Regional Coverage

7:39am

Fri August 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Large class begins Syracuse police academy

A large class of new recruits has begun training to become Syracuse police officers, but if you ask Syracuse police chief Frank Fowler, it's still not enough cops.

"Keep bringing them," he said. "I tell you, I can find work for every police officer that you send my way. But this is a great start and I’m glad to have it."

Fowler was speaking after the swearing in of a new class of officers. Syracuse is buffeting its police ranks more than normal. It swore in 35 officers to begin six months of training on Thursday.

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2:15pm

Thu August 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cuomo opens New York State Fair amid downpour

Governor Andrew Cuomo cutting the ribbon to open the Great New York State Fair.
Governor Andrew Cuomo via Flickr

It was an opening day to remember for Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the New York State Fair.

Cuomo opened the fair this morning with a ribbon cutting at the dairy cattle building. Standing next to politicians, goats and cows, he declared the 2014 edition of the fair open.

“On three, don’t cheat, don’t cheat," Cuomo said to those surrounding him. "One, two, three."

The skies opened up shortly after Cuomo left the Dairy Building to make his way to Dinosaur Barbecue for the traditional sausage sandwich.

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12:18pm

Wed August 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum hosts open-house to discuss proposed missile defense site

A small crowd gathered at Carthage High School to learn more about a proposed missile site that could be built at Fort Drum.
Gino Geruntino

Fort Drum near Watertown is one of a handful of sites being considered as an East Coast missile defense site. A meeting was held Tuesday at Carthage High School to gauge the community's interest on the potential project.

Lt. Col. Chris Snipes, with the Missile Defense Agency, says the study being performed right now looks at a variety of factors when it comes to where the prospective site might go.

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10:47am

Wed August 20, 2014
Drones

Air Guard moves closer to launching drones from Syracuse

Air National Guard members prepare an MQ-9 Reaper drone for a taxi demonstation at Hancock Airfield in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A remotely-piloted military aircraft taxied around Hancock Airfield for the first time Tuesday.

Officers of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard are calling it a small step toward a goal they’ve had for five years: launching their MQ-9 Reaper drones from Syracuse.

"A milestone," albeit not a dramatic one, is what Col. Greg Semmel, the 174th's commander, said of the event. 

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4:32pm

Tue August 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Smartphone app allows drivers in Syracuse to pay for parking remotely

New Whoosh signs on the electronic parking meters.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

A new smartphone app being used by the city of Syracuse will allow drivers to pay for parking without going to the meter. The app, called Whoosh, was developed by Parkeon, the same company that provides Syracuse with its electronic parking meters.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said the app is being tested on 90 of the 280 meters in the city, mainly in Armory Square. 
 

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6:45am

Tue August 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Central, northern New York getting access to 211 phone service

Aiden Flickr

In January, all of New York state will be involved with the 211 call service. The plan is to reduce the number of calls to 911, while helping those who need assistance get help.

Brenda Episcopo, executive director of the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, says the service is a mix of 911 and 411.

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4:26pm

Mon August 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

Feds: No temporary sheltering of Central American children in Syracuse

Federal officials looks at the former Sisters of St. Francis convent to house Central American children.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The federal government is dropping plans to house children fleeing violence in Central America and coming to the United States in temporary shelters, including one considered in Syracuse.

WRVO has confirmed the news, which Syracuse.com first reported this afternoon. A spokesman for the mayor said government officials had notified the mayor of the decision.

It's affective for all sites in the country considered for temporary shelters.

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7:17am

Mon August 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

More charges expected against couple accused of kidnapping North Country girls

Nicole F. Vaisey, 25, left, and Stephen M. Howells II, 39, have been charged with kidnapping two Amish girls from a roadside farmstand in St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office

More charges are expected this week against a St. Lawrence County couple who allegedly kidnapped two Amish girls.

