Regional Coverage

12:22pm

Thu July 4, 2013
Independence Day

Pretty much everything lights up on the 4th of July

The fireworks display at Emerson Park in Auburn, N.Y. on July 3.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Communities across central and northern New York this week are playing with glow sticks, grilling hot dogs and looking up at the night sky to watch a fireworks display.

Here's a postcard from Wednesday evening's Independence Day festivities at Emerson Park in Auburn, N.Y.

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6:40am

Thu July 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sailing through history

The Lois McClure on Lake Champlain.
Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

The Lois McClure is a replica of an 1862 canal schooner that's also a floating museum. This summer she's commemorating 19th century transportation history by traveling from Lake Champlain, across the canal system to Buffalo, down the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, and back again.

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5:36am

Thu July 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Two Row Wampum Campaign begins symbolic trip over New York's waterways

Allison Smith speaks to visitors to the Two Row Wampum Festival at Onondaga Lake Park Tuesday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Haudenosaunee's Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign has taken to the waterways of New York state. Paddlers have begun a canoe trip that will take them from the Onondaga Nation, through Albany and to the United Nations in New York City, as part of an education and advocacy strategy about this region's Native Americans.

The campaign marks the 400th anniversary of the Two Row Wampum, the first treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Dutch settlers in New York state.

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9:16am

Tue July 2, 2013
Regional Coverage

Cloud technology deployed to make railway crossings safer

License Some rights reserved by loop_oh / Creative Commons License

In 2010, dance instructor Katie Lunn was on her way home from the American Dance Awards when her SUV was struck at a crossing by a Chicago-bound Amtrak train, killing her.

“None of the warning signs had activated. No lights flashed, no bells rang and the gates stayed up. Katie had no idea that the crossing was inactive, and neither did the railroad.”

Tim Myers, a co-founder of RocInnovations, says Katie isn't an outlier.

Despite an overall decline in the past 20 years, in 2012 there were almost 2,000 incidents at railroad crossings in the U.S., and 300 were fatal.

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5:30pm

Sun June 30, 2013
Immigration

Greg Tripoli and Jai Subedi on The Campbell Conversations

Syracuse is one of the nation's destination cities for refugee immigrants. More than 7,000 have come to the area since 2001.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with Jai Subedi, a refugee from Bhutan who arrived here in 2008 and Gregg Tripoli, the executive director of the Onondaga Historical Association, which has created a new exhibit at the Onondaga Historical Museum on the immigrant and refugee experience.

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4:03pm

Fri June 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

Severe weather strikes central, northern New York

Credit New York National Guard / via Flickr

As heavy rains continue to fall across much of New York, portions of the state have experienced flash flooding and rapidly rising rivers. Towns throughout central and northern New York are reporting rainfall ranging from a few to several inches. The village of Earlville, which straddles the Madison and Chenango County borders, reported receiving more than six inches by mid-morning.

According to Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, the rain is showing little sign of letting up.

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3:43pm

Fri June 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

Minority trades training program comes to Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner poses for pictures with participants in a construction and trade training program.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new job training program is hoping to boost minority employment in construction and trades in the Syracuse area.

The city of Syracuse is putting its backing behind the workforce training program run by the National Association of Minority Contractors.

Otis Jennings, president of the local chapter of the association, brought the program to Syracuse. He says the best part of the program is the training is standardized and participants can take the certificate anywhere.

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2:17am

Fri June 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

North Country's economy can survive troop cut at Fort Drum, community leaders say

Fort Drum soldiers mark the departure of the 10th Sustainment Brigade for an Afghanistan deployment in October 2011.
Credit Joanna Richards/WRVO

When the Army announced earlier this week that Fort Drum would lose 1,500 soldiers as part of a plan to reduce troops across the force, north country community leaders started trying to figure out what the impact would be.

They seem to agree that Fort Drum escaped this round of personnel cuts relatively unscathed.

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10:28am

Thu June 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

A behind-the-scenes look at Fort Drum soldier training

Watertown City Manager Sharon Addison speaks with a soldier over a lunch of MREs - meals ready-to-eat.
Joanna Richards/WRVO

In the communities surrounding Fort Drum, soldiers in uniform are a common sight: they're in the grocery store with their families, standing in line at the post office, or having a beer with friends after work. But for many of the area's civilians, what soldiers do on post remains something of a mystery. An annual event at Fort Drum aims to fix that.

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9:23am

Thu June 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

State's land banks to get funds to help redevelop abandoned properties

New York state will use some of the money from last year's settlement with banks which contributed to the collapse of the housing market to help fund the state's "land banks," entities that buy and hold abandoned properties for redevelopment.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that a pot of $20 million will be divided up between the state's land banks for later development. Syracuse resident Hadee Rolon hopes it can help her Westside neighborhood, where well-kept properties are surrounded by boarded-up homes.

