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9:07pm

Mon July 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Schumer says Whole Foods considering downtown Syracuse location

Less than two weeks ago, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) vowed to help attract a grocery store to Syracuse’s Armory Square neighborhood. Monday, he announced that the trendy organic grocer Whole Foods has returned his call.

“They are interested in Armory Square. And they are going to visit -- myself, the mayor and representatives of Whole Foods -- in the fall,” said the senator.

Schumer says one thing that has grabbed Whole Foods attention is that the only other store in upstate New York, in Albany, has exceeded its sales projections.

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8:47am

Mon July 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Air Force plane found deep below Lake Ontario from 1952 crash

A sonar image of the C-45 Air Force plane that crashed in 1952. It's now several hundred feet below the Lake Ontario surface.
Roger Pawlowski

A team of shipwreck explorers recently discovered an Air Force plane deep below the surface of Lake Ontario, more than 60 years after it crashed.

It was late at night on September 11, 1952 when an Air force C-45 was flying from Massachusetts to Grifiss Air Force base in Rome. But before it could reach Grifiss, it lost an engine. The pilot set the plane on autopilot and the five member crew parachuted out.

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7:53am

Mon July 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

With retirees eyeing urban setting, Ithaca faces housing crunch

Nine out of ten older people in Tompkins County want to stay close by for retirement, but a survey finds a majority want to move to more urban areas, which will put a strain on housing.

Ithaca is a city that already has a tight housing market. The Tompkins County Office for the Aging found it will likely get tighter. The agency conducted a survey of people who recently retired or are about to.

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7:47am

Mon July 14, 2014
Education

Utica School District to use state grant to expand school day

Katie Keier Flickr

The Utica City School District received more than $4 million from the state to increase the number of hours kids are in school during the year, in an effort to increase the district's Common Core test scores. But the district still has to make a lot of decisions before starting the program.

Nine school districts in New York state were named as grant recipients, with Utica receiving the second biggest portion of the $24 million earmarked for the Extended Learning Time Initiative.

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6:26am

Mon July 14, 2014
Recreation

Syracuse's Rosamond Gifford Zoo celebrates 100 years

An elephant poses for a photo at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is beginning it’s second century in Syracuse.

When the zoo opened it’s doors 100 years ago, visitors were treated to some birds and a bear. Director Ted Fox says it’s important to take stock after a century.
 

"One hundred years really means a lot to us," Fox said. "It really demonstrates the support of this community from what it was, with four acres and a few animals, to 700 animals and 43 acres now. We’re constantly adding new exhibits.”

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6:25am

Mon July 14, 2014
Politics and Government

Tipped workers seek pay increase from Cuomo wage board

William Hartz

Advocates for a higher minimum wage are urging for better wages for workers who rely on tips. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to create a committee to consider raising the minimum rate for the workers, and the groups say they have evidence that an increase is needed.

Currently, tipped workers in New York are not covered under a new law that allows the state’s minimum wage to increase to $9.00 an hour by 2016.  The minimum wage for workers like waiters and pizza deliverers who receive tips is still set at $5.00 an hour.

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7:00pm

Sun July 13, 2014
Health

Navigating Alzheimer's disease

MTSOfan Flickr

Alzheimer’s disease may not be one of the fastest-acting illnesses, but its psychological and emotional effects on patients and their families can be devastating.  Although a cure for the disease has yet to be found, there are many lifestyle changes that can be taken to help prevent and slow the development of Alzheimer’s.

This week on “Take Care,” Drs. Richard Isaacson and Dale Atkins discuss some of the issues associated with Alzheimer’s and how to fight the disease once you or someone you know has been diagnosed.  Dr. Isaacson is the director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is also the author of "Alzheimer’s Treatment Alzheimer’s Prevention: A Patient & Family Guide" and "The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach for Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment."  Dr. Atkins is a licensed psychologist who works with Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with both Dr. Isaacson and Dr. Atkins.

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3:02pm

Fri July 11, 2014
Politics

Statewide GOP candidates follow Astorino's lead to secure anti-Common Core ballot line

Common Core meetings held throughout the state last year brought out many disapproving citizens. (file photo)
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Republicans vying for statewide office continue pushing an anti-Common Core ballot line they’re trying to get in place for the November elections.

Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino announced this week that he’s trying to create a ballot line called “Stop the Common Core.” Now, other statewide GOP hopefuls are explaining why they like the idea.

Bob Antonocci, who's running for state comptroller, says Common Core was something forced on the state with the promise of federal dollars.

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11:53am

Fri July 11, 2014
Weather

Update: Five tornadoes hit upstate New York Tuesday

Tornado damage in Smithfield, Madison County, where four people were killed.
Ellen Abbot WRVO

Update, Friday, July 11:

A fifth tornado from Tuesday's swath of powerful thunderstorms and twisters has been confirmed by the National Weather Service in Albany. This one in the eastern Adirondacks. More from the Associated Press:

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11:27am

Fri July 11, 2014
Health

Preventing and coping with Alzheimer's disease

As the baby boomer generation continues to age, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is predicted to triple -- and many families are already dealing with the effects of this debilitating disease. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at the New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Dr. Dale Atkins, a psychologist, author and Alzheimer's expert, about preventing and coping with Alzheimer's disease.

