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.
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.
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.
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.
More than 200 National Guard members have been called on to help parts of New York dig out of the blizzard and frigid temperatures, but roll call was all volunteer.
Twenty members of the 174th Air National Guard Wing based in Syracuse signed up to bundle up and join units from Niagara Falls, Utica and Buffalo to respond to the blizzard that hit western and northern New York this week.
Pounding snow in the North Country and bitterly cold temperatures across the state will around for at least one more night.
Government officials in New York state from the governor on down are urging residents in parts of northern, central and western New York to stay indoors as lake effect snow, wind chill advisories and frigid temperatures are causing dangerous conditions.
After losing several big name manufacturing plants in recent decades, Oswego County has been aggressively trying to lure new companies in, filling vacant facilities with new tenants. The most recent announcement was made in Fulton, where a Pakistan-based poultry processor has taken over the former Birds Eye plant.
Mayor Ron Woodward says new companies help combat his city's recent struggles tied to job loss.
Upstate New York is in the midst of a cold front that is bringing dangerous weather conditions and causing large parts of northern New York to essentially shut down. Businesses, offices, health clinics, courts and other facilities either closed for the day or closed midday due to treacherous weather conditions.
The former Birds Eye plant in Fulton is officially the home of a Pakistan-based poultry processing company which hopes to begin manufacturing products in the next couple of months.
K&N's Foods USA bought the vacant building last January, and in less than a year invested more than $5 million into the building's purchase and renovation to get it up and running. Adil Sattar, chief executive with K&N's Foods USA, says although the company isn't producing anything just yet, it is already an employer.
The trial of Hancock drone war crimes resisters continues later today in a town of DeWitt courtroom. The men and women, mostly from upstate New York, are defending themselves from trespass charges, after an October protest of the use of unmanned aerial drones at the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Mattydale.
The 16 defendants contend their blockade of the entrance to the air base is not a crime.
“The actual crime is the killing of civilians, the war of aggression, the violation of national sovereignty,” said Clare Grady, of Ithaca.
Another group has formed to weigh in on the future of Interstate 81’s path through downtown Syracuse. This one calling for a focus on moving people, not cars.
The elevated stretch of I-81 through downtown Syracuse is nearing the end of its 50 year lifespan. Area residents are entwined in a lengthy debate over its second life, which largely boils down to rebuild or reroute.
John Bartow, executive director of the Tug Hill Commission, says despite the housing allowance for Fort Drum soldiers rising again this year, rents are stabilizing in the region.
Credit Joanna Richards
The growth of Fort Drum and its fluctuating soldier population have always complicated the housing market around Watertown. But the Army post throws another factor into the mix: soldier’s housing allowances. They just went up.
As of January 1, the Basic Allowance for Housing, or BAH, rates across the military went up an average of 5 percent. In the Fort Drum area, it’s up around 13 percent. Junior enlisted soldiers have gone from receiving $948 per month to $1,071 per month, to cover the cost of housing and utilities.
Much of central New York is under a winter storm warning until tomorrow morning. Snow will fall heavily at times around the region, with the heaviest of the snow falling from Syracuse south. Six to 12 inches of snow is possible around central New York by tomorrow with lesser amounts to the north.
In addition to the snow, the region will be facing bitterly cold temperatures. Wind chill advisories are posted for the region through tomorrow morning.
Governor Andrew Cuomo visited a newly expanded snowmobiler lounge in Lowville Monday to unveil a new ad campaign to promote winter tourism upstate. Cuomo says there’s new energy in the north country, thanks to increasing economic investment. He credits the efforts of both the region and his administration in making that happen.
Trainees work on an MQ-9 Reaper drone at Hancock Field in Syracuse.
Credit David Sommerstein
Not long after a military drone crashed into Lake Ontario in November, the program that aircraft belonged to is getting a boost with funding from the 2014 defense spending bill signed into law last week. The money will go toward expanding a storage and maintenance facility at Fort Drum.
Jefferson Community College in Watertown has some big campus upgrades in the works. The projects at the SUNY school represent more than just an expansion. They could change its identity.
On a lot coated with rocks and muddy snow, a new dorm is going up. Bart Young, foreman on the construction site, points out its features.
“All the offices will be over in this area. There’ll be a classroom down in this area, main electrical room. And this is all glass front area right here. It’ll be like a foyer coming in and out of the courtyard.”
The winter months can pose a headache for drivers navigating the roads after a snow storm. Plowing can only do so much and too often a slick, hard pack of snow and ice can cover streets making them dangerous to drive.
So what are road crews trying now? Beet juice.
It’s not used everywhere, but it is catching on. The New York State Thruway Authority is one of several state agencies pre-treating and treating roads with and mixture of beet juice extract and brine water.
Bringing broadband Internet access to rural central New York is on the list of items that Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei says he would like to get done. Maffei, a Democrat, says the move to bring broadband to the area isn't just about having a faster connection to do Google searches, but building sustainable economic and informational growth.
Bad weather and a shorter fundraising season are taking their toll on the Salvation Army's Red kettle Campaign this year. Maj. Don Hostetler, commander of the Salvation Army's Empire State Division, says at first the season was actually tracking ahead of last year. But heavy snowfalls and a stretch of bitter cold temperatures dampened a strong start, resulting in the charity's late season push to reach their $4 million goal.
While out shopping for gifts for family and friends this holiday season, some charitable shoppers also reached for dolls, notepads and toiletries to pack into a shoebox for a child overseas. The shoeboxes not only give impoverished kids some necessities, but something less tangible -- hope.
Recently, hundreds of festive shoeboxes line the walls of Oswego Alliance Church. Volunteers take a couple minutes to stack each box, straightening out the red and green columns into one uniform wall. None of the boxes have shoes in them.
Utility crews worked down to the wire last night to try to get everyone’s lights and heat back on by Christmas morning. Most of the 70,000 customers who lost power during the ice storm had it on again by yesterday evening. But a handful of residents celebrated a dark and chilly Christmas Eve.
Pockets of Watertown, Clayton and Gouverneur still had no power last night.