Gino Geruntino

Reporter/Morning Edition Producer, WRVO Public Media

Gino Geruntino serves as morning news producer and reporter for WRVO. He graduated in 2011 from Utica College with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism.

Prior to coming to WRVO, Gino worked as an evening anchor and night-side reporter for WIBX in Utica, where he won two New York State Broadcasters Association awards for outstanding feature reporting.

When he isn’t producing newscasts or covering the region, Gino is an avid fan of baseball and football, and can often be found talking about sports.

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Cortland County is experiencing a spike in the number of methamphetamine incidents, nearly doubling this year over 2013. But the Cortland County Sheriff's Office is taking action to try to control the problem.

Lt. Todd Caufield says there have been 34 incidents so far this year, everything from the discovery of meth labs to people finding discarded soda bottles used while producing the drug on the go.

He says although the numbers don't look good and the department isn't proud of them, the sheriff's office believes some of that increase is due to better reporting.

A nearly 190-year-old building in Oswego that most recently held Coleman's Irish Pub, is the subject of a legal battle between the city and a local developer who says he wants to buy the building and renovate it. While the lawsuit drags on, the building, which over the years has housed a chandlery, customs office and a fish market, deteriorates.

The city of Oswego is putting the brakes on SUNY Oswego's construction of several signs on city property designed to improve the entrance to the college.

The Common Council voted down the university's plan to erect an entrance sign and two other signs on city property. The city stopped the construction project last month, saying the college did not get approval first.

Councilor Michael Todd voted against the project and urged other council members to do the same.

Homeowners living in Oswego can breathe a little easier knowing that this year's budget does not include anything close to last year's 43 percent property tax increase.

Mayor Tom Gillen's budget presentation at this week's common council meeting lasted only a few minutes, but spoke volumes. The mayor proposed a $43.3 million budget that includes a property tax increase of 1.4 percent. That translates to about $14 extra for the average $70,000 dollar home.

Democrat Councilor Fran Enwright says this year's budget comes as a big relief for taxpayers.

The city of Utica is showing its appreciation to the nation's veterans, not only on Veterans Day, but every day of the year. The city recently unveiled specially designated parking spaces near the disabled parking spots for veterans and their widowed spouses.
 

Fourth Ward Councilman Joe Marino says he came up with the idea while he was talking with his brother-in-law, who had returned from serving overseas a couple years ago. Since then, Marino says the city has rallied behind the plan.

About 10 million bushels of grain come through the Port of Oswego each year, but the port cannot export that grain to other countries by ship because it doesn't have the necessary designation from the USDA.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he is going to try to change that. Schumer says he believes the port could qualify for the USDA designation, with some help from SUNY Oswego.

Oswego city voters overwhelmingly approved a five percent tax cap on Election Day, and some lawmakers say they are on board with the new law, which they hope will bring more accountability and efficiency to the annual budget process.

Republican Fifth Ward Councilor Billy Barlow says he's excited to see the city's new five percent tax cap in place. But it isn't just about the city's taxpayers drawing a metaphorical line in the sand regarding the city's budget.

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo pitched his idea of opening up to four casinos in New York state, his goal was to create jobs in upstate New York. But a proposed Seneca County casino is ruffling feathers about 70 miles away in Oneida County.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won re-election to a second term easily beating his nearest opponent, Republican Rob Astorino.

Cuomo, to chants of “four more years,” promised to deliver in his next term on a mostly progressive agenda, including enacting a number of items that were stalled in the state Senate over the past couple of years, like an abortion rights provision as part of a women’s rights agenda and public financing of political campaigns.

On Tuesday the city of Oswego will decide whether it wants to bring back a five percent property tax cap, but many of the city's elected officials warn that it could come with some unintended consequences.

The proposed property tax cap would force Oswego to keep any tax increases to less than five percent. If the city raises taxes more than that, Oswego residents would have to vote to approve the budget. If that fails, the city must reduce the budget to keep the increase below the threshold.

Last year's long winter is still fresh in the minds of many upstate New Yorkers. But for local governments, the above average snowfall left behind a bigger problem than bad memories -- depleted supplies of road salt.

When Oswego County started looking for rock salt for this upcoming winter season, purchasing director Daniel Stevens says the county discovered it would have to pay more than normal in order to replenish its stockpile.

They are in products people use every day to help get grime off their hands, keep their faces acne free and even make their teeth pearly white. But environmentalists and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) say plastic microbeads are polluting the country's lakes and streams.

While standing in front of Lake Ontario, Gillibrand announced her push to get companies to remove microbeads from personal care products like hand soap, facial scrubs and toothpaste, citing the harmful effects they have on the environment.

With only a week left until Election Day, the Republicans running in two of upstate New York's historically more contested districts lead their Democratic opponents, according to newly released polls.

The 24th Congressional District showed the most dramatic shift in favor of the Republican. A Syracuse.com/Post-Standard/Siena College poll released early Tuesday, shows Republican John Katko with a ten point lead over Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Maffei. Katko was down eight points when the last poll came out Sept. 21.

The Port of Oswego is considering a new contract with an energy integration company intended to help the port save money, and possibly become a net-zero energy user.

