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.
With the federal budget sequestration deadline only days away, Syracuse-area Cong. Dan Maffei opened the phone lines for a telephone town hall meeting Tuesday night. Callers were concerned about the how these funding cuts will impact central New York if sequestration goes into effect March 1.
It's been ten years since Syracuse-area oncologist Dr. Rafil Dhafir was arrested for crimes involving the Muslim charity Help the Needy. Dhafir continues to serve a 22-year prison sentence after he was convicted of violating U.S. sanctions against his native Iraq by sending money there. In 2005, a federal jury convicted him of 59 felonies, including fraud and tax evasion, among other things. But Dhafir's conviction and incarceration still has some central New Yorker's crying foul.
The automatic federal budget cuts that are slated to go into effect in March would have a big impact on programs that help the poor and elderly in Syracuse. Advocates for these programs are urging Congress to do something to prevent the across-the-board spending cuts knows as sequestration.
SUNY is asking the state for up to $185 million to stabilize its two public teaching hospitals. Most of the cash is needed for the Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. But Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse also needs millions.
Lawmakers in Washington are pushing for the establishment of a Harriet Tubman National Park in Auburn, where the abolitionist lived and died. Members of the New York congressional delegation say it could have a big impact on Auburn.
The effects of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn. in December that killed 26 children and staff, lingers in the psychological community. It's one reason Syracuse University's psychology department is hosting a panel discussion Monday night focusing on different aspects of the psychology of school violence. One presenter is worried how this tragedy could end up further stigmatizing mental illness.
This week begins a year long campaign in New York that focuses on the Two Row Wampum, a treaty between the Haudenosaunee, also known as the Iroquois Nation, and some of the first settlers of New York state. The idea is educate, advocate, and create a better relationship Native Americans and New Yorkers.
Half the people who contract HIV in the United States are African-American, according to statistics released last year. Advocates hope National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, which is today, leads to more education about the disease in the black community. Locally, there will be a push to do just that in Syracuse this weekend.
The Syracuse Common Council is considering legislation that would prohibit businesses from screening prospective job applicants about their history of criminal convictions, early on in the hiring process. It's a concept meant to stop discrimination against potential employees with a criminal record.
A new era of newspaper journalism has taken hold of central New York this week. The Syracuse Post-Standard's new business model is in place, with fewer printed copies of the paper, and more emphasis on digital platforms. And there are many implications of this change to the region.
The newspaper business is changing. It has to, in a digital world where information is as close as an app on a phone, or a tap on a computer. The question is, how will newspapers make that change? The Syracuse Post-Standard, owned by Advance Newspapers, has made its move, and the change is about to occur.
Utica-area Cong. Richard Hanna is one Republican who expects to be on board with any immigration reform that is being proposed in Washington currently. The 22nd district representative says it's an important issue in a region where agriculture is key.
Municipalities and school districts in New York state will soon get graded on their fiscal health. A fiscal monitoring system run by the state comptroller's office will publicly identify local governments that may be heading towards a fiscal cliff.
The city of Syracuse is asking Onondaga County to help crack down down on burglaries. Syracuse officials want to make it harder for burglars to sell stolen items to second hand shops throughout the county.
As Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Minor laid out budget issues in her State of the City address last night, one group showed up to protest a potential budget, the shutting down of Fire Station No. 7 on Sryacuse's east side. Firefighters were out in force during the mayor's speech to get their point across.
It was a positive State of the City that Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner presented in her yearly address to common councilors last night. But beneath the reports of economic development progress, public safety initiatives and new schools construction, lurks more fiscal challenges.
Letters have started going out from radiologists to women, after normal mammograms, to alert them to a condition that might make it harder for doctors to find breast cancer. A state initiative called the "Breast Density Inform" bill ultimately may force women to have a deeper discussion with their doctors about their risk factors for breast cancer.
In less than two weeks, the Post-Standard as central New York knows it takes a turn toward the future as it cuts back on print editions of the newspaper in favor of a digital website. The new Syracuse Media Group, which includes the reporting and sales sides of the digitally-focused business, will soon be working out of a renovated bank on South Warren Street.