Onondaga County

7:56am

Wed October 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Onondaga County legislature, sheriff's department at odds over budget

Onondaga County lawmakers discuss the county budget Tuesday. It passed by a 15-1 vote.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga County lawmakers are putting a tighter reign on spending at the sheriff's department. The legislature approved the county's 2014 $1.2 billion budget Tuesday night. It included a budget maneuver that give's lawmakers more control over department spending that has come in substantially over budget the last few years, according to legislature chairman Ryan McMahon.

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8:08am

Mon October 7, 2013
Business

Onondaga County to vote on proposed 2014 budget this week

Onondaga County lawmakers vote this week on the proposed $122 million 2014 budget. The spending plan includes a slight decrease in the tax rate along with some spending cuts. One additional fund that's being proposed in the budget is a pot of money that would be available for economic development projects.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has seen it before in central New York; economic development projects die because they can't get those last final dollars in place. So what does she the propose in order to correct the problem?

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8:12am

Thu October 3, 2013
Environment

Onondaga Lake Park prepares for Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer poses a major threat to ash trees at Onondaga Lake Park.
USDAgov Flickr

Now that the Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in Onondaga County, local governments are trying to find the best strategy to deal with the invasive pests that will ultimately kill all the ash trees in the area. One of the county's biggest challenges lies in one of the busiest public green spaces in central New York, at Onondaga Lake Park.

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4:56pm

Fri September 13, 2013
Politics and Government

Joanie Mahoney presents Onondaga County 2014 budget

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney presents her 2014 budget to the Onondaga County Legislature.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga County is on firm, fiscal footing according to County Executive Joanie Mahoney.  Mahoney offered up a $1.22 billion 2014 budget to the Onondaga County Legislature Friday that features spending cuts and a slight decrease in tax rates.

Mahoney says there are a couple of reasons for the slimmer spending plan.

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6:36am

Tue September 10, 2013
Politics and Government

Primary day expected to draw low numbers

Columbia City Blog Flickr

It's primary day in New York state, and city halls throughout the region are at the center of voting. Probably the highest profile mayoral race is in New York City, but voters will also be choosing candidates for mayor in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Watertown and Syracuse.

While the polls give an edge to incumbents in these races, Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says candidates can't afford to take anything for granted.

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7:31am

Fri August 2, 2013
Environment

Emerald Ash Borer discovered in Onondaga County

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.

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8:16am

Thu July 25, 2013
Environment

State, Cornell Cooperative Extension teach public to identify invasive pests

Volunteers are taught what to look for when examining trees for the "big three" invasive forest pests.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

On a muggy morning next to the American Steel and Aluminum Company in Liverpool, four people clad in orange vests look through binoculars at the vegetation that surrounds the warehouse.
         

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2:53pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Health

Will a rainy June mean more West Nile virus?

Gravitywave via Flickr

The conventional wisdom is that it's going to be a bad year for mosquitos, because of the very rainy June. But, whether that means more incidence of mosquito born viruses, is debatable.

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7:53am

Fri July 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Eyes on Democratic primary in Syracuse mayoral race

Mayor Stephanie Miner submits her signatures to officially be on the ballot in September
Stephanie Miner/Facebook

The focus in the race for mayor in the city of Syracuse at this point is on a September 10 primary. Three candidates have turned in petition signatures this week to get on the ballot in September. Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says history shows whoever wins that race, will be victorious in November.

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9:00am

Tue July 9, 2013
Regional Coverage

Renovations on Syracuse's Central Library begin

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It's been almost two years since Onondaga County lawmakers approved funding for renovation of the Central Library in downtown Syracuse. Now the first steps in revamping the facility are starting.

The Central Library has been ensconced in the Galleries of Syracuse for 25 years now. When it opened up, the Galleries was a retail hub, that's now morphed into what amounts to an office building. Central Librarian Doreen Milcarek says the facility needs to downsize, a move that will reflect staffing cutbacks and the changing needs of library patrons.

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8:11am

Fri July 5, 2013
Environment

Wasp watchers being recruited

Cornell University Cooperate Extension Onondaga County

The emerald ash borer is getting closer to Onondaga County. The Asian beetle infests and kills North American ash trees, and are as close to central New York as Rochester.  Now, Cornell Cooperative Extension is recruiting volunteers for a program in Onondaga County that could  let wasps sound the alarm that the devastating bugs are here.

So how does a wasp tell us that the Emerald Ash Borer is in town?  Simple. They eat them.

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8:49am

Tue June 25, 2013
Politics and Government

Councilor accuses mayor of misleading about planning merger

Syracuse Common Councilor Lance Denno questions Andrew Maxwell, head of planning for Syracuse, about his department's merger with the county.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

An increasingly disgruntled Syracuse common councilor accused the mayor's office of misleading taxpayers about the city and Onondaga County's merger of their planning departments.

Just as Monday's routine pre-meeting study session was wrapping up, councilor Lance Denno called the mayor's press secretary, Alexander Marion, before them.

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8:45am

Thu June 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Planning departments merger could spur more government consolidation

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney signing an agreement to merge the city and county planning agencies.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The city of Syracuse and Onondaga County planning departments have officially merged. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney signed an inter-municipal agreement Thursday that brings the planning agencies of both governments under one roof.

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6:40am

Wed June 5, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse & Onondaga County combine planning offices

Onondaga County lawmakers have taken the first step towards creating a new joint city of Syracuse-county planning agency. Current city and county offices that both have planning duties will be combined into one.

Legislator Kathleen Rapp says the consolidation of the two planning departments will streamline the current planning process, easing the regulatory burden for businesses that deal with zoning issues.

