Central New York

The former Executive Director of the Central New York SPCA, and a veterinary technician at the shelter, have been arraigned on charges that they embezzled nearly $700,000 from shelter’s accounts.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The city of Oswego has won the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative award for the central New York region. The competition gives $10 million to 10 communities throughout New York.

In Oswego Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated Oswego's leaders for developing what he called a smart plan that can help a city and region scarred by the loss of manufacturing.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Central New York is preparing to have more electric vehicles on the roads in the near future.

Chevrolet is promising that it will deliver an affordable electric vehicle with a 200-mile range to showrooms by the end of this year. Other electric vehicle producers are expected to follow suit. So with the potential of more of these vehicles hitting the highway, Central New York’s Regional Planning and Development Board is getting ready.

Gravitywave / via Flickr

Central New York Health officials say its that time of year to start thinking about preventing mosquito bites. Memorial Day signals the start of warm weather that means prime breeding conditions for mosquitoes and every year, it means health officials throughout the region go on the offensive as the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis can begin percolating among the insects that live here.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Indu Gupta says prevention is the only way to deal with these diseases. 

New York State Public Service Commission

New York officials have been trying to stall the need for a new area code for years by trying to make existing numbers last and getting some digits back, but demand outpaced those efforts. Now, they are beginning to implement a new area code in 18 central and northern New York counties, from St. Lawrence to Chenango and Ontario to Hamilton counties.

But Scott Morris, a senior adviser with the land line and broadband provider Windstream, said there's no need to panic.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York’s Democratic primary isn't until mid-April. Hillary Clinton is viewed as the favorite, after moving to New York and getting elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. But, there is a dedicated group of volunteers who are working for the other candidate in the democratic race, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont

Consensus CNY

A series of public engagement meetings begins Monday regarding the Consensus commission's proposals to modernize government in Onondaga County.

One of those meetings will be at the Southwest Community Center. Executive Director Sharon Owens said this is the first of three meetings in February.

Homeless advocates in Onondaga County say there are no known individuals sleeping outside at this time. 

But while agencies and advocates have gotten homeless individuals to sleep inside during the dead of winter, they have heard that some are moving instead into abandoned buildings. And that is not a good alternative, according to Dan Sieberg, chair of the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Syracuse and Onondaga County.

National Weather Service

It's been a quiet winter so far for central New York, but that's about to change. Heavy lake effect snow will likely make driving very difficult over the next few days. 

Many North Country residents have seen more than two feet of snow over the last few days, but now the lake effect will shift to the south. 

Credit Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

A study is underway that some New York officials are hoping will save Oswego County's FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant.

When Entergy notified the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in November that it planned to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in about a year, it triggered a ninety-day study. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Three of seven regions in upstate New York were awarded $500 million dollars each in economic development money, in a contest by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that critics have called the “hunger games.”

The annual awards ceremony took on a game show atmosphere, with lots of slick videos, and an enthusiastic announcer.

The three winning regions Rochester-Finger Lakes, central New York, and the Southern Tier, each received $500 million each in economic development money, phased in over a five-year period.

Schumer says 'zombie debt' is all trick and no treat

Oct 29, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is proposing legislation to combat an increasing number of debt collectors who are harassing consumers over debt they no longer owe or have resolved through the bankruptcy process.

In 2014, more than 2,400 upstate New Yorkers, including nearly 200 from central New York, filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) about "zombie debt" that is still haunting them. Schumer called the collectors debt scavengers.

Empire State Development

Its last call for anyone with ideas on how to use state dollars to transform the central New York economy as the Regional Development Council is looking to get all the input it can before applying to win some of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s upstate revitalization money.

In a way, this round of economic competition, which pits upstate regions against each other to see who has the best ideas to grow local economies, has more at stake than past competitions.

Summer Destinations: Central New York

May 21, 2015

There are many destinations perfect for a summer getaway in central New York, including:

Everson Museum of Art

Chris Kreussling / via Flickr

Central New York’s public transit system is facing a sizeable budget gap and it's proposing a major reduction in service if more funding isn’t provided.

This is not the first year Centro has spent more money running buses in its four central New York county service area than it’s taken in to do so, but according to the public transit authority’s executive director, Frank Kobliski, they’ve run out of one-time funding streams to fill the hole.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

There’s a big chunk of state funding on the table for investment in upstate New York’s communities and not surprising, there are a lot of opinions for what the funds should be spent on.

Rob Simpson is in charge of CenterState CEO. His organization represents 2,000 regional businesses. In the role, he’s close with both New York’s governor and local leaders.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York’s new Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will be the point person in the Cuomo administration when it comes to economic development upstate.

