Tom Magnarelli

Reporter, Syracuse

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

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Syracuse is taking part in a national campaign to bring awareness to the organization as its federal funding remains uncertain. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner showed her support and took some jabs at congressional Republicans.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A vote this week to give the Syracuse Police Department $1.6 million for new vehicles became a lightning rod for a bigger issue. Some Syracuse Common Councilors say various spending items should be delayed because of the financial health of the city.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

All nine Syracuse mayoral candidates participated in a forum this week. It was a crowded stage that produced a wide range of different answers.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate in upstate New York starting June 29th. But some in Syracuse want the city to opt out. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A new exhibition at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica looks at how New York state led America into a new artistic and decorative era in the early 20th century. Many of the pieces on display  were manufactured in upstate New York.

From flapper hats made in Buffalo to Eastman Kodak cameras in Rochester and Steuben Glass in Corning, more than 100 objects from across the state, defining the modern era, are featured. Guest curator Lori Zabar notes modernism is a difficult term to describe.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Progress is mixed on some redevelopment projects in downtown Syracuse. The Redhouse Arts Center is moving forward with construction in the old Sibley’s department store as part of a larger restoration of the building.

Workers are closing off a wall with cinder block tiles in what will be the Redhouse’s new 350-seat main stage theater in what used to be the Sibley’s warehouse. A concrete ceiling was cut out to raise the room’s height to 25 feet so rigging equipment can drop in set pieces.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Symphoria, the professional symphony orchestra of central New York, will play 13 free shows around the region this summer. And the organization has renewed Music Director Lawrence Loh’s contract for four more years.

In addition to traveling around the country as a guest conductor, Loh was also selected as the music director of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Which begs the question, how is he able to wave so many batons at once?

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Across the country it is LGBTQ pride month and members of the community are celebrating in Syracuse this week. It comes at a time when some in the gay, lesbian and transgender community remain vigilant and are remembering a tragic anniversary.

Onondaga County Health Department / Facebook

There were more than 150 additional autopsies performed in Onondaga County in 2016 compared to two years ago. The county is contracting medical examiners from New York City to handle some of the casework.

Barton & Loguidice

The city of Syracuse’s downtown civic strip includes cultural assets such as the War Memorial, Oncenter and Civic Center. Onondaga County is planning some transportation and cosmetic improvements to the area.

The project is being spearheaded by the county and Syracuse University to link the civic strip to the Connective Corridor, a series of improvement projects bridging the university to downtown Syracuse.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The family of a recent homicide victim in Syracuse is pleading with the public for help in solving the young man’s murder. It comes at a time when violence tends to increase each year.

Rasheada Caldwell, the mother of Rasheed Baker, 21, who was shot and killed earlier this week, called her son an awesome kid who loved everyone. He was a former all-CNY high school football player, who then went on to Onondaga Community College.

Corcoran High School

Students at Corcoran High School in the city of Syracuse made a video in response to a recent stabbing of a teacher at the school by a student. The students reacted to a number of negative comments online about the school.

A substitute teacher was stabbed after trying to break up a fight at the school in May. A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Green Party candidate Eric Graf, 25, announced he is running for the Syracuse Common Council. Graf works for the Syracuse City School District and said he wants more funding for schools and smaller class sizes. He said he supports a $15-an-hour minimum wage, more bike lanes and more worker-owned businesses.

To pay for their progressive platform, Green Party candidates, including Graf, say they want a progressive income tax on city workers and residents.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

State legislators from central New York are sounding off on what they would like to see the Legislature accomplish before the legislative session ends in June. One item includes funding for damages incurred from flooding along Lake Ontario and other New York waterways.   

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is sponsoring a companion piece to the Senate’s flood relief bill that would include expanding funding for properties damaged along Seneca Lake, Seneca River, Oswego River, Oneida River and Cross Lake.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Green Party candidates in Syracuse are pushing state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) to support universal health care in New York. The bill could be close to getting a majority of senators to sign on.

Syracuse mayoral candidate Howie Hawkins said DeFrancisco is the only New York state legislator representing the city that is not in favor of a single-payer system.

“We want John to be a hero for Syracuse, because this bill would solve the city’s fiscal crisis,” Hawkins said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As residents continue to deal with the high water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, businesses along the shore are preparing for the all important Memorial Day weekend. One town along the river is waiting to see if the weekend will be an indicator of how tourism will be this season.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

After months of focusing on members of Congress, protesters with the CNY Solidarity Coalition are shifting their attention to the New York State Legislature to push their progressive agenda. They are calling on Democratic state Sen. Dave Valesky to cut his ties with the Independent Democratic Conference. 

