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 News

Many students are returning back to school this week and law enforcement in central New York is issuing a reminder for drivers to stay alert. Drivers can expect more school buses on the road and school speed zones to be in effect.

Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway said the beginning of school marks an exciting and dangerous time for students. He said drivers need to pay attention to the speed limit in school zones. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Utica-area Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is calling for more testing of the city's drinking water. The question is over the levels of chloroform and other carcinogenic contaminants, contained in the water.

Brindisi said a report from the Environment Working Group shows chloroform levels at 48 parts per billion in the water at the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. That’s higher than the state and national averages as well as the water tested in Syracuse and Rome.

WRVO News File Photo

New York Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Tom Reed (R-Corning) expect that Congress will support a financial aid package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey when they return to Washington, D.C. next month. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Central New York Republican Rep. John Katko said the amount of taxes and regulations in the U.S. are choking businesses and he wants Congress to pass some relief. The issues facing manufacturers in central New York are similar to what other companies face upstate and across the country.

United Radio is a mid-size, high tech electronics repair and remanufacture facility located in East Syracuse that does business in 150 countries. President Phillip Rubenstein said trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement are very important to his company.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco has been traveling around upstate meeting with members of his party to discuss the possibility of him running for governor next year. DeFrancisco said there is discontent with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on both sides of the aisle.

New York State had a population loss last year and DeFrancisco said that is one of the main reasons why things need to change and why he is considering a run for governor.

David Stone / Flickr

Central New York state legislators have introduced a bill that would give the state Department of Environmental Conservation more flexibility with issuing deer control permits. This comes after DEC officials determined they were steering too far away from the current law. 

David Skeval of Cornell Coorperative Extension of Onondaga County said after an internal review at the DEC, officials realized their process of issuing deer culling permits is cumbersome, and also not following environmental law.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Fair opens its 2017 edition Wednesday. The fair has some new features, fixed some problems from last year and is getting ready for the second part of a major expansion.

Phase one of the fair’s revitalization included a new entryway and larger midway. Phase two will begin after this year’s fair with the creation of a new Expo Center which Acting Director Troy Waffner called the gem of the expansion.

Jason Smith / WRVO News

More than 1,000 people came out to Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo Monday to view the solar eclipse, one of many places holding events to celebrate the solar event.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently allocated an additional $1.5 million in funding to improve roads in Syracuse. But it is money that state legislators are warning the city needs to spend now.

Syracuse Astronomical Society

For today’s solar eclipse, people across central and northern New York can expect the moon’s shadow to partially block out the sun this afternoon, with the peak happening just past 2:30 p.m. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County recently held its annual “Share the Road Expo” at Destiny USA to teach kids traffic safety. This comes after three children in central New York were killed after being hit by cars earlier this month.

Joshua Cruz of Solvay signed up his two-year-old son and his one-year-old daughter with Safe Child identification. They got fingerprinted and their pictures taken.

“God forbid anything bad happens, somebody comes by and snatches them, they’re in the system and they can put an Amber Alert out very quickly,” Cruz said.

Spectrum News

The three Democratic candidates running for mayor of Syracuse held their first debate Tuesday, which was broadcast by Spectrum News

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Last week, Republican candidate for mayor Laura Lavine proposed mayoral control of Syracuse’s public schools. But Syracuse’s teachers union and some of Lavine’s opponents are calling that plan a mistake.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Hundreds rallied in downtown Syracuse Sunday for a Black Lives Matter vigil, responding to the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Passionate messages on Syracuse’s future came through Thursday at a forum for the city’s mayoral candidates. The candidates spoke to an intimate crowd of downtown’s young professionals.

The event was hosted by the pro-Syracuse advocacy group, 40 Below, in a co-working space. Designated Democratic candidate and common councilor Joe Nicoletti wants them to know his experience and his relationships at the state and federal level will move the city forward.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Four children in central New York were hit by cars last week and three of them died from their injuries. It can be a dangerous time of year for kids out of school.

Sgt. Jon Seeber with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office said they have seen this increase in kids being hit by cars during the summer before and many times it comes down to child pedestrian errors.

“They tend to play, talk and not pay attention to cars when crossing the street,” Seeber said. "I think it is really important for parents and adults that we supervise them as best we can."

WRVO News

A hot topic among local governments in central New York recently, is proposing ways to share services. But one Syracuse mayoral candidate with ties to the Consensus Commission on government consolidation is sharing his thoughts on its most controversial recommendation.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Parts of upstate New York have been receiving record amounts of rainfall this year. The rain is one of the contributing factors to the high water levels on Lake Ontario which has caused extensive property damage. But it is also taking a toll on local farmers.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Upstate New York, like the rest of the country, has suffered through decades of job losses in manufacturing. But some manufacturing companies in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier can’t find enough skilled workers to fill job openings.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There have been some bumps in the road since ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft started operating in upstate New York more than a month ago. One concern has been traffic congestion in a small, popular area of downtown Syracuse.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Heavy rains wreaked havoc on Oneida County about a month ago causing flash floods, power outages and destroying some homes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited one area on Tuesday to announce funding that may help prevent flooding in the future.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Independent candidate Ben Walsh is leading the Syracuse mayoral race in terms of fundraising. That does not concern the designated Democratic candidate.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Syracuse could soon be speeding up its process of code enforcement of property owners. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing Syracuse to create a new municipal violations bureau.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said if the Syracuse Common Council cooperates, the city could have the bureau up and running this year.

"It's been my experience that I tend to be very ambitious with what I think can be accomplished," Miner said. "I think we will get the lion's share of it done."

The bureau would circumvent the courts in handling code violators.

vadikunk / via Flickr

The Onondaga County Legislature is in the process of hiring legal counsel to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors over the costs of the heroin and opioid epidemic. Some legislators say opioid manufacturers lied about the addictive nature of their products.

Although they do not have a number yet, Onondaga County Legislative Chairman Ryan McMahon said whatever amount they end up suing opioid manufacturers for will never be enough.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The wet weather has made it another challenging year for dairy farmers. State agriculture officials are trying to help farmers cope how ever they can, including expanding the New York State Grown & Certified marketing campaign to include dairy products.

Chuck Luchsinger’s Silver Spring Farm is more than 100 years old. It has about 240 cows, 200 acres and produces about 600 gallons of milk a day.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

New York state residents receive a five percent discount on Thruway tolls if they have an E-Z Pass. Last year, the New York State Thruway Authority decided to eliminate that discount for out-of-state drivers. Some state lawmakers want to see that new revenue go to local governments.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Big changes could be coming to the Onondaga County War Memorial if the county legislature gives its approval. County officials are keeping veterans in the loop as the county looks to sell the naming rights to the War Memorial arena.

The arena is where the Syracuse Crunch hockey team plays and Deputy County Executive Bill Fisher said selling the naming rights could bring in revenue for renovations to areas like the bathrooms which Fisher called a disgrace.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) kicked off a series of town halls across the state at Syracuse University Friday. The generally friendly audience gave Gillibrand a warm reception but asked questions on the biggest issues facing Washington.

Gillibrand was welcomed with a standing ovation but the attention quickly turned to health care and President Donald Trump. Gillibrand called the Republican health care bill "terrible" and said millions of people could lose coverage.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

New York State led the country in a decorative arts movement in the early 20th century and an exhibition at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica showcases those products and objects. The country lacked a modern art identity in the mid-1920s, but the revolutionary time period changed everything.

Utica College

In addition to New York’s free college tuition program being offered to some middle class students that attend state schools, there is also the Enhanced Tuition Award for students attending private schools. But the majority of private colleges and universities across the state are not taking part in the program this year.

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