Regional Coverage

7:56am

Mon November 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

New app makes plowing the driveway a breeze

Mark Hogan Flickr

Much of central New York got it’s first taste of winter this weekend. One local entrepreneur is hoping it sparks interest in a smartphone app that’ll bring a snowplow to your doorstep.

Plowz is a free smartphone app, and its creators hope it will help take the shovel out of your hands on those Syracuse mornings when you wake up to a snow clogged driveway.

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8:34am

Sat November 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

Neil deGrasse Tyson talks space, innovation and science in popular culture

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Sarah Elliott Flickr

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.

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3:38pm

Fri November 22, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego County Legislature prepares for upcoming budget vote

Gino Geruntino WRVO

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.

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8:04am

Thu November 21, 2013
Regional Coverage

While e-cigarettes gain popularity, FDA may start regulating products

Containers of e-liquid used in e-cigarettes.
Lindsay Fox Flickr

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.

So what is an e-cigarette anyway?

“A vaporized form of nicotine that is derived from tobacco, that is flavored and inhaled like a cigarette,” says Upstate Cancer Center Medical Director Leslie Kohman.

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7:29am

Thu November 21, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees changing the face of an already diverse Syracuse Northside

A game of dominos at HopePrint's house on the Northside of Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how the thousands of refugees coming to upstate New York are weaving their way into the region's economy.

Turnout may be low this night because of first snow, Nicole Watts tells those gathered in her entryway. Even as she tries to explain this, there's a near steady knock on the front door.

Every Tuesday evening, this home at 129 Lilac Street on Syracuse's Northside turns into a community center.

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6:46am

Thu November 21, 2013
Regional Coverage

SU bookstore project risks losing its controversial tax break

The renderings of a bookstore and fitness center planned for Syracuse University.
Cameron Group, LLC.

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.

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9:38am

Wed November 20, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sacred places symposium draws attention to churches impact on Syracuse

The Preservation Association of Central New York held the Sacred Places Symposium this past Saturday at St Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Syracuse.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

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.

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4:46pm

Tue November 19, 2013
Regional Coverage

Maffei supports Oneida campaign to change Redskins name

file photo
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

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."

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8:50am

Tue November 19, 2013
Regional Coverage

Salvation Army's red kettle campaign kicks off

Nick Harris Flickr

The iconic red kettles and ringing bells are back, as volunteers for the Salvation Army embark on the organization's annual Christmas fundraising campaign. Maj. Don Hostetler, commander of the Salvation Army's Empire State Division, says each year the kettles fill up with change and dollars, which go right back to helping those in the community.

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8:35am

Tue November 19, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees revitalize Rust Belt city of Buffalo

At Journey's End Refugee Services, Bishnu Adhikari, right, tests his students on their vacuum skills.
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Upstate New York cities take in around 90 percent of all current refugee resettlements in the state. All this week, The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how that diverse population has weaved its way into the region’s changing economy.

In Buffalo, a handful of students from countries all over the world are sitting in a class at Journey’s End Refugee Services. They are learning how to become janitors for local businesses. The group nods as a student explains an assignment to them.

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8:13am

Mon November 18, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugee communities pump new energy into post-industrial Utica

Stepanda Zhushma in a community garden in Utica. She came to upstate New York from Belarus on Sept. 23, 1989, a date that rolls off her tongue.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Since 2004, upstate New York has taken 90 percent of all refugee resettlements in the state. This is the first part of the Innovation Trail reporting series looking at how upstate New York's refugee population is influencing the region's economy.

Utica has long seen itself as a city of immigrants. The arrival of Italians, Germans and Irish drove the city’s population to peak at around 100,000. During the mid 1970s in the wake of major changes to the city's industrial base and dwindling employment opportunities, the population fell by nearly half.

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5:59am

Fri November 15, 2013
Regional Coverage

Central N.Y. group encourages involvment in inclusion sports

Greg Cullen is the founder of Move Along Incorporated.
Move Along Incorporated

Advocates for the disabled in central New York want to encourage more participation in inclusion sports.  

Greg Cullen, founder of the group Move Along Inc., said the idea is that people with physical limitations and able-bodied people can play sports together.

