matt Zeller

For eight months in 2008, Matt Zeller was an Army Lieutenant acting as an embedded trainer with Afghan security forces in the Ghazni Province.  Following that, he was a CIA analyst, ran for Congress, and authored a book about his war experiences.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, he speaks in powerful and unvarnished terms about his time in Afghanistan, his struggles upon his return to the States, and the shortcomings of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Note: This broadcast originally aired in February 2013.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Democrats in Onondaga County have nominated the candidates they want to see on the ballot in 2015. Toby Shelley, a former Onondaga County sheriff's deputy, will run for county executive against Republican incumbent Joanie Mahoney. Last year, Shelley ran and lost the race for Onondaga County Sheriff.

Onondaga County Democratic Committee Chairman Mark English says Democrats made a hard push to get candidates to run for 12 positions in the Onondaga County Legislature this year. 

Nurses who provide care to cancer patients do some of the most emotionally difficult work there is in medicine. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen interview Pattie Jakel, a clinical nurse specialist in the Oncology Program at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital in California. They discuss the ethical dilemmas oncology nurses often confront.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

This weekend kicks off the summer travel season. And according to one travel group, it’s going to be a busy one.

Every year, AAA does a survey of members to find out if they’re traveling over Memorial Day. Results this year show it will the busiest Memorial Day on the road in the last decade, according to AAA of Western and Central New York Spokeswoman Diana Dibble. Estimates are that 32 million Americans will hit the road, in large part because of an improving economy and lower gas prices. This could bode well for a busy summer overall.

baasiilb15 / Flickr

 

The New York Department of Financial Services will post the new coverage rates proposed by insurance companies and allow for public review starting next month.

Last year, the state allowed insurers an average increase of 5.7 percent. They had requested rates higher than 12 percent above the previous year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It’s not the threats from abroad that worry Army Secretary John McHugh the most these days. During a visit at Syracuse University yesterday, he said an uncertain budget situation is the military's boogie man right now.  

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been steering clear of public events at the state Capitol recently, after a second major party legislative leader, the head of the Senate was forced to resign over corruption charges.  But the governor is still finding ways to press for his legislative agenda in the last weeks of the session.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse-area Assemblyman Sam Roberts may soon be giving up his seat to be commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the state agency that handles welfare and disability cases.  

Roberts, a Democrat, was nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the job Wednesday. He needs to be confirmed by the New York State Senate, and then it’s up to the governor to call a special election.  

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, a fellow Democrat from Syraucuse, hopes that could take place during the regular November election.

Michael Staab / International Institute of Species Exploration, SUNY ESF

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse has come out with a top ten list of new species discovered in the last year. SUNY ESF President Quentin Wheeler says the list is culled from the 18,000 new plants and animals scientists discover every year. 

Wheeler says it’s not just plants or animals on the list. There’s a 600-pound chicken-like dinosaur that researchers used to think was a bird, nicknamed the “chicken from hell” because they hung out in nests of dinosaur eggs.

Columbia City Blog / Flickr

A near record number of school budgets were approved around the state in Tuesday’s vote. Many are attributing the relative lack of controversy to the three year old property tax cap that limits tax levy increases, as well as an increase in state aid.

About one in four Obamacare enrollees who signed up for high-deductible health insurance chose not to access any care last year, according to a new study.  Health advocates are calling for more states to adopt programs like one just announced in New York state that connect people with low-cost coverage.

An analysis of data from the Urban Institute’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey showed more than 25 percent of people who bought non-group insurance last year did not use the coverage for needed services, like medical treatments, prescription drugs, and tests.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is kicking off her campaign for re-election with an endorsement from a group that doesn’t traditionally back Republicans.  

The Alliance Network is a leading Syracuse-area community organization that represents many of Syracuse’s minority interests. It has only endorsed two Republicans in its history, former Rep. Jim Walsh and Mahoney, when she ran for a second term as county executive four years ago.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Residents in one Syracuse neighborhood are sprucing up their homes this spring with an extra incentive in mind

The Eastwood Neighborhood Association once again is recognizing homeowners who put in a little extra time and effort to beautify their home.  

Resident Minch Lewis says the Eastwood Neighborhood Curb Appeal Contest goes a long way to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood that anchors the east side of the city of Syracuse.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

 

There are two new hall of famers in Northern New York, but they didn’t get into the Baseball Hall of Fame, they got into the Male Hall of Fame. Those who’ve dedicated their lives to making the perfect pancake breakfast possible are recognized with the highest honor in the industry.

The American Maple Museum in Croghan, NY is home of the only Maple Hall of Fame in the country, but the industry is pushing for maple to go beyond the breakfast table.

