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3:18pm

Tue February 25, 2014
Politics

Hanna prepares for primary day challengers

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna recently made the announcement that he will be running for a third term in Congress. But the Republican, who represents the 22nd Congressional District, covering all or part of eight counties stretching from Utica to Binghamton, will have at least two primary opponents to deal with before November's general election.

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10:40am

Tue February 25, 2014
Infrastructure

Syracuse patching twice as many water main breaks as normal

Crews work to repair a water main break on East Fayette Street in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Water department crews have spent a lot more time this winter digging into frozen ground, shoveling asphalt and sifting through mud to find holes in Syracuse’s plumbing as an unusually high number of water main breaks is putting a strain on city resources.

Since the beginning of the year, the city’s century-old water system has sprung more than a hundred leaks. That’s more than two a day that city works crews have had to patch and twice the number the city normally deals with.

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8:22am

Tue February 25, 2014
Regional Coverage

School delays for Tuesday

Jason Kuffer Flickr

Lake effect snow is causing several area schools to issue delays, closings and cancelations. This list has been updated as of 2:30 p.m.

Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Schools: No after school activities

Cato-Meridian Central: Closed

Hannibal Central: No after school/evening activities

Mexico Central: No after school/evening activities

North Rose-Wolcott Central: Closed

Oswego City Schools: No after school/evening activities

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7:47am

Tue February 25, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo's estate tax cut plan draws mixed reviews

EJ McMahon, President of the Empire Center.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to cut the estate tax is drawing praise from fiscally conservative groups and condemnation from advocates for the poor.

The governor's proposal would raise the threshold for New York’s estate tax from the current $1 million to $5.25 million, which is the current federal rate of taxation. EJ McMahon, with the fiscally conservative think tank The Empire Center calls the levy a death tax. He says it’s about time New York got in synch with the rest of the country, where many states have already eliminated the tax altogether.

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7:25am

Tue February 25, 2014
Education

Upstate schools call for more funding, end of the Gap Elimination Adjustment

Katie Keier Flickr

The funding crisis facing public education will be on display during forums held in the coming weeks across central New York. Lobbyists are hopeful that public support for school funding can have an impact on the state budget process in Albany.

Charles Borgongoni has been the head of the Central New York School Boards Association for three years. He says the fiscal troubles for schools just keep getting worse, with not much help in sight from the state.

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3:43pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Government

Schneiderman proposes more efforts to reduce vacant properties

Jinjian Liang via Flickr

  New York's attorney general wants to reduce the number of vacant properties in the state's cities by creating more land banks and a registry to track foreclosed on homes.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has proposed legislation that will double the number of land banks in the state to 20. The first ten land banks, including one in Syracuse, began working over the past two years. Their mission is to seize vacant and severely tax delinquent properties and put them back on the tax rolls.

Vacant properties are a drain on municipalities to maintain, Schneiderman said.

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1:35pm

Mon February 24, 2014
Politics

Donald Trump coming to Syracuse for GOP fundraiser

Donald Trump, a real estate mogul and reality TV star, will appear at a Republican Party event in Syracuse next month.
Gage Skidmore via Flickr

  Real estate developer, television personality and possible gubernatorial candidate Donald Trump will be in Syracuse next month as part of a fundraiser hosted by the Onondaga County Republican Committee.

Committee Chairman Tom Dadey says he hopes Trump's visit will provide a boost to local candidates, while raising money for local candidates and party operations.

"This is not Donald Trump coming to raise money for Donald Trump," Dadey said. "This is Donald Trump coming to raise money for the local Onondaga County Republican Committee, and we appreciate him doing that."

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10:00am

Mon February 24, 2014
Education

Could N.Y.'s new homeland security college land in Syracuse?

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse)
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO

New York state plans to create the nation’s first college dedicated to homeland security and emergency preparedness, which backers say is a necessary measure given the major storms and terrorist threats the state has dealt with.

And there are efforts to headquarter that new college in Syracuse.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican from Syracuse, says the idea to create a homeland security and emergency preparedness college came from him and the state Senate, which he pitched to the governor.

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8:21am

Mon February 24, 2014
Health

Excellus health insurance launches new community campaign

Credit Excellus

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (BCBS) is launching a new campaign to remind people of the importance of taking prescription medications as directed. In many hospitals, it’s called medication adherence, and it’s an issue that’s becoming a hot topic in the health world today.

BCBS Regional President Arthur Vercillo says statistics show 75 percent of patients don’t take their prescriptions as directed.

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8:05am

Mon February 24, 2014
Environment

University at Buffalo to tackle global environmental issues

University at Buffalo geology professor Jason Briner conducting climate change research in Canada.
Jason Briner

A new institute designed to tackle complex environmental issues across the globe has been launched in upstate New York. This month, the University at Buffalo announced the launch of the RENEW (Research and Education in Energy, Environment, and Water) program.