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6:14am

Fri July 11, 2014
I-81

SU: campus will be "dramatically" impacted by I-81 construction

Interstate 81's on-ramp back onto the highway, heading north, from University Hill.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse University campus would be greatly impacted by the reconstruction of Interstate 81 through the city, a university working group has determined.

When visitors to the Syracuse University campus exit the Interstate 81 viaduct, they’re currently faced with an “unattractive city fabric,” the study concludes.

"The experience of the University is not such a good one because it’s not so clear how to get to the university," said dean of architecture Michael Speaks, who led the group, adding drivers must navigate a "cluttered path."

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6:13am

Fri July 11, 2014
Environment

Healthcare professionals against fracking urge state to look at more research

Dr. Sandra Steingraber, of Ithaca College, says more studies have come out this year than in 2011 and 2012 combined.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

A group of healthcare professionals are seeking a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health department, saying they have compiled a compendium of new and ongoing research highlighting numerous health risks associated with the controversial natural gas drilling process called hydrofracking.

The health experts include a doctor, a veterinarian, and a Cornell University medical professor, who have requested a meeting with Cuomo’s acting health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, to go over the growing number of studies indicating numerous health risks associated with fracking.

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6:12am

Fri July 11, 2014
Politics

Astorino challenges Cuomo to eight debates

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is calling for eight regional debates with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

The Republican challenger for governor, Rob Astorino, has proposed multiple debates in locations around the state with incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor has so far not accepted any.

In a video, Astorino says the debates should be held in every region of the state between now and election day.

“I challenge Gov. Cuomo to a series of at least eight regional debates around New York state,” Astorino said.

Astorino says he agreed to five one-hour debates when he ran for his second term as Westchester County executive.

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6:12am

Fri July 11, 2014
Business

Starwood announces second hotel coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses a group gathered at the site of the Aloft Hotel in Syracuse's Inner Harbor.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Starwood group is now building two hotels in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Word of the second hotel came at the groundbreaking of the first.

With developers and dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking of an Aloft Hotel in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, Jeremy Cooper of Starwood Hotels made an announcement.

"In addition to this groundbreaking, another Starwood Hotel is being built right here in the Inner Harbor. The Element Syracuse Inner Harbor Hotel is expected to open in 2018," said Cooper.

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7:01pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools, attorney general reach settlement on discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school district and the state attorney general's office say they've reached a settlement to curb the district's alarmingly high suspension rate.

The district will amend its code of conduct under the agreement. 

The attorney general's civil rights office launched its investigation in October 2013, after several complaints.

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4:06pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Politics

Moss emphasizes importance of Fort Drum during visit to North Country

Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in New York state is spending part of today in the North Country.   

Chemung County Sheriff Chris Moss says his message is aimed at the area around Fort Drum, and that he and gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino know how important that military base is to the local economy.

“Over $1 billion I think last year alone goes out to the community," Moss said. "So Fort Drum is very important to that part of the state. It’s important that we keep it open and keep jobs there.”

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3:59pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Politics

Katko unveils plan for veterans, says VA needs to be held accountable

John Katko, the Republican Party candidate for the 24th Congressional District
Ryan Delaney WRVO

John Katko, the Republican candidate for the 24th Congressional District, outlined his five-point plan for veterans Wednesday.

Katko says most people don’t have a problem with the Veterans Affairs system in Syracuse, but emphasized that’s not the case nationwide. Katko said his experience as a federal prosecutor gives him the ability to hold accountable those responsible for falsifying VA records, as seen throughout the country. Katko also emphasized his willingness to reach across the aisle.

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12:05pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Public Radio Presents

Reveal, an investigative radio show

prx.org

Join us on Sunday July, 13 at 7:00 p.m. for Reveal, an investigative radio show from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. In this episode: an investigation into accidents and equipment failures in the military; a collaborative investigation into US water standards; and another in CIR's series of veteran investigations.

Profiting off of the GI Bill

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7:46am

Thu July 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Details about $100 million Onondaga Lake West project announced, among some controversy

Residents listen to the presentation about the Onondaga Lake project at a meeting in Solvay Wednesday evening
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga County fleshed out details of the $100 million Onondaga Lake West project for residents of Solvay Wednesday night.  

One of the highlights of the presentation was a virtual video tour of the lake view amphitheater, starting at a box office then winding down tree lined sidewalks, past a small amphitheater and festival grounds to the main amphitheater on Lakeview Point.

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7:13am

Thu July 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo primary challenger predicts she'll have 45,000 petition signatures by Thursday deadline

Zephyr Teachout and Timothy Wu announce their intent run a primary race against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (file photo)
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Zephyr Teachout, the Democratic primary challenger to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, expects to file more than 40,000 signatures late Thursday to obtain a place on the ballot for the September primary voting.

Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor, says she’ll file her petitions in the final hours before the deadline, at around nine Thursday evening.

“We have over 40,000 signatures of registered Democrats, and we expect to have 45,000 signatures,” Teachout said.

