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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9:56am

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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3:52pm

Mon August 20, 2012
Regional Coverage

Studying the political science of social media

KEXINO Flickr

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.

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9:49am

Mon August 20, 2012
Health

Area congresswoman focuses on autoimmune diseases

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.

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8:00am

Sat August 18, 2012
Business

NY state beer industry could see substantial growth

Saranac is brewed and bottled in Utica, NY.
Ardyiii Flickr

Beer is big business in New York state. The industry, which already has a major impact on the state's economy, expects to grow even further.

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4:25pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Regional Coverage

Thruway toll hike hearing draws a large, diverse crowd

The toll hike hearing drew a large crowd of diverse, concerned individuals.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A proposal to raise New York State Thruway tolls 45 percent for large trucks brought out dozens of people to a hearing in Syracuse Friday.

Some of those testifying suggested there will be political reprisals if the authority goes ahead with the increases, which would bring rates for large trucks in line with what passenger cars pay.

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9:59am

Fri August 17, 2012
Politics and Government

Task force investigates spending on infrastructure projects

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.

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4:12pm

Wed August 15, 2012
Regional Coverage

State road delay info is a phone call away

Some states, like Oregon, already use the 511 system to monitor road delays.
Oregon Department of Transportation Flickr

While summer is winding down, it is still is a very busy construction season in New York state. Transportation officials want drivers to be aware of any construction delays that could come their way.

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9:26am

Wed August 15, 2012
Education

State education reform commission gets an earful in Syracuse

gordasm Flickr

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.

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9:39am

Tue August 14, 2012
Regional Coverage

Green Party candidate says more bath salts laws are not the way to go

Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum speaking earlier this year in downtown Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

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.

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9:21am

Thu August 9, 2012
Politics and Government

Taxes debated in 24th Congressional district race

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.

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4:04pm

Wed August 8, 2012
Regional Coverage

Local officials welcome state regulations on bath salts

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.
 

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8:59am

Wed August 8, 2012
Regional Coverage

New state regulations on "bath salts" announced

Ellen Abbott WRVO

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.

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9:46am

Tue August 7, 2012
Regional Coverage

Buerkle wins veterans organization endorsement

Republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle is going into the November election with Onondaga County veterans on her side.  

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