Syracuse-area Congressman Dan Maffei is introducing legislation to crack down on people tampering with electronic probation devices and to hold federal probation offices more accountable.
Maffei is introducing the Federal Probation System Reform Act, which he says will make it a federal crime to tamper with an electronic monitoring device, and establish a nationwide standard for responding to bracelet alerts.
Although Oswego's residents are facing a nearly 82 percent increase in their property taxes, the city's lawmakers say there isn't much fat left to cut from the proposed budget. They say the changing economic atmosphere in the city is weighing heavily on this year's budget.
An Inspector General's report finds that Clayton's town supervisor is among dozens of current and former state prison officials who misused their work-issued vehicles at taxpayer expense.
The report says 80 members of the Corrections Department leadership used their state vehicles mostly to commute to and from work for years. They did so with the blessing of former department Commissioner Brian Fischer. He continued to approve the practice long after a 2009 state policy shift meant to rein in such excesses.
The city of Oswego is trying to regain what years of population decline and lost manufacturing jobs have taken away. According to Mayor Thomas Gillen, part of that reclamation means revitalizing the city's neighborhoods.
Gillen said the Oswego Renaissance Association is speaking with local banks to secure funding for small loans, grants or matching funds to assist homeowners in making needed repairs.
The money would also be tied to neighborhood development, encouraging neighborhoods to take on projects together.
As ringing bells herald this Christmas season, another city church has gone silent. The West Genesee United Methodist Church in Syracuse has closed its doors, and last week it auctioned off its contents.
New York state's Workers' Compensation Board has started a sweeping effort to examine the system, and look at how it could more effectively meet the needs of injured workers and employers. It's in the midst of holding sessions where injured workers can express their opinions.
The second of three sessions was held yesterday in Syracuse, and allowed injured workers to chime in on the discussion in central New York. Fidel, Alejandro Velacqueis Perez was among those telling stories.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday focus on spending for holiday gifts, a burgeoning movement is hoping to create that same kind of fervor when it comes to making charitable donations. Tomorrow has been dubbed Giving Tuesday in the world of non-profits.
Matt Seubert, Development Director of Enable and Transitional Living Services in Syracuse had never heard of Giving Tuesday when it started last year.
The Watertown Urban Mission is busy around the holidays. Along with running its regular programs like the food pantry and thrift store, it also distributes warm winter coats and Thanksgiving turkeys, puts on a craft fair, and holds a sale of Christmas items. Fortunately, it's gotten some help from a small army of volunteers – literally.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Destiny USA and Great Northern Mall, mom and pop shops throughout the region are working hard to promote their own version of Black Friday -- Small Business Saturday.
The city of Oswego is no different. Bill Riley, owner of the River's End Bookstore, has embraced the event since its creation several years ago. His store is hosting two local authors on Saturday, including former political cartoonist Frank Cammuso and award winning author Laurie Halse Anderson.
Shoppers hitting the stores on this Black Friday expect it to be crowded, since there will probably be more people than ever at central New York’s biggest shopping venue.
A year ago, the expansion to Destiny USA was still in its early stages, with storefronts not yet filled. This year, there are 80 or so more stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues than there were a year ago, according to Mall Manager Rob Schoeneck. That’s already meant more shoppers than in the past.
On Black Friday, people cram into stores, treating shopping like a full-contact sport. Others hold off for a calmer experience in front of their computer screens on Cyber Monday. But some people still want a fun, communal holiday shopping experience – minus the chaos.
Watertown's annual holiday craft fair is a good option for less competitive shoppers, or people searching for a few unique items. This Sunday, two floors of the Dulles State Office Building will fill with local vendors.
New York is one of only two states in the country where all children 16 and older are treated as adults in the criminal justice system. This month the Raise the Age initiative kicked off a statewide campaign in upstate New York, renewing their effort to keep kids under 18 out of adult prisons.
Kyle Chambers was incarcerated in an adult prison when he was 16 years old, and spent his 17th birthday inside.
