williamaveryhudson / Flickr

Tuesday marks the deadline for legal challenges to New York’s ban on high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Making sure airports are as secure as possible was the focus of a congressional subcommittee hearing held at the federal building in Syracuse Monday. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who chairs the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee's Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said one goal of the session was to find ways to beef up security at the nation’s airports.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, five years into his term in office, has reached a plateau with voters. About half still like and support him, the other half, have reservations, according to a new Siena College poll.

State launches ads against synthetic drugs

Oct 27, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The state is airing two new public service announcements aimed at deterring people from using synthetic drugs.

State officials say synthetics are more dangerous than some think.

“But what we were hearing from young folks was they didn’t think there was any risk to using this. It’s fake marijuana. What’s the big deal?” says Rob Kent, general counsel for the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).

The state reports eight times as many emergency department visits this year related to synthetic drug use.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council voted down a motion supporting Mayor Stephanie Miner’s decision last week to raise the minimum wage for city employees to $15 an hour. Some Common Council members said there are still too many unanswered questions about the plan.

St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center / Facebook

St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse hospital is waiting on tests to determine whether it, in fact, has the bacteria that can cause Legionnaires' Disease, in its water system. Hospital officials should know in about a week whether three cases of the disease could have been acquired at the hospital, or somewhere else. One of those patients ended up dying, though hospital officials say multiple medical issues contributed to that patient’s death.


SUNY ESF has its fingerprints on the discovery of a new giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands; a SUNY scientist is part of the research team that made the discovery.

James Gibbs, a SUNY ESF conservation biologist, has handled over 8,000 giant tortoises over the 20 years he’s been trekking back and forth between Syracuse and the Galapagos Islands. So he can easily see the difference between the new Eastern Santa Cruz Tortoise, and the others that live on the island of Santa Cruz in the center of the Galapagos Archipelago.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The decision on the future of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County is expected this week. In the meantime, elected leaders at the local, state and federal level are engaged in talks with the plant's owner Entergy on how to keep the doors open. It's currently battling falling energy prices.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

An organization on Syracuse's southwest side is tackling the neighborhood's unemployment problem from all different angles. It hopes a new grant from the state will help.

A former funeral home on South Ave. in Syracuse is the headquarters for Jubilee Homes, which is receiving a $3oo,ooo grant from the New York State Department of Labor, to start their Build to Work program. Kristin Davis is one of the job coaches and said they hope to place more than 50 people into long-term employment.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he has made a decision to stay out of politics for now, due to a climate of corruption and ongoing investigations by his office.

Schneiderman said he will not be endorsing or appearing with any candidates any more, as statewide office holders sometimes do. Both former leaders of the legislature face federal corruption trials next month and the attorney general’s office has, along with the state comptroller, probed the actions of dozens of elected officials, some resulting in charges and convictions.

Does age have to bring difficulty seeing at night?

Oct 25, 2015
Nieri Da Silva / Flickr

Many people notice as they get older, they have a little more trouble seeing at night. But what causes this issue and can anything be done about it?

This week on “Take Care,” we interview Dr. Mark Blecher, an ophthalmologist, eye surgeon, and co-director of the Cataract Service and Primary Eye Care Service at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

Fall time change and its impact on sleep

Oct 25, 2015
Douglas Heriot / Flickr

Sleep is key to maintaining good health, but what happens to the human sleep cycle when the clocks change in the fall?

This week on “Take Care,” we discuss the effects of fall time change on sleep. Dr. Lois Krahn is a psychiatrist and sleep researcher at the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorder Center in Arizona.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

Trees in the North Country are clinging to the last of their leaves. In Alexandria Bay, you can take a walk to admire what remains of fall foliage at Otter Creek Preserve. The trail is now open to the public for the first time. It snakes through more than a hundred acres of woods, wetlands, shrub and grasses.

Guilherme Tavares / Flickr

In just over a week, daylight saving time will end. But some people find it hard to adjust to the annual ritual of turning the clock back. This Sunday on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Lois Krahn, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic's Sleep Disorders Center in Arizona about how not to lose sleep over the time change.

New York chooses not to adopt Obamacare change

Oct 23, 2015
baasiilb15 / Flickr

New York will not be one of the states to adopt a new rule change to Obamacare.

