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7:05am

Wed June 11, 2014
Politics

'Erin's Law' faces hurdles to passing in New York state

Erin Merryn is pushing for sexual abuse education in schools, but is facing opposition in New York.
Office of Dave Valesky

For the third year in a row, the New York State Senate passed "Erin's Law," a bill requiring schools to teach age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness to children in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade.

Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual assault, has come up against some hurdles in her campaign to make it a law in New York state.

When Merryn was six years old she was sexually abused by a neighbor. When she was eleven she was sexually abused again by a cousin for two years. She stayed silent for years.

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7:04am

Wed June 11, 2014
Environment

Environmentalists call for toxic site legislation as session closes

Environmental advocates are pressing the state legislature to renew a toxic site cleanup program before the session wraps up in a few days, even though there seems little interest in taking up any big issues in Albany.

Environmentalists are holding up the toxic site cleanup program’s renewal as a measure of a successful legislative session. 

Both the Assembly and Senate have versions of a bill to renew a cleanup program for old industrial sites, known as brownfields. But environmentalists are calling on the governor to urge legislative leaders to act on the bills.

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5:45am

Wed June 11, 2014
Health

Rise in elder abuse cases has central New York searching for answers

With an aging population, elder abuse is becoming more prevalent across the country and in central New York. Financial abuse has become one of the most common ways people take advantage of older Americans.

Jenny Hicks runs a program out of Vera House in Syracuse that focuses on elder abuse, and says there’s a kind of déjà vu in an agency that for years has counseled victims of domestic violence.

“It’s very much like domestic violence was 35 years ago -- in the shadows," Hicks said. "People are just now starting to talk about elder abuse.”

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3:32pm

Tue June 10, 2014
Recreation

Ritchie wants state legislature to pass UTV bill

Sen. Patty Ritchie is sponsoring legislation to raise the weight limit on UTVs. Assemblyman Bill Magee (left), is the Assembly sponsor of the bill.
Office of Sen. Patty Ritchie

State Sen. Patty Ritchie wants to lift some of the restrictions on the use of utility task vehicles in New York state. Right now, UTVs can only be used legally on private property and cannot be registered in the state of New York. Smaller ATVs weighing up to 1,000 pounds can be widely used and registered with the state.

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7:17am

Tue June 10, 2014
Environment

Onondaga County residents speak out against 'Trash to Ash' plan

Jamesville resident Vicki Baker, left, speaks to Onondaga County legislators about the county's proposed 'Trash to Ash' plan
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Opponents to a trash to ash plan between Onondaga and Cortland Counties had their say at an informational meeting on the environmental impact of the proposed move in the town of DeWitt last night.  

The plan would truck garbage from Cortland County to Onondaga County’s trash burner in Jamesville, then return the ash to the Cortland County landfill. Many of the people who testified at the meeting had been involved in the fierce debate over whether the plant should have been built in the first place  20 years ago, and remembered the promises made to placate a community.  

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6:24am

Tue June 10, 2014
Government

Syracuse nixes smoking in parks; approves alarm fee

The Syracuse Common Council has snuffed out the right to smoke in city parks and publicly-owned downtown gathering areas, like Clinton Square.

The council also formally added the dropping of cigarette butts on sidewalks to its anti-littering ordinance, punishable by a $50 fine.

The laws were written by councilor Bob Dougherty and Khalid Bey, who said they will shift the habits of smokers and protect people in public who don't want to be near second-hand smoke.

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5:45am

Tue June 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo downplays chances of end-of-session agreements

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (file photo)
Zack Seward WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is downplaying the chances of any major agreements before the legislative session ends later this month.

The governor, who has already vowed to replace the current Senate leadership coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats, says he does not expect any deals on big ticket issues before the legislature leaves for the summer.

“We have some clean up items,” Cuomo said. “I don’t expect us to do any major initiatives.”

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5:30am

Tue June 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Women's equality supporters say fall elections are next battleground

Democrats and their allies in the legislature say there’s little chance anything major can be accomplished in the remaining days of the legislative session. Those pushing a Women’s Equality Act are already looking ahead to the fall campaigns as the next step.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is downplaying expectations for any major agreements in the final days of the legislative session.

“We have some clean up items,” Cuomo said. “I don’t expect us to do any major initiatives.”

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4:30pm

Mon June 9, 2014
Environment

Public to share concerns about 'Trash to Ash' plan during first hearing

Onondaga County's Waste-to-Energy Facility in Jamesville.
Office of Onondaga County Comptroller

Onondaga County is hosting the first of several public hearings on a plan to import trash from Cortland County to burn at Onondaga County’s incinerator in Jamesville.

Onondaga County Legislator David Knapp says this is all part of the process of getting information about the potential impacts of the deal.

“Right now we’re in the scoping phase of the environmental impact process," Knapp said. "So this meeting is open to any resident to come in and give us their thoughts about what should be in the scope of the environmental review.”