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8:17am

Thu June 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

Rally celebrates Supreme Court's decision to throw out DOMA

Cherie Ackerson gives an impromptu speech about how far the gay rights movement has come at a rally in Syracuse Wednesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Dozen of marriage equality supporters gathered Wednesday evening to react to the Supreme Court’s decision that the nearly two decade old Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is unconstitutional.

Speeches inside a steamy First English Lutheran Church in Syracuse mixed between celebration and rally cries to continue pushing for equality.

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9:19pm

Tue June 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum to lose 1,500 troops under Army plan

A homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum.
Credit NCPR File Photo

The Army announced Tuesday that Fort Drum will lose about 1,500 soldiers over the next four years as part of an overall reduction in troops across the Army. 

The Army had said the post could lose as many as 8,000 soldiers – or gain as many as 3,000 – under the planned troop reduction and reorganization as the Afghanistan war winds down.

Democratic Congressman Bill Owens, of Plattsburgh, said the news of the 1,500-soldier loss gave him a sense of relief, since the cuts could have been much deeper.

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4:32pm

Mon June 24, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga Nation crafts canoes for Two Row Wampum campaign

Hickory Edwards of the Onondaga Turtle Clan carves out a Tulip Poplar with an adze as part of a centruies old method of canoe making.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As the Onondaga Nation prepares for a canoe trip this summer to promote awareness of the Two Row Wampum Treaty, three Onondaga Nation men have gone back to their ancestors for inspiration.

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9:16am

Mon June 24, 2013
Regional Coverage

Environmental review of Inner Harbor project underway

Inner Harbor development site.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse City Hall is taking the next step in the development of the Inner Harbor. The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has started the environmental review portion of the project, that would bring residential and commercial traffic to Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

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8:07am

Wed June 19, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse agency hopes change in rules means more business for regional contractors

The Inner Harbor development is one the local projects SIDA is currently supporting.
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Local contractors and suppliers will get a boost from a new policy in the city of Syracuse.   

The Syracuse Industrial Development Agency has adopted new rules when it comes to developers who are supported by the agency. They have to buy local, so to speak, says SIDA executive director Ben Walsh.

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8:49am

Mon June 17, 2013
Regional Coverage

Rally against NY SAFE Act draws crowd in Lewis County

Karen Bisso, a 2012 candidate for state Assembly from Plattsburgh, energized the crowd at a Lewis County rally with a rousing denunciation of New York's new gun control measures.
Joanna Richards/WRVO

People climbed up the bleachers in the grandstand at the Lewis County Fairgrounds in Lowville on Saturday for a rally opposing the New York SAFE Act. More than 400 people turned out to condemn the controversial package of gun control measures passed by the state Legislature in January.

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8:45am

Mon June 17, 2013
Regional Coverage

Strawberry picking provides a patch of help for veterans

Andrew Miller of Clear Path for Veterans greets strawberry pickers at the group's field in Chittenango
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It's strawberry season in central New York, and one strawberry patch in Chittenango  lets you pick fresh fruit, while helping veterans. The patch at Clear Path for Veterans works as both a fundraiser, and an opportunity for vets to get closer to nature.


 

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10:51pm

Sun June 16, 2013
Regional Coverage

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki celebrates milestones for Syracuse VA hospital

Secretary Shinseki helps hospital officials cut the ribbon symbolizing the grand opening of the new spinal cord wing of the Syracuse VA Medical Center.
Joanna Richards WRVO

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki was in Syracuse last week, to mark the 60th anniversary of the city's VA Medical Center. He also helped to formally open a new Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Center. 

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8:36am

Sat June 15, 2013
Regional Coverage

Lake Champlain's new waste boat

Ed Champagne, the sewage boat's captain.
Sarah Harris/NCPR

Lake Champlain is about to get a little cleaner. A new boat — a sort of waterborne honey-wagon — that collects sewage from boaters' tanks was christened yesterday in Burlington.

It’s pouring rain at the Burlington waterfront. But that doesn’t stop about 20 people from coming to watch the launch of Lake Champlain’s newest service boat.

It’s called Champlain’s Ark. And its job isn’t pretty: hauling and disposing human waste so boaters don’t empty their tanks directly into the lake.

James Ehlers, director of Lake Champlain International, says it's a challenge.

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9:06am

Fri June 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

VA Secretary Shinseki helps celebrate anniversary of medical center

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is in Syracuse today to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the city's VA Medical Center.

Yesterday, he met with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and other community leaders who advocate for veterans for a round table discussion at Fowler High school about how to improve veterans' employment prospects.

Shinseki says veterans need to boost their job-seeking skills, but employers need to develop a better understanding of the value veterans can offer their businesses.

