Regional Coverage

8:35am

Sat June 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Autograph book reconnects Oswego resident with Holocaust refugee

Francis Enwright, 88, poses with her autograph book, signed by Eva, and a photo of Eva with her family.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Oswego's Safe Haven Museum is marking 70 years since Fort Ontario served as a camp for Jewish refugees fleeing Europe during World War II. To celebrate the event, one Oswego resident who lived near the fort at the time talked about what it was like and tells the story of her long-lost friendship with one refugee.

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7:17am

Fri June 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

SU group offers backup plans if Carrier Dome becomes inoperable

Rick Burton serves as chairman for a Syracuse University work group searching for emergency options if the Carrier Dome fails.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A special work group at Syracuse University has laid out several options in case the Carrier Dome is ever incapacitated.

The group has come up with a back-up plan to deal with the 275 events that happen in SU’s iconic stadium.

So what would happen to Syracuse University's most high profile sports if the Carrier Dome became inoperable for a long period of time?

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3:27pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Verona cleaning up after tornado touches down

Damage caused to the Sav-On gas station in Verona by an EF1 tornado.
Provided by Fritz Scherz

The Oneida County town of Verona is still cleaning up after a tornado touched down and caused damage to homes, road signs, trees and businesses Tuesday night.

Town Councilman Fred "Fritz" Scherz lives only a few miles from where the tornado landed. He says he quickly reached out to the National Weather Service to survey the damages.

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6:35am

Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Downtown Syracuse's boom is led by residential development

A view of South Salina Street in downtown Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Downtown Syracuse is in the midst of a multi-million dollar development boom. Much of this development is fueled by people who want to live downtown.

There are signs of construction all along the 300 block of South Salina Street in Syracuse. Downtown Committee executive director Merike Treier says today’s downtown has changed a lot in the last decade.

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5:57am

Thu June 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Safe Haven Museum to hold 70th reunion for Oswego's Jewish refugees

A sign greets visitors to Oswego's Safe Haven Museum.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Beginning Thursday, the Safe Haven Museum in Oswego is celebrating the 70th anniversary of when 982 Jewish refugees were first housed at Fort Ontario.

In 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt allowed 1,000 Jewish refugees to enter the United States as guests, and they lived at the decommissioned Fort Ontario base in Oswego until 1946, when they were allowed to stay as American citizens or return home. The refugee camp, known as "Safe Haven," was the only location of its kind in the U.S.

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8:44am

Wed June 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

DiNapoli trying to reduce account of unclaimed funds

New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York’s Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is trying to whittle down a fund of abandoned or unclaimed money owed to both individuals and municipalities.

DiNapoli’s office says there are more than 31 million accounts in the state with money sitting in them. It can be a utility deposit or old bank account that sat unused too long and was turned over to the state.

About 10,000 of those unclaimed funds belong to towns and cities throughout the state, worth more than $5 million.

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7:25am

Mon June 16, 2014
Regional Coverage

New study points to trauma as a contributing factor in homelessness

Milagros Bursey was once homeless and now helps other women who find themselves homeless after experiencing life traumas. Carrie Michel-Wynne, director of housing at the YWCA, looks on as Bursey speaks.
Credit Michelle Faust / WXXI News

The majority of homeless mothers in upstate New York have experienced trauma in their lives -- about half of these show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

A 12-month study of nearly 300 homeless families in Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester released last week by The Wilson Foundation shows 93 percent of the mothers in the study experienced either physical or sexual abuse in their lifetimes.

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6:56am

Fri June 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County Justice Center opens new infirmary to reduce inmate hospital visits

The Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A new, higher level of medical care is now available at the Onondaga County Justice Center. The new infirmary is located in the downtown Syracuse jail that holds prisoners awaiting trials or transfer to other facilities.

There has always been space for an infirmary in the almost 20-year-old jail, but cost considerations kept Onondaga County from staffing it. Now, the medical organization the county contracts out to can offer the advanced level of training needed for the staff that already works in the jail’s medical unit.

