News

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Disagreements that have roiled the state’s education community in the wake of new teacher evaluation laws approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature as part of the budget were highlighted at a day long summit called by education officials.

Principals, teachers and school boards have objected to the tight deadline in the law, as well as the greater reliance on standardized tests, a component that Cuomo has insisted upon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) says she is in full support of the way the military is handling sexual abuse cases. Her comments in support of the military justice system are in opposition to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) accusations that the Pentagon refuses to acknowledge the scope of the crisis. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse University and Cazenovia College have joined the list of private colleges and universities across the state that are supporting the “Enough is Enough” campaign, an initiative of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration. The proposal is meant to push the State University of New York’s sexual assault policy into the private sector.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco says he would be shocked if the uncertainty over the leadership of the New York State Senate lasts another week.  Senate Majority leader Dean Skelos was arrested Monday on federal corruption charges.  

Initially, lawmakers agreed to support Skelos. Since then, there has been a growing number of Republican senators publicly calling for him to resign his leadership post.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Fair began public meetings on Wednesday to discuss how it will spend $50 million in state funds to renovate the fairgrounds. So far, proposals for the renovations would require tearing down a piece of Syracuse history.

At stake is about 70 acres of land where the Grandstand at the New York State Fairgrounds currently sits.

County Executive Joanie Mahoney unveiled a plan back in March to replace the Grandstand and the oval-shaped Moody Mile dirt race track that surrounds it with an equestrian park, multi-use indoor ice complex and new RV park.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilors have unanimously approved Mayor Stephanie Miner’s $674 million budget, with a few minor changes. Lawmakers added some cash to deal with some perennial problems.

The extra spending amounts to less than $1 million, and covers more water and sewer maintenance and repair, and demolition of hazardous buildings.  

Stefanik campaign

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) was in Lewis County Wednesday to hear concerns from residents in Lowville. The biggest issue on the minds of people there was the price of milk.  

Coffee and boxes of donuts were passed around the Lewis County Municipal Building for an event Stefanik calls “Coffee with  your Congresswoman."

Steve Craiger is a retired airman. While sipping on a cup of coffee with cream, he said he came to ask the Congresswoman what she plans to do to help farmers who are struggling with the drop in milk prices.

Max Klingensmith / Flickr

A large number of New York’s students refused to participate in state tests this year. Now, their cries may have been heard in Albany.

Advocates estimate the so-called “opt-out” movement had almost 200,000 students, and all those test booklets sat empty for a lot of different reasons. Some opt-outers dislike New York’s new teacher evaluation system that ties ratings more closely to student test scores. Others say kids just take too many tests these days.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Manure lagoons help farmers manage their manure, but one planned lagoon in Tompkins County caused a neighbor to look for a way to fight it.

Heather Gowe is not sure where exactly the proposed manure storage lagoon will be built. It will be somewhere in a small stand of trees, up a hill from the intersection where she lives.
 
Beck Farms is a dairy producer who will build the lagoon. It has about 2,000 cows in Freeville in Tompkins County. It wants to store 3.2 million gallons of manure on this hill, and build a pipeline to transport the manure.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his first public comments since the leader of the New York State Senate was charged in an extortion and bribery scheme, says if true, he finds the accusations “disturbing.”

Cuomo, speaking at an event in Syracuse, commented for the first time since Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos was charged with six counts of public corruption.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Central New York Republicans are weighing in on the scandal surrounding the New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos scandal.  

Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey is calling for Skelos to resign, so state government can get back to the people’s business, instead of what he calls wasting tax dollars and time defending the Long Island Republican.  

Zhu / Flickr

Monday night the St. Lawrence County Legislature voted to table a resolution that would ask the state to require Amish buggies to display orange, reflective triangles.

People on both sides of the buggy debate spoke at the meeting.

Mark Matthews, a member of the Kendrew Grange in DeKalb, the group that brought the buggy issue to legislator Larry Denesha, said his group is focused on safety.

"We’ve looked at it from the standpoint that it makes the roads safer for us," he said. "And it makes it safer for the Amish as well."

Matt Ryan / WMHT

Major newspapers in New York state have posted editorials calling for Senate Leader Dean Skelos to resign after the senator and his son were accused of running a corruption scam. But so far, Skelos is hanging on and Republicans are trying hard to carry on business as usual.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

A report released by New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) finds a large number of military spouses and civilians living near military bases have reported being a victim of sexual assault. Surveys conducted by the Defense Department only document sexual assaults among service members. Gillibrand, a member of the armed services committee, says those numbers are misleading.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who turned himself in to federal authorities on corruption charges Monday, will remain as the head of the Senate, his republican members announced after a more than three hour closed door meeting Monday night.

Sarah Harris / NCPR

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it again and again, universal pre-kindergarten is a big priority. Last year, the legislature approved a $340 million program to increase public, full-day pre-K access. But only one school district in the North Country received the grant for pre-K funding.

