Cayuga County

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

The federal government is now offering funding and resources to upstate counties devastated by the flooding along Lake Ontario this year, after President Trump declared parts of the region a federal disaster area earlier this week.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A project that could reduce the amount of toxins in Oswasco Lake, a primary source of drinking water for about a dozen communities in Cayuga County, is stalled.

The goal of the Owasco Flats Wetland Restoration Project is to build the floodplain around Oswasco Lake with plants and basins that can naturally filter out the toxins in the water from the surrounding tributaries. Phase one of the project was approved for $700,000 in state funding back in 2011. Its designer Bruce Natale says they've been securing permits and contractors ever since.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The first Democratic challenger to central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has joined the race. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The continued swelling of Lake Ontario is offering little relief to shoreline residents in central New York. Water levels on Lake Ontario have risen more than 9 inches since May 1, and are at the highest level since the 1950s, before water levels started being regulated.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Cayuga County officials want to prevent the spread an invasive species in Cayuga Lake, before it becomes impossible to contain.

Cayuga County Legislature Chair Keith Batman calls it a “devil weed.” He’s talking about hydrilla, one of the most invasive aquatic species in the world. It’s plagued Cayuga Lake for six years now, and measures to eradicate hydrilla in the Cayuga Inlet near Ithaca using herbicides have been successful. But last year, it was spotted further north in the lake.

Payne Horning / WRVO

State and local officials hope a new emergency declaration from the governor will improve their response to flooding along Lake Ontario, but the lake is already taking a toll.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Water levels continue to rise on Lake Ontario, and the National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Warning for Oswego and Jefferson counties from 4 p.m. Tuesday until 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At an economic forecast luncheon in Auburn, local officials were optimistic about Cayuga County's recovery. The county has recouped more than 90 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession and the unemployment rate continues to decline. Now the challenge is preparing the local workforce for those openings.

Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has lent his support to an effort to make part of Lake Ontario a national marine sanctuary. The goal is to preserve dozens of known and unknown historic shipwrecks in the southeastern portion of the lake for further study.

Oswego, Jefferson, Wayne and Cayuga counties put together an application after the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to add to its current list of 14 marine sanctuaries. Now with Cuomo's approval, the counties can submit their application for further consideration. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The two candidates running in the 24th Congressional District converged in Auburn Wednesday to separately address the issue of toxins in Owasco Lake in Cayuga County, each trying to position themselves as better equipped to handle the problem that's affecting drinking water for voters in the region.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The candidates in the race for the 24th Congressional District are previewing some of what's in store for the campaign ahead. 

Shortly after basking in the success of her primary victory Tuesday night, Democratic candidate Colleen Deacon, a former staffer for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), quickly shifted to the general election.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The last time Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) campaigned in Syracuse, he did so on behalf of his own presidential bid. Even though he has not yet conceded the race to Secretary Hillary Clinton, he spoke on Friday about his desire to shape the future of the party as an advocate rather than a candidate.

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Oneida County residents will not be able to purchase fireworks for the July Fourth holiday this year. The county executive, Anthony Picente, has vetoed a bill from the Oneida County Board of Legislators that would have allowed the sale of sparklers and small, fountain-style fireworks. He cited safety concerns.

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego County Administrator Phil Church is a shipwreck diver and photographer in his off time. These days, he's bringing his hobby to work. Church is coordinating an effort between Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the city of Oswego to have the southeastern part of Lake Ontario designated as a national marine sanctuary. There are only 14 in the world and Church said Oswego has a good case to join that list.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Scriba town's highway superintendent appeared in court this week for the first time since he was arrested and charged with a DWI last year. Mike Barry, who had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .14 when he was arrested in July 2015, had delayed the court hearing several times -- after his election in November and past a planned February referendum intended to replace him, which has since been delayed.

SU professional and technical writing / via Flickr

A six-year highway funding bill passed by the House of Representatives last week would remove $564 million from New York's current federal transportation funding.

A last-minute amendment to the House bill would move $1.6 billion in funding from seven Northeastern states to a general discretionary fund for use by the entire nation. Current law allows these high density areas to receive the extra funding because they account for half of all transit in the country. Sen. Charles Schumer said the loss of funding for New York is a travesty for the state's transit system.

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A move to designate the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn as a National Historical Park is nearing reality.

The proposal has been attached to the Defense Authorization Bill that Congress has to approve every year. Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters Wednesday he was very pleased the New York congressional delegation was able to get the amendment included.

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There will be no more smoking inside apartments operated by the Auburn Housing Authority.

Auburn Housing Authority Director Stephanie Hutchinson says the idea for the smoking ban began when non-smokers started speaking up.

"We had received a number of complaints from tenants whose neighbors smoked, saying they could smell inside their apartment units, and they were worried for their children’s health," Hutchinson said. "And that’s where it really started."