Oneida County

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President Donald Trump hosted the owners of Oneida County's Sherrill Manufacturing at the White House Wednesday for a "Made in America" showcase. At a roundtable discussion with 20 small businesses, he praised the company's co-owner Gregg Owens for being the country's only remaining silverware manufacturer.

"What happened?" Trump asked.

"Well, everybody else went overseas chasing cheap labor," Owens said.

"That's terrible," Trump said. "I'm not surprised, but it is really somewhat surprising when you say the only. That's a hell of a statement."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

New York state residents receive a five percent discount on Thruway tolls if they have an E-Z Pass. Last year, the New York State Thruway Authority decided to eliminate that discount for out-of-state drivers. Some state lawmakers want to see that new revenue go to local governments.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

An attempt to get the U.S. military to buy utensils solely from an Oneida County factory, the only silverware manufacturer in the country, was unsuccessful, but Sherrill Manufacturing's CEO is optimistic about a meeting the company has at the White House this week.

Anthony J. Picente Jr. / Facebook

Oneida County officials say the area was submerged in as much as half a foot of rain over the weekend, and residents are still cleaning up. The worst of it came Saturday when 1.4 inches fell in just 40 minutes time.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The New York State Legislature is meeting today for a special session and that may provide lawmakers with an opportunity to prevent the closure of Vernon Downs. The owner of the Oneida County racino is hoping for some tax relief that the Legislature failed to pass before they adjourned last week.

Oneida County Executive's Office

Oneida County officials want to capitalize on the state's recent investments in a hospital and nano technology center in the Utica area. They say the key to developing Utica is building an arts, sports and entertainment district in the city's downtown.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Democrats in upstate New York say they may be down from the losses they suffered in the 2016 election, but not out. Party officials hope the pushback to the Republican administration in Washington, D.C., will sweep local Democrats to victory later this year. 

U.S. Census Bureau / Empire Center for Public Policy

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that New York's statewide population fell for the first time in a decade, largely a result of upstate population losses outpacing the gains made downstate.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The joint effort between New York state and officials in Oneida County to recover from this week's massive snowstorm continue, but some lawmakers say the recovery was hampered by an inaccurate weather forecast that wasted precious time and resources.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Inside a factory near Oneida, a roll of flat, shiny steel slowly inches into a machine that cuts, imprints and bends the metal, spitting out two shells on the other end. Sherrill Manufacturing CEO Matt Roberts says the way this machine fuses those two halves to form the handle of a knife,  through a process called brazing, is one of a kind. But this machine is not the only unique thing about this factory.

Southern Arkansas University / Flickr

An allocation in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed budget could resolve a dispute over casino revenues in the Mohawk Valley. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Lawmakers from the Mohawk Valley are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not visiting or even mentioning their area this week during his six State of the State addresses. They believe the snub comes at an especially tumultuous time for the region, where the economic recovery has been slower than in other areas of the state.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

For the fourth year in a row, the Oneida County Board of Legislators has passed a budget without an increase in the property tax levy. County officials say they are pleased about saving residents money, but they are also concerned about what the frugal approach could mean for Oneida County's financial future.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

On an overcast afternoon, a graduation ceremony is underway inside the Oneida County Jail, but instead of caps and gowns, the graduates are wearing bright orange jump suits. 

As the inmates glide to the front of the room, they are greeted with diplomas, smiles and piercing stares from several guards who watch their every move. These behavioral improvement courses and high school equivalency education programs at the jail are nothing new. Opening the graduation ceremonies to the media is. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Unofficial election results show a slight increase in turnout among New Yorkers this year as compared to 2012, but turnout in many northern and central New York counties decreased.

WRVO News/Bill Magee for Assembly

Voters in Madison, Otsego and Oneida Counties will once again face a choice between long-time Assemblyman Bill Magee and Republican John Salka. In 2014, Salka came the closest to unseating the 13-term incumbent in 20 years. 