"Upstate continues to be one of the highest priorities of Governor Cuomo's administration. And when he selected me as an upstater, as someone who'd been educated here in Syracuse, I know this area, I represented seven upstate counties in Congress," Hochul said.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

On January 6, John Katko takes the Oath of Office as the 24th district's Congressional representative.  On this episode of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with the Congressman-elect about his learning curve during the orientation, the transition from Dan Maffei, his legislative priorities and his committee assignments, the continuing problem of political polarization in Washington, and the racial tensions surrounding law enforcement.

Nick Harris / Flickr

The Salvation Army's annual red kettle campaign is in full swing, but the non-profit is concerned that it might not be able to reach this year's fundraising goal.

According to Maj. Donald Hostetler, division commander of the Empire State Division of the Salvation Army, this year's holiday season goal might be harder to achieve than in year's past. That's because there aren't enough volunteers willing to bundle up and staff kettles to collect donations.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

If you have old cell phones that you need to get rid of this holiday season, state Sen. John DeFrancisco has a place for them. DeFrancisco's seventh annual Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive has commenced.   

L.t Col. Paul Jackson, currently of the Syracuse Recruiting Battalion, was deployed in Afghanistan this time last year. Free calling cards were his lifeline to family and friends back home.

Ryan Delaney | John Katko for Congress

Dan Maffei has conceded in the race for the 24th Congressional District. Republican John Katko wins.

New Channel 9 WSYR

Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican John Katko met for their sixth and final debate of a race that has been contentious and full of attacks.

The News Channel 9 debate Sunday night saw both candidates make accusations, beginning with the race's many negative campaign ads and the fundraising needed to pay for them. The moderator asked both candidates whether or not they would need to answer to those who donated to their campaigns from outside the 24th Congressional District.

Katko pointed out that Maffei has had more money to spend in this race.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Heading into the last weekend before election day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is crossing upstate New York encouraging Democrats to get out the vote. His first stop was a rally in Syracuse.

"We vote, we win," Cuomo said. "We vote when we work and we knock on doors and we make phone calls... We do it 24 hours a day and we out work the other side."

Onondaga Community College hopes to close a skills gap in the local agribusiness and food industry sectors of the economy.

According to OCC President Casey Crabill, she estimates there are 2,400 openings in this field every year in central New York.

“It’s a growing field," Crabill said. "It was cited in our region's economic development plan as a field for the future. I think that’s part of the reason our grant was successful, is that we are very tied in to a lot of community efforts tied into this industry already.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

There are still children being treated at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse for symptoms of a respiratory virus that’s hospitalized hundreds of children across the country. But the numbers of suspected cases of Enterovirus D-68 has leveled off.

It was just a few weeks ago that the pediatric emergency room at Upstate was jammed with families worried that their children had come down with the enterovirus that’s swept across the country. Pediatrician Jana Shaw says things are considerably calmer now.

Daniel Paquet / Flickr

It's that time of year when experts recommend getting a flu shot, but many central New Yorkers aren't getting that message.

A larger percentage of central New Yorkers get vaccine preventable diseases like the flu than in any other part of upstate New York, according to state Health Department numbers compiled by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Regional President Dr. Arthur Vercillo says that mirrors the number of people getting flu shots.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The issue of central New York Congressman Dan Maffei's connections to Washington, D.C. has once again come up as a campaign issue. But it's the mention of his wife and newborn daughter that has the Democrat steaming.

Maffei called a news conference Wednesday, telling reporters that Republican candidate John Katko crossed the line when mentioning the fact that Maffei’s wife works in Washington, D.C, and his baby was born in a Washington, D.C. area hospital earlier this summer

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) has put together a wide-ranging program that would invest in central New York’s infrastructure, ranging from fixing crumbling roads and bridges to bringing high speed rail to the area. He says there has to be a mindset change in Washington for this to happen.

With an aging population, elder abuse is becoming more prevalent across the country and in central New York. Financial abuse has become one of the most common ways people take advantage of older Americans.

Jenny Hicks runs a program out of Vera House in Syracuse that focuses on elder abuse, and says there’s a kind of déjà vu in an agency that for years has counseled victims of domestic violence.

“It’s very much like domestic violence was 35 years ago -- in the shadows," Hicks said. "People are just now starting to talk about elder abuse.”

A recent survey shows that people in central New York region want to take part in arts and cultural events, but often don’t know about them. That's spurring the group CNY Arts to find ways to solve that problem.

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