Regional Coverage

Carl McLaughlin

After a decade of lobbying state and federal officials on behalf of Fort Drum, Carl McLaughlin, has announced his retirement.

McLaughlin began his work as head of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, or FDRLO, in 2004. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were just beginning.  Fort Drum was under threat of shutting down in a round of base closures. McLaughlin got news in his first week on the job from the Pentagon about the base’s 10th Mountain Division.

Gabe Altieri / WSKG News

A proposal to reword a swimming ban at Ithaca natural areas to make it easier to understand is on hold. The city's Common Council wants to focus on education and outreach about the dangers of swimming in these areas instead.

But education isn't always easy.

Great Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary

Shipwrecks are a big draw for divers and tourists in the great lakes. Now – for the first time in 20 years -- more communities are getting help in preserving and showing off their underwater treasures. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is expanding its national marine sanctuary program. For Oswego and other communities on the Great Lakes, that designation would bring federal funding and a boost to tourism

Farmers hit hard by drought

Aug 8, 2016
Gabe Altieri / WSKG News

A severe drought continues to affect most of New York, and it's especially taking a toll on farmers in Tompkins County. Producers in the area say they've received about six less inches rain than an average season thus far.

Recent rainfall hasn't done much to help either. In fact, farmers say, at this point the season is pretty much a wash. "You tell people 'it's dry, it's dry' and then they say 'oh, it rained.' No, it didn't rain for two months. So [the season] is pretty much shot," said Chandler Benson, an organic dairy farmer in Lansing. 

We've heard a lot about infrastructure during this campaign season, and it's a perennial issue in central New York. This week on the Campbell Conversations, we're joined by Jack Kelly, who has written an intriguing new book on one of the biggest infrastructure projects in American history, and the biggest in upstate New York; the Erie Canal. Kelly’s book is called Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

An Onondaga County grand jury has determined that the fatal shooting of a man by a police officer in Syracuse on Father’s Day was justified. Hundreds of people were at a cookout that turned violent. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said it started with a group of individuals that drove by and open fired on the crowd.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It’s summer camp season across central and northern New York. Among the traditional kind of camps that teach swimming, theater or arts and crafts, is a first in the area only for girls who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math. 

Le Moyne College recently wrapped up its first ever, all women high school summer camp that focuses on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

The goal of the camp, according to camp director Meriel Stokoe, is to attract young women to the STEM fields.

U.S. Drought Monitor.

Parts of western and central New York, including the Southern Tier, remain in a severe drought category according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. More dry weather could impact the state in the months ahead.

Jason Smith / WRVO News

Oswego's mayor is asking city residents to conserve water, saying the city's water supply is at critically low levels. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Every island in the Thousand Island has a story. Today we're looking at Grindstone Island, the fourth largest in the St. Lawrence River. 

Grindstone is considered part Clayton and can be seen from the village's main street, but it’s only accessible by boat. A large community lives there during the summer and a few stick it out all year. 

There's no grocery store on the island but there is a dance hall and a Methodist Church. One Sunday in the summer, the United Methodist Church has a service outside on the banks of Aunt Jane's Bay.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

 

Every island between Clayton and Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands has its own story.

Occident Island has been owned by the same family for over 115 years.

On a bright summer day, Phyllis Gardner picks me up on a little dock in Fisher’s Landing, a few miles from Clayton. She invited me to see the place she’s come back to every summer since she was a little girl.

We go at full speed, zipping past shoals hidden under the St. Lawrence River. Phyllis knows this river night or day. She points out the rocky shores as we pass.

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.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A video of a man who was arrested for recording police in Syracuse has caused outrage from activists.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County District Attorney’s office is investigating a case of possible embezzlement at the Central New York SPCA.

Former Onondaga County Executive Nick Pirro is the treasurer for the CNY SPCA Board of Directors. He went to the DA’s office July 11 with suspicions that something wasn’t right with the books.

"In the operation of being the treasurer, things were brought to my attention. Other things were on my radar screen, and putting them together, I felt it was necessary to have somebody with expertise look at it,” Pirro said, in an interview with WRVO News.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Between Saturday and Monday, two people were killed and six were injured during several separate shootings in Syracuse. All but one of those shootings occurred less than one mile from the others. The killings bring the number of homicides in Syracuse to 18 so far this year, according to the Syracuse Police Department.

