Mohawk Valley

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

New York state is sitting on a more than $5 billion budget windfall that it received from several recent bank settlements, but has yet to decide what to do with that money. One Mohawk Valley assemblyman says some should be used to end the state's Gap Elimination Adjustment for school districts.

Since his election in the fall of 2011, Utica-area Democrat Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has thrown his weight behind promoting education.

Mike Mozart

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is blaming what he calls the state's weak gas zone pricing laws for the Mohawk Valley's higher-than-average gas prices.

According to a recent report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, gas in the Utica-Rome area was selling for an average of $3.24 a gallon, which was the third highest price in the state. By contrast, gas in the Syracuse area was going for twenty cents less.

Brindisi says higher gas prices effect the area's economy.

@Maggie_Brooks / Twitter

The New York State Association of Counties has a new president and he hails from the Mohawk Valley.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente was unanimously selected as the organization's next president, and will replace Steuben County Manager Mark Alger.

Picente says during his one-year tenure as president, he wants to address issues like unfunded mandates and help educate residents statewide about their county governments.

A state audit has criticized the management of the agency redeveloping the former Griffiss Air Force base in Rome.

The Authorities Budget Office is a state office overseeing economic development agencies. The ABO audit says the Griffiss Local Development Corp. took a “cavalier” approach to handling its funds.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The two-century-old gun manufacturer Remington Arms, the nucleus of a small Mohawk Valley community, is losing jobs to a more gun-friendly state.

The parent company of Remington, based in Ilion, New York, announced this week it is moving to lines of production work to the company's gleaming new factory in Huntsville, Alabama, announced earlier this year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

There's a $1.2 billion offer on the table to purchase gun maker Remington Arms, and even though Remington's owner has been looking for a buyer, it reportedly isn't taking this one seriously.

Remington Arms is one of the nation's oldest and largest gun makers in the country. Its factory has been located in the small Mohawk Valley town of Ilion, N.Y. for two centuries. It employs about 1,300 people and reportedly earned about $1.2 billion in revenue to 2013.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Upstate New York’s new drone testing site is closer to pulling enough money together to begin operating. It’s been awarded a state grant to cover some of its startup costs.

Ryan Delaney/WRVO

When Remington Arms announced that it was going to build a new manufacturing and development facility in Alabama, people in central New York's Mohawk Valley became concerned their jobs were on the line.

Even though none of the plant's 1,300 employees are expected to lose their jobs, lawmakers say more can be done to support the firearm manufacturer's operations in the village of Ilion.

David Chanatry/NYRP-UC

Americans are generally thought of as a religious people. But in some areas, church closings are becoming a not uncommon event, as fewer young people join to replace the older generation. That's what happened recently with one Mohawk Valley congregation.

From the time more than a century ago when two dozen German immigrants turned an old armory in Little Falls into a place of worship, prayer and music have provided comfort and inspiration and peace to the congregation of Christ Lutheran Church.

Terry Monahan knows the feeling.

sam_churchhill / via Flickr

Mohawk Valley native Erin Hamlin has become the first American to win an Olympic medal in singles luge.

Hamlin slid to a third place finish and a bronze medal today at the winter games in Sochi, Russia. 

It was her third time completing in the Olympics. She was world champion in 2009, but she had finished out of the top 10 at the last two games.

The 27-year-old is from Remsen, N.Y., about 20 miles north of Utica.

"I'm sure everyone at home is going crazy," Hamlin told the Associated Press, "and I can't wait to get home to see them."

Nano Utica provides spark in Rust Belt city

Jan 29, 2014
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

In the Utica area, there’s been a lot of buzz lately about nanotechnology, and the possibility that a major nanotech manufacturing facility will soon locate  there. But what exactly is Nano Utica?

On a chilly November morning, contractors are giving public tours of a construction site at the SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica. But it’s not a classroom building or new dorm they’re walking around. The public is getting a sneak peak at something known here as Quad-C, the Computer Chip Commercialization Center.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Mohawk Valley firearm manufacturer Remington Arms has won a contract worth nearly $50 million supplying the Philippine military. The contract comes amidst lingering concerns the factory will leave the state.

