News

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News file photo

New York state’s comptroller has a plan to reduce corruption in the awarding of economic development contracts that has led to the indictment of former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli was taken out of the review process for some state economic development contracts in a state law passed in 2011, and since then, a former top aide to Cuomo and a former key State University official, along with seven others, have been charged with bribery and bid-rigging, among other crimes.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul made a few stops in central New York on Tuesday focusing on smart growth and sustainability. Hochul toured Syracuse University’s Center of Excellence where students and professors are working on new ways to conserve energy through air conditioning.

That research is through a U.S. Department of Energy grant and is in partnership with the Carrier Corporation. Hochul said these centers of excellence across the state have raised billions in revenue and create thousands of jobs.

Sidsel Overgaard / WRVO News File Photo

Lyme disease continues to plague certain areas of central New York, and a special committee created by Onondaga County is hoping to help.

Dave Skeval, the chair of the Onondaga County Deer and Management Advisory Committee, says the goal is to reduce human’s exposure to the tick that carries the disease. That tick is often found on white-tailed deer.

"I’m looking forward to fewer people being exposed to Lyme disease and contracting Lyme disease, because it is a hideous disease, and if you contract it and it has not been diagnosed, it will ruin your life,” said Skeval.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Congress' approval of a spending bill will renew funding for a program that aids Great Lakes waters and surrounding lands.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has funded everything from water treatment upgrades to fish spawning habitats to toxic cleanups.

Since its implementation in 2010, money from the initiative has gone toward over 3,000 projects across the region.

Matt Ryan / New York Now

A committee of the New York State Board of Regents recommends spending $2.1 billion more on schools in the new state budget, saying it’s time to continue an effort begun a decade ago to funnel more money to the state’s poorest school districts.

The State Aid Subcommittee’s recommendations, which are expected to be approved by the full Board of Regents later Tuesday, would phase in, over three years, an annual increase of 7 percent on school funding, for a total of $2.1 billion more a year by the 2019-20 school year.

Office of Assemblyman Brindisi / File Photo

Officials with the Utica City School District's office reportedly were denied access to a meeting with the governor's office last week. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) said they were headed to a regular annual meeting in Albany to discuss budget priorities with other school districts when something irregular occurred.

"They were told on the morning of the meeting that the governor's office would not meet with the Utica City School District delegation, but they would meet with the other school districts."

New York State Senate

One central New York state lawmaker doesn’t want to go into special session in Albany this month to vote on legislative pay raises, at least the way it’s being discussed now.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) says he’s opposed to voting on any kind of legislative package that links a potential pay raise to some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pet proposals.

"If there’s a proposal for a legislative pay raise tied into anything else, to me, that’s a perfect example of pay to play,” said DeFrancisco.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Central New Yorkers have one last chance to offer their opinions about the future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse. But the forum being held Wednesday night is not an event put on by the people making the decision.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Shoppingtown Mall in DeWitt was once a major holiday shopping destination. But in recent years, more and more stores have moved out, leaving a shell of a building. And it doesn’t look like things will be changing soon.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Talks between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still continuing over whether to hold a special session before the holidays — and the clock is ticking.

State lawmakers are still deliberating over whether to hold a special session in December that could, in part, give themselves a pay raise. The salary increase also could extend to Cuomo and his top commissioners.

It would be the first pay hike granted in 17 years for lawmakers, who make a base salary of $79,500.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

For more than 30 years, the Seneca Meadows Landfill has operated in Seneca County. But a recently passed local law will close the landfill in nine years. The landfill provides jobs and revenue to the area, but some residents see this region moving in a different direction for its future.

The Seneca Falls Town Council passed Local Law 3 which bans landfills in Seneca Falls after 2025. Seneca Meadows Landfill District Manager Kyle Black said that law targets them and will essentially shut down their operation.

Autistic Syracuse teen gives Rochester another run

Dec 12, 2016
Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI News

After an experience in Rochester that drew national attention, Syracuse teen Chase Coleman is moving forward by visiting the city again. For the first time since being shoved to the ground during a cross country run in Rochester's Cobb’s Hill Park in October, Chase returned to the area to run once again.

Clarise Coleman, Chase’s mother, said it took some nudging to get him excited about the trip.

Andrew Malone / Flickr

Ultrasounds are an essential part of ensuring a healthy pregnancy, but can too much exposure to them cause more harm than good? This is the question that has been raised by the recent rise of non-medical keepsake ultrasounds.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mary Norton, medical geneticist and nationally recognized expert in prenatal genetic diagnosis discusses the potential risks of unnecessary ultrasounds. Dr. Norton is also a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of California San Francisco, and is the president of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Tai chi can benefit mind & body

Dec 10, 2016
Thomas Leuthard / Flickr

Sometimes, a martial art can be peaceful.

Tai chi is a mind and body exercise rooted in a number of Asian traditions, including martial arts, which combines slow intentional movements, breathing and a number of important mental skills.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Peter Wayne joined the program to share the health benefits of tai chi, the best way to reap those advantages and how they can also provide a financial assistance.

