DeWitt

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

With less than a week to go until Election Day, candidates in one of the highest profile races in central New York are in the midst of a debate blitz. Democrat incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger, John Katko, are both running to represent the 24th Congressional District, and outlined their stands at the Thursday Morning Roundtable in DeWitt.

The candidates offered up views on foreign policy to kick off the latest debate, specifically whether American troops should be used to deal with the advancement of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, in the Middle East.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A film production company that’s moved to central New York is scouting locations across the region for movies it plans on filming by the end of the year.

The Film House, which will be the first tenant in the new Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in Dewitt, plans on starting to film the sci-fi picture “The Opium Wars” in September. The company's president Ryan Johnson says right now they’re scouting for places like exterior farms, a run-down bar, and a big hangar with a "Mad Max" feel. At the same time, Johnson says they’re also working on their next movie.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Thousands of motorcyclists are preparing to hit the road as summer nears, and New York state is urging caution.  

To encourage caution and safety, the state is urging motorcyclists to take its Motorcycle Safety Program. During the course, motorcyclists weave in and out of traffic cones behind Shoppingtown Mall in DeWitt, the site of one of the state’s programs.

Program manager Ben Zadrozny said the idea is to get inside the head of riders and teach life saving techniques.

Ken Hawkins / Flickr

The chief of the East Syracuse police department is now faced with the task of phasing out his force by the end of the year. Residents of the village last night voted to dissolve the department and merge it with the DeWitt police force.

The village rejected the measure the first time it came up in October 2012, but taxes have gone up 22 percent since then. The town board resurrected the idea this year and voters passed the measure Tuesday.

The village of East Syracuse is deciding this evening whether it can afford to continue staffing a fulltime police force.

In October 2012, residents of the village voted down the idea of dissolving its police force and merging it with that of neighboring DeWitt. But since that vote, taxes for residents have shot up 22 percent and the town board again approved the measure this spring.

For Janini Puliatti, having more eyes watching over the village is worth the expense.

Vancouver Film School / Flickr

A futuristic movie called “The Opium War” will be the first feature film produced through the Central New York Hub for Emerging Nano Industries in DeWitt. A seven to eight week shooting schedule will start by the end of summer.

Film House Chief Operating Officer Michael Haggerty has already been in the Syracuse area scouting locations for the film, which he says is "about a female astronaut who crash lands and is offered a smuggling job that will pay for her ship's repairs.”

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Now that the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, has been discovered in Onondaga County a special task force will begin making decisions about the future of ash trees, which account for 13 percent of the trees in central New York.

The EAB can kill an ash tree in as little as two years. Central New York Emerald Ash Borer Task Force member David Coburn says the result is that many trees will either be treated with pesticide or chopped down.

ShoppingTown Mall in Dewitt remains in a kind of limbo, after its former owner defaulted on a loan last year. Local government officials say they have been unable to reach the company that has taken possession of the property, to find out what it's plans are.  After getting U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on the case, there are now some answers.