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7:54am

Mon June 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse lawmakers to vote on smoking ban in city parks and other gathering places

Sudipto Sarkar Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council will vote Monday on a proposal to ban smoking in city parks and other areas.

The ban would limit smoking in any areas the city parks department manages, so that includes parks where little league games are played, but also the site of many of the festivals that take place in the city, such as Clinton Square, Cathedral Circle, Hanover Square. 

That’s why Councilor Khalid Bey, one of the sponsors of the measure, says they’re putting off implementation of the ban until October, to give festival organizers a heads up.

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7:31am

Mon June 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna will not debate primary opponent before primary day June 24

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford)
Credit Claudia Tenney for Congress / claudiatenney.com

As primary day quickly approaches, it looks like there will not be a debate in the 22nd Congressional District race between Republican opponents Rep. Richard Hanna and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.

Hanna, who currently represents the district which stretches from Binghamton to Utica to the eastern half of Oswego County, says challenger Tenney has been dishonest in her campaign.

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6:53am

Mon June 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna not happy with deal that released Army sergeant in exchange for Taliban prisoners

Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna (R)
house.gov

Days after the U.S government exchanged five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider who reportedly left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, the decision doesn't sit well with Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna. He says he's trying to make sense of the situation, but says it's difficult to understand the entire issue without all of the details.

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5:34am

Mon June 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Uncertainty over what legislature can accomplish with 8 days left

Wallyg via Flickr

The 2014 legislative session has just eight working days left to go, with the closing day scheduled for June 20. As lawmakers prepare to return for the final two weeks, there’s uncertainty whether anything will get done, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has publicly vowed to try to oust the current Senate leadership. 

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7:01pm

Sun June 8, 2014
Health

Changes needed in cancer care system to take care of survivors

Spectrum Health Flickr

While someone may successfully fight off a cancer diagnosis, the battle usually doesn’t end there. Cancer survivorship brings with it a number of different issues that may inhibit a person’s ability to return back to a normal life.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Patricia Ganz discusses issues surrounding cancer survivorship. Dr. Ganz is a medical oncologist and director of the UCLA Livestrong Cancer Survivorship Center of Excellence, is on the faculty at the UCLA School of Medicine, and was a co-founder of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.

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

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7:00pm

Sun June 8, 2014
Health

Can it! Preserving summer's fresh fruits and vegetables

chotda

Berries, cucumbers and green beans oh my! If you love the freshness of summer produce, you might want to try canning fresh fruits and vegetables so you can enjoy them all year long. And now’s the time to start planning your canning project.

This week on “Take Care,” Amy Jeanroy, author of “Canning and Preserving for Dummies,” discusses the many ways beginning canners can get started.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Amy Jeanroy.

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5:34am

Sat June 7, 2014
Arts

Chittenango turns into Land of Oz for annual festival

Chloe Laufer inspects Wizard of Oz memorabilia at the All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The village of Chittenango has transformed into the Land of Oz this weekend for its annual celebration of the Wizard of Oz and its creator.

The town is marking a special anniversary with a record setting attempt. Hundreds of people will gather today at the Chittenango High School dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. They’re trying to set the world record for most people to do so in one place. England holds that title right now.

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4:08pm

Fri June 6, 2014
Regional Coverage

Paying for street parking in Syracuse? There's an app for that.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Paying for street parking from your smart phone will soon be an option in the city of Syracuse. Public Works Commissioner Pete O'Connor says the option to pay by phone will be available once meter readers get new hand-held devices they use to scan cars parked on city streets.  

“On the app, there will be a map. You’ll punch in what block you’re in. The meter will pop up for that block, you punch in what time you want, what credit card you want, and your license plate number. That’s it.”

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10:31am

Fri June 6, 2014
Politics

Maffei withholding judgment on Bergdahl prisoner swap

Rep. Dan Maffei, D-Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

Rep. Dan Maffei is taking a wait-and-see approach on his opinion over the release of U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl's freedom was negotiated in exchange for five suspected terrorists in American custody. It's drawn sharp criticism from members of Congress, particularly over their lack of prior knowledge. There are also questions over the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture and nearly five year detainment.

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7:51am

Fri June 6, 2014
Environment

Flipping the script on eminent domain

Catherine Holleran, (Right) and daughter Megan at home in New Milford, Pennsylvania.
Matt Martin/WSKG

The federal government is considering an application to build a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Schoharie County in New York. Often, the pipeline companies will use the threat of eminent domain as a way to pressure landowners into signing a lease agreement. But some landowners and activist groups are calling their bluff.

A short hike up the hill from Catherine Holleran’s house in New Milford, Pennsylvania is a small grove of maple trees.

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6:44am

Fri June 6, 2014
Politics

Valesky says Senate leadership coalition is successful in Albany

Dave Valesky is one of members in the state Senate's Independent Democratic Conference.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Democrats in New York state are vowing to take control of the Senate from the coalition leading it now, made up of Republicans and five breakaway Democrats.

