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6:01am

Fri July 4, 2014
Environment

Giant Hogweed poses threat to both plants and people

Giant Hogweed hides out in the woods near the Rice Creek Field Station in Oswego.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

New York has a big problem with an invasive species you may have never heard of. Giant hogweed is a poisonous plant that can overtake entire fields with its giant leaves and can cause painful blisters on a person's skin. But the state Department of Environmental Conservation says it's stepping up its digging and spraying program to help control the plant and even eradicate it in some spots.

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5:27am

Fri July 4, 2014
Regional Coverage

Fireman's Association says leave the pyrotechnics to the professionals

Derek Key

Fireworks are a staple of Fourth of July celebrations. But one statewide organization is worried about sparks that will start flying in backyard pyrotechnics displays this weekend.

More fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year, according to the Fireman’s Association of New York State. And 60 percent of all fireworks injuries happen in the weeks immediately before and after the holiday.  

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3:56pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Business

City seizes Hotel Syracuse through eminent domain

Ryan Delaney WRVO

The City of Syracuse has used legal channels to take control of the Hotel Syracuse after several efforts to redevelop the historic downtown lodging site have failed.

Syracuse and its economic development arm, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, transferred title of the property to the site's developer, Ed Riley.

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2:37pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum unlikely to house Central American immigrant children

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says the chances are slim that undocumented children caught trying to cross the US-Mexican border illegally will be housed at Fort Drum.

The Army base is reportedly being considered to house hundreds of Central American immigrant children under a government program as soon as August

But Schumer says he’s spoken with officials at the Department of Health and Human Services:

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9:13am

Thu July 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

Fulton takes the next steps to try to get back to fiscal stability

Gino Geruntino WRVO

New York state's Financial Restructuring Board released its review and recommendations for the city of Fulton, which in recent years has faced serious fiscal issues. City leaders say they plan to take the state's advice.

Since 2011, Fulton has raised its tax rate by more than 15 percent to make up for a decline in property values. It also slashed full-time staff from more than 150 employees down to 135.

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7:27am

Thu July 3, 2014
Business

Schumer puts out the call for a downtown Syracuse supermarket

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., hold up a symbolic checklist for downtown Syracuse's needs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

As the number of people living downtown continues to grow, so does the need for a grocery store in the neighborhood. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he can help lure one to the central business district.

Schumer says the heads of major chains will listen to him. He's reaching out to a number of chains, like Tops and Whole Foods, to try to convince them to locate downtown.

Many officials and residents say that as the neighborhood become more residential, a place to buy groceries is needed.

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6:25am

Thu July 3, 2014
Politics

Katko calls out Maffei on gas and energy policies

John Katko says the middle class is getting squeezed by high gas prices.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As central New Yorkers hop in their cars to head off for the holiday weekend, the 24th Congressional District race is focusing on gas prices and energy policy.

The Republican candidate in the race, former federal prosecutor John Katko, is calling on incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei to say no to what Katko calls a growing effort in Washington to raise the federal gas tax.

He says central New Yorkers just can’t afford it.

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4:51pm

Wed July 2, 2014
Drones

"Common problem" caused Air National Guard's drone to crash

An MQ-9 Reaper drone in the hanger at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

An unmanned aircraft expert says a "not uncommon problem" caused an Air National Guard drone to smash into Lake Ontario last November.

The Air Force says multiple communication and navigation failures lead to the crash of an MQ-9 Reaper drone, piloted by the Syracuse-based 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.

No one was hurt when the multi-ton aircraft plummeted into the lake 12 miles offshore, late last year.

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1:06pm

Wed July 2, 2014
Religion

Syracuse museum tells story of St. Marianne Cope

The St. Marianne Cope museum in Syracuse opens next week.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A museum and shrine honoring St. Marianne Cope is ready for visitors. The center will honor a woman raised in central New York and who became a saint two years ago.

The museum sits on North Townsend Street, in the shadow of St. Joseph’s Hospital on Syracuse’s northside.  Cope was one of the founders of St. Joe’s and current CEO Kathryn Ruscitto says there will always been a connection.

“The reason we are such a unique institution is because of the roots that started with St. Marianne,” Ruscitto said. “So we are just delighted to have it on our campus.”

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6:38am

Wed July 2, 2014
Politics

North Country baker turned Green Party candidate "angry in a nice way"

Matt Funiciello is a long-time business owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls.
Funiciello Campaign

It's just over four months before the November election and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello is making his first campaign stops around the 21st Congressional District.

Funiciello says he's running to win the North Country's House of Representative seat, hoping to follow in the footsteps of other maverick members of Congress.

A long-time business-owner and founder of the Rock Hill Bakehouse in Glens Falls, Funiciello says he hopes to peel away disgruntled voters who in the past might have backed Republican or Democratic candidates.