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8:49am

Thu June 13, 2013
Regional Coverage

Comptroller DiNapoli: Watertown in good fiscal health

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discusses Watertown's fiscal health and his office's new financial "stress test" program Wednesday in Watertown.
Credit Joanna Richards

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli came to Watertown on Wednesday to commend the city's leadership on its sound financial stewardship. DiNapoli's office is rolling out a program of annual fiscal “stress tests” for municipalities and school districts. And the comptroller said Watertown sets an example for prudent financial planning. 

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2:43pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oswego lawmakers eliminate 4 firefighter positions

Oswego will eliminate four vacant firefighter positions following a vote by the Common Council to abolish the positions in order to save money and balance the budget, councilors say.

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4:14pm

Mon June 10, 2013
Regional Coverage

Lawmakers block vote on Connective Corridor maintenance

The Syracuse Common Council tabled a vote on instituting a fee for Connective Corridor maintenance.
Connective Corridor

Concerns over tax increases for businesses along the Connective Corridor in Syracuse have derailed plans to keep the new infrastructure maintained.

When it was time to vote on creating a new Special Assessment District for the businesses on the eastern end of the Connective Corridor, Councilor Lance Denno tabled the resolution, essentially blocking a vote at today's meeting. He says some businesses would see their city tax bill double if this new district is created.

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6:39am

Fri June 7, 2013
Regional Coverage

Congress begins work on Tubman home national park

The Harriet Tubman home in Auburn, N.Y. is a candidate to become a national park.
Credit Heather L / via Flickr

A congressional committee has begun taking up the designation of Harriet Tubman’s home in Auburn as a national park.

A House sub-committee on natural resources heard testimony Thursday from Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, and the Rev. Daren Jaime of the AME Zion church and boardmember for the organization that runs the home of the former anti-slavery leader.

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3:31pm

Thu June 6, 2013
Regional Coverage

Westside neighborhood looks for comeback

New homes have been built on Syracuse's Westside, selling for about $90,000 each.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A neighborhood in Syracuse's Westside is trying to make a comeback. One of the first steps is constructing three new homes that are replacing burned out apartment buildings that had been owned by absentee landlords.

Park Avenue is situated a block away from West Genesee Street on the city's west side. The three new homes in the 800 block are across the street from a city park and Frazer Middle School is down the street. First time home buyer Jean Claude Ndizeye and his family of five have been dreaming of this day for a while.

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2:49pm

Wed June 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

More space to get up close with the elephants at the zoo

Children pet Siri, one of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo's Asian elephants, at the opening of a new animal encounter.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Visitors to the zoo in Syracuse will be able to enjoy better views of the elephants and other animals now that a new animal encounter is officially open.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo on the city's west side dedicated the Northwest Mutual Animal Encounter on Wednesday.

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8:46am

Wed June 5, 2013
Regional Coverage

Old coal plant on Fort Drum reopens as biomass facility

ReEnergy Chief Executive Officer Larry Richardson speaks during the grand opening of the company's new biomass plant on Fort Drum.
Joanna Richards WRVO

A once-idled coal plant on Fort Drum has been given new life. ReEnergy Black River is creating dozens of new jobs in the North Country – while maintaining a focus on the environment.

State and local officials gathered recently at the facility to celebrate its grand opening.

Over the past year and a half, New York-based company ReEnergy Holdings has retrofitted the plant on Fort Drum to burn biomass instead of coal. Its primary fuel will be wood chips, created from the waste of the nearby logging industry on the Tug Hill Plateau and southwestern Adirondacks.

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6:50pm

Tue June 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Ag advocates applaud movement on tighter farmland assessment cap

Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising farmland property taxes are affecting his livelihood.
Credit Joanna Richards

Agriculture advocates are welcoming progress on state legislation that would slow rising property taxes for farmers. The Senate passed a bill last week that tightens the cap on farmland assessment increases. Yesterday, that measure also passed out of the Assembly's Agriculture Committee. 

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9:21am

Mon June 3, 2013
Regional Coverage

Proposed state legislation would double littering fines

Fines for littering would double if a bill approved by the New York State Senate passes the Assembly. The idea is to crack down on the people who dump trash on the side of roads.

It poses driving hazards and costs a lot to remove. And Syracuse-area Sen. John DeFrancisco says litter that lines the highways just looks bad.

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4:11pm

Fri May 31, 2013
Regional Coverage

Maffei's bill for Tubman national park moves along

The bill to make Tubman's home a national park is advancing in the House of Representatives
Heather L via Flickr

Abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s Auburn home is one step closer to becoming a national park and it could mean a makeover for the property.

The bill to designate Tubman’s home a national park will get a hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources June 6. Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei sponsored the bill to recognize the leader of the anti-slavery network known as the Underground Railroad.

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