Ellen Abbott

Reporter, Syracuse, WRVO Public Media

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. 

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9:32am

Fri December 28, 2012
Health

Multi-sensory room gives children respite from hospital treatments

Multi-sensory room at Galisano Children's Hospital is a get-away for kids undergoing treatment
Galisano Children's Hospital

In the midst of treatments, tubes and needles, there's a place for patients at the Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse to go and find some peace.  A one-of-a-kind multi-sensory room takes kids away from the stress of a hospital setting.

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3:19pm

Thu December 27, 2012
Health care

Some hospitals worry as Affordable Care Act becomes reality

Some of the larger hospitals in New York state are worried about one aspect of the Affordable Care Act: academic medical centers are slated to lose millions of dollars in a particular kind of Medicaid payment over the next few years.

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11:06am

Thu December 27, 2012
Taxes

Tax season may bring changes and surprises next year

401(K) 2012 Flickr

There could be some surprises for taxpayers in 2013. Many of them may find themselves with a bigger tax bill next year.

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10:37am

Wed December 26, 2012
Politics and Government

DeFrancisco and Valesky on the Independent Democratic Conference

The new iteration of the New York state Senate will look different in 2013 with the new power sharing agreement in place between Republicans and breakaway Democrats, and two central New York lawmakers will be in the thick of it.

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9:34am

Sun December 23, 2012
Environment

What can, and can't, be recycled this holiday season

While cats may love tissue paper, recycling centers do not.
doviende via Flickr

Central New Yorkers make the most trash over the holiday season, which only makes recycling all the more important this time of year, says one of the region's recycling agencies.

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3:52pm

Fri December 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Vigils around central New York remember Newtown shooting

The name of each victim followed by a chime. That simple gesture was the cornerstone of a service of prayer, healing and hope at Temple Concord in Syracuse this morning.

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7:13am

Wed December 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County moves to sell Van Duyn nursing home

The Onondaga County Legislature met Tuesday to vote on the sale of the Van Duyn nursing home.
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Onondaga County lawmakers have taken the first steps to moving the 185 year old Van Duyn nursing home off county tax rolls.

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3:53pm

Tue December 18, 2012
Education

Students take anti-bullying message to the streets

Charles Gibbens, a 5th grader at Southside Academy in Syracuse, ties a ribbon on a fence as part of an anti-bullying program.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Students from the Southside Academy Charter School in Syracuse marched around the neighborhood this morning to make a statement that bullying won't be tolerated in their school.

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7:57am

Tue December 18, 2012
Politics

Maffei ready to deal with fiscal cliff if need be

Maffei (right), seen here earlier this year with former President Bill Clinton, says he's ready to handle the fiscal cliff.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

He won't be sworn in until January, but congressman-elect Dan Maffei is carefully watching the fiscal cliff negotiations in Washington.

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8:12am

Mon December 17, 2012
Regional Coverage

Salvation Army sees continued high need for annual giveaway

At the end of this week, the biggest Christmas giveaway in central New York takes place and the high numbers of families who signed up for the annual Christmas Bureau shows an economy that's still hurting.

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4:46pm

Fri December 14, 2012
Politics and Government

Gillibrand says she's optimistic fiscal cliff can be avoided

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is optimistic that the President Barack Obama and leadership of the House of Representatives will cut a deal to prevent the so-called "fiscal cliff."  New York's junior senator predicted there would be progress soon during a visit to Syracuse Friday.

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3:50am

Fri December 14, 2012
Arts

New central New York orchestra debuts

Conductor and arranger Sean O'Louglin will conduct the new central New York orchestra
Musical Associates of Central New York

Friday night a new symphony orchestra is unwrapped for central New York, as the orchestra that replaces the bankrupt Syracuse Symphony Orchestra takes the stage for its official debut.

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4:14pm

Wed December 12, 2012
Politics

Will new state Senate coalition be good for upstate NY?

Some supporters of the new state Senate coalition between Republicans and the Independent Democrat Caucus say it will keep upstate New York concerns on the table. Some area politicians believe that wasn't the case when Democrats had control of the New York state Senate in 2009 and 2010.

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6:20am

Mon December 10, 2012
Regional Coverage

More deer & cars colliding in Madison County

NorthPro40 Flickr

There's been a dramatic increase in the number of car deer collisions in Madison County this year, and authorities there are urging motorists to keep an eye out for the animals.

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4:50am

Fri December 7, 2012
Politics and Government

Can local governments save money by consolidating?

Assemblyman William Magnarelli holds hearing on government consolidation programs
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

New York state has a variety of programs intended to save taxpayer dollars by helping governments share services or eliminate certain government entities altogether. A New York state Assembly hearing in Syracuse this week tried to find out whether these programs work.