"You really get confidence," Cullen said. "You then are willing to engage or approach other individuals, that typically, maybe before you had an awkwardness or a fear of doing. And these types of activities can increase that confidence, so these people can continue to engage."  

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8:26pm

Thu November 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

Military finds pieces of crashed drone; investigation continues

An MQ-9 Reaper drone, like this one seen in a hanger at Hancock Airfield, crashed Tuesday into Lake Ontario. The MQ-9s are operated by the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Updated, Thursday, 8:26 p.m.:

The Air National Guard has found pieces of its unmanned drone that crashed into Lake Ontario earlier this week.

Recovery efforts continued on Thursday and debris was found along the shoreline, according to Maj. Sandy Stoquert, a public affairs officer for the 174th Attack Wing based in Syracuse.

The MQ-9 Reaper crashed into the eastern part of the lake Tuesday afternoon during a training flight that had taken off three hours earlier from Ft. Drum.

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4:53pm

Thu November 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

News Briefs: Thursday, Nov. 14

Saratoga County residents are opposed to a casino.
ChrisYunker via Flickr

8:14am

Thu November 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

Scoping sessions highlight I-81's possible future

Visitors discuss possible options for I-81's future.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

For five years, central New Yorkers have been talking about what should be done with an interstate viaduct that is reaching the end of its lifespan. The discussion is now formal, with the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration holding the first scoping session in Syracuse, meant to gather community input on the issue.

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5:55am

Thu November 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Peace Council: drone crash should 'poke people awake'

An MQ-9 Reaper drone, like this one seen in a hanger at Hancock Airfield, crashed Tuesday into Lake Ontario under command of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Anti-drone activists hope the recent crash of an unmanned military drone aircraft will "poke people awake" about their dangers.

No one was injured when the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard lost an MQ-9 Reaper drone into Lake Ontario during a training flight Tuesday, but the 8,000 pound aircraft crashed just 20 miles northeast of Oswego and 12 miles off shore.

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4:04pm

Tue November 12, 2013
Regional Coverage

Levels of child poverty in New York remain highest in the nation

Author and Keynote Speaker Jonathan Kozol
Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail

New York state continues to have a higher percentage of children living in poverty than any other state. Experts in the field gathered in Albany recently to brainstorm ways to deal with the issue at a forum titled "Growing Up in Poverty" organized by the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy.

Children growing up in poverty are denied equal access to education according to author and keynote speaker at the Growing Up in Poverty event, Jonathan Kozol.

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7:51am

Tue November 12, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fulton reaches out to Cuomo's Financial Restructuring Board for help

Earlier this year, the city of Fulton was placed on New York state's list of fiscally distressed communities. Now it's the first municipality in the state to sign up for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's recently created Financial Restructuring Board. The ten-person board offers cities management recommendations and grants to help them implement financial changes and get back on their feet.

Fulton Mayor Ron Woodward, Sr., says the city's struggles are the result of several factors, including the loss of two large employers in the area.

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8:40pm

Mon November 11, 2013
Regional Coverage

Winter crows invade Watertown

David Coleman, the Jefferson County Historical Society's caretaker, just installed the rug on the porch - after about 30 schoolchildren marched bird poop into the building during a field trip.
Joanna Richards

Every winter, Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror movie, “The Birds” gets a replay in Watertown. But not on the silver screen. Thousands of crows fly in from the countryside to roost overnight. The city's trying to evict them. 

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4:52pm

Mon November 11, 2013
Transportation

Save I-81 group out with poll showing opposition to tear down

Zack Seward WXXI

A group of suburban politicians and business owners that support keeping Interstate 81 running through the city of Syracuse are out with a poll they say shows most residents agree with them.

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2:06pm

Mon November 11, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego honors veterans, dedicates Iraq and Afghanistan memorial

Two cadets fold the American flag before giving it to Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

A small crowd gathered at Oswego's Veterans Memorial Park earlier today for a Veterans Day flag lowering ceremony and memorial dedication for members of the military lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The cold, rainy weather did not stop veterans and their families from attending the event, where the national, state and POW/MIA flags were lowered, folded and given to Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen for safe keeping through the winter months. The flags will be raised again on Memorial Day.

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7:27am

Mon November 11, 2013
Regional Coverage

Policy could help Syracuse Police prosecute more domestic violence cases

Syracuse Police have started a new policy that could help crack domestic violence cases, called the CODE, or Chronic Offender Domestic Enforcement, program.

