News

A report from the state ethics commission clears Governor Cuomo’s former high level economic development official Sam Hoyt of sexual harassment charges, but the report leaves many unanswered questions.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The grassroots movement in Oswego to redevelop the city's neighborhoods with microloans for home improvement projects has now spread to Fulton. 

Linda Egan started the Fulton Block Builders organization after hearing about the success of the Oswego Renaissance Association. She's found a similar fervor for that kind of change in Fulton. In just two years, Block Builders has raised more than $300,000, helping about 350 homeowners pay for their exterior house work.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Two to three women a week who walk into the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse with a diagnosis of hormone driven breast cancer will be affected by news this month that says it’s okay to safely skip chemotherapy in certain cases.  

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Rochester on Sunday, specifically to focus on the needs of the disability community.

Nixon met with a variety of supporters, including those active in the disability community locally during her campaign stop at Ontario Beach Park.

The actress and activist who is hoping to face Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a September primary keyed in on several points important to those with disabilities, including low wages for home health care aides.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Across the country, mainstream Congressional Democrats are being challenged in primaries by more progressive, grassroots-supported candidates. It's also happening in state and local races. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Rachel May, who is challenging central New York state Senator Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) in a primary this September. 

Note: This conversation was recorded June 5, one day after the Oneida County Democratic Committee endorsed May in her race with Sen. Valesky.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media File Photo

A number of Syracuse University fraternity students involved with racist and sexist videos that were released to the public this spring, have been suspended for up to two years. The videos made national headlines and caused an uproar on campus when they were first shown.

Molinaro for Governor / Facebook

The Republican candidate for governor, Marc Molinaro, is proposing term limits of two four-year terms for statewide offices – including the office of governor – and 12-year limits for state lawmakers.

Molinaro said it’s up to the governor of the state to set an example. He said if he is elected in November, he’d limit himself to two terms in office. He said it’s healthy for democracy.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

After two years of unsuccessful bids, Joe Fiumara, executive director of Fulton's Community Development Agency, says their 2018 application for New York's Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) competition is the golden ticket.

"We’re trying to give the governor a reason to come back into Oswego County with another $10 million," Fiumara said. "I think we’ve done it this year."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Syracuse Police Department is going from 16 to 100 body cameras for its uniformed officers. But some of the policies related to body cameras remain unclear.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The business of the evenly divided New York State Senate remains stalled, as advocacy groups pressed for their bills to be acted on before the session ends in two weeks.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Questions still remain regarding a proposed law in Syracuse that would make it illegal to tether a dog outside in high heat or freezing temperatures for two hours without proper shelter. Wednesday’s public meeting on Adrian’s Law raised concerns from some Syracuse common councilors and dog owners.

Officer Rebecca Cosgrave, the animal cruelty investigator for the Syracuse Police Department, said she responds to hundreds of calls every year of dogs outside in extreme hot or cold weather, which can result in heat exhaustion or frostbite.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Organizations that help impoverished central New Yorkers get an education, find jobs or decent housing are getting a boost from a pot of state money meant to help the poor. 

Wayne O'Connor, of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection of Syracuse, said the extra cash will help expand his organization that focuses on workforce development, starting in the middle school years.

"It will enable us to hire five youth advocates, and some support for those advocates,” said O’Connor. “Every time we add more students, we grow the culture, we grow the program, so it’s significant."

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed an expansion to his Extreme Risk Protection Order bill that would give teachers the power to go to court to prevent a student’s access to guns.

Cuomo said the measure gives that power to teachers and school administrators who believe a student might use guns to be a danger to themselves or others.

“If a teacher believes there is a troubled student who might be dangerous, that teacher has the legal authority to go to a judge directly,” Cuomo said. 

New York State Senate

In a spirited floor fight in the state Senate, Democrats tried once again but failed to get a vote on an amendment on women’s reproductive health care.

The argument over Senate procedure led to accusations that some Republican senators were trying to “mansplain” the rules to the state’s female lieutenant governor.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

“Adrian’s Law,” the legislation meant to stop dog owners from tying up their dogs outside for hours in high heat or freezing temperatures, is getting new life in the Syracuse Common Council after failing to pass the Onondaga County Legislature in April.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Supporters of the family of Selena Hidalgo-Calderon, an undocumented farm worker found dead on a farm in Wayne County last month, met with reporters in Syracuse Tuesday. 

It was emotional for immigrants’ rights advocates to talk about a family they knew well.