Remington will provide 50,000 R4 carbine rifles to the Philippine defense forces by the end of next year. Rep. Richard Hanna, (R - Barneveld), said the work on the rifles will be done in upstate New York.

The majority of the work will be done in Ilion, but parts may be sourced from elsewhere, Joseph Bolmarcich, who oversees contracts for Remington, confirmed.

IShreud / via Flickr

The former Beech-Nut facility in Canajoharie may have a buyer, but those in the know are being tight-lipped about its future.

The huge white factory is a landmark for those who travel along the Thruway between Syracuse and Albany, even though the company removed the big red Beech-Nut letters earlier this year.

Utica welcomes new hockey team, investments to city

Oct 11, 2013
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

The Mohawk Valley has had a hockey team for most of the last 90 years, but 1993 was the last time a professional hockey team took to the ice in Utica. Earlier this year, the city landed a new American Hockey League team, called the Utica Comets, and a chance to bring more than just hockey back to the city.

Frank DuRoss is co-owner of the new Utica Comets, a Vancouver Canucks affiliate. He says the new AHL team is one of many things giving the region a reason to cheer.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday outlined the state's storm aid and recovery package for flooding that hit the Mohawk Valley and western New York late last month, saying the near constant stream of natural disasters that have hit the state in the past few years are draining state resources.

New York National Guard/flickr

New York state is stepping in where the federal government has not. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that the state would come up with $16 million for people affected by the recent floods that ravaged the Mohawk Valley and other parts of New York state.

Cuomo told local officials at Herkimer County Community College that the state will fill the gap using federal rules to offer cash from state coffers to flood victims.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO/File photo

While declaring 12 counties disaster areas after recent rains ravaged parts of the Mohawk Valley and upstate New York, the federal government has denied individual disaster aid for people who lost property in the floods.

Cuomo vows assistance for flood damaged counties

Jul 8, 2013
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

It's been more than a week since the first floods hit the Mohawk Valley region, causing millions of dollars in damage and prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare fifteen counties disaster areas.

Cuomo was in Herkimer County Sunday to talk about what assistance will be coming to the area following several rounds of flooding that severely damaged more than 150 homes.

Flooding came quickly, but the cleanup will be slower

Jul 4, 2013
New York National Guard / via Flickr

The rains that caused severe flooding and damage in central and northern New York last week came quickly, but the cleanup will be much slower.

“I’m just plugging away, day by day and getting a little bit further each day, you know,” said Steven Loucks. His Oneida home was flooded with several feet of water last week.

“My basement was completely flooded. It did not hit my first floor though, which is a good deal. But my basement, my furnace, my hot water heaters; I just got two new hot water heaters,” he said.

Severe weather strikes central, northern New York

Jun 28, 2013
New York National Guard / via Flickr

As heavy rains continue to fall across much of New York, portions of the state have experienced flash flooding and rapidly rising rivers. Towns throughout central and northern New York are reporting rainfall ranging from a few to several inches. The village of Earlville, which straddles the Madison and Chenango County borders, reported receiving more than six inches by mid-morning.

According to Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the rain is showing little sign of letting up.

New York State Police

Updated, Thursday 5:50 p.m.: Local police officers were "overwhelmed" as they raced from scene to scene yesterday morning in pursuit of a shooter who first set his home on fire and then killed four people and wounded two others at two different locations in Herkimer County.

Like all across the nation, Black Friday shopping got off to its earliest start yet in in central and northern New York.  Retailers across the region hope the day will be the beginning of a strong holiday shopping season. While a Siena College poll showed that a majority of New Yorkers think stores should not open on Thanksgiving night, store managers said they had good business until the wee hours of the morning Friday.

Mohawk Valley school districts consider merger

Oct 17, 2012

With dropping enrollments and less money coming from the state, many school districts across New York are looking into joining forces. That is the case in the Mohawk Valley near Utica, where a school merger is on the ballot this week.