Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Syracuse police have cracked an almost 30-year-old murder case using a combination of high tech DNA and intensive police work. The arrest of a Georgia man who had long been a suspect in the investigation of the death of his estranged wife, is the latest success in the Syracuse Police Department’s cold case unit.
Authorities say Ronald Meadow will be arraigned on second-degree murder charges in Syracuse later this month, in connection with the death of his estranged wife, Colleen Meadow, who was found strangled to death in her northside apartment in March 1985.
Advocates for public education are calling for changes in education that will give every child in New York state access to high-quality public education. The message was made clear during a national Day of Action organized by unions, community groups and schools across the nation and New York yesterday.
Supporters of public education in central New York wore blue as part of the event, meant to reclaim the promise of public education. Among those asking for the state to make changes is Shelly Chizzonite, a counselor in the East Syracuse Minoa School District.
Roman Catholics all over the world are being asked to answer a questionnaire in order to help the church deal with what it calls a social and spiritual crisis that exists, especially in regard to marriage and the family. While some parts of the country are asking clergy to answer questions, the Syracuse Diocese wants the opinion of every day parishioners.
Farmers across New York state converged in central New York for the State Farm Bureau’s annual meeting this week. According to those at the meeting, the biggest problem these farmers face is too much paperwork.
Almost three dozen speakers fired questions at state Education Commissioner John King and other state officials in Fayetteville Tuesday, during the latest central New York forum on the new Common Core curriculum. Most of the complaints about the more rigorous curriculum have been heard before, but the bigger question now is if anything can be changed.
The debate over common core ranges from timing...
"Why were the assessments not phased in, in a more deliberate manner?"
New York state's Workers' Compensation Board has started a sweeping effort to examine the system, and look at how it could more effectively meet the needs of injured workers and employers. It's in the midst of holding sessions where injured workers can express their opinions.
The second of three sessions was held yesterday in Syracuse, and allowed injured workers to chime in on the discussion in central New York. Fidel, Alejandro Velacqueis Perez was among those telling stories.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday focus on spending for holiday gifts, a burgeoning movement is hoping to create that same kind of fervor when it comes to making charitable donations. Tomorrow has been dubbed Giving Tuesday in the world of non-profits.
Matt Seubert, Development Director of Enable and Transitional Living Services in Syracuse had never heard of Giving Tuesday when it started last year.
Shoppers hitting the stores on this Black Friday expect it to be crowded, since there will probably be more people than ever at central New York’s biggest shopping venue.
A year ago, the expansion to Destiny USA was still in its early stages, with storefronts not yet filled. This year, there are 80 or so more stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues than there were a year ago, according to Mall Manager Rob Schoeneck. That’s already meant more shoppers than in the past.
The commission that’s been delving into public corruption in New York state will release a preliminary report to Gov. Andrew Cuomo this weekend. The Moreland Commission, appointed by Cuomo, has held several hearings on the issue, and has been investigating the connection between private money and public officials, with an eye towards making policy proposals. One high ranking New York state senator has concerns though whether the commission’s work will be tangled in a question of separation of powers.
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer is throwing his weight behind a Syracuse hospital's plan that could ultimately save taxpayers $1 million. Saint Joseph’s Hospital is trying to get a federal grant that will help pay for a system meant to streamline care for Medicare patients.
Probably the most interesting part of the plan is the ability for hospital staff to tele-monitor a patient who’s at home, says Schumer.
Today is the busiest travel day of the year, with an estimated 43.4 million travelers heading home for the holidays. But some Thanksgiving travelers are getting a bit of a break this year by spending less cash to fill their gas tanks on the way to their holiday destinations.
“It’s the lowest Thanksgiving gas price we’ve seen since 2010," says central New York AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.
Dibble says motorists will be paying an average of $3.49 in central New York, $3.56 statewide, and $3.21 for a gallon of gas nationally. That’s down 29 cents from last year in Syracuse.