There’s a roadmap now for any organization that wants to take on the task of connecting the broken portion of the statewide Erie Canalway Trail that centers on the Syracuse area. A 15- to 16-mile stretch between Camillus and DeWitt has always been one of the most problematic gaps for advocates trying to create a continuous 360-mile, multi-use trail that follows the historic Erie Canal. If the gap was connected, it would create the longest continuous intrastate multi-use trail in the nation.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Preparations are underway to ready Oswego Speedway to host the annual Super Dirt Week in October. The major racing event was supposed to take place at the new Central New York Raceway Park in Hastings, but New York officials had to shift gears because of construction delays.

"You’re always going to get the people who don’t like change," said World Racing Group director of events Jeff Hachmann. "The unfortunate thing is they have no choice. We were dealt change and now it’s our job to make Super Dirt Week what it was before."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Car lovers of all stripes converge on the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse this weekend, for the Syracuse Nationals car show, which has become a mecca for classic car lovers.

Ken Zoanetti of Bridgeport has always been interested cars. But one of the vehicles he’s displaying at the Syracuse Nationals is extra special. It’s a 1957 Chrysler Windsor.

“It is identical to what my mom and dad bought in 1957. Same color, same interior, same everything,” said Zoanetti.

So for him, fixing up and maintaining classic cars, has become a kind of sentimental journey.

www.co.oswego.ny.us

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.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Residents on Syracuse’s Near West Side are looking for ways to move forward after the Father’s Day shooting that involved a police officer and left one man dead. Events like the Celebration of Unity are bringing the community together to heal and address the issue of gun violence.

Rev. Regina Reese-Young was one of the speakers leading the audience in prayer at Skiddy Park where just down the street the shooting took place, like so many others throughout the city.  

Meredith Turk / NCPR

A monument that celebrates Fort Drum’s relationship with its surrounding community was revealed at a ceremony in Watertown’s Thompson Park on Friday.

The four-sided granite monument depicts the 10th Mountain Division's history starting with World War II and ending in its missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tom Doosin, an Air Force veteran who lives in Henderson, next to Lake Ontario, was there.

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.

Missile Defense Agency

 

If you’ve ever wondered what happens at a place full of huge missiles, Nathaniel Gill with the Missile Defense Agency said on the outside it’s pretty quiet, but indoors computers pick up signals from everything being launched into the air all over the world. If a threat was on its way to the U.S., a ballistic missile kept underground will shoot into the air.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A large crowd came to Syracuse’s Skiddy Park on the Near West Side Thursday to rally against gun violence in the wake of the Father’s Day shooting that happened in the area. One man was killed and multiple guns were fired in a shootout, one by a Syracuse police officer. Police are still investigating the incident. 

Jim Kennard

A schooner that sank off the shores of New York in Lake Ontario almost a century and a half ago has been discovered.

Underwater explorer Jim Kennard says he and his colleagues Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens were canvassing miles of lake bottom with a remote control video camera when it happened.

"All of a sudden you see something and the adrenaline kicks in."

Syracuse Police Department

The Syracuse Police Department has released a video from the Father's Day shooting that happened over the weekend where a police officer fired her gun and one man was shot and killed.

The video starts with a large crowd of party-goers running frantically away. The video appears to show a woman in uniform, presumably Officer Kelsey Francemone running towards the chaos. Francemone is the officer Syracuse Police said fired her weapon.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse National Action Network and many in the city's African American community are calling for an independent review into what happened at a cookout event on Syracuse's Near West Side that turned into a shooting on Sunday. Many questions remain as to why one man was killed and a police officer discharged her gun.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Attorney General’s Office is now involved in the investigation of an officer-related shooting that occurred in Syracuse over the weekend. A 41-year-old man is dead and officers and bystanders were injured at a Father’s Day party that turned unruly on Sunday night.

Last November, the Great Law of Peace Center opened on Onondaga Lake, replacing the Ste. Marie Among the Iroquois exhibit.  The new center is focused on and driven by the history and culture of the Haudenosaunee and more specifically, the Onondaga Nation.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher is joined by Onondaga Nation Faith-keeper Oren Lyons, and Onondaga Historical Association executive director Gregg Tripoli to discuss the new center, the politics and negotiations involved in making the change, and the history of the Haudenosaunee and the Law of Peace.

Carl Patrick / Seneca White Deer, Inc.

The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency has announced its choice for the winning bidder to take over the former Seneca Army Depot.

He is Earl Martin, who bid $900,000 for the 7,000 acres that are being sold. The depot is a former World War II weapons storage facility, and may be best known as being home to a herd of white deer.

Martin says it’s important for him to protect the deer and he will devote at least 1,500 acres for the white deer.

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