Matt Richmond

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Southern Tier

Matt Richmond comes to Binghamton's WSKG, a WRVO partner station in the Innovation Trail consortium, from South Sudan, where he worked as a stringer for Bloomberg, and freelanced for Radio France International, Voice of America, and German Press Agency dpa.  He has worked with KQED in Los Angeles, Cape Times in Cape Town, South Africa, and served in the Peace Corps in Cameroon.  Matt's masters in journalism is from the Annenberg School for Communication at USC.

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4:22pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Energy

Hydrofracking decison may impact more than just oil and gas industry

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

 

In a decision released last week, the highest court in New York ruled that local governments can ban drilling within their borders. And while hydrofracking remains on hold in the state, the ruling is expected to have a huge impact on the industry in New York if fracking is eventually permitted.

 

The dean of the law school at Cornell University, Eduardo Penalver, helps explain the court's ruling

upholding local bans on gas drilling in New York.

 

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5:55am

Tue July 1, 2014
Environment

Court of Appeals rules towns can ban fracking within their borders

Bosc d'Anjou Flickr

In a 5-to-2 ruling, New York’s highest court has upheld the right of local governments to ban hydrofracking within their borders. The decision comes after a nearly three-year court battle over bans passed in the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield. Fracking opponents hope to now spread the bans to towns that were waiting for the court’s final ruling.

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1:31am

Wed June 25, 2014
Politics

Hanna defeats Tenney in GOP primary for 22nd District

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) won a Republican Party primary Tuesday for New York's 22nd Congressional District.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna is all but guaranteed a third term in the House of Representatives after he beat back a challenge from the political right in Tuesday's Republican Party primary.

Hanna, R-Barneveld, came out on top in a challenge from the more conservative Claudia Tenney, a state assemblywoman. She said Hanna was too moderate.

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8:01am

Thu January 23, 2014
Health

National study finds elevated rates of cancer and neurological disease amongst IBM Endicott workers

Wanda Hudak at home in Endicott with the former IBM campus in the background.
Matt Richmond WSKG

Like many in Endicott, Wanda Hudak has a long history with IBM.

There’s a clear view of the company’s campus, now the Huron campus, from the garden in her backyard. She’s lived in Endicott her whole life, and worked at IBM as a nurse during the 1970s before becoming the town’s representative on the county legislature.

“I’m a real hard-nose 'I love Endicott' girl, ok?" Hudak said. "My dad worked in the Endicott-Johnson factory. My mom was a wonderful seamstress, made a good living doing that. I went to school at Union-Endicott.”

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7:41am

Mon November 4, 2013
Business

Whose fault was Norse Energy's bankruptcy?

http://norseenergycorp.no/index.php?name=About_Norse_Energy_Corp

New York’s hold on high-volume hydrofracking has entered its sixth year. Norse Energy first tried to stay afloat until fracking was approved, but then gave up and converted to Chapter 7, a complete shutdown of operations. The company and fracking supporters cited the state’s de facto moratorium as the obvious culprit.

Norse’s former chief legal officer Dennis Holbrook says drillers just can’t compete anymore using the drilling methods still allowed in New York.

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7:52am

Wed October 9, 2013
Health

Researcher looks for Alzheimer's diagnosis in speech patterns

Researchers hope recording voices of Alzheimer's patients will help lead to earlier detection of the disease.
License Attribution Some rights reserved by roland / Creative Commons License

A Binghamton researcher is launching a study that he hopes will help with early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. David Shaffer is looking for Alzheimer’s patients so he can record their voices. Shaffer believes if he can get enough samples and enough funding, he could pinpoint how a deteriorating brain reveals itself in speech patterns, because so much of the brain is involved in speaking.

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8:11am

Thu September 12, 2013
Technology

Fuel cell grant powers hydrogen-powered bus development

Federal officials visited BAE Systems near Binghamton recently to announce $13 million in grants for fuel cell-powered mass transit. The grants went to a range of manufacturers and transit agencies across the country.

At a refurbished IBM plant in Endicott, BAE’s Sean Murphy explained the zero emissions engines that are now being made there.

“The four components are a generator, so we need to generate electricity, being an electric motor that drives it.”

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8:18am

Wed September 4, 2013
Politics and Government

Area lawmakers weigh in on upcoming Syria vote

As Congress begins to debate a resolution to authorize United States military action in Syria, members of the New York congressional delegation are expressing their opinion publicly about what should be done.

Rep. Tom Reed, a Republican who represents parts of the Finger Lakes and Souther Tier regions, has been conducting a listening tour in his district to gather opinions from his constituents.

