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

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) got an earful from an angry crowd in Seneca County over the weekend. He tried to keep things calm at the Romulus Central School town hall on Saturday, but tempers frequently boiled over.

Many of those who attended the event excoriated the Republican for voting for a House budget resolution that would make major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, while at the same time lower taxes for the wealthy.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A group of protesters recently gathered outside of Mohawk Valley Congresswoman Claudia Tenney's (R-New Hartford) office in New Hartford. They were upset with the Republican representative's vote for a budget resolution that they say would gut services for many New Yorkers who are in need of assistance.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oneida County is submitting its mandated consolidation plan to the state. The objective is to realize tax savings, but both those in favor and against the plan say it does not go far enough.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At a special state hearing in Oswego County Tuesday, government officials admitted that there's effectively no way to prevent Lake Ontario from once again reaching the record high levels seen this year. In fact, they said it's bound to happen again. But, they think there may be ways to reduce the amount of damage the flooding caused along the shoreline.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Once again, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is proposing a budget that does not raise property taxes, but it still calls for investments in several new initiatives.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Another SuperDIRT Week is in the books at the Oswego Speedway. The track has played host to the annual racing event for the past two years after construction stalled at the Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings. And now that the dust has settled, Oswego officials hope it will return - this time for good.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The city of Cortland has won first place in central New York prize for the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) competition. The award comes with $10 million to fund projects aimed at developing the city's downtown region. That will include investments in a new gathering space for community activities, additional housing and re-imagining the city's infrastructure for the 21st century.

Mayor Brian Tobin says it builds on work already underway with the Cortland Downtown Partnership that was initially formed a decade ago.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Several projects that are underway in Watertown to transform the city's downtown are getting a major boost. The city has won New York's top prize in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) competition for the North Country, and the $10 million that comes with it.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) says passing tighter gun control laws is not the way to respond to the Las Vegas shooting Sunday that left 59 people dead and hundreds injured. Some lawmakers are advocating for new measures after police revealed that the alleged shooter in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history had scores of weapons, but Reed says that approach only offers false security.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Watertown City Council adopted a resolution Monday night opposing several wind farms that are under development near Fort Drum. Mayor Joseph Butler says the wind turbines would interfere with military base's radar system, impeding its training operations.

“We’re in a position where we don’t want to weaken the strength of the mission readiness at the base, we want to enhance it,” Butler said. “So we’re just making a statement to express our support that we’re not anti-wind, we’re priority Fort Drum.”

New York State Corrections Officer and Police Benevolent Association

Picketers recently gathered outside the Auburn Correctional Facility hoping to bring attention to the risks that some officers face inside. Joe Miano with the New York State Corrections Officer and Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA), a prison guard union, says it can be treacherous.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Homeowners who sustained damage from this year's flooding along Lake Ontario have until 5 p.m. Friday to apply for financial aid from the state. New York leaders appropriated millions of dollars this year to help residents recover from historically high water levels, but there may not be enough to go around.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Oswego is offering new small business loans, funded by outstanding loans that were awarded 20 years ago.

Mayor Billy Barlow says the city received $1 million in the 1990s to establish a commercial loan program. Officials doled out that funding, but several of the loans were never paid back.

“Whether the community development office never followed up or – you know, I’m not sure what happened, but we had 19 outstanding loans in January 1 of 2016,” Barlow said.

Development Authority of North Country

Lawmakers and an advocacy group representing Fort Drum are warning about several proposed wind farm projects that are under development in the north country. They say the wind turbines could threaten operations at the military base. That's welcome news to some residents in Jefferson County, who have been fighting one of the developments since it was proposed a decade ago.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego is offering up to $400,000 to individuals, business owners and or organizations that can help the city combat poverty. It's part of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), which aims to help 16 cities improve the lives of their lower-income residents.

Central New York Veterans Outreach Center

New York state is helping build new housing units for homeless veterans in Utica.

