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Many working parents may find it hard to imagine a daycare center right in the same building as their job. But Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to change that. She has introduced a bill to increase tax breaks for businesses that build onsite child care.

Having child care at work could make a big difference for parents like Stephanie Walsh. Walsh says sometimes she barely leaves the house in over a week. She used to go to work every morning, as an accountant at a Southern Tier construction company. But then she had her son Jacob.

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Union members at financially distressed hospitals across the state are taking action to urge state budget negotiators to include funding for these hospitals in the final state spending plan.  

The state’s biggest health care union, 1199SEIU, is highlighting what it says is a critical piece of funding, vital to keeping 28 financially troubled hospitals afloat.  

www.co.oswego.ny.us

The Oswego County hearing in the case of Heidi Allen resumes Tuesday after a six-week break. Gary Thibodeau is seeking a new trial, claiming there is new evidence pointing toward his innocence. He was convicted of kidnapping Allen from the convenience store where she worked in New Haven more than 20 years ago. The defense wrapped its case last month, but Syracuse Post-Standard reporter John O'Brien, who has been covering the hearing, reports that Thibodeau's attorney has asked the judge if she can call new witnesses before the prosecution begins its case.

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With just over a week until the state budget is due, there’s pressure to drop a number of unrelated items in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state spending plan.

Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree. 

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A new poll finds voters disagree with most of Gov. Andrew’s Cuomo’s tactics during the current budget negotiations. Cuomo has tied ethics reform and education policy changes to the budget, and threatened to hold up the spending plan if the legislature does not agree.  

A Siena College poll finds that, while New Yorkers think ethics reform and school funding are important, they don’t want the issues linked to the budget, and they say an on-time spending plan is important to them, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

Hearing in Heidi Allen case scheduled to resume Tuesday

Mar 23, 2015
www.co.oswego.ny.us

The Oswego County hearing in the case of Heidi Allen resumes tomorrow after a six-week break. Gary Thibodeau is seeking a new trial. He was convicted of kidnapping Allen more than 20 years ago. Allen was 18 when she disappeared while working at a convenience store in New Haven. WRVO news director Catherine Loper spoke with Syracuse Post-Standard reporter John O'Brien who has been covering this hearing from the beginning.

Catherine Loper: Can you bring us up to date on what happened when the hearing ended?

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Several thousand Fort Drum backers sent a loud message to the Pentagon Friday. They said the Army base near Watertown should be spared from deep cuts as the military downsizes after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Army brass toured Fort Drum and the region as they near the end of a review of 30 installations to determine where to cut.

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Cyclists in the Syracuse University area have had it with the shutdown of a portion of some bike infrastructure. It was closed due to a lawsuit between Syracuse University and the potential builder of a bookstore on University Avenue.

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There’s still no final three way deal on an ethics reform proposal at the state Capitol.  And reform groups say a proposal offered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Assembly does not go far enough.

The plan by Cuomo and Assembly Democrats requires that lawmakers disclose the source of all outside income they receive above $1,000. Lawyers must reveal the names of their clients if they earn more than $5,000. They would also have to prove they are actually in Albany, through an electronic monitoring system, before receiving their expense payments.

Broome County

 

Among the issues up for discussion in budget talks this year is an overhaul of New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program. It offers tax breaks for the development of contaminated industrial sites.

Getting to the guts of the matter of 'gut health'

Mar 22, 2015
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If you watch television, you probably have seen commercials advertising products that claim to help improve your “gut health.” The idea of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in a person’s digestive tract has been around for a while, but researchers are learning more all the time about the connection between gut health and overall health.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas, discusses gut flora and how to maintain good gut health. Jain is also a partner at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants and clinical assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Kidney stone basics, including some ways to avoid them

Mar 22, 2015
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Often described as the worst pain imaginable aside from child birth, kidney stones can seemingly happen to anyone. But what is a kidney stone? How is it formed? Is passing one as painful as they say? More importantly, is there any way to prevent kidney stone altogether?

Joining us on “Take Care” to talk about the basics of kidney stones and how to prevent them is Dr. Glenn Preminger. Preminger is a professor of surgery and chief of the division of urology at Duke University.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Residents and community leaders from the area surrounding Fort Drum came out Friday evening to support the post. The Army is facing personnel cuts, and has to decide where those cuts will take place.

First, a rally was held at Jefferson County Community College. And then a "listening session" where high-level officials from the Army heard from members of the community about what Fort Drum means to the North Country.

The military has said that, at worst, Fort Drum could lose as many as 16,000 uniformed and civilian jobs. 

Rob Simpson heads CenterState CEO, the region's principal business development non-profit organization, and he also co-chairs the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.  In this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher engages Simpson on the economic development debates currently circulating in the Syracuse region, and the prospects for recapturing economic vibrancy.

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Sumitra and Maniran Paudel arrived in Syracuse from a refugee camp in Nepal in 2008, some of the first Bhutanese refugees to resettle on the city’s north side.