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6:38am

Wed July 2, 2014
Health

ACR Health says not to worry about health insurance increase letters

ACR Health in Syracuse is getting a lot of calls from people who signed up for healthcare through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, and are worried their health insurance costs are rising. But the experts who signed hundreds of people up for insurance in central New York say not to worry.

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2:45pm

Tue July 1, 2014
Health

Liquid in e-cigarettes resulting in more calls to upstate poison control center

Joseph Morris Flickr

Poisonings from the liquid that is used in electronic cigarettes is on the rise in New York state. They come in flavors like bubble gum, mint chip and grape, but only one swallow of liquid nicotine can make a child very, very ill, according to Michelle Caliva, head of the Upstate New York Poison Center.

"E-cigarettes contain nicotine, and nicotine is toxic to children," Caliva said. "Whether it’s in the e-cigarette or a cigarette. If they ingest enough of it, they’re going to get sick."

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12:58pm

Tue July 1, 2014
drones

Air Guard's drone crash caused by multiple malfunctions

Ryan Delaney WRVO

Multiple communication and navigation failures on 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing's MQ-9 Reaper unmanned drone flying over central New York last November caused it to crash in Lake Ontario.

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8:03am

Tue July 1, 2014
Environment

Offshore wind energy faces setbacks in Great Lakes

Martin Abegglen Flickr

The United States is not yet generating a watt of energy from commercial offshore wind. A couple of years ago, it looked like the Great Lakes might lead the nation. Pennsylvania was among a handful of states working with federal agencies to speed up the process.  As recently as a couple of months ago, construction of a wind farm in Lake Erie, off the Ohio shoreline near Cleveland, looked promising. But now some are sounding the death knell for any wind development in the Great Lakes.

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5:55am

Tue July 1, 2014
Environment

Court of Appeals rules towns can ban fracking within their borders

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

In a 5-to-2 ruling, New York’s highest court has upheld the right of local governments to ban hydrofracking within their borders. The decision comes after a nearly three-year court battle over bans passed in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Fracking opponents hope to now spread the bans to towns that were waiting for the court’s final ruling.

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9:29am

Mon June 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

New federal program seeks to provide homeless families with longer lasting housing solutions

Syracuse has the second highest number of homeless children in New York state outside of New York City, according to recent statistics. There are 957 homeless children in the city of Syracuse, 1,401 in all in Onondaga County. Now one organization that deals with that population is hoping a new program will help ease that number.

This is the time of year things start getting busy at local homeless shelters.  

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9:22am

Mon June 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

Audit faults Griffiss airfield development agency management

A state audit has criticized the management of the agency redeveloping the former Griffiss Air Force base in Rome.

The Authorities Budget Office is a state office overseeing economic development agencies. The ABO audit says the Griffiss Local Development Corp. took a “cavalier” approach to handling its funds.

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7:54am

Mon June 30, 2014
Environment

Invasive insect threatening hemlock trees near Skaneateles Lake

Nicholas A. Tonelll

There’s a new invasive insect causing problems in Onondaga County. The hemlock woolly adelgid has started feeding on hemlock trees in the watershed that provides water for the city of Syracuse.

An alert arborist found the bug that’s been on the eastern seaboard since the 1950s, munching on hemlock needles in trees on the Onondaga County side of Skaneateles Lake.

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5:34am

Mon June 30, 2014
Politics

GOP senators say Democrats will neglect upstate

Senate Republicans have a new strategy in what’s shaping up to be an election battle for control of the New York state Senate. They say now that a group of breakaway Democrats is abandoning them and rejoining the rest of the Democrats, the Senate will be dominated by New York City liberals who won’t care about upstate and Long Island.

The five-member Independent Democratic Conference  announced it would break its nearly two-year-old  alliance in ruling the Senate with the Republicans, and plans to join the Democrats in a coalition government after the November elections.

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7:01pm

Sun June 29, 2014
Health

The Grain Brain diet: adopting a demanding nutrition plan

Lori Branham Flickr

It’s breakfast time, and you’re about to dig into a plate of—salmon?

This week on “Take Care,” we present the second installment of our interview with Dr. David Perlmutter, who explains how to transition into his low-carb diet.  Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist and Fellow of the American College of Nutrition.  He is also the author of Grain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar—your brain’s silent killers.

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

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7:00pm

Sun June 29, 2014
Health

A sensitive subject -- living with aging parents

Mpopp Flickr

Though it may not seem very long ago that you moved out of your parents’ house, it may be time to consider having them move in with you.  While living with a parent has many advantages, it is important to take time to decide if it is best for you and the person moving in.

