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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Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oswego Common Council passed its 2018 budget proposal Monday, raising property taxes 3.48 percent. Officials blamed the increase on salaries, fringe benefits and health care costs for city employees, which is why they cut city hall staff by 7.5 positions.

Payne Horning; Google Images

Earlier this year, Watertown opted to go on a road diet. The city adopted a complete streets policy to make its roads more accommodating for all users. That means adding new lanes for bicyclists and expanding pedestrian crosswalks.

City planner Geoff Urda says there’s been some backlash from residents because vehicles now have less room to maneuver. But Urda says that does not mean cars are being devalued.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

For the second time this month, the International Joint Commission (IJC) has lowered water discharges from Lake Ontario. Starting at midnight Saturday, the outflows to the St. Lawrence River dropped only slightly from 9,910 cubic meters per second to 9,870 cms, which is less than 1 percent.

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Thousands of people are planning to travel to the path of totality for Monday's eclipse. That's the roughly 70-mile wide path that the moon's shadow will cast on the U.S. when it passes between the Earth and the sun. 

WRVO News File Photo

A plant in the North Country that produces the famous Philadelphia-brand cream cheese has triggered a mandatory water conservation order in the Village of Lowville, and the issue may have been a result of a misunderstanding between village leaders and the owner of the plant.

When Kraft-Heinz announced in 2015 that the company would make a $100 million expansion of its Lowville plant, the village's mayor Donna Smith says they were aware that it would require more water. But Smith says there was a discrepancy on how much they would choose to use in a given period of time.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

For the second year in a row, Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow is looking to reduce the city's payroll as a way to keep taxes down. His proposed budget would eliminate 7.5 positions, saving an estimated $500,000. That's a loss of about 1/5 of city hall staff, but Barlow says there are some efficiencies that can be realized.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

The decision to lower outflows from Lake Ontario is being criticized by shoreline residents who are suffering from flooding, but some are defending the move, saying safety of those on the St. Lawrence Seaway was on the line.

The International Joint Commission (IJC) reduced discharges from Lake Ontario by only 4 percent last week. Still, that was enough to make a major difference according to those on both sides of the Moses-Saunders Dam.

Payne R Horning / WRVO News

An Oswego landlord is accused of asking his tenants for sexual favors in exchange for reduced rent. The sexual harassment allegations against Doug Waterbury are part of a lawsuit filed by a Syracuse fair housing organization. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Now that the Mohawk Valley Health System has secured the necessary state funding, designs are underway for its new hospital in downtown Utica. Officials working on the project say the hospital will breathe new life into downtown and make the surrounding area more attractive. But that could come at the expense of dozens of businesses that are already operating in the proposed footprint.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

This year's flooding along Lake Ontario has taken a toll on municipalities, exhausting their resources and threatening their infrastructure. That's the case in Oswego where the city recently took an inventory of the destruction caused by the unprecedented water levels.

ceedub13 / Flickr, Creative Commons

The government body that regulates water levels on Lake Ontario is reducing the outflows to the St. Lawrence River. The International Joint Commission (IJC) says water levels have dropped rapidly, down 12 inches since the peak in late May. That's drawing some criticism from shoreline residents who say the move is premature.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Every summer, 60,000-90,000 people from all over the country come to a sprawling forest in Oswego County for a unique medieval-style experience every summer. The Sterling Renaissance Festival, set in the 16th century town of Warwick, England, gives visitors a chance to experience life as it was then.

WRVO's Payne Horning visited the renowned festival and sent this audio post card.

The Sterling Renaissance Festival runs through August 13.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Inside SUNY Oswego's Advanced Wireless Systems Research Center, there's a giant lab where the walls, floor and ceiling are completely covered in foam cones.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A project that could reduce the amount of toxins in Oswasco Lake, a primary source of drinking water for about a dozen communities in Cayuga County, is stalled.

The goal of the Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration Project is to build the floodplain around Oswasco Lake with plants and basins that can naturally filter out the toxins in the water from the surrounding tributaries. Phase one of the project was approved for $700,000 in state funding back in 2011. Its designer Bruce Natale says they've been securing permits and contractors ever since.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

President Donald Trump says upstate New York is not working and people are "getting very badly hurt." The president made the comments during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting people leave the area in search of better work elsewhere.

Trump's remarks were made while he was talking about Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer, that he says will open a LCD flat-screen manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is getting backlash for comments she made about an opponent's family member. The Republican questioned Democratic candidate Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) because his father is a former criminal attorney who represented clients with ties to organized crime, remarks that many are calling an ethnic slur and inappropriate in general.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Two replica Christopher Columbus ships sailed into the Oswego harbor this weekend offering visitors a chance to learn about the famous explorer's voyages, but some say the ships only tell half of the story.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

State lawmakers say help is finally here for the property owners who have experienced damage from flooding along Lake Ontario this year. Community leaders are organizing residents as the state prepares to distribute the recovery funding.

WhiteHouse.Gov

President Donald Trump hosted the owners of Oneida County's Sherrill Manufacturing at the White House Wednesday for a "Made in America" showcase. At a roundtable discussion with 20 small businesses, he praised the company's co-owner Gregg Owens for being the country's only remaining silverware manufacturer.

"What happened?" Trump asked.

"Well, everybody else went overseas chasing cheap labor," Owens said.

"That's terrible," Trump said. "I'm not surprised, but it is really somewhat surprising when you say the only. That's a hell of a statement."

Rep. John Katko / Facebook File Photo

Several New York representatives are joining the calls for the federal government to declare the flooding along Lake Ontario a disaster. The move would bring federal funding and assistance to the recovery process.

WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has some harsh words for his fellow Republicans about how they are handling health care reform.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

An attempt to get the U.S. military to buy utensils solely from an Oneida County factory, the only silverware manufacturer in the country, was unsuccessful, but Sherrill Manufacturing's CEO is optimistic about a meeting the company has at the White House this week.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Hundreds lined the streets of downtown Watertown Saturday for the funeral procession of New York Ttate Trooper Joel Davis, who was killed while responding to a domestic abuse call last week. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The group working to revamp a 4-mile stretch of Erie Boulevard East in Onondaga County is sharing the results of a survey it launched last year. More than 1,200 surveys were completed about how to best improve the highly trafficked corridor between Syracuse and Dewitt. 

Constellation Energy Group

The historically high water levels in Lake Ontario this year have threatened homeowners, municipalities and nuclear power plants - almost triggering emergency action at the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility in Oswego County.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

U.S. Geological Survey scientists are installing equipment along the shores of Lake Ontario to better monitor water levels and understand the impact from this year's flooding.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The first Democratic challenger to central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has joined the race. 

New York State Police

A Fort Drum soldier has been charged with first and second-degree murder for the death of his wife and a New York state police trooper. 

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.

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