News

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Jurors have been chosen in the public corruption trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco, with opening statements scheduled to begin Tuesday.

The racially diverse jury of five men and seven women were chosen from a pool of thirty potential jurors, some of whom expressed strong feelings about corruption and big money in politics, and even about hydrofracking.

Percoco is being tried along with two Syracuse-area developers, and the head of a power plant company based in the lower Hudson Valley, that is currently building a natural gas fired power plant.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilors unanimously selected Democrat Michael Greene to fill an empty at-large seat left open by Helen Hudson after she was elected council president. Lawmakers say Greene had the best grasp of council issues out of three finalists.

NVinacco / Flickr

One of the new sources of revenue included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed executive budget is an opioid epidemic surcharge. The 2 cent tax per milligram of active opioid ingredient on pills would be levied on drug manufacturers.

suny.edu

SUNY's new chancellor Kristina Johnson delivered her first state of the university system address Monday, outlining an agenda for her time in the position. Johnson says she developed the plan after traveling to several SUNY campuses since she took office last September, but much of it is a reflection of her own diverse background.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The first of a series of federal corruption trials begins Monday for several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The proceedings in the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan will focus on bribery and other charges against Cuomo’s former closest aide, Joseph Percoco.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Quentin Wheeler addressed students last week regarding his decision to remove three department chairs from their positions. Some students said it is Wheeler who should be replaced.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As thousands took part in Women's marches all over the country Saturday, there was another March that brought big crowds. 

A large anti-abortion crowd marched through downtown Syracuse Saturday. The rally marked 45 years since the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, legalized abortions. Christina Fadden Fitch is the president of Syracuse Right to Life and one of the organizers of the march. She said she is encouraged by congressional bills that impose restrictions on abortions.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an increase in school aid of $769 million, a rise of about 3 percent over last year, but some say that’s not enough to meet school districts’ rising costs.

The hike is about half of the increase that schools ultimately received in last year’s budget. Cuomo, in his budget presentation to the state Legislature, said he anticipates some blowback.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has introduced legislation to end what’s known as the carried interest loophole, a measure long sought by the left of the governor’s Democratic Party.

Under Cuomo’s bill, carried interest — which is essentially income for partners of hedge funds and other private investment companies — would have to be taxed at the same rate as income. Currently, it is assessed at the lower rate of the capital gains tax.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) will most likely face a competitive election this year for the first time since 2010.

Rachel May, an administrator at Syracuse University, is running against him in the Democratic Party primary. She has been leading opposition to Valesky in recent months because of his affiliation with the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of breakaway Democrats that shares power with Republicans in the State Senate.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse job market has been mixed recently, with some companies adding and others eliminating jobs in the area. While the national economy is booming, some experts say the outlook is not as good for upstate.

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The town of DeWitt has started a program to reduce the number of deer that roam throughout the town. Residents may see an immediate reduction in the number of deer after this winter’s deer cull, but it’s a strategy that will take several years.

A 2 1/2 month deer cull has started with sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture putting down bait to attract the deer in targeted areas of the town. DeWitt Sustainability Coordinator Christine Manchester says residents in areas where deer are being culled shouldn’t be aware of it happening.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When New York tore down the old dirt track at the state fairgrounds as part of the facility's $50 million renovation, fans were promised the Super DIRT Week races would remain in central New York. It was supposed to move to the new Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings, Oswego County.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A report by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax department lists ways that New Yorkers could get around the loss of some of their state and local tax deductions under the new law. But all of them come with complications.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

In a climate where stories of sexual harassment continue to unfold across the country in many different sectors, Syracuse University has announced it will reassess its policy governing sexual relations.

SU Chancellor Kent Syverud announced the initiative Tuesday at his annual winter message to the university community. He wants to make sure the rules are clear about sexual relationships between faculty and students, as well as students with each other.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has removed three department chairs from their positions. The professors say the change is part of a continuing feud between the president and faculty.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $168 billion budget plan that would close an over $4 billion gap by reducing some spending and imposing tax increases on health insurers, big businesses and prescription opioid users, among others. Cuomo said he also wants to look into legalizing marijuana in New York.

“This is going to be challenging, my friends,” Cuomo told lawmakers gathered at the state museum for the budget presentation.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

New York state is going to pony up more money for a water line in the Jefferson County town of Orleans. The state will pay half of the $8 million residents were going to pay because for the new line. Their wells are contaminated with salt they say is from a nearby state road-salt storage barn.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office called Orleans town supervisor Kevin Rarick last week to say the state will pay another $4 million for the line.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When the parishioners at one Oswego County church gather for worship each week, many of them are armed. And it's no secret. The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God even advertises that its not a gun-free zone - a response to the frequent mass shootings in the country that's the subject of some debate.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at the annual Martin Luther King Day event at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, mocked Republican senators who said they can’t recall President Donald Trump uttering a vulgarity during a meeting at the White House on immigration.

Cuomo, who earlier called the president’s comments “ugly” and “repulsive,” condemned two GOP senators – David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas – who say they either did not hear or do not recall Trump using a vulgar word to describe African countries.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Some Oneida County public officials are doing damage control after a trove of their emails surfaced, revealing a long-running bias on a downtown hospital project in Utica.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his budget Tuesday, and the news is not expected to be good.

The state faces an over $4.4 billion budget gap, as well as funding cuts and policy changes from Washington that could cost New York and some of its taxpayers billions of dollars.

The governor set the tone in his State of the State speech earlier this month, saying, “2018 may be the toughest year New York has faced in modern history.”

“We have unprecedented challenges ahead on every level,” Cuomo said. 

The Central New York Community Foundation

The Central New York Community Foundation recently awarded a $24,000 grant to the Positivity Project to expand it’s character education training programs in the Syracuse City School District. The goal of the program, which is in 44 schools throughout central New York, is teaching children how to be positive people.

Brett Woodcock, principal of Liverpool’s Morgan Road Elementary School, says if you ask any of the kids in his school, they will be able to tell you their top character strengths. So we asked fourth grader Makenna Metrick.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Parts of central New York received a significant amount of snow over the weekend. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said the city is stepping up its efforts to plow streets and clear sidewalks after receiving complaints from residents in recent weeks.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his first public comments since a key state Senate leader was accused of sexual harassment, says he wants investigations to play out before he makes any judgements.

Oneida County

Stating a concern for public health, Oneida County officials are prohibiting the use of tobacco and related devices on its property.

The wide-reaching policy will prohibit smoking and vaping outside of Oneida County buildings, inside county owned vehicles and even in privately owned vehicles that are being used for county purposes if there is more than one person in the car. Fines for violating the new law are punishable by up to $1,000.  

New York State Senate

Shortly after sexual harassment allegations against Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein emerged, numerous people started calling for an independent investigation. But under current law, there are few avenues available for launching a probe.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said he wanted the best and brightest people from the public and private sector in his new administration. Some of the diverse leaders on Walsh’s team have deep roots in the community.

At his swearing-in ceremony, Fire Chief Michael Monds, a 17-year veteran, said as a young man growing up on Syracuse’s south side, one of the poorest areas of the city, Monds never thought about becoming a firefighter.

Stefanik campaign

Taxes were frequently brought up during a telephone town hall Thursday hosted by North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro). 

A few changes are coming to the weekend lineup on WRVO Public Media this year.

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