News

Pots, pans & PFOAs

23 hours ago
sarah / Flickr

The chemicals used to make Teflon have been in the news in New York state this year, as one area deals with water contamination from a manufacturing plant that made pots and pans. But how healthy is the Teflon and other kinds of cookware Americans use in their kitchens every day? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Laura Vandenberg, professor at the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Science. She is an expert on human exposure to chemicals and chemical mixtures.

Great Lakes plan to combat marine debris

Dec 2, 2016
Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

A conference in Cleveland is tackling marine debris, the pieces of plastic that wash up on the river, ocean, or Great Lake shores. It's a issue that has affected the health and appearances of beaches around the world.

Marine debris also has a deadly effect on wildlife, especially birds.

“They can get entangled in fishing line or balloon string,” says Jill Bartolotta, an educator with Ohio Sea Grant. “They also eat plastic because they think its fish or a food item, which will eventually cause them to starve to death.”

New York State Senate

New York State Senate Democrats now have 32 votes in the chamber, which under normal circumstances would mean they hold the majority.

But in the state Senate, it’s more complicated than that.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council may soon request a pilot program from the state to bus all students living one mile or further from schools. Currently, the Syracuse City School District transports students that live one and a half miles away of further from schools. The new change could affect more than 1,100 students.

The pilot program would fund the cost plus remove a penalty the state assesses for transporting students who live closer to school. Councilor Susan Boyle said there is an immediate need and action needs to be taken quickly.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A small protest outside of Chase Bank in downtown Syracuse gave information on the various banks financing the Dakota Access pipeline. Protesters encouraged people to pull their money out of the big banks supporting the pipeline and reinvest it into local credit unions. The protest was part of a national day of divestment.

Renee Vogelsang, one of the organizers of the event, said it is a powerful way to take action against the banks.

For many families, the burden of student loan debt is overwhelming; and while Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently introduced a new student loan forgiveness program, the steady rise in percentage of student debt remains an issue. 

The New York State Assembly held a public hearing Wednesday to examine both the impact that rising higher education costs are having on students and families across the state and ways in which student loan debt can be reduced.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pressuring state lawmakers to come back in December for a special session that includes a number of reform items to address recent corruption scandals.

In exchange, he said, they could potentially be rewarded with a pay raise.

Cuomo is trying to convince state lawmakers to return to the Capitol before the end of the year to hold a special session. The governor is seeking some reforms, including changes to the state’s procurement process for contracts, saying he wants a “tighter system.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The next piece to the revitalization of the downtown Syracuse area home to the former Hotel Syracuse will soon be in place. Developers and the city of Syracuse have struck a tax deal that will lead to a Hyatt Hotel, across the street from the Marriott Downtown Syracuse.

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The New York state attorney general's office is bringing charges against a village judge in Jefferson County over claims that he used his position to elicit sexual favors from a defendant.

Village of West Carthage Justice Delmar House is facing two felony charges for allegedly reducing a fine for a defendant who appeared before him in exchange for sexual favors. In a statement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the 49-year-old also paid a portion of the defendant's fines for additional sexual services. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Syracuse on Tuesday focused on the issue of violence against black women. Protesters highlighted one incident in particular as part of the group’s continuing effort to push for police accountability.

Cuomo vetoes farm to food bank bill

Nov 30, 2016
msr / Flickr

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would have given farmers a tax credit for giving food to food banks. 

In the past few days, many healthy food advocates, farmers and lawmakers had been urging the governor to sign the bill into law. Under it, farmers would have gotten a tax credit worth 25 percent of the value of the food they donate to food banks.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The Oswego Common Council has approved amendments to its taxi cab laws that lawmakers say will improve public safety.

The new resolution adopted Monday night establishes a "good moral character" clause to help city officials determine who can get a license to drive a cab in the city. It spells out what crimes could preclude someone from obtaining a license, such as murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography and others.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News (File Photo)

 

Anyone who’s looked for a home in Tompkins County knows there’s a housing crunch. A recent study from the county shows there’s not enough. Organizers of an upcoming housing summit hope they’ll find some solutions.

Decision makers from town governments and non-profits and realty groups are scheduled to speak. Martha Robertson, Tompkins County legislator and event organizer, wants people to speak up no matter what their stake is.

Opening date set for del Lago Resort & Casino

Nov 29, 2016
wilmorite.com

Officials with the del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County have announced Feb. 1 is the opening  date for the $440 million project.

It's one of four new gambling facilities planned for upstate New York.

The general manager for the del Lago resort, Jeff Babinski, says he expects it to eventually become a destination for some convention business as well.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse’s Land Bank is applying for a new round of funding from settlements the New York State Attorney General’s Office made with banks after the 2008 mortgage crisis. The land bank wants to use the new funding on renovations in areas of the city it has previously neglected.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state is wrapping up a restoration of the historic New York Central Railroad station platform along Interstate 690 in Syracuse. And that also means several ghost-like fiberglass statues will again take up their station, waiting for a train that never comes.

