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.
Whenever Governor Andrew Cuomo goes out in public these days, he seems to have a shadow. Hydrofracking foes want to keep the pressure on the governor as a decision about the controversial drilling method nears.
The Syracuse City School District now has a blue print for the next five years, that administrators hope will take it from being one of the poorest performing districts to one of the most improved urban school districts in America. The plan calls for changes across the board.
High speed rail has become a political issue across the country, including in upstate New York. Democratic Congressional hopeful Dan Maffei says the issue draws a distinction between him and his opponent in the race for the 24th Congressional district.
With the spread of West Nile Virus across the country, some communities have chosen to spray pesticides to kill the mosquitoes that carry the deadly virus. Despite the death of an elderly man in Syracuse from West Nile this week, Onondaga County officials have decided against that option.
In the shadow of the death of an elderly Syracuse man from West Nile Virus this week, local governments continue to try to get the word out about how to stay away from the disease that is carried by mosquitos.
Local government and health officials met Tuesday at Beaver Lakes Nature Center in Baldwinsville to discuss West Nile prevention. The summit was organized by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)
"We're certainly going to try to educate the public and reach out to tell people to protect themselves," said Town of Lysander engineer Al Yeager. The town is launching an education campaign on its village website.
Some graduate students at Syracuse University's Maxwell School will be tracking Twitter accounts and Facebook posts of presidential candidates as part of a new class on social media and politics this fall. The idea is to see how politicians capitalize on the world of social media.
Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) introduced legislation in Congress this week that puts the spotlight on autoimmune diseases. The Syracuse area congresswoman has a personal reason for wanting to boost awareness of these illnesses that range from multiple sclerosis to rheumatoid arthritis.
The New York Works Task Force is touring the state explaining how it's trying to better spend taxpayer dollars on infrastructure programs, and looking for suggestions on how to do it. The Task Force Stopped in Syracuse this week during a spate of infrastructure woes.
The state commission that is supposed to come up with answers to the problems in public education in New York is in the midst of a statewide fact-finding tour. They are getting an earful about how to improve schools, including when they came through central New York Tuesday.
Expanding pre-kindergarten and spreading resources evenly among schools around the state are some of the major suggestions.
While local governments, the state of New York, and the federal government continue to work to make the sale and possession of designer drugs like bath salts illegal, there's one politician who says this is the wrong way to deal with the crisis. The 24th congressional district Green Party candidate predicts the moves will all backfire.
The debate over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is very much an issue in the race for the 24th Congressional district. Democrat Dan Maffei is criticizing incumbent Ann Marie Buerkle's support for keeping the tax cuts in place for everyone.
The New York State Department of Health regulations outlawing bath salts in New York state come on the heels of several local laws banning the designer drug. The new regulations were announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, but there could be more laws coming down the road.
The war on bath salts in New York state has some new tools. Newly announced state Department of Health regulations mean tougher penalties and more local involvement in prosecuting those who sell or possess the substances.
Syracuse is the latest community in New York state that has banned bath salts and other synthetic drugs. Legislators are taking a two-pronged approach to fight the substances, that can cause violent and unpredictable behavior among abusers.
One New York state Senate seat that has been hotly contested in recent years in central New York, will not be this year. Republicans have not been able to come up with anyone to run against Democrat Dave Valesky in the 53rd Senate District.
Same sex marriage celebrates its first anniversary
It's been a year since gay marriage became legal in New York state. Since the initial rush the Syracuse City Clerk's office says it has seen a steady number of same sex licenses applications. Through Mid-July, that means 135 marriage licenses issued to gay and lesbian couples.
Audio from Ellen Abbott's story on the bath salts forum held in Syracuse.
The misuse of the synthetic drug known as "bath salts" continues to plague upstate New York. A community forum on bath salts last week aimed to unite the people who deal with the effects of the drug, and come away with a plan to fight it.