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There has been a groundswell in recent months to equip police officers nationwide with body cameras. These cameras are becoming more commonplace in law enforcement agencies, but some officials still have concerns.

Following the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown during confrontations with police, President Barack Obama announced his proposal to spend more than $260 million of federal funding to help purchase 50,000 body cameras and provide additional training for police.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It’s a rainy late fall day in New York City and the Metropolitan Museum of Art is crowded. Even Walter Liedtke, one of the museum’s curators, has to vie for viewing space. As he tells the story of a once debated Rembrandt painting, he has to shuffle to the side to make room for some patrons.

"I can’t really see it on the surface, but in X-rays there’s been a lot of discussion as to whether this picture was longer on the bottom," he described, before being interrupted.

Studying the weaves of the canvas is done by shooting x-rays through the layers of paint and exposing what’s behind the image most only glance at on the wall.

fishhawk / Flickr

New York’s dairy industry likely won’t see more of the good times next year farmers experienced in 2014, largely because dairy prices and profits are expected to level off.

Andy Novakovic, a professor of agriculture economics at Cornell University, says dairy markets in New York are already starting to decline to be in balance with the rest of the world, "but we have quite a bit of altitude to lose before we get to where the rest of the world is," he said. 

This was a great year for the dairy industry, he said. 

Ted / via Flickr

It’s been 30 years since psychiatrists began using the term seasonal affective disorder. As we inch towards the shortest day of the year, a lack of light can lead to what is a debilitating seasonal depression for some people.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about five percent of Americans suffers from this winter depression and another 20 percent have a milder form of this ailment.  

Coalition promoting water level plan for Lake Ontario

Dec 10, 2014
Gino Geruntino / WRVO

A coalition of land owners, elected officials, environmental groups and others are launching a campaign calling on the governments of the U.S.  and Canada to move ahead with the latest plan, called Plan 2014, to regular water levels on Lake Ontario.

Proponents say Plan 2014 would restore Lake Ontario to more natural levels by controlling dams along the St. Lawrence River.

Julia Botero / WRVO

Fort Drum commemorated the end of its combat role in Afghanistan Monday. Most of the 10th Mountain Division is now back for the holidays, but the U.S. Army will continue its mission in Afghanistan.

At Monday's welcome home ceremony, Annie Costellano-Rios chats with two women as they wait for band to start up. Her husband is a 10th Sustainment Brigade commander - the most recent to deploy to Afghanistan and one of the last to return.

"I'm glad they are home," Costellano-Rios said. "It was a long nine months, or 10 months actually, wasn't it?"

Nick Harris / Flickr

The Salvation Army's annual red kettle campaign is in full swing, but the non-profit is concerned that it might not be able to reach this year's fundraising goal.

According to Maj. Donald Hostetler, division commander of the Empire State Division of the Salvation Army, this year's holiday season goal might be harder to achieve than in year's past. That's because there aren't enough volunteers willing to bundle up and staff kettles to collect donations.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Look for a feeding frenzy in Albany next spring, when lawmakers have to figure out to do with about $5 billion in unexpected cash.  A group called Rebuild New York Now is creating a coalition of government leaders, organized labor and private business to urge Albany to spend the windfall on fixing the state’s declining infrastructure.

There are growing calls in Albany for a special prosecutor to investigate police encounters with unarmed citizens that end in the death of the person.  Senate Democrats are the latest to ask for immediate action in the wake of the death of Eric Garner and other recent incidents.

The state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has already asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an executive order to empower the attorney general to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute cases where unarmed civilians are killed by police officers.

National Weather Service, Binghamton

Winter storm warnings continue for much of central and western New York, as a nor'easter moves its way along the East Coast. The National Weather Service has issued warnings for almost all of central New York until Thursday morning. Jefferson, Lewis and Oswego Counties are under a winter weather advisory. 

Madison and Onondaga Counties have issued travel advisories during the storm. Driving conditions around central New York could be hazardous, especially during the morning commute on Wednesday.

Officials say if you have to drive during the day Wednesday, drive slowly and leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of you.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks about father Mario Cuomo's love of Fort Drum

Dec 9, 2014
Karen Dewitt / WRVO

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo participated in Monday's homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum, he was asked by a reporter about his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo and the work he did with Fort Drum while he was in office.

Former Gov. Mario Cuomo has reportedly been hospitalized for several weeks because of a heart condition, and his son has not spoken much in public about his father's health.

The current governor said he and one of his daughters visited his father Sunday night and told him the 82 year-old he would be visiting Fort Drum the next day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The city of Syracuse has joined Rochester and Buffalo in approving "Ban the Box" legislation. This was the third attempt by city common councilors to pass the legislation.

The new ordinance would prevent the city, and any contractors doing business with the city, from asking a job applicant about criminal convictions unless that person has received a job offer.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Following a die-in and demonstration on the Syracuse University campus, more than 200 protesters shut down the street in front the justice center in Syracuse last night as they marched down the hill into downtown Syracuse.
   

-JvL- / Flickr

The New York Times is reporting that federal investigators are probing outside income paid to the New York state Assembly speaker, among other lawmakers. A reform group says the article is one more reason Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature should adopt long overdue ethical changes.

Susan Lerner, with Common Cause, says legislators are finding that if they don’t change their policies they are increasingly finding themselves in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors. She says her group hopes to convince them to do so.

Julia Botero / WRVO

Fort Drum held a ceremony Monday to commemorate the 10th Mountain Division's 13-year involvement in Afghanistan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a last minute appearance, joining Secretary of the Army John McHugh and other state and national leaders who were there.

