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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3:51pm

Thu March 29, 2012
Health

Flu season peaks behind schedule

Flu season is peaking this week in Onondaga county, a month behind schedule. This year's flu bug is a particularly mild one. According to federal figures, this year reports the fewest cases since the 80s.

"I think that we're peaking now, which is a late peak, but our numbers were still going up as of last week... but very, very low numbers, not anything I'm concerned about," Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Cynthia Morrow said. "But it is not over yet."

Morrow tracks flu numbers every year. She says that the mild winter could have something to do with lower numbers.

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10:53am

Tue March 6, 2012
Education

Power of SUNY on display in Syracuse

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher speaks at the Power of SUNY regional showcase in Syracuse Monday
Fred Vigeant WRVO

Innovative programs from eight Central New York SUNY Schools were on display in Syracuse Monday.  It was part of the "Power of SUNY Regional Showcase", that let schools from across the area share projects.

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8:02am

Tue February 21, 2012
Regional Coverage

Fayetteville's high tech Fab Lab

Fayetteville Library's Makerbot
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Back in the 1950s, the height of technology in libraries was explained in this piece produced by the Brooklyn Public Library,  "Another eye opener was the central registration department. here they have the most modern equipment.  There are have swivel chairs gliding along tracks, sweeping clerks from one end of the files to another."

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8:17am

Wed February 15, 2012
Politics and Government

Second round of hearings on redistricting comes to an end this week

The redistricting process in New York State is in the home stretch.  A second round of hearings finishes up this week after the release of legislative district lines that many called political attempts to keep incumbents in office.

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7:26am

Fri February 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

New apple processing company to go online this month

Congressman Bill Owens tours the Champlain Valley Specialty apple processing facility
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The old Empire Fresh food processing facility in Oswego will soon be humming, packaging apples for schools and retail. 

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8:02am

Tue January 31, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse one of four metro areas working with Brookings Institution to increase exports

CenterState CEO in Syracuse is trying to get more companies in Central New York to do business outside the area.  Syracuse is one of four metropolitan areas in the U-S that are working with the Brookings Institution to increase exports over the next five years.  As part of two initiatives, they are asking local business for data about their exports, and encouraging them to look at more business opportunities outside the area.  

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8:11am

Thu January 26, 2012
Regional Coverage

Syracuse hospital begins using new electronic medical record program

A demonstration of the Upstate MyChart app
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The records of outpatients at Upstate University Hospital are entering a new digital world.  The hospital has started installing a new electronic medical records program that will among other things, allow patients to access all their medical records on their computers or smartphones.  Hospital President Dr. David Smith says this is a transformational moment in medicine.

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8:23am

Wed January 25, 2012
Regional Coverage

Not for profit organizations call for privatization of services

As New York State tries to dig out of a two million dollar deficit, ARISE Executive Director Tom McKown has an idea.  Privatize many of the services currently done by government workers.  He says groups like ARISE, which serves the disabled population in Central New York, and other non-profits can fill the gap if government went out of business.

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8:03am

Wed January 25, 2012
Regional Coverage

Economists predict modest growth for Central New York in 2012

Look for more steady modest growth in the Central New York economy in the coming year.  According to numbers crunched by CenterState C-E-O,  2011 was a reasonably strong year for local businesses, with the economy growing slightly faster than the national average.  The downside though was that the number of jobs created  still lagged when compared to the national economy. Gary Keith, Regional economist for M&T Bank, thinks that could change this year.

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6:15am

Wed January 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Occupy Syracuse protesters told to vacate Syracuse park by 8am

Occupy Syracuse protesters

The Occupy Syracuse encampment has 8:00am this morning to clear out of Perseverance Park in Downtown Syracuse because of public safety concerns over the use of propane and other heating devices.  Occupiers like John Gray believe City Hall wants them gone for other reasons.

"They want to shut us down because Stephanie Miner runs on rich people," said Gray. "You run a campaign, you run a campaign run by rich folks. She's having a dinner in a few days where someone has to pay $1,000 to have cocktails with her. That's a problem."

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7:11am

Mon January 16, 2012
The Upstate Economy

New York hopes to quadruple solar power usage

Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing that New York State quadruple the amount of solar energy it uses for power in the next year.  

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9:24am

Wed January 11, 2012
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County Sheriff's Department helicopter receives FAA certification

Onondaga County's Air One helicopter
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A big step towards keeping the Air One Helicopter in the skies of Central New York has been taken. The Onondaga County Sheriff's Department has won the federal approval to charge insurance companies for medical transports.

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10:39am

Mon January 9, 2012
Regional Coverage

Occupy Syracuse celebrates 99 days of protest

Occupy Syracuse is marking its first 99 days at Perseverance Park on South Salina Street.  And folks who are carrying the message of Occupy Wall Street expect to keep their tents and lean-tos up for the long haul, despite a potentially cold and snowy winter.

"Our passion will keep us here pretty much through anything that I can see coming, weather-wise," said Caitlin Shanahan, a 20-year old from Mattydale who's been living there since October 3rd.

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6:14am

Fri January 6, 2012
Education

Syracuse City School District to submit teacher evaluation plan to Albany Friday

With $11.5 million dollars at stake, the Syracuse City School District did some last minute negotiating with its teachers and principal's unions, in the hopes of getting some state funding reinstated.  

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7:40am

Thu December 29, 2011
Politics and Government

Extended interview: Northern NY Congressman Bill Owens

Congressman Bill Owens

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling. 