Protesters wore black veils and carried fake tombstones at a mock funeral held outside Valesky’s office in Syracuse. Rachel May with CNY Solidarity was among them.

“Dearly beloved, we come here to pay our respects to poor, progressive Bill,” May said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

After years of financial loss, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse is posting a profit. New York state helped contribute to the financial gains.

St Joseph’s Chief Financial Officer Meredith Price said a $20 million state grant lifted the hospital to an $8 million profit. The grant has allowed the hospital to pay for the outstanding debt on the purchase of a primary care physician practice.      

St. Joe’s had a loss of nearly $20 million last year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council has voted to override the mayor’s veto and defund the Syracuse Land Bank of $1.5 million in the city's recently passed budget. Some councilors called into question the land bank’s performance of maintaining foreclosed properties.

Rich Puchalski with Syracuse United Neighbors offered candy to councilors who would vote to return land bank funding.

“Most of you, don’t experience what we experience day in, day out,” Puchalski said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

In one council district in Syracuse another candidate is stepping into a race that has already seen four other candidates fight for the Democratic Party’s endorsement. It is continuing the trend of young people entering politics.

At the Green Party office in Syracuse, Serena “Rahzie” Seals, 33, candidate for the city’s fourth district, posed for pictures with supporters. Seals is trying to follow in her father’s footsteps, who once held the same seat. Seals said she is excited for the election because so many people in her generation are standing up to do something in the city.

File Photo
Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank / City of Syracuse

The Syracuse Common Council will soon have to decide if they want to override Mayor Stephanie Miner’s veto to a number of amendments the council added to the budget. Those amendments include cuts to the funding of the city’s land bank.

Miner released a list of 60 properties scheduled for demolition that will have to be put on hold unless the council restores funding to the land bank, which takes over tax-delinquent properties. Many of the properties on the list have had a number of police calls and complaints ranging from drugs, trespassing, arsons and shots fired.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

At least four Democratic candidates for Syracuse mayor have said they will challenge the party's designated candidate, Joe Nicoletti, in the September primary. A primary could drain resources from a campaign that will have to take on a Republican, an independent and a Green Party candidate in November.

Nicoletti said he is humbled to have the support of the Democratic Party.

“Hopefully the reason the party turned to me, was because I have experience, experience of many years," Nicoletti said. "Some people will say that is a negative but I don’t think so.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A federal bill that would reduce the amount of time animals spend in shelters after being abused and neglected has support from animal rights advocates and elected officials in central New York. The legislation would speed up the legal process to reduce the burden on shelters and give abused animals new homes sooner.

Dogs like Brutus come into the DeWitt Animal Hospital for a variety of reasons. Brutus is a mastiff pit bull mix that was a stray and about 20 pounds underweight.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Four Democratic challengers are vying for two open city-wide seats on the Syracuse Common Council. Now they will be joined by Green Party candidate Frank Cetera, who is making another run after an unsuccessful attempt in 2015. Cetera is supporting a number of progressive issues. He said the Greens are continuing to build on their movement.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

While the town hall went on inside, protesters vented their frustrations about Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) outside the venue at Onondaga Community College. The rally organized by CNY Solidarity, objected to the rules and random selection of audience members at the town hall.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Common Councilor Joe Nicoletti has won the Democratic Party's designation in the race for the city’s next mayor. Nicoletti will likely have to face a primary in September.

Nicoletti has made several unsuccessful attempts at running for mayor before, but he has insisted that just shows his commitment to Syracuse. Nicoletti has previously said he will work to improve the city’s relationships with the county and state governments if he is elected.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Alaska Purchase, which was negotiated by Secretary of State William Henry Seward, who lived in Auburn. The Seward House Museum is celebrating the anniversary with the unveiling of a new Seward statue on Saturday that will make its way to the Alaskan capitol of Juneau.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

CNY Solidarity protesters are demanding Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) vote to release President Donald Trump’s tax returns. Protesters like Jonah Minkoff-Zern waited outside for Katko at a Wednesday event in Syracuse.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said the firing of FBI Director James Comey by President Donald Trump will not interfere with the bureau’s investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 presidential election.

Tom Magnarelli

The Syracuse Common Council has passed a budget that includes some controversial changes to what Mayor Stephanie Miner had proposed. Miner said she will veto the changes.

The council has cut overtime from Syracuse’s fire and police departments by $1 million each. But Councilor Steven Thompson said the money cut for police overtime has been shifted to hire new officers.

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