Jenna Flanagan

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Capital Region

Jenna first knew she was destined for a career in journalism after following the weekly reports of the Muppet News Flash as a child. In high school she wrote for her student newspaper and attended a journalism camp at SUNY New Paltz, her Hudson Valley hometown. Jenna then went on to study communications and journalism at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ where she earned her Bachelor of Arts.

In 1999, Jenna took her first job in the business as a Production Assistant for 1010WINS eventually working her way up to assistant editor. Working in a busy New York newsroom, she quickly learned what it takes to churn out a factual, engaging and newsworthy story on deadline.

From there she took her first on-air position at WBGO, Newark Public Radio and began a lifelong love of public broadcasting. After WBGO, Jenna spent 6 ½ years writing, reporting and producing All Things Considered for WNYC in New York City. Her work has also aired nationally on NPR.

Her television reports can be seen on WMHT's award-winning public affairs show, New York NOW, which airs on PBS stations statewide.

8:34am

Sat August 9, 2014
Environment

Finger Lakes vineyard owners continue opposition to natural gas storage plan

Michael Warren Thomas, host of a Rochester-based radio show about Finger Lakes wine and food in Albany recently to speak out against a gas storage proposal.
Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

Winery owners have been stepping up their pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject a proposal to store natural gas liquids in the salt caverns along scenic Seneca Lake.

A small but passionate group of career vineyard farmers and winery owners had one united message to deliver to Albany recently.

“We demand that Gov. Cuomo do the right thing and deny all these permits for gas storage on the west side of Seneca Lake,” says Doug Hazlet, a Seneca Lake vineyard owner.

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6:24am

Tue July 22, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Preservation League announces new plans for old buildings

Rodgers Liquor Building in Albany
Jenna Flanagan Innovation Trail

Everything old is new again, so the saying goes. With that in mind, the Preservation League of New York State announced a plan to repurpose five vacant industrial buildings in the Capital region with the hopes of attracting young professionals and revitalizing communities.

The Industrial Heritage Reuse Project, or "trendy hipster bait," launched on Thursday in hopes of breathing new live into old buildings.

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7:21am

Tue July 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Disaster readiness program encourages communities to pool knowledge and experience

An emergency backpack, along with some of the supplies needed in the case of an emergency.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services

The National Weather Service predicts 2014 will be a relatively tame hurricane season. But memories of hurricanes like Sandy and Irene, as well as tropical storm Lee, have led Gov. Andrew Cuomo to create the Citizen Preparedness Corps in hopes of training New Yorkers to be their own first responders.

New York State Department of Homeland Security Commissioner Jerome Hauer didn't mince words when he spoke about the Citizen Preparedness Corps training classes.

“Getting the population to deal with a disaster on their own is absolutely critical,” Hauer said.

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12:47pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Education

Academy wants to hijack kids' computer time for rocking out

Some things are better taught outside the school system. That's Paul Green's theory on education. Green isn’t a professional educator, but he’s made music education his life.

The 41-year-old is the founder and owner Paul Green Rock Academy where kids age 8 to 18 learn to rock.

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5:27am

Wed June 4, 2014
Energy

Parties revisit home rule arguments in NY State Court of Appeals

Attorney representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy makes his oral argument before the Court of Appeals. Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg listens in the foreground.
Innovation Trail

The debate over whether a municipality can ban hydraulic fracturing within its borders was brought before the New York State Court of Appeals Tuesday afternoon. The Southern Tier town of Dryden is defending its right to home rule against lawyers representing the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy.

Earthjustice managing attorney Deborah Goldberg says she feels confident bringing the case before the court because home rule is protected by the state constitution and New York isn’t alone.

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7:22am

Fri May 30, 2014
Environment

Doctors request another moratorium on New York hydrofracking

(file photo)
Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

Researchers and medical professionals from around the state gathered in Albany to urge acting Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker to impose a three- to five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York state.

Yuri Gorby, a researcher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, says the medical community is only just beginning to understand the health impact of hydrofracking, and the moratorium would give New York a chance to make a fully informed decision.

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8:18am

Fri May 23, 2014
Energy

Hydrofracking debate follows Obama to Cooperstown

President Barack Obama’s visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown was closed to the public, but that didn’t stop protesters from both sides of the hydrofracking debate from heading there anyway.
    
The president was there to talk about upstate tourism, but for many of the other day visitors the economic issue was hydrofracking in the state’s Marcellus shale region.

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5:15pm

Thu May 22, 2014
Energy

Obama's visit brings protesters on both sides of fracking

President Barack Obama and the national press descended on the village of Cooperstown Thursday afternoon. His presence also brought out protesters both for and against the controversial process of drilling for natural gas, known as hydrofracking.

Victor Furman says it’s unfair that New York is beholden to what he calls an unfair moratorium, with such a resource at it’s feet.

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7:02am

Thu May 22, 2014
Environment

Ashokan Reservoir clouds Hudson Valley waters

Ashokan Reservoir
Wikipedia Commons

Ulster County residents living along the lower Esopus Creek which drains the south-central Catskills have been noticing a steady decrease in water clarity. It’s because of dirty liquid being released from the upstream Ashokan Reservoir, courtesy of a New York City authority.

The Department of Environmental Conversation held a public comment session recently on the turbidity of Ashokan water.

