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

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow has hired a new chief for the city's fire department. The change in leadership comes at a tumultuous time for the Oswego Fire Department.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Utica city officials have begun crafting their budget for the next year and the mayor's proposed version includes no tax increases. 

Mayor Robert Palmieri says it's evidence that the city's financial recovery continues to make great strides. Back in 2012, the city faced an $8 million budget gap and depleted fund reserves. Today, Palmieri's $69-million budget would not raise taxes nor would it draw from Utica's fund reserves, which have swelled to more than $5 million.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is back from a visit with American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. She says the trip answered a lot of her questions about the United State's involvement in the Middle Eastern countries. But some of the representative's constituents are upset that she hasn't been in the district answering their questions.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego officials are putting the final touches on their plan to transform the city's downtown with a $10 million state grant. It includes a mix of commercial, residential and aesthetic additions that city officials think will make downtown Oswego a destination place for residents and tourists.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego County is embarking on its first comprehensive economic study in decades. The county legislature and Oswego County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) will split the cost of hiring a Saratoga Springs-based consultant to develop a plan for advancing the local economy. The goal is to identify impediments to economic growth and untapped development opportunities.

Michael Treadwell is the CEO of the Oswego County IDA. He says the study will also offer a fresh perspective on what existing assets the county can use to spur economic growth.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A proposal from Madison County is among a group of six finalists in New York state's municipal consolidation competition. County officials are looking at combining the highway department garages of three villages into one new facility. The state will pay for the study exploring how it can be accomplished.

Madison County Board of Supervisors Chairman John Becker says it is just one consolidation project that local officials are pursuing.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A nationwide protest movement applying pressure on lawmakers to resist President Donald Trump's agenda has reached central and northern New York. The coordinated campaigns are starting to target local members of congress by pressuring them to hold town hall meetings.

Housing and Homeless Coalition

Results from an annual survey show little change in the number of people who are homeless in central New York. The Point In Time study records in a single day how many people are utilizing emergency and transitional shelters and those who are sleeping out on the streets. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Included in the governor's proposed budget is money to build a new hospital in downtown Utica. After years of planning, Mohawk Valley Health System officials are optimistic that progress will finally be made on their project this year. But some residents are still trying to change the hospital's proposed location before construction begins.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is leading an effort to update the city's zoning code. He says the current system is antiquated and redundant. So Barlow is asking the council to spend $105,000 for a Syracuse-based law firm to rewrite the code, making it more business friendly.

Oswego Common Council President Eric VanBuren says this overhaul has been on his to do list for awhile and now is the perfect time to get it done.

Claudia Tenney for Congress / claudiatenney.com

Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) says she has faced some obstacles during her first month in office. In addition to trying to adjust to a new job on Capitol Hill, the freshman congresswoman has been struggling to open offices and telephone lines in her district. 

Tenney currently only has one office, which is located in New Hartford. It just got a permanent telephone line. That has angered some of Tenney's constituents, including one who voiced concern at a Utica legislative forum in January.

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees / Facebook

Officials with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees say their philanthropic work has been interrupted by President Donald Trump's attempts to temporarily halt refugees from entering the country, and that's taking a human toll on families who were ready to start a new life in the U.S.

New York State Public Service Commission

When people in the 315-area code region pick up their phones to place local calls, they will soon have to start dialing all 10 digits. It's part of New York state's effort to deal with a declining number of available phone numbers in the area with the addition of a new area code.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News File Photo

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) dismisses the outrage over President Donald Trump's executive actions as hysteria. The president temporarily halted all refugees from entering the country and anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries. It also put in place an indefinite ban for all refugees from the war-torn country Syria. The ban is now on hold because of a court order.