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6:27am

Thu July 10, 2014
Weather

How the weather service decides if a tornado touched down

Erik Heden, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, in East Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

At least four tornadoes ripped through central and northern New York Tuesday evening. It's the National Weather Service that makes that determination if a funnel cloud touched down. It's a careful and calculated process.

Armed with a compass, camera and notepad and paper the next morning, meteorologists Erik Heden and Mike Jurewicz retraced a storm that roared through Onondaga County, knocking down trees and power lines.

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5:30am

Thu July 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Lieutenant governor candidate Hochul keeps a low profile

Kathy Hochul joins Gov. Andrew Cuomo to announce their candidacy during the Democratic state convention in May.
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate, lieutenant governor nominee Kathy Hochul, is keeping an unusually low profile during the first months of the election campaign. The lack of public campaigning by Hochul is starting to raise some questions.

Kathy Hochul, a former one-term congresswoman and former Erie County clerk, appeared with Cuomo at the state Democratic convention in May, one day after she was chosen to run as lieutenant governor.

Hochul promised the audience that she would “carry our message of hope and optimism across this great state.”

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4:08pm

Wed July 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Smithfield community in shock after tornado strikes; governor offers condolences

This house in Smithfield was pulled off its foundation, seen in background, and destroyed.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The National Weather Service has determined that it was a tornado that touched down in a rural part of Madison County last night, killing four people, including an infant.  

Barbara Watson, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service, made the tornado determination after surveying  damage along Goff Road in the town of Smithfield.

"It will be declared a significant tornado.  It had wind speeds well over 100 miles per hour,” said Watson.

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3:03pm

Wed July 9, 2014
Entertainment

Onondaga County to unveil plans for amphitheater in Solvay

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the public will be surprised by how far the project has come so far.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Just about six months ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to central New York to announce that the state would chip in $30 million for a multi-million dollar plan to revitalize the western lakeshore of Onondaga Lake, including the village of Solvay. Today, Onondaga County is ready to share with the public detailed plans about what this development entails.

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11:41am

Wed July 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Tornado with winds at least 110 mph hit Smithfield

An aerial view of the damage in Smithfield
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The National Weather Service officially declared that it was a tornado that struck the town of Smithfield in Madison County, killing four people, destroying four homes and severely damaging three others.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley announced that the victims include Kimberly Hillard, 35; her four-month-old baby, Paris Newman; Virginia Warner, 70; and Arnie A.D. Allen, 53.

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5:58am

Wed July 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Tornado kills 4 in Madison County; thunderstorms leave thousands without power around region

Damage from Tuesday's thunderstorm in Smithfield in Madison County where four people were killed
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The National Weather Service says a tornado struck the Smithfield area killing four people in Madison County and leaving tens of thousands without power and causing significant damage through the region.

A line of severe thunderstorms moved through the entire region of western, central and northern New York Tuesday evening causing damage in various areas, but Smithfield suffered the worse.

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5:30am

Wed July 9, 2014
Politics and Government

GOP candidate for governor will also run on anti-Common Core ballot line

Rob Astorino, the GOP candidate for governor, at a press conference opposing the Common Core learning standards Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The Republican candidate for governor in New York is petitioning to run on a new ballot line that capitalizes on public opposition to the new Common Core learning standards.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is gathering signatures to run on a third ballot line in November. In addition to the GOP and Conservative party slots, Astorino has begun a new ballot line called Stop Common Core. He admits it could give Democrats and others who are reluctant to vote for the Republican Party another option.

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9:41pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Weather

Powerful storm slams East Syracuse; fatalities in Madison County

An uprooted tree on McCool Ave. in East Syracuse after powerful storms tore through the village Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Trees were on front yards, on cars, in roads, on power lines and on top of houses in East Syracuse after a powerful storm system swept through the village Tuesday evening.

A few hours later, residents were using the remaining daylight to survey damage, many walking around or sitting in their driveway, others checking in on neighbors. Chainsaws were already roaring to begin cleaning up.

Emergency crews requested power be shut off to the entire village as power lines were down across several streets and yards.

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7:47pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Severe storms kill 3 people in Madison County, damage homes, cause power outages throughout region

The screen at the Midway Drive-In in Minetto is destroyed by the storm
Photo courtesy of Oswego County resident Rick Grosvent

10:04 p.m. update:

The National Weather Service says three people died from the storms in Madison County.

Family members confirm to WRVO News that three people were killed in Peterboro when the homes they were in on Goff Road collapsed after being pounded by thunderstorms.

The deceased include a mother and her four-month-old daughter who were in a single family home. Another woman, approximately 70 years old, according to family members, was in a mobile home that was also destroyed. In all, four homes collapsed.

From earlier:

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4:22pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Energy

Hydrofracking decison may impact more than just oil and gas industry

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

 

In a decision released last week, the highest court in New York ruled that local governments can ban drilling within their borders. And while hydrofracking remains on hold in the state, the ruling is expected to have a huge impact on the industry in New York if fracking is eventually permitted.

 

The dean of the law school at Cornell University, Eduardo Penalver, helps explain the court's ruling

upholding local bans on gas drilling in New York.

 

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