Kate O'Connell

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Finger Lakes

WXXI/Finger Lakes Reporter for the Innovation Trail

Kate O’Connell comes to WXXI from Melbourne, Australia, and studied journalism at Royal Melboure Institute of Technology.

During her studies, Kate was a freelance journalist, reporting from Nepal and Haiti, and worked with the media team of the United Nations partner group, International Organization for Migration.

Kate's experience also includes work for the Shepparton News, Australian Broadcasting Company, Melbourne’s Channel 31, RRR radio and WIN television.

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New York State Comptroller's Office

The New York state comptroller’s office has released its annual report on New York’s 113 Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), with concerns raised about the effectiveness and transparency of the organizations.

The state is one step closer to giving patients access to their medical information online. The New York e-Health Collaborative has announced nine finalists in their competition to design an online patient portal.

Some rights reserved by SalFalko

New York’s second highest court upheld the right for two municipalities to ban gas drilling last week. But, that decision won’t deter gas and oil producer Lenape Resources from appealing a similar ban in the upstate community of Avon.

Hamilton Conservation Authority / via Flickr

The water levels in Lake Ontario have a significant impact on the economic and environmental viability of harbors in upstate New York and Canada. As a result, a proposed plan to change the management of those water levels has raised some concerns in waterfront communities.

Brookings Institution

The first decade of this century has seen a steady flow of jobs moving away from city downtowns around the U.S according to a new report from the Brookings Institution. But cities in upstate New York have fared better than some.

Eastman Kodak Company

Kodak expects to emerge from bankruptcy as early as July, according to the company’s reorganization plan filed late Tuesday.

epi.org

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) says there is little evidence to support the expansion of high-skilled guest worker programs, like those proposed in the immigration bill being debated in the Senate.

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Gas and Oil producer Lenape Resources has filed a note of appeal as part of an attempt to overturn a court decision made in March that allowed the town of Avon to maintain its moratorium on fracking. This is the third case of this kind in upstate New York.

The Civil Service Employees Association, or CSEA, is currently involved in several law suits across New York state with counties, including Onondaga County, that are trying to get out of the business of running nursing homes. Now Ontario County may now face legal action from the union over its decision to put its county-run nursing home on the market.

A new water treatment technology has applications ranging from purification in African and Indian coastal slums, to decontamination of water produced in gas and oil wells.

techimpact.org

Investigators in Boston this week quickly began sifting through more than two thousand videos and still images of the marathon route looking for potential suspects in bombing, with crowd sourcing becoming the newest tool in the arsenal of law enforcement agencies.

Some rights reserved by wiccked

Small businesses from around the state took their concerns to legislators in Albany Wednesday. The message from leaders in the agricultural industry particularly highlighted the need for reforms to support small farms, and boost local economies upstate.

Kodak

Kodak is hoping to sell its document imaging business for $210 million. The company has reached a tentative deal with Brother Industries that would see them take over operation of the portfolio of scanners, capture software and services.

Veronica200626

Canada is aiming to woo bright young entrepreneurs with a startup visa program. The plan offers immediate permanent residence to foreign nationals who are able to secure business funding from Canadian investors. But, there are mixed feelings in the U.S. about the benefits of following suit.

Thumbtack.com

The grades are in and the Finger Lakes region is top-of-the-class for business friendliness in New York state. That’s the conclusion of a new small businesses survey conducted by Thumbtack.com. But the survey also shows that the state still lags in a national comparison.

Sue Weisler/RIT

It’s exactly what it sounds like. "Wearable technology" involves sensors that are worn in something like a bracelet that gather information and sends the data to a computer via Bluetooth. This technology is now being developed for use across a range of health-related applications. New research suggests that it could be used to help prevent seizures in people living with epilepsy.

University of Rochester

Researchers in western New York have been using brain scans to add to our understanding of how humans comprehend numbers. The new data could have implications in diagnosing learning disabilities earlier on, and aid in our understanding of why some kids struggle at school.

spaceappschallenge.org

Syracuse University is one of two upstate universities have been chosen as host sites for the international NASA space apps challenge. The challenge, taking place this month, brings together collaborators in 41 different countries to solve some of the toughest challenges facing space exploration and society.

Courtesy of Sensored Life

An upstate New York company has created a small plug-in device that could help home-owners avoid costly problems. The MarCELL monitoring device works on a cellular connection and can alert homeowners to problems like a power failure or a broken pipe.

Funding for a program to promote locally grown produce through a network of duty-free stores across New York has been axed from the final version of the state's budget.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious agenda around economic growth, innovation and clean energy in his proposed 2013-2014 Executive Budget.

The state budget includes a provision aimed at boosting the film industry in upstate New York. The new tax credit creates a two-tiered system that includes a 10 percent credit for productions using particular upstate locations.

Credit http://www.marchforinnovation.com/

The technology industry is using social media to create a "virtual march" on Washington. The March for Innovation, launched by the Partnership for a new Economy, is lobbying for immigration reform, including putting pressure on Congress to provide more visas for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

The town of Avon has become the third community in upstate New York to win a court case over the right to ban fracking operations.

Kate O'Connell / Innovation Trail

It's a tough environment for coal-plants in New York state. The state is home to some of the oldest power facilities in the country, which operate under stricter emissions regulations introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

A number of protestors were arrested for blockading the entrance to a natural gas storage facility in the Finger Lakes region early Monday.

Oxford Performance Materials

3D printing technology has been working its way into a multitude of sectors - from manufacturing, to printable electronic circuits.

ToastyKen / Flickr

A team of Rochester Institute of Technology students has created a system that allows travelers to get real-time updates on the location of their luggage by way of an embedded device in their suitcase.

Job figures are on the rise across New York state,  however private-sector jobs in some upstate areas have declined according to the state Department of Labor’s latest jobs report.

Sebastian Czapnik/Dreamstime.com

The reported cure of a baby girl born with HIV in Mississippi has sparked excitement in the medical community. Doctors say the apparent disappearance of her infection is due to very early treatment of the infant with standard drug therapies. They say the case is a proof of concept that HIV infection could potentially be curable in infants.

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