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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SUNY

The State University of New York (SUNY) is considering letting its charter schools create their own teacher certification programs, a proposal that teachers unions and education advocacy groups say endangers students and the teaching profession.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New York state has announced what projects it will fund as part of the $10 million prize Oswego won last year in the state's Downtown Revitalization Competition.

Anthony J. Picente Jr. / Facebook

Oneida County officials say the area was submerged in as much as half a foot of rain over the weekend, and residents are still cleaning up. The worst of it came Saturday when 1.4 inches fell in just 40 minutes time.

St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

The historically high water levels on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River this year have presented those in the shipping industry with both challenges and opportunities.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

A growing number of New York lawmakers are saying this year's historic flooding along Lake Ontario was not only caused by Plan 2014, but also by the execution of it.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is running for Congress in the 22nd District, looking to challenge his former colleague in the Assembly, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford).

Brindisi jumps into the race after declining last year to run for the open seat that was vacated by moderate Republican Richard Hanna. He said a lot has changed in that time.

Brindisi says Tenney is far more loyal to Republican Party initiatives, like the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. And that, he says, has hurt the district.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The New York State Legislature is meeting today for a special session and that may provide lawmakers with an opportunity to prevent the closure of Vernon Downs. The owner of the Oneida County racino is hoping for some tax relief that the Legislature failed to pass before they adjourned last week.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended malt barley crop insurance to 44 counties in New York state. Before, only four counties in the state had crop insurance for their malt barley -- a key ingredient in the manufacturing of beer.

Those in the industry said that lack of widespread access to insurance has limited the number of farmers who were willing to grow the crop. Malt barley is seen as a risky venture because of its delicate nature and susceptibility to severe weather.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not signing a bill the New York State Legislature passed last week that would provide grants for flood victims along Lake Ontario. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

State lawmakers have passed legislation that could provide financial relief for those affected by Lake Ontario flooding. The new bill was approved after weeks of debate between the state Senate and Assembly over how much to spend and whom should be be eligible

Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr

The Auburn Enlarged City School District is cutting 13.5 staff positions to cover a more than $3.5 million-dollar deficit.

The reductions will result in job losses for about eight employees, according to Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo, who says the numbers would have been far worse had the community not approved an increase in taxes this spring.

Vernon Downs Racing Casino and Hotel

The owner of Vernon Downs Jeff Gural says without intervention from state lawmakers, his business will close.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

When President Donald Trump announced that the United States is leaving the Paris climate accord, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the opportunity to say New York will not. The Democratic governor pledged to uphold the international agreement, formed a multi-state partnership and promised to take aggressive action to tackle climate change, but much of that work was already underway. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

NASA participated in a drone demonstration Wednesday at the Griffiss International Airport, which those involved in the test say was a milestone for their work and the future of the drone industry.

WXXI News File Photo

It's another wet week in much of central and northern New York, offering no relief to those experiencing flooding along Lake Ontario and in the area.

The National Weather Service says rainfall in the region is several inches above average this year, for the month of May especially. Last month was the second-wettest May on record for the Watertown area and the third-wettest in the Syracuse area.

But National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Welch says that's not the main cause of the flooding many communities in the region are experiencing.

ironmike9 / Flickr

National Grid wants to raise rates for its customers in upstate New York, a request that comes at a particularly difficult time for low-income residents.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

As residents along Lake Ontario try to clean up from this year's flooding, state officials are warning about the health risks the situation poses. 

The Oswego County Health Department is offering resident's free Tdap -- or tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine -- shots for those affected by the flooding.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Officials working on the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, which Congress established as a national historical park in January, say there's a lot in store for the facility over the next few years. 

The executive director of the Tubman home, Karen Hill, says with the recent national park designation and upcoming release of the $20 Tubman bill, the revered conductor of the underground railroad is finally getting the kind of recognition she deserves.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

State lawmakers are moving to provide grants to property owners affected by the flooding from Lake Ontario and this year's high rainfall, but they disagree about how to best address the situation.

Oswego Stampede

A junior hockey team from Morrisville is relocating to Oswego.

Since it was formed in 2011, the Syracuse Stampede have called Baldwinsville and later Morrisville home. Now the North American 3 Junior Hockey League team is coming to the Anthony Crisafulli Rink, or "The Fort," in Oswego.

General Manager and Coach Mike Beavis says the new location is a better fit for their 25 players.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sharply critical of President Donald Trump's proposed budget. The $4.1 trillion spending plan calls for steep cuts in a range of support programs for low-income individuals to balance the federal government's books over the next decade.

While in Oswego County Wednesday, Cuomo called it an ultra-conservative version of President Ronald Reagan's economic approach to governing.

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.

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