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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Zack Seward / WXXI

A poll conducted fifteen weeks before Election Day shows incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is maintaining a wide lead over his nearest challenger.

According to a recent Siena Research Institute poll, Cuomo is 37 points ahead of Republican challenger Rob Astorino.  The Democrat also has a high favorability rating, while 60 percent of voters have never heard of Astorino.

Candidates’ financial statements were released earlier this month, and Cuomo reported having $35 million, compared to Astorino’s $2.4 million in the bank.

In an attempt to increase the number of New York high school graduates who are work ready, one state assemblyman is pushing for the approval of a new high-tech and manufacturing-based diploma. The goal is to help employers fill jobs with qualified graduates.

Although the state legislature won't return to Albany until January, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is getting an early start by promoting his bill to create a Career and Technical Education, or CTE, diploma.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to reduce carbon pollution nationwide means a goal of reducing carbon emissions in New York state by more than 40 percent. Judith Enck, the area's EPA regional administrator, was in Syracuse to discuss how the plan will allow the nation to keep producing energy, while reducing pollution. Enck says the regulation, which is scheduled to start in 2020, isn't just about protecting the environment from air pollution.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Homeowners in the city of Oswego will be able to voice their opinions at a pubic hearing on a proposal to reinstate the city's five percent property tax cap. The original limit was removed in 2011, but after the city's common council approved a 43 percent property tax increase in December, support has been growing to bring it back.

But Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen says this year's tax hike was unavoidable.

Katie Keier / Flickr

The Utica City School District received more than $4 million from the state to increase the number of hours kids are in school during the year, in an effort to increase the district's Common Core test scores. But the district still has to make a lot of decisions before starting the program.

Nine school districts in New York state were named as grant recipients, with Utica receiving the second biggest portion of the $24 million earmarked for the Extended Learning Time Initiative.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

The Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups are making use of a recently developed DNA sampling technique to determine whether or not any invasive species might be swimming, living or growing in the Oswego River and Erie Canal. By taking hundreds of water samples, the group believes it can slow the growth of invasive species in the state.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

New York has a big problem with an invasive species you may have never heard of. Giant hogweed is a poisonous plant that can overtake entire fields with its giant leaves and can cause painful blisters on a person's skin. But the state Department of Environmental Conservation says it's stepping up its digging and spraying program to help control the plant and even eradicate it in some spots.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

New York state's Financial Restructuring Board released its review and recommendations for the city of Fulton, which in recent years has faced serious fiscal issues. City leaders say they plan to take the state's advice.

Since 2011, Fulton has raised its tax rate by more than 15 percent to make up for a decline in property values. It also slashed full-time staff from more than 150 employees down to 135.

WWNY-TV

For the past few months, North Country voters have heard a lot about the two Republican candidates running to represent the party in this fall's election for New York's 21st Congressional District. But the differences between Elise Stefanik and Matt Doheny aren't really that vast.

Both Stefanik and Doheny oppose the Affordable Care Act and want better care for military veterans. But while their national policies tow the Republican line, they have sparred some on the local level. For example, the two disagree on the I-98 "Rooftop Highway" project.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Oswego's Safe Haven Museum is marking 70 years since Fort Ontario served as a camp for Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during World War II. To celebrate the event, one Oswego resident who lived near the fort at the time talked about what it was like and tells the story of her long-lost friendship with one refugee.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Beginning Thursday, the Safe Haven Museum in Oswego is celebrating the 70th anniversary of when 982 Jewish refugees were first housed at Fort Ontario.

In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt allowed 1,000 Jewish refugees to enter the United States as guests, and they lived at the decommissioned Fort Ontario base in Oswego until 1946, when they were allowed to stay as American citizens or return home. The refugee camp, known as "Safe Haven," was the only location of its kind in the U.S.

Ray Sawhill/flickr

The International Joint Commission says its recommendations to help restore some of the natural water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence Seaway will also benefit the lake's wetland wildlife. According to the commission, Plan 2014 will help Lake Ontario get closer to its natural ebb and flow throughout the year.

Commissioner Dereth Glance says Plan 2014 strikes a balance between the current plan and the lakes original water levels about 60 years ago.
 

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is one of more than 230 members of Congress speaking out against a proposed change to the Clean Water Act by the Environmental Protection Agency. He says it would mean farmers in New York will face additional red tape and more fines.

Eric Behling's orchard in Mexico has been in business since 1947. Throughout the year his farm grows apples, pumpkins and other produce.

WWNY-TV

The two candidates vying for the Republican Party's nod in the 21st Congressional District showed a lot of similarities during an hour-long primary debate held Thursday in Watertown. The debate between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik was broadcast on WWNY in Watertown and North Country Public Radio and public television.

Both candidates want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and repair the medical care system for veterans.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is among those asking the Food and Drug Administration to clarify its guidelines on the use of wooden boards to age artisanal cheeses. He says cheese makers have been using wooden boards or panels to age their cheeses for centuries, and that changing the rules would put American producers at a disadvantage.

