The teachers union and its allies will protest outside the annual Business Council of New York State's meeting in Lake George on Wednesday.  The union is upset over a speech to be given by former CNN anchor and now charter school advocate Campbell Brown.

Campbell Brown is the featured speaker at the yearly event, at the posh Sagamore Resort on Lake George. It often features top politicians, but seldom attracts demonstrations.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s proposed 2016 budget is pretty much a status quo document. Spending is down slightly and the tax levy is down a bit  to a historic low. The only fee increases involve sewer rates that are part of a five-year sewer improvement plan. The only proposal that is generating flak initially is a proposal to change the legislature’s budget calendar.

Mahoney’s first budget experience laid the groundwork for this year’s proposal to push the legislature’s budget deadline from October to December.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The state’s highest ranking female elected official, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, is defending the Cuomo’s administration in the wake of a report that shows women employed by the executive chamber make just 73 percent of what men there earn.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called himself a feminist and complained about sexism in society, yet a report by Politico New York finds that women are underrepresented in the upper layers of his administration, and overall, make less money than the men.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

To raise awareness on the state of poverty in Syracuse, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) went to several food pantries and nonprofit organizations serving the poor on Tuesday. Katko said the way to reduce poverty is by reforming inner-city education.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

About 370 adults and children are currently staying in emergency shelters in Syracuse. Syracuse is focused on poverty now more than ever in light of a recent report which rates the city as having the highest concentration of poverty for blacks and Hispanics in the nation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Syracuse area’s Gang Violence Task Force has been able to make a dent in some of the city’s gang activity this summer with its most recent crackdown on gangs.

There are 17 distinct criminal gangs spread out among several Syracuse neighborhoods, according to the Gang Violence Task Force. With names like Bricktown, Elk Block and the Northside Bloods, officials they are the source of much of the crime in the city.  

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be  pushing for a bill to raise the minimum wage for all workers to $15 an hour in the new legislative session, but some say it could backfire and result in fewer jobs.

Cuomo, speaking recently at an event with Vice President Joe Biden, quoted from his own father, former Gov.  Mario Cuomo’s famous "tale of two cities" speech at the 1984 Democratic convention, saying he wanted to continue his father’s cause of economic justice by making a $15 an hour universal minimum wage in New York a top priority.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton is the first winery in the North Country to put their wine in a can. With canned wine, no corkscrew or wine glasses are required. Just throw the wine in a cooler or bag and when you're ready to drink, just pop the top. 

Amy Wort, from Governour, says in her experience, when she first introduces people to wine in a can, they're skeptical.

"When I’m at parties people are like what is that? I'm like, it's wine. And they’re like in a can? Yes, try it!” Wort says.

Jay Colesack visibly recoils at the thought of drinking canned wine.

Ithaca's Falls Creek Gorge to get lead cleanup

Sep 14, 2015
Samuel Whitehead / WSKG News File Photo

The Falls Creek Gorge in Ithaca will get attention from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency due to lead at the base of the gorge. The agency announced the cleanup last week.

Overlooking the gorge is the former site of the Ithaca Gun Factory. The company made guns there for about 100 years, ending in 1986. The EPA cleaned up parts of that site in the early 2000s.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News file photo

The developers of the former Hotel Syracuse are looking for a little help from city lawmakers, as they continue to redevelop the historic landmark.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority has the first full year under its belt running the Hancock International Airport in Syracuse. Its annual report shows signs of success after the airport transitioned from being run by the city to being run by an independent authority.

Ovarian cancer: why is it so hard to detect?

Sep 13, 2015
rosefirerising / flickr

The scariest trait of the fifth-leading cause of cancer death among women isn’t its symptoms, but its difficulty to be detected early.

This week on “Take Care” we talk to Dr. Martee Hensley, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, on the topic of ovarian cancer. Dr. Hensley's practice focuses on the care of women with gynecologic cancers.

Managing fall allergies

Sep 13, 2015
Vladimer Shioshvili / Flickr

Constant sneezing, itchy eyes and scratchy throats remind us of what? Allergies. Seasonal allergies can be a pain but knowing how to attack allergy season head on can make all the difference when they come rolling into town.

Dr. Neeta Ogden joins “Take Care,” this week to chat about fall allergies, what triggers them and how they can be properly handled.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A lack of email access still dogs some Syracuse Common Councilors. A dispute over a computer use policy continues, although negotiations between city hall and lawmakers could bring the story to a close.

Ovarian cancer causes & risk factors

Sep 11, 2015

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. While it may not get much attention as breast cancer, ovarian cancer is the deadliest of the gynecological cancers. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with oncologist Dr. Martee Hensley of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center about the risk factors for ovarian cancer and prevention measures. Dr. Hensley’s practice focuses on the care of women with gynecologic cancers.