A couple of nuns, a soldier, a luggage handler and members of a northside family are once again waiting for the night train along Interstate 690 in Syracuse.

Duke Epolito, the Syracuse sculptor who created the series of bright white statues, installed them on the platform 35 years ago.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oswego City School District is still feeling the pain from the $5 million budget gap earlier this year when the district cut 50 positions. Next school year isn't looking much easier as the district faces a $4 million deficit. But, school officials are beginning to make some headway with avoiding a repeat of those layoffs. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse’s Salvation Army welcomes a new executive director at a time when central New York is taking aim at the issue of chronic poverty.

Linda Lopez has worked in the human services field for more than 30 years in central New York. And she has seen how chronic poverty can be invasive.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse’s Buy Local Bash is Monday and it highlights local food, beverages, arts and retail in the central New York area. The event has been growing for the past seven years and this one could be the biggest yet. The event is being held from 5-9 p.m. at the Central New York Regional Market.

Syracuse First, the nonprofit that organizes the bash, was founded in 2009 by Chris Fowler, who says he remembers well what it was like in those early days.

Maritime school teaches Great Lakes skills

Nov 26, 2016
Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

At the Maritime Academy of Toledo, students learn basics like math and English. They also take classes on boatbuilding.

On a fall day in the boat lab, a few students are working on the inside of a small wooden boat. They’re gluing pieces of wood together along the inside of the boat before sanding it down.

Courtesy: Safe Haven Museum

Ruth Gruber died last week at 105. She was an accomplished journalist and humanitarian. But in Oswego she is remembered and celebrated for the role she played when the United States offered safe harbor to 986 European refugees during World War II.

Gruber worked for the department of the interior when she was chosen to escort the mostly Jewish refugees on their voyage to America. They were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego for the remainder of the war. Eventually, Gruber championed the refugees' fight to gain American citizenship.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Thousand Island dressing gets its name from the chain of islands straddling northern New York and Canada. At the turn of the century, this region along the St. Lawrence River was a summer destination for the nation’s elite. It was the Gilded Age. The creamy pink salad dressing was all the rage among cooks at the hotels and resorts dotting the river. There are two competing local legends on who first came up with the dressing.

The first story involves a billionaire, true love, an island castle and a steam yacht.

Rescue Mission

Syracuse’s Rescue Mission will be serving hundreds of Thanksgiving meals today to individuals who otherwise might not have one. CEO Alan Thornton says meal preparations started early this morning to feed an estimated 2,000 individuals.

"I think we’re in the vicinity of 1,300 pounds of cooked turkey, 45 trays of stuffing, of potatoes, over 300 pies, more trays of vegetables, lots of cookies. You name it, we’re going to have it,” said Thornton.

Office of the Utica Mayor

At a time when many communities across the country are wrestling with how to improve the relationship between the police and residents they serve after horrific events like a police shooting, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says his city is taking a proactive approach.

Researchers scope Cayuga Lake for invasive plant

Nov 24, 2016
Gabe Altieri / WSKG

In September, a class from Wells College was on Cayuga Lake near Aurora when someone noticed a non-native weed in the water. It was hydrilla, an invasive plant that can cause big problems.

Hillary Lambert with the Cayuga Lake Watershed is trying to figure out how widespread the hydrilla is before the lake gets even colder and freezes.

“If we let hydrilla take control, over several years time, it could make large areas of the shoreline impassable every summer,” she said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau in Syracuse is wrapping up registration for this holiday season.

The yearly food and toy giveaway can be a harbinger of the local economy. The number of people signing up for this year’s toy and food giveaway looks to be about the same as last year, according to Salvation Army Executive Director Linda Lopez. And she says that shows her that there are still hundreds of central New York families that need some help getting through the holidays.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

State officials helped deliver Thanksgiving dinners to residents in need in cities all across New York. In Syracuse, that happened at the Southwest Community Center, which targeted seniors and others who could use the meals the most.

Forty-five big boxes that can each feed a family of 12 were donated by Wegmans. They each include a turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, stuffing, butternut squash, green bean casserole and cranberry relish.

Sharon Owens of the Southwest Community Center said they wanted to give the boxes to families they identified with having a tough time.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is preparing to replace the city's fire department chief after a contentious year between the two that included battles over layoffs and overtime expenses. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse will enter into a three-year agreement with a company it has been using to boot cars with unpaid parking tickets. The contract was held up over questions about how aggressive the company has been in booting vehicles.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Genetically modified food is something that’s discussed a lot. But scientists in Syracuse are trying to take that technology one step further, and create the first genetically modified wild forest tree. And with that, rest hopes that the American chestnut tree could make a comeback with a scientific nudge.

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