Regional Coverage

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

Dr. Robert Neulander was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison on Thursday for the murder of his wife Leslie Neulander in 2012. The trial of the prominent OB-GYN has shocked and fascinated the Syracuse community.

 

Onondaga County Court Judge Thomas Miller said he did not sentence Neulander to the maximum 25 years to life in prison because of the emotional toll taken on the Neulander family. They have maintained that Neulander is innocent. But Judge Miller also did not sentence the minimum 15 years in prison after scrutinizing the jurors' verdict.

 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Country music superstar Miranda Lambert will be the inaugural act at Onondaga County’s newly constructed Lakeview Amphitheater.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney announced Wednesday that Lambert will appear September 3. Even though that leaves promoters with five weeks to sell tickets, Mahoney is optimistic there will be a full house.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of Central New Yorkers gathered on the lawn in front of the East Genesee Street offices of Planned Parenthood in Syracuse Tuesday, saying they were spurred into action by undercover videos of the agency's executives apparently talking about the sale of body parts culled from aborted fetuses for medical research. 

"When somebody’s looking to find money to buy a Lamborghini, and is looking to sell body parts to do that, it’s a new low,” said one protester at Tuesday's rally.

Others at the rally shared the same sentiment.

Mitchell pleads guilty to helping prisoners escape

Jul 29, 2015
Clinton County Sheriff's Department

 

Joyce Mitchell, the former civilian employee at Clinton Correctional Facility, pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping convicted murdererers Richard Matt and David Sweat escape from the prison.

New York State Public Service Commission

The 315 area code region is going to be joined by a new area code.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator says 680 will be the new area code assigned to new phone numbers in the 315 area starting in 2017.

Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Syracuse) doesn’t think it’ll be a big deal for residents to get used to the new numbers.

“Most people are using cell phones now anyway, and you load in your most commonly used numbers with the area code, so I don’t think it will be that much of a big deal after a few months, everyone will get used to it,” said Stirpe.

The Syracuse Nationals, billed as the biggest car show in the northeast, officially starts today. The Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau figures the Syracuse Nationals will bring between $10-13 million into Central New York. While that's a big economic impact for a weekend event, organizer Bob O'Connor says people tend to come early and stay longer.

New York State Public Service Commission

A new area code is coming for those who live in the 18 counties that are part of the 315 area code. The New York State Public Service Commission Thursday approved an 'area code overlay' for the region.

City of Syracuse

The president of Syracuse’s Police Benevolent Association is calling for more cops on the street, in the wake of a violent stretch in the city. Over the 4th of July weekend, 10 people were shot in a 24-hour span.

In a letter to the editor on Syracuse.com, PBA president Jeff Piedmonte suggests residents contact Mayor Stephanie Miner, urging her to hire 50 more police officers. Piedmonte says there are currently 417 police officers on the streets, the lowest number since the 1970s. He says that’s dangerously low, especially at a time of an uptick in crime.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The parking landscape is changing in the city of Syracuse. Part of it is due to technology, and part of it due to the resurgence of downtown as a destination.

On-street parking in downtown Syracuse has changed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the standalone silver parking meters waiting for change. Instead, visitors are now accustomed to the big brown pay stations that take cash or credit cards and spit out a receipt for the dashboard.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

More than 100 men, women and children marched through an Eastside Syracuse neighborhood Monday night, determined to take back their community from a rash of violence that has marked this summer.  

Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, there were 10 shootings in less than 24 hours. In addition, two people were killed, including a teenager.  

Kristen Powers

The circus typically draws hundreds of families to see elephants, tigers, clowns and acrobats. But the circus also draws a lot of people who protest it.

That's what happened over the weekend when The Cole Brothers Circus set up a big top tent in the parking lot of Shopping Town Mall in Dewitt. While families went inside the tent for the show, a few dozen people stood outside protesting.

Saptarshi Lahari, with the Syracuse Animal Rights Organization, stood in protest this weekend. Lahari says animals are treated poorly and don't belong in the circus.

As an entertainment franchise, the Syracuse Chiefs, Syracuse’s Triple-A professional baseball team, are in a challenging situation—trying to generate attendance and fan loyalty when the performance of the team is a byproduct of the decisions made by its parent organization, the Washington Nationals.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher talks with Chiefs general manager Jason Smorol about dealing with that challenge, and others, including finances.  We also learn what a cowboy monkey is. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

North Country lawmakers say they're relieved after hearing the news that Fort Drum will take just 28 troop cuts as a part of the Army’s downsizing.

Compare that with several thousand cuts at Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Hood in Texas.

WRVO / File Photo

Updated at 2:20 p.m.

The official press release from Fort Drum confirms the post will lose 28 military positions.  Today's announcement from the Army does not include any reductions to civilian employees. A source says that announcement will come in the fall.  The reduction of the size of the Army is expected to be completed by fiscal year 2017.

Updated at 11:30 a.m.

Julia Botero / WRVO file photo

The Pentagon is expected to announce major cuts across the entire Army Thursday morning. Local officials and those who live in Fort Drum’s surrounding communities are waiting anxiously for news on what specific cuts will be made to the base.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

On Thursday, the Army is expected to announce where it plans to cut troops on bases around the country. Despite the looming draw down, New York state continues to invest in Fort Drum.  