Save Our Canal Trail

A paving project underway along a four-and-a-half mile section of the Erie Canalway from DeWitt to Manlius is getting some flak from the public.

While the project was officially announced a week ago, some local residents didn’t realize what was happening until equipment moved in this week to prepare the path for asphalt. And from that sprung a Facebook page called Save Our Canal Trail, a grassroots movement to oppose the paving, spearheaded by Ed Griffin, owner of the running store Fleet Feet. He says a hard asphalt surface is not good for runners or walkers.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

City councilman Joe Butler and incumbent Jeff Graham earned the most votes in Watertown’s mayoral primary. Both candidates will go on to compete to be Watertown's next mayor in the November general election. 

At the end of Thursday, results showed Butler with a total of 903 votes, inching ahead of incumbent Graham by just one vote in the non-partisan race. Graham says this means the upcoming general election for mayor will be exciting.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilor Pam Hunter, the Democratic nominee for state Assembly in the 128th district, will be running against Republican John Sharon in November.

This is Sharon’s fourth time running for the seat and he said the problems in his district are not getting any better. This time around, Sharon said he is going to push his infrastructure and jobs agenda more aggressively in public and with the media.

MemphisCVB / Flickr

128th Assembly District --

Syracuse Common Councilor Pamela Hunter is the winner of the Democrat primary for the open 128th Assembly seat in Onondaga County. Hunter won more votes than fellow Common Councilor Jean Kessner and former Onondaga County Legislator David Stott to represent the Democrats in the general election in November.

Today is primary day in New York state

Sep 10, 2015
programwitch / Flickr

Today is primary day in New York state and there are some high profile races to watch.

Three Democrats are vying for the nomination for a Syracuse-area Assembly seat. The 128th District is open because Democrat Sam Roberts left the Assembly for a job in the Cuomo administration.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some Ithaca residents are starting a grass roots effort to get products that contain microbeads banned in Tompkins County.  

A group called Plastic Tides has been trying to raise awareness about plastic pollution for three years. The effort has involved some statewide research last year that showed 70 percent of water samples including Cayuga Lake, Oneida Lake, the Erie Canal and Mohawk River, contained microbeads.  

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Part-time professors at Tompkins Cortland Community College want a union, but not just any union.

The college wants its adjuncts to join the full-time faculty union. The adjuncts say they need their own space, and they’re fighting for independence.

Last week, Robert Earle leaned back in his chair in front of his class at Tompkins Cortland Community Colllege, or TC3. Soft jazz played in the background.

Earle is an adjunct professor, and despite his easy demeanor, when he’s not teaching, he’s one of the driving forces behind the TC3 union fight.

The Century Foundation

A new report finds that Syracuse has the highest concentration of blacks and Hispanics in poverty in the country. Officials said they are disturbed by the findings and said that policies need to change to reverse the trends.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

New York state has designated a number of schools across upstate New York as struggling and now superintendents must take action to turn them around. Public hearings began last night at Syracuse city schools to inform parents about what response they can expect from the district.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

In Watertown, two candidates are challenging incumbent Jeff Graham to be the city’s next mayor. Thursday’s primary will narrow the race down to two candidates who’ll go on to compete in the November election.

What Councilman Stephen Jennings lacks in political experience, he says he makes up in vision. Jennings has served on the city council for two years. He went to school in Albany but has lived in Watertown for 20 years working with the city’s public health department.

kristen_a / Flickr

There will be a new representative in the 128th Assembly District in central New York next year. And that lawmaker could be determined in Thursday's primary election.

The 128th has been gerrymandered into a far-flung district that serves Syracuse's inner city, the university area, the Onondaga Nation, farm country in southern Onondaga County, as well as suburban Dewitt, Mattydale and Liverpool. It’s been reliably represented by Democrats for years, most recently by Assemblyman Sam Roberts, who left for a job in the Cuomo administration.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Union groups from across central New York marched in the Labor Day parade at the New York State Fair Monday morning.

The president of the New York State United Teachers federation, Karen Magee, spoke to a large crowd about the accomplishments of the labor movement including better safety conditions, weekends and the 40-hour work week. NYSUT is made up of 600,000 members who work in education, healthcare and human services.

Coalition for Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary

Officials from a portion of Lake Ontario that borders from Jefferson County down through Wayne County want that portion of the lake to become a national marine sanctuary. The coalition of activists and government leaders from four counties are applying for the federal designation that would put it in the same category as places like the Florida Keys.

NY schools training nurses in heroin overdose antidote

Sep 8, 2015

School starts for most districts this week and next, and it’s the first time when New York schools can supply their nurses with a drug to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Many districts are still weighing the pros and cons of the decision, but nurses in the western New York village of Dansville had a Naloxone training session Wednesday.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Child poverty rates in four upstate New York cities are more than double state averages. The issue spurred an anti-poverty campaign in Rochester earlier this year, and now Binghamton is getting on board, too.