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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4:41pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Politics and Government

Maffei calls for an end to free trade agreements

Democrat candidate for Congress Dan Maffei outside the former New Process Gear factory in East Syracuse with former plant workers.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Democratic Congressional candidate Dan Maffei used the almost-empty former New Process Gear factory in East Syracuse as a backdrop to call for policies that he says would bring more manufacturing jobs back to central New York.  Maffei says NAFTA-like trade agreements are one reason the sprawling complex that once employed hundreds of central New Yorkers is now idle.

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9:43am

Thu September 20, 2012
Environment

Project to protect old forests comes to Cortland

Biologist Joan Maloof looks for old trees in Lime Hollow Nature Center in Cortland, NY
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Tree lovers are uniting behind a plan by a biologist from Salisbury University in Maryland to preserve and encourage old growth Forests .  The goal, is to create a network of over two-thousand undisturbed, yet accessible, forests across the country.

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10:12am

Wed September 19, 2012
Regional Coverage

Training for those who help disabled abuse victims

The recent accusation against former Onondaga County Family Court Judge Brian Hedges, that he sexually molested his 5-year-old deaf niece 40 years ago,  has brought the issue of abuse against the disabled  into the open.

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9:55am

Tue September 18, 2012
Health

New cord blood bank to open in Syracuse

Ellen Abbott WRVO

Construction has started in Syracuse on the $15 million Upstate Cord Blood Bank.  It will be the second public cord blood bank in New York state. The blood drawn from umbilical cords after childbirth is used to treat children with dozens of diseases like cancer and sickle cell anemia.

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9:24am

Mon September 17, 2012
Politics and Government

Onondaga County proposes budget that dips into fund balance

Onondaga County lawmakers begin going over County Executive Joanie Mahoney's proposed budget with a fine tooth comb Monday.  The final result will most likely look different from $1.25 billion plan Mahoney proposed last week.

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6:06am

Fri September 14, 2012
Politics and Government

Counties face budget crunch in New York state

Fall means budget season in counties across New York State.  Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney makes her budget pitch to lawmakers Friday.  Many governments are facing the same pressures.

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3:51pm

Thu September 13, 2012
Politics and Government

New York counties want state to take more action against bath salts

County governments want New York state to take a tougher stand on bath salts.  The Association of Counties, meeting this week in Syracuse, is calling for a state law to criminalize the synthetic drug.

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6:56am

Thu September 13, 2012
Politics

State primary day brings confusion

It's a quiet primary day in Central New York this year.  There are only scattered elections across the area on the day that lets voters, registered in political parties, choose who will be on the November ballot.

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7:41am

Tue September 11, 2012
Politics and Government

Maffei promises to support federal spending on college loans

Democrat Dan Maffei is promising to try and help families struggling with the cost of college. The Congressional candidate says  a big part of that is keeping the grant and loan programs that help millions of students pay for an education.

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3:51pm

Mon September 10, 2012
Regional Coverage

Global literacy group to be based in Syracuse's Westside

A global non-profit organization that advances the cause of adult literacy has moved its headquarters to a part of Syracuse that needs it.

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8:44am

Mon September 10, 2012
Politics and Government

"Super control board" idea to help struggling municipalities still possible

New York State continues looking for ways to help local governments on the edge of fiscal collapse.  And, the idea of a "super control board" is still a possibility.

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8:00am

Sat September 8, 2012
Education

Technical education programs boost graduation rates in Syracuse high schools

The graduation rate in the Syracuse City School District continues to be one of the worst in the state, with less than half the students getting their diplomas after four years of school. Technical education programs may be a solution.

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9:56am

Fri September 7, 2012
Politics and Government

Buerkle fields complaints and questions at mobile office hours

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-Onondaga Hill) met with Syracuse residents to discuss the future of Medicare and Social Security.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Opponents of the Romney/Ryan budget plan took their complaints to the congressional mobile office hours of Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R-Onondaga Hill) on Syracuse's south side yesterday.

They're worried about potential cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

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9:06am

Fri September 7, 2012
Politics

Mayor Miner remarks continue to be criticized

Thomas Dadey questions Mayor Stephanie Miner's ability to juggle her two jobs.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Republicans continue to be angry with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner's comment at a Democrat rally last week where she called the GOP a "party of hatred."  Among those criticizing Miner's choice of words, New York State GOP party chair Ed Cox, and Republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle.  

