Madison County

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Madison County is hoping to turn environmental stewardship into jobs. At least one business is putting up  shop near the county’s landfill, with the intent to use energy captured from decaying trash.

Johnson Brothers Lumber, a third generation company out of Cazenovia, is taking their sustainability initiative to the next level. They’re building a kiln that will dry wood next door to the Madison County’s Gas-to-Energy facility in Wampsville, according to company vice president Mike Johnson.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

United States Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is using a project in Madison County to highlight a new federal program that’s meant to promote infrastructure upgrades in rural parts of the country. The idea is to connect small communities with private money, in an effort to revitalize rural America.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The National Weather Service has determined that it was a tornado that touched down in a rural part of Madison County last night, killing four people, including an infant.  

Barbara Watson, lead meteorologist for the National Weather Service, made the tornado determination after surveying  damage along Goff Road in the town of Smithfield.

"It will be declared a significant tornado.  It had wind speeds well over 100 miles per hour,” said Watson.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The National Weather Service officially declared that it was a tornado that struck the town of Smithfield in Madison County, killing four people, destroying four homes and severely damaging three others.

Madison County Sheriff Allen Riley announced that the victims include Kimberly Hillard, 35; her four-month-old baby, Paris Newman; Virginia Warner, 70; and Arnie A.D. Allen, 53.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The National Weather Service says a tornado struck the Smithfield area killing four people in Madison County and leaving tens of thousands without power and causing significant damage through the region.

A line of severe thunderstorms moved through the entire region of western, central and northern New York Tuesday evening causing damage in various areas, but Smithfield suffered the worse.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Trees were on front yards, on cars, in roads, on power lines and on top of houses in East Syracuse after a powerful storm system swept through the village Tuesday evening.

A few hours later, residents were using the remaining daylight to survey damage, many walking around or sitting in their driveway, others checking in on neighbors. Chainsaws were already roaring to begin cleaning up.

Emergency crews requested power be shut off to the entire village as power lines were down across several streets and yards.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

There’s more urgency now than ever for New York state residents to dispose of certain electronic equipment. That’s why e-waste was emphasized in one central New York community on Earth Day this year.
 

Starting in 2015, you won’t be able to dump old TVs or computer monitors in any New York state landfill. Madison County has a head start, with a ban in place for several years now, and has been shipping these TVs to a Rochester-area recycler. But Madison County Landfill Director James Zecca says they’ll still feel an impact.

O World of Photos / via Flickr

The Oneida Indian Nation has begun cutting checks to New York state and county governments out of the profits from its Turning Stone casino. The profit-sharing will enable the Oneida to maintain its dominance over casino gambling in central New York.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Buying a haunted house isn't for everyone, but for the couple who bought the supposedly haunted Farnam Mansion in Oneida three years ago, they've found a comfortable life sharing their home with what they call spirits.

The Farnam Mansion on Main Street in Oneida has all the makings of a haunted house; creaky stairs, lots of small, dark rooms, a cellar complete with a former lab.

The brick Victorian Italianate home built more than 150 years ago is currently owned by Gerri and Brian Gray.

Nicole Bratt/flickr

For much of the year, the town of Madison is quiet. But this week, people are coming in droves to shop for, and sell, antiques during the town's 42nd annual Madison-Bouckville Antique Week.

"It's a wonderful daytime or two day or three day event," says Terry Karst, who owns and operates Station House Antiques, in Bouckville. "I've seen people who are here all week and never see it all, and you never will. You have to pick and choose where you're going to go."

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in 2012 was 57. Forty percent of all farmers right now are over the age of 55. But in an era of increasing age among the men and women who grow our food, there are some younger people bucking the trend. Some of these new farmers are sending down roots in Madison County.

The cadre of 20 and 30-somethings running Greyrock Farm in Cazenovia are as likely to have a smartphone in their pocket as a pitchfork in their hands.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The steaks stacked in the coolers of butcher shops in New York may be marketed as local, but just what that label means varies widely.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The thing that strikes you when you walk up to Jimmy Golub's farm on the western edge of Madison County are the giant solar panels covering the part of the roof on his barn that faces west. The 45 panels are part of a 10 kilowatt solar system, that provides all the electricity the farm needs.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Madison County hopes to become a hub for the recycling of agricultural plastics.  It's a waste that's created on farms that's been a problem for years.

NorthPro40 / Flickr

There's been a dramatic increase in the number of car deer collisions in Madison County this year, and authorities there are urging motorists to keep an eye out for the animals.

County governments want New York state to take a tougher stand on bath salts.  The Association of Counties, meeting this week in Syracuse, is calling for a state law to criminalize the synthetic drug.

Ellen Abbot

There's a new place to shop in Madison County, and this new store will get its stock from an unlikely source, the county dump.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

You don't need a U.S. passport to take in the sights of central New York this summer, but officials in Madison County are hoping a passport of a different kind encourages visitors to their community.