Regional Coverage

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Vendors and displays are packed up, and the New York State Fair in Syracuse is over for another year. But one of the iconic sights of the fair will live on, giving a glimpse of what could be the next big recycling trend in New York state.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Central New Yorkers took to the streets of Syracuse today to protest the possibility of any U.S. military strike against Syria.  

Protesters stood in front of the Syracuse Federal Building looking for support, and passersby honked horns in suport. About 20 protesters carrying signs that said things like "find another way: and "No U.S. Intervention."

Mohawk Valley homeowners to start receiving aid checks

Aug 29, 2013
Gino Geruntino / WRVO/File photo

Two months after heavy flooding ravaged the Mohawk Valley, homeowners in Oneida, Herkimer and Montgomery Counties are receiving checks to help them rebuild. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Herkimer and Oneida on Thursday to tell residents that checks are being sent out immediately.

"Today we're going to be issuing checks to 1,200 homeowners, renters and businesses, total of about $13.6 million," Cuomo said. "Five hundred fifty-eight people in Herkimer [County], 145 in Oneida, 104 in Montgomery will receive funding."

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Navigating through the Center of Progress Building at the New York State Fair is always a little difficult. But this year, it isn't the crowds at the cookware or candy booths that's creating roadblocks. Fairgoers are flocking to the New York State Taxation and Finance booth after getting letters last week explaining the need to register.

"We have a little bit of a line here. Can you wait?"

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

The New York state comptroller's office this week comes out with some numbers of great interest to local governments. Pension rates are one of the reasons many local governments, including the city of Syracuse, say they are in financial peril.

It was kind of like the lottery at the New York State Comptroller's booth at the New York State Fair in Syracuse today.  Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli gave out $40,000 worth of checks to central New Yorkers out of the state's unclaimed fund account.

"The largest one was for a library in Madison County for $13,000.  We had $12,000 for an individual.  So it's real money.  Most of the recoveries are 50 to 100 dollars, but can be in the thousands of dollars," said DiNapoli.

Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign

A 13-day trip down the Hudson River was successful in bringing the message of the Two Row Wampum to some New Yorkers who may not have known about it, according to organizers.  

The idea behind the trip was to make non-native people aware of the agreement between Native Americans and European settlers, and how the ideals embodied in that Two Row Wampum agreement are relevant today. This year is the 400th anniversary of the agreement. Jake Edwards of the Onondaga Council of Chiefs says there were warm welcomes from everyone who watched the paddlers go by.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Students at the SUNY campus of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse will be able to borrow not only books, but a bike from the library starting this semester.

The new program is starting small, with five bikes available for students to borrow from the campus' Moon Library. All they have to do is fill out a waiver and rental agreement and pay a $20 bike membership fee, then they'll be entitled to unlimited rentals through the year.   

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

President Obama brought his message of affordable education for the middle class to Syracuse yesterday. It was an intimate atmosphere inside the gym at Henninger High School, with the crowd interacting with the president as he laid the groundwork for his plan.

"There aren't a lot of things that are more important than making sure people get a good education," Obama said. "That is key to upward mobility. That is key to a growing economy.  That is key to a strong middle class."

The crowd then started calling out and shouting to him.

"Love you back."

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy filled in for Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the official opening of the New York State Fair in Syracuse today.  While Cuomo was hosting President Obama in Buffalo, Duffy was tasting New York state products in the new Taste New York Tent at the Fair.

President Obama comes to Syracuse later today, where he will give a speech on college affordability and the middle class. The speech at Henninger High School is expected to begin at 6:00 p.m. Doors will open at 3:00 p.m. for those who have tickets, which were distributed earlier this week

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Caleb Duncan was probably the only person wearing a shirt and tie to wait in line overnight to get tickets to President Obama's scheduled Thursday visit to Syracuse.

"I’m thinking about getting a new suit," he said with laugh. He lined for tickets around 10:30 p.m. Monday.

whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama will visit the Syracuse area this week, giving a speech at Henninger High School on the importance of an affordable education. The president's speech is expected to begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO

A dispute is brewing in Oswego over who should get to use some docking space right in the center of town.

George Broadwell owns two hotels, a restaurant and a convention center along the east side of the Oswego River.

Last year, he says he complained to city and state officials about the number of tugs and barges mooring along the river in front of his establishments. Earlier this year, even more tug boats and barges were mooring along the 600 feet of space in front of his property.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei observed a maritime exercise using unmanned aerial vehicles for civilian search and rescue in Oswego on Wednesday. Members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard participated in the training.

Maffei, D-Syracuse, says the UAVs, called MQ-9 Reapers, used in the training rescue missions could save more time, money and lives compared to the current search measures.

When disaster strikes, like the heavy rainfall and floods in upstate New York in late June and early July, many people want to help their neighbors in need but don't know where to direct their volunteer efforts. Now, the American Red Cross has released a new mobile application that it hopes will solve that problem.

