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. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Landmark Theatre in downtown Syracuse is celebrating its 90th anniversary. The theater has recovered from financial troubles it has had in previous years.

Landmark Executive Director Mike Intaglietta said 2017 was a breakout year for the theater with 145,000 people walking through the doors.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Sidewalk snow removal was a top concern among Syracuse residents who attended the city’s recent Snow Safety Summit. The city asked residents to weigh in on solutions to snow removal problems. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Smartphone users can download a new app to receive public safety alerts from the Syracuse Police Department. The app has more features than a previous version.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is promoting legislation that would expand access to Pell grants for short-term job training programs. The federal subsidy for students to go to college currently can be used for 15-week job skills training. But Gillibrand said that does not help people who cannot go back to school full-time.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Young Women's Christian Association or YWCA of Syracuse, along with churches and other community groups in the area, have been working to help the people of Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit the island in September. Some Puerto Ricans, displaced by the hurricane, have made their way to Syracuse, to stay with family and friends and start new lives.

After Hurricane Maria, Dorothy Huertas and her husband, who live in Syracuse, received a call from a friend they have known for 20 years, Jorge Luis Rodriguez Malave, who lives in Puerto Rico.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s transition team released a report highlighting the priorities of the Walsh Administration, including recommendations on how to improve the city’s finances. Some team members said the financial crisis is real, and there is a limited amount of time to fix it.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse Metropolitan Area gained more than 3,500 private sector jobs in 2017. But there are some weak spots in the local economy. 

Karen Knapik-Scalzo, an associate economist with the New York State Department of Labor in Syracuse, said the region’s 1.4 percent growth rate is a little below the national growth rate, which is normal for the area.

“For Syracuse that is a decent growth rate," Knapik-Scalzo said. "We’re close to where we were in terms of our total number of jobs prior to the last recession. We’ve made progress in terms of improving our economy.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Officials in the city of Syracuse said snowplows will be out Wednesday and Wednesday night, keeping roads safe as heavy snow is expected to fall in much of central New York. Six to ten inches of snow is possible in some parts of the Syracuse area by Wednesday night.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

If a National Grid rate hike is approved by the state Public Service Commission, residential customers could be paying $16 more a month on their electric and gas bills over the next three years. Critics say the increase could hurt the most vulnerable.

National Grid spokesperson Virginia Limmiatias said the proposal includes a $2.5 billion investment in its energy network and 250 new jobs.

“We haven’t had a significant rate increase in over a decade," Limmiatias said. "That’s an issue to consider. There is a cost that is directly connected to the delivery of energy.”

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said Thursday it would be very bad if a memo from the House Intelligence Committee shows people with political motivations skewed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. 

WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Republican Rep. John Katko said President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night struck a bipartisan tone, was presidential and not combative. Katko said it was encouraging that Trump talked about issues that Katko said are important to all Americans, like infrastructure and the opioid epidemic.

John Crowley / Flickr

Wednesday is the deadline for New York State pistol permit holders to recertify their permits with state police. State police said they are focused on informing handgun owners about the requirement, which is a provision of the state’s SAFE Act. The deadline applies to those who were issued a pistol permit before January 2013.

Beau Duffy, Director of Public Information for New York State Police said the main purpose of the recertification, is to create an up-to-date database on active pistol permits at the state and local levels.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Community health centers in central New York and across the country have been operating without long-term funding from the federal government since September. Sen. Charles Schumer said he is fighting to fully renew the program.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The $15 million taxpayer-funded Central New York Film Hub in DeWitt has gotten criticism for not being utilized enough by production companies over the years. But a new virtual CNY film office wants to bring more movie business to the hub and the region.

Elias Gwinn, president of CNY Film Professionals, said the group formed last year as a way for local filmmakers, actors and crew to network with each other.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Four Democratic candidates seeking their party's designation in the 24th Congressional District race participated in a forum in the town of Manlius Tuesday. The district is represented by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western part of Oswego County.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Quentin Wheeler addressed students last week regarding his decision to remove three department chairs from their positions. Some students said it is Wheeler who should be replaced.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As thousands took part in Women's marches all over the country Saturday, there was another March that brought big crowds. 

A large anti-abortion crowd marched through downtown Syracuse Saturday. The rally marked 45 years since the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade, legalized abortions. Christina Fadden Fitch is the president of Syracuse Right to Life and one of the organizers of the march. She said she is encouraged by congressional bills that impose restrictions on abortions.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse job market has been mixed recently, with some companies adding and others eliminating jobs in the area. While the national economy is booming, some experts say the outlook is not as good for upstate.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has removed three department chairs from their positions. The professors say the change is part of a continuing feud between the president and faculty.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Parts of central New York received a significant amount of snow over the weekend. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said the city is stepping up its efforts to plow streets and clear sidewalks after receiving complaints from residents in recent weeks.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said he wanted the best and brightest people from the public and private sector in his new administration. Some of the diverse leaders on Walsh’s team have deep roots in the community.

At his swearing-in ceremony, Fire Chief Michael Monds, a 17-year veteran, said as a young man growing up on Syracuse’s south side, one of the poorest areas of the city, Monds never thought about becoming a firefighter.

Lance McCord / Flickr

The central New York region has the highest rate of flu cases in the state, so far this season. Officials said the virus this year, could be worse than usual.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As dangerously cold wind chills come into the area, using alternative heating appliances can potentially cause fires in homes. The Syracuse Fire Department said the number of fires that occur, tend to go up around this time of year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council will narrow down a list of resumes to three candidates before voting to fill an empty council seat. That process is still being criticized by some who are calling for more transparency.

Former Green-party candidate for councilor-at-large Frank Cetera said there is a lack of public input into the appointment of the vacant seat. He tried to speak about it at Wednesday's council meeting but was shot down.

“It’s unfortunate that the council has decided not to allow this discourse as a part of the public record,” Cetera said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The annual "Come Home to Syracuse" event connects people who are home for the holidays with job opportunities in Syracuse. 40 below, the organization that puts on the event, is also expanding with more opportunities in 2018.

Joseph Quinn, 23, graduated from SUNY Oswego last year with a business administration degree. He has been working part-time, living at home with his parents in Cicero. His dad encouraged him to check out the "Come Home to Syracuse" event where he could network with employers in the area.

401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Town halls across upstate New York are seeing a steady stream of residents paying their 2018 town and county property taxes before the end of 2017. The new federal tax code limits local property tax deductions.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor-elect Ben Walsh said he will authorize a new class of 25-30 police officers this spring. Walsh also announced he is holding a nationwide search for the city’s next police chief.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Four Syracuse councilors with decades of experience are stepping down at the end of the year, mostly because of term limits. The councilors reflected on their time in office, and the challenges still ahead for the city.

David Grunfeld / S.I. Newhouse School

Friends and families of the Syracuse University students killed in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing 29 years ago attended a remembrance ceremony on campus Thursday. Many can still remember where they were when the event took place.

Crouse chimes sounded 35 times honoring the SU students killed in the attack.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Centerstate CEO President Rob Simpson is criticizing a report on central New York’s inland port, and the New York State Department of Transportation’s decision to locate the project in the town of DeWitt. The inland port would receive goods by rail from the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Two years ago, Simpson said the inland port had the potential to create 2,000 jobs if warehousing could be developed adjacent to the rail terminal. But he said the DeWitt location is surrounded by protected wetlands, making it difficult to build warehousing.

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