State Sen. Patty Richie announced yesterday that she has secured $650,000 dollars for four hospitals that serve Fort Drum troops and their families. 

Julia Botero

 

A military lender based near New York City has agreed to stop charging Fort Drum soldiers excessive interest on emergency loans.

Matthew Anderson, with the New York State Department of Financial Services, says for over a decade, military lending companies have been charging service members more than double the state's interest rate caps.

“If you were not a permanent New York resident but were simply stationed here, the lenders took it to mean they didn’t have to comply with New York laws. They could charge higher interest rates,” Anderson said.

New York State Public Service Commission

 

The area code 315 covers a lot of ground: it covers the entire region from south of Syracuse and central New York, west toward Rochester, and north to the Canadian border. That could change.

Here comes that Croghan Bologna!

Jul 4, 2015
Julia Botero / WRVO News

Croghan Meat Market is a North Country family institution. Croghan is a small town in Lewis County, north of Lowville. For more than a century, the market has been making a type of sausage called Croghan Bologna. The bologna has made the market famous. WRVO'S Julia Botero visited the market and spoke to Blaine Campany, the fourth generation of the Campany family to take over the business.
 

Samuel Whitehead / WSKG News

Ithaca wants more people to live within the city limits. With that goal in mind, a new comprehensive plan passed the planning board Tuesday and will soon move to the Common Council.

But attracting more residents won’t be easy. More than anything, Ithaca needs affordable housing -- and that starts with a location.

City Planning Director JoAnn Cornish says the city has targeted certain spots around Ithaca where they feel that housing can go, like the West State Street Corridor.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A Syracuse man, who was being a good Samaritan, is believed to have drowned after a freak accident during Tuesday night’s torrential rains.

Authorities believe 28-year old Brandon Closure was swept away into the city’s storm sewer system, after he accidentally stepped into an open manhole blown open by surging rain water. He was trying to help a disabled motorist at the corner of Croly and East Fayette Streets on Syracuse’s eastside.  

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Watertown's City Hall celebrated its 50th anniversary Friday. The city commemorated the day by opening a time capsule sealed and hidden in the wall of the building since 1965.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham and former Mayors Tom Walker and Joseph Butler slowly opened a rectangular metal box in front of a crowd outside City Hall. 

“Not sure what to expect here but we’ll grab a corner and pull it off," said Graham.

Escaped prisoners planned to flee to Mexico

Jun 29, 2015
Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

The two convicted murderers who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility had initially planned to drive to Mexico.

New York State Police

Updated 7:45 p.m.

In a news conference in Malone Sunday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico lauded the actions of NYSP Sgt. Jay Cook, who took down escaped prisoner David Sweat, as courageous.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Hundreds of immigrants from around the world, now living in Syracuse, came out to Schiller Park on the city's north side last Saturday to celebrate World Refugee Day. 

 

Drummers from the African country of Burundi kicked off some of the cultural performances at World Refugee Day. The morning started with a soccer and volleyball tournament.

 

  A group of young girls take a break from watching. They're wearing brightly colored head scarves of pink, blue and purple. Dahabo Layli used to live in Somalia.

 

New York State Police

Saturday morning update:

Authorities continue to search for convicted murderer David Sweat, focusing their search about 30 miles west of the Clinton Correctional Facility where he and Richard Matt escaped from more than three weeks ago. Matt was shot and killed by a U.S. Border patrol agent Friday afternoon. Roadblocks are still in place in the towns of Malone and Duane. Heavy rain is forecast for the area late Saturday and is expected to last into Sunday, which could hamper the search for Sweat. 

Onondaga County

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says he is optimistic there will be an announcement soon regarding an opening act for the county’s new amphitheater on Onondaga Lake.

“We’ve had a much shorter time period to put one together than what most other venues have.  They usually have a year and a half to get things booked.  We’ve only had 60 days.  But it’s going to happen.”  

McMahon also points out that the New York State Fair has had difficulty finding acts for the Grandstand at the fair this year.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of central New Yorkers demonstrated during a busy noon hour in Syracuse’s Clinton Square Tuesday, calling attention to racism in the wake of the Charleston, South Carolina shootings at a historic black church

During a hot, muggy midday, protesters made their way around the Farmer’s Market in Clinton Square to the Jerry Rescue monument, a symbol of Syracuse’s anti-slavery past, chanting against violence and racism.

Amelia Lefevre of the Syracuse Peace Council says that history can’t be forgotten.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Every year, family and friends gather at Fort Drum to remember the soldiers who lost their lives in the past year fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tuesday, Fort Drum and Army officials thanked them for their sacrifice.

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, 309 Fort Drum combat soldiers lost their lives fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mike Folsom

Shipping traffic on the St. Lawrence River has resumed after a luxury cruise ship stuck in the Eisenhower Lock in Massena was removed Saturday. The ship struck a wall as it attempted to maneuver into the lock Thursday night.  Passengers on the MS St.

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