Regional Coverage

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

An attorney representing some survivors of clergy sexual abuse is calling on both the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse and Ogdensburg to release names of all priests accused of abuse.

Veronica Volk / Great Lakes Today

Regulators are working hard to avoid a repeat of last year’s flooding on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The International Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Board, which manages water levels, set a record last month for most water pushed downriver in any month since the dam was built in the 1950s. As a result, Lake Ontario levels are below where they were at the same time in 2017. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

By next winter, residents of the city of Syracuse could log on to the internet and find a map with brightly colored lines, telling them the last time a snow plow visited their street. It’s one potential application of ideas springing from the city’s latest hackathon.

Tom Fazzio / Syracuse University

Social activism by prominent athletes, particularly regarding issues that involve race, has taken off in the past year. It's generated comparisons with the activism from the 1960s. This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Etan Thomas, a social commentator, 11-year NBA veteran and former Syracuse University basketball star. He's written a new book called We Matter: Athletes and Activism.

Interview Highlights

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Fees could be rising for some programs run by the city of Syracuse Parks Department. The last time the City of Syracuse increased fees for Recreation Department programs, George W. Bush was president.

Fort Drum & 10th Mountain Division / Flickr

Fort Drum is northern New York's largest single site employer. 15,110 soldiers and 3,722 civilians work there. Base spending is up and it's had an impact on the surrounding community.

There’s no doubt that Fort Drum remains an economic powerhouse for the North Country.

The base released its annual economic impact statement for 2017 this week. It says its spending impacted the North Country economy to the tune of $1.2 billion. That’s about 3 percent higher the estimated impact in 2016 — and it’s the first time since 2011 that that number has increased.

City of Auburn

Construction is underway on a $10 million Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn. The goal of the facility is to highlight New York's history of promoting social and equal rights.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Congress Beer is coming back to Syracuse.

The Haeberle Congress Brewing Company brewed its last batch of Congress in Syracuse in 1962. It had been the longest continuous brewery in Syracuse, but brewing times changed according to Onondaga Historical Association Executive Director Greg Tripoli.

“The local brewers just couldn’t compete with big brewers with refrigerated trucks for shipping. So this was really the end of the small brewers at that time,” said Tripoli.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Hearings begin next month in New York to get input on whether the state should eliminate the tip credit, which allows tipped workers to be paid a lower wage as long as they make the full minimum wage if tips are included. 

But the organization that represents the state’s restaurant owners is building support against the idea.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says reevaluating the tipped wage is a question of compensating servers more fairly. Vanessa Littles who serves patrons at Joey’s, a well-known Italian restaurant in Syracuse, doesn’t agree.

New York state has released a concept plan that closes the gap in the Erie Canalway Trail System between Camillus and DeWitt. It would extend the recreation trail through an urban area.

From the start, bridging the 14-mile gap has been the most challenging part of creating a seamless trail that closely follows the path of the Erie Canal.

"This segment of the trail goes through the most heavily urbanized areas of Onondaga County," said Town of DeWitt planner Sam Gordon.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica is getting a new home to improve and expand its services.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham hopes a new program offering reconciliation and compensation to victims of clergy abuse can move the church past a scandal that has dogged it for years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The Syracuse diocese of the Roman Catholic Church is establishing a reconciliation program for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.

Bishop Robert Cunningham announced the voluntary program Wednesday. It’s aimed at promoting reconciliation and healing, and possibly compensation, for those who have been harmed by members of the diocese’s clergy.

In announcing the program, Cunningham admitted the church will never fully make amends for the harm caused by the church.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County lawmakers will reconsider a proposed law that would punish people who leave their pets outside in sub-freezing weather conditions for a certain amount of time. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

New lawmakers on Syracuse’s Common Council are trying to tackle problems with rental properties by starting up an interior inspection program of the city’s one- and two-family rental properties.

Councilor At-Large Khalid Bey tried to enact changes in the city’s Rental Registry two years ago, but fierce pressure from landlords stopped the bill in its tracks. Bey said he hopes that new lawmakers will be more receptive to the idea.

Rep. John Katko / Facebook File Photo

Water levels in the Great Lakes basin are once again higher than normal, similar to what happened last year ahead of the historic flooding that occurred along Lake Ontario's southern shore. Federal and state officials are working to avoid a repeat, but some say it's not enough.

