Barack Obama

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There was dramatic testimony Tuesday in the hearing on whether former Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino should be ousted from the Buffalo school board. Paladino took the stand, and apologized for racist comments he made last December regarding former President Barck Obama and Michelle Obama.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The New York State Education Department hearing on whether Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo Board of Education for leaking private information from the board's executive sessions could conclude as early as Tuesday. On Monday, day three of the proceedings, the petitioners seeking Paladino's removal rested their case. And the Buffalo businessman and former Republican gubernatorial candidate's defense began.

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The NPR Politics team and reporters across the newsroom will be live-annotating President Obama's farewell address in Chicago tonight, scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.

You can expect fact checks and background added to Obama's comments as he gives them, with special attention paid to remarks on his legacy, national security, health care and foreign policy.

Listen live starting at 9 p.m. on WRVO by clicking the play button at the top of this page.

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Unofficial election results show a slight increase in turnout among New Yorkers this year as compared to 2012, but turnout in many northern and central New York counties decreased.

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About 150 anti-Trump protesters rallied in downtown Syracuse Wednesday night. Protesters were angered by both Republicans and Democrats. They condemned Trump for what they said was bigoted rhetoric on the campaign trail that expressed Islamophobia and xenophobia.

Obama's Years, Part Two

Jul 18, 2016
Nick Knupffer / Flickr

Obama's Years is a two-part radio documentary that explores how life has changed for Americans over the last eight years.

In the second hour of this special coverage, Steve Inskeep will sit down with President Obama at the White House and ask the president how he thinks the country has changed during his presidency. Inskeep will also talk to the President about the thoughts, ideas and lives of the people he met during the reporting for this documentary.

Join us this Sunday, July 24 at 7 p.m. on WRVO.

Obama's Years, Part One

Jul 11, 2016
Claudine Ebeid / NPR

Obama's Years is a two-part radio documentary that explores how life has changed for Americans over the last eight years.

Obama's Years: An NPR News special

Jun 29, 2016
Claudine Ebeid / NPR

"Obama's Years" is a two-part radio documentary that explores how life has changed for Americans over the last eight years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said the Republican-controlled Senate should hold a hearing for any Supreme Court Candidate President Barack Obama nominates to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Katko said the process should work as directed in the U.S. Constitution.

"Let the Senate weigh it out if it gets to them, but I don't think there should be any block from doing it," Katko said. "I think if they want to present someone, let them do it. But, it may be an exercise in futility unless it's someone that's appealing to everyone."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says Republican suggestions to hold off approval of a new Supreme Court justice until next year will tie the court in knots. After the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia this weekend, President Barack Obama will have to nominate a new justice for a court that is now, which is split evenly on ideological lines. With Scalia, the court leaned conservative 5-4.

While in Syracuse today, Schumer said the Senate should at least consider a nominee.

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In his response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said Obama is disconnected from Congress and reality. Despite those differences, there were some proposals the president mentioned that Katko plans to support.

Katko agrees with some items on the president's wish list, like tackling sentencing reform and rolling back some of the regulations on businesses. Obama's calls to address the heroin epidemic and reduce poverty also gained Katko's support.

governorandrewcuomo / flickr

President Barack Obama announced yesterday that he plans to tighten gun control measures using his executive authority. That move drew mixed reviews here in New York, a state with some of the toughest gun regulations in the country.

Some activists said government officials were infringing on their right to own and carry firearms, but others said New York should go even further to restrict access to guns and ammunition.

The shooting that changed the debate

xMizLitx / Flickr

 

Three-quarters of school districts in the state have applied for waivers from the new teacher evaluation rules set out by Gov.Andrew Cuomo and the legislature in March. The news comes amidst lots of changes, including the leadership of the state Board of Regents.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

President Barack Obama announced his decision Thursday to delay the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. This is a big departure from Obama’s original plan to remove almost all troops by the end of his presidency. But, Fort Drum's commanding general says he isn’t surprised by the news.

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A federal judge this week blocked two executive actions by President Obama, that would have protected as many as 4 million immigrants in the country illegally from deportation. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen said the president overstepped his authority. 

Central New York Congressman John Katko agrees with the judge's ruling. 

Obama's State of the Union: New York politicians share their thoughts

Jan 21, 2015
Office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Many upstate New York representatives shared their thoughts after President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) applauded Obama for focusing on the middle class and economic opportunity in a statement.

Onondaga Community College

Officials at Onondaga Community College like President Barack Obama’s proposal to allow students to attend two years of community college for free.  

Amy Kremenek, vice president of human resources and external relations at OCC, points to the statistics of who attends the two-year college in Syracuse to show how a program like this would be valuable.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Workers in New York who earn the minimum wage are getting a raise today. The state's minimum wage is now $8.75 an hour, up from the $8 it stood at before. It will fatten the paychecks for 284,000 employees across the state, according to the labor department.

