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.

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Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said there are too many unanswered questions about the proposed government merger between her city and Onondaga County. Miner weighed in on the Consensus CNY recommendations for the first time since they were revealed earlier this year, telling Onondaga County's Conservative Party over the weekend that she cannot definitively support or oppose the consolidation plan without more information.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

As many national GOP leaders are calling on Republicans to vote for Sen. Ted Cruz in the presidential contest to stop front runner Donald Trump, central New York Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) said "without equivocation" he will not support either of those candidates in New York's presidential primary on April 19 or in the general election. 

"Ted Cruz shut down the government. That's his one accomplishment," Hanna said, referencing the senator's attempts to strip funding from the Affordable Care Act in 2013 that led to a standoff between Congress and the White House.

MemphisCVB / Flickr

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers may be left out of the Empire State's presidential primary this April because it's closed, meaning only registered Democrats and Republicans can participate. The New York League of Women Voters' legislative director Barbara Bartoletti said that leaves out voters who are registered under third parties.

"We want people to participate in their government," Bartoletti said." We want people to vote and its depressing that we have set up so many barriers in New York State to disallow all of the very well informed."

Entergy

New York Senate Republicans are offering a budget proposal that includes $100 million for Oswego County's James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

New York State Public Service Commission

New York officials have been trying to stall the need for a new area code for years by trying to make existing numbers last and getting some digits back, but demand outpaced those efforts. Now, they are beginning to implement a new area code in 18 central and northern New York counties, from St. Lawrence to Chenango and Ontario to Hamilton counties.

But Scott Morris, a senior adviser with the land line and broadband provider Windstream, said there's no need to panic.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Scriba town's highway superintendent appeared in court this week for the first time since he was arrested and charged with a DWI last year. Mike Barry, who had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .14 when he was arrested in July 2015, had delayed the court hearing several times -- after his election in November and past a planned February referendum intended to replace him, which has since been delayed.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the number of governments in the county is unsustainable. In his annual State of the County speech Tuedsay, he renewed his call for downsizing the size of government, noting that sales tax revenues in Oneida County are down by $3.8 million. The county has 47 government units and 345 taxing jurisdictions. Picente said that ultimately leads to overlapping public services.

Entergy

If the owner of the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant refuses to keep the facility open, can the state force it to? That's the question after FitzPatrick owner Entergy has rejected several offers to help keep the financially stressed plant from closing in January. The company says it's too late, but some think the state may not need Entergy's approval.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In the state's latest attempt to combat the heroin epidemic, officials are expanding access to a drug overdose antidote to ensure more New Yorkers can access the potentially life saving medicine. 

Naloxone, more commonly referred to as Narcan, is now available without a prescription at 750 independent pharmacies and chain pharmacies. That's in addition to the 480 CVS and 460 Walgreens pharmacies that were approved to offer Narcan without a prescription earlier this year.

Oswego's Wayne Drugs manager Jamie Branshaw praised the state's action.

www.co.oswego.ny.us

A judge has denied a request for a new trial in the 20-year-old Heidi Allen disappearance case.

The man who was convicted of kidnapping her from a New Haven convenience store, Gary Thibodeau, claims that new evidence has surfaced since the original trial that exonerates him. But, more than a year after the hearing for a new trial began, the judge denied the request.

His attorney, Lisa Peebles, said the ruling is disappointing but expected.

BaronBrian / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assist Ithaca schools after some of its drinking water tested positive for elevated lead levels.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego is planning a major revitalization of the area along State Route 104, which runs through the middle of its downtown and waterfront area.

Mayor Billy Barlow said it doesn't take long for visitors to pass through the city on Route 104, leaving little time for Oswego to stand out.

"It’s the face of our community," Barlow said. "It’s the street that gives you the impression, you know the first 30 seconds you have to make an impression."

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oneida County Republican Committee is endorsing Cazeonvia businessman Steve Wells in his bid to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld).

City of Oswego

Oswego's new mayor says he is well on the way to achieving reforms he targeted for his first 100 days. Halfway there, Mayor Billy Barlow is celebrating what he calls a new energy at city hall. He has opened new positions in the code enforcement department, a new city website is under development and the city's community development department is currently undergoing a complete overhaul.

