News

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Actor and education advocate Cynthia Nixon won the endorsement of the minor party Working Families Party at a meeting in Albany Saturday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is running in a Democratic primary against Nixon, dropped out of contention for the party’s nomination Friday night, after delegates were leaning toward Nixon.

“I am so proud to accept the endorsement of the Working Families Party,” Nixon told the enthusiastic crowd of progressive and activist groups.

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Researchers at Upstate Medical University are almost ready to send a test to market that would use saliva to help determine if a child is autistic.

The average age a child is diagnosed with autism is 4.5. But researchers at Upstate say testing the microRNA found in the saliva of a toddler can help doctors determine if a child is autistic sooner than that. Principal investigator Dr. Frank Middleton says that’s important because earlier treatment can help the outcomes of children facing an autism diagnosis.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The response to arming teachers as a way to combat school shootings sounds like any other debate about guns. Proponents say it's a practical way to stop shooters, while opponents argue that it will actually increase the risk of danger. But among some educators, the debate doesn't fall along those same lines.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

The New York State Senate is changing. The Senate's Independent Democratic Conference, which had operated in a coalition with Republicans, is now dissolving and rejoining with mainline Democrats. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida), a founding member of the IDC. They discuss the implications of this change, as well as the recently passed state budget. 

Timothy Vollmer / Flickr

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — An unknown number of students taking the statewide English assessment by computer encountered delays when a security feature in the system “inadvertently activated” and prevented them from logging in, New York education officials said on Thursday.

The problem on Wednesday originated with test vendor Questar Assessment Inc., which eventually fixed the issue, Education Department spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said.

Testing continued on Thursday without any additional interruptions.

Howie Hawkins for Governor / Facebook

Syracuse's Howie Hawkins announced Thursday that he is running for governor on the Green Party line for the third time. Hawkins said a victory does not necessarily mean winning the race.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The federal government is filing a lawsuit against an Oswego landlord accusing him of severe, pervasive and unwanted sexual harassment against female tenants and potential tenants. It's the second such suit that the property owner is facing.

The justice department lawsuit alleges a longstanding pattern and practice of sexual harassment from landlord Doug Waterbury, who owns about 50 rental properties in Oswego County and the Sterling Renaissance Festival, Sylvan Beach Amusement Park and Santa's Workshop in North Pole.

Nixon for Governor

Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon has outlined her plans for legalizing marijuana in New York in a video, saying the state lags far behind some other states. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s studying the issue.

Nixon, who is challenging Cuomo in a Democratic primary, said New York should follow the lead of eight other states and end a “key front” in what she called the “racist” war on drugs.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A member of the Oswego County Legislature was arraigned in court Wednesday on several charges of sexually abusing a minor. Legislator Shawn Doyle denies the charges and continues to serve in office, and he may be able to hold onto that seat regardless of the outcome of the trial.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilors began budget hearings this week over Mayor Ben Walsh’s proposed $245 million spending plan, and anyone can watch. It marks the start of live streaming of council activities, offering residents the chance to watch what happens on the city website, or YouTube channel.

Council President Helen Hudson says it’s about time it's easier for residents to watch government in action.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is appearing on Capitol Hill for a second day of hearings about protecting its users' data. The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing follows hours of questioning by lawmakers in the Senate.

Cynthia for New York

The political activist group Citizen Action has endorsed Cynthia Nixon, a Democratic primary candidate for governor. It’s the second grass-roots organization to endorse the New York City actor in two days.

On Monday, the New York City-based progressive group New York Communities for Change, which advocates for tenants’ rights and affordable housing, endorsed Nixon, saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo “caters” too much to the real estate industry.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has been crossing the state talking about some of the items in the recently passed state budget. During a stop in Syracuse recently, Hochul highlighted parts of the $168 budget that New York lawmakers passed last month. She followed many of the budget themes the governor emphasized during budget negotiations - the impact of the new federal tax plan on state spending, the importance of an on-time budget and a focus on sexual harassment policies.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The North Country will experience additional helicopter traffic over the next week. It's part of a first-of-its kind training exercise that Fort Drum says will better prepare their soldiers for the fight of the future. But Fort Drum and those who represent it in Albany hope the exercise will also demonstrate how important it is to preserve the area that surrounds the base.

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying on Capitol Hill to answer questions about protecting user data. We will have a live feed online this afternoon (starting at 2:15 p.m.) and tomorrow morning to cover any developments.

