Regional Coverage

8:26am

Thu October 31, 2013
Regional Coverage

Oneida's Farnam Mansion provides home to spirits, owners

The Farnam Mansion was built more than 150 years ago.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Buying a haunted house isn't for everyone, but for the couple who bought the supposedly haunted Farnam Mansion in Oneida three years ago, they've found a comfortable life sharing their home with what they call spirits.

The Farnam Mansion on Main Street in Oneida has all the makings of a haunted house; creaky stairs, lots of small, dark rooms, a cellar complete with a former lab.

The brick Victorian Italianate home built more than 150 years ago is currently owned by Gerri and Brian Gray.

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7:31am

Thu October 31, 2013
Regional Coverage

Tool made in Syracuse being used by Nobel Peace Prize winner

Chris Russell, a technician at INFICON in East Syracuse, assembles a HAPSITE gas detector.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

With a few snaps and screws, the HAPSITE is ready to be shipped from the floor of INFICON's facility in East Syracuse and deployed as a gas and chemical warfare detector around the world.

It's just one of the products that comes out of the research and production facility in central New York, but this one has a new and very well respected client.

HAPSITE is short for Hazardous Air Pollutants on Site. The hard plastic machine, which is slightly larger than a suitcase, is a portable gas chromatograph mass spectrometer.

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8:49am

Wed October 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

Renovations give Syracuse more affordable housing options

One of the renovated buildings, Kasson Place, on James Street.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The pool of affordable housing in Syracuse is growing with the development of four multi-family apartment buildings along the James Street corridor.

City neighborhood and development commissioner Paul Driscoll doesn't think there are any other housing projects like it in the city: a mix of market rate apartments with affordable apartments in one building. The city is opening these four new apartment buildings after major renovations, and Driscoll said the affordability factor is key.

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8:35am

Wed October 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

Amid Washington Redskins debate, two schools look back on own mascot changes

Keith Allison Flickr

While the debate continues between the Oneida Indian Nation and the Washington Redskins regarding the team's name and mascot, in upstate New York, several institutions faced similar decisions more than a decade ago and did change their names.

Christina Alexander was the president of the sophomore class at Sherburne-Earlville Central School in rural Chenango County when the student body decided to retire its Indian mascot, while leaving the team's name - the Marauders -- unchanged.

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8:05am

Wed October 30, 2013
Regional Coverage

TSA's PreCheck program finds success in Syracuse

A view of the new TSA PreCheck program at Syracuse's Hancock International Airport.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The PreCheck program at Hancock International Airport in Syracuse has exceeded expectations so far, and the Transportation Security Administration says it's expanding the expedited screening program.

"This makes flying fun again, it's just like the old days," says Darry Srago, a frequent flyer out of Hancock. He's happy with the PreCheck program because it makes getting through security easier.

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4:57pm

Tue October 29, 2013
Regional Coverage

News Briefs: Tuesday, Oct. 29

Oneida nation to discuss Redskins controversy with NFL

The Oneida Indian Nation will meet Wednesday with National Football League officials to discuss its desire to have the Washington Redskins team change its name.

The Oneida say the name is a racial slur to Native Americans. They've been putting pressure on the league and team in recent weeks to change it. The team's owner has defended the name, saying it's a badge of honor.

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4:06pm

Tue October 29, 2013
Regional Coverage

Proposed law would give police new tool to deal with 'disorderly houses'

The proposal is discussed at a Syracuse Common Council meeting.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse lawmakers are trying to work out concerns over a proposed law that would allow police to crack down on problem houses in city neighborhoods.

It's a case where constitutional rights collide with neighborhood concerns. Councilor Khalid Bey wants to use a 100-year-old law, which was once used to crack down on brothels, as a way to rid neighborhoods of houses that have become hangouts for drug dealers and other criminals.

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7:40am

Mon October 28, 2013
Regional Coverage

Safe Sleep campaign stresses uncluttered cribs

The Safe Sleep campaign urges parents not to keep a crib full of dangerous clutter.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A coalition of local organizations is urging parents to keep their baby's crib clear of clutter. It's the core message of the Safe Sleep campaign, spearheaded by Safe Kids Upstate New York, out of Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.  

Clemencia Molina, regional coordinator of the Central New York Sudden Infant and Child Death Resource Center, said it's common to see a child's crib filled with stuffed animals, blankets and pillows.

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7:19pm

Wed October 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

Head of Children's Clinic resigns in wake of financial upheaval

Dan Wasneechak has had a bumpy ride in the two months he's headed up the North Country Children's Clinic in Waterown. After announcing its temporary closure, then working on a deal to keep it open for now, Wasneechak will resign on Friday.
Joanna Richards

The head of the North Country Children's Clinic in Watertown says he'll resign after Friday. A spokeswoman for Samaritan Medical Center, which is temporarily operating the clinic, said Dan Wasneechak  submitted his resignation yesterday. She said he gave no reason for his decision.

