Ashley Hirtzel

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Western New York

Ashley is a Buffalo native, and is in her second stint as reporter at WBFO. During her first tenure at the station, Ashley covered a variety of issues in the western New York region and earned an Associated Press award for team coverage on “Same Sex Marriage in New York.” Ashley has also worked as an anchor/reporter at WBEN in Buffalo and WBTA in Batavia.

Ashley earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Communications at Medaille College in Buffalo.  

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10:15am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Proposed border crossing fee faces bipartisan opposition

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

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10:02am

Thu April 25, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Proposed border crossing fee faces bipartisan opposition

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

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3:50pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Agriculture

Farmers and foodies call for fracking ban

WBFO

A coalition of farmers and foodies are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York state right away. Groups across the state are expected to meet throughout the week to alert the public to the risks they believe fracking poses to the state’s agricultural viability.

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8:38am

Wed April 10, 2013
Energy

Report says state’s energy could be almost 100% renewable by 2030

Wind turbines in Wyoming County
WBFO file photo

A recent study outlines a scenario that would see New York state’s energy infrastructure based on close to 100 percent renewable sources by the year 2030.

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4:01pm

Thu April 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Training program aims to fill jobs in food processing sector

New food processing facilities are popping up across western New York, and they're generating demand for skilled workers to operate them.

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4:41pm

Tue March 26, 2013
Technology

New window coating allows sunlight but filters heat

Professor Sarbajit Banerjee holding the "Smart Window" coating sample.
Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

It’s a creation expected to reduce the cost of heating and cooling for homes and businesses. It took five years for University at Buffalo Professor Sarbajit Banerjee and his students to invent a window film that repels heat from the sun.

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9:04am

Fri March 22, 2013
Energy

Installations up, but solar can't deliver a renewable future alone

Solar Liberty crew installing solar panels
Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

In mid-2012, the NY-Sun initiative was launched to make solar power in the state more affordable. But much still needs to be done make solar technology truly competitive.

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8:30am

Sun March 17, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Advisory group looks to rejuvinate NY legacy cities

An advisory group looking at strategies for rejuvenating New York state's "legacy cities" says collaboration and coordination with the governor's Regional Economic Development Councils are crucial for upstate cities dealing with declining populations and job opportunities.

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6:02am

Sat March 9, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Loss of major movie in WNY may boost case for more film tax credits in NY

Actor Kevin Costner
KevinCostner.com

Western New York has missed out on being the setting for a major motion picture, but Republican state Senator Patrick Gallivan hopes the loss of the movie “Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner, will help push along a bill that would offer tax credits for films to be shot in New York state.

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8:02am

Sun March 3, 2013
The Upstate Economy

EPA provides advice on sustainable growth to WNY communites

The intersection of Broadway and Fillmore Avenue in Buffalo
Ashley Hassett / WBFO

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this month it will be providing technical assistance to three western New York communities. They were chosen out of 121 applicants and are three of 43 communities to be assisted across the country. The EPA will provide the aid by delivering workshops on developing sustainable growth strategies.

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4:02am

Sun February 24, 2013
Education

A timely technology voucher for low-income state schools

A large number of schools across the state will receive $87 million to be used for technology. The state Education Department announced that low-income public and charter schools will be receiving a voucher that can be used to purchase computer software, hardware and equipment needed for computer networks and technology infrastructure.

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3:38pm

Fri February 22, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo reacts to IDA backlash on sales tax proposal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in western New York
Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

During his visit to western New York on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted to the backlash by Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) against his executive budget proposal that would remove their powers to grant state sales tax exemptions.

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9:52am

Fri February 22, 2013
Technology

Researchers conduct first major earthquake simulation in New York state

An unreinforced masonry wall on the left, compared with a reinforced wall on the right.
Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

Researchers from the University at Buffalo conducted the state's first large-scale earthquake simulation on Tuesday to determine how prone unreinforced masonry walls are to quake damage.

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5:01am

Tue February 19, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Cuomo wants to shift some IDA powers to his regional councils

In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, the state’s Industrial Development Agencies, or IDAs, would no longer be able to grant state sales tax exemptions for economic development projects. Instead, that authority will go to Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils.

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4:41pm

Tue February 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Gillibrand introduces bill to boost high-tech manufacturing

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced a bill intended to boost high-tech manufacturing. The Democrat from New York visited the Harper International company outside Buffalo to discuss the Made in America Manufacturing Act, which is her first bill to go before the new Congress.

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Innovation Trail

Innovation Trail is a collaboration among six public media outlets - WRVO; WNED, Buffalo; WXXI, Rochester; WMHT, Albany/Schenectady; and WSKG, Binghamton, and NCPR, North Country Public Radio- covering issues affecting the Upstate New York economy.

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