The race to represent the 24th Congressional District has been marked largely by negative campaign ads, character attacks and a variety of powerful politicians coming to central New York. With eight days before Election Day, Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko are now making their final pushes to attract prospective voters.

The national political parties have invested money and sent party leaders to stump for their candidates in the district, which has flip-flopped between going Republican and Democrat in recent elections.

The Utica City School District's Board of Education unanimously rejected $4.1 million in state funding to extend the school day in five city schools.

The grant would have allowed the the school district to increase classroom time by 25 percent. An additional hour and a half would have been tacked onto the end of the school day from Monday through Thursday, and summer classes would have been added. District officials hoped extra learning time would raise Common Core test scores.

Gun control was one of the topics the three candidates running for the North Country's open congressional seat discussed during their final debate of the election season, hosted by WWNY-TV in Watertown. Both Republican Elise Stefanik and Democrat Aaron Woolf agree the New York SAFE Act is flawed.

Woolf says there needs to be a discussion about sensible gun control, and that mental health should be looked at, starting in schools.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's running mate this fall, former Buffalo-area Rep. Kathy Hochul, says the governor's initiatives, including Start-Up NY and the establishment of ten regional economic development councils, have helped spur additional growth in all areas, particularly upstate.

The Oswego County Legislature is trying to cut costs and raise revenues in an attempt to balance its budget and keep taxes from rising.

Oswego County Administrator Philip Church recently presented to legislators his proposed 2015 budget, which includes a nearly seven percent property tax hike.

According to Church, that means 50 cents extra per $1,000 of assessed home value, or about $47.25 for the average $94,500 home.

He says increased costs for county employee benefits have helped contribute to the tax increase.

Digital platforms are revolutionizing today's media. That was the topic for today's annual SUNY Oswego Media Summit held by SUNY Oswego.

The university brought in several stars of the media world, including author Ken Auletta and public broadcasting host and PBS and CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose. The media summit is meant to give broadcasting students at the university exposure to leaders in the field, as well as discuss issues of the day.

This time last year, Cayuga Community College had serious financial issues. Now the college's bank accounts are increasing and CCC is set to grow in other ways.

During a recent Oswego County Legislature meeting, Cayuga Community College's Interim President Gregory DeCinque says the college has shown growth since he took over nine months ago.

Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger John Katko are locked into a tight race that will determine who represents the Syracuse-area's 24th Congressional District in Congress.

Maffei says he knew the race would be close.

Property owners in the city of Oswego were hammered last year with a 43 percent property tax increase. But this year, the city's mayor says he expects a much more pleasant result for the city's taxpayers, citing several positive changes in the city.

Nearly one year ago, Mayor Tom Gillen and the Oswego Common Council were heavily criticized for their passage of the massive tax hike.

Both candidates running to represent the 24th Congressional District want to prevent heroin and synthetic drug use in New York, but have different ways of doing it.

Republican candidate John Katko says he has a twofold approach to address the issue.

"It's targeted enforcement, beefed up targeted enforcement about the heroin and synthetic drug problem, through the enhancement of task forces," Katko said. "So that's basically what this plan is about."

Katko proposes to increase law enforcement funding and manpower, and expand treatment options.

Oswego Common Council Vice President Eric Van Buren has switched parties, and is endorsing Republican congressional candidate John Katko in his race against incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei.

Van Buren, the former Oswego City Democratic Committee chairman, released a statement Wednesday morning saying he made the decision after much thought and consideration.

Katko says he's happy to receive Van Buren's support, and that it's a sign of ongoing change in the region.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the support of several high profile Republicans, including Larry Rockefeller. But in a newly released campaign ad that started airing Tuesday, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is publicly giving the governor her endorsement for reelection.

"I'm a Republican and I'm supporting Gov. Cuomo," Mahoney said in the 30 second commercial. "We can't afford to go back to the way things were. Let's keep New York moving forward with Andrew Cuomo."

Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate running to represent the North Country's 21st Congressional District, says he plans to show the divide between himself and his Republican opponent Elise Stefanik during Wednesday night's debate.

"The very fact that she has been less forthcoming with the press, to put it mildly, lately, means that this is really a very crucial opportunity for us to make sure she's on the record and being as specific as we've asked her to be," Woolf explained to reporters during a conference call Tuesday.

Residents living in the city of Oswego have been making small changes to the exteriors of their houses in an effort to beautify neighborhoods. The goal of the program isn't just to restore property values, but to restore pride as well.

Catharine Early has lived in her home on the corner of West Third St. for about eight years. But it wasn't until this summer that she took action to repair an old retaining wall near the side of her house.

Since its passage in January 2013, the New York SAFE Act has been a topic of discussion for law enforcement officials across the state, including the two candidates running to replace outgoing Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh.

While speaking with Grant Reeher on WRVO's Campbell Conversations, Republican Gene Conway and Democrat Toby Shelley expressed concerns with the gun control law, and neither threw their full support behind it.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a rare appearance before the State University of New York Board of Trustees to urge them to pass a system-wide set of policies on how to respond to sexual assault and rape on campuses.

Cuomo convinced the board to adopt the new policy that helps prevent sexual assault. It includes a uniform definition of what it means to consent to sexual activity, amnesty for students who report an assault or rape, and a new sexual assault victims’ bill of rights.

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