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7:12am

Fri August 30, 2013
Environment

Hydrofracking case will be heard in New York Court of Appeals

Ellen Abbott WRVO, file photo

The challenges to local hydrofracking bans in New York are one step closer toward their last day in court, as the state’s Court of Appeals agreed to consider two challenges of lower court rulings allowing municipal fracking bans in the towns of Dryden and Middlefield.

The plaintiffs had to apply to the Court of Appeals because the lower courts were unanimous in deciding against them.

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4:21pm

Tue August 13, 2013
Energy

Debate over Cayuga Power Plant intensifies the fight on fracking

Opponents of hydrofracking are lining up against plans to convert a Tompkins County power plant from coal to natural gas, making it the newest front line in the fight against gas drilling in New York.The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering a proposal to convert the Cayuga Power Plant or shut it down, while the proposal’s opponents are calling the process too secretive.

At a press conference in Ithaca on Monday, Dryden resident Joe Wilson held up the version of the repowering proposal that was made public.

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6:41am

Tue August 6, 2013
Environment

Lawsuit challenges change to dairy regulation

Kabsik Park/flickr

A coalition of New York state environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the state’s environmental regulators in July. The groups claim that the Department of Environmental Conservation violated environmental law when it loosened the regulation of dairy farms. The result is that the state’s very public support of the yogurt industry may have hit a roadblock.

During a highly publicized Yogurt Summit last year in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised the spirit behind the industry in New York.

“When you see an opportunity, grab it and get it done,” Cuomo said.

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9:09am

Tue July 16, 2013
Agriculture

Binghamton urban farmers ask city for laws to ease expansion

Johan Jelsma at his garden in Binghamton.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Johan Jelsma is taking me on a tour of his garden on the West Side of Binghamton. He rattles off the names of plants in just one small patch of his yard:

“Eggplants, Brussels sprouts, a little bit of remnants of peas left and cucumber, melon.”

Jelsma's entire yard is taken over by a garden of vegetables, fruit trees and flowers. He says some passersby describe it as the wild yard.

“I didn’t like grass per se. I mean I like laying on it, I like running but I definitely don’t enjoy mowing.”

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8:13am

Mon July 15, 2013
Business

Endicott Interconnect files for bankruptcy, layoffs may follow

Southern Tier-based Endicott Interconnect Technologies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. The Broome County high-tech manufacturer, which employs approximately 600 people, plans to continue operations as it reorganizes.    

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8:49am

Mon July 8, 2013
Energy

Debate over coal plant shows challenges of energy transition

Coal-fired turbines at Cayuga power plant in Lansing, N.Y.
WSKG

Once every week, a freight train loaded with coal makes its way through Ithaca to the coal-fired power plant north of town in Lansing, on the shore of Cayuga Lake. Those shipments may stop soon.

The state’s Public Service Commission is considering the future of the Lansing plant. The pending decision has sparked a local debate that says a lot about the challenges New York will face if it’s serious about switching to new sources of power.

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4:04pm

Wed June 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Critics of Cuomo's tax-free initiative speak out

At a rally Tuesday in Albany, labor advocates protested Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s latest economic development program. The program, Tax-Free NY, is a new spin on an old economic tool.

“I think tax-free zones are a horrible idea right now. I think that these programs have been tried in the past. We’ve called them empire zones, job incentive programs, we know through history that these simply do not work,” said Ron Deutsch from the left-leaning New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.

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8:45am

Wed May 22, 2013
Agriculture

Farmers and beekeepers respond to colony collapse

A bee hive near Ithaca, New York
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Since 2006, honey bees have been abandoning seemingly healthy hives in large numbers, raising alarm among beekeepers, farmers and researchers. But, the industries that are dependent on honey bees are finding ways to manage the losses.

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9:42am

Fri May 17, 2013
Agriculture

Immigration reform would address labor shortages on NY farms

New York's dairy farmers have a challenge finding guest workers because existing programs don't allow year-round workers.
Matt Richmond WSKG

As lawmakers in the Senate's Judiciary Committee debate the immigration reform bill released last month, farmers in New York State are hoping to find enough workers to fully staff their operations. It's a yearly struggle in New York and nationwide and according to a report by Farm Credit East, more than 1000 farms in New York could close or shrink by two-thirds if immigration laws were fully enforced.

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1:48pm

Thu May 2, 2013
Energy

Court upholds 'home rule' over drilling laws

Marie Cusick Innovation Trail/WMHT

In two separate rulings Thursday, New York's appellate court, the state's second highest court, ruled that the state's Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt municipal land use laws.

