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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New York Power Authority

New York officials have long sought a way to take excess energy that's produced in upstate power plants and ship it downstate where the consumer demand is far greater. Downstate consumes 60 percent of the state's energy according to the New York Power Authority (NYPA), but much of the power is produced upstate. Rather than build more transmission lines to link the two regions, NYPA has invested in a project that boosts the existing power infrastructure.

Jason Smith / WRVO News (file photo)

The Oswego Common Council approved a plan Monday from Mayor Billy Barlow to offer free wireless internet service in the city's downtown by a vote of 5-2. Several citizens spoke in favor of free WiFi ahead of the meeting, but some councilors were concerned about the price of the project and how soon it came up for a vote.

The costs for the first year would run $42,500 thousand dollars and nearly $30,000 each year thereafter. Barlow said the price is justified, calling free WiFi an essential amenity to modernize the city.

Derek Key / Flickr

Oneida County residents will not be able to purchase fireworks for the July Fourth holiday this year. The county executive, Anthony Picente, has vetoed a bill from the Oneida County Board of Legislators that would have allowed the sale of sparklers and small, fountain-style fireworks. He cited safety concerns.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

New York lawmakers say if the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant and its 615 jobs are to be saved, they just need to keep it open long enough to benefit from nuclear plant subsidies that are currently under consideration, but its owner Entergy has repeatedly said it is not interested in that state support. So, some state lawmakers are now proposing drastic steps to rescue FitzPatrick that could involve a state takeover of the plant.

Colleen Deacon for Congress / www.colleendeacon.com

The three Democrats seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in New York's 24th Congressional District have competed for endorsements, and argued about their worth. But will they even matter in a year when anti-establishment sentiment has reached a fever pitch?

At the Oswego Common Council meeting Monday, Mayor Billy Barlow presented his plan for free public WiFi in the city's downtown. The young mayor called it an essential amenity to modernize the port city.

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego County Administrator Phil Church is a shipwreck diver and photographer in his off time. These days, he's bringing his hobby to work. Church is coordinating an effort between Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the city of Oswego to have the southeastern part of Lake Ontario designated as a national marine sanctuary. There are only 14 in the world and Church said Oswego has a good case to join that list.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to find a compromise over how to best utilize a corridor in the Adirondacks, he opened old wounds from a decades-long debate.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At its annual meeting Thursday, Operation Oswego County, an economic development organization, said it helped create and retain about 386 jobs over the past year. But, the focus of the event centered on saving existing jobs that are at risk.

National Congress of American Indians / ChangeTheMascot.org

A recent poll from the Washington Post found that 90 percent of 504 Native Americans whom were surveyed are not bothered by the use of the term redskin, but that is not stopping an effort to change the Washington NFL team's name.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stopped at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse to visit the family of a corrections officer who was harmed when a package delivered to his Oneida County home exploded. The 52-year-old officer was in critical condition after opening the package at his home Sunday morning in the town of Floyd.

The officer suffered burns to his hands and arms, and Cuomo said Upstate burn’s unit is the best place for him to be.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The executive director of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport told a congressional panel in Washington Thursday that the addition of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) PreCheck Enrollment System has been very successful in cutting down on security lines at the facility.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

During nearly two hours of testimony in Oswego City Hall Tuesday, community leaders and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant employees begged staff from New York's Public Service Commission to support the proposed "clean energy standard" under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goal to generate half of the state's energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

During a hearing on Capitol Hill, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) urged his colleagues to designate Oswego's Fort Ontario and Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum to National Park status. The Republican congressman is sponsoring a bill that would trigger a study to determine if the historical sites are worthy of becoming part of the National Park system.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Novelis, the aluminum manufacturing plant in Oswego County, unveiled a new $120 million addition to its operation Monday. The "automotive finishing line" takes strips of aluminum through furnaces, coolers and chemicals to strengthen the metal. It was designed specifically for the 2017 Ford Super Duty truck.