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8:16am

Mon October 21, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sister Helen Prejean on The Campbell Conversations

Sister Helen Prejean
via Twitter

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Sister Helen Prejean, the author of Dead Man Walking, which inspired the movie of the same name.  Sister Helen relates her advocacy efforts to end the death penalty in the twenty years since the book's publication, and how work

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5:25pm

Wed October 16, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga Nation will take land claim to international courts

While the country's top court has thrown out the challenge, the Onondaga Indian Nation says it will now take its land claim fight to international courts.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Onondaga's petition this week to review the dismissal of its long-running lawsuit claiming a massive swath of land running down the middle of New York state.

The Nation had argued the 4,000 square miles in 11 counties was illegally taken by the state through a series of bogus treaties.

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8:19am

Wed October 16, 2013
Regional Coverage

Authorities bust sex ring that ran from Watertown to Ithaca

A Syracuse man and two women were arrested and charged Tuesday with operating a sex ring that prosecutors say stretched from Watertown to Ithaca.

The state Attorney General's office says Eric Oliver, 30, of Syracuse, was the ring leader of the operation. They say he was assisted by two women: Tirra Pate of Syracuse and Jessico Moro of Cicero, both 19 years old.

They're accused of coercing women and girls as young as 15 years old into becoming prostitutes. Prosecutors allege the trio would use physical force or gave the girls drugs to keep them on the job.

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6:01am

Wed October 16, 2013
Regional Coverage

New food co-op in Syracuse brings healthy options to southside neighborhood

The interior of the Eat to Live Food Co-op.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A new food co-op on Syracuse's southside has opened its doors. Neighbors are welcoming the new Eat to Live Food Cooperative on South Salina Street, an area that doesn't have many options when it comes to buying healthy food.  

Joseph Bryant, president of the Southside Community Coalition said the co-op ultimately eliminates a food desert.

"Fifty-two percent of the people in this census tract use public transportation or walk. So not having the ability to drive to a grocery store is one thing, so now we can provide midday shopping trips in the neighborhood," Bryant said.

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5:05pm

Tue October 15, 2013
Regional Coverage

Lawsuit against Watertown industrial polluter gaining momentum

The New York Air Brake industrial site in Watertown is the subject of an impending class-action lawsuit by current and former neighborhood residents who say past chemical dumping caused illnesses and birth defects.
Credit Joanna Richards

Current and former residents of Watertown's north side neighborhood have been building a public case against the company New York Air Brake, over former chemical dumping they say has made them sick. The law firm of famous environmental attorney Erin Brockovich has taken interest in the case. Now, a lawsuit is shaping up, and the state Department of Health is planning its own investigation.

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8:44am

Mon October 14, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County creates two new departments, shrinks another

Onondaga County is making massive changes to the part of its bureaucracy that helps families and individuals in need. The recently passed county budget reshuffles the traditional way residents have been getting services for years.

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4:36pm

Fri October 11, 2013
Regional Coverage

Remembrance Scholars vow to 'act forward' in memory of Pan Am 103

A rose and inscription sit on top of Syracuse University's memorial wall for the victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 terrorist attack.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

7:56am

Thu October 10, 2013
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County lawmakers bring back bail program

Keith Allison, Flickr

Onondaga County lawmakers are resurrecting a program that helps people who need to be bailed out of jail after committing minor crimes. Lawmakers agreed to put $25,000 in the recently passed 2014 budget, to run the Jail Ministry Bail Expediter Program.

Legislator Linda Ervin says constituents have been asking for a return of the program ever since it was disbanded, because of concerns that funds were being misused. She says it puts people without means on the same footing as those with ready cash who can bail out loved ones in the case of a minor crime, like shoplifting.

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1:55am

Wed October 9, 2013
Regional Coverage

Children's Clinic closes temporarily under financial hardship

Dan Wasneechak didn't know how bleak the North Country Children's Clinic's finances were when he was hired as its chief in August. On Tuesday, he announced the clinic would temporarily close to try to resolve its fiscal issues.
Credit Joanna Richards

When Dan Wasneechak took the helm of the North Country Children's Clinic in August, he had no idea that less than two months into his tenure, he'd be announcing its temporary closure. But he did that yesterday afternoon, after a frantic week of trying to sort out the clinic's finances to keep it running.

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2:34am

Tue October 8, 2013
Regional Coverage

Navigators, private brokers tackle new insurance exchange

Donna Hynes, an official New York state health insurance exchange "navigator," says many people are on her waiting list for appointments to get help shopping for plans.
Joanna Richards

Most people have heard of “navigators” for the new health insurance exchanges. They're the trained, impartial guides funded by the federal government to help people make more informed choices as they shop for policies. And then there are private insurance brokers...there's been less talk about it, but they, too, can help consumers sign up for plans.

On the exchanges' first days, both kinds of guides were busy on the front lines of this major policy shift.

