City of Syracuse

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Food is generally near the top of the list of things that draws visitors to the New York State Fair in Syracuse. And this year’s fair offers some first-ever concoctions.

Along with the sausage sandwiches and pizza frites, there are some new dining options to greet fairgoers this year -- like the Milk Bun, which melds the worlds of ice cream and donuts.

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One of the bright spots in the recent history of the city of Syracuse has been the redevelopment of parts of the city's downtown area. One of the primary movers of that revitalization has been Robert Doucette. This week, Doucette joins Grant Reeher to discuss the city, economic development, and the replacement of Interstate 81 through downtown.

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.

kristen_a / Flickr

It’s been a busy summer for the Onondaga County Board of Elections. There were more challenges to the petition process than usual, and appeals of decisions will soon be underway. But September primary ballots are coming together.

Spring and early summer is the time political candidates go door to door asking for help getting on the ballot. Election law is very precise when it comes to who can sign petitions for particular candidates, and how election workers handle the documents.

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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.

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This week on the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with State Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-Syracuse). They discuss how this year's legislative session worked out, the tendency for governors to wrap legislation into the annual budget, ethics and public confidence in government, as well as the Syracuse mayoral race. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The New York State Public Service Commission continues to gather comments on National Grid’s proposed rate hike. In Syracuse this week, the biggest crowd turned out so far in a series of five hearings across the state. And most were opposed to the idea.

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.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The new online website will allow anyone who’s interested to delve into the massive amounts of data collected by the city of Syracuse. Where are potholes getting patched? What water mains are breaking? Where is lead paint a big issue? These are some of the questions that can be answered on DataCuse, a new online portal that is open to the public.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Crouse Hospital is opening up a new emergency room Tuesday, replacing an ER that’s four decades old.

The new ER is replacing a space that hasn’t been working well, according to Crouse’s Emergency Department Medical Director David Mason.

“The space is so small we’re tripping over each other. A lot of our care and talking is done in the hallway, so lack of privacy,” said Mason.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie started a tour of upstate New York this week, with several stops in the Syracuse area.  

Heastie, a Democrat from the Bronx, admits that while he was just an Assembly member, he didn’t make it much out of the confines of New York City. But since he’s taken a leadership position in state government as the most powerful member of the Assembly, he says it’s part of his job to take a broader view of the state.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The group working to revamp a 4-mile stretch of Erie Boulevard East in Onondaga County is sharing the results of a survey it launched last year. More than 1,200 surveys were completed about how to best improve the highly trafficked corridor between Syracuse and Dewitt. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

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

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Syracuse is taking part in a national campaign to bring awareness to the organization as its federal funding remains uncertain. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner showed her support and took some jabs at congressional Republicans.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A vote this week to give the Syracuse Police Department $1.6 million for new vehicles became a lightning rod for a bigger issue. Some Syracuse Common Councilors say various spending items should be delayed because of the financial health of the city.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

All nine Syracuse mayoral candidates participated in a forum this week. It was a crowded stage that produced a wide range of different answers.

David Stone / Flickr

Residents in some eastside Syracuse neighborhoods and the town of DeWitt agree that something should be done about a burgeoning deer population. Those are the findings of a survey conducted by Assemblywoman Pam Hunter.

The next step is finding out just how many deer are out there, and what can be done to put a dent in the herd. Research wildlife biologist Brian Underwood says it starts by counting deer in some neighborhoods in the eastside of Syracuse, and going on from there.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank celebrated its fifth birthday this week with a bus trip to show off some of it’s success stories.  

Land bank officials and others visited demolition sights, a community garden and renovated rental housing, like Sam Reppi’s conversion of a dilapidated building on Burnet Avenue into apartments and a storefront business.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate in upstate New York starting June 29th. But some in Syracuse want the city to opt out. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The residential growth in downtown Syracuse shows no sign of slowing down, with the newest property almost filled.

When Blue Cross/Blue Shield moved it’s offices to the suburbs in 2008, it left a gaping hole in downtown Syracuse. The Warren Street complex actually is made up of four buildings, and that’s what Graziano Zazzara has repurposed into dozens of luxury apartments.

"We opened up four months ago, started renting apartments, and we have one left out of 89," Zazzara said. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Progress is mixed on some redevelopment projects in downtown Syracuse. The Redhouse Arts Center is moving forward with construction in the old Sibley’s department store as part of a larger restoration of the building.

Workers are closing off a wall with cinder block tiles in what will be the Redhouse’s new 350-seat main stage theater in what used to be the Sibley’s warehouse. A concrete ceiling was cut out to raise the room’s height to 25 feet so rigging equipment can drop in set pieces.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Across the country it is LGBTQ pride month and members of the community are celebrating in Syracuse this week. It comes at a time when some in the gay, lesbian and transgender community remain vigilant and are remembering a tragic anniversary.

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The city of Syracuse is looking for public input regarding a new proposed telecommunications ordinance. It could mean stronger cell phone connections for certain customers.

Barton & Loguidice

The city of Syracuse’s downtown civic strip includes cultural assets such as the War Memorial, Oncenter and Civic Center. Onondaga County is planning some transportation and cosmetic improvements to the area.

The project is being spearheaded by the county and Syracuse University to link the civic strip to the Connective Corridor, a series of improvement projects bridging the university to downtown Syracuse.

WXXI News File Photo

It's another wet week in much of central and northern New York, offering no relief to those experiencing flooding along Lake Ontario and in the area.

The National Weather Service says rainfall in the region is several inches above average this year, for the month of May especially. Last month was the second-wettest May on record for the Watertown area and the third-wettest in the Syracuse area.

But National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Welch says that's not the main cause of the flooding many communities in the region are experiencing.

Luke H. Gordon / Flickr

Syracuse City Hall is fine tuning an open data policy, after a two-week public comment period.

The policy is expected to launch later this month, and offers residents an easy way to access to public information involving the work of city government. Mayor Stephanie Miner says so far, the city has gotten good feedback about the proposed policy.

Tom Magnarelli

The Syracuse Common Council has passed a budget that includes some controversial changes to what Mayor Stephanie Miner had proposed. Miner said she will veto the changes.

The council has cut overtime from Syracuse’s fire and police departments by $1 million each. But Councilor Steven Thompson said the money cut for police overtime has been shifted to hire new officers.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The Green Party’s Howie Hawkins is officially in the race for mayor of Syracuse. 

Hawkins last ran for the office 12 years ago, on a “Sustainable Syracuse” platform. He’s retrofitting that same slogan for 2017. 

“What I’m talking with sustainability -- and this is the vision we want to go in the next four to eight years -- is a city that has a sustainable prosperity," Hawkins said. "Sustainable fiscally, economically and ecologically.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School District is asking for $10 million less than what it initially requested for the next fiscal year. This comes after New York state decided which additional aid requests it would grant and which ones it would reject from the district.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of alleged members of one of Syracuse’s most notorious gangs are off the street following Operation Bricktown, the first series of arrests in an initiative from the New York state attorney general’s office to get drugs off the streets.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman came to Syracuse Thursday to announce the arrest of more than 50 individuals with 370 crimes, ranging from drug dealing to murder conspiracy charges. Many of the individuals are allegedly members of the Bricktown Gang.

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