Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente’s proposed 2017 budget was met with thunderous applause from the Oneida County Board of Legislators Wednesday. It calls for no increase in the county’s property tax rate for the fourth year in a row. Picente said while the county's taxpayers may praise him, this trend cannot continue. 

“For us in county government there are no more airports to sell, retirements to defer or Nation agreements to settle," Picente said.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Some environmental groups say Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration should reconsider an $8 billion bailout of three upstate nuclear power plants, saying the cost will be passed on to ratepayers.

Cuomo plans to transition 50 percent of the state’s power to renewable energy by 2030. Part of the program includes a multi-billion-dollar subsidy to Exelon, the company that now runs two upstate nuclear power plants — Nine Mile Point in Oswego and Ginna near Rochester — and is hoping to run a third plant, FitzPatrick, also in Oswego.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Oswego cut 17 firefighter positions this year, due to a budget deficit. But six of those firefighters have now been hired by the Syracuse Fire Department. Some Syracuse common councilors are upset that Syracuse residents were not considered for the positions.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Empire State Development is funding a startup competition called Genius NY to attract teams with ideas to innovate drone technology. The business accelerator is meant to highlight the region’s commitment to building a new economy around unmanned systems.  

Six teams will split prizes totaling more than $2.7 million and spend a year developing their ideas at the Tech Garden in Syracuse. Jonathan Parry, the director of Genius NY, said while drones are becoming more popular, this competition is looking for the software, sensors and radar that will guide autonomous systems.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The scandal over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs has led to more scrutiny of whether the projects are the best way to improve the state’s economy, and some watchdog groups are asking questions.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

A new law in Watertown will now require landlords to register their rental properties with the city. More than half of the homes in Watertown are rentals. Neighbors and city leaders say many of them are run down or empty. Some aren’t safe to live in. Watertown leaders say a list of property owners’ names and phone numbers will help stop the blight on neighborhood streets. 

WRVO News File Photo

In each of the last three congressional elections in the Syracuse area, incumbents have been big losers. But that trend could change this year if results of the first independent poll for the 24th Congressional District race hold steady.

The 24th Congressional District seems to be a district that defies convention. According to Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg, voters tilt slightly to the left of center on the issues. There are more registered Democrats than Republicans, and district voters are solidly behind Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

22nd Congressional District hopeful Kim Myers is making a push to become more well-known in the most populous part of the district that stretches from the eastern part of Oswego County, to the Mohawk Valley, to the Southern Tier.

Flanked by several local politicians and supporters in Utica Monday, Myers, who’s a county legislator from Broome County, at the other end of the sprawling 22nd District, promised to be very visible in the Mohawk Valley, if she’s elected to Congress.

WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) holds a 19-point lead over Democratic challenger Colleen Deacon, according to a poll released Monday night from Siena College/Time Warner Cable News.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

North Country residents struggling with heroin and opioid addiction have a new treatment option. A medication-assisted heroin treatment center in Watertown is taking its first patients.

Until last week, Credo Community Center in Watertown offered recovering heroin addicts only abstinence treatment – the cold turkey approach to overcoming their substance abuse.

Jim Scordo, Credo’s executive director, says he found it didn’t work for some.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Democratic congressional candidate Colleen Deacon took part in a Latino business roundtable at the Spanish Action League in Syracuse Monday as part of her campaign against incumbent Rep. John Katko. Deacon brought Congressman Xavier Becerra of California to listen to the problems facing the local Latino community.

Poverty, education and housing ranked at the top of the list. In terms of what a member of Congress can do, Becerra gave the same answer to many of the issues.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said much of the responsibility for the alleged corruption scandal touching his administration is on the state university system, specifically SUNY Polytechnic Institute, which oversaw many of the contracts.

But reform groups say the governor is not telling the whole story.

Cuomo has made a few public appearances since U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara issued criminal complaints against nine people, including several close to Cuomo and two major upstate real estate developers.

Pamela Post

It's the last Wednesday of the month in the Downtown Eastside neighborhood of Vancouver -- the day when thousands of people living on the margins in this community get their monthly social assistance checks. The streets are full of activity, much of it drug-related.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

High school students in the Syracuse City School District participated in a mock election for president, Senate and House of Representatives using official ballots and voting machines from the Onondaga County Board of Elections. 

Anna Stewart Ibarra / Upstate Medical University

One Upstate Medical University scientist continuing to study the Zika virus is taking a socio-ecological approach to a virus that has caused major outbreaks of disease in the Americas.

Dogs sniff out pollution along Great Lakes

Oct 1, 2016
Rebecca Thiele / WMUK

In the town of Bridgman, Mich., investigators Sable and Kenna sniff samples from storm water drains near a beach. Sable is a 10-year-old German Shepherd, while Kenna, a Golden Retriever, is 2.

