Tom Magnarelli

Reporter, Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A deficit of more than $18 million currently exists in the proposed budget of the city of Syracuse. About $13 million dollars is being allocated in overtime to the police and fire departments. Some councilors say the way to reduce overtime is to hire more staff.

Syracuse Fire Chief Paul Linnertz said the department has 28 firefighters in training.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Onondaga Creekwalk is a 2.5 mile pedestrian and bike trial along Onondaga Creek that runs from Onondaga Lake to downtown Syracuse. A new phase of the Creekwalk will extend the trail another two miles from downtown Syracuse to the city's south side.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is voicing her objection to President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate funding of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities. The cuts would have a direct effect on organizations in central New York.

At the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, Executive Director Natalie Stetson said federal funding allows them to do special projects. Funding helped them produce a documentary called, “Boom and Bust."

Tom Magnarelli / Facebook / WRVO News / Facebook

Four diverse Democratic candidates are competing for a diverse, open district council seat in Syracuse. The district encompasses Syracuse University, a burgeoning downtown and some of the highest concentrations of poverty in the city.  

The candidates are all close in age, ranging from 29 to 31, but they are all bringing something different to the race. Jeremy DeChario runs a food cooperative in the Westcott neighborhood.

Campbell Public Affairs Institute

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney launched a new website to correct what she calls bad information regarding the Consensus recommendations on government consolidation. This comes after a debate was held at Syracuse University last week regarding the proposed city-county government merger.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Two more Democratic candidates are running for two open councilor-at-large seats in the city of Syracuse. Although they come from different backgrounds, both share hopeful visions for the city’s future.

It's Kyle Madden’s first time running for office. A native of Rochester, Madden, 30, oversees Syracuse's public parking garages and ran Mayor Stephanie Miner’s reelection campaign.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Central New York legislators are split on the recent state budget process. While some see significant gains, others see missed opportunities and purely political motivations.

State Sen. David Valesky with the Independent Democratic Conference said there is a lot to be pleased about in the state's new spending plan.

“By and large I think this was a tremendously successful state budget,” Valesky said.

The budget includes infrastructure investments, college affordability and raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr

More renovations will continue at the New York State Fairgrounds now that $70 million was recently approved in the state budget for changes. But not everyone is happy with the proposed ideas.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Progress is being made on a nearly $50 million renovation of Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year. The recently passed state budget includes $35 million for the project which will feature a new center lobby, terminal exterior and ticket counters.

Executive Director Christina Callahan said the center lobby will turn into a grand hall and be more modernized.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Items in the New York state budget that affect central New York were highlighted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo while he was in Syracuse Wednesday. The budget includes a continuing push for government and service consolidation.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed budget includes increases to schools and police, but also an $18.5 million deficit. Miner said the city’s fiscal problems are similar to what other upstate municipalities face.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

One hundred fifty truck shipments of radioactive waste could be traveling along Interstate-81 from Canada to South Carolina for the next several years. That has city officials in Syracuse worried about the potential dangers if there is an accident.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Syracuse received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice last year to develop a pilot police body camera program. But the program still has not been implemented.

The issue is what kind of policy the Syracuse Police Department will have for their body camera program. First Deputy Chief Joe Cecile said their policy was ready to go when new guidelines from the federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union made police go back to the drawing board and change it.

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Syracuse’s Youth Council, a group of young people learning how the city’s government works, sat in on their first Common Council meeting in March. The youth council is expected to recommend topics the Common Council should take action on.

Allana Moore is a freshman at the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler High School in Syracuse. She said she joined the Youth Council because the problems in the city are critical. She lives on the west side of Syracuse and said she has seen a lot of violence in her area.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Child advocacy centers across New York state can apply for $10 million in federal funding for their services. These centers provide an environment for child victims to tell their stories in a place other than a police station.

Kathryn Bailey of Syracuse, 23, was abused by an older brother when she was between 8 and 10 years old. She told authorities about it when she was a senior in high school. A detective interviewed her at the McMahon/Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse, a kid-friendly environment with brightly colored rooms, carpeting and toys.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Symphoria, the professional orchestra of central New York, has announced new details on its upcoming fifth season. The orchestra is becoming more popular, but there are concerns over possible cuts to federal funding of the arts.

