News

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As Oswego city lawmakers prepare for the second year of their term, a power struggle seems to be emerging between the common council and the mayor.

In a close vote this week, the Oswego Common Council removed the president and vice president of the council from their leadership roles. Those positions are now filled by councilors who went to battle with Mayor Billy Barlow and City Attorney Kevin Caraccioli last month over a sewer contract with the town of Oswego.

Newly installed council President Eric VanBuren says that fight was a catalyst for the change in leadership. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse had a record high number of homicides in 2016. That compares to a record low number of violent and overall crimes in 2015. Syracuse officials say while homicides are tougher to control, police do have the power to curb other crimes.

Jo Naylor / Flickr

Susan Rahn's doctors first discovered cancer in her back a few years ago. They traced its to her breast, and she's now at Stage 4 -- a terminal diagnosis. Rahn changes her medication every three months to fight the pain.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci is being considered for a job in the Trump administration. The Republican says he was approached by members of the Trump transition team to consider a job as the U.S. attorney for New York’s Northern District.

It’s a job in the past that generally goes to someone with experience as a prosecutor. Antonacci is a civil attorney, but says it’s more than the experience in the courtroom that counts.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse Police Department is holding a civilian police academy to expose the public to the challenges of being a police officer. It comes after a tense year for police officers and communities in Syracuse and across the country.

Several Black Lives Matter protests were held in Syracuse in 2016 demanding more independent oversight, accountability and demilitarization of police.

Syracuse Police Department Detective Mark Rusin said the civilian police academy is meant to start an open dialogue, to clear up misunderstandings and to give people a glimpse at policing.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Over the past several years, many central New York residents have debated passionately about what they think should happen to the Interstate-81 project through downtown Syracuse. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) wants free college tuition for students in families making less than $125,000 a year. At an estimated cost of $163 million a year, the program would triple state funding for higher education. But the plan may not reach as many students as the governor claims.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

One of the goals of the Onondaga County Legislature in 2017 will be updating of the county’s comprehensive plan that guides planning and economic development. Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon will be appointing a special committee that will look through all the comprehensive development plans that have been drafted by various groups and governments in recent years across central New York. McMahon says the idea is to review these plans and the options they present, then move on legislation to deal with future development.

-JvL- / Flickr

New York lawmakers are returning to Albany this week to begin their work for 2017. This year's agenda includes proposals to modernize the state's voting rules, address government corruption and permit the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to expand upstate.

Other prominent proposals include legislation to allow the terminally ill to request life-ending medication from a physician and a bill to end the state's practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo plans to take his yearly State of the State address on the road this year, instead of delivering the speech to lawmakers in Albany. That is not sitting well with Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse).

DeFrancisco says traditionally the message is supposed to be given the first full day of the legislative session, which this year would be January 4. Cuomo, though, won’t be offering his view of how New York State is faring to lawmakers that day. Instead he’s taking the legislative message to six regions across the state, starting Jan. 9.

Tinted car windows now must pass NY state inspection

Jan 3, 2017
brandon rivera / Flickr

A new state law has now gone into effect that will require annual vehicle inspections to test car windows and how much they are tinted. Critics say the law will be burdensome to drivers and auto shops.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A new book from a central New York author details the legacy of a group called the the Oswego County Pioneers, the first organized volunteer search and rescue team created in the state.

Volunteer search and rescue teams may be ubiquitous today, but local historian Jim Farfaglia says that wasn't the case in New York 50 years ago. He says the effort to find missing persons was chaotic.

Great Lakes pollutant lurks in your laundry

Jan 2, 2017
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The United States and Canada are moving to ban microbeads -- the tiny plastic bits in toothpaste and facewash that are big water polluters. Now scientists are focusing on a similar problem -- and it’s lurking in your laundry hamper.

When you do laundry, take a look at the tags on your clothes. You’ll find that most shirts and pants have some synthetic material -- like polyester, nylon or spandex. Every time you wash them, tiny plastic fibers go down the drain.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

When Sen. Charles Schumer becomes Senate minority leader January 3, he will be one of the most powerful Democrats in the nation, at a time when the party is the weakest it’s been since the Great Depression. But the New Yorker says he has a plan to pull the party back into power.

Schumer doesn’t mince any words when it comes to rehashing Democratic losses on Election Day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Politically, central New York will have something new when it comes to Congressional representation this year. For the first time in a decade, the 24th District, which represents Syracuse and surrounding areas, will have someone other than a freshman member of Congress representing it.

