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 a little more than a month to go before the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, recent polls show the three candidates vying for a chance to face Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in the general election aren't well known, especially upstate.
One of those candidates is trying to change that.
Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos is well known on Long Island; Congressman Bob Turner has a natural base in New York City; that leaves attorney Wendy Long with the rest of the state.
Utica area lawmakers, activists and residents are trying to save the Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center. The community is galvanizing its support of the facility, which has been in the area for over a century.
A mobile command center for the state's Department of Financial Services is rolling across New York state looking to help people who may be having trouble paying their mortgage. It brings foreclosure prevention specialists to urban areas that need them.
The gowns may be blue, and Syracuse University's color may be orange, but commencement at the Carrier Dome this weekend will definitely have a green feel to it. Commencement gowns are the latest environmental initiative on graduation day.
Urban schools in New York state face a special challenge. These schools need more funding to teach larger numbers of children, many of whom need special services because of poverty. At the same time, they find themselves dependent on local governments that are also going through tough budget times.
Onondaga Community College continues to turn over information regarding the SRC Arena, and three other not-for-profit entities, to county lawmakers who requested it last week. The flap over this financial information and its availability to the public is the result of a new world of public/private partnerships.
More projected sales tax revenue for the City of Syracuse could mean some new programs, including seed money for a new downtown senior center. Lawmakers say they want the extra spending to be an investment in the city.
The very young and the very old were the focus of the Syracuse City Budget public hearing Wednesday night. Citizens had the opportunity to tell lawmakers what they think of Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed $662 million spending plan.
As urban school districts grapple with massive budget deficit, some programs that aren't strict academics go up on the chopping block. A program in the Syracuse City School District, that teaches everything from sex education to stranger danger, is slated to be cut.
Onondaga Community College's reluctance to turn over financial information to county lawmakers regarding the new SRC Arena is creating some friction. It has become part of budget discussions between Onondaga County and the community college.
The battle raging over federal flood maps in Central New York hits a deadline today. The city of Syracuse will file a challenge to maps proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency which, if approved, would drive up flood insurance costs dramatically for homeowners in some of the city's poorest neighborhoods.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has joined the fight to keep flood insurance bills from skyrocketing in one of Syracuse's poorest neighborhoods. The idea is to convince the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, that their latest maps are flawed.
There were more than 400 accidents in road and bridge construction work zones last year in New York state, five of them fatal. The state is hoping to pare down that number this year by asking motorists to slow down in work zones.
New York state is hoping that a new way to join the state's organ donor registry online will mean a longer list of potential donors. Central New Yorkers, who have had to make decisions about organ donations, are encouraging New Yorkers to log on.