Payne Horning

Reporter, Oswego

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.

Ways to Connect

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says the tax overhaul bill he voted for is even better after it went through the conference committee with the Senate version. It retains the historic tax credit, which was used to restore the Hotel Syracuse, it no longer taxes the tuition waivers that some graduate students use to pay for school and it allows taxpayers some flexibility on whether they want to deduct their state income, sales or property taxes - capped at $10,000.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The Mohawk Valley won a top award at New York's annual regional economic development council ceremony last week, which comes with  $85.5 million.

Julia Botero / WRVO News File Photo

A judge is upholding the city of Watertown's decision to break its contract with the local firefighter union.

Julia Botero / WRVO News File Photo

A new study argues that New York state leaders needs to substantially ramp up their green investments to protect the climate.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared a tense exchange with WRVO's capitol correspondent Karen Dewitt Wednesday when she asked what the state was doing to confront sexual assault. The Democratic governor said Dewitt  did "a disservice to women" by minimizing the issue of harassment to state government.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) sent out letters to the owners of the 45 properties located within the proposed footprint for its new hospital in downtown Utica. It's one of the most contentious aspects of the project since the properties include historical buildings and existing businesses.

Several people who attended a public forum for the new hospital last week expressed their frustration over the matter to MVHS officials present, including Pastor Chris Tringali, who says it will cause his nondenominational church on Columbia Street to close.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Utica residents got to weigh in recently on how the city will go about its effort to improve the lives of lower-income residents.

People packed the gymnasium at the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School during the poverty town hall meeting, casting their votes for five projects aimed at eliminating the barriers that prevent people from moving out of poverty.

The most popular project was a 24-hour child care center. Shamika Rather says she recently had to quit a job because of a lack of child care options.

Mohawk Valley Health System

A public forum on the proposed new hospital in downtown Utica featured a very divided audience Thursday. The meeting that was intended to generate feedback about the hospital’s first design plans often devolved into arguments about whether the facility should even be built in that location.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO File Photo

The director of the Port of Oswego Authority resigned this week. The move comes as New York state's inspector general is investigating the port.

With no explanation given, the Port of Oswego's board of directors said in a statement Tuesday that it had accepted the resignation of Zelko Kirincich. Kirincich, who has served as executive director at the port since 2014, is leaving his position as the New York State Inspector General continues an investigation into the port.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

SUNY Oswego has started the formal process of revoking the honorary degree it presented to journalist Charlie Rose in 2014. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

An Oswego Common Councilor is being accused of sexual harassment, and the woman making the allegation is calling on him to resign. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Oswego is moving to change who gets its federal housing subsidies in an effort to propel more locals out of poverty. The city's common council is considering a proposal to prioritize applicants who are working, taking college classes or enrolled job training programs. Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow says these changes will inspire candidates to improve their applications, and in the process combat generational poverty.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

At the Novelis Aluminum plant in Oswego County, metal is processed for automotive companies like Ford, Toyota and General Motors. Novelis uses a lot of recycled metal, but most of its primary aluminum comes from Canada. 

Artspace

Utica architect Bob Heins has been working to bring Artspace to his city for the last three years. The nonprofit developer has built 50 of these income-based lofts in cities across the country, including three in New York state.

Each has studio space for its tenants, ranging from painters to musicians to writers and communal space for local arts groups to rent. Heins says the project could become the beating heart of an arts district in downtown Utica.

Mohawk Valley Health System

The Mohawk Valley Health System unveiled the site plan for its new hospital in Utica Thursday. The design calls for a nine-story, 670,000 square foot facility with space for 373 beds and an adjacent parking garage. It would be located on 25 acres of land in the city’s downtown, which presents both opportunities and challenges.

Mohawk Valley Health waited two years to secure the state funding it needed to begin the design process. It’s still only halfway complete, but architect Kim Way says that’s a good thing because it allows his firm to continue implementing public input.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

The federal government is now offering funding and resources to upstate counties devastated by the flooding along Lake Ontario this year, after President Trump declared parts of the region a federal disaster area earlier this week.

Julia Botero / WRVO News File Photo

Watertown's local fire union endorsed two candidates for city council this year, neither were the incumbents who have been on the council for the past three years while the city and union battled over a new contract. 

The Campbell Conversations / WRVO News File Photo

Democrats in Onondaga County are assessing their losses in this year's election. They flipped only one seat in the Onondaga County Legislature, and were beaten by an independent candidate in the Syracuse mayoral race. But issues remain for the Onondaga County Republican Party as well, largely because of feuds between some of its leaders.

Julia Botero / WRVO News File Photo

Watertown will no longer pay overtime costs in the city's fire department that are caused by sick leave, the latest development in the bitter feud between the union and city government.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Staff at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County powered down the facility last weekend in response to an internal leak.

FitzPatrick spokesperson Tammy Holden says they recently discovered a defect in a few of the plant's more than 30,000 fuel rods - long, thin metal tubes that contain uranium. They're located within the reactor's core and help produce power. The issue was higher than normal radioactive contamination in the water that the fuel rods heat to produce steam.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse independent mayoral candidate Ben Walsh won big Tuesday night and will be the first mayor of the city not affiliated with a political party. Walsh won with a mix of support from Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The deadly shooting at a Texas church Sunday has renewed calls for stricter gun control laws in the United States. But Rep. John katko (R-Camillus) says this tragedy shouldn't simply bring calls for gun control. 

Katko says it's clear that there were mental health issues with the shooter in Sunday's attack. 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley received a "bad conduct discharge" from the Air Force in 2014, and was courtmartialed for assaulting his wife and child. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Several seats on Watertown's city council are up for grabs this election, but the outcome of the vote could have more of an impact on the city's mayor.

City council candidate Ryan Henry-Wilkinson says after years of legal battles between the city and its firefighter union, he's campaigning on restoring public trust in city government. Henry-Wilkinson hopes to help accomplish that by changing Watertown's form of government to a strong mayor system replacing the city manager by making the mayor a full-time position.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The Utica Common Council voted to extend term limits for some city offices more than a month ago, but the issue is far from settled. The matter is now entangled in this year's local elections.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Some Utica residents are trying to resurrect the city's now defunct human relations commission. They say it's needed now at a time when divisiveness and incidences of hate crimes are on the rise.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When voters in Utica's first ward head to the polls on November 7, they will see a unique addition to their ballots. Next to Utica Common Council candidate Lou Poccia's name are the words "NOHOSPITAL DWNTN."

"We wanted to demonstrate in a very vivid way that the people of this city are opposed to this downtown hospital," Poccia said. "It is being forced down our throats by the elites of our community."

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Last year an arranged meeting in the Oswego County village of Phoenix to purchase a pair of sneakers went horribly wrong. The village resident was conned by the people who agreed to sell him the shoes. They robbed and shot him.

Hamilton College

Tonight, Hamilton College is welcoming Karl Rove and David Axelrod to campus for a discussion about the nation's current political landscape. The two strategists served in the campaigns and administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama respectively.

WRVO's Payne Horning spoke with the moderator of the event , USA Today's White House correspondent Susan Page, about what the audience can expect.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Central New York and the Mohawk Valley are joining the race to win the coveted second headquarters of Amazon. The online retailer giant plans to invest as much as $4 billion to build their new campus and expects to create as many as 50,000 jobs.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) got an earful from an angry crowd in Seneca County over the weekend. He tried to keep things calm at the Romulus Central School town hall on Saturday, but tempers frequently boiled over.

Many of those who attended the event excoriated the Republican for voting for a House budget resolution that would make major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, while at the same time lower taxes for the wealthy.

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