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

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it the largest public acquisition of land in central New York in more than 45 years. The state now owns 6,000 acres of land along and around the Salmon River, which is a major economic and tourism asset for Oswego County.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

The level of poverty in Oswego is more than double the national rate with 29 percent of residents living below the federal threshold.

That's the finding of a study the city recently commissioned as part of its poverty reduction initiative. And, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow says that's only the tip of the iceberg.

"It shows another 18 percent may be above that threshold but struggle to make ends meet," Barlow said. "So if you combine those two numbers you’re almost near 50 percent, and that’s a problem."

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Summer is approaching, but many of New York state's beaches along Lake Ontario are closed.

Cathy Goodnough

Lake Ontario is now 33 inches above its long-term average and it's not yet at its peak. That sustained flooding is threatening residents along the shorelines and scientists say it is also taking a toll on the environment.

Oneida County Executive's Office

Oneida County officials want to capitalize on the state's recent investments in a hospital and nano technology center in the Utica area. They say the key to developing Utica is building an arts, sports and entertainment district in the city's downtown.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Russell Brooks is a staple of the Utica Fire Department. He's been there for 42 years and run it for the past 13. But last Friday, Brooks was told to turn in his cell phone and vehicle and leave the building.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Water levels on Lake Ontario are still going up and still have not yet peaked, but property owners already have been assessing the damage. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New medication-assisted treatment programs are opening across central New York to keep up with the opioid epidemic. The demand for the treatment is so high that a group of clinics are coming together in an effort to get the programs off the ground

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A discussion about race has been sparked at Colgate University in Hamilton after the campus went into lockdown last week because a black student was carrying a glue gun. Some students say unfortunately, this conversation is nothing new for the private university.

A few fliers that say "Black Lives Matter" and "White Silence is Violence" now hang in the entranceway of Colgate university's campus center called the Coop. This is the building where a black student was seen carrying what appeared to be a gun. It led Colgate to issue an incorrect warning about an active shooter.

Dale Currier / Oswego County Emergency Management Office

The water level in Lake Ontario is now higher than is been in more than 60 years, before water levels started being regulated in the 1950s.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The continued swelling of Lake Ontario is offering little relief to shoreline residents in central New York. Water levels on Lake Ontario have risen more than 9 inches since May 1, and are at the highest level since the 1950s, before water levels started being regulated.

Payne Horning / WRVO

State and local officials hope a new emergency declaration from the governor will improve their response to flooding along Lake Ontario, but the lake is already taking a toll.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Powerful winds and thunderstorms are mixing with the high water levels in Lake Ontario to wreak havoc on homeowners along the shoreline. It's prompting New York state to declare a state of emergency for Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and other counties along Lake Ontario.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Water levels continue to rise on Lake Ontario, and the National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning for Oswego and Jefferson counties from 4 p.m. Tuesday until 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Central New Yorkers rang in President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office in starkly different rallies in Syracuse this weekend. The two events Saturday were only a few miles away, but the political distance between the two groups seemed much farther.

At one event, hundreds marched to Syracuse’s Inner Harbor in coordination with climate change demonstrations across the country. They carried signs blasting the Trump administration for rolling back environmental regulations. Jacqueline King’s sign called for his impeachment.

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

More communities along the shoreline of Lake Ontario are being threatened as water levels continue to rise. As of April 24, water levels are more than 20 inches above the average for this time of year.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Democrats in upstate New York say they may be down from the losses they suffered in the 2016 election, but not out. Party officials hope the pushback to the Republican administration in Washington, D.C., will sweep local Democrats to victory later this year. 

SUNY / Twitter

The SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Kristina Johnson as the system's 13th chancellor Monday.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties.

Utica College

Some New York lawmakers and college administrators are worried about what the state's new free tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY could mean for private schools, including those at Utica College. The private college just cut its tuition rate by 42 percent last fall.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Legislators from the Mohawk Valley say they are disappointed with this year's budget process, but pleased with the outcome.

Edgewater Resources

After a year of gathering input, Edgewater Resources has unveiled its final plan for how to transform Oswego's waterfront area along Lake Ontario. The consultant's latest draft calls for two flat rock beaches, an expansion of the marina and overhauling the pier with an elevated sand beach, restaurants and a recreational green space for community events.

Edgewater President Greg Weykamp says it delivers on the community's desire for more access to Lake Ontario.

Katie Keier / Flickr

Several central and northern New York legislators are praising the state's new budget as a win for the region's schools, but they say it was a hard-fought battle that is not over yet.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Nearly 20 years after the Miller Brewing Plant in Fulton closed its doors, a new craft malt house is opening in the same factory.

The 1886 Malt House is setting up shop in what is now the Sunoco ethanol plant, where more than 25 million bushels of corn are processed every year. The two businesses will share the facility's scale house, lab technicians and maintenance employees. The actual malting of the barley will take place on the north side of the plant.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News file photo

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is standing behind President Donald Trump's missile strike of a Syrian air base last week that was believed to be used for a chemical weapons attack in which innocent Syrian citizens were killed.

In a rare moment of unity, Schumer said he supports Trump's decision - saying it sent an important message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Filing taxes is routine for most Americans, but for a group of SUNY Oswego students it's a crucial part of their education. Each year, seniors and graduate students in the college's honor society for accounting and finance majors prepare free tax returns for mostly lower-income residents. 

John Runge is a graduate accounting student and coordinator with the college's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). He recently helped file returns for people at the Hamilton Homes complex in Oswego, an affordable housing community.

Payne Horning

For years, the Sea Grant program has helped Americans learn about the oceans, the Great Lakes and other waters. Now, President Donald Trump wants to stop funding it.

That has some New York educators worried -- including a group of middle and high school science teachers who recently gathered for a Great Lakes training seminar. At SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek Field Station, they clustered around bins full of classroom activities they can implement into their lessons about the Great Lakes. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As people continue to die from heroin and opioid addiction in central and northern New York, communities like Oswego County are offering new treatment programs to combat the crisis. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The transfer of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to its new owner is officially complete. Exelon, which owns and operates the nearby Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility Exelon, announced Friday that its negotiations with Entergy are done. The company bought the Oswego County plant last summer for $110 million. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Nearly 600 SUNY Oswego students conga-ed their way into the history books this morning, smashing the previous record for the world's longest conga line on ice that was set back in 2013. It was part of a live broadcast on NBC's Today Show with one of the college's most famous alumna, Al Roker. 

Junior biology major David Rivera called it an amazing experience. 

"I read these record books and I'm like wow, I wish I could break one and I got my chance to do it," Rivera said. "It's, it's like a dream right now."

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