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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A new orchestra is rising out of the ashes of the old Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. The new group has announced it will make its official debut at a holiday concert December 14.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga Community College is joining forces with St. John Fisher College in Rochester to offer students a "two-plus-two" partnership agreement.  That means students spend their first two years at OCC, then transfer to Fisher to get their degree.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

An ambulance company in Onondaga County has started a program it hopes will help one of biggest causes of injury among the elderly.  The focus is on making senior's homes safe from falls.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

There's a new view of Onondaga Lake.  Honeywell has  opened a new Onondaga Lake Visitors Center, right next to the company's massive project that's dredging and capping two million cubic yards of contaminated lake soil. Honeywell hopes it can change perceptions of a lake, that for decades has been so dirty, people didn't want to go near it.

New York state's attack on ballooning Medicaid costs has started with a program that offers coordinated care for certain Medicaid patients.  State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson says the program called Health Homes, is aimed at the people who have the most complex Medicaid charts.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Senator Charles Schumer is hoping some federal dollars will help keep the Inner Harbor development project in Syracuse moving ahead.  He's personally requesting that the federal Economic Development Administration approve a $2 million grant for the project.

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The number of people traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday is up for the fourth straight year.  AAA says the economy and gas prices are two of the biggest factors affecting people's travel plans.

borisvolodnikov / Flickr

Before deciding what the Onondaga Lake shoreline should look like in the future, FOCUS, is looking  at what the community has wanted in the past. The community group that is creating  a roadmap for the future of the polluted lake's shore, has issued a preliminary report documenting 84 years of studies of the lake.

Lance McCord / Flickr

The flu is making an early appearance across upstate New York this fall, from the North Country through the Mohawk Valley. With the holiday season approaching, experts say it becomes more important than ever to take precautions.

Sudipto Sarkar / Flickr

Onondaga County lawmakers are considering the possibility of a smoking ban in county parks and the perimeter of county facilities.  But an initial proposal from the county executive's office needs to be whittled down before lawmakers will agree to it.

Medicare will look different a year from now, as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.  But, Medicare advocates are worried about some potential changes to the program that pays for health care for the elderly.

Veterans Day for many people means no school and shopping the sales.  But for veterans, the day means the recognition of their service to this country.

Work is underway on a housing project that will offer apartments to homeless veterans in central New York . The new Van Keuren Square will help a population that is sometimes overlooked.

Olivia Fecteau / WRVO

The candidates in the 24th congressional district contest were prepared for the race to go down to the wire, since polls predicted that democrat Dan Maffei and Ann Marie Buerkle were locked in a statistical tie, with Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum trailing behind. But it looks like former Congressman Maffei will be returning to Washington to represent central New York in Congress.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The candidates for central New York's 24th congressional district both say they are ready for election results that could be too close to call tonight. The latest Siena College poll on Saturday showed Democrat candidate Dan Maffei tied with incumbent Republican Ann Marie Buerkle at 44 percent.

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Election Day is here at last and polling places across upstate New York are prepared to be busy, because presidential election years tend to boost turnout.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The latest Siena College poll in the 24th Congressional District gives Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum support from 8 percent of likely voters. The question now is if Rozum will get enough votes to tilt the outcome between the major party candidates.

Everyone who votes on Tuesday in New York state will choose who will represent them in the state Assembly and Senate.  Very few of those races are truly competitive, with many incumbents running unopposed or against candidates who have no chance of winning.  The exception in central New York is the race for the newly created 127th Assembly district.. which is a rematch of a very close race two years ago.

After months of campaigning in the too-close-to-call 24th Congressional District race, it's almost time for voters to make their decision. The final weekend of the election season was a busy one.

As Election Day approaches, is there such a thing as a catholic vote?  Catholics make up a quarter of the voting electorate, but they don't vote in lockstep.  Roman Catholic teachings can take a Catholic voter to both ends of the political spectrum.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Seniors in the 24th congressional district are worried about the future of Medicare and Social Security according to a poll conducted by the AARP. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

WRVO News is interviewing and profiling candidates in the region who are running in contested races.  Ellen Abbot took a closer look at Ursula Rozum, a 28-year old activist who works for the Syracuse Peace Council and is running in the race for the newly redistricted 24th Congressional seat as the Green Party candidate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

WRVO News is interviewing and profiling candidates in the region who are running in contended races.  Ellen Abbot took a closer look at Democrat Dan Maffei, who is trying to win back the seat in Congress he lost two years ago by the slimmest of margins to Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buekle.

Ann Marie Buerkle for Congress / buerkleforcongress.com

WRVO News is interviewing and profiling candidates in the region who are running in contended races.  Ellen Abbot took a closer look at  Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle. The Republican from Onondaga Hill won her seat in Congress two years ago by the thinnest of margins - only 648 votes.  She's looking for a second term in the newly drawn 24th Congressional District.

Central New Yorkers are helping the millions of people affected by Superstorm Sandy.  Agencies like the Salvation Army and Church World Service are raising money or collecting donations for storm victims.  Others, like Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteers  will go to the areas hardest hit by the storm.

Third party candidates for president generally don't get much publicity and most of the time don't get enough votes to make a difference in a presidential election. But advancing a cause is reason enough for one third party candidate to run.

The Rome Area Chamber of Commerce yesterday hosted a debate between the candidates for the new 22nd Congressional district, incumbent Republican Congressman Richard Hanna and Democrat challenger Dan Lamb. The district stretches from the eastern portion of Oswego county down through Binghamton. 

It's not clear where it came from, but an outbreak of shigellosis, more commonly known as shigella, continues to afflict dozens of people in Onondaga County. 

The candidates running for the 24th congressional district seat offered three distinct choices for voters in the first televised debate featuring all three candidates last night.   The budget deficit,  jobs, and health care reform were major issues discussed in the WCNY studios, but the most pointed comments mirrored a dispute in the campaign over abortion and the definition of rape.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

It won't be someone in a police costume pulling drunk drivers over this weekend. Police agencies across Onondaga County are cracking down on Halloween partiers in what has become a busy weekend for police when it comes to drunk driving.

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