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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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6:44am

Thu February 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Army officers anxious as they await word of cuts

A soldier trains at Fort Drum
Joanna Richards

In any company town, when the major employer is planning layoffs, people get worried. How will they earn a living if they lose their job? How will they remake their identity?

This is the picture for many Army officers stationed at Fort Drum. By early summer, some will find out they have to go.

It’s part of an overall downsizing of the military as the war in Afghanistan winds down. Evaluations this spring will determine whether some officers can stay in the service.

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3:07pm

Wed February 19, 2014
Politics

Doheny will be on the ballot again for the 21st District

Matt Doheny waving to onlookers at a local parade during one of his previous runs for Congress.
Credit Doheny4Congress.com

Matt Doheny is again adding his name to the 2014 ballot for northern New York's 21st Congressional District. Doheny, the owner of a private investment firm in Watertown, ran for the seat in 2010 and 2012, but lost both races to Democrat Bill Owens. Owens announced last month that he will retire after his term ends at the end of this year.

Doheny announced his candidacy less than two weeks after the district's 12 county Republican chairs endorsed Elise Stefanik as their candidate. Stefanik worked for former President George W. Bush and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan.

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12:47pm

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Jefferson County employer Hi-Lite to create new jobs with USDA loan

Hi-Lite Airfield Services began as a highway-striping company in 1989, according to its website.
Hi-Lite

A Jefferson County company is planning to expand with the help of a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Hi-Lite Airfield Services, in Adams Center, plans to create between eight and 10 new jobs, according to a news release from Rep. Bill Owens’s (D-Plattsburgh) office. The company also plans to buy new equipment with the $7.1 million loan from the USDA’s Rural Development program.

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8:32am

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Maffei hosts rural broadband symposium promoting high-speed Internet access

Doc Searls Flickr

Rural broadband experts, elected officials and school representatives were in Red Creek Tuesday evening as part of a broadband symposium hosted by Syracuse-area Congressman Dan Maffei.

Maffei, who has been a supporter of using technology to boost the impact of healthcare and education in the region, says by increasing access to high-speed Internet, it allows for a stronger middle class and could be critical to strengthening the upstate economy and promoting educational opportunities.

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8:19am

Wed February 19, 2014
Energy

Potential flood risk causes citation at upstate nuclear plant

United States Government Work

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued a citation to the owners of the Ginna nuclear power plant in upstate New York. Preliminary inspection findings released Tuesday cited the plant for failure to address a long-standing flood risk. The issue is considered a low-to-moderate level safety concern.

It all comes down to an improperly sealed manhole at the plant, which could have allowed flood waters to breach the rooms housing emergency batteries.

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8:03am

Wed February 19, 2014
Environment

More fracking pro and con as the battle rages on

Capital District Against Fracking

The future of hydraulic fracturing in New York has been in limbo since the Department of Environmental Conservation began a review of the practice in 2008. Now, six public hearings are being held across New York to receive public comment on the draft State Energy Plan, with one of them in Albany.  Environmental groups were at the Capitol Tuesday calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to put renewable energy ahead of fossil fuels in his effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

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7:20am

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Water mains and transportation focus of infrastructure forum

Greg Lancette of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267 union speaks with Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) at an infrastructure forum Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Central New York's underground infrastructure - namely, water mains - was a big focus of a discussion about the region's infrastructure hosted by Rep. Dan Maffei Tuesday.

Maffei, a Democrat from Syracuse, gathered elected officials, engineers and administrators at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse to discuss infrastructure. One main message was that upgrades and maintenance of the region's plumbing and water pipes has been an often ignored or delayed investment.

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2:25pm

Tue February 18, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district requests more state aid

Jon Lim Flickr

As the Syracuse City School District goes into its budget process, it’s looking at a $24 million spending gap, a revenue problem stemming from years of stagnant state aid in the face of rising educational costs.

The District’s Chief Financial Officer, Suzanne Slack, decided to name this year’s budget report after a weather event. She saw a news story about frigid temperatures this winter caused by the Polar Vortex.

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8:16am

Tue February 18, 2014
Agriculture

New Farm Bill makes transition to organic dairy farming easier

publicenergy Flickr

For farmers in upstate New York, going organic isn’t easy. But one farmer who’s made the switch is happy that the new Farm Bill will make it easier to transition from traditional to organic farming in the future.

Ben Simons has been a dairy farmer in Remsen for two decades. Two years ago, he decided to convert his operation over to an organic dairy.

"Because I did not want to expand my dairy anymore," Simons says. "It was very difficult to stay a small family farm and compete with conventional milk.”

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7:44am

Tue February 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

DEC proposal to kill invasive swans drawing protests

A mute swan.
Credit DEC website

Most people think swans are beautiful. But the agreement seems to end there, when it comes to a new state plan to manage them. A proposal by the Department of Environmental Conservation to kill invasive mute swans isn’t flying with some animal lovers. 

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7:36am

Tue February 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

Changes coming to make West Street more pedestrian friendly

West Street in Syracuse is six lanes wide in some parts and difficult to cross on foot.
dougtone via Flickr

Changes are coming to Syracuse’s West Street artery to make the roadway more pedestrian friendly and less of a barrier for the Near Westside neighborhood.

West Street was built in the middle of the last century, as Interstate 81 was paving through the city, as a way to move cars more easily. It’s six lanes wide and not pedestrian friendly, but many west side residents have to cross the street to get downtown or to the grocery store.

The Near Westside Initiative, a community advocacy group has been working with the state transportation department on a redesign.

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4:53pm

Mon February 17, 2014
Environment

New York landowners file lawsuit against Cuomo over fracking delay

A fracking rally in Albany at the Capitol.
eranderson428 Flickr

Two weeks ago, the landowners coalition sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo demanding the release of the environmental impact study on hydrofracking, known as the SGEIS . The deadline was Thursday, February 13 and Scott Kurkoski, a lawyer for the coalition, filed the promised lawsuit the following day.

“Is he in favor of this or not? Because the rest of the nation is moving forward in a way that is providing energy independence," Kurkoski said. "Is New York a threat to that process?”

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4:35pm

Mon February 17, 2014
Science

Meteorology professors, students track weather patterns

Jake Mulholland OWLeS

While most of those living along the eastern shore of Lake Ontario and the Tug Hill Plateau have been cursing this winter and its seemingly constant snowfall, a group of researchers from 11 colleges, including SUNY Oswego, couldn't have been happier with the situation.

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