Officials involved with the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center broke ground on the $3.2 million project last week. The funding will create 10 permanent and seven temporary housing units for homeless veterans in the center's headquarters, which is a former YMCA that already has older individual units in the upper portion of the building.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News

The Senate's latest attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act is getting bipartisan heat from some of New York's representatives. They are worried that the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill could disproportionately hurt the Empire State.

In Oneida County Tuesday, a group gathered outside of Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney's (R-New Hartford) town hall, holding up signs that said "HEALTH CARE, NOT TAX CUTS." They oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill that would cap health care funding for states and phase out the money that states like New York got for expanding their Medicaid program.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News

Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) was on the defensive for the majority of her first in-person town hall Tuesday night. More than 300 people attended the event that was hosted in the Oneida County town of Camden.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

After months of requests from her constituents, Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is holding an in-person town hall tonight. It's the first such event the Republican congresswoman has hosted since she took office in January. Tenney avoided the events earlier this year, saying the decision was related to safety because threats were made against her.

Zach Hirsch / NCPR (file photo)

Congressional leaders are once again considering immigration reform, and some upstate representatives want to make sure they take farmers into consideration.

www.co.oswego.ny.us

The health of the man who was convicted of kidnapping Heidi Allen from a New Haven convenience store is deteriorating.

Medical staff at the Coxsackie Correctional Facility have given Gary Thibodeau less than six months to live. The grim diagnosis comes as he waits for yet another appeal of the case that put him behind bars 23 years ago.

Thibodeau's lawyer Lisa Peebles says her client is currently living in the prison's medical residential unit suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that restricts airflow to the lungs.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Every year, local leaders assess the value of a municipality's property. The goal is to assess them at fair market value so all property owners are paying their share of county and school district taxes.

New York state has upheld Scriba's assessment every year since 2002. But this year, the state said the Oswego County town was undervaluing its worth, giving it a rating of 86 percent on a 100 scale. As a result, Scriba town attorney Kevin Caraccioli estimates that a house worth $100,000 will pay about $300 more in school taxes this year.

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

As schools across New York welcome students back for another year, they continue to grapple with the ongoing teacher shortage. The inability to find qualified applicants for certain subjects has left many districts without certified teachers.

That doesn't mean no one is teaching those subjects. Paul Heiser, a senior research analyst with NYSSBA, says it just means that the school district had to hire a teacher for that class who isn't certified in the subject.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

 

Hurricanes in the southern U.S. have captured the nation's attention, and the federal funding used to help communities recover. That's concerning some in New York, where state lawmakers are still seeking federal aid for the months-long flooding along Lake Ontario.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) toured the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum in Oswego last week, trying to renew interest and support for making the historic site part of the National Park Service (NPS).

Payne R Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Several members of New York's Congressional delegation are expressing concern over comments from the nation's treasury secretary about the proposed Harriet Tubman $20 bill.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO File Photo

Members of the New York State Inspector General's office searched the Port of Oswego's administrative offices for several hours Wednesday. Terrence Hammill, the port board of directors chairman, says the state seized the director's business cellphone and computer, but he says he's in the dark about why they were there.

"We’re a little bit mystified," Hammill said. "There’s nothing going on that would come across our mind as an issue for the inspector general’s office."

Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division / Flickr

President Donald Trump is committing more troops to Afghanistan, and that could include some soldiers from Fort Drum.

Brian Ashley with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization says Fort Drum has been a fixture in Afghanistan since the beginning of what has become America's longest war.

"The 10th Mountain Division was essentially the first unit on the ground into Afghanistan back in 2001 and we were among the last elements - in terms of combat - to leave Afghanistan," Ashley said.

WRVO News File Photo

New York Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Tom Reed (R-Corning) expect that Congress will support a financial aid package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey when they return to Washington, D.C. next month. 

Oswego County Health Department / Google Maps

The Oswego County Health Department says the aerial spraying this week to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases was successful in reducing the insect's population, but officials warn that the threat is still out there.

Pages