Office of Sen. Patty Ritchie

State Sen. Patty Ritchie wants to lift some of the restrictions on the use of utility task vehicles in New York state. Right now, UTVs can only be used legally on private property and cannot be registered in the state of New York. Smaller ATVs weighing up to 1,000 pounds can be widely used and registered with the state.

Claudia Tenney for Congress / claudiatenney.com

As primary day quickly approaches, it looks like there will not be a debate in the 22nd Congressional District race between Republican opponents Rep. Richard Hanna and Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney.

Hanna, who currently represents the district which stretches from Binghamton to Utica to the eastern half of Oswego County, says challenger Tenney has been dishonest in her campaign.

house.gov

Days after the U.S government exchanged five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider who reportedly left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, the decision doesn't sit well with Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna. He says he's trying to make sense of the situation, but says it's difficult to understand the entire issue without all of the details.

MemphisCVB / Flickr

There are less than three weeks to go until primary day, and Claudia Tenney, who is running for Congress in a Republican primary against 22nd Congressional District Republican Richard Hanna, continues to push for a debate with her opponent.

In Vestal and Clinton Wednesday afternoon, Tenney, who currently serves as a state assemblywoman, says she has challenged Hanna to several debates in recent weeks throughout the district, which stretches from the Mohawk Valley to Pulaski and from Binghamton to Utica.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO/file photo

Sen. Charles Schumer wants to increase the number of primary care physicians in the United States, particularly in rural areas like upstate New York.

Schumer says he is proposing a revised version of the "Resident Physician Shortage Act," which would increase the number of Medicare-supported physician residency slots by 15,000 over the next five years.

The primary race between Matt Doheny and Elise Stefanik to represent the North Country's 21st Congressional District continues to draw national attention. On Tuesday, GOP Super PAC American Crossroads joined the fray by running a television ad against Doheny in Albany, Watertown and Plattsburgh, which attacks the Watertown businessman's political and personal record.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is urging New Yorkers to invest in a 529 College Saving Program, which helps families save money for college tuition. DiNapoli says parents, grandparents and others can open an account for a child, and receive tax credits of up to $10,000 annually for their contributions.

More than 800,000 529 College Saving Program accounts have been set up in New York, but DiNapoli says many more could take advantage of the program.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Some residents of Oswego County may soon have to find other options for getting rid of their garbage if a recent proposal by the Oswego County Legislature is implemented.

Right now the county’s five transfer stations are operating on a $500,000 deficit. Starting July 1, each facility will close one day a week, which according to Oswego County Solid Waste Director Frank Visser will save the county nearly $190,000 a year. Disposal fees are also increasing, which could raise $500,000 in revenue if waste levels don’t change.

Cassandra Genua

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen has vetoed one of the two resolutions passed just days after this year's controversial Bridge Street Run. The Oswego Common Council unanimously passed a measure to bill SUNY Oswego for overtime costs accrued by police, fire and public works department associated with the unsanctioned annual pub crawl.

Nearly 30 people were arrested and two were injured during this year's event. Three students also overdosed on heroin during Bridge Street Run, but police say the event is not to blame.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The recent spike in opioid abuse cases in central New York and across the country has people discussing how to get their hands on Narcan, also known as naloxone, a drug that can be quickly administered in an emergency to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

Dr. Jerry Emmons is the medical director for the emergency department at Oswego Hospital. He says Narcan used to be a drug seen only in hospitals, but has made its way into the hands of first responders.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

A rising demand for automotive aluminum to meet federal fuel mileage standards is helping Novelis in Oswego plan for the next five years, including spending millions of dollars on infrastructure and building projects and creating up to 250 new jobs.

Plant Manager Chris Smith says this is the first time in the plant's 51 year history that it has been able to provide employees with an extended plan. He says it's because the company's recent automotive contracts are longer than the majority of Novelis' prior business agreements... which lasted between one and two years.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Utica's Union Station has been a mainstay in the city's historic Bagg's Square neighborhood since 1914. In that time, the train station went from a bustling transit hub, to nearly being demolished in the 1970s, to a recent resurgence as a public gathering place. This weekend, Utica is celebrating the station's 100th anniversary and some of the things that make it unique.

candyschwartz / Flickr

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Thursday to promote tourism. Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that tourism is an export, and that when foreign visitors come to the United States it grows the economy.

Lynn Herzig works with chambers of commerce and businesses throughout the region to promote tourism. He says the president's push to bring international visitors in is exactly what the region and state need.

Patja / Flickr

Later this week, Democrats will meet at their state party convention, where they will nominate incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo for reelection.

Nearly three and half years into his first term, Cuomo remains relatively popular with New York voters, after governing in a style that’s been a mix of fiscal conservatism and social progressivism.

Cuomo championed same sex marriage, which became legal during his first year in office, in 2011, and stricter gun control laws in 2013, when the governor spoke passionately in favor of the proposal during his State of the State speech.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the operators of the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba failed to replace the plant's condenser tubes when they should have.

When the power plant goes offline later this year for refueling, the condenser tubes at the facility will also be replaced.

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