Oneida’s Sen. Dave Valesky, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference, says he’s staying committed to the power sharing structure, even as some Democrats are calling on him to leave it.

Many members in the more progressive wing of the Democratic party, like Blue Carreker, campaign manager of Citizen Action of New York, wants Valesky to caucus with fellow Democrats.

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6:31am

Fri June 6, 2014
Health

New York working towards statewide health records system

Dr. Dan Mitchell, a psychologist at the North Country Children's Clinic in Watertown. (file photo)
Joanna Richards NCPR

Hospitals have been working for years to digitize patient medical records, but now New York state is expanding a system to centralize the record-keeping of multiple hospitals.

A patient’s medical history may be in the computer at their primary care doctor’s office. And their records may be digitized at the hospital they’ve been treated at, "however, many of those systems can’t easily or fluently communicate with one another," said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, who chairs the Weill Cornell Medical College’s healthcare policy program.

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6:23am

Fri June 6, 2014
Entertainment

Syracuse's Meachem Ice Rink gets a new ice mat, will reopen

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is joined by Sen. Dave Valesky and Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli to make the Meachem Ice Rink announcement.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There will be skating at the Meachem Ice Rink in Syracuse’s Valley neighborhood starting in October.

The rink closed earlier this year after a series of mechanical problems made it impossible to make ice. State Sen. Dave Valesky and Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli combined forces to get more than $450,000 from the state’s capital budget to pay for installation of an ice mat.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says it is the latest innovation in the ice rink world.

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5:34am

Fri June 6, 2014
Health

Cancer survivorship brings its own set of issues

While more Americans are being diagnosed with cancer now, more patients are being cured or living chronically with the disease. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. Patricia Ganz, an oncologist and co-founder of the national coalition for cancer survivorship. Dr. Ganz discusses the many health issues that cancer survivors face, and how the medical community is working to address them.

Lorraine Rapp: When we use the term survivor, who are we talking about? Who is included in that group?

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3:53pm

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics

As Primary Day approaches, Tenney continues calls for debate

MemphisCVB Flickr

There are less than three weeks to go until primary day, and Claudia Tenney, who is running for Congress in a Republican primary against 22nd Congressional District Republican Richard Hanna, continues to push for a debate with her opponent.

In Vestal and Clinton Wednesday afternoon, Tenney, who currently serves as a state assemblywoman, says she has challenged Hanna to several debates in recent weeks throughout the district, which stretches from the Mohawk Valley to Pulaski and from Binghamton to Utica.

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11:37am

Thu June 5, 2014
Health

Schumer wants to increase number of doctors nationwide

Sen. Charles Schumer. (File photo)
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer wants to increase the number of primary care physicians in the United States, particularly in rural areas like upstate New York.

Schumer says he is proposing a revised version of the "Resident Physician Shortage Act," which would increase the number of Medicare-supported physician residency slots by 15,000 over the next five years.

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7:17am

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Wait for a pistol permit in Onondaga County drops

The wait for a pistol permit in Onondaga County has steadily gotten better since a logjam was created in the wake of the passage of the NY SAFE Act.

A year ago, it took 15 months get an appointment with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department simply to apply for a pistol permit.  

"We’ve been able to reduce the wait from over 15 months to three months.  That’s a tremendous improvement,” said Deputy Chief John Balloni.

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7:13am

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Green Party candidate says his chances are improving

Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for governor, appears in Albany.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor, making a statewide tour, says there’s always been an alternative, left-leaning candidate for governor and he says his chances to win votes are now better than ever.

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6:52am

Thu June 5, 2014
Health

New bill honors Vietnam vet that died from Agent Orange exposure

Alice Hackett, left, with Rep. Dan Maffei discussing Hackett's late husband, Larry, who died of a cancer likely caused by exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) has introduced a new bill to compensate Vietnam War veterans sickened by the chemical Agent Orange he says is more comprehensive than previous efforts.

Maffei's bill is named by Larry Hackett, who died in 2006, more than three decades after his service in the army.

Hackett was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in 1968-69. He died from a cancer likely caused by the exposure, at the age of 58. 

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5:30am

Thu June 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo says he's proud of lack of partisanship in Albany

Wallyg via Flickr

In the aftermath of a political endorsement that has shaken up the Capitol, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to change the subject with two economic development appearances.

Cuomo has promised the Working Families Party that he would fight to take the Senate away from a coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats, and give it to the mainstream Democrats. In a video he sent to the party’s convention, he condemned the state’s GOP.

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4:22pm

Wed June 4, 2014
Politics

Doheny says attack ad launched againgst him crosses a line

The primary race between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik to represent the North Country's 21st Congressional District continues to draw national attention. On Tuesday, GOP Super PAC American Crossroads joined the fray by running a television ad against Doheny in Albany, Watertown and Plattsburgh, which attacks the Watertown businessman's political and personal record.

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