The Food and Drug Administration may soon get in on the fast growing e-cigarette industry. It’s considering labeling them as tobacco products, which would mean regulation over where they’re sold and how they’re made. That's good news for central New York smoking opponents, who say a lack of regulation is one of the big danger points of these electronic smoking devices.
Homeowners along an abandoned gas line across three central New York counties are getting advice about how to deal with gas companies who may come knocking.
The Millennium Pipeline Company is trying to get federal approval to build a 60-mile pipeline from the town of Onondaga down to the Binghamton area in order to connect several east-west natural gas pipelines. In order to do this, the pipeline company, which is an affiliate of National Grid among other energy companies, will need the help of homeowners.
The state Assembly Minority Education Forum in Baldwinsville on Monday night brought out parents and educators who are concerned about the controversial new Common Core educational standards enforced in New York state classrooms. This was the fifth of a series of hearings by the Assembly lawmakers about what has become a hotly debated topic.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but chances are you might not know that. Lung cancer just doesn’t get some of the same attention as other types of cancer, and that ultimately leads to more deaths.
Advocates for the disabled in central New York want to encourage more participation in inclusion sports.
Greg Cullen, founder of the group Move Along Inc., said the idea is that people with physical limitations and able-bodied people can play sports together.
"You really get confidence," Cullen said. "You then are willing to engage or approach other individuals, that typically, maybe before you had an awkwardness or a fear of doing. And these types of activities can increase that confidence, so these people can continue to engage."
For five years, central New Yorkers have been talking about what should be done with an interstate viaduct that is reaching the end of its lifespan. The discussion is now formal, with the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration holding the first scoping session in Syracuse, meant to gather community input on the issue.
There’s less than a month until the Dec. 7 deadline, when Medicare’s open enrollment period ends.
Blaine Longnecker, a sales consultant out of Syracuse’s Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield office, said seniors eligible for the federal health insurance program who are looking to change their plan shouldn't bide their time.
Syracuse Police have started a new policy that could help crack domestic violence cases, called the CODE, or Chronic Offender Domestic Enforcement, program.
Rebecca Thompson has answered countless domestic violence calls in her 27 years as a member of the Syracuse Police Department. Now as deputy chief of the uniformed bureau, she said she knows how it is a very personal crime, and sometimes, victims don't want to testify against a loved one, which can make it harder for prosecutors to make a case.
There may be problems in other states for people signing up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, but things are moving smoothly in New York state, according to one organization in the midst of it. ACR Health in Syracuse says it has nothing but success stories.
Now that Election Day 2013 is history, political types begin looking to next year's races. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei is already campaigning, although not necessarily with his own race in mind.
As he watched winners parade up to the podium at Onondaga County Democratic Party headquarters on election night, Maffei says he was thinking less about an expected race for reelection next year, and more about last year, when he upended an incumbent tea party Republican to retake a seat he had initially won in 2008.
Syracuse and Onondaga County's local political landscape remains pretty much intact after yesterday's election. Republicans rule the suburbs and County government; while democrats maintain a stranglehold over Syracuse city hall. Mayor Stephanie Miner won re-election easily with 68 percent of the vote against two third-party challengers, and got a surprise congratulations call from Washington.
The Green Party candidate running for mayor of Syracuse says the that office needs more tools to deal with a homicide crisis in the city. Kevin Bott says if he is elected, he would fully embrace the concept of community policing to get at the root of this year's rash of killings across the city.
A recent domestic violence death in central New York hung over this year's Vera House Annual Report to the community this week. The deaths this week of a Liverpool woman and her friend, allegedly at the hand of her estranged husband, was on the mind of survivors of domestic violence and those who work with victims of domestic violence.
Buying a haunted house isn't for everyone, but for the couple who bought the supposedly haunted Farnam Mansion in Oneida three years ago, they've found a comfortable life sharing their home with what they call spirits.
The Farnam Mansion on Main Street in Oneida has all the makings of a haunted house; creaky stairs, lots of small, dark rooms, a cellar complete with a former lab.
The brick Victorian Italianate home built more than 150 years ago is currently owned by Gerri and Brian Gray.