St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center / Facebook

Final tests have now concluded that the Legionella bacteria was present in two patient sinks and one ice machine at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse at the time three patients were being treated for Legionnaires’ disease. One person died, although hospital officials say the form of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ was not the sole cause of death. 

Now in the wake of the outbreak, hospital officials are trying to reassure patients that the hospital is safe.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

A new proposal by the state ethics commission that could restrict campaign donations is raising some questions.

At the Joint Commission on Public Ethics most recent meeting, commissioners discussed a proposal that could change New York’s open ended campaign finance rules. It would ban state officials from taking campaign donations from anyone who that elected official is investigating, or auditing. It would also them from asking for donations from anyone that they are currently suing.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

A special Senate race in the Southern Tier is favored to be won by the Republican in the race.

Deputy Sheriff and GOP candidate Fred Akshar is leading in the polls in the heavily Republican district.

“I will fight for your interest and your needs, and I will never allow Albany to change me,” Akshar said at a debate on WSKG.

His opponent, Democrat Barbara Fiala, did not get the support she expected from the Democratic  Party and Governor Cuomo .

“If elected, I’m going to Albany to fight for this area,” said Fiala, who called herself an “independent voice”.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Seven incumbent Republicans will fight to keep their jobs in the Onondaga County Legislature. They are running on the positive aspects they say are part of the county’s upswing.

The chairman of the Republican dominated legislature, Ryan McMahon is being challenged by political newcomer, Democrat Tim Rudd. McMahon said he is running on the investments the county is making in infrastructure, Onondaga Lake and the Greater Syracuse Land Bank.


State officials are saying they were caught by surprise Monday when Entergy announced it plans to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County. New York state had been in talks with Entergy, but the company said it didn't get the agreement it was looking for. But, state leaders are saying if the talks are not reopened, they will take matters into their own hands. 

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Local, state, and federal officials are scrambling to figure out ways to stop Entergy from closing the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power plant in Oswego County. The company announced Monday that it will close down the unprofitable plant after the reactor runs out of fuel in late 2016 or early 2017. Among those looking to find ways to keep the plant on the grid, is U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, who intended to make an angry phone call to the CEO of Entergy. 


Updated 12:45 p.m.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement on Entergy's decision to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant:

"The closing of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant will devastate the lives of more than 600 employees and their families. Good corporate citizenship must appreciate that there are many factors that count as the 'bottom line.' The State of New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy's actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A number of seats are up for election on Syracuse’s Common Council including one vacancy. Both new and familiar faces are challenging the establishment.

Two years ago, Republican Joe Carni lost to Democrat Jake Barrett by 38 votes for the 1st District seat. This year, 25-year-old Carni is back, continuing his door-to-door campaign and hoping he can edge out a win.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

There’s only one political race Tuesday that directly effects New York state government, and that’s a special election for a state Senate seat in the Southern Tier. The Republican candidate is far ahead.

The Senate seat in Binghamton and surrounding areas is vacant, because its former occupant Tom Libous, who was the deputy Senate majority leader, has been convicted on felony charges of lying to the FBI over obtaining a politically connected job for his son. He is now awaiting sentencing.

WRVO News file photo/

On Election Day, voters will make decisions about various levels of Onondaga County government . The entire legislature is up for election, and there are several countywide races. District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick is running unopposed, but there are contested races for comptroller and county clerk. But the biggest office up for grabs is for Onondaga County executive. 

The race pits a well-heeled incumbent going against an opponent who lost support from his party’s leadership.

Elect Kristyna Mills D.A. Facebook ; Elect Anthony Neddo D.A.; Facebook

The candidates for district attorney in Jefferson County agree that heroin is the biggest issue facing law enforcement in the area today. The choice voters make on Tuesday may hinge on which candidate voters believe can put a dent in the heroin epidemic.

Health impacts of agricultural pesticides

Nov 1, 2015
Patrick Feller / Flickr

Many consumers have become concerned with the health impacts of ingesting residual pesticides used to protect fruit and vegetable. This week on “Take Care,” we talk with Dr. Dave Stone about the health implications of agricultural pesticides.

Dr. Dave Stone is a toxicologist and director of the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative effort between Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Ringing in the ears? It could be tinnitus

Nov 1, 2015
Simon James / Flickr

Many people experience noise or ringing in the head or ears called tinnitus, but what happens when this noise impacts our daily lives? This week on “Take Care,” we discuss tinnitus with Dr. Tammy Kordas.

Dr. Tammy Kordas is an audiologist and clinical instructor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Syracuse University. Dr. Kordas is also a supervising audiologist at the Gebbie Speech Language Hearing Clinic at Syracuse University.

File photos / WRVO News

Offices like city auditor are essential for good governance, yet they tend to received very little attention.  In their only joint media appearance, host Grant Reeher questions the two candidates for Syracuse City Auditor, Democrat incumbent Marty Masterpole and Green Party challenger Howie Hawkins.  They debate whether the office has engaged in enough audits, audits of appropriate significance, the quality of the office staff, and the role that the office plays in trying to address the challenges facing the city.