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4:14pm

Thu December 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

Group lists dangerous toys to avoid this holiday season

One of the items on NYPIRG's list of dangerous toys
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

With the holiday gift buying season fully underway, advocacy groups say there are toys on store shelves across New York state that are dangerous to young children. The New York Public Interest Research Group has come up with it's yearly list of treacherous toys for the season.

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9:14am

Thu December 6, 2012
Politics and Government

Miner says new Senate coalition could solve problems

The newly-created New York state Senate leadership coalition has further divided Democrats. Governor Andrew Cuomo has offered his conditional support, and at least one other party leader -- Democrat state party co-chairwoman Stephanie Miner -- agrees.

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4:08pm

Wed December 5, 2012
Politics and Government

Rolling rally calls for more spending for public education

Patty Farrington, an English teacher at Cicero-North Syracuse High School joins a busload of advocates asking for more state funding of public schools
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Albany received an earful from hundreds of students, parents educators and community members Wednesday about recent cuts in funding for education. The "Educate New York Now Express" has been rolling across the state, picking up supporters and support for their plea to lawmakers to reinvest in public education.

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5:07pm

Fri November 30, 2012
Health

World AIDS Day remembered, activists worry disease is often forgotten

Ellen Abbott WRVO

World AIDS Day was remembered in Syracuse this morning during a service of remembrance. Participants say they are worried that the disease, which has been around for over 30 years now, has become forgotten.

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9:13am

Fri November 30, 2012
Politics and Government

Activists protest Valesky office, asking him to stick with Democrats

Activists outside state Sen. Dave Valesky's office
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

While the balance of the New York State senate remains unclear, as votes continue to be counted in a pair of close Senate races, activists are calling on a breakaway political coalition to stick with the Democrats. A coalition of union and community groups believe some important issues depend on it.

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9:00am

Thu November 29, 2012
Arts

New Syracuse orchestra to debut in December

A new orchestra is rising out of the ashes of the old Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. The new group has announced it will make its official debut at a holiday concert December 14.

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4:16pm

Wed November 28, 2012
Education

OCC & St. John Fisher College start partnership

St. John Fisher College President Donald Bain & OCC Interim President Margaret O'Connell
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga Community College is joining forces with St. John Fisher College in Rochester to offer students a "two-plus-two" partnership agreement.  That means students spend their first two years at OCC, then transfer to Fisher to get their degree.

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9:55am

Tue November 27, 2012
Regional Coverage

Ambulance company starts fall prevention program for seniors

Gertrude Hoenig and WAVES coordinator Dan Taylor in Hoenig's home
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

An ambulance company in Onondaga County has started a program it hopes will help one of biggest causes of injury among the elderly.  The focus is on making senior's homes safe from falls.

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9:33am

Mon November 26, 2012
Regional Coverage

New Onondaga Lake visitor's center gives new view

Onondaga Lake visitor center
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

There's a new view of Onondaga Lake.  Honeywell has  opened a new Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, right next to the company's massive project that's dredging and capping two million cubic yards of contaminated lake soil. Honeywell hopes it can change perceptions of a lake, that for decades has been so dirty, people didn't want to go near it.

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5:59am

Fri November 23, 2012
Health

New Medicaid program aims to cut costs, improve care

New York state's attack on ballooning Medicaid costs has started with a program that offers coordinated care for certain Medicaid patients.  State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson says the program called Health Homes, is aimed at the people who have the most complex Medicaid charts.

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4:00pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Senator wants federal money for Syracuse development

Ellen Abbott WRVO

Senator Charles Schumer is hoping some federal dollars will help keep the Inner Harbor development project in Syracuse moving ahead.  He's personally requesting that the federal Economic Development Administration approve a $2 million grant for the project.

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5:05am

Wed November 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Number of people traveling up this Thanksgiving

pixelnaiad Flickr

The number of people traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday is up for the fourth straight year.  AAA says the economy and gas prices are two of the biggest factors affecting people's travel plans.

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6:07am

Mon November 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

Group studies Onondaga Lake use - past & future

borisvolodnikov Flickr

Before deciding what the Onondaga Lake shoreline should look like in the future, FOCUS, is looking  at what the community has wanted in the past. The community group that is creating  a roadmap for the future of the polluted lake's shore, has issued a preliminary report documenting 84 years of studies of the lake.

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4:14pm

Fri November 16, 2012
Health

Flu season starting early in upstate New York

Lance McCord Flickr

The flu is making an early appearance across upstate New York this fall, from the North Country through the Mohawk Valley. With the holiday season approaching, experts say it becomes more important than ever to take precautions.

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9:07am

Fri November 16, 2012
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County considers smoking ban in parks

Sudipto Sarkar Flickr

Onondaga County lawmakers are considering the possibility of a smoking ban in county parks and the perimeter of county facilities.  But an initial proposal from the county executive's office needs to be whittled down before lawmakers will agree to it.

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