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6:10am

Tue March 11, 2014
Health

Cortland County counts down the days to the next Obamacare deadline

Advocates announce "Countdown to Coverage" campaign.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Cortland County has started a "Countdown to Coverage," to try and get the word out about the next major deadline for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

According to Lindy Glennon of the Cortland County Community Action Program, the next important date in the Affordable Care Act timeline is March 31, which is a little over three weeks away. March 31 is the last day to enroll in health coverage through the New York State of Health marketplace, without facing penalties.

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5:08pm

Mon March 10, 2014
Health

Governor proposes offering low-cost 'basic health care plan"

People who are finding it difficult to pay for a health insurance policy offered through New York sate’s health care exchanges, may find a more affordable plan, if a proposal in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget goes through.

The governor’s proposed spending plan would allow New York to offer what’s called a "basic health care plan," according to Mary Clark, regional director of Citizen Action League of New York.

“That would really opens the doors to provide coverage at extremely low cost to families at 200 percent of poverty,” she said.

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4:44pm

Mon March 10, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Syracuse Land Bank demolishes first house

Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank has torn down its first house. Crews demolished a vacant home just off South Salina Street on Syracuse’s Southside Monday, after the land bank determined it was deteriorated beyond repair.

It’s the first of 25 properties slated for demolition this year, by the organization that buys dilapidated properties and either rehabs them or tears them down.  The idea is to deal with properties that are a drag on neighborhoods and magnets for crime.

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8:10am

Mon March 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Fate of estate tax provision uncertain in state Assembly

On Wednesday, both houses of the legislature are due to release their one-house budget proposals, which they will then use to negotiate a final spending plan with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in an interview with PBS's New York Now and public radio stations, says Assembly Democrats are not yet on board with part of Cuomo’s plan to cut the estate tax.

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7:59am

Mon March 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

World War II veteran honored with Purple Heart 70 years after turning it down

Staff Sergeant Richard Faulkner receives his Purple Heart from Rep. Dan Maffei.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) awarded a World War II veteran the Purple Heart on Saturday. Staff Sergeant Richard Faulkner turned down the award 70 years ago, but recently had a change of heart.

When 89-year-old Richard Faulkner was 18, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps as a ball turret gunner. In March of 1944, he was wounded after parachuting out of an airplane that crashed in France. Faulkner says it was the scariest time of his life, he spent 29 days behind enemy lines. He was awarded the Purple Heart, but he turned it down.  

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7:36am

Mon March 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cuomo cheerleads Adirondack, Lake Placid tourism

Governor Andrew Cuomo sleds in Franklin County on Sunday as part of his Adirondack Winter Challenge.
NYS Governor's office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo led a group of lawmakers on a day-long visit to the Adirondack Park yesterday.

The Adirondack Winter Challenge is part of his administration's $60 million effort, launched last year, to boost upstate tourism. The event was also designed to build support in Albany for state-run tourism sites that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year to operate.

The day’s big photo op comes with Andrew Cuomo climbing on a sleek snowmobile, surrounded by snowy woods under a brilliant blue sky.

"Want to find which is the fastest," he says.

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7:27am

Mon March 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Assembly, Senate budget plans due

Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the state Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month.

The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their one house budget resolutions Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

There are a number of unresolved issues, including how to pay for and structure a plan to provide universal pre-kindergarten to New York’s four-year-olds, and a multi-step plan proposed by Cuomo to freeze property taxes has faced skepticism.   

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7:01pm

Sun March 9, 2014
Health

Colonoscopy important for early cancer detection

Human colon cancer cells.
wellcome images via Flickr

Colonoscopies easily fall under a category of medical tests that are important to have done, but are not easy to discuss. Colonoscopies have an uncomfortable stigma, despite the fact that most patients report not having a troublesome experience with them.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Rajeev Jain discusses the importance of colonoscopies.  Dr. Jain is a partner at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, chief of gastroenterology at Texas Health Dallas and clinical assistant professor of medicine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Jain.

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7:00pm

Sun March 9, 2014
Health

Throwing cold water on popular theories

darrylh via Flickr

Water, water, everywhere. At least, that's what we've been told.

Health, nutrition, exercise and beauty experts of all kinds have said over the years that we need to consume a certain amount of water per day, that we need to drink water before and after exercise, that drinking lots of water can help you lose weight, that drinking lots of water helps the skin, and the list goes on and on.

But what’s the science behind all these claims?

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Goldfarb.

