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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Dale Currier / Oswego County Emergency Management Office

The water level in Lake Ontario is now higher than is been in more than 60 years, before water levels started being regulated in the 1950s.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The continued swelling of Lake Ontario is offering little relief to shoreline residents in central New York. Water levels on Lake Ontario have risen more than 9 inches since May 1, and are at the highest level since the 1950s, before water levels started being regulated.

Payne Horning / WRVO

State and local officials hope a new emergency declaration from the governor will improve their response to flooding along Lake Ontario, but the lake is already taking a toll.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Powerful winds and thunderstorms are mixing with the high water levels in Lake Ontario to wreak havoc on homeowners along the shoreline. It's prompting New York state to declare a state of emergency for Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and other counties along Lake Ontario.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Water levels continue to rise on Lake Ontario, and the National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning for Oswego and Jefferson counties from 4 p.m. Tuesday until 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Central New Yorkers rang in President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office in starkly different rallies in Syracuse this weekend. The two events Saturday were only a few miles away, but the political distance between the two groups seemed much farther.

At one event, hundreds marched to Syracuse’s Inner Harbor in coordination with climate change demonstrations across the country. They carried signs blasting the Trump administration for rolling back environmental regulations. Jacqueline King’s sign called for his impeachment.

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

More communities along the shoreline of Lake Ontario are being threatened as water levels continue to rise. As of April 24, water levels are more than 20 inches above the average for this time of year.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Democrats in upstate New York say they may be down from the losses they suffered in the 2016 election, but not out. Party officials hope the pushback to the Republican administration in Washington, D.C., will sweep local Democrats to victory later this year. 

SUNY / Twitter

The SUNY Board of Trustees appointed Kristina Johnson as the system's 13th chancellor Monday.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Residents who live along the shoreline of Lake Ontario have been trying to stay ahead of rising water levels that are threatening their properties.

Utica College

Some New York lawmakers and college administrators are worried about what the state's new free tuition policy at SUNY and CUNY could mean for private schools, including those at Utica College. The private college just cut its tuition rate by 42 percent last fall.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Legislators from the Mohawk Valley say they are disappointed with this year's budget process, but pleased with the outcome.

Edgewater Resources

After a year of gathering input, Edgewater Resources has unveiled its final plan for how to transform Oswego's waterfront area along Lake Ontario. The consultant's latest draft calls for two flat rock beaches, an expansion of the marina and overhauling the pier with an elevated sand beach, restaurants and a recreational green space for community events.

Edgewater President Greg Weykamp says it delivers on the community's desire for more access to Lake Ontario.

Katie Keier / Flickr

Several central and northern New York legislators are praising the state's new budget as a win for the region's schools, but they say it was a hard-fought battle that is not over yet.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Nearly 20 years after the Miller Brewing Plant in Fulton closed its doors, a new craft malt house is opening in the same factory.

The 1886 Malt House is setting up shop in what is now the Sunoco ethanol plant, where more than 25 million bushels of corn are processed every year. The two businesses will share the facility's scale house, lab technicians and maintenance employees. The actual malting of the barley will take place on the north side of the plant.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News file photo

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) is standing behind President Donald Trump's missile strike of a Syrian air base last week that was believed to be used for a chemical weapons attack in which innocent Syrian citizens were killed.

In a rare moment of unity, Schumer said he supports Trump's decision - saying it sent an important message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Filing taxes is routine for most Americans, but for a group of SUNY Oswego students it's a crucial part of their education. Each year, seniors and graduate students in the college's honor society for accounting and finance majors prepare free tax returns for mostly lower-income residents. 

John Runge is a graduate accounting student and coordinator with the college's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA). He recently helped file returns for people at the Hamilton Homes complex in Oswego, an affordable housing community.

Payne Horning

For years, the Sea Grant program has helped Americans learn about the oceans, the Great Lakes and other waters. Now, President Donald Trump wants to stop funding it.

That has some New York educators worried -- including a group of middle and high school science teachers who recently gathered for a Great Lakes training seminar. At SUNY Oswego's Rice Creek Field Station, they clustered around bins full of classroom activities they can implement into their lessons about the Great Lakes. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As people continue to die from heroin and opioid addiction in central and northern New York, communities like Oswego County are offering new treatment programs to combat the crisis. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The transfer of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to its new owner is officially complete. Exelon, which owns and operates the nearby Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility Exelon, announced Friday that its negotiations with Entergy are done. The company bought the Oswego County plant last summer for $110 million. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Nearly 600 SUNY Oswego students conga-ed their way into the history books this morning, smashing the previous record for the world's longest conga line on ice that was set back in 2013. It was part of a live broadcast on NBC's Today Show with one of the college's most famous alumna, Al Roker. 

Junior biology major David Rivera called it an amazing experience. 

"I read these record books and I'm like wow, I wish I could break one and I got my chance to do it," Rivera said. "It's, it's like a dream right now."

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) hosted an opioid forum in Oswego Thursday night -- his first public event since Congress' failed attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr

State and local officials in the Mohawk Valley say a Danish company's decision to come to the SUNY Polytechnic Institute's campus in Marcy bodes well for the site's nanocenter. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York's subsidy program to support financially impaired nuclear power plants has been caught up in the budget negotiations as some lawmakers are trying to halt the program right before it begins. 

U.S. Census Bureau / Empire Center for Public Policy

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that New York's statewide population fell for the first time in a decade, largely a result of upstate population losses outpacing the gains made downstate.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New York officials are split over the Republican's proposed replacement to the Affordable Care Act and how it will impact the state. As the House of Representatives prepares for the scheduled vote on the legislation, state and federal leaders are fighting to sway the public to their side.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The number of students who are choosing to enter the education profession is declining. SUNY, which trains 25 percent of the New York’s educators, is trying to address the issue because the state's school districts are now seeing a shortage of qualified teachers. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

A nomination to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary is moving forward. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is accepting the application for further consideration. 

Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties put together the application after NOAA decided to add to its current list of 14 marine sanctuaries. It could help preserve dozens of known and unknown historic shipwrecks in 1,700 square miles of the southeastern portion of the lake for further study.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The joint effort between New York state and officials in Oneida County to recover from this week's massive snowstorm continue, but some lawmakers say the recovery was hampered by an inaccurate weather forecast that wasted precious time and resources.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Officials from the Thompson Park Zoo in Watertown are asking the city and Jefferson County for more financial support. They say it may be necessary just to keep the zoo open.

Former zoo board member Peter Schmidt says the past ten years have not been easy. The zoo has operated at a loss eight of those years and cycled through six executive directors. That has put needed upgrades and projects on the back burner. Now, Schmidt says, the zoo is at a crossroads.

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