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5:47am

Tue April 30, 2013
Energy

Elmira faces ups and downs of gas business

Schlumberger's gasfield services facility in Horseheads, just outside of Elmira.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

The City of Elmira is just seven miles from the Pennsylvania border. And for four years, the natural gas boom in Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier crossed over the border and boosted Elmira’s economy. But that boom has slowed down.

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8:33am

Sat April 20, 2013
Agriculture

Connecting farmers to restaurants in Binghamton

Pennsylvania farmer David Morgan at a Meet the Farmer event in Binghamton.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

In New York’s central region, there are hundreds of farms selling meat and produce directly to the public, and a Binghamton group is working to connect restaurants with those farms. The downtown Binghamton restaurant Lost Dog Café recently held a "Meet the Farmer" event. Sixty people attended a catered dinner in the back of the busy restaurant.

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9:10am

Thu April 18, 2013
Business

Chenango County named latest foreign trade zone in N.Y.

In March, the federal government awarded Chenango County, northeast of Binghamton, foreign trade zone status. That means county businesses can import goods without paying a tariff. They also pay a lower tariff if those goods are sold within the United States and no tariff if the final product is exported.

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10:03am

Fri April 5, 2013
Health

Startup uses sensors to find cause of knee pain

Sonostics CEO Chuck Schwerin says his company's treatment offers a way to resolve knee pain before going to surgery.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Tim Cortesi is a software engineer at a downtown Binghamton company called Sonostics. At the company's offices in Binghamton's startup incubator, he sticks four small patches attached to wires onto the muscles around his knee.

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12:47pm

Fri March 22, 2013
Regional Coverage

Arguments over fracking bans focus on one sentence

A drilling rig in Pennsylvania, where Act 13 prevents towns from controlling where drilling can take place. State courts have blocked Act 13.
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Oral arguments were completed Thursday in the case that will decide whether New York towns have the right to ban gas drilling. The case comes down to how the panel of four judges will interpret a single sentence.

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10:29am

Mon March 18, 2013
Energy

Jury still out on Cuomo's Energy Highway blueprint

freefotouk Flickr

On a residential street outside of Albany, there is a discreet red-brick building. There’s no sign telling drivers that the flow of all the electricity in New York state is being controlled inside. The organization at the controls is the New York Independent System Operators (NYISO). They’re a non-profit created after New York’s energy markets were opened up in the '90s.

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10:41am

Fri March 8, 2013
Politics and Government

Some Southern Tier air traffic towers facing closure

The regional airports in Ithaca and Binghamton would both lose their air traffic controllers if federal budget cuts known as sequestration take full effect. The first round of closures begins April 7.

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9:01am

Thu March 7, 2013
Technology

$25 million goes to expand broadband access in New York

Some rights reserved by Sean MacEntee Creative Commons

The state's Connect NY Broadband Grant program awarded $25 million to 18 projects on Tuesday.

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4:55am

Tue February 26, 2013
Energy

Broome County opens Office of Energy Development

The Broome County Legislature recently approved a new Office of Energy Development, but the purpose of the office is not clear.

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8:49am

Fri February 15, 2013
Politics and Government

Fracking delay could take weeks or much longer

New York's Dept. of Environmental Conservation delayed its environmental review of fracking until the go-ahead is given by the Dept. of Health
Marie Cusick/Innovation Trail

On Tuesday, New York state officials announced another delay of their final decision on hydrofracking. The Department of Environmental Conservation will wait for a report on the health protections in its environmental review of fracking. Then the environmental review can be completed. The delay could be less than a month or it could be much longer. But one thing is clear - the delayed health review is now the key factor in deciding whether or not fracking will go ahead in New York.

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11:18am

Mon February 4, 2013
The Upstate Economy

Millions in incentives go to firearms industry in New York state

Remington's plant in Illion New York has received $5.5 million in subsidies from New York
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

As the nation has been focused on gun control since the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, additional attention is now being paid to the incentives going to the gun industry in New York.

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3:21pm

Wed January 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

Officials bring gun control law to forums across the state

Attendees at Tuesday's forum in Endwell question state police officials on New York's new gun control law.
Matt Richmond WSKG

Two weeks after passing new gun control measures, New York officials have begun holding public forums to discuss what’s in the law. Forums have been held in Lake Placid, near Buffalo, Rochester and in Oswego. At Tuesday's forum in Endwell, Broome County, about 100 attendees came out to raise their questions and vent their frustrations over the new law.

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