Jim Russell / SUNY Oswego

The SUNY Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to revoke an honorary degree awarded to journalist Charlie Rose in 2014 by SUNY Oswego. 

Rose was fired by CBS in November after he was accused of sexual harassment and misconduct by several female colleagues. PBS also ended distribution of his television show. 

After the allegations surfaced, SUNY Oswego started the process to rescind the honorary doctor of humane letters degree it awarded him during his visit to campus in 2014. 

Alan Light / Flickr

The town of DeWitt has started a program to reduce the number of deer that roam throughout the town. Residents may see an immediate reduction in the number of deer after this winter’s deer cull, but it’s a strategy that will take several years.

A 2 1/2 month deer cull has started with sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture putting down bait to attract the deer in targeted areas of the town. DeWitt Sustainability Coordinator Christine Manchester says residents in areas where deer are being culled shouldn’t be aware of it happening.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

In a climate where stories of sexual harassment continue to unfold across the country in many different sectors, Syracuse University has announced it will reassess its policy governing sexual relations.

SU Chancellor Kent Syverud announced the initiative Tuesday at his annual winter message to the university community. He wants to make sure the rules are clear about sexual relationships between faculty and students, as well as students with each other.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

New York state is going to pony up more money for a water line in the Jefferson County town of Orleans. The state will pay half of the $8 million residents were going to pay because for the new line. Their wells are contaminated with salt they say is from a nearby state road-salt storage barn.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office called Orleans town supervisor Kevin Rarick last week to say the state will pay another $4 million for the line.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When the parishioners at one Oswego County church gather for worship each week, many of them are armed. And it's no secret. The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God even advertises that its not a gun-free zone - a response to the frequent mass shootings in the country that's the subject of some debate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

One Central New York non-profit organization is concerned about how horses are faring during this cold snap.

Rescue horses munch on carrots in the huge barn that’s part of The Haven at Skanda, an organization in Cazanovia that cares for rescue horses and farm animals. Executive Director Ellen Beckerman says horses will need extra protection this winter.

Paid Family Leave in effect in New York

Jan 3, 2018

As of January 1st, the new Paid Family Leave law allows workers to take time off to care for a newborn, or a sick family member, or help loved ones when a family member is deployed abroad on active military duty.

US Employee Benefits Services Group is a benefits consulting firm serving upstate New York.

Account manager Kristen Coolbaugh says paid family leave differs from disability leave.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

As frigid temperatures continue to have a grip on central and northern New York, the people who watch out for the homeless are keeping busy.

Homeless outreach teams from The Rescue Mission and My Father’s Kitchen fan out every day in Syracuse, looking under bridges, in parks and in abandoned buildings looking for homeless individuals who are spending the night in what have been single-digit and below-zero temperatures.

Melissa Marrone, who manages the Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York, said so far they’ve brought three people in from the streets.

NYS Fair

Work has started on the latest attraction at the New York State Fairgrounds near Syracuse. Crews are in the beginning stages of creating an Expo Center, which will be the largest event space north of New York City, between Boston and Cleveland.

Jason Smith / WRVO News

Heavy lake effect snow is nothing new for people who live in Oswego County. But when that snow falls in the city of Oswego, things can grind to a halt. 

That's what happened Wednesday. 

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Big animals at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse will be getting a new medical treatment facility in the next few years.

Right now, zoo director Ted Fox says the biggest animal that can be treated in the current clinic is the snow leopard.

“So the tigers, the lions, the elephants, the bison, the white lipped deer have to be treated in the field,” said Fox.

The bigger animals could need a variety of treatments without the proper setting to do them.

WBFO News File Photo

Onondaga County is making it easier to pay town and county taxes early with a new online system, and it comes at a time when some taxpayers are considering paying their local taxes early.

A new program called E-Tax launches Wednesday that will allow Onondaga County residents to get an early look at their local government tax bills, before paper copies of those bills are mailed later in the week. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Central New York was a big winner once again at this year’s Regional Economic Development Council awards, announced last week in Albany.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Bureau Distribution Day is changing its location from the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse this year. That has raised some concerns over how low-income families will be able to get to the event.