The city of Oswego is making some changes to the budget it passed in December, by moving away from the city-wide furloughs it had previously imposed.
The furloughs included in this year's budget would have equated to about a four percent pay decrease to every city employee in Oswego. But now those mandatory days off aren't taking place, following the Common Council's decision to dip into the city's enterprise fund.
David Crane, professor of practice at Syracuse University's College of Law, is helping to build legal cases against the worst actors in the Syrian civil war.
Credit Syracuse University
A few weeks ago, David Crane got a call. The Syracuse University law professor was asked to join a team who would be examining a collection of tens of thousands of gruesome photographs. They appeared to show widespread torture and killings at detention facilities run by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s government.
Two days later, Crane was in the Middle East, with two other former war crimes prosecutors and forensics experts, poring over the images and interviewing the man who took them.
Plans for a casino siting board are delayed; National Grid receives a credit to save customers some cash; New York shows positive workplace safety signs; and $1.24 million is sent toward state farms. Catch up on the news of the day with WRVO news briefs.
Siting board appointment likely behind schedule
Chances are becoming slim that a casino siting board will be appointed by the end of January as called for by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Dredging took place on Onondaga Lake in the summer of 2012. (file photo)
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO
Central New York should soon have answers about a mystery redevelopment project on the western shore of Onondaga Lake. In his budget released last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed spending $30 million of state money on an economic development project in Onondaga County. He’s expected to outline those details during a visit to Onondaga County Wednesday.
The Onondaga County Legislature is also expected to chip in some money in the early stages of what would be a massive economic development project.
New York's state comptroller says the Cuomo administration racked up a record $611 million in overtime payments over the past year.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the 16 percent increase in overtime payments between 2012 and 2013 comes mostly from employees in institutional settings, like prisons and psychiatric centers. The state police also paid troopers $35 million in overtime payments, at an average of over $74 an hour.
DiNapoli says the uptick comes at a time when state government has been downsizing employees.
A state ethics board has denied applications from groups on both sides of the abortion debate a request to keep private their donor lists.
The groups, including the pro-choice Family Planning Advocates, and the Christian conservative New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, had argued that making their donor lists public could pose a danger to their contributors because they lobby on controversial issues. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, rejected the request from both groups, along with the request by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Women’s Equality Coalition.
A new law requires New York hospitals to screen newborns for heart defects; unemployment rates are down in the state (for the most part); if you don't feel like shoveling that sidewalk, you may end up with a fine; and $56 million in funds has been awarded to New York hospitals. Catch up on the news of the day with WRVO's news briefs.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand responds to reporters' questions after giving her pitch for paid family and medical leave at Jefferson Community College in Watertown.
Credit Joanna Richards / WRVO
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the nation’s workplace policies are out of date and don’t reflect increasing women’s employment – and their roles as family caregivers. Gillibrand was in Watertown yesterday to make the case for paid family and medical leave.
Students and reporters jostled in a student lounge as Jefferson Community College president Carole McCoy introduced the senator. Gillibrand told the crowd of several dozen that her legislation would provide financial security to people dealing with the birth of a child, or sick or dying family members.
As Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in his budget address, $2.5 million has been allocated to analyze the Route 11 corridor in the North Country. But state transportation officials say they have not yet determined what kind of highway study they're going to do.
When Cuomo mentioned Interstate Route 98, aka the rooftop highway, between Watertown and Plattsburgh in his budget speech last week, he acknowledged a range of opinions on the decades-old idea.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner speaks with reporters follwing her annual State of the City speech Thursday.
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO
Mayor Stephanie Miner is putting together a task force to consider the community and economic impacts of a new sports arena in the city of Syracuse. The mayor put the issue, which has had the town buzzing in recent weeks, in her annual State of the City speech.
"I am neither in favor of a stadium nor against a stadium, but there has to be a process where people can get their questions answered," Miner said.
The mayor says building a new stadium, to potentially replace the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University, is a huge decision that should be made together.
SUNY Upstate Medical University and University Hospital in Syracuse.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO
Despite resigning as president of Upstate hospital amid questions about his compensation, Dr. David Smith is still being paid as a faculty member at the medical school.
When Dr. Smith resigned as president of SUNY Upstate Medical University and University Hospital Nov. 15, he retained his status as a tenured professor of pediatrics. He’s been on medical leave from the position for over two months after undergoing back surgery.
The Oswego City Common Council is pushing a more aggressive agenda to help prevent a repeat of last year's 43 percent property tax increase.
Common Council president Ron Kaplewicz says the prospect of another year with massive tax increases scares everyone at City Hall, and is prompting the council to get more creative with the decisions it makes and the revenue sources it taps.
Veterinarian Tim Robinson looks at an emergency animal first aid kit, while Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler looks on.
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO
It will be easier for Syracuse Police to deal with animal emergencies from now on, after a central New York animal cruelty group donated 25 first response kits the the police department.
Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says cops are often the first to come across an injured animal.
"We are the first to respond to a number of calls for police services, and we take all of them very serious," Fowler said. "And ranking up there with injury and harm to human beings, we take injury and harm to our animals very serious.”
Volunteers at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day food and clothing drive in Syracuse.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO
Cardboard boxes lined tables and were stacked 10 feet high in the Teamsters union hall on Syracuse's north side this morning. Dozens of volunteers, from six-year-old Marielle Emmanuel to Syracuse University athletes filled them with donated clothes and food.
For the 14th year, the United Way of central New York put on a clothing and food drive in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Many spend the day remembering the civil rights leader with a day of service.
One year after the passage of the New York SAFE Act, sheriff’s departments across the state are still struggling to wrap their heads around the law, and some have gone so far as expressing personal opposition to the new laws.
Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn says there are facets of the law that make sense, but that there are many problems. These problems, according to many upstate New York sheriffs, could have been avoided if they'd been more involved from the start.
As New York state passes the first anniversary of the SAFE Act in New York state this week, confusion still reigns for many about the controversial gun control law. A forum this weekend in Syracuse hopes to clear up some of the questions for sportsmen and sportswomen in particular.
Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh (right) announced his retirement, as Deputy Chief John Balloni (left) looks on.
Credit Ellen Abbott/WRVO
Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh announced Monday morning that e will retire after 20 years in the position.
While Walsh made the decision public at an event in downtown Syracuse, he said it's something he has known he would do for quite a while.
"I pretty much had made my decision at the end of the last election. But I was not join going to commit one way or this other until I had to commit, in case things changed and I decided I wanted to do another term," said Walsh. "I didn't want to be accused of flip flopping."
Parks commissioner Rose Harvey talks to attendees about Cuomo's agenda.
Credit Gino Geruntino / WRVO
Oswego's Common Council, mayor and department heads saw firsthand what Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 agenda will look like, during a recent presentation of his State of the State address at city hall.
The mayor of the city of Oswego says in general he supports Cuomo's budget plan for 2014, but the city's Common Councilors say rising costs and unfunded mandates make it hard to stay within the state's two percent tax cap.
The Stream Global Services call center in Watertown will change hands when its parent company is bought by a rival, according to Reuters. It’s not clear what effect that might have on the 700 employees who work there.
Don Alexander heads the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency. He says Stream’s significance to the area’s economy can’t be overstated and the company has been a good employer.
Now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is taking steps to move ahead with the legalization of medical marijuana in New York state, there are some who are urging caution. The concern comes from experts who deal with drug addictions every day.
During his State of the State address earlier this week, Cuomo said he would enact a plan allowing 20 hospitals to dispense medical marijuana to those suffering from cancer and other ailments.