Tom Magnarelli

Reporter, Syracuse

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

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse Common Council is expected to vote Monday on a request that the city’s school board require new hires to live in the city of Syracuse. Nearly 60 percent of all employees in the district do not live in the city.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is pushing legislation to help seniors who have been financially exploited by phone and online scams. Scammers hack personal information and trick seniors into giving them money.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Around 200 protesters demonstrated outside Rep. John Katko’s office in Syracuse Wednesday as well as a smaller number at Katko’s office in Auburn. Protesters are frustrated Katko will not hold a town hall to hear their concerns.

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Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is adding her voice to demands that Rep. John Katko hold a town hall meeting. Protests outside of Katko’s office by progressive groups have been ongoing.

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After an unsuccessful bid for the Onondaga County Legislature, Democrat Timothy Rudd is running for Syracuse's Common Council. Rudd said he is not opposed to the idea of one day merging the governments of the county and the city.

Rudd said he opposes the current Consensus proposal to merge the governments.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Municipalities across New York State are expected to be paying more in energy costs because of the state's nuclear subsidies. That is according to a report from the Alliance for a Green Economy, which opposes the nuclear subsidies. The report estimated the extra cost for six of the state's largest cities. The city of Syracuse is expected to pay an additional $1.4 million over the next 12 years. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said that number does not scare her.

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The Republican majority of the Onondaga County Legislature is coming out against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for government consolidation and the Consensus plan to merge the city of Syracuse and county governments. Some legislators said the governor and the Onondaga County executive are alone in their support for a merged government.

David Chanatry/File Photo / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

Schuyler County legislators for and against the proposal to store liquid petroleum gas near Seneca Lake are looking to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for an answer. The Schuyler County Legislature passed a resolution last year supporting the proposal and asking state officials to approve or deny the plan.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

About 75 people rallied for another Trump Tuesday protest in Syracuse, this time focused on science and the environment. The weekly events organized by the Syracuse mayor's office, are meant to highlight how President Donald Trump's policies affect local people.

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Another Democratic candidate has entered into the race to be Syracuse’s next mayor. The head of the city’s innovation team said he is ready to tackle big challenges in new ways.

Syracuse’s Director of Policy and Innovation, Andrew Maxwell, said there are a lot of times when the city gets bogged down in negativity, old baggage and old arguments.

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Upstate Medical University has opened its cord blood bank, only the second facility of its kind in the state. Blood from umbilical cords is processed for stem cells, which can treat cancers and other diseases. The bank is open for public and private use.

Nicole Moore is the first mother to donate her son Jackson’s umbilical cord blood to the Upstate Cord Blood Bank.

QPK Design

Changes will soon be coming to the Marshall Street area near the Syracuse University campus. The city of Syracuse approved the demolition and new construction of some iconic university hotspots.

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Supporters of President Donald Trump crashed an Obamacare rally hosted by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner on Tuesday. Protesters worried about losing the Affordable Care Act were met by some who are encouraged by Trump’s actions so far.

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Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is supporting a campaign to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a New York State driver’s license. Miner and other groups are lobbying state elected officials to sign on to the measure.   

Courtesy Tom Dadey

At her State of the City address in January, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said the Syracuse Police Department will not be used to enforce anti-immigrant policies. Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey is criticizing Miner for declaring Syracuse a sanctuary city.

“It’s unfortunate that our mayor, who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is not following that oath and is not following the Constitution by her statements saying that she will not follow the laws of the land,” Dadey said.

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Local activist and musician Joe Driscoll is running Syracuse’s Common Council. Driscoll is hoping to win the Democratic nomination for an upcoming open seat.  

Driscoll helped organize a large protest at Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport Sunday night against President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Driscoll livestreamed the protest on Facebook. He said he has progressive ideas that he wants to bring to the city council.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

More than 200 protesters in Syracuse are calling on Sen. Charles Schumer to reject President Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks. But some central New York Republicans said the president’s choices are fulfilling the promises he made on the campaign trail.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority is asking the Syracuse Common Council to approve a nearly $49 million renovation to the Syracuse Hancock International Airport. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the promise of a new makeover of the airport at his State of the State address in Syracuse last month.

