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.

Ways To Connect

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Updated, 7:46 p.m.

Democrats in the state Assembly have emerged from two days of closed door discussions on whether, then how, to remove and replace the leader of their conference, who has been charged with corruption.

Assemblyman Joe Morelle, the majority leader from Rochester, told reporters Tuesday evening that Sheldon Silver will be removed from his post.

"On Monday, there will be a vacancy in the office of speaker," he said.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2015 spending plan includes a sizeable amount of money for upgrades to the Port of Oswego.

In his recent combined State of the State agenda and budget plan, Cuomo pledges $65 million to upgrade the state’s infrastructure network, part of what helped build upstate’s economy decades ago.

"From Albany to Oswego to Syracuse to the Port of Ogdensburg to the Binghamton rail yard, you have to be able to move goods in and out," Cuomo said. "And this investment will help make it possible."

Dennis van Zuijlekom / via Flickr

The sheriff of Fulton County, which rests in the southern Adirondacks, is no fan of New York's fairly new gun control laws, but he  is causing a stir by telling residents there to ignore part them.

A provision of the SAFE ACT, passed in the early days of 2013, requires pistol owners to renew their permits every five years, beginning in 2018. But Fulton County is part of a pilot program to get people to register early. Sheriff Thomas Lorey says he signed up for the pilot program to know what it’s about.

azipaybarah / Flickr

Updated, 11:45 a.m.:

The Democratic Speaker of the New York State Assembly was arrested early Thursday morning by federal officials on corruption charges.

The investigation and pending arrest was first reported by The New York Times. It was later confirmed by the FBI. 

Zack Seward / WXXI

The Syracuse Common Council is taking a formal stand on what should be done with the aging infrastructure of Interstate 81. The lawmakers will tell the state they want the viaduct gone.

The future of the mile and a half of elevated highway cutting through downtown has become a urban versus suburban divide. Man city residents and elected leaders say the highway is just that: a divide through the middle of the city, which blocks economic growth and isolates communities.

Office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Many upstate New York representatives shared their thoughts after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) applauded Obama for focusing on the middle class and economic opportunity in a statement.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Freshman Republican Rep. John Katko isn’t backing the president’s plan for free community college, but he says it’s a discussion worth having.

President Barack Obama proposed a free Associates Degree for community college students in his State of the Union address last night.

"Can we afford that? I don’t know. But should we talk about the affordability of college for people on a general matter? Absolutely. And I think there’s something there we can work with," said Katko, the congressman for central New York, afterward.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Governments in Onondaga County spend an average of $3,900 per resident each year. And spending on each of the 468,000 people in the county is rising.

Those are some of the findings in a new report out on government consolidation.

Center for Government Research president Joseph Stekfo says municipalities that go through consolidation typically see noticeable savings but that’s if governments and residents are willing. He says any change in municipal services pulls at people expectations of community.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The man who finished in third place for governor of New York last fall has still issued his own state of the state in hopes of a continued push for his vision.

Howie Hawkins, a Syracuse resident, has been a constantly more progressive voice than the state’s liberal leaders. He’s pushing for programs that go a step beyond what Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will lay out in his State of the State address Wednesday afternoon.

Doug Kerr / via Flickr

More than two-thirds of residents in Onondaga County live in one community and commute to another one to work each day.

The town of Otisco has the most mobile residents. Eighty-nine percent -- 89.3 percent, to be exact -- of them work in a different town. They also have the longest commute from their homes in the southwest corner of the county, at 29 minutes.

Spafford residents were a close second, with 88.8 percent of them also driving an average 29 minutes each morning and evening.

Inergy

The next fight in a long battle over storing liquefied petroleum gas along the western shore of Seneca Lake is an issues conference next month. Opponents to the facility are trying to get a seat at the table along with environmental officials and the gas company.

Storing the liquefied gas, or LPG in an expansive network of empty salt caverns along the southwestern shore of this finger lake was first proposed five years ago.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Going in to 2015, there is more confidence in central New York’s economy to be found in an annual business survey.

Last year, there was only limited optimism among economists and business leaders for economic growth in the region. But CenterState CEO president Rob Simpson says he has much more confidence for 2015.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

How does Congressman John Katko suggest improving the productivity rate of the House of Representatives? By trying really hard.

Rep. Katko (R-Camillus) sees his role as a congressman to both write laws and assist residents of his central New York district. Katko begins his job as the representative of New York’s 24th Congressional District at a time when Washington has enacted a historically low number of laws.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Community colleges in upstate New York are beginning to offer introductory courses to unmanned aircraft, often called drones.

The courses here are just getting off the ground, compared to programs offered at the University of North Dakota and others, where students can major in unmanned aircraft systems.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse school board member Bill Bullen has stepped down after three years in the post. Not having a background as an educator, Bullen says there was a lot to learn when he was elected to the Syracuse Board of Education in 2011.

He says enacting a comprehensive plan for the district’s future goals was a big achievement, as was diminishing the fiscal problems the district faced seemingly each budget year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

When the temperatures drop below zero in the winter, we layer on extra jackets and hunker down inside. The residents at Syracuse's zoo have different ways of dealing with the bitter cold elements.

