News

Local counter-terrorism expert says ISIL's growing influence could be responsible for the alleged planned New Years Eve attack in Rochester.

Mark Concordia teaches Criminal Justice at Roberts Wesleyan College. He used to work with the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, the same task force that thwarted the alleged plan.

"The public has no idea what it's like working these cases. They completely consume your life. Family obligations, free time, gives way to 24-7 surveillance, late nights, coordinated phone calls and frustrations."

Paladino urges New York Republicans to back Trump

Jan 1, 2016
Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

While the New York Primary is just under four months away, former gubernatorial candidate and western New York businessman Carl Paladino is encouraging Republicans to back Donald Trump's presidential bid now.

Paladino expressed his support for Trump's campaign in an open letter to the state's Republicans, and urges party leadership not to be neutral, especially with state Democratic party leaders already backing Hillary Clinton.

In Paladino's opinion, GOP leadership in New York state is too establishment-minded. 

Rochester man accused of New Year's Eve plot

Jan 1, 2016

Officials in Rochester canceled a New Year's Eve fireworks celebration following the arrest of a 25-year-old Rochester man, who is accused of trying to provide support to terrorists and help ISIS (also known as ISIL) kill innocent civilians on New Year's Eve at a restaurant-bar in the Rochester area.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News File Photo

Adjunct faculty at Wells College in Aurora, New York took a big step toward unionizing last week. Organizers filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. At an election, adjuncts would vote “yes” or “no” to a union.

Insomnia Cured Here/It's A Wonderful Life (1946) / Flickr

Watching the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a holiday tradition for many. It takes on added significance in central New York because of the suspected connection between the fictional town of Bedford Falls and Seneca Falls.

Locals think they have a pretty convincing story that their town is the same one in the 1946 movie.

Court denies Syracuse bid to regain Inner Harbor land

Dec 31, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Syracuse will not get back the Inner Harbor land it sold to the real estate development company COR. That was the ruling Wednesday from New York State Supreme Court Justice James Murphy after the city sued COR for the $44-million PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) agreement it signed with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has only been in Congress for a year, but says he’s seen a lot of changes in what many Americans view as a dysfunctional arm of government. 

After Katko took his oath of office last January, and started learning the ropes in Washington, he says the atmosphere was highly politically charged. A push to defund the Department of Homeland Security over immigration policy was just one of those very partisan issues that lawmakers faced.

"It was divisive. And some of those early votes, I was pulling my hair out, what the heck’s going on here.”

tales of a wandering youkai / Flickr

Christmas may be over, but this is still a critical week for retailers.

Ted Potrikus is president of the Retail Council of New York State, and while his organization doesn't generate specific numbers on what the state's retailers saw for holiday sales, he would not be surprised to see them come out with numbers similar to some national surveys, predicting about a four or five percent increase over last year.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

It’s a time of educational upheaval in New York. Changes are piling up fast -- the state Board of Regents delayed state tests’ impact on teacher evaluations, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s task force called for nearly two dozen changes to learning standards. In the midst of it all, here are three things you need to know.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse filed a lawsuit against the COR Development Company after it made a tax deal with Onondaga County for its redevelopment project in the city’s Inner Harbor. Protesters are calling on the two sides to negotiate before a ruling is made in state Supreme Court.

wadester16 / Flickr

As of December 31,  New York state has no chief judge of the Court of Appeals. It’s the second time in recent years that either Gov. Andrew Cuomo or the state Senate have missed a deadline to fill the slot.

Current Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is forced to retire at the end of 2015. Lippman  has reached the age of 70, and under New York state law, he must step down from the bench. In an exit interview with the statewide  public television show New York Now, Lippman criticized that age limit set in law, calling it the “constitutional age of senility.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School Board voted 4-3 in favor of extending Superintendent Sharon Contreras’ contract for one year. Some current school board members, such as Pat Body, raised concerns that the vote took place before newly elected board members start in January.

“The district faces so many issues at this point that I was hoping we could wait for a few weeks before we made this decision so that the board could become cohesive, bond a little before we made a decision that might be divisive in the community,” Body said.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News file photo

The second legislative leader to be convicted of corruption has now filed his retirement papers, and is eligible for an annual pension that could reach nearly six figures.

Former Senate Leader Dean Skelos has filed papers to receive his pension, according to the state comptroller’s office. Skelos was convicted in federal court, along with his son Adam, on multiple corruption charges earlier this month.

As Feds rethink saturated fats, dairy farmers could get a big boost

Dec 29, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

 

For years, the government has warned that saturated fat found in whole milk leads to increased risk for heart disease. But now, it’s taking a second look at the research, saying saturated fats might not be so bad for you.

New federal dietary guidelines could be a big boost for dairy farmers.

David Schon used to be a dairy farmer in Cortland County. He says a federal stamp of approval on whole milk could mean more money for dairy farmers.

