Ryan Delaney

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Central New York

Ryan Delaney works on the Innovation Trail project - covering technology, economic development, startups and other issues relating to New York's innovation economy.

Ryan began his public radio career working for WAER in Syracuse while still in college, where his work was honored by the Syracuse Press Club. He then returned to Syracuse, N.Y. from Albany where he worked at WAMC. Prior to that, Ryan filed stories for The Allegheny Front in Pittsburgh.

His reporting has also been heard on NPR, Vermont Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio.

Ryan grew up in Burlington, Vt. He has a degree in broadcast journalism and international relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

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11:53am

Fri July 11, 2014
Weather

Update: Five tornadoes hit upstate New York Tuesday

Tornado damage in Smithfield, Madison County, where four people were killed.
Ellen Abbot WRVO

Update, Friday, July 11:

A fifth tornado from Tuesday's swath of powerful thunderstorms and twisters has been confirmed by the National Weather Service in Albany. This one in the eastern Adirondacks. More from the Associated Press:

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6:14am

Fri July 11, 2014
I-81

SU: campus will be "dramatically" impacted by I-81 construction

Interstate 81's on-ramp back onto the highway, heading north, from University Hill.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse University campus would be greatly impacted by the reconstruction of Interstate 81 through the city, a university working group has determined.

When visitors to the Syracuse University campus exit the Interstate 81 viaduct, they’re currently faced with an “unattractive city fabric,” the study concludes.

"The experience of the University is not such a good one because it’s not so clear how to get to the university," said dean of architecture Michael Speaks, who led the group, adding drivers must navigate a "cluttered path."

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7:01pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools, attorney general reach settlement on discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school district and the state attorney general's office say they've reached a settlement to curb the district's alarmingly high suspension rate.

The district will amend its code of conduct under the agreement. 

The attorney general's civil rights office launched its investigation in October 2013, after several complaints.

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6:27am

Thu July 10, 2014
Weather

How the weather service decides if a tornado touched down

Erik Heden, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Binghamton, in East Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

At least four tornadoes ripped through central and northern New York Tuesday evening. It's the National Weather Service that makes that determination if a funnel cloud touched down. It's a careful and calculated process.

Armed with a compass, camera and notepad and paper the next morning, meteorologists Erik Heden and Mike Jurewicz retraced a storm that roared through Onondaga County, knocking down trees and power lines.

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9:41pm

Tue July 8, 2014
Weather

Powerful storm slams East Syracuse; fatalities in Madison County

An uprooted tree on McCool Ave. in East Syracuse after powerful storms tore through the village Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Trees were on front yards, on cars, in roads, on power lines and on top of houses in East Syracuse after a powerful storm system swept through the village Tuesday evening.

A few hours later, residents were using the remaining daylight to survey damage, many walking around or sitting in their driveway, others checking in on neighbors. Chainsaws were already roaring to begin cleaning up.

Emergency crews requested power be shut off to the entire village as power lines were down across several streets and yards.

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9:08am

Mon July 7, 2014
Regional Coverage

Miner calls for increased broadband access in Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city can't have a modern economy without access to high-speed Internet and strong phone service.

Miner has recently called for better broadband in Syracuse, and has signed a petition to the state's Public Service Commission asking for an investigation into broadband's rollout in the state.

"And what I have seen firsthand is a number of businesses who said they wanted to locate to Syracuse, or expand in Syracuse, but couldn't because of a lack of access to affordable broadband or telecommunications," Miner said.

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6:45am

Mon July 7, 2014
Transportation

Red to green: Syracuse working to upgrade traffic signal system

Traffic moves through downtown Syracuse at the intersection of Warren and East Washington Streets.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

It’s what every commuter hates when trying to get to work in the morning: red lights. They slow drive times down and waste gas, but the city of Syracuse is working to upgrade its traffic light system, so drivers see more green.

"By coordinating the traffic lights, what happens is, we can tell the traffic light not only how long to be green in a certain direction, but when to go green," explains Harry Carlson of the city's public works department.

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3:56pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Business

City seizes Hotel Syracuse through eminent domain

Ryan Delaney WRVO

The City of Syracuse has used legal channels to take control of the Hotel Syracuse after several efforts to redevelop the historic downtown lodging site have failed.

Syracuse and its economic development arm, the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, transferred title of the property to the site's developer, Ed Riley.

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2:37pm

Thu July 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum unlikely to house Central American immigrant children

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says the chances are slim that undocumented children caught trying to cross the US-Mexican border illegally will be housed at Fort Drum.