This week on “Take Care,” David Horgan discusses the challenges of having a parent move in and how to make the experience beneficial for both you and your parent.  Horgan is an award-winning medical educator, filmmaker, and director.  He is also a co-author of “When Your Parent Moves in:  Every Adult Child’s Guide to Living with an Aging Parent.”

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with David Horgan.

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4:07pm

Sun June 29, 2014
Performing Arts and Culture

Steve Butler on The Campbell Conversations

CNY Arts Executive Director Steve Butler, left, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

Through its Engage CNY initiative, the non-profit organization CNY Arts has recently completed a thorough inventory and survey of the arts, and of citizens' views and preferences about arts and culture in the Central New York region.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with Stephen Butler, the executive director of CNY Arts, about the findings, and about the plan that has been developed in light of them.  They also discuss the Syracuse Symphony and the Everson Museum.

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8:39am

Fri June 27, 2014
Transportation

Tighter curves could minimize impact of new I-81 viaduct

Ryan Delaney WRVO

Tighter curves built into a new Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse could mean fewer buildings along the highway’s path would need to be torn down.

Rebuilding the mile and a half of elevated interstate through the city is one of two options transportation planners are recommending for how to replace the current, aging viaduct.

But a new viaduct would have to be significantly wider than the current one in order to be up to highway standards. It could also be up to ten feet higher.

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6:23am

Fri June 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Senate IDC leader says group will maintain independence

IDC leader state Sen. Jeff Klein
Karen Dewitt WRVO file photo

Senate Independent Conference Leader Jeff Klein says even though his group now plans to realign with the Democrats in the Senate, he won’t rule out working with Republicans in the future.

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6:23am

Fri June 27, 2014
Business

Restaurants consider forming association to combat Destiny USA tax breaks

Restaurant owners meet in Syracuse to discuss ways to combat Destiny USA's tax breaks.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Independent restaurants in central New York are hoping to fight what they call an uneven playing field when it comes to Destiny USA. Many restaurants say they’ve lost business since the mega-mall expanded a few years ago with the help of a tax deal with the city of Syracuse.

Denis Sick, of Mohegan Manor in Baldwinsville, has seen business fall 30 to 40 percent since December a year ago, and puts the blame squarely on competition from Destiny’s chain restaurants.

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6:23am

Fri June 27, 2014
Politics

DeFrancisco says upstate New York will suffer, following IDC decision

Durrie Bouscaren WRVO File

Upstate will be the big loser if a new power change in the state Senate goes through, according to one high ranking state Senate Republican.

Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco says if history tells us anything, it’s that upstate New York doesn’t fare well when downstate Democrats control all branches of government in New York state.

"Upstate will be shafted, to put it in the vernacular, if New York City is running everything again," DeFrancisco said.

He says voters need to know how upstate will be affected by the power shift.

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5:34am

Fri June 27, 2014
Health

Preparing to have an aging parent move in

Recent advances in medicine are causing people to live longer. Couple that with the economically stressful times and you often find families deciding to have aging parents move into their adult child's home. Whether it's for financial reasons or to maximize caregiving... There can be many bumps along the road. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," costs Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, speak with David Horgan, medical educator and author, about his personal experiences with elder care and the best way to welcome mom or dad into your home.

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3:49pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Politics

Kessner likely to drop challenge to Senator Valesky

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Jean Kessner has gotten her wish and will likely drop her challenge of state Sen. Dave Valesky in Democratic Party primary.

Kessner, a Democrat herself and Syracuse Common Councilor, was circulating petitions to challenge Valesky (D-Oneida), unless he rejoined the mainstream Democrats in the state Senate.

Valesky has been a member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, which controls the Senate along with the minority Republicans, since 2011.

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7:06am

Thu June 26, 2014
Health

Homeowners urged to protect themselves from rabies

Jennifer Krauel Flickr

As we head into summer, rabid animals are turning up in central New York.

So far this year a couple of bats, a feral cat and a raccoon have tested positive for rabies, according to the Onondaga County Health Department. Environmental health assessment director Lisa Letteney says it’s common for these reports to start trickling in this time of year. Letteney is particularly concerned, though, about the feral cat found with the disease in the Baldwinsville area.

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7:03am

Thu June 26, 2014
Politics

Schumer pushing legislation to increase political donation transparency

Sen. Charles Schumer. (File photo)
Ellen Abbott WRVO

With election season here, escaping the volley of political ads that are the hallmark of political campaigns will only get harder. In response, New York Democrat Charles Schumer is helping lead a fight in the Senate to force outside groups funding those ads to disclose their donors.

The Citizens United Supreme Court decision dismantled the campaign finance reform known as the McCain-Feingold Act. Wealthy donors, unions and corporations can now dump millions of dollars into political campaigns, seemingly in secret.

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