Regional Coverage

7:46am

Thu March 6, 2014
Transportation

NY DOT looking at five options to speed up rail travel

An Amtrak train pulls into the Syracuse regional transportation hub.
hectate1 via Flickr

New York state transportation planners have opened the discussion about the best way to speed up train travel through upstate New York.

Passenger trains running between Buffalo and New York City right now run at about 50 miles per hour and are often slowed more by competing freight train traffic.

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6:49am

Thu March 6, 2014
Regional Coverage

In projects big and small, Watertown’s downtown reviving – but some say city government lacks vision

The formerly vacant and crumbling Woolworth building in downtown Watertown will soon host apartments and commercial space.
Credit Joanna Richards

As with many small cities, Watertown’s downtown has been decaying for years, with boarded-up buildings and businesses dwindling.

Now, a handful of big projects are reviving the historical structures at the center of town, and some new small businesses are thriving. But some say the city could be doing more to encourage growth.

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7:15am

Tue March 4, 2014
Regional Coverage

Even after difficult winter, rock salt supplies are OK

Oswego's DPW started the winter season well stocked with rock salt.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

It's been a tough winter so far this season, even for the hardiest of upstate New Yorkers. But what do all these snowy days and icy conditions mean for the area's rock salt supplies?

"We were fortunate to have a fairly good supply at the beginning of the season and we are still OK," says Oswego Department of Public Works Commissioner Michael Smith. "If winter lasts at a normal length or if we can say maybe through the next month we'll be out of the worst of it, we'll be OK with our salt and sand mix."
 

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8:22am

Mon March 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

Katko selected by GOP as designated candidate to challenge Maffei

GOP candidate John Katko speaks to party members during Saturday's convention.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Former U.S. Attorney John Katko walked out of the Republican convention in Syracuse this weekend as the party designated GOP candidate in the race for central New York's 24th Congressional District. It was the culmination of months of politicking by eight candidates who wanted the chance to unseat democrat Dan Maffei.

"Cayuga, Wayne County, Oswego and Onondaga County has selected on the first round of voting to take on Dan Maffei, U.S. Attorney John Katko."

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7:49am

Mon March 3, 2014
Regional Coverage

Watertown airport switching flights from Chicago to Philly as airlines merge

Passengers wait for a 7 a.m. flight to Chicago at the Watertown International Airport.
Joanna Richards WRVO

The Watertown airport has been much busier since it started offering direct air service to Chicago rather than Albany just over two years ago. Now, the merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways is causing a switch in destination again.

Direct flights to Philadelphia will replace those to Chicago beginning May 8.

A regional carrier for American Airlines now provides the Chicago service. American merged with U.S. Airways in December. Philadelphia, a hub for U.S. Airways, is closer, and therefore a cheaper major hub for the airline to get to from Watertown.

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9:13am

Fri February 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Potholes pose more problems than usual for upstate drivers

Potholes like these have caused problems for drivers throughout central New York all season.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Potholes aren't anything new for upstate New York drivers, but the sheer number of them this year is wreaking more havoc than usual.

Steve Pacer, with AAA of Western and Central New York, says calls to their roadside service because of pothole-caused flat tires have increased this year. Other weather related problems like dead batteries and cars stuck in snow banks have also increased this winter.

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5:44am

Fri February 28, 2014
School Closings

School delays for Friday

ecksunderscore Flickr

Lake effect snow around the region is causing some school to delay opening. Check back throughout the morning for updates. 

Camden Central: 2 hour delay

Rome City Public and Parochial Schools: 2 hour delay, no a.m. pre-k

South Seneca Central: 2 hour delay

Trumansburg Central: 2 hour delay

3:41pm

Thu February 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Recycling comes at a cost

Onondaga County's Waste-to-Energy Facility in Jamesville
Office of Onondaga County Comptroller

There will be some important decisions in the coming months about trash in Onondaga County.  An audit of the independent agency that takes care of trash removal and recycling shows that there could be changes in store for how you pay for trash and recycling pick up.

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6:35am

Thu February 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Ft. Drum may fare better than other bases, but cuts still likely

A training exercise at Fort Drum in August 2012 simulates the response to a helicopter crash.
Joanna Richards WRVO

Since Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel detailed his proposal for deep military cutbacks Monday, officials in Watertown have been trying to divine what that could mean for Fort Drum. They believe the Army post is well-positioned – but that doesn’t mean it won’t take a hit.

The military is already in downsizing mode as the war in Afghanistan winds down. But Hagel’s plan calls for deeper cuts, including shrinking the Army to its smallest size since before World War II.

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7:58pm

Wed February 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

BP killing Cape Vincent Wind Farm

Turbines at the Marble River wind farm in Clinton, NY.
Credit Sarah Harris

After battling local residents for years, energy company BP says it’s killing its proposal for the Cape Vincent Wind Farm. Some of the project’s most vocal critics are dancing on its grave.