The Army base is reportedly being considered to house hundreds of Central American immigrant children under a government program as soon as August

But Schumer says he’s spoken with officials at the Department of Health and Human Services:

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7:27am

Thu July 3, 2014
Business

Schumer puts out the call for a downtown Syracuse supermarket

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., hold up a symbolic checklist for downtown Syracuse's needs.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

As the number of people living downtown continues to grow, so does the need for a grocery store in the neighborhood. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., says he can help lure one to the central business district.

Schumer says the heads of major chains will listen to him. He's reaching out to a number of chains, like Tops and Whole Foods, to try to convince them to locate downtown.

Many officials and residents say that as the neighborhood become more residential, a place to buy groceries is needed.

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4:51pm

Wed July 2, 2014
Drones

"Common problem" caused Air National Guard's drone to crash

An MQ-9 Reaper drone in the hanger at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

An unmanned aircraft expert says a "not uncommon problem" caused an Air National Guard drone to smash into Lake Ontario last November.

The Air Force says multiple communication and navigation failures lead to the crash of an MQ-9 Reaper drone, piloted by the Syracuse-based 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.

No one was hurt when the multi-ton aircraft plummeted into the lake 12 miles offshore, late last year.

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12:58pm

Tue July 1, 2014
drones

Air Guard's drone crash caused by multiple malfunctions

Ryan Delaney WRVO

Multiple communication and navigation failures on 174th Air National Guard Attack Wing's MQ-9 Reaper unmanned drone flying over central New York last November caused it to crash in Lake Ontario.

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9:22am

Mon June 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

Audit faults Griffiss airfield development agency management

A state audit has criticized the management of the agency redeveloping the former Griffiss Air Force base in Rome.

The Authorities Budget Office is a state office overseeing economic development agencies. The ABO audit says the Griffiss Local Development Corp. took a “cavalier” approach to handling its funds.

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8:39am

Fri June 27, 2014
Transportation

Tighter curves could minimize impact of new I-81 viaduct

Ryan Delaney WRVO

Tighter curves built into a new Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse could mean fewer buildings along the highway’s path would need to be torn down.

Rebuilding the mile and a half of elevated interstate through the city is one of two options transportation planners are recommending for how to replace the current, aging viaduct.

But a new viaduct would have to be significantly wider than the current one in order to be up to highway standards. It could also be up to ten feet higher.

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3:49pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Politics

Kessner likely to drop challenge to Senator Valesky

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Jean Kessner has gotten her wish and will likely drop her challenge of state Sen. Dave Valesky in Democratic Party primary.

Kessner, a Democrat herself and Syracuse Common Councilor, was circulating petitions to challenge Valesky (D-Oneida), unless he rejoined the mainstream Democrats in the state Senate.

Valesky has been a member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, which controls the Senate along with the minority Republicans, since 2011.

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1:31am

Wed June 25, 2014
Politics

Hanna defeats Tenney in GOP primary for 22nd District

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) won a Republican Party primary Tuesday for New York's 22nd Congressional District.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna is all but guaranteed a third term in the House of Representatives after he beat back a challenge from the political right in Tuesday's Republican Party primary.

Hanna, R-Barneveld, came out on top in a challenge from the more conservative Claudia Tenney, a state assemblywoman. She said Hanna was too moderate.

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3:39pm

Mon June 23, 2014
Transportation

Tunnel, depressed highway are out in plans for new I-81

Another public meeting on the future of Interstate 81 is set for Thursday.
Zack Seward WXXI

Syracuse looks less likely to go through its own Big Dig, as state highway transportation officials recommend a tunnel or depressed highway are not the best options for a rebuilt Interstate 81 through Syracuse.

Transportation officials have been considering several variations of four core options for a new I-81: a rebuilt viaduct, a street-level boulevard, a tunnel, or sunken roadway.

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6:41pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Higher Ed

SU nixes contract with developer for new bookstore

The Syracuse Common Council is inching closer to approving a proposed tax break for a new bookstore and fitness center.
Cameron Group, LLC.

After years of trying to build a new off-campus bookstore and fitness center, Syracuse University's efforts took a big step back Friday.

The university canceled its contract with the developer it had selected to build the project along the 600 block of University Ave., just north of the school's main campus. 

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1:43pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Education

Meeting of teachers' union, superintendent called "productive"

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a school board meeting last week.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Updated, 1:55 p.m. with comment from superintendent:

The first meeting between the president of the Syracuse teachers' union and the superintendent of the school system since their relationship publicly disintegrated last week has been called "productive."

Syracuse Teachers Association President Kevin Ahern and Superintendent Sharon Contreras met Friday morning under the invitation of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

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10:22am

Fri June 20, 2014
Academic Research

Playing youth sports a sign of career success?