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11:05am

Sun October 6, 2013
The Economy

Richard Wolff on The Campbell Conversations

Richard Wolff
twitter

This week on the Campbell Conversations, economist Richard Wolff argues that our economic recovery has so far been a “fiction,” unless you’re in the top one percent, and he further claims that this problem reflects something much more fundamentally wrong with our modern system of capitalism.  He finds a solution to the problem in a reconsideration of the way we govern the workplace.  Wolff is the author of books such as Democracy at Work, and C

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4:45pm

Fri October 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

SUNY Oswego dedicates Shineman Center

The entire science center complex, on the east side of the SUNY Oswego campus.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Richard S. Shineman Center, a new science building on the SUNY Oswego campus, was dedicated on Friday, October 4. SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley presided over the dedication ceremony. Audio of the entire event is available below:

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7:53am

Fri October 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Search begins for new State Fair director

File photo
Stu Gallagher New York State Fair

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Wednesday it is searching for a new director for the New York State Fair. While in Syracuse Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the new director should be someone who can move the fair forward.

"What's the next evolution of the fair, right? How does the fair continue to grow and develop, so we attract even more people? And if fair management is becoming more and more sophisticated and they're now multi-entertainment venues,  someone who brings that expertise I think would be great."

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7:40am

Wed October 2, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum civilian workers hit with furloughs, again

Dougtone Creative Commons License

Fort Drum is among the many arms of the federal government dealing with furloughs as a result of the government shutdown. Workers deemed non-essential were sent home midday yesterday.

A division spokeswoman said the timing is bad for the post, because because it comes on top of a nearly two-year hiring freeze that has many departments already down to bare bones staffing. And this is a busy time for Fort Drum, with multiple units preparing for imminent deployments, and others returning and going through reintegration.

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6:26am

Fri September 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

U.S. Defense Secretary calls for military security reviews

The mass shooting at the Washington, D.C. Navy Yard earlier this month prompted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to call for security reviews at all military facilities. Fort Drum declined to comment on how the post is being affected by that decision, but this week the Department of Defense gave details about how the larger review process would take shape.
 

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7:54am

Thu September 26, 2013
Regional Coverage

New work space fills gap for small food producers

Christine Hoffman has just moved her jam and jelly business, The Spicy Wench, into the new shared-use commercial kitchen in Sackets Harbor.
Joanna Richards

A new commercial kitchen in Sackets Harbor is starting to help small food producers grow their businesses. The shared-use facility is the first of its kind in Jefferson County.

In a dining room full of chattering officials from local government, agriculture and economic development, people dug into the first products of the new kitchen: Christine Hoffman's pepper jelly and fruit jam.

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7:18pm

Wed September 25, 2013
Transportation

I-81 debate is personal for those who live in highway's shadow

Interstate 81 carries tens of thousands of cars through downtown Syracuse every day, but its infrastructure is aging.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A decision on one of Syracuse's largest development projects of the century is still years away, but already opinions are becoming entrenched as others plea for more talking and new ideas.

A 1.4 mile elevated stretch of Interstate 81 running right through downtown Syracuse, known as the viaduct, will soon need to be replaced and state and federal transportation officials are in the midst of a lengthy decision process to decide how the next incarnation of the roadway will look and work. A decision is penciled in for 2017.

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3:13pm

Wed September 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Turning guns to jewelry to help fight gun violence

Jewelry pieces crafted from guns and bullets by Liberty United
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The city of Syracuse is joining forces with a company that turns the remnants of guns and bullets into jewelry, and turns the profits towards helping reduce gun violence.

At a press conference in Syracuse Wednesday, Peter Thum, founder of Liberty United, showed off some of the jewelry that's been created from the remnants of melted-down guns and bullets confiscated by police -- some of them from Syracuse.

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7:42am

Wed September 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

City of Oswego launches mobile reporting app

The city of Oswego has launched an app allowing residents to report issues directly to the necessary department.

Sixth ward Common Councilor Eric VanBuren researched the free app and brought it to the Common Council for approval. He says the program will reduce waste and hold the city more responsible for addressing concerns.

"You know, someone would submit that request to us or to someone else, there was no visibility to it," VanBuren said. "Now, when you see that, other people can see it as well."

The app also provides several benefits.

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7:27am

Wed September 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

New series of public meetings being held to decide I-81's future

A series of neighborhood meetings will help the Department of Transportation decide I-81's future.
Zack Seward WXXI

New York state is holding another round of meetings regarding a topic that could change the face of Syracuse. The Department of Transportation begins a series of neighborhood sessions on Wednesday meant to get more feedback on the future of the Interstate 81 viaduct through downtown Syracuse.

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7:27am

Mon September 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse joins federal government in motion to try to change civil service tests

The city of Syracuse has joined the federal government in a legal motion that could end up changing the civil service tests that are the baseline for hiring police and firefighters across the state.

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