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8:02am

Wed December 28, 2011
Politics and Government

Extended interview: CNY Congressman Richard Hanna

Congressman Richard Hanna

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling. 

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7:17am

Tue December 27, 2011
Politics and Government

Extended interview: CNY Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle

Republican Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle

2011 has not been a good year for Congress. Just last week, the House narrowly passed an extension on a payroll tax cut. Earlier this year, a government shutdown was avoided after a battle over the debt ceiling. 

Most people do not have a positive view of Congress. A recent Gallup Poll shows Congress with just an 11% approval rating.

As 2011 comes to a close, WRVO spoke with central and northern New York's Congressional representatives. 

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7:25am

Fri December 23, 2011
Regional Coverage

Thousands find Christmas help at Salvation Army's annual Christmas Bureau

Families choose books during the Salvation Army's Christmas Bureau distribution
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Almost three-thousand Central New York families found some Christmas help at the Annual Salvation Army Christmas Bureau in Syracuse Thursday.  That's 400 more families than needed help last year, a nearly 15% increase. 

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7:46am

Tue December 20, 2011
Politics and Government

Schumer to House Speaker: "Just vote on payroll tax cut."

The debate continues in Washington over the extension of payroll tax cuts. House Speaker John Boehner says the tax cut legislation, expected to come up for a vote Tuesday, will not pass. 

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9:48am

Mon December 19, 2011
Health

Wandering Law provides piece of mind for loved ones

Eileen Krupka's father has suffered from Alzheimer's Disease for the last six years.  He's like many other's with the progressive neurological disease of the brain he wanders, in fact 60-percent of Alzheimers or dementia patients wander and its a worry for the Krupka family, who live in Baldwinsville.

We have a lot of water around us. and he seems to be fascinated by the water and that's a huge concern

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9:23am

Mon December 19, 2011
Regional Coverage

The Syracuse Citizen's Review Board returns

The organization that investigates police brutality by the Syracuse Police Department could be coming back to life.  Syracuse Lawmakers December 19th will decide whether to approve a revised law that solves some of the issues that have plagued the Citizen's Review Board over it's 17 year history. 

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7:45am

Thu December 8, 2011
Regional Coverage

Bernie Fine case a series of missed opportunities

There won't be any charges filed in New York State against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine in the wake of an investigation by the Onondaga County District Attorney's office. District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says the statute of limitations precludes that.  

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1:08pm

Wed December 7, 2011
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County DA: First two Bernie Fine accusers are credible

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick answers questions from the media
Ellen Abbott

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick held a news conference in Syracuse Wednesday, where he announced that his office is ending its grand jury investigation into sexual abuse allegations against former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine.

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7:07am

Wed December 7, 2011
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County lawmakers support plan to build racino

It was a rare yes vote on a gambling issue in the Onondaga County Legislature Tuesday.  The prospect of a convention center hotel makes the possibility of a racino more palatable to lawmakers.

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6:42am

Wed December 7, 2011
Regional Coverage

Plan by Onondaga County lawmakers to sell Air One helicopter fails

A plan to ground the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department's Air One helicopter was scrapped by county lawmakers Tuesday.  Lawmakers overwhelmingly voted against a proposal to sell the airship as surplus. 

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8:22am

Fri December 2, 2011
Regional Coverage

Work begins redeveloping Syracuse's Kennedy Square

Construction is starting on Loguen's Crossing in Syracuse, a redevelopment project located on ten acres of the former Kennedy Square Apartment complex off East Fayette Street on the city's east side.  COR Development is joining forces with the Upstate Medical University on the job.  And COR president Steve Aiello says it changes the whole neighborhood.

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11:14am

Wed November 30, 2011
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Police changes sex abuse policy in the wake of Bernie Fine case

The Syracuse Police Department has changed some policies regarding allegations of sex abuse that come into the department, in the wake of the Bernie Fine investigation.  Fine is the former assistant S-U   Basketball coach who is accused of sexually molesting three young men, at different times since 1990 .   Police Chief Frank Fowler says an initial allegation came into the department in 2002, from Bobby Davis, a former Ballboy with the team.  Fowler says in a brief conversation, Davis told a detective he'd been molested in 1990 at Fine's home.

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7:44am

Fri November 25, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Holiday shoppers encouraged to buy local

Keeping your holiday shopping dollars local can also boost the economy of Central New York.  That's one reason Syracuse First founder Chris Fowler is encouraging shoppers to consider buying local as they head out to stores this holiday season.  

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11:19am

Mon November 21, 2011
The Upstate Economy

Expansion coming at Central New York brewery

The Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Baldwinsville will begin packaging products in 24-ounce cans starting next spring.  A$7.6 million investment in the brewery is also going to allow the plant to increase its production by 30% as well.  All this secures the long term future of the brewery in Central New York according to general manager Steve McCormick.   He says this recent expansion, that was precipitated by a $900,000  capital grant from New York State,  also means more announcements will be coming next year.

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10:31am

Fri November 18, 2011
Performing Arts and Culture

Bill Cosby to open a renovated Landmark Theatre Saturday night

The stage lights again are back on at the Landmark Theatre in Downtown Syracuse.  A  stage house expansion and renovation of the historic theatre is done, with a grand reopening celebration Fridat night, and a performance by comedian Bill Cosby Saturday night. Landmark Executive Director Denise DerRenzo says the changes mostly stretch from the proscenium stage back.

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