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4:43pm

Sun March 9, 2014
Environment

Mark Monmonier on The Campbell Conversations

Syracuse University Geography Professor Mark Monmonier (left) speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

You'd think that Global Warming would make for less snow, but in this episode of the Campbell Conversations we learn why it might produce more snow, at least in Central New York.  Host Grant Reeher talks with Mark Monmonier about his latest book, Lake Effect:  Tales of Large Lakes, Arctic Winds, and Recurrent Snows.  Find out what fascinated this Geography professor so much about our local snowfalls that he wrote an entire

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8:34am

Sun March 9, 2014
Science

Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses "Cosmos," Carl Sagan and today's scientific culture

Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Sarah Elliott Flickr

This Sunday, FOX Television Network is premiering a reboot of the late Carl Sagan's TV show "Cosmos." WRVO's Gino Geruntino spoke with the show's new host astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in November about how the show differs from his other work, including as host of PBS' Nova ScienceNOW and his podcast "StarTalk."

GG: Do you think the new Cosmos will have the same flair that Nova ScienceNOW and StarTalk have?

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8:34am

Sat March 8, 2014
Performing Arts and Culture

Audio postcard: Sackets Harbor choral group rehearses

Music Director Richard Probert conducts the Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble during a rehearsal at Trinity Episcopal Church, in Watertown.
Credit Joanna Richards / WRVO

The Sackets Harbor Vocal Arts Ensemble is preparing for a spring concert in Watertown. Joanna Richards dropped by the group’s second rehearsal to learn about choral music, and have a listen.

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8:32am

Sat March 8, 2014
Environment

Who is making sure school buildings are health environments?

A new book is shining a spotlight on the environmental issues within our nation’s schools.

"Toxic Schoolhouse," is an anthology that raises a number of issues including the absence of oversight of schools by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Madeleine Scammell, co-editor of the compilation, says the EPA has no regulatory authority in the local school, so watchdog responsibilities too often fall to teachers and parents.

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3:51pm

Fri March 7, 2014
Politics

Republican Astorino takes new campaign for governor to Syracuse

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) visits Syracuse as part of his new campaign for governor.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Two days  after becoming the first Republican to announce a campaign to run for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino spent Friday crisscrossing upstate New York from Rochester and Syracuse to Albany, and his message was the same in each city. He believes he can beat a popular Democrat in an election where Democrats hold an overwhelming voter registration advantage.

Astorino says he did it in Westchester County, where he has twice won the office of county executive.  

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7:47am

Fri March 7, 2014
Politics and Government

Gillibrand's military sexual assault bill rejected in Senate

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand speaks with reporters following an event. (file photo)
Joanna Richards WRVO

After a year of lobbying her colleagues, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's bill to change how the Pentagon handles sexual assault cases was rejected by the Senate.

Gillibrand isn't looking at her legislation's defeat as a failure, just a temporary setback in her effort to remove sexual assault cases from the military chain of command. Although 55 senators supported it, that wasn't enough to overcome a bipartisan filibuster.

Gillibrand says her work isn’t over.

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7:28am

Fri March 7, 2014
Politics and Government

Growing unease over Cuomo's tax freeze plan

There’s growing unease over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan.

One hundred local government officials have signed a letter opposing the plan, including Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic Party Co-Chairwoman Stephanie Miner, and there are signs that the legislature may modify what critics have called an overly complex proposal when the Senate and Assembly release their one house state budgets.

Lobby groups for the state’s counties, cities, and school boards are voicing numerous concerns. Tim Kremer, with the New York State School Boards Association, is one of them.

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7:08am

Fri March 7, 2014
Environment

Water sale ban appealed

Painted Post, Corning aquifer
GDACC

Environmental groups won a court injunction last year against the village of Painted Post, preventing them from continuing water shipments for fracking operations in Pennsylvania.

The case was brought before the State Supreme Appellate Division Court in Rochester recently, with officials from the town in Steuben County vying for a different outcome.

The village of Painted Post has a five-year contract with Shell Oil subsidiary SWEPI LP. The deal calls for up to a million gallons of water a day to be shipped by rail to supply gas fracking operations in Pennsylvania.

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6:43am

Fri March 7, 2014
Energy

Draft energy plan draws criticism from environmental activists

Ellen Abbott WRVO

Environmental activists said there needs to be more emphasis on renewable energy and less on fossil fuels at a hearing on the New York Draft Energy Plan in Syracuse Thursday.  

The New York State Energy plan is a comprehensive economy-wide, multi-year plan put together by the state energy planning board. It’s meant to showcase Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s energy policy.  

Keith Schue, an engineer from Otsego County, said the plan doesn’t have the pieces in place to reach the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions a full 80 percent by the year 2050.

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5:34am

Fri March 7, 2014
Health

How much water does the body really need?

[cipher] Flickr

Taking a water bottle to the gym or drinking a certain amount of water each day may seem like good choices.  But do they provide health benefits? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Stanley Goldfarb, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Goldfarb explains what his research has shown about why water is so important to the body but how you may not need as much of it as you think.