The Team Red Cross app is making disaster relief more accessible to communities. Chief Communications Officer Matt Michael says this will make a big difference in community response.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The large windows that now face out onto the 300 block of West Genesee Street in the early 1900's used to display expensive roadsters made by the Chalmers Motor Car Company in Syracuse. They now are part of the new offices of the Red Cross of Central New York.

That sense of history attracted the charity to the location when they needed a more practical office space than the former one at Herald Place.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The federal government has an $8 billion harbor maintenance trust fund, but only $8 million of that has allocated for spending in this year's budget.

Central New York's congressmen are calling for more of that money to be released in order to pay for upgrades to the Port of Oswego and other shipping hubs. The money isn't being spent in order to make the budget deficit look smaller, they charge.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has announced that more police cameras will be going up in a part of the city's north side that has seen some high profile crime recently. The Syracuse Police Department will add seven cameras to the two currently tracking crime on Butternut Street. She says residents asked for more cameras, including Pond Street businessman Jai Suvedi, who says the current cameras have made a difference.

"So as we see Butternut Street between now and before, is totally changed, in this corridor," Suvedi said. "A lot of the crimes have decreased."

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

After a few weeks delay, transportation planners in central New York are moving forward with the next step in the lengthy process of deciding Interstate 81's fate in downtown Syracuse.

The 1.4 mile stretch of elevated highway through downtown, known as the viaduct, is reaching the end of its useable lifespan.

On Monday, the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council approved a $32 million study as part of the next phase of the project. This coming after a lengthy public engagement process and studies by SMTC itself.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Central New York's Air National Guard unit, the 174th Attack Wing, will soon be flying drone training flights over a large portion of the city of Syracuse.

The 174th was granted permission from the Federal Aviation Administration last month to expand its permitted airspace south into Oswego, Madison and Onondaga Counties. The airspace includes the northern half of Syracuse and stretches from Camillus to Fayetteville from west to east.

Heather L / via Flickr

More than 100 people walked an Auburn street this weekend to help unveil a highway sign commemorating the work of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The walk is part of an effort to put Tubman’s home one step closer to becoming a national park.

Harriet Tubman’s great-grandniece Geraldine Copes-Daniels of Auburn believe her ancestor is long overdue for national recognition.

“Tonight we’re trying to do what she did, but hers was a longer way…People of today don’t realize what she’s done,” said Copes-Daniels.

Food Bank of Central New York

  How has Upstate New York been coping with the problem of hunger?  How have the challenges changed in recent years?  And how does the concern for proper nutrition fit with the need to feed people who are going hungry?  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher discusses these questions with Kathleen Stress, the executive director of the Food Bank of Central New York.  Some of the answers might surprise you.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Brushing off concerns it may be too little, too late, a new group of business owners and lawmakers has formed to oppose the seemingly narrowed options for the next incarnation of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse.

Save 81 launched Thursday to call for more options for what to do about the aging 1.4 mile stretch of I-81 through the city. While the group is opposed to the "urban boulevard" idea pushed for by many city residents, it said it has no "pre-ordained design" as an alternative.

City of Syracuse/Department of Aviation

Syracuse's Hancock Airport is getting a $4.5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that officials say will help keep flights on time.  Airport Commissioner Christina Callahan says the funds will pay for a new taxiway, and area where diverted planes can go.

The city of Syracuse is cracking down on property owners who don't pay taxes. But, as lawmakers prepare to vote on whether the city should seize over 100 tax delinquent properties, there are some concerns about those properties that aren't vacant.

Harborfest attracts people, dollars to Oswego County

Jul 26, 2013
Oswego Harborfest/Facebook

The city of Oswego's Harborfest began last night, and is estimated to draw more than 100,000 people to the area for a weekend of music, food and fireworks. For Oswego Mayor Thomas Gillen, it's also a boon for the city's coffers.

"We hope to make probably $50 million for the weekend," Gillen said. "It's a big impact on the entire community within ten miles of the city of Oswego. Hotels, restaurants, just general sales tax revenue is dramatically impacted over this. So, it's an incredible economic boon to the city and the community. It comes at a cost, though."

The state Inspector General's office has issued a report that largely clears the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry of any wrongdoing surrounding the use of a forensics lab at the college.

The Onondaga County District Attorney's office rose concerns in April about Syracuse Police forensic evidence used in several shooting cases. That prompted the state forensics commission to ask the Inspector General to conduct the investigation.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It's been almost two years since the ground breaking of the Logeun's Crossing project on Syracuse's east side.

Upstate Medical University is combining forces with COR Development to turn 14 acres of blighted properties off of East Fayette Street into a mix of residential, retail, office and educational space. COR President Steve Aiello says they've finished tearing down the old Kennedy Square apartment complex, and can start working on the basic framework of the new neighborhood.

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.

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