Regional Coverage

Courtesy: Safe Haven Museum

Ruth Gruber died last week at 105. She was an accomplished journalist and humanitarian. But in Oswego she is remembered and celebrated for the role she played when the United States offered safe harbor to 986 European refugees during World War II.

Gruber worked for the department of the interior when she was chosen to escort the mostly Jewish refugees on their voyage to America. They were housed at Fort Ontario in Oswego for the remainder of the war. Eventually, Gruber championed the refugees' fight to gain American citizenship.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Thousand Island dressing gets its name from the chain of islands straddling northern New York and Canada. At the turn of the century, this region along the St. Lawrence River was a summer destination for the nation’s elite. It was the Gilded Age. The creamy pink salad dressing was all the rage among cooks at the hotels and resorts dotting the river. There are two competing local legends on who first came up with the dressing.

The first story involves a billionaire, true love, an island castle and a steam yacht.

Rescue Mission

Syracuse’s Rescue Mission will be serving hundreds of Thanksgiving meals today to individuals who otherwise might not have one. CEO Alan Thornton says meal preparations started early this morning to feed an estimated 2,000 individuals.

"I think we’re in the vicinity of 1,300 pounds of cooked turkey, 45 trays of stuffing, of potatoes, over 300 pies, more trays of vegetables, lots of cookies. You name it, we’re going to have it,” said Thornton.

Researchers scope Cayuga Lake for invasive plant

Nov 24, 2016
Gabe Altieri / WSKG

In September, a class from Wells College was on Cayuga Lake near Aurora when someone noticed a non-native weed in the water. It was hydrilla, an invasive plant that can cause big problems.

Hillary Lambert with the Cayuga Lake Watershed is trying to figure out how widespread the hydrilla is before the lake gets even colder and freezes.

“If we let hydrilla take control, over several years time, it could make large areas of the shoreline impassable every summer,” she said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Bureau in Syracuse is wrapping up registration for this holiday season.

The yearly food and toy giveaway can be a harbinger of the local economy. The number of people signing up for this year’s toy and food giveaway looks to be about the same as last year, according to Salvation Army Executive Director Linda Lopez. And she says that shows her that there are still hundreds of central New York families that need some help getting through the holidays.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Ruth Gruber, who played a key role in helping Oswego’s Fort Ontario harbor nearly 1,000 refugees during World War II, has died. She was an accomplished journalist and humanitarian, but she is most fondly remembered in Oswego for the difference she made in the lives of the refugees she helped save. 

Will disillusioned U.S. voters really move to Canada?

Nov 21, 2016
http://www.cic.gc.ca

The election of Donald Trump has some Americans looking north, perhaps to make a new home in a country removed from Trump's style of Republicanism.

Many said jokingly if Trump were elected they would move to Canada. For some, it's no longer a joke.

"You'll never be my president because I'm moving to Canada!" shouted one woman at a protest.

The declaration was born in anger and frustration, but also reflects what many Americans have been soberly contemplating.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he has directed the New York State Police to create a hate crime investigation unit, in response to a number of racial incidents reported around the state since the presidential election Nov. 8.

"Fliers promoting the KKK were found on parked cars in Patchogue, Long Island. A swastika was discovered on the B Train in Manhattan. In Wellsville, outside of Buffalo, someone painted a swastika surrounded by the words 'Make America White Again'," Cuomo said during a speech at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City Sunday.

WRVO Public Media

In a Campbell Conversation recorded a couple weeks before the November election, host Grant Reeher sat down with Stanford professor Aliya Saperstein to talk about race and ethnicity in America.  Saperstein has written about how we perceive race and ethnicity in others, and how we view our own race and ethnicity.  The two also discuss inclusion and equality from a longer-term perspective.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It started last January. Madison County residents would stuff the styrofoam that protects things like appliances or electronics into plastic bags, then toss them into blue trailers in the middle of the county’s landfill.  

According to county recycling coordinator Mary Bartlett, styrofoam takes up a lot of space in landfills, and it’s also unclear whether styrene can somehow seep into groundwater.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Siena Research Institute has released results of a survey that shows just how pervasive cyberbullying  is among teens across upstate New York.

The survey queried teens and their parents from Albany to Buffalo. First, the numbers from the teens who were polled:

Payne Horning / WRVO News

On an overcast afternoon, a graduation ceremony is underway inside the Oneida County Jail, but instead of caps and gowns, the graduates are wearing bright orange jump suits. 

As the inmates glide to the front of the room, they are greeted with diplomas, smiles and piercing stares from several guards who watch their every move. These behavioral improvement courses and high school equivalency education programs at the jail are nothing new. Opening the graduation ceremonies to the media is. 

WWNYTV Facebook

 

The viewers of Channel 7 evening news in Watertown will soon say goodbye to a familiar face on television. For 20 years, WWNY-TV anchor Brian Ashley has delivered the evening news every weeknight. Ashley is moving on to join the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization as its new leader.