TaxCredits.net

A wide range of organizations across New York state are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for a state-administered workplace retirement savings option, as part of his 2017-2018 state budget proposal next month.

Two-thirds of New York’s small businesses want the state to set up a privately managed retirement savings plan for their employees, according to a study by AARP New York, since many of the companies said they can not afford to offer a plan on their own.

Michael Davis

Columnist and writer Sean Kirst spent 25 years telling the stories of central New Yorkers for the Syracuse Post-Standard and syracuse.com. Now, he has gathered together a collection of those columns in a book titled, "The Soul of Central New York."

Telling true stories about the people of the region through the craft of journalism is Kirst's life work. WRVO news director Catherine Loper recently interviewed Kirst and asked him about the state of journalism today.

Matt Ryan / New York Now

A state lawmaker from the Capital Region has pledged to introduce a bill to require Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stay in Albany when he delivers his State of the State message next month. Earlier this weeek, the governor announced that he plans to bring his annual address on the road.

Under the state constitution, the governor must address the legislature once a year. It’s typically served up as a State of the State speech at the beginning of the session to inform lawmakers of the governor’s agenda.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Rep.-elect Claudia Tenney from the 22nd Congressional District says she is going to keep an open mind as the administration of incoming president Donald Trump takes shape. Tenney supported Trump during the election, but the Republican has some doubts about some of his decisions thus far.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A $12 million renovation is underway at the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. The cathedral has many maintenance problems similar to what other older churches face in the city.

WRVO Public Media

In 2017, Republicans will have control of the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. But one central New York Republican is warning his party not to get too cocky.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says the GOP needs to learn a lesson from the Obama administration.

"I think Obama overreached with a Democratic House, Senate and White House in his first two years in office. And he overreached with Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and some other things,” said Katko, referring to the financial regulation law more commonly known as Dodd-Frank.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego Common Council President Shawn Walker calls 2016 the most productive year for the city he's seen in his nine years on the council. The city's leaders tackled several issues in the past year that had previously been kicked down the road.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As a new year begins, mayoral candidates in Syracuse are looking towards the 2017 election, since Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner cannot run for reelection because of term limits.

Thomas Marthisen / Flickr

The number of heroin-related overdoses continues to rise in upstate, including in central New York. Now one agency that helps addicts is putting more emphasis on a harm-reduction technique called a “test shot.”

Lawsuit calls New York taser ban unconstitutional

Dec 28, 2016
J Sibiga Photography / Flickr

New York’s ban on electronic weapons is being challenged by a federal lawsuit filed earlier this month.

Matthew Avitable, the mayor of Middleburgh, and the Firearms Policy Foundation are suing the state on the grounds that the ban violates the Second Amendment of the Constitution. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and New York State Police Superintendent Lt. Col. George Beach are listed as defendants in the case.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The next representative from the 22nd Congressional District, Claudia Tenney, is supportive of president-elect Donald Trump's approach on foreign policy matters thus far. And as his inauguration day approaches, she says more Americans need to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

An $8 million renovation of Onondaga County’s Central Library in downtown Syracuse wrapped up this month. And the facility on South Salina Street has now become more than a place to get books.

A caregiver sits nearby, as three toddlers tumble through a giant penned-in play area on the second floor of the Central Library. There are books galore spread out through the brightly colored space, but also places for kids to stretch their imagination -- a pretend grocery store, a train table, a stage.

Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

A new study from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York tracks how much plastic is getting into the Great Lakes, and where it's going.

Matthew Hoffman, an assistant professor who is part of the research team, says about 10,000 metric tons of plastic is getting into the lakes every year. In Lake Ontario alone, he says, "it's the equivalent of 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with empty plastic bottles."

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The first female representative from the 22nd Congressional District is preparing to assume office. Republican Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) was elected last month to serve the eight counties in the district that stretches from the eastern half of Oswego County to the Mohawk Valley to the Southern Tier. 

Great Lakes targeted for offshore wind farms

Dec 26, 2016
Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

Charles Brush of Cleveland created the world’s first electric wind turbine in the 1800s. He used it to power his home. And since then, wind turbines have popped up all over the world -- but never in the Great Lakes.

That could change with Project Icebreaker, a six-turbine demonstration to be located eight to 10 miles off Cleveland’s shore. 

It could become the country’s second offshore wind farm; the first just started operating in Rhode Island’s waters.

Pages