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2:25pm

Thu June 12, 2014
Regional Coverage

Audit finds Camillus fire department spent too much

The volunteer fire department in Camillus spent more than it should have over a two year period, a state audit has found.

The all-volunteer department just west of Syracuse spent several thousand dollars more than was in its budget in 2012 and 2013, the state Comptroller's office found.

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7:54am

Mon June 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse lawmakers to vote on smoking ban in city parks and other gathering places

Sudipto Sarkar Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council will vote Monday on a proposal to ban smoking in city parks and other areas.

The ban would limit smoking in any areas the city parks department manages, so that includes parks where little league games are played, but also the site of many of the festivals that take place in the city, such as Clinton Square, Cathedral Circle, Hanover Square. 

That’s why Councilor Khalid Bey, one of the sponsors of the measure, says they’re putting off implementation of the ban until October, to give festival organizers a heads up.

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4:08pm

Fri June 6, 2014
Regional Coverage

Paying for street parking in Syracuse? There's an app for that.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Paying for street parking from your smart phone will soon be an option in the city of Syracuse. Public Works Commissioner Pete O'Connor says the option to pay by phone will be available once meter readers get new hand-held devices they use to scan cars parked on city streets.  

“On the app, there will be a map. You’ll punch in what block you’re in. The meter will pop up for that block, you punch in what time you want, what credit card you want, and your license plate number. That’s it.”

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5:32am

Wed June 4, 2014
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County remains neutral on Tyre casino resolution

Tyre residents attend Tuesday's Onondaga County Legislature meeting.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There was no vote at the Onondaga County Legislature Tuesday regarding the siting of a proposed casino in the Seneca County town of Tyre, but residents still had their say.

Lawmakers were originally going to vote on a resolution that would have supported development of a $350 million casino project in the small town of Tyre. The New York State Gaming Commission is deciding where to site gaming facilities in a region that stretches from Lake Ontario down through Seneca County, and east past Binghamton.

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7:44am

Tue June 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

More New Yorkers dying from falls on the job

Escape Vehicle via Flickr

The number of people killed in workplace accidents in New York state as a result of falls has increased, according to the federal government’s workplace safety watchdog.

The number of fatalities at construction and industrial sites is decreasing overall, reports the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), but 42 workers in New York fell to their death in 2012, 10 more than the year before.

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6:06am

Tue June 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

First CNY bourbon product of state's craft distillery initiatives

Oak barrels that Aidrondack Distilling Company stores their bourbon in.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The bourbon being produced at a Utica distillery is being described as the first legal bourbon produced in central New York. It's proof that the craft liquor industry is growing in New York state.

The Adirondack Distilling Company started out by crafting vodka. Then they moved to gin and, most recently, white whiskey. Now, master distiller Jordan Karp says the company is moving on to that quintessential American drink.

"Bourbon is an American spirit made with at least 51 percent corn, and stored and aged in a charred, new, oak American barrel,” Karp explained.

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10:04am

Mon June 2, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County considers closing four transfer stations

Gino Geruntino WRVO

Some residents of Oswego County may soon have to find other options for getting rid of their garbage if a recent proposal by the Oswego County Legislature is implemented.

Right now the county’s five transfer stations are operating on a $500,000 deficit. Starting July 1, each facility will close one day a week, which according to Oswego County Solid Waste Director Frank Visser will save the county nearly $190,000 a year. Disposal fees are also increasing, which could raise $500,000 in revenue if waste levels don’t change.

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6:50am

Fri May 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

Drug Court offers offenders rehabilitation instead of jail time

As the use of heroin surges, many people arrested for drug-related crimes are ending up in drug court, one of the so-called "problem solving courts" that have been started in recent years.

Every Thursday afternoon in the Oneida County Courthouse, the Judge John Balzano seems to be equal parts judge, guidance counselor and the leader of a support group.