Ashley began his broadcast career in radio while living across the border in Canada, where he's from originally. He moved onto TV in 1994 to host the evening news on Channel 7 alongside his wife, Ann Richter.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Record-breaking rain along with regular sewage flow was to blame for a burst pipe that dumped millions of gallons of raw sewage into Onondaga Lake late last week.

The 42-inch pipe that broke carries sewage from the Ley Creek Pump Station to Onondaga County’s wastewater treatment plant on the southern shore of Onondaga Lake. According to county officials, the leak was at the top part of the underground pipe very near the railroad crossing of the Onondaga Creek Inlet.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Families in the military move a lot. On average, a military child will change schools six to nine times before they finish high school. Making new friends and leaving old ones is hard on kids. Enter Sesame Street. Elmo, Cookie Monster and friends are traveling to military basis across the country to help young kids cope with a big move.

Ludovic Bertron / Flickr

Halloween 2016 may be mostly remembered as the year of the creepy clown in upstate New York and across the country. But experts say clown phobia is nothing new.

There’s a word for it -- coulrophobia. That’s the fear of clowns. And this year, it seems to be running rampant with complaints of clown sightings all over central New York. In Syracuse, Utica, and other communities. Just this week, police were called about a clown siting early in the morning near the middle school in Carthage in Jefferson County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Upstate Medical University officials hope the build out of the Central New York Biotech Accelerator in Syracuse will help define the area as a haven for biotech research and development.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

For the first time since 1990, the Utica Zoo is embarking on comprehensive master plan. The proposed "Dream Big" project would expand the facility from 40 acres to 80 acres over the next 20 years. The goal is to raise $75 million, mainly through fundraising. If achieved, it will mean new animals, like tigers, bears and orangutans, as well as improved homes for some of its current tenants.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A court ruling doesn’t seem to have quashed the bad blood between the Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci and County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s administration. Both sides are claiming victory following a lawsuit that accused county lawmakers of illegally giving themselves and other elected officials a raise last year.

Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

 

The American Legion Post 80 in Binghamton is one of Bert Proper's favorite places. Aside from the plaques, pictures and flags that remind him of military service history, he loves the feel of the building. "You're around people that have been there," he explained.

Proper means been deployed. He served during the Persian Gulf War and had a tough transition back home. "I went up to the VA in Syracuse and committed myself," he said. "It's a little hard to talk about."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A bill vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo this month would have given Madison County some of the cash the Oneida Indian nation pays to state as part of a compact that’s been in place between the state and the nation since 2013. Madison County didn’t have gaming at that time, but it does now, and officials say it’s only fair that the county should get in on some of the gambling revenue. 

State Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) says a veto usually means the end of a story.  But he’s sees a glimmer of hope in this case, in the governor’s veto message.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Advocates for the disabled in central New York aren’t standing still for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s veto of legislation that would have improved the working conditions of the professionals that take care of disabled New Yorkers. 

This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher continues his conversation with Dean Strang, one of the defense attorneys for Steven Avery profiled in the Netflix documentary series “Making a Murderer.”  This week the two discuss the financials of criminal defense, and in particular the defense of the indigent.  They then turn to Strang’s book about a century-old case involving Italian anarchists and the famed criminal defense lawyer Clarence Darrow.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Visitors to Onondaga Lake Park have always been able to rent bikes. But now a new bike share program makes the whole process a lot easier.

Big white and orange bikes are attached to bright orange bike stands at the park, available for anyone who wants to take them for a spin on the seven miles of trails that hug the shore of Onondaga Lake.

NYS OPWDD

A class action lawsuit was filed in Buffalo against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the acting commissioner of the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD). The litigation seeks to end what is considered a "moratorium" on more residential housing for thousands of adults.

Office of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is releasing details of a crowdsourcing survey he has taken of his constituents, to show what he says are too many "dead zones" for cell phones throughout the state.

Schumer says upstate NY residents have reported more than 4,000 cell phone dead zones scattered throughout upstate.

Schumer says this is happening despite the fact cell phone companies are reporting full coverage in some of these areas.

Draken Expedition America

The replica Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre has sailed out of the Great Lakes, wrapping up a contentious visit.

The 115-foot Norwegian vessel sailed across the Atlantic Ocean this spring and toured Canadian and U.S. waters all summer. It made stops in Chicago, Detroit and Green Bay where visitors came aboard for tours. But as of now, the Draken has no plans to return to the Great Lakes.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

On Women's Equality Day recently, a crowd filed into the former house of suffragette and abolitionist Matilda Joslyn Gage in Fayetteville. Inside, an enlarged $20 bill featuring the face of Harriet Tubman overlooked the group from atop the fireplace.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

It’s back to school week in central and northern New York. And that means law enforcement is taking steps to make sure the roads are safe for kids going to school.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The New York State Fair broke attendance records this year, in the wake of a $50 million state-funded renovation of the Syracuse-area fairgrounds. Attendance for the 12-day fair was 1,117,630, according to fair officials -- up 23 percent over last year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials literally smashed the attendance record to the New York State Fair, taking an ice pick to a sculpture that had the former attendance records engraved on it.

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