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8:14am

Wed February 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Geddes town supervisor talks SAFE Act with Cuomo

Opponents of New York’s tough gun control law called the SAFE Act, continue to oppose the legislation more than a year after it was passed, with more rallies and court cases on the calendar. But attempts to engage Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a debate about the pros and cons of the legislation might be better spent in more low-key settings. One vocal opponent of the law met with the governor Tuesday in private quarters in Albany to talk about it.

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7:07am

Wed February 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Miner's stadium task force sits down, without key voices

An artist rendering of where a new stadium on Syracuse's Near Eastside would go.

Syracuse’s recently created stadium task force sat down together for the first time Tuesday. Its job is to take a deeper look at the idea of a new athletic venue in the city that the mayor put the brakes on a few months ago.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner had too many unanswered questions to get behind a new stadium for Syracuse University next to the Kennedy Square redevelopment project on the city’s Near Eastside.

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8:22am

Tue February 25, 2014
Regional Coverage

School delays for Tuesday

Jason Kuffer Flickr

Lake effect snow is causing several area schools to issue delays, closings and cancelations. This list has been updated as of 2:30 p.m.

Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Schools: No after school activities

Cato-Meridian Central: Closed

Hannibal Central: No after school/evening activities

Mexico Central: No after school/evening activities

North Rose-Wolcott Central: Closed

Oswego City Schools: No after school/evening activities

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7:59am

Mon February 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County mother takes head shop owner to court

An Oswego County mother is taking a local head shop to court following her son's death after smoking synthetic marijuana he allegedly bought from the store.

Teresa Woolson, whose 19-year-old son, Victor, drowned in Lake Ontario after smoking a form of synthetic marijuana, wants the shop's owner, the drug manufacturer and the distributor held accountable.

In August 2012, Victor Woolson drowned in the lake soon after smoking "K-2 Avalanche," a form of synthetic marijuana he apparently bought from Xtreme Underground.

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7:21am

Mon February 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

School delays for Monday

ecksunderscore Flickr

Heavy lake effect snow across parts of Oswego County is causing several schools to delay opening this morning. This post will be updated as more information comes in.

Adirondack Central: 2 hour delay; no a.m. BOCES

APW Central: Closed

Camden Central: Closed

Central Square Central: Closed

Fulton City Schools: Closed

Hannibal Central: Closed

Mexico Central Schools: Closed

Oswego City Schools: Closed

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2:53pm

Fri February 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Novelis workers decide whether or not to unionize

Novelis recently commissioned two new production lines at its Oswego plant in October.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

UpdateAccording to published reports, the vote to unionize failed by a total of 14 votes. 

Earlier coverage:

Employees of Novelis Aluminum in Oswego are voting today to determine whether or not 600 employees at the plant will unionize.

James Ridgeway, an international union representative for the United Steelworkers Union, says workers from Novelis contacted him in mid-December to begin the unionization process, citing several changes that have occurred since Novelis purchased the plant.

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11:33am

Fri February 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Veteran journalist and SUNY Oswego professor Garrick Utley dies

Garrick Utley
Credit provided photo

Garrick Utley, a veteran journalist and later a professor at SUNY Oswego and WRVO contributor, has died at the age of 74.

He had been battling cancer, according to NBC News.

Utley spent much of last year producing a documentary for WRVO Public Media, New York in the World, which followed the rise and fall of New York's economy over the last century. 

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10:45am

Thu February 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

State of the Re:Union, a Black History Month special

stateofthereunion.com

During a month selected to celebrate “history,” we certainly are treated to a lot of the same familiar stories: the battles won for Civil Rights, the glory of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, the hardships endured by slaves. And as important as those narratives are for us to collectively remember, many others get lost in trumpeting the same heroic tales. This week, State of the Re:Union zeroes in some of those alternate narratives, ones edited out of the mainstream imagining of Black History, deconstructing the popular perception of certain celebrated moments.

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7:25am

Thu February 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Ice jams pose threats as weather warms up

tonydude919 Flickr

Most of central and northern New York will see a break from the bitterly cold temperatures that have gripped the region for weeks. But with those warmer temperatures comes the possibility of ice jams and flooding.

Ice jams affected parts of the region last month, closing down portions of I-81 and making travel dangerous and difficult. That could happen again later this week, as temperatures are expected to rise.

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6:44am

Thu February 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Army officers anxious as they await word of cuts

A soldier trains at Fort Drum
Joanna Richards

In any company town, when the major employer is planning layoffs, people get worried. How will they earn a living if they lose their job? How will they remake their identity?

This is the picture for many Army officers stationed at Fort Drum. By early summer, some will find out they have to go.

It’s part of an overall downsizing of the military as the war in Afghanistan winds down. Evaluations this spring will determine whether some officers can stay in the service.