Canton Elementary School principal Joe McDonough says pre-K isn’t just fun. It’s essential for kids’ development.

"People come to school even at the ripe old age of four with a variety of experiences and levels of knowledge and skills," McDonough said. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New federal rules about the safety of rail cars that carry crude oil through upstate New York towns like Syracuse don’t go far enough according to Sen. Charles Schumer. He says it’s now time for Congress to get involved.

Schumer doesn’t like the long-awaited Department of Transportation regulations meant to improve the safety of the train cars carrying flammable substances, which he calls "TNT on wheels.”

"There are serious holes in the regulations the DOT commissioner put out, and we’re going to fill those holes, and fill them immediately,” said the senator.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News file photo

The leader of the New York State Senate, Dean Skelos, surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning and was charged with six counts of corruption, including bribery and extortion, in connection with an alleged scheme that used his political position to enrich himself and his son.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As manufacturers across central New York and the entire state have trouble finding qualified workers, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) hopes a bill she supports in Congress can make a difference.  

Recent statistics show that almost a third of New York manufacturers have trouble keeping skilled workers. One of them is SBB, a DeWitt company that specializes in clean room technologies. General manager Brandon Bogart says they have openings for engineers right now that are going unfilled. And that's crimping the company’s future.

Mixy Lorenzo / Flickr

After several weeks of delays, the Cuomo administration’s so-called email summit is scheduled for later this month. It’s in response to criticism of an administration policy that purges most emails of state employees after 90 days.

Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco suggests the administration just start saving emails for a longer period of time, and be done with it.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

Wind farms have been popping up in rural areas of Northern New York. Wind energy  doesn't burn fossil fuels or emit greenhouse gases.  But while wind farms  may be a positive step for the environment in one way, they also can kill birds and bats.  Now, the company behind a wind farm in Copenhagen is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine how to prevent deaths of these winged creatures before they occur.

Matt Ryan / New York Now

 

It may be three years until the next statewide election, but potential candidates in New York State are already staking out their positions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman both say they are content with their jobs, and would like to keep them longer.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls universal pre-kindergarten one of his big priorities, and last year state lawmakers approved a big grant program to increase full-day pre-K slots. It’s $340 million a year for five years. That grant just got approved for its second round, but the first year brought mixed results.

How to mother a child who's not a kid anymore

May 3, 2015
Callum Baker / Flickr

As a mother, when your children have reached their 20s and have left the nest, how do you find the balance between giving them their independence while still parenting?

This week on “Take Care,” Harriet Lerner discusses mothering a young adult. Lerner is a psychologist and author of the bestselling book “The Dance of Anger.”   

matt kornatz / Flickr

Historically speaking, the heel has always been a soft spot. If you find you've got a pain occurring in the heel -- whether it's when you’ve gotten up in the morning or after you’re done exercising -- it might be plantar fasciitis.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Navan Duggal talks about plantar fasciitis, who it affects and what people can do to ease their discomfort. Duggal is former chief of the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Service at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and is currently in private practice at Syracuse Orthopedic Surgeons.

Hospice program comforts dying veterans

May 2, 2015
Michelle Faust / WXXI

“I started out in Southern France and ended up in Belgium," is how Palmer Gaetano describes his army service in World War II. The 92-year old lives in a hospice facility in the Rochester-area village of Spencerport, near his daughter and her family.

Gaetano is one of more than 9 million American military veterans over the age of 65, according to 2013 census bureau figures.  With an aging population that includes vets from Vietnam, Korea, and World War II, there are 1,800 veteran deaths each day. One program strived to meet their increased need for end-of-life care.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some much needed affordable rental units will be coming to the Salina Street corridor in Syracuse, as part of the Salina Crossing project. Ground has been broken on the biggest site, a new mixed-use building on property that once was home to the crumbling Otisca Building on the city’s north side.  

Ben Lockwood, vice president of Housing Visions, the developer, says there is a big need for this kind of housing.

Mothers of 20-somethings have to negotiate a new relationship with a child who's not a child anymore. But may still expect mom to "take care of things" in a crisis situation. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with psychologist and author Harriet Lerner. They began by asking her whether mothers should feel responsible for how independent -- or dependent -- their adult children are.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Manufacturing is far from dead in central New York.  But it can sometimes be a challenge for manufacturing companies to find qualified workers. A new pre-apprenticeship program has been designed to train more workers for these jobs.

Darco Manufacturing in Mattydale employs 36 people in the production machining business. They’ve hired eight people in the last eight months according to general manager Laura Miller, and only one had manufacturing experience.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council began to gather public input Thursday night on what should be included in its submission to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The program is a competition for $1.5 billion in economic aid that will be distributed to three out of seven regions in upstate New York.

Rob Simpson, president of Centerstate CEO is also is a co-chairman of the council, said some themes are already developing from the public’s input.

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