News

Syracuse, NY – Onondaga County lawmakers voted 15 to 4 last night to ban smoking in restaurants, taverns, and other public places.

WRVO's Elizabeth Christensen spoke with the bill's co-sponsor, Robert Warner, and has this report.

CLICK on the icon above to hear the report.

Syracuse, NY – After years of debate, the latest bill prohibiting smoking in public places will be up for a vote in the Onondaga County legislature today.

The Warner-Winslow Bill would prohibit smoking in public places, such as restaurants, taverns, and bowling alleys.

Smaller establishments with less than 50 seats would have two years to comply with the law.

Sources in the county legislature say passage of the ban is likely.

New York State – Starting today, schools in New York State must have Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, on site.

The device help those in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the New York State School Board Assocation says while his group applauds the AED mandate from a public health standpoint, they wish state lawmakers had given districts more notice.

The AED mandate passed the state legislature long after school district had shored up their budgets for the year.

New York State – Beginning today, all schools in New York State must have Automated External Defibrillators on site.

When used properly, AEDs can help someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the State School Boards Association says while his group applauds the mandate from a safety standpoint, they wish the state had given school districts more time to find funding for the devices.

The state legislature passed the bill long after school districts had shored up their budgets.

New York State – Starting today, schools in New York State must have Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, on site.

The device help those in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the New York State School Board Assocation says while his group applauds the AED mandate from a public health standpoint, they wish state lawmakers had given districts more notice.

The AED mandate passed the state legislature long after school district had shored up their budgets for the year.

Vernon, NY – A citizens group wants to sue the town of Verona.

Upstate Citizens for Equality says Verona should put several Oneida Nation owned properties back on the tax rolls.

A UCE spokesman says the acreage in question, which includes the site of the Turning Stone Casino, is not reservation land.

The town of Vernon took the properties off the tax rolls in 1990 and declared them reservation lands.

New York State – Starting today, schools in New York State must have Automated External Defibrillators, or AEDs, on site.

The device help those in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the New York State School Board Assocation says while his group applauds the AED mandate from a public health standpoint, they wish state lawmakers had given districts more notice.

The AED mandate passed the state legislature long after school district had shored up their budgets for the year.

New York State – Starting today, schools in New York State must have automated external defibrillators on site.

The devices can help save someone in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the New York State School Board Association says while his group applauds the mandate from a public health standpoint, they wish the state had given districts more warning.

The state legislature passed the AED mandate after districts had shored up their budgets.

New York State – Beginning today, all schools in New York State must have Automated External Defibrillators on site.

When used properly, AEDs can help someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the State School Boards Association says while his group applauds the mandate from a safety standpoint, they wish the state had given school districts more time to find funding for the devices.

The state legislature passed the bill long after school districts had shored up their budgets.

New York State – Starting today, all schools in New York State must have Automated External Defibrillators on campuses.

AEDs can help save the life of someone who is in cardiac arrest.

Dave Ernst of the New York State School Boards Association says his group applauds the AED mandate from a public health stanpoint, but they wish state officials had given school districts more notice.

The state legislature approved the AED mandate long after school districts shored up their budgets.

Syracuse, NY – Sunday is World AIDS Day.

It's a time to remember those who have died from the disease, support those living with HIV, and spread the word about how to prevent becoming infected.

Michael Crinnin of the group "AIDS Community Resources" says his agency will be working with churches to help spread the word.

He says it's only fitting since this year's celebration falls on a Sunday.

Crinnin says churches could play a key role in disseminating accurate information about AIDS.

Albany, NY – Today is "Black Friday," one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

WRVO's Elizabeth Christensen reports on what consumers and retailers can expect this holiday season.

CLICK on the icon above to hear the story.

Syracuse, NY – It's striking how many places in New York are named after ancient cities and classical figures.

In his new book, "Classical Place Names in New York State: Origins, Histories, and Meanings," William Farrell explores how places like Romulous, Ovid, and Manlius got their names.

He spoke with WRVO's Elizabeth Christensen.

CLICK on the icon above to hear the full interview.

Utica, NY – Advocates for the poor are out in force, making sure that those in need have food and clothing for the winter.

The Food Bank of Greater Utica is in the midst of it's largest drive for food of the year.

Kimberly Strong, President of the Board of Directors for the Food Bank, says the agency relies on these drives around the holidays to maintain an ample supply of food for the rest of the year.