Police gathered potential evidence from the home of Stephen Howells II and Nicole Vaisey of Hermon Sunday. The pair was arrested Friday night on charges of first-degree kidnapping with intent to harm two Amish girls, ages 6 and 12.

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6:12am

Sat August 16, 2014
Health

Horse dies of EEE in Oswego County

Gravitywave via Flickr

A horse in southern Oswego County has died of Eastern Equine Encephalitis. According to the Oswego County Health Department, the horse was stabled near the area where EEE had been found in Oswego and Onondaga counties. The horse was likely exposed to the virus in late July, before aerial spraying had taken place in the Toad Harbor - Three Mile Bay area. 

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12:51am

Sat August 16, 2014
Regional Coverage

Two arrested, charged with kidnapping North Country Amish girls

Nicole F. Vaisey, 25, left, and Stephen M. Howells II, 39, have been charged with kidnapping two Amish girls from a roadside farmstand in St. Lawrence County
St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office

Saturday, 10 a.m. update:

Police provided a few more details on the two people arrested and charged with kidnapping two Amish girls Wednesday. 

Stephen M. Howells II, 39, and Nicole F. Vaisey, 25, were arrested Friday and were charged with first-degree kidnapping and are currently being held at the St. Lawrence County jail without bail.

During a Saturday morning news conference, St. Lawrence County Sheriff Kevin Wells said, "the motive was to take these girls from their home and to victimize these girls."

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5:19pm

Fri August 15, 2014
Regional Coverage

Law enforcement agencies perform security exercise on Lake Ontario

A U.S. Coast Guard boat pulls into the Oswego Coast Guard station.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Members from about 20 different federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and Canada were on Lake Ontario today to take part in a full-scale security and preparedness exercise.

Dale Currier, director of the Oswego County Emergency Management Office, says today's exercise dealt with the loss of a commercial radiation source being brought in from Canada, and could have been used in a dirty bomb if it fell into the wrong hands.
 

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3:56pm

Thu August 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Update: Missing North Country Amish girls found safe, returned home

A sketch released by police of 12-year-old Fannie Miller, who was abducted Wednesday with her 6 year old sister Delila. Both girls were found safe Thursday night.
St. Lawrence County Sheriff

Update: 

12-year-old Fannie Miller and her 6-year-old sister Delila were found safe and returned home Thursday night. According to WWNY, the girls were dropped off by two men in Richville, about 15 miles from where they were abducted Wednesday evening. When they were dropped off, they were told to stay where they were. Instead, the girls ran to a nearby home and asked for help. The girls were then returned home. 

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7:44am

Thu August 14, 2014
Health

SUNY throws support behind proposed campus sexual assault bill

personaldemocracy Flickr

The State University of New York system is the first to support a proposed bill that would strengthen rules to protect students from sexual assault.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was in Manhattan Wednesday to announce SUNY's support for the Campus Accountability and Safety Act. Gillibrand has been a lead backer of the bill, which would ensure minimum training standards for campus employees and would require colleges and universities to perform annual surveys to keep records of sexual assault cases.

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6:38am

Wed August 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Workers finishing up projects before New York State Fair opens

The newly expanded drop-off and pick-up point is one of several new items workers are finishing in preparation of the New York State Fair.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There’s a lot of last minute work happening at the state fairgrounds in Geddes, but fair officials expect to have it finished in time for opening day of the New York State Fair in just over a week.

Workers are on the job at the Centro lot at the New York State Fairgrounds. The expansion of the drop-off and pick-up location for Centro buses is the big item workers are finishing up, says Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner.

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6:15am

Tue August 12, 2014
Health

New dental program provides free care for homeless, uninsured

Dr. David Dasher talks with a patient at the free dental clinic in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There’s a new free dental clinic in the city of Syracuse, attached to the Amaus Health Services clinic at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. The idea is to offer basic dental care to the homeless and people who have no dental insurance.

The first patient is a Syracuse man named Barry. He says his mouth is a mess after years of neglect.
 