Alexander Cartwright, vice president of research and economic development at the university, says an emphasis has been placed on assembling an interdisciplinary and unbiased team to tackle controversial issues.

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7:59am

Mon February 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County mother takes head shop owner to court

An Oswego County mother is taking a local head shop to court following her son's death after smoking synthetic marijuana he allegedly bought from the store.

Teresa Woolson, whose 19-year-old son, Victor, drowned in Lake Ontario after smoking a form of synthetic marijuana, wants the shop's owner, the drug manufacturer and the distributor held accountable.

In August 2012, Victor Woolson drowned in the lake soon after smoking "K-2 Avalanche," a form of synthetic marijuana he apparently bought from Xtreme Underground.

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7:21am

Mon February 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

School delays for Monday

ecksunderscore Flickr

Heavy lake effect snow across parts of Oswego County is causing several schools to delay opening this morning. This post will be updated as more information comes in.

Adirondack Central: 2 hour delay; no a.m. BOCES

APW Central: Closed

Camden Central: Closed

Central Square Central: Closed

Fulton City Schools: Closed

Hannibal Central: Closed

Mexico Central Schools: Closed

Oswego City Schools: Closed

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7:01pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Health

Obsessive habits, bizarre thoughts could be OCD symptoms

invisiblemonsters Flickr

Do you know someone who avoids touching door knobs or repeatedly checks to see if the stove is off? Maybe they adjust desk top objects until they are perfectly aligned. This may not be just fussy behavior. Repetitive acts like these could be a result of OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder.

This week on Take Care, Dr. Robin Zasio, talks about obsessive compulsive disorder. Zasio is a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders at The Anxiety Treatment Center in California. She has been featured on the A&E television series “Hoarders” and is the author of "The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life."

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Dr. Robin Zasio.

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7:00pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Health

Growing plants from seed ensures getting what you paid for

stevendepolo flickr

With vegetables readily available at any grocery store, one may forget that growing them at home is even an option. While growing plants from seed takes more time and effort than just buying them, one expert believes that not only is it worth it, but it’s actually easier to do than people may think.

This week on Take Care, Amy Jeanroy talks about the basics of growing plants from seed. Jeanroy, an expert herb gardener and contributor to About.com, has written many books on the subject, including Canning and Preserving for Dummies, 2nd edition.

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

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4:47pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Politics and Government

Larry Wilmore on The Campbell Conversations

Writer and satirist Larry Wilmore, left, speaking with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

February is Black History Month, but in this edition of the Campbell Conversations, humorist Larry Wilmore explains why he’d rather African-Americans got casinos instead of the celebration—which is also the title of his recent book.  The writer and performer also discusses his experiences as the “senior black correspondent” for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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4:04pm

Fri February 21, 2014
Sports

Special Olympics get underway in Syracuse this weekend

Almost 700 athletes will file into the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse this evening to kick-off this year’s New York Special Olympic Games.

The OnCenter will also host floor hockey competition. Alpine skiing will be at Greek Peak. And there are snowshoeing and cross-country ski races too.

Stacey Eder, the volunteer coordinator for the Special Olympics, says having their annual event coincide with the Winter Olympics in Russia will add to the excitement.

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2:53pm

Fri February 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Novelis workers decide whether or not to unionize

Novelis recently commissioned two new production lines at its Oswego plant in October.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

UpdateAccording to published reports, the vote to unionize failed by a total of 14 votes. 

Earlier coverage:

Employees of Novelis Aluminum in Oswego are voting today to determine whether or not 600 employees at the plant will unionize.

James Ridgeway, an international union representative for the United Steelworkers Union, says workers from Novelis contacted him in mid-December to begin the unionization process, citing several changes that have occurred since Novelis purchased the plant.

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11:33am

Fri February 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Veteran journalist and SUNY Oswego professor Garrick Utley dies

Garrick Utley
Credit provided photo

Garrick Utley, a veteran journalist and later a professor at SUNY Oswego and WRVO contributor, has died at the age of 74.

He had been battling cancer, according to NBC News.

Utley spent much of last year producing a documentary for WRVO Public Media, New York in the World, which followed the rise and fall of New York's economy over the last century. 

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11:08am

Fri February 21, 2014
Agriculture

Cold weather could mean fewer bees to pollinate fruit come spring

Mike Martino, owner of Honey Hill Orchards in Chittenango, N.Y. talks with U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

This winter’s cold temperatures are creating tough survival conditions for honeybees. Come spring, the bees will be relied on to pollinate upstate New York apple, cherry, and other fruit trees.

Mike Martino began the winter with a hundred bee colonies on his Honey Hill apple orchard in Chittenango. He estimates he’ll lose about 30 colonies by spring time. He’s hoping the prolonged frigid temperatures of the past few months don’t kill off more.