"This is a good thing for workers in New  York state. Is it enough? No, it's not enough," said Ron Deutsch from the Fiscal Policy Institute, who argues wages should be be closer to $11 an hour, given inflation.

Barack Obama / Flickr

President Barack Obama will hold a press conference Friday in the White House briefing room. It will be his final press conference of 2014, before leaving Washington for the holidays. The president is expected to answer questions on a range of topics, including U.S. relations with Cuba, the recent Sony Corporation hacking story and more. 

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Support organizations that work with immigrant farm workers are trying to understand how President Barack Obama's executive action affects people in upstate New York.

"We've won a small victory but we really have a huge fight in front of us," said Carly Fox, an organizer with the Worker Justice Center of New York. She describes her reaction to Obama's announcement as bittersweet.

Fox works with many individuals who won't qualify for deportation relief, and it turns out, that's not uncommon.

Nevele Otseog / Flickr

President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the nation tonight at 8 p.m. from the White House. He will unveil executive actions on immigration.

WRVO and NPR will provide live anchored special coverage with Melissa Block, including the president's speech and analysis, starting at 8 p.m. Block will be joined in studio by Mara Liasson, political correspondent; Tamara Keith, White House correspondent; Ron Elving, senior Washington editor; and Juana Summers, congressional reporter. John Burnett, national correspondent, will join in from Texas.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Rep. Richard Hanna, a Republican, is backing the president’s plan to try to root out an Islamic extremist group in the Middle East.

"I think there are some things in life you don’t have a choice," he said. "These people have declared what they mean, what they intend to do, through many different type of media and I think we have to take it very seriously."

Hanna, a moderate conservative from the Utica area, says the fight against the Islamic State militant group, or ISIS, should be taken to them, before it comes here.

Schumer weighs in on ISIS, Russia situations

Sep 3, 2014
Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he believes President Barack Obama would get bipartisan support if he comes up with a strong plan to deal with the militant Islamic group ISIS, which has taken responsibility for beheading two American journalists.

While in Plattsburgh Wednesday, Schumer said the execution of the second journalist sent shockwaves around the world.

During the last two elections New York and Pennsylvania Republicans campaigned on repealing and replacing so-called Obamacare – but House Republicans have yet to vote on a replacement plan.

Remember “repeal and replace”? It’s the campaign slogan that helped Republicans gain control of the House in 2010 and keep that majority in 2012. House leaders have done what they can to repeal the law – the GOP has cast more than 40 votes to scrap or defund all or part of the Affordable Care Act. But where’s the replacement?

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse could be a potential landing spot for unaccompanied immigrant children who’ve been crossing the Mexican border in droves in recent months. Mayor Stephanie Miner is hoping a letter to the president can bring those kids to central New York sooner rather than later.

Miner is asking President Barack Obama to consider forming a partnership between Syracuse and the federal government to help with the humanitarian needs of the kids, who are waiting for deportation hearings.

She says dealing with immigrants in the past, and in the present, is in Syracuse’s blood.

house.gov

Days after the U.S government exchanged five prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the American solider who reportedly left his post in Afghanistan and was captured by the Taliban, the decision doesn't sit well with Utica-area Rep. Richard Hanna. He says he's trying to make sense of the situation, but says it's difficult to understand the entire issue without all of the details.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

President Barack Obama wants to make it easier for foreigners to visit the United States so they can come and spend more money at tourist sites. The president visited the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown Thursday, where he pitched tourism as an economic asset.

Cooperstown Bats is a store that has a symbiotic relationship with the National Baseball Hall of Fame across the street. Thursday morning, a high school baseball team was in town for a game at the hall’s Doubleday Field, but the players bought some souvenir bats first.

President Barack Obama and the national press descended on the village of Cooperstown Thursday afternoon. His presence also brought out protesters both for and against the controversial process of drilling for natural gas, known as hydrofracking.

Victor Furman says it’s unfair that New York is beholden to what he calls an unfair moratorium, with such a resource at it’s feet.

Cooperstown gets ready for president's visit

May 22, 2014
candyschwartz / Flickr

The village of Cooperstown is preparing for one of its most high-profile tourists ever.

President Barack Obama will visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame there later today to promote tourism. Obama says tourism is an export and he wants to make it easier for foreign visitors to travel to the U.S.

He picked the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to highlight tourism’s impact. Cooperstown is a "one-stoplight town" that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, and sustains hundreds of jobs. 

candyschwartz / Flickr

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Thursday to promote tourism. Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that tourism is an export, and that when foreign visitors come to the United States it grows the economy.

Lynn Herzig works with chambers of commerce and businesses throughout the region to promote tourism. He says the president's push to bring international visitors in is exactly what the region and state need.

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