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6:54am

Mon August 11, 2014
Regional Coverage

Some answers about Syracuse housing Central American children

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner listens to residents at a community meeting a few weeks ago.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

At a community meeting a few weeks ago, questions and comments about Syracuse being used as a shelter site for children flooding into the country from Central America were heaved at Mayor Stephanie Miner for two hours; some written neatly on note cards, others shouted from a crowded room.

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7:56am

Fri August 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Increase in complaints over fire pits in Syracuse has lawmakers looking for compromise

litlnemo Flickr

For many in central New York, this is fire pit season. In the city of Syracuse, common councilors are looking for ways to keep disputes about fire pits from burning out of control. Lawmakers have been receiving complaints from some homeowners who say their houses get filled with smoke from neighborhood fire pits.  

Fire pits are legal in the city. Deputy Fire Chief Stephen Cavuto says there is a very specific flow chart firefighters follow when they answer a complaint call about a fire pit.

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6:23am

Fri August 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

SU student develops app to warn about incoming rockets

iRon Dome app

The war between Israel and Gaza has changed the way of life of some Israeli civilians who now live in constant fear of incoming rockets. But for residents caught in the crossfire, when it comes to being warned about incoming rockets, now, thanks to a Syracuse University senior, there's an app for that.

”It’s non-stop, basically, in the middle of the night, during the day, all the time.”

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7:22am

Thu August 7, 2014
Regional Coverage

Purple Heart Day special for one central New York veteran

Dan Hunnicutt received his Purple Heart medal he earned for being wounded in the Vietnam War at an Onondaga County Legislature meeting this week.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Today is Purple Heart Day -- the annual, nationwide commemoration of the thousands of American soldiers either killed or wounded while serving in the military who have received the medal. And it is an extra special day for one central New Yorker.

Dan Hunnicutt is an acting chaplain in Oswego County who runs a ministry with his family meant to help veterans. He often wears his medals when he goes to meet troubled vets as a kind of conversation starter. He now has a new one to share.

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6:55am

Wed August 6, 2014
Transportation

First glance at the buildings in the path of a new I-81

Rethink 81

Rebuilding Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse will mean impact to properties along it. Now a group opposed to that has outlined what impact a new, wider elevated highway could have on the cityscape.

The state transportation department says as many as 40 buildings in Syracuse could have to come down to make way for a wider highway cutting through downtown, since a new viaduct would have to be up to 30 feet wider to meet regulations for modern roadways.

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10:11am

Tue August 5, 2014
Regional Coverage

Former Altmar clerk-treasurer sentenced to prison time

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli talks about Margaret Bailey's theft and sentencing during a visit to Oswego County.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The former clerk and treasurer of the dissolved village of Altmar was able to get away with theft for five years, mainly because there was no system of internal controls within the village board, according to New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

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6:47am

Tue August 5, 2014
Regional Coverage

Rally held in Oswego to support Gary Thibodeau

Amanda Crawford speaks during a rally to raise awareness for her uncle, Gary Thibodeau.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

A small crowd gathered near downtown Oswego Monday morning in support of Gary Thibodeau, who they believe was wrongly convicted of kidnapping 18-year-old Heidi Allen from a convenience store 20 years ago.

More than two dozen people held signs along Route 104 in Oswego, urging motorists to honk if they believe Gary Thibodeau should be free. Thibodeau's brother, Richard, and niece Amanda Crawford organized Monday's "Gary the Innocent" rally to make people aware of what Crawford calls an injustice.
 

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7:37am

Mon August 4, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse groups come together to stop youth substance abuse

dank depot via Flickr

A group of organizations in Syracuse is creating a coalition meant to attack the problem of youth substance abuse in the city.

The Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative is based on a national model that uses several strategies to fight a problem that just doesn’t seem to go away. Groups like the Southwest Community Center and the Syracuse City School District have joined the Prevention Network in Syracuse to try to stop the persistent abuse of drugs and alcohol by kids in Syracuse. So, they’re creating a coalition to find ways to meet the problem head on.  

