Oswego County

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Inside a classroom in Mexico, ninth grade students discuss the benefits of recycling with their teacher. They're thinking about how it can help the environment and a company's bottom line.  

"Do you think recycling is going to be a part of their work there?" teacher Brian Heffron asks.

"Yes, because they want to save a lot of money to keep the place running," a student responds. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At its meeting Thursday, the Oswego County Legislature voted to sell six foreclosed properties to the county's land bank for $1 so it can begin the rehabilitation process. Oswego legislator Shane Broadwell said it's been a long road from when the land bank was approved for creation by New York state in January.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At the Hemlock Haven Christmas tree farm in Sandy Creek, Oswego County, frail, burnt orange pine trees stand out in sharp contrast to their emerald green neighbors. Owner and operator Michele Forsyth said with combined drought and sustained heat this summer, she's lost more than 10 percent of the trees on her farm. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is ordering the central New York aluminum manufacturer Novelis to work with its employees to create a union. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has adopted a 12-year plan to support the state's financially impaired nuclear power plants. The Clean Energy Standard (CES), a component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's initiative to double the state's renewable energy providers and cut carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030, was approved unanimously at a meeting in Albany Monday.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The fate of upstate New York's nuclear power plants could be decided today. The state's Public Service Commission (PSC) will vote on a massive nuclear power subsidy program that several plant owners say they need to survive and what anti-nuclear forces call a wasteful investment in a dangerous power source.

Thousands of central New Yorkers are heading to Oswego this weekend for the city’s celebration of Harborfest, its annual festival. Families are treated to a carnival, concerts and an elaborate fireworks show. WRVO's Payne Horning visited with some of the patrons about why they make Harborfest part of their summer traditions.

Harborfest continues Saturday and Sunday. The fireworks show Saturday night will include a celebration of the bicentennial of Oswego County.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Pro- and anti-nuclear power groups are making their final cases for New York state to adopt or reject a proposal that would financially support the state's nuclear power plants. A decision on the nuclear subsidy plan is expected from the Public Service Commission (PSC) within the next week.


Negotiations are underway between two nuclear power companies that could save the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. Entergy had all but guaranteed that it would shut the plant down because it was losing $60 million annually, but a state plan to subsidize New York's nuclear plants is enticing another company to buy and operate the facility.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Entergy, the owner of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, has confirmed that it is in talks with Exelon, which owns Oswego County's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant, to buy and operate FitzPatrick, which is scheduled to be closed in January because of financial troubles.


Gary Thibodeau, the man who was convicted of Heidi Allen's kidnapping in the 1995, will get another chance to appeal his conviction. The appellate division of the state supreme court has agreed to hear Thibodeau's case for why there should be another trial.

Alliance for a Green Economy

More than 100 organizations across New York and the country are sending a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo asking the state not to subsidize nuclear power plants.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego County celebrated its bicentennial over the Independence Day weekend. A float with historic county officials glided through the annual Oswego parade, the Oswego Stamp Club sold special historic stamps noting the bicentennial and later in the day residents gathered at the historic Fort Ontario for a picnic and presentation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The candidates in the race for the 24th Congressional District are previewing some of what's in store for the campaign ahead. 

Shortly after basking in the success of her primary victory Tuesday night, Democratic candidate Colleen Deacon, a former staffer for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), quickly shifted to the general election.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Lauren Laughlin / U.S. Coast Guard District 9

New York state is investigating the unexpected shutdown of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County on Friday. The state Public Service Department says as a result of the shutdown, a stuck valve released oil into Lake Ontario Sunday. The source of the leak, which was not radioactive,has been stopped. And now, the U.S. Coast Guard says the process of removing the oil from the lake has begun.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The last time Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) campaigned in Syracuse, he did so on behalf of his own presidential bid. Even though he has not yet conceded the race to Secretary Hillary Clinton, he spoke on Friday about his desire to shape the future of the party as an advocate rather than a candidate.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Central New York lawmakers are celebrating the state legislature's decision to shift payment of indigent legal services from the counties to the state. It's one of many so-called unfunded mandates that have long been a source of contention for local governments, which are left to pay picking up the tab for the decisions that are made at the capitol.

Constellation Energy Group

The owner of Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant is again sounding a warning that without some financial help from New York state, it could have to close one of its reactors. This news on top of the announcement Fitzpatrick Nuclear Plant will be closing has Oswego county reeling.

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.

Jason Smith / WRVO News

Oswego County Administrator Phil Church is a shipwreck diver and photographer in his off time. These days, he's bringing his hobby to work. Church is coordinating an effort between Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the city of Oswego to have the southeastern part of Lake Ontario designated as a national marine sanctuary. There are only 14 in the world and Church said Oswego has a good case to join that list.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At its annual meeting Thursday, Operation Oswego County, an economic development organization, said it helped create and retain about 386 jobs over the past year. But, the focus of the event centered on saving existing jobs that are at risk.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

During nearly two hours of testimony in Oswego City Hall Tuesday, community leaders and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant employees begged staff from New York's Public Service Commission to support the proposed "clean energy standard" under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goal to generate half of the state's energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

During a hearing on Capitol Hill, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) urged his colleagues to designate Oswego's Fort Ontario and Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum to National Park status. The Republican congressman is sponsoring a bill that would trigger a study to determine if the historical sites are worthy of becoming part of the National Park system.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Novelis, the aluminum manufacturing plant in Oswego County, unveiled a new $120 million addition to its operation Monday. The "automotive finishing line" takes strips of aluminum through furnaces, coolers and chemicals to strengthen the metal. It was designed specifically for the 2017 Ford Super Duty truck.

Kevin Schutt, the Novelis plant manager in Oswego, said with more aluminum, trucks can increase their payload and towing capacity. It's part of an industry-wide shift toward more lightweight vehicles for superior fuel efficiency. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The impending closure of the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County is already financially impacting the nearby Mexico School District. School district officials are planning for the loss of $2.8 million this year alone.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The New York State Legislature has set aside $30 million in its new budget for communities devastated by closing power plants that result in at least a 20 percent reduction in the local property tax collections. It's intended to help offset the loss in places like Oswego County where the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant is slated to be shutdown in January.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Melissa Ives was recovering from a brutal motorcycle accident, the opioid medication she was prescribed helped mask the pain. But eventually, those pills ran out so she turned to a cheaper alternative - heroin.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Scriba town's highway superintendent appeared in court this week for the first time since he was arrested and charged with a DWI last year. Mike Barry, who had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .14 when he was arrested in July 2015, had delayed the court hearing several times -- after his election in November and past a planned February referendum intended to replace him, which has since been delayed.


A judge has denied a request for a new trial in the 20-year-old Heidi Allen disappearance case.

The man who was convicted of kidnapping her from a New Haven convenience store, Gary Thibodeau, claims that new evidence has surfaced since the original trial that exonerates him. But, more than a year after the hearing for a new trial began, the judge denied the request.

His attorney, Lisa Peebles, said the ruling is disappointing but expected.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Five Oswego County legislators who failed to fill out a required oath of office form will now have to run for reelection this fall despite being elected to a two-year term last November.

All elected county officials must sign an oath of office card by February 1, but several members, Margaret Kastler of Lacona, Milferd Potter of Pulaski, Shawn Doyle of Pulaski, Robert Hayes of Phoenix and Jim Karasek of Fulton, failed to submit the form in time. Karasek said he was preoccupied dealing with a medical issue.