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Women in tech: working to boost the numbers

17 hours ago
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More women are adding terms like coder and game developer to their resumes, but the industry still has a long way to go to reach gender parity.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

It took two ballots but the Onondaga County Democratic Committee finally settled on Colleen Deacon, as their designated candidate in the race for the 24th Congressional District. But despite the county party nod, there will still be a primary to see who will face incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus).

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been 52 confirmed cases of Zika virus infections from travelers returning to the United States from infected areas. The concern is that mosquitoes in the U.S. will bite an infected person and spread the disease.

Dr. Indu Gupta, the Onondaga County health commissioner, said there have been three documented cases of Zika in New York State so far but admits there are more.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Cheap gas prices are making consumers happy at the pump, but not everyone is benefiting from the lower prices. New York’s counties, who impose a sales tax on gasoline, have lost over $200 million in revenues.

The state of New York also charges a gasoline tax, but it’s a uniform rate of 8 cents per gallon. Counties charge a 4 percent sales tax on the price of gas.

Stephen Aquario, with the New York State Association of Counties, said they see less revenue when the price plunges from $4 a gallon to $2 a gallon, which is the average rate right now.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A family-owned supermarket in Syracuse is implementing a numerical rating system that helps people choose products that are more nutritious. The system is showing big differences in products that look nearly identical.

The Nojaims Brothers Supermarket on Syracuse’s Near West Side has been around for 97 years but owner Paul Nojaim wanted to try something new.

Ken Reppart / Flickr

Scriba town officials are considering delaying a referendum that could lead to replacing one of its elected official who was arrested for drinking and driving. Scriba's new Highway Superintendent Michael Barry was arrested last July, with a blood alcohol content level of .14, and charged with a DWI. But, town residents didn't know about the arrest until after the November election.

Tony Fischer / Flickr

An official with Entergy said that its decision to close Oswego County's James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant last October is negatively affecting the way state lawmakers view its Indian Point nuclear facility.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The dispute over pay raises for Onondaga County elected officials will have its day in court next month.  

The raises lawmakers voted themselves and County Executive Joanie Mahoney last December continue to make waves. County Comptroller Bob Antonacci is taking the county to court. He claims that the move violated the Onondaga County charter. Since announcing the lawsuit, accusations of politics have been flying back and forth between the two sides.    

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon is among those named in the suit.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has released a report that it said shows the benefits of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years. Business groups charge the study is biased.

Cuomo has been pushing hard for a phased in $15 an hour minimum wage, putting the proposal into his state budget and campaigning for the measure with Vice President Joe Biden.

“Every working man and woman in the state of New York deserves $15 an hour as a minimum wage,” Cuomo shouted at rally last fall.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

A report put out by Fort Drum quantifies how much of an impact the base has on the North Country's economy. Based on military figures, the study says the base pumped more than $1.6 billion into Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties last year. 

Fort Drum is Northern New York's largest single-site employer.  More than 15,000 soldiers and close to 4,000 civilians work there. The payroll alone is more than a billion dollars. These numbers may sound staggering but last year Fort Drum pumped even more money  into the local economy. The total amount is slightly smaller this year.

Sarah Harris / North Country Public Radio

A farm initiative lead by state Sen. Patty Ritchie plans to restore $12 million to research programs slated to be cut under Cuomo's  budget plan.

Ritchie chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. She says food safety and research programs ultimately help farmers grow their bottom line. For example, in the past year, Cornell University scientists have researched ways to fight bird flu and stop the die-off of honeybees and more.

Oswego County emergency management officials say one of the emergency sirens that surround the county's three nuclear power plants inadvertently went off twice early Wednesday morning.

The siren, located on County Route 1 in Scriba near the entrance to the Novelis Aluminum plant, went off shortly after 3:00 a.m. and again just before 4:00 a.m. County 911 officials received a radio signal from the siren that indicated a malfunction.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The majority of Onondaga County residents that came out to a public hearing Tuesday in Liverpool on government consolidation in the county were concerned about two issues: their taxes going up and having less access to public officials.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Local governments and schools say they are struggling over a property tax cap that will allow what amounts to a zero percent increase in tax levies in the coming year. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says they’ll likely have to stick with those rules.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Local progressive leaders, including a candidate for Congress, are putting pressure on Rep.  John Katko (R-Camillus) to support the SAVE Benefits Act, that would provide a one year bump in Social Security benefits.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

The Oswego Common Council is repealing a recently enacted law that requires city employees to live within 15 miles of downtown Oswego. In a 6-1 vote Monday, the council voted to repeal the residency requirement almost a year after it was added to the charter. Mayor Billy Barlow said it's a burden to families who may have to live in another area that has the services their families need. And, he said it hinders the hiring process.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo offered a rationale for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy over that of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders, saying Clinton’s approach is more practical.