The dogs have been trained to sniff out polluted water, says Karen Reynolds, co-founder of Environmental Canine Services.

“If they smell any contamination that indicates human source bacteria, then they will give an alert,” Reynolds said. “Sable barks when he smells that and Kenna will sit.”

How a journalist debunked a decades old health tip

Oct 1, 2016
Catherine Loper / WRVO News

The recommendation to floss was removed from the federal dietary guidelines in January after 25 years, due to a lack of evidence to back up the suggestion.

Jeff Donn, the Associated Press reporter who broke the story in August, found the first thread to pull after a routine meeting with his son’s orthodontist when the doctor asked if Donn wanted a good tip.

This week on “Take Care,” Donn, a 30-year staffer for AP and a 2012 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, shares his story about how he debunked flossing as well as talking to government agencies, which led to the recommendation being removed.

Yann Gar / Flickr

One in three American adults have a condition that’s like a ticking time bomb—high blood pressure. While there's a genetic component to high blood pressure for some, many can cut their risk significantly with one simple change.

This week on “Take Care,” health expert Johannah Sakimura explains how a change in diet can lead to a big change in blood pressure. Sakimura is a registered dietician at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, with a master’s degree in nutrition from the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition. She has also written several articles on foods that lower blood pressure.

Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston has been following Donald Trump’s business career for decades.  So when Trump launched his campaign for president, he collected all his files and wrote The Making of Donald Trump.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher discusses the book with Johnston, and explores how his past business experiences might inform his behavi

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Jobs were a major topic at a candidate forum at SUNY Broome for the 22nd Congressional District Thursday. But climate change came up as well, and there were definite differences in how the three candidates talked about it. 

Democrat Kim Myers advocated for government incentives to develop new technologies.

The flossing fallacy

Sep 30, 2016
Jon Baik / Flickr

Earlier this year, the federal government withdrew its recommendation that Americans should floss their teeth twice a day. It turns out there's not much proof that flossing is effective at preventing cavities and gum disease. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak Associated Press reporter Jeff Donn about how he broke the story that led to reversal of the recommendations.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

A study of how individuals in the region travel the area shows a shift could be coming away from the traditional car-centric culture.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A new poll finds that Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is edging out her Democratic and third-party rivals in the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) in New York's 22nd Congressional District. The poll from Siena College and Time Warner Cable has Tenney in the lead with 35 percent and Democratic Broome County Legislator Kim Myers close behind with 30 percent.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is distancing himself from the corruption scandal within his administration and placing the blame on others. But some say Cuomo might be better off making some changes instead.

Cuomo has made a number of public appearances across the state, continuing to promote economic development efforts, just as he did before U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged several of Cuomo’s former close associates and two major real estate developers with bribery and fraud in connection with the Buffalo Billion and other projects.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Republicans are hoping to put the divisiveness of a primary in the 127th Assembly District race behind them.

When all the ballots were counted, only 40 votes separated winner Vince Giordano, and Michael Becallo in the Republican primary for the seat that’s currently held by Democrat Assemblyman Al Stirpe. Becallo’s name will still be on the ballot on the Conservative and Reform Party lines. But he’s asking his supporters to ignore that.

-JvL- / Flickr

It’s looking less likely that state lawmakers will be getting a long-awaited pay raise next year. A commission designed to take politics out of the issue is now coming under political pressure to not grant the salary increase.

Julia Botero

A large part of New York state is still in severe to extreme drought. The USDA will now cover the cost of new pipelines and wells for farmers in Jefferson and Lewis Counties to reach more water. But farms in other parts of the state, like the Finger Lakes, are getting more attention.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A new report from the conservative Empire Center, a fiscal watchdog, finds that New York state's Clean Energy Standard plan to boost renewable sources of energy and support struggling nuclear plants could cost more than the state estimates.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Tax breaks from New York state are helping Welch Allyn add jobs to it’s Skaneateles Falls factory, and ensure that the company stays in central New York.

Nine hundred people currently work at Welch Allyn in Skaneateles Falls, creating the medical technology found in many doctor’s offices. The company’s been a central New York mainstay for a century, but when Hill-Rom Holdings of Chicago bought Welch Allyn 18 months ago, there was concern it would leave the area.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It’s been a week since a federal corruption investigation exploded in New York state, bringing fraud and bribery and charges against developers and state officials for allegedly running a pay-to-play scheme involving upstate economic development projects.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo admits it’s been an emotional time for him personally because one of the accused, Joseph Percoco, is a former top aide and a longtime Cuomo family friend.