Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives his budget address next Wednesday, the state will begin the year with a $5 billion surplus -- a big change after years of budget deficits.

When Cuomo first came into office, the state was facing a $10 billion budget gap. Now, in 2015, the state has a $5 billion surplus, the largest since the 1940s.  The money is a one time windfall from various bank settlements over charges of improprieties during the financial crisis.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Another drone resistance trial is taking place in DeWitt Town Court. The latest protester to go to trial participated in a staged die-in outside the front gate of Hancock Air Base last spring and wants to defend herself by telling the tales of the effect of drone warfare on everyday people.

Bonny Mahoney and the group Code Pink visited Pakistan in 2012 to express their opposition to the U.S. drone strikes in that country. Mahoney says she will tell jurors in her trial about the fear that she felt among the people of that country.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Going in to 2015, there is more confidence in central New York’s economy to be found in an annual business survey.

Last year, there was only limited optimism among economists and business leaders for economic growth in the region. But CenterState CEO president Rob Simpson says he has much more confidence for 2015.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to invest $1.5 billion to help the struggling upstate economy, but there’s a catch -- regions will have to compete for the money.

Cuomo says his budget plan will include an upstate revitalization fund, but it won’t be distributed to all of the state’s economically depressed regions. Instead, the seven regions will be competing for a share of the funds. The rules are: only three will receive grants of $500 million each.

“Why the competition?” Cuomo asked rhetorically. “Because I believe in competition.”

Corey Seeman / Flickr

Over the past several years, Sen. Charles Schumer has been able to secure federal money to help with upgrading facilities, including the improvement of rail lines and even dredging the Port of Oswego. He calls the upgrade of the port one of his "pet projects."

Schumer has been advocating modernizing the port for several years and says when all is said and done, he expects the job impact to be in the thousands.

Tuned to Yesterday

Jan 15, 2015

#1252, Mystery, Adventures of Sam Spade “Sam and Psyche” 8/2/46 CBS, Nick Carter, Master Detective “The Alphabet Club” 7/22/45 AFRS

Tuned To Yesterday features programs from radio's golden era. Drama, Comedy, Western, Sci-Fi and more. Produced by Mark Lavonier.

Syracuse University professor R. David Lankes joins us to speak about his treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma; more specifically, the type of patient he was striving to be.

His novel, "The Boring Patient," chronicles his time in the hospital.

"In the hospital, or during chemotherapy, I want to be the charming man who only requires a vitals check or a scheduled chemo dose," Lankes writes. "You don't wan to be interesting in most medical settings. Interesting means complications, and that is bad."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Upstate New York Poison Center saw a threefold increase in calls about synthetic drugs last year, as there was a resurgence in use of these chemicals.

Lee Livermore, a public education health coordinator, says these synthetic cannabinoids seem to have become a drug of choice for many abusters. There were a total of 290 calls about overdoses of these synthetic drugs last year to the poison center.

Patricia Murphy is an award-winning reporter at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle focusing on military affairs, veterans' issues and criminal justice. She began her career at WBUR Boston in 1994 and has worked at KUOW since 2000.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York’s new Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be the point person in the Cuomo administration when it comes to economic development upstate.

"Upstate continues to be one of the highest priorities of Governor Cuomo's administration. And when he selected me as an upstater, as someone who'd been educated here in Syracuse, I know this area, I represented seven upstate counties in Congress," Hochul said.

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