Magee was first elected to the Assembly in 1990. He says he is proud of what he has achieved for the 121st District and New York farmers during that time. Magee attributes part of that success to the alliances he has developed with downstate Democrats.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente’s proposed 2017 budget was met with thunderous applause from the Oneida County Board of Legislators Wednesday. It calls for no increase in the county’s property tax rate for the fourth year in a row. Picente said while the county's taxpayers may praise him, this trend cannot continue. 

“For us in county government there are no more airports to sell, retirements to defer or Nation agreements to settle," Picente said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Officials in Madison County are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a law that would allow the state to share gaming revenue from the Yellow Brick Road Casino with the county. State law allows a portion of revenue the state gets from Native American run casino’s to be shared with the host county. Since the Yellow Brick Road Casino opened in Chittenango after the law was passed, it didn’t get in on the revenue sharing deal according to Madison County Board of Supervisors John Becker.

New York Power Authority

New York officials have long sought a way to take excess energy that's produced in upstate power plants and ship it downstate where the consumer demand is far greater. Downstate consumes 60 percent of the state's energy according to the New York Power Authority (NYPA), but much of the power is produced upstate. Rather than build more transmission lines to link the two regions, NYPA has invested in a project that boosts the existing power infrastructure.

Derek Key / Flickr

Oneida County residents will not be able to purchase fireworks for the July Fourth holiday this year. The county executive, Anthony Picente, has vetoed a bill from the Oneida County Board of Legislators that would have allowed the sale of sparklers and small, fountain-style fireworks. He cited safety concerns.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the number of governments in the county is unsustainable. In his annual State of the County speech Tuedsay, he renewed his call for downsizing the size of government, noting that sales tax revenues in Oneida County are down by $3.8 million. The county has 47 government units and 345 taxing jurisdictions. Picente said that ultimately leads to overlapping public services.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oneida County Republican Committee is endorsing Cazeonvia businessman Steve Wells in his bid to replace retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld).

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

An official from Oneida County is threatening legal action over proposed state legislation that would give Madison County more casino revenue from the Oneida Indian Nation.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

As the unprecedented crisis in Flint, Michigan brings attention to lead poisoning, one central New York group is trying to bring more attention and resources to Oneida County, which leads the state in the number of children exposed to lead.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Hospitals are using technology to help bridge a gap where there are shortages for certain medical services in rural parts of upstate New York.

Telemedicine is nothing new. Doctors have used Skype-like programs that allow specialists to talk to patients in another geographic area for years, but the practice could take off this year in New York State.

"As of January 1, 2016, New York state legislates that commercial insurers cover telemedicine services," said Jeanette Angeloro, director of outpatient behavioral health at St. Joseph’s Health Center in Syracuse.

Whitesboro Village

After an informal vote was held in the village of Whitesboro, residents chose to keep their controversial village seal the same. It depicts a scene where the founder of Whitesboro is wrestling an Oneida native to the ground in a friendly competition. Whitesboro Mayor Patrick O’Connor said the issue has been going on for decades and the village wanted to know what residents thought.  

Whitesboro Village

Residents of Whitesboro will vote on changing the village’s seal on Monday, after years of controversy surrounding the image. The seal depicts Hugh White, the founder of Whitesboro, in a wrestling match with an Oneida native. Patrick O’Connor, the mayor of Whitesboro, said there is no ill intent from the image and the historical event was a friendly challenge.
 

SU professional and technical writing / via Flickr

A six-year highway funding bill passed by the House of Representatives last week would remove $564 million from New York's current federal transportation funding.

A last-minute amendment to the House bill would move $1.6 billion in funding from seven Northeastern states to a general discretionary fund for use by the entire nation. Current law allows these high density areas to receive the extra funding because they account for half of all transit in the country. Sen. Charles Schumer said the loss of funding for New York is a travesty for the state's transit system.

Tina Russell / Utica Observer-Dispatch

A judge ruled that the two parents who were charged with first-degree manslaughter in New Hartford for the death of their son will now face a grand jury. Four others have also been charged in the beatings during a so-called counseling session which a witness said lasted about 14 hours.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Oneida Indian Nation, which operates the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, opened the new Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango earlier this month. Madison County is pushing to receive a percentage of the new revenue New York state is getting from the Oneidas.

Madison County Board Chairman John Becker admits they didn't see this coming.

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