“We wish we weren’t here today. Three weeks ago a horrible nightmare began that was dear to us, an immigrant family,” said Rebecca Fuentes of the Workers Center of CNY.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Updated at 8 p.m. Tuesday

County lawmakers voted 17-0 to override County Executive Joanie Mahoney's veto of a local law that would allow the county legislature chairman to consult outside counsel if there is a conflict between lawmakers and the county executive. 

Our original story

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is hoping the third time is a charm in a back and forth with county lawmakers over letting legislators get their own legal counsel.

New York Now

Democratic candidate for governor and actor Cynthia Nixon came to the Capitol to talk about the need for more education aid and what she says are Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s failings in that policy area. Meanwhile, Cuomo’s campaign said it’s Nixon who is being inconsistent.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Watertown city councilors worked for weeks to whittle down an 8.7 percent tax increase included in former city manager Sharon Addison's proposed budget, going through departmental requests line by line. And on Monday night, they succeeded in their goal of getting it below the state mandated tax cap - passing a budget with a 1.5 percent tax increase.

"This was bare-knuckle budgeting," said Councilor Mark Walczyk. "We really dug in and we were responsible and we forced accountability to the taxpayers."

WRVO News File Photo

Concern about access to health care is an issue that both candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Congressional District are concentrating on as the June 26 primary date approaches.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to soon release its management plans to combat harmful algal blooms in 12 lakes, some in central and northern New York. The Great Lakes Research Consortium is also commissioning five projects to address the outbreaks and other environmental issues.

Greg Boyer is a SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry professor and the director of the consortium.

susanjacoby.co

Baseball is the national pastime, but it's facing some big challenges. This week, grant Reeher speaks with author Susan Jacoby, whose new book is called "Why Baseball Matters." They discuss the challenges facing baseball's fanbase, the game's relationship to broader social changes, and some ideas for baseball's future. 

Circular enerG / WRVO News File Photo

A controversial trash incinerator project in the Finger Lakes is headed to court. The company trying to build the $365 million facility, Rochester-based Circular enerG, is asking a judge to void a decision by the town of Romulus' zoning board that would stop its construction.

-JvL- / Flickr

The New York State Senate is experiencing its worst gridlock in nine years, with the two major factions tied at 31 members each. No legislation is moving through the chamber, but there’s lots of finger-pointing.

Tempers flared on the Senate floor as Democrat Michael Gianaris blamed the GOP for the stalemate.

“They don’t have the votes to pass a single thing in this chamber,” Gianaris shouted.

After two days of infighting, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan was frustrated.

“We saw the Democrats paying shameless games with people’s lives,” he said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have been operating in Syracuse for less than a year, but the local taxi business has lost substantial business. Now, local taxi drivers are going to city hall with the hopes of leveling the playing field with the ride sharing giants.

Ramona Bellavia of Bellavia Transportation has been working in Syracuse’s taxi industry for almost 30 years.

“I loved going out on weekends and having the university kids and the younger crowed," Bellavia said. "But now, they live with technology."

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The nation's new tax law places a cap on the amount of state and local taxes that someone can deduct from their taxable federal income. That caused panic in high-tax states like New York. So the state's lawmakers amended their tax system to mitigate the increased costs for New Yorkers - changes the federal government may soon attempt to nullify.

Wallyg / via Flickr

The New York legislative session is due to end in three weeks, but some state lawmakers are talking about leaving a week early because they believe they will accomplish so little in that time. 

Political gridlock in the state Senate and worsening relations between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and majority-party Senate Republicans have led some lawmakers to say that perhaps they should end the session early.

But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said his Democratic members are staying until at least June 20, the scheduled end of the session.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego City School District students returned to class after the Memorial Day weekend with a police escort. The precautionary measure was taken after a threatening picture of a student with a toy gun was posted on social media. It was later determined to be non-credible.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Utica-area Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, who is also running for Congress, is calling on the U.S. Senate to stop a potential cut to the Department of Defense that could affect civilian jobs in Rome. A 25 percent cut to civilian resources was included in the House’s National Defense Authorization Act that passed last week.

There are 960 employees at Rome Defense Finance and Accounting Services, which pays the Army’s bills. Ed Abounader, the president of the union representing those employees said cuts could mean losing jobs.

Brian Mann / NCPR

Congressional candidate Dylan Ratigan, who is one of five candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the North Country's 21st Congressional District, told a gathering of Democrats earlier this month that he might have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential contest, if he had cast a ballot. That’s according to four people who were at the public luncheon May 18th in Saratoga County.

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