Regional Coverage

1:44pm

Wed January 29, 2014
School Closings

School closings for Wednesday afternoon & evening

ecksunderscore Flickr

Persistent lake effect snow in the region, particularly the North Country, has caused some schools to dismiss early this morning or cancel afternoon and evening activities. Check back for updates.

Alexandria Central School: No after school activities/sports

Belleville-Henderson Central School: Closing at 1:30 PM; No after school activities/sports

Carthage Central School District: No after school activities/sports No after school activities/sports

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7:49am

Wed January 29, 2014
Regional Coverage

Details of Onondaga Lakeshore redevelopment will be released today

Dredging took place on Onondaga Lake in the summer of 2012. (file photo)
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.

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11:25pm

Tue January 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Comptroller reports state spent record amount on overtime

Ryan Delaney WRVO

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.

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11:01pm

Tue January 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Ethics panel rejects donor privacy requests from abortion groups

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.

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5:02pm

Tue January 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

News Briefs: Tuesday, Jan. 28

Erin Gardner/File Photo

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.

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7:37am

Tue January 28, 2014
School Closings

School delays for Tuesday

ecksunderscore Flickr

Poor weather conditions around the area have caused some schools to close, delay opening or dismiss early this morning. Check back for updates. 

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7:07am

Tue January 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Gillibrand pitches paid family and medical leave in Watertown

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.

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7:58am

Mon January 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

DOT to determine scope of rooftop highway study

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.

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7:15am

Mon January 27, 2014
Refugees

'Senseless war' threatens former Lost Boy's work in South Sudan

John Dau, a former Lost Boy Sudanese refugee in his office in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A decade ago, central New York welcomed a group of refugees from Sudan known as The Lost Boys. Their story is famous for the long journey they made to flee decades of civil war.

Now they’re watching a new wave of violence in their homeland from afar.

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5:30am

Mon January 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

Gillibrand optimistic on push for reform in military sexual assault cases

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at Jefferson Community College in Watertown Thursday.
Credit Joanna Richards

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been pushing hard to reform the way the military handles sexual assaults. Her proposal was dropped once, but she’s hopeful it will come up for a vote again and succeed. 

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7:32am

Fri January 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Miner focuses on city development, proposed stadium in State of the City address

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner speaks with reporters follwing her annual State of the City speech Thursday.
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.

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5:09pm

Wed January 22, 2014
Upstate hospital investigation

Former Upstate hospital president still on payroll, despite resignation

SUNY Upstate Medical University and University Hospital in Syracuse.
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.

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8:22am

Wed January 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego Common Council hoping for rebound after difficult 2013

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.

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8:25am

Tue January 21, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Police Department receives animal first aid kits

Veterinarian Tim Robinson looks at an emergency animal first aid kit, while Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler looks on.
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.”

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1:33pm

Mon January 20, 2014
MLK Day

Listen to a newly discovered speech by Martin Luther King Jr.

The New York State Museum has posted an online exhibit featuring a newly discovered audio recording of a 1962 speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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12:04pm

Mon January 20, 2014
MLK Day

MLK Jr. day of service brings dozens to food and clothing drive

Volunteers at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day food and clothing drive in Syracuse.
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.

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10:13am

Mon January 20, 2014
Regional Coverage

Sheriff's departments air concerns over SAFE Act

Ken Hawkins Flickr

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.

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7:53am

Fri January 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Weekend forum will attempt to address concerns surrounding SAFE Act

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.

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8:01am

Tue January 14, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council revises disorderly houses ordinance

The nuisance property proposal was discussed at a Syracuse Common Council meeting in October.
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

Syracuse lawmakers have made it easier for police to get involved with problem properties. Common Councilors agreed to revise the old disorderly houses ordinance into a modern day tool for police.

Common councilor Khalid Bey says he’s heard frustration from constituents who don’t see action when they complain about problem properties.

“I had a constituent who had an ongoing problem with a gambling house," Bey said. "Six months of complaints with no real recourse. Now police have an adequate tool to deal with such a compliant.”