"When we came here the first time, we had a big dream," Maniran said.

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Teachers from the Finger Lakes traveled to Albany Friday to deliver 1,000 local apples to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The purpose was not to share in the bounty of the agricultural region, but to make a point about what they say is the governor’s lack of commitment to school spending.

No 'gut health,' no glory

Mar 20, 2015

The idea of healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the digestive tract has been around for a while. But lately the balance between the two has become popularly referred to "gut health." what does that mean and how does that affect your overall health? This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Rajeev Jain, chief of gastroenterology at Texas Heath Dallas, to explain why we should care about what's going on in our gut.

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The town of DeWitt is looking to become more friendly to bikers and walkers. The suburban community, east of Syracuse, is gathering suggestions from residents and businesses before making any changes.

DeWittshire, one of the earliest housing developments in the DeWitt, was built in the 1920s and ‘30s. Its streets are lined with sidewalks. Many of Dewitt’s later developments, built in the 1950s and ‘60s, reflected America’s post-war love affair with cars. There’s not a sidewalk in sight.  

Karen DeWitt / WRVO file photo

 There’s just about a week-and-a-half left before the budget deadline, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers remain at odds over a number of issues, including whether ethics disclosure rules should apply to the governor as well as the legislature. They also disagree on a number of education reform proposals.

On Thursday, the Senate and Assembly called a public budget conference meeting. It lasted less than two minutes, and focused mainly on listing when subconference committees would meet and the relatively small amount of money they could haggle over.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro), John Katko (R-Camillus), Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) and Chris Gibson (R-Kinderhook), were in Clayton Thursday evening for a private reception to welcome Pentagon officials to the North Country. The four members of Congress are working together to defend Fort Drum from dramatic cuts.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse University basketball coach Jim Boeheim will appeal sanctions handed down on him from the NCAA, calling the penalties "unduly harsh."

For the first time since the NCAA released a report on the Syracuse athletic department March 6 charging the basketball program had run off the rails, Boeheim addressed the accusations. He spoke to the media for an hour Thursday at the Carrier Dome, saying he wanted to put forth his opinion on how events of academic fraud and poor oversight outlined by the NCAA took place.

  

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Amid talks to raise the minimum wage in New York, farmers are calling on the lawmakers to keep it where it is.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to increase the minimum wage to $10.50 upstate and $11.50 downstate.

The New York Farm Bureau says the state has some of the highest agricultural labor costs in the country. They say farm workers in New York are paid $12.15 an hour on average.

Dean Norton, a farmer in western New York and president of the state Farm Bureau, says whenever there’s a minimum wage hike, he’s forced to raise his wages, too.

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The three Republican members of Congress that now represent northern and central New York have been presenting a united front when it comes to issues important to the region like Fort Drum and border control. And, they say they are not afraid to stand up to their party at a time when Washington often is paralyzed because of inflexibility from extreme elements in the Republican and Democratic parties.

Kirsten Gillibrand/via Facebook

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is once again introducing federal legislation that would create paid family and medical leave. The Family Act would establish a national, gender-neutral insurance program that would mean a paycheck for families with new babies, or ill family members.  

Gllibrand says it’s becoming more imperative to have this kind of program with so many women working.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the speaker of the Assembly say they hope the state Senate will sign on to their joint proposal for ethics reform, as a new poll finds the governor with dropping job approval numbers.

Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie took the unusual step of calling their ethics measure a deal, even though they need the Senate to agree to the plan in order for it to become law.

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The career of basketball coach Jim Boeheim at Syracuse University now has an end date, with his announced retirement coming in the aftermath of an NCAA investigation into his program.

The university says Boeheim’s retirement in three years will bring certainty to the program and allow for "a successful, longer-term transition in coaching leadership," Chancellor Kent Syverud wrote in an open letter.

Medical Schools in New York state are asking the legislature to include $50 million for faculty development in the state budget. University leadership calls the  New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (NYSTAR) Faculty Development Program an investment needed to grow programs that will attract high-profile entrepreneurial biomedical researchers.

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A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo is at his lowest ranking since taking office, with signs that the governor’s feud with the teacher’s union is taking a toll.

Cuomo’s job approval rating stands at 50 percent, down 8 points just from last December, before the legislative session began and the governor began a more public feud with the state’s teachers unions, says Quinnipiac University spokesman Mickey Carroll.

“It’s not very good,” said Carroll. “A governor should do better than 50."

MGoBlog / via Flickr

The impact of an NCAA investigation into Syracuse University's athletics department has come to bear: Daryl Gross is out as athletic director and men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim will retire in three years.

The university also announced Wednesday it will appeal the vacation of more than 100 wins as ordered by the NCAA.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly Democrats announced a two-way deal on ethics reform late Tuesday, that they say will require full disclosure of outside income for state lawmakers. Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie say they will not be releasing details until later Wednesday, but Cuomo says he's very pleased with the agreement.

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