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

The volunteer fire department in Camillus spent more than it should have over a two year period, a state audit has found.

The all-volunteer department just west of Syracuse spent several thousand dollars more than was in its budget in 2012 and 2013, the state Comptroller's office found.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse's public school teachers have overwhelmingly said they no longer have the confidence in Sharon Contreras to lead the city's school district.

The president of the Syracuse Teachers Association, the union representing 2,800 teachers in the district, kicked off what turned into a lengthy and raucous board of education meeting Wednesday evening at Dr. King Elementary School.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The head of New York’s public higher education system says the Common Core education standards better prepare students for college.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has joined a national coalition of 200 colleges in 33 states, called Higher Ed for Higher Standards, advocating for the continued use of Common Core standards for primary and high school education.

The new standards have been criticized for their poor rollout, but Zimpher says they’ll increase a student’s chances of completing college on time.

Environmental advocates are pressing the state legislature to renew a toxic site cleanup program before the session wraps up in a few days, even though there seems little interest in taking up any big issues in Albany.

Environmentalists are holding up the toxic site cleanup program’s renewal as a measure of a successful legislative session. 

Both the Assembly and Senate have versions of a bill to renew a cleanup program for old industrial sites, known as brownfields. But environmentalists are calling on the governor to urge legislative leaders to act on the bills.

The Syracuse Common Council has snuffed out the right to smoke in city parks and publicly-owned downtown gathering areas, like Clinton Square.

The council also formally added the dropping of cigarette butts on sidewalks to its anti-littering ordinance, punishable by a $50 fine.

The laws were written by councilor Bob Dougherty and Khalid Bey, who said they will shift the habits of smokers and protect people in public who don't want to be near second-hand smoke.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The village of Chittenango has transformed into the Land of Oz this weekend for its annual celebration of the Wizard of Oz and its creator.

The town is marking a special anniversary with a record setting attempt. Hundreds of people will gather today at the Chittenango High School dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. They’re trying to set the world record for most people to do so in one place. England holds that title right now.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei is taking a wait-and-see approach on his opinion over the release of U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl from captivity in Afghanistan.

Bergdahl's freedom was negotiated in exchange for five suspected terrorists in American custody. It's drawn sharp criticism from members of Congress, particularly over their lack of prior knowledge. There are also questions over the circumstances of Bergdahl's capture and nearly five year detainment.

Joanna Richards / NCPR

Hospitals have been working for years to digitize patient medical records, but now New York state is expanding a system to centralize the record-keeping of multiple hospitals.

A patient’s medical history may be in the computer at their primary care doctor’s office. And their records may be digitized at the hospital they’ve been treated at, "however, many of those systems can’t easily or fluently communicate with one another," said Dr. Rainu Kaushal, who chairs the Weill Cornell Medical College’s healthcare policy program.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) has introduced a new bill to compensate Vietnam War veterans sickened by the chemical Agent Orange he says is more comprehensive than previous efforts.

Maffei's bill is named by Larry Hackett, who died in 2006, more than three decades after his service in the army.

Hackett was exposed to Agent Orange while serving in 1968-69. He died from a cancer likely caused by the exposure, at the age of 58. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party politician Howie Hawkins says a third party candidate has a chance to win the governorship.

The left-leaning Working Families Party has endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Democrat running for reelection, but some members of the party weren’t happy with the choice.

Hawkins, a perennial progressive candidate for office, sees that as an opportunity.

Escape Vehicle / via Flickr

The number of people killed in workplace accidents in New York state as a result of falls has increased, according to the federal government’s workplace safety watchdog.

The number of fatalities at construction and industrial sites is decreasing overall, reports the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), but 42 workers in New York fell to their death in 2012, 10 more than the year before.

"Department of Veterans Affairs" by Adam Fagen / via Flickr

Central New York’s two congressmen have joined in the calls for the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs to resign.

Pressure on VA Secretary Eric Shinseki is growing over long wait times for patients at VA hospitals. Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) and Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) have both called for Shinseki to step down as the secretary of Veterans Affairs.

They're part of a growing list of congressmen to do so.

Robert Fratangelo / U.S. Coast Guard Auxillery

The St. Lawrence Seaway is back open to commercial shipping traffic after a section of it was closed for two days because of a disabled vessel.

The 656-foot Federal Kivalina had been blocking traffic through the 'American Narrows' section of the waterway since Tuesday afternoon, when it ran aground near Collins Landing, New York.

Seventeen ships were stalled while the Kivalina sat disabled, according to the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

Robert Fratangelo / U.S. Coast Guard Auxillery

There are now 17 shipping freighters in a traffic jam on the St. Lawrence Seaway because a disabled vessel has been blocking their path since Tuesday afternoon.

The freighter Federal Kivalina has been stuck in the American Narrows section of the seaway, near Collins Landing, N.Y., since it lost steering and ran aground. It's stuck about a third of a mile up river from the Thousand Islands Bridge.

