News

Democrats in Tompkins County will have a chance to hear from candidates for the nomination for district attorney tonight.

Tompkins County has to elect a new DA on a rushed schedule. That’s because Gwen Wilkinson resigned last month for health reasons. Her departure came so late that various party committees -- not primary voters -- will choose the nominees for the general election.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A solar project planned for Utica will now be built in the town of Lisbon in St. Lawrence County. The city of Utica can still receive all of the power from the site.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The 12-day New York State Fair begins today in Syracuse. And it will be a different experience for everyone, after a $50 million state-funded renovation of the fairgrounds.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is leading a commission that will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State next year. In advance of that, she’s holding roundtables around the state to talk about female empowerment.

Joining her in Syracuse Wednesday, powerful women from central New York with stories about how they pushed beyond the stereotypes and barriers that often keep women out of the board rooms and legislative chambers across the state. Hochul believes mentorship is one way that women who are successful already, can reach the younger generation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Preparations are almost complete for the New York State Fair, which starts Thursday. Things will look different at the fairgrounds this year, following a $50 million renovation. One of the biggest changes will be at the midway.

There is simply a lot more room for rides and attractions at the fair’s midway this year. The demolition of the grandstand and the race track has created a 15-acre rectangle that operator Wade Shows will fill with rides, games and attractions. Owner Frank Zaitshik admits it creates somewhat of a challenge.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

This summer, we’ve brought you stories of the people who make up the Thousand Islands. In our series Among the Thousand, we look at one island at a time, to tell the story of what makes each community stand out.

Today we turn to Round Island, just down river from Clayton. Richard Withington has lived on the island for 40 years. He's a retired orthopedic surgeon and a member of the Clayton Fire Department. If something happens in the islands, he’s often the first person on the scene.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In addition to cutting more than a dozen jobs from Oswego's fire and police services at its Monday meeting, the city's common council also eliminated the entire planning and zoning department. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse has been awarded a grant of more than $100,000 for a pilot police body camera program. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said she hopes the cameras will improve accountability and community relations among police and the public.

Marriott Syracuse Downtown

It’s taken 12 years, but the former Hotel Syracuse is once again open to the public. Rebranded as the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, visitors began staying at the historic structure in downtown Syracuse on Friday. It means a huge boost not only economically, but to the psyche of central New York, a region battered by a faltering economy and dwindling population in recent years.

Why high lead ratings are always possible

Aug 23, 2016
Monica Sandreczki

Troubles with water quality have raised concerns over contamination across the country. Just last month, nine drinking sources in Ithaca came back with high lead levels. 

There are a couple of reasons there is lead still present in some of our faucets.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse has adopted new floodplain maps released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than 600 properties in Syracuse have been added, bringing the total to more than 1,600 properties that could be required to have flood insurance.

Syracuse Common Councilor Jean Kessner said the city needed to adopt the maps so affected residents can get a discount on flood insurance. That discount is about 15 percent. Kessner also said residents can appeal the decision if their property is now on the flood maps.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Despite pleas from a passionate crowd, the Oswego Common Council approved a budget Monday night that will eliminate 16 firefighter jobs and a city department next year. The city was facing a major budget deficit because a contract with the Onondaga County Water Authority for the sale of a water tunnel connected to Lake Ontario, which had provided the city with an annual  $1 million payment for 20 years, has expired.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is applying for $136,000 in state funding for surveillance cameras in Skiddy and Kirk parks. Skiddy Park was where the party that resulted in the Father’s Day shooting in Syracuse started. An armed man was shot and killed by a police officer during a shootout where at least four to five semi-automatic weapons were shot a total of 30 times. That officer was cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing. Surveillance footage at an adjacent public housing complex showed some of what happened that night.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The town of Geddes is floating the idea of imposing a $1 surcharge on every Lakeview Amphitheater ticket sold, to cover expenses created by visitors to the new music venue on Onondaga Lake.

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says he does not dismiss the idea out of hand.

“I’m willing to have conversations.”

But McMahon quickly adds that the town would have to demonstrate how the amphitheater has created a financial burden. So far town officials have expressed concerns about costs related to visitors from a public safety angle.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego has just won two New York state water fund grants that the city's mayor said is a huge breakthrough in their effort to tackle a major infrastructure project. The awards are worth a combined $3.6 million on two projects that will cost more than $14 million to complete. It's the next phase in the $87 million consent decree, a water and sewer separation project that is mandated by the state and federal governments to prevent future sewage runoff into Lake Ontario.  

Nik Stanbridge / Flickr

College students are returning to upstate campuses and facing a situation year-round residents have dealt with for most of the year -- a drought.

August rainfall has been above average for many areas in New York state, but the National Weather Service says totals for the year in some parts of the state are several inches below normal.