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12:47pm

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Jefferson County employer Hi-Lite to create new jobs with USDA loan

Hi-Lite Airfield Services began as a highway-striping company in 1989, according to its website.
Hi-Lite

A Jefferson County company is planning to expand with the help of a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Hi-Lite Airfield Services, in Adams Center, plans to create between eight and 10 new jobs, according to a news release from Rep. Bill Owens’s (D-Plattsburgh) office. The company also plans to buy new equipment with the $7.1 million loan from the USDA’s Rural Development program.

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8:32am

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Maffei hosts rural broadband symposium promoting high-speed Internet access

Doc Searls Flickr

Rural broadband experts, elected officials and school representatives were in Red Creek Tuesday evening as part of a broadband symposium hosted by Syracuse-area Congressman Dan Maffei.

Maffei, who has been a supporter of using technology to boost the impact of healthcare and education in the region, says by increasing access to high-speed Internet, it allows for a stronger middle class and could be critical to strengthening the upstate economy and promoting educational opportunities.

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7:20am

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Water mains and transportation focus of infrastructure forum

Greg Lancette of the Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 267 union speaks with Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) at an infrastructure forum Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Central New York's underground infrastructure - namely, water mains - was a big focus of a discussion about the region's infrastructure hosted by Rep. Dan Maffei Tuesday.

Maffei, a Democrat from Syracuse, gathered elected officials, engineers and administrators at the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse to discuss infrastructure. One main message was that upgrades and maintenance of the region's plumbing and water pipes has been an often ignored or delayed investment.

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7:44am

Tue February 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

DEC proposal to kill invasive swans drawing protests

A mute swan.
Credit DEC website

Most people think swans are beautiful. But the agreement seems to end there, when it comes to a new state plan to manage them. A proposal by the Department of Environmental Conservation to kill invasive mute swans isn’t flying with some animal lovers. 

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7:36am

Tue February 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

Changes coming to make West Street more pedestrian friendly

West Street in Syracuse is six lanes wide in some parts and difficult to cross on foot.
dougtone via Flickr

Changes are coming to Syracuse’s West Street artery to make the roadway more pedestrian friendly and less of a barrier for the Near Westside neighborhood.

West Street was built in the middle of the last century, as Interstate 81 was paving through the city, as a way to move cars more easily. It’s six lanes wide and not pedestrian friendly, but many west side residents have to cross the street to get downtown or to the grocery store.

The Near Westside Initiative, a community advocacy group has been working with the state transportation department on a redesign.

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6:54am

Mon February 17, 2014
Transportation

Three upstate New York highways make 'futureless freeways' list

Interstate 81 is elevated for 1.4 miles through downtown Syracuse and is beginning to crumble.
oliver_hine via Flickr

Three big roadways in upstate New York cities have made a top 10 list of freeways that should be torn down or filled in.

The Congress for New Urbanism says Syracuse’s Interstate 81, Rochester’s Inner Loop and Buffalo’s Skyway bridge are all roadways that do damage to the community and should be replaced. They’re also on the "Freeways Without a Future" list because there’s growing momentum to remove them.

The Chicago-based group advocates for more walkable cities and smart growth.

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6:45am

Mon February 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

National pressures hit Carthage Area Hospital with 73 layoffs

Carthage Area Hospital says the same pressures that are facing all hospitals these days forced it to restructure.
Credit Joanna Richards

Hospitals around the country are all under the same pressures: a turn toward outpatient and preventive care, low Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates, and increasing regulations. It’s the same in Carthage. 

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3:00pm

Fri February 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

SUNY Canton, Potsdam vice president indicted on theft charges

Natalie Higley, vice president for Business Affairs and Administration at both SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam.

The woman in charge of finances at both SUNY Canton and SUNY Potsdam has been indicted on theft charges in Georgia. Natalie Higley is charged with stealing from the state college where she used to work.

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8:15am

Fri February 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

School closings and delays for Friday

Jason Kuffer Flickr

Heavy snowfall and blowing winds have forced several schools to delay or close. This post will be updated regularly.

Adirondack Central: 2 hour delay; no a.m. pre-K, no a.m. BOCES

Auburn City Schools: 1 hour delay

Augustinian Academy: 2 hour delay; no a.m. pre-K

A-P-W Central: 2 hour delay

Baldwinsville Christian Academy: Closed

Beaver River Central: 2 hour delay

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11:46am

Thu February 13, 2014
Public Radio Presents

New York in the World

Join us Sunday, February 16 for an encore presentation of New York in the World. This documentary brings you stories of union workers in Buffalo, fashion designers in New York City, and farmers in the Finger Lakes - all talking about how they've found a place amid today's new economic realities.

From Niagara Falls to Long Island, from the North Country to the Southern Tier, Upstate, Downstate... we are nearly twenty million.

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