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.
The only statewide race in the upcoming June 26 federal primary in New York state, is the contest to see who will take on U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the November election. But even the state's top republican doesn't offer any clues who's going to win.
Veterans returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and their families will get a special welcome home this week at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. The idea is to show these vets that the community appreciates their sacrifices.
The Roman Catholic Church continues it's opposition to the Affordable Care Act clause that requires employers to pay for birth control, a practice the church opposes. But the fight has gone beyond the confines of the Catholic Church.
The budget for fixing New York State roads and bridges has almost doubled this year, thanks to the transportation portion of the New York Works program. The $1.2 billion program will repair roads and bridges, but it is also intended to function as a jobs and economic development engine.
It is the end of any collaboration between the City of Syracuse and the Pyramid Companies on the expansion of the Carousel Center Mall. But the notice this week that Pyramid is calling the current work at the mall the final phase of the Destiny project may not tell the entire story.
Destiny spokesman David Aitken says this move doesn't rule out more Destiny deals in the future.
"Are we hopeful for additional development down the road? The answer's yes. But we are going to take it one day at a time,"says Aitken.
The expansion of Carousel Center in Syracuse could be at an end, at least for now. The developer of the mall complex that will soon be known as Destiny USA, is now calling this the final phase of the development.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city development agency found out yesterday that the developer was exercising a clause in an earlier agreement that would allow them to make this move.
President Barack Obama has proclaimed that STEM education is a national priority. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
New York state is looking at ways to improve the STEM education the state's children receive. This kind of education has become more important in recent years, because that's where the jobs are. However, recent statistics show U.S. achievement in these skills lags behind much of Europe and Asia.
It's graduation season in Central New York. But it's not just high schools and universities turning out graduates. It's also commencement time for some four-legged students.
Nine dogs, mostly German Shepherds, are now ready to hit the streets to help police catch criminals. The teams come from as far as from Niagara County in the west to Columbia County in the east, to take part in the police dog training program run by the Syracuse Police Department.
The dogs and handlers graduated during a ceremony at Syracuse's Inner Harbor last week.
Becoming co-chair of the Democratic Party in New York state will allow Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner to do more of what she already does. Miner is expected to be elected co-chair of the party when members meet this week.
With a little more than a month to go before the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, recent polls show the three candidates vying for a chance to face Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the general election aren't well known, especially upstate.
One of those candidates is trying to change that.
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is well known on Long Island; Congressman Bob Turner has a natural base in New York City; that leaves attorney Wendy Long with the rest of the state.
Utica area lawmakers, activists and residents are trying to save the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center. The community is galvanizing its support of the facility, which has been in the area for over a century.
A mobile command center for the state's Department of Financial Services is rolling across New York state looking to help people who may be having trouble paying their mortgage. It brings foreclosure prevention specialists to urban areas that need them.
The gowns may be blue, and Syracuse University's color may be orange, but commencement at the Carrier Dome this weekend will definitely have a green feel to it. Commencement gowns are the latest environmental initiative on graduation day.
Urban schools in New York state face a special challenge. These schools need more funding to teach larger numbers of children, many of whom need special services because of poverty. At the same time, they find themselves dependent on local governments that are also going through tough budget times.
Onondaga Community College continues to turn over information regarding the SRC Arena, and three other not-for-profit entities, to county lawmakers who requested it last week. The flap over this financial information and its availability to the public is the result of a new world of public/private partnerships.