Beit Hatfutsut Museum / Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum

When Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested recently that the U.S. should block Muslims from entering the country over fears of terrorism, he cited former President Franklin Roosevelt's infamous decision to place some Japanese citizens into internment camps following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. But, FDR also opened a different kind of camp in Oswego in spite of the anti-immigration sentiment from Congress at the time.

Plowz & Mowz website.

With the recent warmer winter weather and lack of snow in upstate New York this year as compared to last year, you would think a company that provides plowing services would be hurting. But one Syracuse-based company is seeing an increase in demand. Plowz & Mowz is an app that delivers on-demand plowing and mowing services by connecting contractors with customers.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

2015 saw the fall of two of the three most powerful people in state government, and the rise of one U.S. Attorney. 

Less than a year ago, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Leader Dean Skelos led the legislature. They were both at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State speech on January 21, sitting on stage, where Cuomo acknowledged his partners in the government triumvirate.

“To a good year, Dean,” Cuomo said to applause from the assembled lawmakers and lobbyists in the cavernous auditorium. “It’s a pleasure to be with you, Mr. Speaker.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Anti-violence and social justice groups in Syracuse are focusing on what's called conflict transformation or getting to the root of what is causing violence in the community. One man started walking through some of the most crime-ridden streets in Syracuse directly engaging with young people to try to do just that.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced plans for mass pardons of young people who commit non-violent crimes. It’s the latest in a string of actions Cuomo has taken in the past year in an attempt to get around opposition from some factions in the state legislature and to further some progressive issues.

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

There are 615 people who count on the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County for more than just their energy; they rely on its paychecks too. A loss of those jobs could be disastrous for Oswego County, whose unemployment rate is among the highest in the state.

Shawn Doyle is one of the plant's employees. He has worked as a security guard at FitzPatrick for 28 years. Since announcing in November that it will begin shutting down the facility by early 2017, Entergy has begun telling some workers when they will be let go.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

There’s a small white church in the hamlet of West Martinsburg, just outside Lowville. The United Methodist Church was first built in 1840. It closed a century later, but one tradition lives on.  A lamplight service every December marks the beginning of the Christmas season.  Inside, kerosene lamps hung from the ceiling are lit by hand. Candles set by stained-glass windows give the church a warm golden glow.  

Julia Botero attended the service with people from all over the Tug Hill and brought back this postcard.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

About 2,700 families came to the Christmas Bureau distribution in downtown Syracuse on Wednesday. It was one of their biggest years and largest operations as some of Syracuse’s most needing families received toys and food baskets.

Credit Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

A study is underway that some New York officials are hoping will save Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

When Entergy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in November that it planned to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in about a year, it triggered a ninety-day study. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) thinks a major overhaul of the Affordable Care Act could be on the horizon. 

Katko says recent developments in Washington are not good news for the federal health insurance program. For example, the two-year moratorium on some of the taxes in place in conjunction with the program, like the Medical Device Tax. Katko says that along with failing state exchanges, and not enough younger people signing on to pay for the coverage older people use, all add up to change.

Hospitality students eye future jobs at casinos

Dec 23, 2015

On Monday, New York State's gaming commission awarded three full casino licenses to the sites that got a recommendation last year, including the Lago Resort in the Finger Lakes town of Tyre.  But Southern Tier residents will have to hold out a bit longer, as Tioga Downs in Nichols, which was recommended for a license in the fall, waits for the official word.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Drivers will be seeing a new kind of snow plow on roads across New York state this winter. Tow plows will be attached to the large dump trucks that traditionally are used as snow plows.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick was sworn into office for a seventh time on Tuesday.  At the swearing-in ceremony, Fitzpatrick reflected back on his public service, which has included serving on a commission that investigated corruption in the New York State Legislature. The same legislature that has seen its leadership upended by guilty verdicts on federal corruption charges.

Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter Facebook

Central New York’s newest member of the Assembly is launching citizen advisory committees meant to keep the lines of communication open between residents and state government

Democrat Pam Hunter says one thing she realized after campaigning for the 128th Assembly District is that residents want their concerns and ideas heard in Albany. So she’s started up advisory committees in the towns of DeWitt, Onondaga and Salina, as well as the city of Syracuse, for residents to let her know what’s important in their particular neighborhoods.

Syracuse University

Central New York’s upstate revitalization proposal calls for $12.5 million to be invested to create Syracuse University’s National Veteran’s Resources Complex. The university recently asked 30 architectural design firms to submit proposals on the look and layout of the new facility.

The plan is to select three or four finalists in late January and a winner in April. Mike Haynie, the vice chancellor for veteran and military programs at Syracuse University, said currently, the military and veteran programs at the university are scattered across campus.  

New York State Senate

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to say that he will propose major reforms in the new year in the wake of the conviction of the two top legislative leaders on multiple corruption charges. But, the governor, in a radio interview, said there’s only so far that he can go to reign in campaign donations.

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