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8:33am

Tue June 4, 2013
Business

Former New Venture Gear plant may have new tenant

New Venture Gear once employed 4,000 people making auto parts in DeWitt, N.Y.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The old New Venture Gear auto parts factory in suburban Syracuse could have a new tenant much quicker than county economic development officials expected.

A newly formed company called American Intermodal Container Manufacturing Inc. wants to use about half of the large factory to make shipping containers.

New Venture Gear concluded a long shutdown of its DeWitt plant in August. It once employed 4,000 people making parts for SUVs.

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9:21am

Wed May 29, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County hoping to speed up pistol permit waits

Onondaga County residents who want to get a pistol permit, are still seeing waits of more than 14 months to get an initial interview needed to get that permit.  But, county officials are expediting the purchase of a computer program that should move things along.

It'll be about a month before new software replaces the index cards Onondaga County Sheriff's deputies now use to process pistol permits, and start to make a dent in the wait for a permit hearing. County Legislator Kevin Holmquist says one of the reasons it took so long to award a contract for the software, was the state's new gun control law, called the NY SAFE Act.

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9:11am

Thu May 16, 2013
Regional Coverage

"Opt-out" deadline for NY gun law passed, with backlog of applications

As the deadline for the "opt-out" portion of the New York SAFE Act passed Wednesday, the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department was still wading through thousands of forms from gun owners who don't want their pistol permit information available to the public.  

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4:56pm

Wed May 15, 2013
Arts

Symphoria launches first full season of concerts

A brass quartet provided musical accompaniment for the announcement of Symphoria's new season.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

For the first time since before the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra went bankrupt two years ago, musicians will play a full season of symphonic music. The Symphoria's "Music in the Key of CNY" series marks a big moment for the fledgling musical group.

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3:25pm

Wed May 15, 2013
Politics

Primary challenge for Syracuse council president dropped

Gary Morris endorses Van Robinson, left, for Syracuse Common Council president as Mayor Stephanie Miner looks on.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse Democratic party activist Gary Morris has dropped his bid to become president of the Syracuse Common Council and endorsed current president Van Robinson Monday.

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11:36am

Tue May 14, 2013
Health

Cynthia Morrow on the Campbell Conversations

When it comes to health, what does the region do well, and what does it do poorly? What are the next frontiers in making the community healthier? In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Onondaga County Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow reflects on recent statistics about the county's health, discusses different approaches that communities and government can take toward improving health, and speculates about possible futures.

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3:48pm

Mon May 6, 2013
Politics and Government

D.A. Fitzpatrick supports unsealing juvenile records involving sex crimes

Juvenile records are automatically sealed in New York state, so they don't prejudice a prosecutor or judge, but state Sen. John DeFrancisco is proposing an exception. He wants those records be available to court officials if they involve sex crimes.

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9:10am

Thu April 18, 2013
Business

Chenango County named latest foreign trade zone in N.Y.

In March, the federal government awarded Chenango County, northeast of Binghamton, foreign trade zone status. That means county businesses can import goods without paying a tariff. They also pay a lower tariff if those goods are sold within the United States and no tariff if the final product is exported.

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6:09am

Tue April 9, 2013
Politics and Government

Proposed Syracuse budget includes cuts, consolidations

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed election year budget includes no increases in taxes or fees; there are also no proposed layoffs. But despite spending cuts and consolidations, the city's fund balance takes a big hit, in order to fill a multi-million dollar budget hole.

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9:37am

Wed April 3, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County legislature hopes to close pawn shop loophole

Tuesday's Onondaga County Legislature meeting
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It'll be easier for police to recover stolen goods from pawn shops and second-hand stores throughout Onondaga County, if a law approved by the county legislature goes into effect. The legislation is aimed at closing a loophole that pushes criminals outside Syracuse city limits to sell stolen goods.

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4:32pm

Wed March 20, 2013
Politics and Government

Onondaga County wants to consolidate human services agencies

There could be changes coming to the human services agencies and departments in Onondaga County government.  County Executive Joanie Mahoney says there's a two-fold reason for a proposed realignment.

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9:16am

Mon March 18, 2013
Regional Coverage

Public wants park space at Onondaga Lake

Central New Yorkers want a public park available to everyone along Onondaga Lake. That was the upshot from the latest survey on the future of what was once the most polluted lake in the nation.

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8:53am

Thu March 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Onondaga County takes measures to shorten wait for pistol permits

The Onondaga County Sheriff's Department has received the go-ahead to do whatever necessary to ease the pistol permit backlog that's mushroomed in central New York, because of the dramatic increase of the number of permit applications coming into the Syracuse office.

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3:11pm

Wed March 6, 2013
Politics and Government

State of Onondaga County is financially sound

Unlike many other local governments in New York state, Onondaga County has weathered the recent fiscal crisis, and come out on firm financial footing. In her State of the County address Tuesday night, County Executive Joanie Mahoney credits recent budget cutting tactics for the difference.

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9:14am

Wed March 6, 2013
Politics and Government

Onondaga County is latest to call for repeal of gun control law

A resident addresses the Onondaga County Legislature before it voted on a resolution on the NY SAFE Act
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga County is the latest county government in New York state to call on Albany to repeal the SAFE Act.  The county legislature voted Tuesday to ask the state to scrap the new state law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called the toughest gun control law in the country.

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9:12am

Mon February 25, 2013
Gun Control

Onondaga County Legislature will voice opinion on state's gun laws

The Onondaga County Legislature is expected to join a growing list of county governments cementing their opposition to New York's new, stricter, gun control laws.

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