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2:36pm

Thu March 6, 2014
Politics

North Country candidate Democrat Aaron Woolf says media silence is not inaction

Aaron Woolf, Democratic candidate for the 21st Congressional District
Martha Foley/NCPR

The elusive Democrat who's running for Bill Owens' seat is meeting privately with local leaders across the 21st Congressional District. Documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf met with Warren County Democrats in Lake George Wednesday night after visiting the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce in Canton.

It's been more than three weeks since party leaders endorsed Woolf. Even though he's barely spoken with the media, Woolf says he's been busy.

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2:29pm

Thu March 6, 2014
Politics and Government

Schumer calls for new heroin abuse tracking database

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., in a file photo.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With heroin abuse raging among young adults and in rural communities, New York's senior senator is calling for a new state-wide database to be created so local law enforcement agencies can better track the drug's use.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says a database for heroin hospitalizations and arrests would be the first in the nation. 

"The problem is that the increase in heroin abuse - it was going down for a long time, now it’s going up - so we have to catch up," Schumer told reporters Wednesday.

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8:46am

Thu March 6, 2014
Public Radio Presents

Reveal, a new investigative radio show

How does heroin end up on the streets of Chicago? Why are minors being held in solitary confinement – even when they haven’t been convicted of a crime? And what happens when you pair poets with investigative journalists?

These are just a few of the questions explored in the second pilot episode of “Reveal,” a new radio show dedicated to investigative journalism from The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. Hear the broadcast Sunday evening, March 9, at 7:00 p.m.

On this episode: 

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7:46am

Thu March 6, 2014
Transportation

NY DOT looking at five options to speed up rail travel

An Amtrak train pulls into the Syracuse regional transportation hub.
hectate1 via Flickr

New York state transportation planners have opened the discussion about the best way to speed up train travel through upstate New York.

Passenger trains running between Buffalo and New York City right now run at about 50 miles per hour and are often slowed more by competing freight train traffic.

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7:00am

Thu March 6, 2014
Education

Assembly votes to delay some effects of Common Core

The state Assembly passed a bill Wednesday to delay some of the effects of New York’s Common Core learning standards.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the bill delays the effects of the new learning standards for two more years, for both students and teachers. Teachers fear they will be evaluated on their pupils’ test scores when there wasn’t enough time to prepare and teach the new material.

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6:49am

Thu March 6, 2014
Regional Coverage

In projects big and small, Watertown’s downtown reviving – but some say city government lacks vision

The formerly vacant and crumbling Woolworth building in downtown Watertown will soon host apartments and commercial space.
Credit Joanna Richards

As with many small cities, Watertown’s downtown has been decaying for years, with boarded-up buildings and businesses dwindling.

Now, a handful of big projects are reviving the historical structures at the center of town, and some new small businesses are thriving. But some say the city could be doing more to encourage growth.

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8:14pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics

Astorino makes it official, via YouTube announcement

Rob Astorino
Karen DeWitt/WXXI

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced on YouTube his candidacy to run as a Republican against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Astorino, a Republican who has won the county executive seat twice in the Democratically dominated Westchester County, painted a grim picture of New York under Cuomo, saying the state is “dying” from the highest taxes in the nation and is one of the poorest business climates in the country.

“Is New York winning? Or are we losing?” Astorino asks.

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3:50pm

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Mahoney says Destiny hotel may benefit from new duty-free rules

Mahoney at her State of the County Address Tuesday
Ellen Abbott

The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) is getting to work on the latest request from the developer of Destiny USA for a tax break to build a 252-room hotel across the street from the mall.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says OCIDA needs to consider Canadian tourism before granting tax breaks to Destiny. Many of the out-of-town visitors to Destiny are Canadian and, with new duty-free Canadian rules, Mahoney says more visitors are coming to town for more than a day.

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8:19am

Wed March 5, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Nation's first nano film school to launch in Onondaga County

Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses the launch of the nation's first nano film school, which is going to be located in DeWitt.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The movie business is coming to central New York. With the help of some state tax incentives, the nation’s first nano film school, along with a film production company, will set up shop in suburban Syracuse.

"Now who would have ever figured? Hollywood has come to Onondaga. Right, you would have never guessed, but it has..."

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7:49am

Wed March 5, 2014
Health

EPA finalizes standards to reduce car emissions

Some rights reserved by Antonio Garcia.

The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its federal emission standards for cars and gasoline Monday, putting them in line with programs already in place in California.

The cleaner fuel and car standards will be rolled out starting in 2017. Once fully in place, the EPA estimates they’ll lower overall pollution levels and help avoid up to 2,000 early deaths per year.

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7:39am

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo, de Blasio speak at dueling education rallies in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at an educational rally in Albany on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at dueling rallies on education at the state Capitol, highlighting the two politicians’ differences over education issues.   

A rally to promote de Blasio’s plan for universal pre-K had been planned for weeks. The mayor spoke to around 1,500 union members, urging them to put pressure on lawmakers to approve in the state budget the mayor’s plan to provide classes for thousands of four-year-olds starting in September.

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