A law adopted by the feds early this month would allow states to redefine what constitutes a small and large business for health insurance requirements.

Originally, the Affordable Care Act allowed states to expand the definition of a small business to up to 100 workers.

But now federal officials are allowing states to keep that small business definition the way it is currently, up to 50 workers. And some business leaders support that decision.

St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center / Facebook

Some doctors across the country are starting to suggest that maybe there is a different way to treat a certain kind of breast cancer. Not all breast cancers are the same and the diagnosis of one type has has soared in recent years due to advances in radiology.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A 15-year-old open investigation of a homicide in the city of Syracuse has finally resulted in a murder indictment. New evidence is being tied to the suspect police have been after for years.

On April 23, 2000, Waliek Hammer was shot to death at a burger joint on South Salina Street in Syracuse.  Witnesses were uncooperative when police arrived and no one was ever charged for the murder.

Tina Russell / Utica Observer Dispatch

The surviving brother in the brutal church beating in New Hartford made his first appearance in court yesterday.

In a barely audio voice, 17-year-old Christopher Leonard testified he and his brother were beaten by family members and others members of the Word of Life Church. Lucas Leonard, who was 19, died from his injuries.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s going to press for a statewide regulatory system that allows ride sharing services, including Uber and Lyft, to operate.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News


Political and private sector leaders from around the state are spending three days at the Capitol, making their best case to win a share of $1.5 billion in economic development monies for their region. Critics have called the competition the “hunger games," because under the rules three regions will win, but four others will lose out on the funds.

Perhaps the most ambitious plan presented by the regions competing for the money may be returning the Olympics to New York.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Residents on both sides of the issue spoke out at another public hearing on managing deer and ticks in central New York on Tuesday night. Funding will soon be available for neighborhoods to address the problem.

Senator Charles Schumer / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)is enlisting help from New Yorkers in identifying areas around the state that have poor cell phone reception.

In a conference call, Schumer told reporters that some carriers are misleading residents with maps that promise coverage in certain areas when, in reality, they are "dead zones" that drop calls. That can leave consumers stuck in a contract they signed with a carrier unless they pay a penalty.

Kevin Montano / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

A week after the brutal beating of two teenage boys at the Word of Life Church in New Hartford, about 150 community members gathered Tuesday night outside the church building for a candlelight vigil.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A low-cost, low-co-pay health insurance plan is now available for low income earners in New York state. The Essential Plan offers ten health benefits for less than $20 a month for anyone making less than $24,000. Steve Wood of ACR Health said the plan is very affordable.

"No deductible. Very low co-pays," Wood said. "I think the highest co-pay is about $150 for a hospital stay. Prescriptions: very, very low cost. Everything else is very inexpensive."

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Union workers ratified a contract with Otsego County government on Monday.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The ride sharing service Uber, which already operates in New York City, is making a big push to move into upstate cities like Syracuse, and Long Island. But, that would require state lawmakers to take action.

Uber officials, armed with a study that says 13,000 new jobs could be created if Uber is allowed in all of New York, came to the state Capitol to make their case. They have started an online petition and ad campaign, to help convince the state legislature to pass laws to allow the service to operate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner are lobbying for more money from New York state to pay for infrastructure improvement. Standing in the shadow of the Evans Street Bridge in Syracuse that the state calls deficient, DiNapoli called on Albany to help localities fix bridges and roads that are falling apart. He said a recent report shows that local government spending on infrastructure has dropped dramatically.

Nell Conway / Flickr

The Onondaga County policy of placing 16- and 17-year olds into solitary confinement at the Jamesville Correctional facility is under the microscope.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Residents spoke out at a public hearing on the state's effort to make utilities more affordable for people with low-income. That might mean all customers may have to pay a little more.

The New York State Public Service Commission’s proposal is to reduce the burden on low-income individuals and families paying for utilities to about six percent of their income. Currently, low-income residents are paying 10-20 percent of their paychecks to utilities. The six percent figure is on the higher end of the rate everyone else is paying.  

wadester16 / Flickr

New York will soon have a new top judge now that the current chief judge of the Court of Appeals is approaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.  Westchester District Attorney and Cuomo ally Janet DiFiore is on the list as a potential replacement.