Syracuse – Two anti-smoking bills will be presented to the Onondaga County Legislature Monday, but only one has the backing of the local American Cancer Society.

Hear our report by WRVO's Amy Cavalier:

New York – The New York Public Interest Group identified about 100 unsafe toys in it's seventeenth annual toy safety survey.

Sean Vormwald of NYPIRG says campus chapters from across the state went to toy stores and shopped online, documenting unsafe toys. Members found choking and strangulation hazards, toxic materials, improper labeling, and dangerously loud toys.

Vormwald says the testing is done according to standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

WRVO – The state's powerful business lobby group...The Business Council of New York State...has issued a series of reports to highlight ways the state can reduce spending and avoid a tax increases.

The council's public policy institute is crafting the reports. The institute's Robert Ward is the author. In this interview with WRVO's Chris Ulanowski, Ward explains some of the biggest spending areas.

Oswego, NY – The Great Lakes are considered by many to be the nation's "North Shore."

But some, like Senator Charles Schumer, say the vast shoreline is neglected when it comes to issues of homeland security.

WRVO's Elizabeth Christensen investigated what is being done to screen individuals and materials entering the U.S. through the Great Lakes... and what the agencies responsible for security need to protect the public.

CLICK on the icon above to hear the full report.

Syracuse, NY – Questions will be raised Monday night at an informational meeting in Syracuse on a controversial sewage treatment plant proposed for an inner-city Syracuse Neighborhood.

New York State – New York's Service Employees International Union is now the largest labor local in the country.

SEIU 1199 Upstate and Downstate merged on Friday after a vote by members.

1199 Spokesman Marshall Blake says the union will give upstate health care workers more bargaining power.

He says the union will also have more collective bargaining power and political weight.

CLICK on the icon above to hear more comments from Marshall Blake of SEIU 1199.

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Syracuse, NY – The president of Upstate Medical University in Syracuse is now the chairman of a newly created "biodefense" council.

Dr. Gregory Eastwood will head up the new committee formed by the Association of Academic Health Centers.

Eastwood says teaching hospitals will be first responders in the event of a bioterrorist attack. He says the hospitals will also be at the forefront of research and development of preventative vaccines for certain biological agents.

Syracuse, NY – Syracuse police are investigating a possible hate crime.

Detectives say a derogatory term was spray painted on a gay couples home.

The men called police yesterday after discovering the word scrawled across their front door.

Albert Sharp says he and his partner have lived on the city's North side for over two years without incident.

He says while graffiti is a problem in his neighborhood, this is the first direct attack on his home.

Albany – Recent studies show a twenty five percent increase in credit card use among college students.

WRVO's Allessandra Messore reports that one student loan company is offering young adults advice on how to avoid overspending.

CLICK on the icon above to hear the full report.

Albany, NY – The upstate and downstate chapters of one of the state's most powerful labor unions may merge.

Hospital and nursing home workers represented by the Service Employees International Union, 1199 Upstate, may merge with it's downstate counterpart.

Both unions were instrumental in helping Governor Pataki be reelected to his second and third terms.

Union leaders say the merger is a logical step since the two factions work together on collective bargaining agreements.

Syracuse, NY – Syracuse University has entered into an Environmental Self Auditing Agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency.

WRVO's Elizabeth Christensen explains what the self-auditing program is and how it will benefit the University community.

CLICK on the icon above to hear the full report.

Cayuaga County – An attorney working with the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma says the tribe has purchased 250 acres of land in the towns of Aurelius and Montezuma in Cayuga county.

The acreage is located within the 60,000 acred being claimed by the Cayuga Nation of New York.

This purchase comes just after the Seneca-Cayugas retained the mall developer Wilmorite to seek out sites that may be appropriate for a future casino.

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New York – New Yorker's don't want to see education funding cut on any level to stave off a budget crisis.

WRVO's Amy Cavalier reports on the findings of a new Zogby International poll.

New York – The Department of Environmental Conservation has ruled out the threat of groundwater contamination in the aftermath of a massive fire at a Seneca Falls tire recycling plant.

Five thousand scrap tires were destroyed in the blaze, but a hazardous waste specialist for the DEC says oily run-off from the fire was largely captured by oil booms around the site.

The fire is still considered "suspicious."

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