More than 100 pieces of used firefighting clothing from the Syracuse fire department is going to South America to help protect a volunteer fire department down there.
The Rotary International Club in Syracuse helped coordinate the donation of 55 protective jackets and 84 protective pants to the city of La Serena, Chile, which says firefighters there often battle flames in street clothes.
"This donation is going to very, very helpful to them in that now, at least, they have some protective clothing," the Rotary's Rev. Blessed Sikhosana.
Today is the busiest travel day of the year, with an estimated 43.4 million travelers heading home for the holidays. But some Thanksgiving travelers are getting a bit of a break this year by spending less cash to fill their gas tanks on the way to their holiday destinations.
“It’s the lowest Thanksgiving gas price we’ve seen since 2010," says central New York AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.
Dibble says motorists will be paying an average of $3.49 in central New York, $3.56 statewide, and $3.21 for a gallon of gas nationally. That’s down 29 cents from last year in Syracuse.
Cyberbullying has become a front and center issue for Oneida County in recent months. Now those online attacks are a punishable offense.
The newly enacted local law makes several forms of computer bullying illegal, including posting doctored images, creating a fake profile or website, and making online statements that are meant to immediately provoke another person.
Snow plows in central New York are already out treating roads ahead of the double-digit snowfall expected to fall in the next 36 hours, which is coming at a bad time for travel.
Onondaga County Transportation Commissioner Brian Donnelly said by nightfall his crews will be out in full force prepping roads. Snow and rain is expected to increase overnight and leave travelers for the Thanksgiving holiday with some hazardous conditions.
Astrophysicist and media personality Neil deGrasse Tyson was in central New York this week, talking to audiences about the most recent discoveries in space. Between speeches, he spoke with WRVO's Gino Geruntino about how innovation impacts the future, how space exploration relates to STEM learning and the role of science in American mainstream culture. In 2014, Tyson will host the show Cosmos on FOX, a reboot of Carl Sagan's program.
The scrimping, saving and belt-tightening is paying off, as residents of Oswego County will only see a small increase of less than one percent in their property taxes for 2014. But what do the county's cost-saving measures mean for the average Oswego County homeowner?
The proposed tax rate would go up 16 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value, translating to about an extra $15 tacked onto a homeowner's bill. While the rate is the highest it's been in six years, it still keeps the rate lower than it was in 2005, by more than 20 percent.
The Food and Drug Administration may soon get in on the fast growing e-cigarette industry. It’s considering labeling them as tobacco products, which would mean regulation over where they’re sold and how they’re made. That's good news for central New York smoking opponents, who say a lack of regulation is one of the big danger points of these electronic smoking devices.
The construction of a new college bookstore on the Syracuse University Hill is in danger of losing its tax break if construction doesn’t start in the next month.
The university and the developer it selected, Cameron Group, won over Syracuse’s city council and industrial development agency (SIDA) for approval of the deal in August 2012.
But since shovels still haven’t broken ground on the project a year later, the city’s economic development agency this week voted the project in default of its contract. The developer has another 30 days to begin work.
Churches play a vital role in any community. A symposium was held on Saturday to raise awareness of the role church buildings play in downtown Syracuse, since both occupied and vacant properties impact the neighborhoods.
The Mission Restaurant in downtown Syracuse was built in the 1840s and used to be the Syracuse Wesleyan Methodist Church, which was part of the Underground Railroad. The Hotel Skyler on the Syracuse University campus was a synagogue before it was renovated with green energy and environmental design standards.
U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei spoke to the House on Tuesday in support of the Oneida Indian Nation's efforts to have the Washington Redskins team name changed. Maffei said the team name is deeply offensive and should be changed out of respect.
"The name of Washington football team is derogatory to the Native Americans of this country," Maffei said. "For many Native Americans across the lands, the name of the Washington football team is a deeply personal reminder of a legacy of racism and generations of pain."