U.S. Coast Guard / via St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

A large freighter stuck in a narrow part of the St. Lawrence Seaway since yesterday afternoon is beginning to cause a backup of shipping traffic along the waterway.

The Federal Kivalina lost power yesterday afternoon in the "American Narrows" section of the seaway and ran aground a third of a mile north of the Thousand Islands Bridge, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The bridge, west of Alexandria Bay, carries Interstate 81 over the St. Lawrence River.

Dale M Moore / Flickr

Syracuse lawmakers are moving to ban smoking in city parks. And that includes some popular downtown hangout spots.

An ordinance brought up by the Common Council’s new health committee would prohibit smoking on any land managed by the Syracuse parks department. That includes around the fountains in Columbus Circle and Clinton Square and Hanover Squares.

The committee is also putting forward a measure to discourage smoking on sidewalks.

Councilor Khalid Bey says the city won’t be able to stop everyone from smoking in parks, "but the effort, I think, is warranted."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A Vietnam War veteran from central New York finally has the combat medals he earned 45 years ago.

It was November 11, 1968 when Lauren Dates earned a dozen combat medals as an Army sergeant. He would have been fine if those awards, including a Purple Heart and bronze star, had showed up at his Cayuga County home in the mail. His wife thought otherwise.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

President Barack Obama wants to make it easier for foreigners to visit the United States so they can come and spend more money at tourist sites. The president visited the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown Thursday, where he pitched tourism as an economic asset.

Cooperstown Bats is a store that has a symbiotic relationship with the National Baseball Hall of Fame across the street. Thursday morning, a high school baseball team was in town for a game at the hall’s Doubleday Field, but the players bought some souvenir bats first.

candyschwartz / Flickr

The village of Cooperstown is preparing for one of its most high-profile tourists ever.

President Barack Obama will visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame there later today to promote tourism. Obama says tourism is an export and he wants to make it easier for foreign visitors to travel to the U.S.

He picked the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to highlight tourism’s impact. Cooperstown is a "one-stoplight town" that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, and sustains hundreds of jobs. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The leadership dispute between factions of the Cayuga Indian Nation continues to work its way through bureaucracy, with state courts and the federal government both soon to weigh in.

This week two county courts - Seneca and Cayuga counties - declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Clint Halftown, who claims he is still the rightful federal representative of the Cayuga. That title allows him to control federal money and the nation’s business interests.

Mike Fleming / via Flickr

The Syracuse Police Department says its network of security cameras in the city are helping fight crime. And some neighborhood advocates are asking for more.

Nearly 40 cameras have been installed in parts of the city since 2011. They’re on the Near Westside, in the Pioneer Homes complex and along Butternut Street on the north side.

Twenty more cameras will be online by the end of the summer, mostly downtown and along East Fayette Street.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The two-century-old gun manufacturer Remington Arms, the nucleus of a small Mohawk Valley community, is losing jobs to a more gun-friendly state.

The parent company of Remington, based in Ilion, New York, announced this week it is moving to lines of production work to the company's gleaming new factory in Huntsville, Alabama, announced earlier this year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

School is out for the day at Delaware Elementary in Syracuse, but Principal Milagros Escalera is in the auditorium greeting a group of students who stuck around for a magic show.

"Did you pet the bunny?" she asks, as students marvel at the furry animal's bright red eyes.

Much like how the magician performed his tricks, what the future holds for these students and this school, is a mystery.

There are more than a dozen Syracuse public schools that are staring down major changes or closure in the near future, much like what three city schools are going through this year.

Karen / via Flickr

Toxins that can cause blue-green algae outbreaks have been detected in 17 waterways in central New York, part of a state-wide increase that has prompted Sen. Charles Schumer to call for more monitoring.

Schumer, a Democrat, says the federal Environmental Protection Agency should better test for the runoff and toxins that cause algae outbreaks.

Blue-green algae can sicken people and pets who swim in contaminated waters and it can harm drinking water.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

SUNY Cortland has flipped the switch on a solar panel field that will supply six percent of the college’s electricity needs.

The 3,600 solar panels are tucked off to the side of the college’s athletic fields. It was a two year project from start to finish and cost $3 million. SUNY Cortland was the first public college in the state to install such a project.

The panels produce 1.5 million kilowatt hours of power. The college has set a goal of getting 10 percent of its power from solar by 2050.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's top fiscal watchdog says he has been directly involved in fighting political corruption in the state. His opponent for state comptroller in November's election says otherwise.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has vetoed a last-minute property tax hike the Common Council added to the city's spending plan because she says councilors didn't bring it up for public discussion first.

"When you don’t allow that process to happen, you create cynicism and you allow people to get turned off from the process," Miner said Wednesday.

messycupcakes / Flickr

New York-based yogurt company Chobani has registered its company in Delaware. Chobani says it’s not going anywhere, but it’s increased rumors the company is going public.

Chobani's headquarters is in Norwich, in Chenango County and it's factory is in New Berlin. But for tax purposes, the company is now a resident of Delaware.

Many corporations call Delaware their home on paper, because the state has more lenient corporate policies than others. 

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