This is drug court. Balzano dispenses justice here with an emphasis on rehabilitation.

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6:32am

Fri May 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

City of Syracuse short on lifeguards heading into summer season

Syracuse Parks commissioner Baye Muhammad stands next ot the Thorndon Park pool, one of eight in the city.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The city of Syracuse parks department has a big "help wanted" sign up, because there aren’t enough lifeguards to staff the city’s eight outdoor pools this summer.

The pool at Thorndon Park is filled and ready to go, but a shortage of lifeguards could put parts of the upcoming swim season in peril. Parks commissioner Baye Muhammad says the city still needs to hire 53 lifeguards to open all pools in the city.

And if they don’t find lifeguards?

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9:59pm

Thu May 29, 2014
Regional Coverage

Disabled ship freed; shipping resumes on St. Lawrence Seaway

The 656-foot Federal Kivalina blocked traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway for two days after it ran aground.
Robert Fratangelo U.S. Coast Guard Auxillery

The St. Lawrence Seaway is back open to commercial shipping traffic after a section of it was closed for two days because of a disabled vessel.

The 656-foot Federal Kivalina had been blocking traffic through the 'American Narrows' section of the waterway since Tuesday afternoon, when it ran aground near Collins Landing, New York.

Seventeen ships were stalled while the Kivalina sat disabled, according to the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

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3:00pm

Thu May 29, 2014
Regional Coverage

17 ships now in traffic jam on St. Lawrence Seaway

The 656-foot freighter Federal Kivalina ran aground Tuesday after loosing its steering.
Robert Fratangelo U.S. Coast Guard Auxillery

There are now 17 shipping freighters in a traffic jam on the St. Lawrence Seaway because a disabled vessel has been blocking their path since Tuesday afternoon.

The freighter Federal Kivalina has been stuck in the American Narrows section of the seaway, near Collins Landing, N.Y., since it lost steering and ran aground. It's stuck about a third of a mile up river from the Thousand Islands Bridge.

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7:48am

Thu May 29, 2014
Regional Coverage

Mayor vetoes resolution charging SUNY Oswego for Bridge Street Run overtime

Hundreds of people attend Oswego's Bridge Street Run every year. (file photo)
Cassandra Genua

Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen has vetoed one of the two resolutions passed just days after this year's controversial Bridge Street Run. The Oswego Common Council unanimously passed a measure to bill SUNY Oswego for overtime costs accrued by police, fire and public works department associated with the unsanctioned annual pub crawl.

Nearly 30 people were arrested and two were injured during this year's event. Three students also overdosed on heroin during Bridge Street Run, but police say the event is not to blame.

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5:24pm

Wed May 28, 2014
Transportation

Traffic on St. Lawrence Seaway blocked by disabled freighter

The freighter Federal Kivalina became disabled Tuesday afternoon and is anchored off of Collins Landing, N.Y. on the St. lawrence Seaway.
U.S. Coast Guard via St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

A large freighter stuck in a narrow part of the St. Lawrence Seaway since yesterday afternoon is beginning to cause a backup of shipping traffic along the waterway.

The Federal Kivalina lost power yesterday afternoon in the "American Narrows" section of the seaway and ran aground a third of a mile north of the Thousand Islands Bridge, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The bridge, west of Alexandria Bay, carries Interstate 81 over the St. Lawrence River.

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3:45pm

Tue May 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council wants nonprofits to be accountable for city funds

Syracuse common councilors will be asking for more information from not-for-profits that get funds from the city budget.  The city contracts with several agencies to provide various services to city residents every year.

But Councilor Pam Hunter says there needs to be more accountability about what these nonprofits are doing with city funds.

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9:41am

Mon May 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Learning center teaches English to students from 20 countries

Students on break at the North Side Learning Center
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

The Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board approved the removal of six wooden and concrete crosses on the outside of Holy Trinity Church which is being renovated into a mosque. But the controversy overshadowed the mission of the North Side Learning Center, which bought the Syracuse property.