Rebecca Thompson has answered countless domestic violence calls in her 27 years as a member of the Syracuse Police Department. Now as deputy chief of the uniformed bureau, she said she knows how it is a very personal crime, and sometimes, victims don't want to testify against a loved one, which can make it harder for prosecutors to make a case.

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3:33pm

Fri November 8, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County DA Fitzpatrick says Moreland Commission has uncovered criminal activity

The Moreland Act Commission appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is releasing a preliminary report on public corruption in a few weeks. The commission is charged with investigating corruption in state governmental agencies, and has already gone after the state Board of Elections and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or J-COPE, at recent public hearings.

During an interview with Grant Reeher, host of WRVO's Campbell Conversations, commission co-chairman and Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick says the commission's investigation has uncovered criminal activity.

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9:52am

Fri November 8, 2013
Regional Coverage

SUNY Upstate president resigns; state comptroller announced audit

Credit syrguide

The president of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse is resigning from his position after being placed on leave. Meanwhile, the state comptroller has announced an audit of SUNY Upstate.

In a statement, Dr. David Smith says his resignation from the university is necessary "so that this great institution can move on to even greater success." Smith announced his resignation on Thursday.

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5:03pm

Thu November 7, 2013
Regional Coverage

Cuomo criticized over fracking indecision by Republican leader

State Republican Chairman Ed Cox criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday for delaying a decision on whether or not to allow hydrofracking in New York.

Meanwhile, Cox is being criticized by Democrats because he is on the board of directors of the Texas-based natural gas drilling company Noble Energy and holds about $3 million in its stock.

Cox said Cuomo continues to shift the responsibility when it comes to making decisions on controversial issues, such as hyrdofracking. Cox said he thinks Cuomo should have made a choice early in his governorship.

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4:41pm

Thu November 7, 2013
Regional Coverage

Schumer announces plan to get veteran benefits moving

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer wants to integrate the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs health records to reduce benefit backlogs and save money.

Schumer is proposing a two-part plan, the first aimed at creating a compatible health record system between the two departments.

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11:40pm

Sun November 3, 2013
Regional Coverage

Watertown council candidates get last word before election day

City Council Candidate Stephen Jennings tells a small audience at the Italian-American Civic Association in Watertown that he wants to get the city involved in improving deteriorating neighborhoods.
Joanna Richards

Watertown's City Council hopefuls got one final chance before tomorrow's election to make their case at a meet-the-candidates event last week. The four opponents advocate different roles for city government. 

The race pits two incumbents who see a limited role for city government against a pair of political newcomers with broader visions for what the council can do to improve residents' lives. 

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4:31pm

Sun November 3, 2013
Regional Coverage

Mike Boettcher and David Salzberg on The Campbell Conversations

Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher, Mike Boettcher and David Salzberg

A powerful new documentary about the war in Afghanistan, The Hornet’s Nest, features a father and son team embedded for two years with American forward units.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher speaks with filmmaker Mike Boettcher, an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning war correspondent, and David Salzberg, the film’s co-director and producer, about the making of the film—and how it has affected them, the soldiers, and their families. 

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5:08pm

Fri November 1, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fall in Pulaski brings thousands of salmon, and fishermen out to catch them

Jose Fernandez holds a small salmon he caught in a creek in Pulaski. He's been fishing in the area for 30 years.
Joanna Richards

Each fall, thousands of salmon swim upstream along the Salmon River and nearby creeks, trying to return to the state's Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar, where they were born. The fish head home to spawn. But they face a gauntlet of fisherman in the waterways around Pulaski, drawn by the fishes' large sizes and numbers. In this audio postcard, Joanna Richards spoke with local Pulaski resident and 30-year-fisherman Jose Fernandez along a small stream, where he was stalking salmon and escaping the crowd.

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6:54pm

Thu October 31, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County has its own spooky stories to share on Halloween

An artist's rendering of the ghost Clarissa
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Ghost stories abound during the Halloween season and the Onondaga Historical Association has collected some of the best known ghostly tales in Onondaga County.

One of the most told ghost stories in central New York is "the Bride of the 13 Curves."  OHA Curator of History Dennis Conners said it starts on Cedarvale Road.

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