Utica remembers history of abolition

Oct 30, 2015

It’s been 150 years since the passage of the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. The amendment was ratified after the end of the Civil War, but the

fight to end slavery took place over decades. One battle fought in 1835 in downtown Utica was commemorated recently.

Pesticides & produce -- health risk?

Oct 30, 2015
rick / Flickr

Many consumers are concerned about the pesticides used on commercially grown fruit and vegetables. But do the pesticides on produce really cause any health problems? This Sunday, on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen get the answer from Dave Stone, a toxicologist and director of the National Pesticide Information Center.

More of this interview can be heard on "Take Care," WRVO's health and wellness show Sunday at 6:30 p.m.  Support for this story comes from the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to central New York yesterday and announced that a company that produces LED lighting products and technology will relocate its global manufacturing and research operations from California to East Syracuse. The move is expected to create about 400 new jobs.

xMizLitx / Flickr


Three-quarters of school districts in the state have applied for waivers from the new teacher evaluation rules set out by Gov.Andrew Cuomo and the legislature in March. The news comes amidst lots of changes, including the leadership of the state Board of Regents.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Before the Erie Canal was dug almost 200 years ago, Syracuse was a swampy village of 250 people. Once that canal opened up commerce between the Hudson River and Lake Erie, the city grew dramatically. It’s this history that the Syracuse and the town of DeWitt want to reclaim, by revitalizing the 14-mile gap in the original canal path, which currently exists between DeWitt and Camillus.

Schumer says 'zombie debt' is all trick and no treat

Oct 29, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is proposing legislation to combat an increasing number of debt collectors who are harassing consumers over debt they no longer owe or have resolved through the bankruptcy process.

In 2014, more than 2,400 upstate New Yorkers, including nearly 200 from central New York, filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about "zombie debt" that is still haunting them. Schumer called the collectors debt scavengers.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and seven district attorneys announced a new agreement on handling of sexual abuse cases Wednesday. The memorandum of understanding requires the diocese to report all abuse claims directly to the appropriate DA, whether they involve current or former clergy. Onondaga District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick introduced the agreement.

“There is no potential offender who is presenting any danger to any child in central New York,” he said.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

On November 3, Watertown voters will choose the city’s next mayor. Incumbent Jeff Graham is competing against two-term councilmen Joe Butler for the chance to lead Watertown into the next four years. Long-standing mayor Jeff Graham could be ousted out of a position he’s held for 20 years. As the candidates push to convince voters they’re the right kind of leader, mud is flying.

Brandi Korte / Flickr

The City of Syracuse is coming together to try to make sure this Halloween weekend is a safe one. 

Halloween is on a Saturday this year.  And Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says across the country, that often means a little more trouble than if it’s on a weekday.

"The city of Syracuse has not been immune to that in years past. And in years past, we’ve had our issues in the community -- issues with violence, issues with people acting in an unsafe manner,” said Fowler.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Eight candidates are running for four positions on the Syracuse school board. This comes after an impressive showing by Democrats in the primary.

Tim Carroll, the Syracuse city Democratic chairman, said the race for the board of education started in January when 14 Democratic candidates declared they were running for four positions.  

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Some central New York environmentalists don’t want New York state to come to the rescue of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego. More than 600 people have signed a petition calling for the plant to be shut down.

Volunteers ramping up accessibility in Oswego County

Oct 28, 2015
Payne Horning / WRVO News

Some New Yorkers with mobility issues can feel trapped in their homes because many live in houses that are inaccessible for people who have trouble using stairs. In Oswego County, a volunteer effort is trying to reconnect those residents with the outside world.

On a cold Saturday morning, ARISE carpenter Rick Chase led a group of volunteers from Novelis in assembling a ramp for Beverly Riley, who suffers from Neuropathy. Riley had been unable to take her scooter into the house before the ramp was built and the cold temperatures would drain its batteries.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

This week is “Law Enforcement Appreciation Week” in the city of Syracuse. A series of events are planned in honor of police officers and one in particular who was killed in the line of duty. Friday will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Syracuse Police Investigator Wallie Howard. Howard worked in narcotics on a D.E.A. task force and was undercover on a special assignment when he lost his life. Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler said they are asking the city to join in a moment of silence on Friday at 2:24 pm. 

Oswego mayoral election features three candidates

Oct 28, 2015
Leah Landry, Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen is running for reelection next week, but you won’t see his name on the ballot. The Democrat is a write-in candidate. His message this campaign season: Rome wasn’t built in a day. His opponents, Republican Billy Barlow and Democrat Amy Tresidder are calling for change while Gillen is asking for patience.

“People have this conception of the mayor being this Wizard of Oz who can make things happen," Gillen said. "Believe me, my hands are tied most of the time.”

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

State lawmakers said a few years ago they would no longer permit the controversial member item program to continue, but critics said the old system, which gave taxpayer money to legislators’ pet projects, is being revived in a new form.

williamaveryhudson / Flickr

Tuesday marks the deadline for legal challenges to New York’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.