Alliance for Quality Education

The Alliance for Quality Education says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is misleading the public in a debate about school funding. The school advocacy group has published a new report that criticizes the governor's proposed education spending plan and his attempts to defend it. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The del Lago Casino in Seneca County has opened its doors. The  $440 million facility is one of several casinos opening in upstate after after New Yorkers approved a referendum in 2013 that allows for the creation of four non-Indian casinos upstate.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Inside a factory near Oneida, a roll of flat, shiny steel slowly inches into a machine that cuts, imprints and bends the metal, spitting out two shells on the other end. Sherrill Manufacturing CEO Matt Roberts says the way this machine fuses those two halves to form the handle of a knife,  through a process called brazing, is one of a kind. But this machine is not the only unique thing about this factory.

New York Attorney General's Office

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing telecommunications company Time Warner Cable for allegedly defrauding their internet customers. The lawsuit accuses Time Warner Cable of misleading New Yorkers by advertising internet service at speeds they did not provide.

Schneiderman says his office launched the 16-month investigation after receiving thousands of complaints from residents who were experiencing issues with internet speed.

BaronBrian / Flickr

Famous public health advocate Erin Brockovich is leading a campaign to pressure New York state lawmakers and officials to focus more resources on combating the deadly Legionnaires' disease. Brockovich says New Yorkers are at risk of seeing even more cases of the disease if major steps are not taken.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

At the annual Mohawk Valley legislative forum in Utica, state and local leaders said the region's economy is poised to expand thanks to several major projects, but  the endangered status of the nano technology center in Marcy loomed throughout the discussion.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At an economic forecast luncheon in Auburn, local officials were optimistic about Cayuga County's recovery. The county has recouped more than 90 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession and the unemployment rate continues to decline. Now the challenge is preparing the local workforce for those openings.

Southern Arkansas University / Flickr

An allocation in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget could resolve a dispute over casino revenues in the Mohawk Valley. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A third of the city of Utica lives below the poverty line, including 47 percent of its children. That is the starting point for the city's new poverty reduction initiative task force. At its first public forum last week, those involved with the project revealed that the problem is even worse for African American children, 72 percent of whom are affected.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego is narrowing in on a plan to completely overhaul its waterfront area. Some of the proposals include radical changes to the current landscape, like a beach, whitewater rafting course and new maritime museum. 

The city received a state-funded grant to study ways it can best utilize its lakeside location so Oswego can become more of a destination. The consultant on the project Greg Weykamp says after a year of meeting with city leaders and residents, there's one overarching desire.  

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Women’s rallies were held in Syracuse and Watertown over the weekend in protest of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but perhaps the most symbolic in the region was the one in Seneca Falls where thousands gathered outside the National Women’s Rights Historical Park.

A sea of purple and white filled the courtyard where the first national women’s rights convention was held in 1848. Becky Bly, owner of Woman Made Products in Seneca Falls, told the crowd that their presence honored the 300 women and men who started that women’s suffrage movement.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Many central New Yorkers are gathering in Washington D.C. today for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. Some are eagerly awaiting the speech from the infamously unpredictable Trump. Others are there to protest.

Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has lent his support to an effort to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary. The goal is to preserve dozens of known and unknown historic shipwrecks in the southeastern portion of the lake for further study.

Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties put together an application after the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to add to its current list of 14 marine sanctuaries. Now with Cuomo's approval, the counties can submit their application for further consideration. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As SUNY Oswego junior Alyssa Lopez reflects on her fall semester, it's hard to forget the moment when she was on the edge of being homeless. She and her roommates got a call from the city of Oswego's code enforcement department in September to investigate the houses's front porch, which was rotting and falling apart. After one visit, the place she was calling home was condemned.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Employees at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant have taken the facility offline to begin the refueling process, a reality that seemed almost impossible one year ago. FitzPatrick was rescued from closure last summer when Exelon agreed to buy it after New York state approved a massive nuclear subsidy program.  

Office of Assemblyman Gary Finch

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to offer free college tuition at New York's SUNY and CUNY schools for families that make less than $125,000 has garnered a lot of attention, but not everyone is receptive to the idea.

Pages