"Salam alaikum everyone! Oh, the classroom is getting packed now!”exclaimed Abdulilah Al-Dubai, one of the founders of the North Side Learning Center. The center has eight classes that teach English to 150 students, who range from age four to 80 and come from more than 20 countries.

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5:38am

Mon May 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Vietnam War veteran honored, 45 years later

Retired Army Sgt. Lauren Dates with the medals he earned during his service in Vietnam.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A Vietnam War veteran from central New York finally has the combat medals he earned 45 years ago.

It was November 11, 1968 when Lauren Dates earned a dozen combat medals as an Army sergeant. He would have been fine if those awards, including a Purple Heart and bronze star, had showed up at his Cayuga County home in the mail. His wife thought otherwise.

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2:53pm

Fri May 23, 2014
Regional Coverage

Novelis announces five year plan for company growth

Novelis says it has a five year plan in place to help the company continue to grow in Oswego County.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

A rising demand for automotive aluminum to meet federal fuel mileage standards is helping Novelis in Oswego plan for the next five years, including spending millions of dollars on infrastructure and building projects and creating up to 250 new jobs.

Plant Manager Chris Smith says this is the first time in the plant's 51 year history that it has been able to provide employees with an extended plan. He says it's because the company's recent automotive contracts are longer than the majority of Novelis' prior business agreements... which lasted between one and two years.

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7:59am

Fri May 23, 2014
Regional Coverage

Utica's Union Station honors 100 years of service

Decorated tables for a dance fill the main concourse of Utica's Union Station.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Utica's Union Station has been a mainstay in the city's historic Bagg's Square neighborhood since 1914. In that time, the train station went from a bustling transit hub, to nearly being demolished in the 1970s, to a recent resurgence as a public gathering place. This weekend, Utica is celebrating the station's 100th anniversary and some of the things that make it unique.

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6:23am

Thu May 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cooperstown gets ready for president's visit

The baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown attracts nearly 300,000 visitors each year.
candyschwartz Flickr

The village of Cooperstown is preparing for one of its most high-profile tourists ever.

President Barack Obama will visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame there later today to promote tourism. Obama says tourism is an export and he wants to make it easier for foreign visitors to travel to the U.S.

He picked the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York to highlight tourism’s impact. Cooperstown is a "one-stoplight town" that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors, and sustains hundreds of jobs. 

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7:56am

Wed May 21, 2014
Cayuga Nation

Feds, state court get in involved in Cayuga leadership fight

A police officer guards a Cayuga Nation office in Seneca Falls earlier this month.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The leadership dispute between factions of the Cayuga Indian Nation continues to work its way through bureaucracy, with state courts and the federal government both soon to weigh in.

This week two county courts - Seneca and Cayuga counties - declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Clint Halftown, who claims he is still the rightful federal representative of the Cayuga. That title allows him to control federal money and the nation’s business interests.

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6:06am

Wed May 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

President's visit to Cooperstown is meant to help bolster tourism industry

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
candyschwartz Flickr

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown Thursday to promote tourism. Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that tourism is an export, and that when foreign visitors come to the United States it grows the economy.

Lynn Herzig works with chambers of commerce and businesses throughout the region to promote tourism. He says the president's push to bring international visitors in is exactly what the region and state need.

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7:40am

Tue May 20, 2014
Crime

Syracuse residents ask city for more security cameras

Credit Mike Fleming / via Flickr

The Syracuse Police Department says its network of security cameras in the city are helping fight crime. And some neighborhood advocates are asking for more.

Nearly 40 cameras have been installed in parts of the city since 2011. They’re on the Near Westside, in the Pioneer Homes complex and along Butternut Street on the north side.

Twenty more cameras will be online by the end of the summer, mostly downtown and along East Fayette Street.

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