Tom Magnarelli

Reporter, Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York. 

VIP Structures

The Post-Standard building in downtown Syracuse will undergo a $30 million renovation by VIP Structures, the architecture and engineering company that recently purchased the building. Developers are seeking tax breaks from the city.

VIP Structures will relocate its offices into the building that was the former headquarters of The Post-Standard. The newspaper is still printed in the space. Nora Spillane, the executive director of the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, said construction includes three new stories with 40 luxury and premium apartments and ten affordable units.

Sen. Charles Schumer's Facebook page

Members of Congress from New York are reacting to President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Trump’s remarks on Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Democrats and Republicans agree, Russia is not a friend to the U.S.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse hospitals had 10-15 overdoses coming in almost every day last week, believed to be from synthetic cannabinoids or “spike.” The number of overdoses from spike are up significantly and health officials worry about another potential threat.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released action plans for 12 waterbodies affected by harmful algal blooms. The state is partnering with local communities to reduce and eliminate the blooms.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Department of Transportation is awarding CSX railways $19 million for the creation of an inland port at the DeWitt rail yard. The upgrade will allow the facility to load and unload containers from the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Sen. Charles Schumer's Facebook page

New York’s senators are vowing to do everything they can to oppose President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Democrats say among the rights that would be threatened, health care is at the top of the list.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said Trump promised he would appoint a nominee that would undo health care in the form of the Affordable Care Act and reproductive and abortion rights like Roe v. Wade.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to President Donald Trump, highlighted the benefits of Republicans’ tax law while in Tully Monday at the Suit-Kote paving company. Trump said six million Americans across the country have directly benefited from the tax plan through wage increases or bonuses.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Officials in Syracuse say they are still waiting for safety information from the federal government on all railroad bridges in the city. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Fourth of July holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for animal shelters trying to reunite missing pets with their owners. Animal advocates say it is fireworks that are causing dogs and cats to run away.   

Dee Schaefer, a humane educator with the Central New York SPCA, said phones were blowing up at the shelter Thursday morning with about 30 calls regarding missing or stray animals. They have already taken in at least five dogs this week, and she said intakes in shelters across the nation are 80 percent higher immediately following the Fourth of July.

City of Syracuse

The 500 block of Clinton St. in Syracuse remains closed Friday after the sidewall of an elevated railroad track in downtown Syracuse collapsed Thursday afternoon. No one was injured, but the debris did knock over a streetlight. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The city of Rome has outlined how it plans to spend the $10 million award it received through New York State's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. A number of transformative projects focus on key topics the state wants to highlight.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated Monday that redesigning downtown areas will attract young people and jobs.

“The businesses are coming," Cuomo said. "The businesses will come. We have to now have the community that attracts the youth and the talent.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney requested that money set aside to get the county’s amphitheater going, be returned to the legislature because it is no longer needed. But the county comptroller said no money would actually be returned to the general fund.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Central New York Democrats resoundingly chose Dana Balter over Juanita Perez Williams as their candidate to take on Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. Balter won Tuesday’s primary with more than 60 percent of the vote and the enthusiasm of passionate supporters across the 24th Congressional District, despite being down in the polls.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Tuesday is primary day for federal elections in New York. Democrats across central New York's 24th Congressional District will choose between Dana Balter and Juanita Perez Williams, both competing for the Democratic nomination in the race to take on incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November.

WRVO Public Media

Juanita Perez Williams is running in a primary Tuesday, against designated Democratic candidate Dana Balter for their party’s nomination in the race for the 24th Congressional District. Perez Williams, who lost in the Syracuse mayoral race last year, said she’s ready to support a bold vision for the region’s future.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on an immigration bill next week, meant to be a compromise among Republicans. Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) worked on the bill. This comes after a more conservative immigration bill failed in the House Thursday. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins is criticizing former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner as she enters into the governor’s race. But Hawkins admitted her candidacy could end up helping him.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Vice President Mike Pence visited central New York Tuesday and said Congress is working on immigration reform this week that will address issues including the separation of children and their families crossing the Southern border. Pence said he and President Donald Trump do not want children taken away from their parents and want a solution to the problem.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Syracuse Monday pushing gun safety legislation meant to address school shootings. The bill, which would prevent individuals from buying or possessing guns who are believed to be a severe threat to themselves or others, is still tied up in the state legislature.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media File Photo

Members of Congress from New York, on both sides of the aisle, are focusing in on how their parties can win seats in November's midterm elections. The economy and women are two factors that could push each party towards victory.

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) both agree; to win in the general election, Republicans need to focus on the strong economy. Reed said Republicans should celebrate the low unemployment rate, which is at historic levels for the black and Hispanic populations and promote passing tax cuts.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Demonstrators in Syracuse took part in a “Families Belong Together” rally, happening across the country Thursday, to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the Southern border. The policy is meant to deter immigrants from crossing the border illegally. Protesters call it cruel, violent abuse and a moral outrage.

Irene Workman is a social worker who has worked with children who have been separated from their families by foster care or juvenile detention centers.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The city of Syracuse could take the first steps toward building a municipal fiber network this summer. The project would provide high speed bandwidth at an affordable price for the city, but could also benefit the community. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Central New York residents took familiar sides in the ongoing debate over what should replace the aging Interstate-81 viaduct in Syracuse. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media File Photo

A number of Syracuse University fraternity students involved with racist and sexist videos that were released to the public this spring, have been suspended for up to two years. The videos made national headlines and caused an uproar on campus when they were first shown.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Syracuse Police Department is going from 16 to 100 body cameras for its uniformed officers. But some of the policies related to body cameras remain unclear.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Questions still remain regarding a proposed law in Syracuse that would make it illegal to tether a dog outside in high heat or freezing temperatures for two hours without proper shelter. Wednesday’s public meeting on Adrian’s Law raised concerns from some Syracuse common councilors and dog owners.

Officer Rebecca Cosgrave, the animal cruelty investigator for the Syracuse Police Department, said she responds to hundreds of calls every year of dogs outside in extreme hot or cold weather, which can result in heat exhaustion or frostbite.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

“Adrian’s Law,” the legislation meant to stop dog owners from tying up their dogs outside for hours in high heat or freezing temperatures, is getting new life in the Syracuse Common Council after failing to pass the Onondaga County Legislature in April.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to soon release its management plans to combat harmful algal blooms in 12 lakes, some in central and northern New York. The Great Lakes Research Consortium is also commissioning five projects to address the outbreaks and other environmental issues.

Greg Boyer is a SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry professor and the director of the consortium.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Utica-area Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, who is also running for Congress, is calling on the U.S. Senate to stop a potential cut to the Department of Defense that could affect civilian jobs in Rome. A 25 percent cut to civilian resources was included in the House’s National Defense Authorization Act that passed last week.

There are 960 employees at Rome Defense Finance and Accounting Services, which pays the Army’s bills. Ed Abounader, the president of the union representing those employees said cuts could mean losing jobs.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Not since 1984 has Syracuse missed its annual Jazz Festival, but it was announced last week the event will not take place this year. The festival’s organizer said he needs to develop a more long-term, sustainable financial model to keep the festival going for years to come.

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