Colleen / via Flickr

Schools around central and northern New York will soon be able to apply for federal funds to cover school safety and mental health training expenses - part of the recently passed $1.3 trillion spending plan passed by Congress.

Rep. John Kakto (R-Camillus) says grants are available on a number of fronts - to help schools to hire school resource officers, provide mental health counseling and pay for bullying and harassment prevent programs.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s first proposed budget asks lawmakers to use $11 million from the city’s savings account to cover a budget gap. It’s a deficit Walsh says is less than originally anticipated, after asking individual city departments to change their budget requests.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Volunteers for former Syracuse mayoral candidate Juanita Perez Williams are scouring the 24th Congressional District this week in an attempt to get enough petition signatures to get her name on the June primary ballot in the race for Congress. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Experts on urban design and public policy offered their insights on replacing the elevated portion of Interstate-81 in Syracuse at a recent forum at Syracuse University. Some of the speakers favored a community grid option over a larger highway or tunnel.

The state Department of Transportation said the elevated viaduct has reached the end of its useful life and they will select a preferred alternative when a draft environmental impact statement is made available early next year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) says she is extremely concerned about President Donald Trump's position on tariffs, expressing fears about trade war.

The U.S. has recently implemented tariffs on aluminum and steel products and is threatening to impose $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. Stefanik says she does believe the nation's bilateral trade agreements, like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), need to be modernized. But she disagrees with the president on the tariffs because the North Country is so dependent on trading relationships.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

New York state lawmakers have included $40 million dollars in this year's budget to help property owners who are still cleaning up from last year's flooding along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

Cynthia Nixon spent Thursday traveling the New York State Thruway from Syracuse to Rochester as part of her upstate campaign swing. In between stops, the actor and underdog candidate talked about how Hillary Clinton’s loss in the 2016 presidential race helped inspire her to run for governor, and why she thinks Andrew Cuomo is not doing enough to help the state.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gubernatorial hopeful Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Syracuse this week to talk with community leaders about their concerns in a closed-door session.

Nixon, a Democrat hoping to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a primary this fall, called the 15 or so attendees of a private roundtable in Syracuse local heroes. Afterward, she told reporters the issues brought up by these community leaders are the same she’s hearing from others across the state - like more funding for education.

WRVO News (file photo)

Former Syracuse mayoral candidate Juanita Perez Williams is reportedly collecting signatures to run for the central New York congressional seat currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). The Democratic committees in Onondaga, Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne counties have already endorsed Syracuse University professor Dana Balter as their candidate, so Perez Williams would have to face her in a June primary.

Low fare air carrier Frontier Airlines begins service out of Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport this summer.

Frontier will add two new non-stop destinations to the departure board at Hancock: Denver and Raleigh/Durham. Christina Callahan, Executive Director at Hancock Airport, says this opens up the west in particular, one of the more popular destinations for travelers out of Hancock.

“Not only the direct connection to Denver which is so important, but Denver is Frontier’s hub, and you can connect to any market they serve,” said Callahan.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Two warring factions of Democrats in the state Senate are rejoining forces as pressure has mounted from the party’s left-leaning base for a reunification.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As concert goers prepare to head to Onondaga County’s amphitheater for a third season, they’ll find it with a new name. County lawmakers Tuesday agreed to a $1.5 million naming deal, that creates the Saint Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. 

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said after the signs go up, both the county and Live Nation, the concert promotor for what’s been called ‘The Amp’, will each pull in about $700,000.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, seeking a third term in office, is facing challenges both from the left of his party and from a new Republican candidate. But the two candidates, Cynthia Nixon and Marc Molinaro, share a common theme — they say they are nicer than Cuomo.

Actor and progressive Democratic candidate Cynthia Nixon said Cuomo is more than simply a hard-charging type of politician.

“We’ve all seen it,” Nixon said in an appearance in Albany on March 26. “Andrew the bully. He bullies other elected officials. He bullies anyone who criticizes him.”

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the federal government to release the funding that was included in Congress' recently passed budget to battle the opioid epidemic. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

A $12 million lawsuit has been filed against the city of Syracuse, Police Chief Frank Fowler, and a Syracuse police officer accused of using excessive force while arresting a 14-year-old special needs student at Nottingham High School. The incident took place more than a year ago, and started when the student was suspended and told to leave the school.

Liza Acquah, the mother of the student, Jabari Boykins, said her son suffered from a fractured arm and busted lip after the incident. She said a surveillance video shows her son being assaulted by Officer Vallon Smith.

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