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7:19am

Wed May 21, 2014
Health

Albany not ready for crude oil accident

Crude oil train moves past a children's playground in Albany.
Jenna Flanagan Innovation Trail

Albany County officials recently tried to reassure the public over concerns about the crude oil trains that travel through the city. Officials have acknowledged the trains pose a significant risk but they also admit that depending on the nature of an accident, there’s little they can do.

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8:34am

Sat April 12, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Ant-poverty tour highlighting inequality in New York state

Sister Simone Campbell speaking at the New York State Community Action Association 8th Annual Symposium on Poverty
Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

A campaign by the New York State Community Action Association to change perceptions of poverty was launched last week in Albany. The "From Poverty to Opportunity Tour 2014" is running in conjunction with a series of speaking events around the state that will feature people sharing personal stories of their experience of poverty.

Karla Digirolamo, CEO of the New York State Community Action Association put together the anti-poverty tour to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Economic Opportunity Act or as it's more commonly known, President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty.

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6:54am

Fri April 11, 2014
Environment

Shah’s resignation no surprise, say both sides of fracking debate

WBFO

There’s a "Help Wanted" sign at the state Department of Health after Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah announced his resignation effective at end of June.

The commissioner is unlikely to see out the release of a long-awaited health review on the impact of hydrofracking that he was commissioned to produce by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in November 2012.

According to Cuomo, salary issues were the reason for his departure, in reported comments made during a meeting with the editorial staff of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle Thursday.

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6:32am

Mon March 31, 2014
Energy

Increase in ND oil rail traffic through New York raises safety concerns

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) worker at a rail yard inspection.
New York State Department of Transportation

A clear and present danger hiding in plain sight.

That’s how Cornell University’s Susan Christopherson describes the oil train traffic through the state.

A massive explosion caused by a runaway oil train in Quebec last July has raised awareness about the levels of flammable material being shipped by rail.

Christopherson, a professor of city and regional planning, says New York state finds itself with a mobile oil problem.

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7:54am

Mon March 24, 2014
Politics and Government

Advocates, lawmakers lobby for more spinal cord research funding

GreenFlames09 Flickr

Lawmakers joined advocates for neurological research in Albany recently to lobby the legislature to refund a program they say could change the lives of people living with spinal cord injuries.

Heidi Greenbaum’s son Corey was left paralyzed from the chest down after a car accident six years ago. She says people with spinal cord injuries aren’t as permanently broken as some may think.

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6:50am

Mon February 17, 2014
Politics and Government

New York Conference of Mayors has one focus

NYCOM President and Minoa mayor Dick Donovan addresses the New York Conference of Mayors in Albany.
Credit Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

Mayors from across the state have a bone to pick with the Cuomo administration. It is the governor’s proposal for a two percent tax freeze over two years. It would reward communities with property tax rebates if local governments implement austerity measures to keep their growth under the cap.

It sounds great on the surface, but according to the New York Conference of Mayors in Albany recently, looks can be deceiving.

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7:29am

Mon February 10, 2014
Politics and Government

County executives split on Cuomo's consolidation agenda

County legislators at the annual conference for the New York State Association of Counties.
Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) wrapped up its annual meeting in Albany this week where county executives discussed the unique needs of New York’s regional governments.

One prominent issue was consolidation. During his budget presentation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo renewed his push for local governments to share more resources as part of a plan to freeze property taxes if counties stay within a two percent cap.

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7:06am

Thu December 26, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sand, salt, beet juice?

New York State Thruway Authority truck with 2,000 gallons of beet-brine mixture
Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

The winter months can pose a headache for drivers navigating the roads after a snow storm. Plowing can only do so much and too often a slick, hard pack of snow and ice can cover streets making them dangerous to drive.

So what are road crews trying now? Beet juice.

It’s not used everywhere, but it is catching on. The New York State Thruway Authority is one of several state agencies pre-treating and treating roads with and mixture of beet juice extract and brine water.

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8:13am

Thu December 12, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Several regions win big at Regional Economic Development Council awards

Each region was given a portion of $715 million in state money for economic development.
acchamber.org

There were several big winners amongst the state’s Regional Empire Development Council, as five walked away with more than $80 million each, during the third annual set of awards announced Wednesday.     

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5:30pm

Thu November 28, 2013
Environment

Rethink on water resources required to combat climate change

Catastrophic storms like Irene, Lee and Superstorm Sandy ravaged much of the Hudson River watershed with flooding and erosion. Environmental advocates and policy makers say that’s evidence that climate change is having a major impact on the quantity and quality of the region’s water supplies.

Stakeholders joined the Hudson River Watershed Alliance and Mohonk Consultations for a conference in New Paltz earlier this week. They called for communities to seize the moment while admitting that changing existing attitudes towards water management can take a long time.

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4:04pm

Tue November 12, 2013
Regional Coverage

Levels of child poverty in New York remain highest in the nation

Author and Keynote Speaker Jonathan Kozol
Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

New York state continues to have a higher percentage of children living in poverty than any other state. Experts in the field gathered in Albany recently to brainstorm ways to deal with the issue at a forum titled "Growing Up in Poverty" organized by the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy.

Children growing up in poverty are denied equal access to education according to author and keynote speaker at the Growing Up in Poverty event, Jonathan Kozol.

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Innovation Trail

Innovation Trail is a collaboration among six public media outlets - WRVO; WNED, Buffalo; WXXI, Rochester; WMHT, Albany/Schenectady; and WSKG, Binghamton, and NCPR, North Country Public Radio- covering issues affecting the Upstate New York economy.