It's serious business at The Maple Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony begins with a prayer by Jane Yancey.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Assembly Democrats are approving a one-house bill to strengthen New York City’s rent regulations in favor of tenants. The rent law renewal and many other issues, including an education tax credit and the Dream Act, are in flux as the final weeks of deal making approaches.  

Ryan Somma / Flickr

There won’t be any crowing contests or poultry competitions at the New York State Fair this year. The decision is a proactive one, in response to the spread of a strain of avian flu.

The directive comes from the New York State Department of Agriculture, which is watching the spread of strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza, according to state veterinarian Dr. David Smith.

DJ Leln / via Flickr

President Barack Obama is calling on more public awareness and debate regarding military equipment that is distributed to local law enforcement agencies. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says she would welcome such discussions.  

PunchingJudy / Flickr

In the last six months, New York state has trained 10,000 laypeople to use Narcan, a drug that can save a person from death after an overdose of opioids like heroin or prescription pain killers. Local emergency medical technicians say they are behind the move, if people are properly trained.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WRVO News

 

An affordable housing project in Oneonta just got nearly $7 million from New York state. Gary Herzig says the project fills a big need.

“We have very few affordable housing units for working families,” Herzig says. “In addition, we have a list, a long list, of vacant housing units that unfortunately is getting longer every year.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

While the federal government and some state governments are looking to punish companies that sell pure powdered caffeine, local emergency personnel are getting a primer on how to deal with an overdose.

Upstate New York Poison Center toxicologist William Eggleston says it’s only a matter of time before someone dies using powdered caffeine in New York state.

"I think if the product continues to be readily available, it’s inevitable that someone is going to unintentionally misuse the product,” Eggleston said.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Regulators in New York are moving ahead with a plan to prohibit hydrofracking within its borders. In the latest step, the state released its final environmental review last week. And New York’s unique stance on fracking could have wide-ranging effects.

borisvolodnikov / Flickr

A report released this spring labels much of Onondaga Lake as swimmable, and Onondaga County officials say this report should be a springboard to further discussions about the future of the lake.  

The Upstate Freshwater Institute says the northern two-thirds of the lake, that was once called the most polluted in the country, is swimmable. Tom Rhoads, Onondaga County’s Water and Environment Protection Commissioner, says that doesn’t necessarily mean residents should grab their swimsuits and jump in.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

By the end of 2015, the group Consensus CNY will release a full report on how to modernize government in Onondaga County.

Consensus CNY is a 19-member commission with former Rep. James Walsh serving as co-chairman, collecting data on local government to find areas to improve.

Melanie Littlejohn, one of the commission members, spoke with young professionals in Syracuse from the group 40 Below about the initial findings for Onondaga County.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Clayton welcomed a slew of new visitors last week. A luxury cruise ship on its maiden voyage from Montreal stopped at the town’s docks. The ship was filled with nearly 200 tourists from France, and most on board were seeing the Thousand Islands for the first time.

The MS St. Laurent drifted down the St. Lawrence River and came to rest in Clayton just around 9 on Thursday morning. The ship is an eye-catcher, docked in the center of the village, its royal blue hull contrasting with the colorful row of Adirondack chairs facing the river,  

stgermh / Flickr

The legislature will be finishing up its work in the next couple of weeks with two new legislative leaders; one in his third month, the other in just his second week on the job.

Now that the state Senate has stabilized, after weeks of turmoil over corruption charges, legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are looking at what they can reasonably finish with just five weeks left in the session.

Chewing tobacco means big league risks

May 17, 2015
Ben Roffer / Flickr

As baseball season gets underway, there's a revival of not only hot dogs, but chewing tobacco. Baseball’s history with chewing tobacco began early on, when players sought to keep their mouths from getting dry due to hot, dusty conditions. What are the dangers of chewing tobacco and other forms of smokeless tobacco, and why has it been overlooked even as society clamps down on cigarettes?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. David Pfister discusses the dangers chewing tobacco has on the mouth area and the entire body. Pfister is the chief of the head and neck oncology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

Nail salon safety: how to avoid a foot bath faux pas

May 17, 2015
FoundryParkInn / Flickr

A visit to the nail salon is a time to relax, decompress and spruce up your digits, but don't think you're out of the water (or foot bath) just yet. Have you considered the safety of your visit?

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Dana Stern talks about nail salon safety and how to avoid catching fungal infections. Stern is assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, gave the commencement speech at Le Moyne College on Sunday. Dolan's visit has been marked with controversy.

LeMoyne College has recently been through a couple of controversies lately, first about incidents related to its annual "Dolphy Day" student celebration, and then over its choice of Cardinal Timothy Dolan as its graduation speaker.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Taking care of dogs can help rehabilitate an inmate. That’s one of the theories behind the creation of the dog shelter at the Jamesville Correctional Facility.  

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