A pool of bubbling water is probably the last place a human would look for warmth on a frigid January day. But it’s a reprieve from the wind chill for the small Humboldt Penguins at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.

Some rights reserved by Samantha Celera

A bad flu virus continues to spread through the community, as flu cases in Onondaga County are up five-fold from this time last year.

The flu is coming early and often for much of the United States, according to health officials, and central New York has not been spared.

Connectologist / via Flickr

Newly sworn-in Rep. John Katko has already attached his name to an effort to repeal the medical device tax.

The tax on medical equipment manufactured in the United States was tacked on to the Affordable Care Act as a way to pay for the health care overhaul. But it’s angered device makers, like Welch Allyn in Skaneateles. The company attributed recent layoffs to the tax’s impact.

O World of Photos / via Flickr

Oneida County is using some its share in revenue from the Turning Stone casino to fund arts and science programs.

Oneida County is receiving a $2.5 million annual cut of the Turning Stone profits. That’s through a revenue sharing deal between the Oneida Indian Nation that runs the casino and New York state.

County Executive Anthony Picente has proposed using those funds for downtown development, infrastructure upgrades, public safety, and arts and science.

Brian Hoffman / via Flickr

Upstate New York is bracing for its first sting of cold winter weather this week.

Already this cold weather system has caused some school delays and closures. And high winds knocked out the power in Tompkins County on Monday. But it’s going to get a whole lot colder by the middle of the week, the National Weather Service is predicting.

"It looks like on Wednesday, we’ll be lucky to see a high of ten degrees in Syracuse," said Ray Brady, a meteorologist with the weather service.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

One of the new laws going into effect in New York this year is targeted to employ more out of work veterans.

New York state now has a tax rebate program for companies that hire an unemployed veteran. It’s worth five percent of the vet’s salary – or 15 percent if the veteran has a service-related disability.

Now that it's 2015, a handful of new laws go into action in New York state. They range from new tax credits to bans on taking picture with some large cats. Here's a roundup:

Hiring incentives

Businesses that employ veterans or people with developmental disabilities will receive a state tax refund for each new hire starting this year, worth 5 to 15 percent of each worker’s salaries.  Higher credits apply to companies that hire veterans with physical disabilities. Lower credits apply for part-time hires. The programs run for two years.

Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO File

Influential central New York State Sen. John DeFrancisco is retiring today, but he’ll go right back to work tomorrow.

DeFrancisco, a Republican from Syracuse, is 68 years old. That means he’s been eligible to retire as a state employee and collect a pension for the past three years. He’s finally doing so, even though he was re-elected to office in November and plans to continue to serve in the Senate.

Credit USACE Europe District / via Flickr

Onondaga County health officials are urging residents to get a flu shot after the flu season has gotten off to a strong start.

"What we are seeing is increased hospitalizations and increased number of cases. We are comparing last year’s versus this year’s. So there is a quite upsurge," said county health commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Workers in New York who earn the minimum wage are getting a raise today. The state's minimum wage is now $8.75 an hour, up from the $8 it stood at before. It will fatten the paychecks for 284,000 employees across the state, according to the labor department.

"This is a good thing for workers in New  York state. Is it enough? No, it's not enough," said Ron Deutsch from the Fiscal Policy Institute, who argues wages should be be closer to $11 an hour, given inflation.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

It’s been a long time coming for Kathleen DiScenna to get the "magic key to the magic house of Oz." It's really just a screwdriver "until we get our grants and re-do the doors and locks," she explained.

The large Neal House, at 678 West Onondaga Street in Syracuse, was built in 1871. But it’s fallen into disrepair, with broken windows, peeling paint and crumbling fireplaces. No Wicked Witch lived here, but the house on the West Side of Syracuse holds a lot of importance to fans of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz and its author.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

John Dau is a man that perseveres. And the staff of his medical foundation on the ground in South Sudan is no different. Since the Duk Lost Boys Clinic in rural South Sudan was destroyed in March by rebel fighters, the medical team has fanned out to keep working.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

The holidays are a time for people to travel home to be with family. A community group that works to promote Syracuse to young adults is hoping to take advantage of that.

The organization 40 Below figures most people in their 20s and 30s who are home for the holidays will be going out for drinks this weekend anyway. They want to use that to convince people to move back to central New York.

PJ Mixer / via Flickr

The holiday travel season begins today. And a trend of more people hitting the road for the holidays is continuing.

Travel service AAA is projecting 98.6 million Americans will be someplace else for at least part of the holidays, a record number.

"It’s up 4 percent compared to last year. It’s also the highest travel volume on record. And AAA’s data does date back 13 years," said AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.

AAA recorded increases in travel for Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays, too.

New York State Department of Transportation

New standards for how crude oil is shipped along rail lines through states like New York are moving forward, but Sen. Charles Schumer says the process needs to move faster.

The crude oil crossing the nation now is hauled in train cars known as DOT-111’s. Safety advocates say the cars are outdated and lack equipment to stop leaks or explosions. Introducing newer models has been a slow process. 

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