The orchestra tuned their instruments and prepared for a rehearsal of their show, "Superheroes & Villains of the Silver Screen," on Thursday. Conductor Sean O’Loughlin, a native of Syracuse, entered the stage and shook the hand of the first chair, the leader of the first violin section, as customary.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank is once again a top earner of grant funding from the office of the New York state attorney general. The funding is awarded from mortgage settlements the attorney general’s office made with big banks after the housing crisis.

business.syrgov.net

The city of Syracuse has developed a business web portal that allows users to access information to start or grow their businesses. The database application is meant to spur economic development in small businesses.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Community Development Block Grant is funding distributed by the federal government to local governments and states to use on housing and economic and social development. President Donald Trump’s proposed budget eliminates CDBG funds. That means some programs in Syracuse could be hit hard, if not eliminated, by the cut.

The Syracuse Common Council recently approved the distribution of nearly $4.5 million in CDBG funding for this year. Syracuse Common Councilor Helen Hudson said that means the city’s community centers and housing partners can stay on track.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A new report from the Brookings Institution puts the Syracuse metropolitan area last out of the country’s 100 largest metro areas in adding jobs from 2010 to 2015. The Syracuse metro area consists of Onondaga, Oswego and Madison counties. But some of the data is not as bad as it seems for the region.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim said he never had any intention of staying with the program beyond next year.

"I fully knew that next year would be my last year," Boeheim said. "I never, ever thought anything else, ever. I never tried to change that in any way, shape or form. I was thrilled that Mike Hopkins would be the coach here at the end of next year. That was set in stone."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Despite receiving an invitation, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) did not attend a town hall in Syracuse on Saturday organized by the CNY Solidarity coalition. Those who did attend are urging the central New York Republican to oppose the actions of President Donald Trump’s administration.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Democratic Councilor Khalid Bey is looking to expand his influence by running for an open at-large seat on the Common Council in November. Bey is the chair of economic development in a city where growth is lacking.

The city of Syracuse is ranked last in economic growth out of the top 100 municipalities in the U.S., according to a new study from the Brookings Institution.

Bey said it is at the discretion of the mayor of Syracuse, Stephanie Miner, to negotiate and enter business contracts and to decide how to spend the city's money.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Snow showers and freezing temperatures did not stop protesters in Syracuse from rallying to end the deportation of immigrants on Wednesday. Members of the Workers' Center of CNY demonstrated in support of one of their own.

Dolores Bustamante, a Workers' Center board member, faced an immigration hearing in western New York Wednesday. Some feared Bustamante could have been detained and deported. Minnie Bruce Pratt, of Syracuse, said Bustamante is a linchpin in the fight for humane conditions for immigrant workers.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse wants to spend $3 million less on road reconstruction than it did last year. That has some councilors worried about road conditions.

The city’s budget office said Syracuse has been posting deficits for a number of years now. That’s one reason why the mayor's administration asked the Common Council to approve $2.5 million to improve streets, rather than $5.5 million like they did last year.

The measure passed, but Councilor Nader Maroun said roads need to be more of a priority.     

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Public debate continues in Syracuse about President Donald Trump's policies, including his newly ordered travel ban. The executive action temporary suspends the visa process for six majority-Muslim nations and refugees.

Wayne Marshall / via Flickr

After three years of rejection, the city of Syracuse is again applying for federal funding to reduce childhood lead poisoning. The money would be used to eliminate the hazards in a home that can result in lead poisoning. Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development Paul Driscoll said this year’s application will also include inspecting homes for other potential dangers.

"It could be mold, radon, asbestos or pest infestation that leads to asthma," Driscoll said. "We’re trying to address all the health hazards in a house with one visit, one application."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York will preside over the funeral mass Friday for retired Bishop James Moynihan at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse announced Moynihan died on Monday.

During his tenure, Moynihan oversaw many of the biggest issues facing the Catholic Church in the past two decades.  

Moynihan's body was brought to the cathedral on Thursday. Following Friday's funeral, Moynihan will be buried in the Cathedral crypt in Syracuse.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Republican candidate for mayor of Syracuse Laura Lavine said she would turn the city around like she has with the Lafayette School District. Lavine has spent 40 years in public education and is in her third year as the district’s superintendent. Lavine said she would use her administrative skills as mayor.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Republican healthcare plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will likely change significantly before it comes to the House for a vote, according to Rep. John Katko. The central New York Republican said he has concerns with the legislation, which he has shared with House leadership.

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