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9:20am

Fri February 21, 2014
Health

Obsessive compulsive disorder manifests in variety of symptoms

zen Sutherland Flickr

Obsessive compulsive disorder is the most common anxiety disorder. At least five million Americans suffer from this disorder, which gives people obsessive thoughts. This week on WRVO's health and wellness show "Take Care," hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen, speak with Dr. Robin Zasio, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety disorders. Zasio discusses obsessive compulsive disorder, and how its symptoms can affect daily life.

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8:49am

Fri February 21, 2014
Education

Cuomo's prison education program draws criticism from Republicans

Meesh Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his plan to pay for college classes for prison inmates, saying it will cut down the number of convicts sent back to prison.

Cuomo has proposed expanding a program that currently offers privately funded college courses in some state prisons. The program would offer associate's and bachelor's degree education at 10 prisons, which Cuomo says will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime.

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8:28am

Fri February 21, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Remington expansion plans causes concern in Mohawk Valley

An outside view of Remington Arms, located in Ilion, NY.
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

When Remington Arms announced that it was going to build a new manufacturing and development facility in Alabama, people in central New York's Mohawk Valley became concerned their jobs were on the line.

Even though none of the plant's 1,300 employees are expected to lose their jobs, lawmakers say more can be done to support the firearm manufacturer's operations in the village of Ilion.

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7:10am

Fri February 21, 2014
Science

Syracuse University Professor to research children with autism

A Syracuse University professor is beginning a study of the sensory issues many children with autism face.  More than 70 percent of autistic children have sensory issues, like extreme sensitivity to sound or light. 

Natalie Russo, of Syracuse University’s psychology department, says there isn’t much research on the issue and she’s hoping a study funded with a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will find out how these issues fit in with a disorder that affects 1 out of every 88 children.

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7:05am

Fri February 21, 2014
Politics and Government

Green party voters may get primary race in 21st

It's been just about a week since the Democratic Party announced documentary filmmaker Aaron Woolf as its candidate for the 21st District congressional seat Bill Owens currently holds, but Woolf has yet to make a public appearance or return emails since then. A brief statement last week said an official campaign announcement would be made "in the coming days."

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2:39pm

Thu February 20, 2014
Health

Cathedral Square residents want neighborhood to be smoke free

Sudipto Sarkar Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council’s new health committee used its first meeting to discuss a smoking ban in the city’s Cathedral Square neighborhood.

The Cathedral Square Neighborhood Association has been looking to push out smoking for about three years. Now it sees a possible way to do that with the council’s newly formed health committee. The neighborhood includes the blocks surrounding Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse.

There are a lot of questions left to be answered, like legality of such a ban and enforcement of it, said councilor Khalid Bey.

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10:45am

Thu February 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

State of the Re:Union, a Black History Month special

stateofthereunion.com

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those narratives are for us to collectively remember, many others get lost in trumpeting the same heroic tales. This week, State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments.

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8:36am

Thu February 20, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Labor secretary highlights high-tech manufacturing in visit

U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, left, tours the Syracuse Center of Excellence with CoE director Ed Bogucz and NuClimate's John DiMillo.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The United States Labor Secretary visited central New York Wednesday to announce a new workforce training grant program and to put a focus on advanced manufacturing.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez went to the Fulton Companies in Pulaski and then on to the Center of Excellence in Syracuse. Perez, a Buffalo native, was promoting a $150 million workforce training program targeting the long-term unemployed.

"If we reduce that long term unemployment rate to the rates that it’s usually at after recessions, we could bring our unemployment rate down to the low fives," he said.

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7:54am

Thu February 20, 2014
Politics and Government

GOP in 24th Congressional District prepares to endorse candidate for November election

With Election Day only about eight months away, the Fulton Republican Committee has thrown its support behind John Katko, a 51-year-old retired federal prosecutor who plans to run against Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei to represent central New York in Congress.

The 24th District covers all of Onondaga, Wayne and Cayuga Counties, along with the western portion of Oswego County. So far, the race has already drawn support from ten candidates, who all believe they can win the seat.

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7:25am

Thu February 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Ice jams pose threats as weather warms up

tonydude919 Flickr

Most of central and northern New York will see a break from the bitterly cold temperatures that have gripped the region for weeks. But with those warmer temperatures comes the possibility of ice jams and flooding.

Ice jams affected parts of the region last month, closing down portions of I-81 and making travel dangerous and difficult. That could happen again later this week, as temperatures are expected to rise.

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6:58am

Thu February 20, 2014
Politics and Government

Syracuse sidewalk shoveling fine may not be dead

A fine for not shoveling sidewalks after big snowstorms for Syracuse residents may not be dead, despite being handily defeated in the Common Council a few weeks ago.

When councilor Bob Dougherty proposed fining residents $100 for not clearing walkways after snowfall, he found little support. Only fellow councilor Khalid Bey voted for the law with Dougherty.

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