Kevin Schutt, the Novelis plant manager in Oswego, said with more aluminum, trucks can increase their payload and towing capacity. It's part of an industry-wide shift toward more lightweight vehicles for superior fuel efficiency. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

City officials and area leaders in Oswego are putting together an application for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's downtown revitalization initiative competition that will award $10 million to 10 New York communities.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

At a forum hosted by the Greater Syracuse Labor Council, AFL-CIO in Syracuse Wednesday, the three candidates running in the Democratic primary for New York's 24th Congressional District said the strength of labor unions have been decimated in recent decades and argued for tougher federal legislation to protect them and other domestic jobs.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Officials working on a project to revitalize the 3.8 miles of State Route 104 that runs through the city of Oswego say improving the road's safety is a chief concern among residents. The 104 streetscape project was intended to enhance the aesthetics of the road and its surrounding sidewalks and businesses, but feedback from locals is mostly centered around safety.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When five Oswego County legislators failed to file their oath of office cards on time earlier this year, they lost the seats they were elected to last November. The county legislature then appointed them to fill those vacancies, but state law still requires that they run again in a special election this fall. A bill in the New York state legislature would waive that requirement.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Vice President Joe Biden was the guest of honor Friday at the Syracuse University Law School graduation ceremony, but the focus of the event centered on his late son Beau Biden. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

For the second time in a week, Oswego police and fire services responded to a bomb scare Thursday at one of the city's schools.

Notes were left at the Oswego High School on May 10 and at the middle school Thursday morning, both warning of a bomb. In both instances, the school buildings were evacuated and the threats were determined to be not credible.

The Oswego City Police Department says it has identified a female student at the middle school as a possible suspect. They are still investigating the threat made to the high school.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The race in New York's 22nd Congressional District is considered by the Cook Political Report to be one of the most competitive in the nation. At least five candidates are seeking the seat that three-term Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is vacating at the end of the year. The district stretches from the eastern part of Oswego County to the Mohawk valley to the Southern Tier and includes all or part of eight counties.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The impending closure of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County is already financially impacting the nearby Mexico School District. School district officials are planning for the loss of $2.8 million this year alone.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oswego Common Council passed a law that requires second-hand stores, like pawn shops, to keep a detailed record of any items they buy and who sells it to them so police can track down stolen material. And, the stores would also have to keep any items they buy on the shelves for at least a week. It's modeled after similar anti-burglary laws in Syracuse, Onondaga county and Fulton.

Jason Braun, owner of the Wise Guyz pawn shop in Fulton, said the change will mean fewer thieves will be able to exploit unregulated Oswego pawn shops.

Kevin Withus

Friday marks the last day of classes for SUNY Oswego students for the year, which means the return of the annual bar crawl, Bridge Street Run (BSR). While BSR is considered a long-time college tradition, SUNY Oswego is hoping to build its own tradition as an alternative.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego school officials hope a public hearing on its budget crisis Tuesday will alert state lawmakers to what they call a broken funding formula. The school district is wrestling with declining tax revenues and reserve funds, which has resulted in a proposed budget that cuts more than 50 jobs.

"This is an era of financial difficulty for our district that we have to weather over the next three years after this year," said Oswego City School District Superintendent Dean Goewey, the architect of the controversial budget that slashes more than $5 million.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The New York State Legislature has set aside $30 million in its new budget for communities devastated by closing power plants that result in at least a 20 percent reduction in the local property tax collections. It's intended to help offset the loss in places like Oswego County where the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant is slated to be shutdown in January.

The campaigns of Claudia Tenney and Steve Wells

Two Republican candidates running for the open seat in New York's 22nd Congressional District are feuding over past campaign donations. New Hartford Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is criticizing her main rival, Cazenovia businessman Steve Wells, for donations he and his company have made in the past to Democrats.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Melissa Ives was recovering from a brutal motorcycle accident, the opioid medication she was prescribed helped mask the pain. But eventually, those pills ran out so she turned to a cheaper alternative - heroin.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton won resoundingly in New York's primary Tuesday, including in Onondaga County. But a look at the numbers shows that the county's results stand out in central New York.

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