Joseph Gilbert via Flickr

Earning a varsity letter in high school for playing sports will mean better jobs and increased philanthropy later in life. That's the consensus of new research from Cornell University.

Two coinciding studies looked at the success of people who played a sport in school. The first asked potential employers and co-workers to look at extra-curricular activities of potential hires.

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2:32pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Agriculture

Chobani wins USDA contract to put Greek yogurt on lunch trays

messycupcakes Flickr

Chobani Greek yogurt will be on more school lunch trays across the country as part of a new school lunch program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today awarded the central New York yogurt powerhouse a contract to expand a pilot program adding Greek-style yogurt to school lunches.

Chobani will now be able to put its yogurt in cafeterias for a month in seven states when the new school year starts up in August. Those states include New York, California and Illinois.

It comes after a successful three month pilot program this past school year in fewer states.

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8:20am

Thu June 19, 2014
Infrastructure

More federal money sought for rural bridges

Sen. Charles Schumer wants to add about $50 million to funding that comes to New York for upkeep and repair of rural bridges.

The federal government provides the state with $71 million a year right now to maintain the thousands of bridges that don’t fall under federal purview. That number is tied to a 2009 transportation bill.

There are efforts in Congress to continue to cap that amount through 2020. The Democrat says continuing to cap the fund will lead to further deterioration of rural bridges. 

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1:09pm

Wed June 18, 2014
Sports

Washington Redskins name loses patent protection

Keith Allison via Flickr

The U.S. Patent Office has canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins professional football team, ruling that it is offensive to Native Americans. 

It was efforts from the Oneida Indian Nation that put the name back in the spotlight.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled Wednesday the Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and will no longer be protected. Patent law disallows the use of offensive names as trademarks.

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8:44am

Wed June 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

DiNapoli trying to reduce account of unclaimed funds

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York’s Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is trying to whittle down a fund of abandoned or unclaimed money owed to both individuals and municipalities.

DiNapoli’s office says there are more than 31 million accounts in the state with money sitting in them. It can be a utility deposit or old bank account that sat unused too long and was turned over to the state.

About 10,000 of those unclaimed funds belong to towns and cities throughout the state, worth more than $5 million.

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7:46am

Wed June 18, 2014
Politics

Hanna invites Long Island congressman to upstate New York

Republican Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) says that while he's moderate, he's willing to listen and talk to more conservative politicians and citizens. Hanna is being challenged in a primary in New York's 22nd Congressional District, which represents an area from Binghamton to Utica, and westward to Pulaski.

Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, who has tea party support, is hoping to unseat him, saying he's not conservative enough. But Hanna says he's always willing to listen, even if he doesn't always agree.

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12:12pm

Tue June 17, 2014
Business

Byrne Dairy's new yogurt plant opens in Cortland County

novemberdelta via Flickr

Byrne Dairy has entered the booming yogurt business in upstate New York as its new yogurt production facility goes online this week in Cortland County.

The central New York dairy icon moves from a milk and ice cream company to one producing both tradition and Greek-style yogurt, as well as sour cream and cheese.

Yogurt, namely Greek yogurt, has been a boon for the dairy industry in upstate New York in recent years, led by Chobani and followed by others.

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7:23am

Tue June 17, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district says they're making progress on student discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district says it's already working to improve discipline with the city's public schools as the state attorney general investigates its practices.

The attorney general's offices launched an investigation in December into potentially overly harsh punishment of minority and disabled students in the Syracuse school system,

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8:25am

Mon June 16, 2014
Agriculture

New York could be key state in GMO labeling debate

Corn is one of the most common genetically modified crops.
Robert S. Donovan Flickr

New York state is shaping up to be a key decider in the debate over labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients as a labeling law is becoming one of the final debates of the state legislative session.

A bill requiring foods to be marked as scientifically engineered is under debate in the state Legislature, after being approved by an Assembly committee.

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7:26am

Mon June 16, 2014
Education

Miner looks to move teachers union, district forward in talks

A Syracuse Board of Education meeting on Wednesday became heated over the superintendent's performance.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The head of the Syracuse public school teachers union and the superintendent of the district will sit down this week in hopes of repairing a fractured relationship. 

Mayor Stephanie Miner, a former labor lawyer, will mediate the discussion. 

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2:18pm

Fri June 13, 2014
Politics

Maffei still concerned over handling of Bergdahl release

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse)
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is still concerned over how the White House handled the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan, saying some things were done right, but others wrong.

Bergdahl was freed from five years of imprisonment under the Taliban in Afghanistan about two weeks ago. In exchange, five Taliban prisoners in American custody were released. 

Bergdahl returned to the United States early Friday morning to an Army medical center in San Antonio, Texas, after receiving treatment at a military medical facility in Germany. 

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