Now, the head of the Republican party in Onondaga County is taking it one step further.

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4:04pm

Wed September 5, 2012
Education

NY school districts struggle to form new teacher evaluation plans

As the school year starts, many school districts across the state still need to grapple with the issue of a teacher evaluation system, especially if they want to continue to receive state aid. Only a small percentage of the state's schools have turned in an evaluation plan the state is happy with so far.

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9:22am

Wed September 5, 2012
Politics

Schumer speaks to DNC Wednesday

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer will be one of the featured speakers Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The senior senator from New York says the 2012 election offers voters a clear choice.

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9:44am

Mon September 3, 2012
Politics

New York's U.S. Senate race is contest of contrasts

The contest for the one U.S. Senate seat from New York that is up for grabs starts in full force after Labor Day. And, for the first time ever, two women are pitted against each other in a statewide race. A Republican political unknown faces the Democrat chosen to fill the shoes of Hillary Clinton when she became Secretary of State. The two candidates visited the New York State Fair last week, admitting their names may still be unknown to many New Yorkers.

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10:24am

Fri August 31, 2012
Regional Coverage

Some answers from ShoppingTown Mall owner

ShoppingTown Mall in Dewitt remains in a kind of limbo, after its former owner defaulted on a loan last year. Local government officials say they have been unable to reach the company that has taken possession of the property, to find out what it's plans are.  After getting U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on the case, there are now some answers.

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3:52pm

Thu August 30, 2012
Politics and Government

Buerkle on election gender gap and the GOP

The gender gap looms large in the upcoming election.  Depending on the polls you look at, women support Democrats over Republicans by 10 to 20 percent but that does not necessarily mean the GOP is abandoning the women's vote, especially in the hotly contested 24th Congressional district race.

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12:51pm

Thu August 30, 2012
Politics and Government

Syracuse "nuns on the bus" oppose Republican budget proposal

Members from various faith communities travel through Syracuse by school bus in solidarity with the Nuns on the Bus movement.
Ellen Abbot WRVO

The Republican federal budget proposal is being targeted by a Washington-based movement called Nuns on the Bus. Earlier this month, a group of nuns and others from local faith communities traveled around Syracuse in a school bus to spread their message in solidarity with the movement.

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10:27am

Wed August 29, 2012
Regional Coverage

Post-Standard publisher explains why it's cutting print editions

NS Newsflash Flickr

The digital world has finally caught up with Syracuse's daily newspaper.  The Post-Standard has announced it is cutting back the number of print editions it puts out every week.

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8:38am

Tue August 28, 2012
Regional Coverage

Agriculture still big business in New York state

Butter from Ronnybrook Farm in Ancramdale, New York.
Garrett Ziegler Flickr

Farms still drive New York state's economy, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller's office, which outlines just how important agriculture is to the state's economy.

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9:02am

Mon August 27, 2012
Regional Coverage

New CENTRO Transfer Center ready to open

On September 4, the face of downtown Syracuse will change, as the long awaited CENTRO Transfer Center will open.

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9:01am

Fri August 24, 2012
Regional Coverage

Anti-fracking protestors go wherever Cuomo goes

Ellen Abbott WRVO

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.

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2:45pm

Thu August 23, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cuomo opens state fair; faces anti-fracking protestors

Governor Andrew Cuomo attended the NY State Fair with his daughters and was trailed by anti-fracking protestors
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

As Governor Andrew Cuomo opened the New York State Fair in Syracuse today, every step he took on the fairgrounds was dogged by protesters opposed to hydrofracking.

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9:04am

Thu August 23, 2012
Education

Syracuse City School District adopts new strategic plan with lofty goals

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.

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4:24pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Regional Coverage

Maffei promotes high speed rail

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.
 

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10:03am

Wed August 22, 2012
Health

No aerial spraying in Onondaga County to fight West Nile

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.  

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4:10pm

Tue August 21, 2012
Health

Following death from West Nile, governments look to prevention

Local government and health officials met Tuesday at Beaver Lakes Nature Center in Baldwinsville to discuss West Nile prevention.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

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.

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10:01am

Tue August 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Will back to school bring more bath salts use?

Raquel Baranow Flickr

The abuse of the designer drug called "bath salts" came of age this summer, with violent episodes from abusers reported by police and medical professionals across central New York.

Some authorities are worried about what happens next, when universities and schools go back into session.

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