Pictures of Money / Flickr

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act — also known as Obamacare — and replace it with something else. While no one really knows what that means, one health care analyst with a prominent Albany think tank said New York could be billions of dollars in the hole as a result.

Onondaga Community College / Facebook

Onondaga Community College is rolling out a program that will offer free tuition to students in two central New York school districts.

The OCC Advantage  is based on a similar program at Harper College near Chicago, according to OCC’s Amy Kremenek.

Are keepsake ultrasounds safe?

Dec 9, 2016
mitch huang / Flickr

Ultrasounds can safely help doctors monitor the progress of a pregnancy. But now some women are getting extra, so-called keepsake ultrasounds... just to see what their growing baby looks like and to be able to show friends and family that photo. But is this safe? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Mary Norton, president of the society for maternal-fetal medicine and an expert in prenatal genetic diagnosis, about whether keepsake ultrasounds are a good idea.

Thousand Islands Tourism Bureau

Green groups and boaters along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario won a huge victory Thursday. The U.S. and Canada approved a new, more natural plan for managing water levels after 16 years of study that cost more than $20 million.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has spoken to federal prosecutors regarding the prosecution of his former top aide and eight others involved in an economic development scandal.

The governor said he’s met with federal prosecutors since former top aide Joe Percoco, a former lobbyist who was a close Cuomo associate, the head of SUNY Polytechnic and six others were charged with bribery, bid-rigging and other corruption charges in connection with the governor’s upstate economic development programs. Two executives of Syracuse-based COR Development were among those charged.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Interstate-81 project to replace the current viaduct in downtown Syracuse is down to two options. But regardless of whether a community grid or new viaduct is built, common features are proposed for another section of I-81 north of the viaduct. Those features include a new I-81 and I-690 interchange known as flyovers. It will also expand lanes and reconstruct several bridges.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo handed out more than $700 million in Regional Economic Development Council awards in Albany on Thursday.

The governor has held an annual contest to make regions of the state compete to win millions of dollars in economic development funds. They are judged by the strength of their plans.

The awards ranged from over $80 million for the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, Capital Region, Mohawk Valley, New York City and the Mid-Hudson Valley to over $60 million each for Western New York, the Southern Tier, Central New York, the North Country and Long Island.

Entergy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the sale of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant from Entergy to Exelon. The deal to keep the plant open is now one step closer to completion.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

A long-term energy plan by the Cuomo administration that includes a nearly $8 billion subsidy to upstate nuclear power plants is being challenged from both ends of the political spectrum, and a lawsuit has been filed to try to stop the deal.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council will create a youth advisory council to get more young people involved with local government. The youth council will also give councilors the chance to hear what problems young people face in the city.

Common Council President Van Robinson said the youth council will help young people learn more about city hall.  

“I have run across many of our students, who have absolutely no idea what government is all about and are totally oblivious to the fact that we live in a Democratic society,” Robinson said.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In Oswego, a massive, rust-covered container ship glided across Lake Ontario Wednesday morning. It eased toward the Port of Oswego and abruptly came to rest after bumping against the dock.

The 24-foot-tall ship was carrying equipment from Germany that will head to a brewery in Rochester. The port is expecting another shipment of similar equipment next year for a brewery in Fulton. Port director Zelko Kirincich wants to see more container ships visit the port because he says it's more cost efficient for businesses that are importing and exporting by ship. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The New York attorney general has proposed a package of bills aimed at improving to what he said are “arcane” and “ridiculous” voting laws that bar many potential New York voters from casting ballots.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman began a statewide inquiry after his office received a record number of complaints about lack of voter access during the April presidential primary.

“In New York, we have what amounts to legal voter suppression,” Schneiderman said Tuesday at a news conference in Albany.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s a new restaurant opening up in Syracuse -- but it’s a little different. It’s a teaching restaurant for Onondaga Community College, which will alternate world or regional cuisines every six months.

First up -- Pakistani food. Sarah Robin, an immigrant from Pakistan who now lives in Syracuse, is the restaurateur in residence who will be running the North Salina Street restaurant called “With Love” for the next six months.

David Rodriguez Martin / via Flickr

A 50-mile drone corridor from Rome to Syracuse will be the center of the burgeoning unmanned aircraft systems industry in central New York. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

State lawmakers are considering whether to have a special session this month where they would vote on, among other things, a pay raise for themselves.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In the basement of Penfield Library at SUNY Oswego, there's a room where the shelves are not filled with books.

"We've got pastas, and we've got popcorn, Jell-O, beans, cereals, jelly -- a lot of jelly," said SUNY Oswego Student Government Association President Emily Nassir as she surveyed the recently created food pantry. Just a few months ago, this was an empty space. Now it's covered in a plethora of canned and boxed foods and toiletries. And there's even a mini clothing store and adjacent fitting room.  

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