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6:43am

Fri August 1, 2014
Regional Coverage

Search of Oswego County property ends with no links found to Heidi Allen

Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes briefs reporters after ending the search for the remains of Heidi Allen in the town of Mexico
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Officials in Oswego County have ended their search of a collapsed clubhouse in Mexico without finding anything linking the property to the disappearance 20 years ago of Heidi Allen. 

"There was never any credible evidence that Heidi Allen's remains would be found here, but based on certain tips we did come here to make sure that we exhausted every possibility and left no stone unturned," said Oswego County District Attorney Gregory Oakes.

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5:41am

Thu July 31, 2014
Regional Coverage

Renewed Heidi Allen search opens door for convicted kidnapper to have case overturned

Heidi Allen
www.co.oswego.ny.us

Federal investigators, New York State Police and the Oswego County Sheriff's Department have been searching a collapsed cabin in Mexico for the remains of Heidi Allen, an 18-year-old woman who was kidnapped and murdered 20 years ago while working at a New Haven convenience store.

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7:18am

Mon July 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Peace activists says drone protests at Hancock Air Base will continue

Activists stand near the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base to protest drone use.
Courtesy of Upstate Drone Resisters

Activists opposed to drone warfare continue targeting the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base north of Syracuse.

During a protest at the air base last week, local upstate drone activists were joined by some members of the Atlantic Life Community Activists, an East Coast-based group of pacifists.

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3:03pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Regional Coverage

Midway Drive-In owner gets help from community to restore institution

The Midway Drive-In after a severe storm struck the region on July 8.
Midway Drive In Theatre- Minetto NY- Rebuilding Fundraiser Facebook

This weekend a local Girl Scout troop is teaming up with the owner of the Midway Drive-In in Minetto to raise money to rebuild the decades old facility that was destroyed during a storm that struck the region July 8.

Midway Drive-In owner John Nagelschmidt says although the wooden screen tower was destroyed, it happened at a good time of day, when no customers had yet arrived at the facility. If it had hit later in the evening, he believes things could have been a lot worse.

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7:39am

Fri July 25, 2014
Immigration

Vocal support, opposition to housing immigrant children

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner at a community meeting about housing Central American immigrant children entering the United States.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

While Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner wants the city to be a temporary shelter for Central American children fleeing to the country, there is a vocal opposition against it.

There are strong opinions on both sides over whether Syracuse should become a temporary shelter site for the children.

The mayor was interrupted often Thursday evening by a boisterous crowd at a North Side meeting with shouts of "legal!" and applause for comments both for and against.

It took back-to-back sessions to accommodate an overflow crowd of a few hundred.

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4:30pm

Tue July 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego increases security in preparation of Harborfest

Takashi Nishimura Flickr

Harborfest, an annual four-day event that brings more than 100,000 people to the city of Oswego, begins Thursday.

The Oswego Police Department says they are beefing up patrols to prepare for the influx of people and to try to keep everyone safe, but Police Chief Tory DeCaire says they always need extra help.

"We rely heavily on outside agencies and the law enforcement assistance that they provide," DeCaire explained. "We are going to have officers on foot, on bike, on ATVs, as well as marked police cars, and officers detailed at specific venues."

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8:34am

Sat July 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

No bones about it, Utica College students learn more than anthropology in Albania

Students take an anthropology field course in Butrint National Park, Albania
Tom Crist WRVO

The shade of a palm tree is an unusual place for students from Utica College to take a class, but that’s where Tom Crist teaches his summer course in osteology -- the  study of bones.  

Standing at the head of a concrete picnic table recently, Crist carefully lifted a cranium—a human skull—from a plastic Ziploc bag.

“So you are meeting your first Butrint individual,” Crist told the students.  “This is from burial 1250 from area 19. You can see some of the orbital bone is broken away here. That is post-mortem loss."

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