"My approach up to this point has been let's get our house in order before we start trying to attract people when we don't have our act together," Barlow said.

Entergy

Update:

Just hours after the PSC announced its plan, Entergy said in a statement that the financial implications of the commission's efforts are too uncertain and that the proposal comes too late to save the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant. The company said it will proceed with its plans to shutdown the FitzPatrick plant.

Earlier:

New York's Public Service Commission (PSC) is ordering its staff to develop a new rescue plan to help keep Oswego County's Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant open.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

An official from Oneida County is threatening legal action over proposed state legislation that would give Madison County more casino revenue from the Oneida Indian Nation.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

 

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) is encouraging small business owners to take advantage of a free training program that he says is helping revitalizing downtown Syracuse.

@Maggie_Brooks / Twitter

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is supporting Syracuse-area businessman Steven Wells in the Republican primary to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld).

Picente, a Reoublican who at one time considered jumping in the race, said Wells -- like Hanna -- is a successful businessman who is willing to work across the aisle.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Scriba town officials are delaying a February referendum intended to help them fire a recently elected official. The referendum, which would ask residents to switch the highway superintendent job from an elected position to an appointed one, will now be on the November ballot. It's intended for officials to replace Highway Superintendent Michael Barry, who was arrested last July and charged with a DWI. Scriba town attorney Kevin Caraccioli said the logistics of arranging a special election would have been too much for the town to handle in the short time it had.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said the Republican-controlled Senate should hold a hearing for any Supreme Court Candidate President Barack Obama nominates to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Katko said the process should work as directed in the U.S. Constitution.

"Let the Senate weigh it out if it gets to them, but I don't think there should be any block from doing it," Katko said. "I think if they want to present someone, let them do it. But, it may be an exercise in futility unless it's someone that's appealing to everyone."

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Five Oswego County legislators who failed to fill out a required oath of office form will now have to run for reelection this fall despite being elected to a two-year term last November.

All elected county officials must sign an oath of office card by February 1, but several members, Margaret Kastler of Lacona, Milferd Potter of Pulaski, Shawn Doyle of Pulaski, Robert Hayes of Phoenix and Jim Karasek of Fulton, failed to submit the form in time. Karasek said he was preoccupied dealing with a medical issue.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

When a high school student is not admitted to a college or university, they receive a rejection letter. But at SUNY Oswego, that process is changing to let some denied applicants have another shot.

The college rejected about 2,500 freshmen applicants last year, according to Dan Griffin, director of admissions at SUNY Oswego. The response to those students was the same.

"We’re sorry, we can’t help you out as a freshman," Griffin said. "If you go someplace else for a couple of semesters, maybe you should reapply and we'll do our best to accommodate you."

Ken Reppart / Flickr

Scriba town officials are considering delaying a referendum that could lead to replacing one of its elected official who was arrested for drinking and driving. Scriba's new Highway Superintendent Michael Barry was arrested last July, with a blood alcohol content level of .14, and charged with a DWI. But, town residents didn't know about the arrest until after the November election.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

An official with Entergy said that its decision to close Oswego County's James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant last October is negatively affecting the way state lawmakers view its Indian Point nuclear facility.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

The Oswego Common Council is repealing a recently enacted law that requires city employees to live within 15 miles of downtown Oswego. In a 6-1 vote Monday, the council voted to repeal the residency requirement almost a year after it was added to the charter. Mayor Billy Barlow said it's a burden to families who may have to live in another area that has the services their families need. And, he said it hinders the hiring process.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) are drawing criticism from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their administrative salaries. Some of the highest-paid employees at the publicly funded universities earn more than $400,000, at the same time that tuition is rising. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Two Democratic candidates running for New York's 24th Congressional District seat earned a joint endorsement Wednesday night from the Democratic parties in Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties. 

The counties are supporting Syracuse lawyer Steve Williams and Colleen Deacon, a former staffer for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, was not endorsed.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In a tie vote, the Democratic parties in Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne counties decided to endorse two of the three Democratic candidates in the race for New York's 24th Congressional district. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

If campaign fundraising totals are any indication of the status of the Democratic race for New York's 24th Congressional district, it's a dead heat.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

New York lawmakers are proposing policies that they hope can save struggling upstate nuclear power facilities, including Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, from closing.

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