The 10th Mountain Division was the first to be deployed to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Within the last year and a half, every brigade of the 10th Mountain Division has been deployed to the country.

Republican John Katko, who beat incumbent Dan Maffei to represent the 24th Congressional District, has picked for his senior staff a mixture of familiar central New York faces, an experienced Capitol Hill staffer, and colleagues he has worked with before.

Familiar to many in Syracuse is Tom Connellan, who has worked for the Syracuse Police Department for 25 years. Connellan will become Katko's district director, leading the local staff here in central New York. Connellan has most recently been the press spokesman for the Syracuse police.

Thomas Schmidt / Flickr

The Cuomo administration has announced a $40 million competition designed to encourage local energy solutions for extreme weather conditions. The problem at hand is an aging electrical infrastructure in New York state and the nation. The solution may be a "microgrid."

hermanturnip / Flickr

The Syracuse Police Department will implement new rules regarding the use of Tasers next year. The changes come as the result of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union charging Taser abuse in city schools.

The lawsuit involved the use of Tasers against two students, including one who was trying to break up a fight between other students, and another involving a diabetic student who was upset over academic issues and lying on the floor. In both cases no charges were filed, even as both students were handcuffed and taken from school.

m00by / Flickr

Later this week an Assembly committee will hold a hearing on improving access to financial aid for college students. One of the issues will be better access for part-time community college students, who are the fastest growing group.

jasleen_kaur / Flickr

The New York State Palliative Care Collaborative was formed recently to promote more access to this specialized type of medical care that provides relief to patients with serious diseases.

Palliative care emphasizes improving quality of life while a person copes with chronic and serious health conditions.

Michael Burgess, New York government relations director of the American Cancer Society, says the collaborative wants to assure comfort care is a right to all seriously ill patients.

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

New York state is sitting on a more than $5 billion budget windfall that it received from several recent bank settlements, but has yet to decide what to do with that money. One Mohawk Valley assemblyman says some should be used to end the state's Gap Elimination Adjustment for school districts.

Since his election in the fall of 2011, Utica-area Democrat Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has thrown his weight behind promoting education.

Sheriff-elect O'Neill selects undersheriff

Dec 8, 2014
Julia Botero / WRVO

Jefferson County Sheriff-elect Colleen O'Neill has selected retired state trooper Sgt. Brian McDermott as  her new undersheriff. O'Neill made it a point during her campaign that, if elected, she would work to restore the department's tarnished reputation caused by allegations of sexual  harassment in 2012.  

O Neill, who also retired from the New York State Police, says she has known McDermott throughout his career. She says she trusts him and his ability to bring respect back to the sheriff's department through hard work and honesty.

Health Information Technology: the future of medicine

Dec 7, 2014
Community Eye Health / Flickr

With so much information being stored on the web today, it may come as a surprise that medical records have only recently begun the conversion into a digital format known as HIT, or Health Information Technology.  Like any big change, using electronic medical records poses many potential benefits and risks.

This week on “Take Care,” David Whitlinger discusses the factors involved in the switch from paper-based medical records to electronic medical records.  Whitlinger is executive director of the New York eHealth Collaborative and former director of healthcare device standards and interoperability for the Intel Corporation’s digital health group.

Maintaining a healthy weight through the holidays

Dec 7, 2014
thepeachmartini / Flickr

It happens every year. The holiday season rolls around and suddenly you can’t eat enough. Some people argue that holiday food is the best food of the year, but what can we do to make sure we don’t end up ruining a year’s worth of diet and exercise?

This week on “Take Care,” registered dietician Ashley Koff suggests strategies to eat healthy and not gain too much weight during the holiday time. Koff is a contributing editor to Prevention magazine, the author of two books and on the faculty of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at the Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

Federal spending on scientific research has not kept up with inflation in recent years, and it's made it harder for researchers to fund their work. Some of them are turning to another source -- crowdfunding. But, this new funding source raises new questions for scientists.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The Eric Garner protests have spread to central New York. About two dozen demonstrators gathered in front of the federal building in Syracuse today to express concern about latest court case involving an unarmed black man killed by police.  

Anna Morris of Syracuse says she was angry and hurt when she heard there would be no charges filed against the police officer involved in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York City.

Army announces new Fort Drum commander

Dec 5, 2014
U.S. Army

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Bannister has been named the new commander of Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division. Bannister worked as the deputy commander general for Fort Drum between 2009 and 2011 before taking a job with the Pentagon.

Anthony Keating, who works for the secretary of the Army, knows Bannister well. He says Bannister's familiarity with the North Country will help him make a smooth transition back to Fort Drum.

"I think he will fit in extremely well here because he knows so many people," Keating said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A downstate Democrat is trying to reinvigorate a plan to create a publicly funded, single-payer health care system in New York state. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried is getting the ball rolling with a series of legislative hearings, including the first in Syracuse.

Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat, says getting rid of insurance companies and putting the state in charge of health care would save consumers $20 billion a year by eliminating insurance company overhead and the administrative costs doctors and hospitals incur while dealing with insurance companies.  

David Guo / Flickr

A federal loophole is letting some dangerous trucking companies continue to operate in New York state. But U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is looking to close it by calling for stricter tracking measures that would keep dangerous trucking companies off the road.

“Rather than pay the fine or face repercussions, some (trucking companies) dissolve and reapply for permitting under a different name," Schumer said. "They’re called chameleon carriers. Same owners, same employees, same vehicles, just a different name.”

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

Just hours after a Staten Island grand jury ruled there were no grounds to indict a white police officer in the killing of an African American man, Albany’s elected officials, community leaders and members came together to discuss ways to improve policing in the capital cities minority communities. 

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