Marriott Syracuse Downtown

Operators of the new Marriott Syracuse Downtown  opened the former Hotel Syracuse to the public last week, and are looking forward to their first full house this week.

Blueberries: ripe for the picking

Aug 20, 2016
Julia Botero / WRVO News

Blueberries are ripe in the North Country right now. Think warm blueberry pies, sweet blueberry pancakes and blueberry buckle. If you'd like to spend a warm summer day outside collecting fresh berries to throw into a homemade summer dessert, it's time to find your nearest farm before the season ends.

Julia Botero stopped at the Tug Hill Vineyards with her friend Jen Degregorio and got to work picking highbush blueberries.

Rebuilding the doctor-patient relationship

Aug 20, 2016
Andrew Malone / Flickr

When you visit the doctor you might feel like you spend more time in the waiting room than in the actual examination room. But with dozens of patients a day, it can be difficult for primary care doctors to spend more time with each person.

This week on "Take Care," Tom Blue explains how patients can get more face-to-face time with their doctor through something called concierge medicine. Blue is a pioneer in concierge medicine and has been building private physician practices since 2002. He is also the executive director of the American Academy of Private Physicians, and is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of LeadHealth, which focuses on functional medicine to control health care costs and improve the lives of its members.

Digging into the hidden subconcious of the brain

Aug 20, 2016
wyinoue / Flickr

Do you ever find yourself wondering why you do the things you do every day, or reach the decisions you make? Most of the time, small everyday tasks and decisions aren't given much thought by our conscious mind, but our unconscious mind may always be thinking about them.

This week on "Take Care," Shankar Vedantam, a science correspondent for NPR who focuses on human behavior and social sciences, explains what he calls the hidden brain and his work on the topic. Vedantam is the host of the NPR podcast "The Hidden Brain," which has explored topics such as unbearable boredom, the art of forgery, and what drives romantic relationships besides love. He is also the author of the book, "The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives."

The New York State Fair takes place in Syracuse from August 25-September 5. This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with the fair's acting director, Troy Waffner. They discuss the history of the fair, why it's located in Syracuse, the renovations that have taken place over the past year, and some of the things fairgoers can expect to see at this year's fair. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

An Onondaga County Court judge has ruled that statements made to police by a father accused of murdering his baby daughter can be used at his trial. Ryan Lawrence was charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping of his 21-month-old daughter Maddox in March. While in custody, Lawrence allegedly described to police how he killed his daughter and brought police to the location of her body.

Michael Vavonese, Lawrence’s attorney, said the issue will be Lawrence's mental state.

Alex Proimos / flickr

One complaint about today's medical system is that treatment can seem impersonal. The idea of concierge medicine tries to combat this by charging a monthly fee to allow doctors to take fewer patients and provide more individual focus. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Tom Blue, executive director of the American Academy of Private Physicians, about concierge or private medicine.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Human trafficking in central New York is on the rise, according to Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). That was one of the takeaways at a roundtable discussion on security Thursday in Syracuse.

Katko says more and more women are being exploited by human trafficking in central New York. And he’s concerned about reports that some new players are becoming involved.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School District is putting together a task force this fall that will focus on one of the issues that has spurred a great deal of community discussion -- safe transportation of children to school.

The issue came to a head last winter, when a coalition of high school students complained of long walks to school through crime-ridden neighborhood during severe weather. The district, working with CENTRO, found transportation for some high school students living more than 1.5 miles from school. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Proposed legislation in Syracuse which would require periodic interior inspections of rental properties, either by consent or warrant, every two years, is being put on hold. The Syracuse Common Council is reviewing information it has received from lawyers representing the Syracuse Property Owners Association.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

After a 10-year fight, legislation that toughens penalties for those convicted of boating while intoxicated, has been signed into law in New York state. Now, when judges decide on sentencing in boating while intoxicated cases, they must consider previous driving while intoxicated.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) says Tiffany Heitkamp’s law will mean stiffer penalties for anyone convicted on a BWI charge who also has a DWI history.

Jim Kennard

 

An eighteenth century sloop called the Washington has been discovered off the coast of Oswego.

Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski, and Roland Stevens found the ship, which sank in 1803. It is the second oldest wreck discovered in Lake Ontario.

Kennard and his team used sonar technology and a remotely operated vehicle to locate the sloop.

"As an explorer, you can't be the first one to the top of a mountain because most mountains have been climbed, but you can be the first one to make a discovery of a shipwreck," said Kennard.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The Watertown City Council is considering a new law that would require landlords to register their rental properties with the city. Homes would then be subject to inspection every three years. Councilman Steve Jennings says the measure will help improve the city’s housing, but landlords say the measure goes too far.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Democratic Mayor Stephanie Miner said Republican Rep. John Katko has not asked her how he can help the city of Syracuse during his first term in office. Katko's office refuted the claim and said that the congressman has helped on a number of issues.  

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