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Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner hosted a rally in downtown Syracuse to hear from refugees and immigrants affected by President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new national study lists Interstate-81 in Syracuse as one of America’s ten worst urban highways that should be removed. The nonprofit that conducted the report is advocating the elevated viaduct be torn down and replaced with a boulevard.

President and CEO of Congress for the New Urbanism Lynn Richards said I-81 in Syracuse made the list because active discussions about removing the viaduct have been going on for a decade.

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St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse has selected a new president and CEO for the health center. It comes at an uncertain time for the healthcare industry.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank recently made its 400th sale after it began selling tax-delinquent properties in 2013. The land bank's goals for the new year are to expand outside the city and address health concerns about their properties.

That 400th sale was a home in Syracuse that was listed in the Land Bank’s Home Ownership Choice program, which requires buyers to live on the property or to renovate and sell to an owner-occupant within a year. Land Bank Executive Director Katelyn Wright said most of the properties they sell are fixer-uppers.

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Several names are popping up as possible contenders to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. One Republican business expert is exploring that idea and attacking what he calls Cuomo’s lack of understanding of how businesses create jobs.

Harry Wilson has spent his career turning around companies headed for bankruptcy. He worked as a senior advisor of the U.S. Treasury Department under President Barack Obama, helping to oversee the restructuring of General Motors after the 2008 financial crisis.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse Common Council and the Syracuse City School District are looking for more applicants to fill the city’s newly created Youth Advisory Council. The goal is for the Common Council to receive recommendations from young people on proposed legislation.

Common Council President Van Robinson said the Youth Council will resemble the city’s council with various committees.

“What we’re looking for is a recommendation or suggestions from the youths themselves,” Robinson said. 

And he said those could be issues that councilors would not think of on their own.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Police Department held a civilian police academy this week to expose some members of the public to what it is like to be a police officer. The training was an attempt by police and the community to better understand each other.

Brandiss Pearson, of Syracuse, said she participated in the training because she has a husband who is a corrections officer and teenage children who see law enforcement differently. She asked Sgt. Derek McGork during his presentation on civilian encounters, if a police officer is allowed to racially profile someone like her son.

via Flickr

Part of the economic growth strategy Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out in his State of the State speech in Syracuse includes the creation of high-tech jobs. Cuomo announced the state will invest $30 million into the Saab company, which will add about 250 new jobs to Syracuse and make its facility their new North American headquarters. Cuomo said the development of radar and sensing technology fits perfectly into drone industry.

"Nationwide, this is an industry that has tremendous potential," Cuomo said. "We want the home of it and the capitol of it to be central New York and it will.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

In his State of the State speech in Syracuse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that planning for Interstate-81 reconstruction in downtown Syracuse will once again include studies of the tunnel and depressed highway options. Those are two options that the state Department of Transportation previously eliminated.

Members of the audience applauded when Cuomo announced the return of the tunnel and depressed highway options.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As she prepares to step down at the end of the year, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner will give her state of the city speech on Thursday outlining her priorities for 2017. While the field is wide open for who will be the next mayor, some Syracuse Common Councilors are weighing in on what they would like Miner to focus on in the meantime.

Councilor Helen Hudson made her thoughts clear about running for mayor.

“Absolutely not, absolutely not,” Hudson said.

Syracuse Fire Department

The Syracuse Fire Department said it is in desperate need of two new fire trucks after two trucks reached the end of their useful life last year. The trucks will cost $1 million each and take one year to be built. Fire Chief Paul Linnertz said there are parts from the old trucks in great shape that can be reused on the new trucks. That could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse had a record high number of homicides in 2016. That compares to a record low number of violent and overall crimes in 2015. Syracuse officials say while homicides are tougher to control, police do have the power to curb other crimes.

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