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3:34pm

Mon January 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Longtime Onondaga County sheriff announces retirement

Onondaga County Sheriff Kevin Walsh (right) announced his retirement, as Deputy Chief John Balloni (left) looks on.
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."

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8:09am

Mon January 13, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego officials support Cuomo's 2014 agenda, but question Cuomo's tax cap

Parks commissioner Rose Harvey talks to attendees about Cuomo's agenda.
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.

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8:08am

Fri January 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Watertown Stream call center's parent company selling to rival

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.

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7:49am

Fri January 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Cuomo comments on recidivism against backdrop of prison closures

Image from Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2014 State of the State address.
governor.ny.gov

In his State of the State speech this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again blasted New York's state prison system, describing what he called the "madness" of mass incarceration in New York.  

That tough language follows Cuomo's declaration in his State of the State address three years ago that prisons should no longer be used to boost economic development in rural upstate communities.

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7:36am

Fri January 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Drug addiction experts want state to exercise caution with medical marijuana decision

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.

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7:31am

Thu January 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

School delays for Thursday

Jason Kuffer Flickr

There are several delays this morning, as schools are still recovering from this week's heavy snowfall.

Bellevillle-Henderson Central: Two Hour Delay; no a.m. Pre-K

Copenhagen Central: Two Hour Delay; no a.m. Pre-K, no a.m. BOCES

Dryden Central: Middle and High Schools ONLY are Closed

Fort Drum: Two Hour Delay

South Jefferson Central: Two Hour Delay

7:25am

Thu January 9, 2014
Regional Coverage

Schumer calls for more federal heating aid for New Yorkers

Residents in Adams move snow following storms that hit the area earlier this week.
Erin Gardner

With New Yorkers dealing with an extremely cold start to the new year, Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for more federal heating aid to be made available.

Schools and businesses throughout northern New York were closed Tuesday and Wednesday, after storms dropped nearly three feet of snow in Watertown and the surrounding towns. The heavy snowfall was accompanied by wind chill temperatures that approached -30 degrees.

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10:36pm

Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Community cared for many travelers during massive snowfall

A roomful of strangers at Jennifer Gaffney's home in Adams have fun getting to know each other. Gaffney took in five stranded motorists after the overflowing fire department put out a call for help from local residents.
Credit Jennifer Gaffney

Travelers got back on the road yesterday afternoon after Interstate 81 reopened following the massive snowfall. Many spent an unexpected night in the north country – some in hotels, some in fire halls, some in the homes of strangers. The experience might have been a lousy advertisement for the climate here, but natives seemed to be at their best as Good Samaritans during the storm.

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4:45pm

Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Stranded drivers find welcome at Jefferson County hotels, homes

Exit 41 of I-81 in Adams, NY.
Catherine Loper WRVO

The last portions of Route 81 between Watertown and North Syracuse are open again, after lake-effect storms closed much of the highway down.

Through the storms, hardy North Country natives have been helping stranded travelers. Many people spent last night in fire halls - the one in Adams took in 150 people. Watertown hotels right off the Interstate 81 exit were full, of both drivers and staff who couldn't get out, either.

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7:33am

Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Lake effect snow continues in North Country; many travelers stranded

Residents are trying to dig out in Adams, NY
Sarah Crisafulli

The lake effect snow warning for northern New York has been extended until Thursday at 1 p.m. as upwards of four feet of snow has fallen in some spots since Monday. A state of emergency remains in effect for 14 counties, including Oswego, Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Forecasters predicted snow to fall at a rate of two to three inches an hour Wednesday morning in an area in the Tug Hill area.

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6:11am

Wed January 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

School closings and delays for Wednesday

ecksunderscore Flickr

There are several closings and delays this morning, as schools report bitterly cold wind chill temperatures and lake effect snow. Check back for more cancelations.

Auburn City Schools: One Hour Delay

Beaver River Central: Closed

Belleville-Henderson Central: Closed

Canastota Central: Two Hour Delay

Carthage Central: Closed

Cazenovia Central: Two Hour Delay

Chittenango Central: Two Hour Delay

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