Cuomo, who was HUD Secretary under former President Bill Clinton and who is helping Hillary Clinton’s election efforts in New York, says the former Secretary of State is presenting ideas that are “more realistic” that could actually be enacted if she were president.

stgermh / Flickr

The U.S. Attorney who convicted both of the leaders of the legislature came to Albany Monday to speak to a conference of the state’s mayors. But Preet Bharara was not invited to the State Capitol itself, and he did not meet directly with any lawmakers, even though Bharara and Governor Cuomo attended the same event, the swearing in of the state’ new chief judge.

Bharara addressed mayors from all over the state, gathered for their annual meeting, where he told them the point of his anti-corruption work is to “protect democracy.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A Democratic senator and Republican congressman in central New York stood at the same podium this week, pushing a bi-partisan effort to help create more manufacturing jobs.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council is holding off plans to prohibit the use of parking boots by property managers on cars parked illegally. A number of business-related items came up on the council’s agenda.

Councilor-at-large Steven Thompson said property managers are telling him that the parking boots are a good alternative to calling a tow truck when someone is parked illegally on their property.

High-speed internet still lags in rural areas

Feb 8, 2016
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

Federal numbers on broadband access came out late last month, and although there were improvements over 2015, rural areas still showed high percentages of people without access to high speed internet.  

Rural areas are notorious for having low levels of online access because it’s not worth it for telecom companies to install new, faster infrastructure for a relatively small number of customers.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Last week was a bad week for historic buildings in Syracuse.  First, the city’s Land Bank demolished what was known as the Gothic Cottage, a more than 150-year-old historic home on South Salina Street.  A day later, a portion of a more than century old four-story brick building on South Salina Street’s 300 block collapsed. The building was vacant, but created a gaping hole and a dangerous situation for anyone who ventured nearby. The city demolished the building over the weekend.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO file photo

Senate Democrats are optimistic about their chances for winning a special election in April to replace convicted ex-Senate Leader Dean Skelos .

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, in an interview with public radio and television,  predicts the Democratic candidate in the race for the Skelos seat, Assemblyman and former prosecutor  Todd Kaminsky, will do “quite well”, and represents “a break from the past”.

“Which frankly, voters out there deserve and need,” Stewart Cousins said.

Kaminsky faces Republican Attorney Chris McGrath.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The State University of New York (SUNY) and City University of New York (CUNY) are drawing criticism from Gov. Andrew Cuomo for their administrative salaries. Some of the highest-paid employees at the publicly funded universities earn more than $400,000, at the same time that tuition is rising. 

World Bank Photo Collection

As New York state moves towards eradicating AIDS, there's one demographic where the disease continues to grow: the community of color. Syracuse isn’t immune to this trend, so advocates are trying new strategies to reach this population.

ACR Health AIDS educator Lanika Mabrey of Syracuse said her story is pretty typical. She didn’t realize her mother had AIDS until after she died six years ago. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Truce is a collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement to go after gun and gang violence in the city. Their most recent effort in the past three months resulted in 27 gang members being arrested on charges varying from murder to parole violation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Two Democratic candidates running for New York's 24th Congressional District seat earned a joint endorsement Wednesday night from the Democratic parties in Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties. 

The counties are supporting Syracuse lawyer Steve Williams and Colleen Deacon, a former staffer for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, was not endorsed.

Zach Hirsch / NCPR File Photo

David Sweat said he escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility last summer to get away from abusive conditions inside the prison. And he apologized for the anxiety he caused when he broke out.

Sweat made those statements at a sentencing hearing in Plattsburgh yesterday, where he was sentenced to 7-14 years behind bars for felony charges related to the escape.

That penalty will be added to Sweat’s current life sentence. Sweat pleaded guilty last year. But in the judge’s chambers, before things got started, he tried to change his plea to “not guilty.”

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In a tie vote, the Democratic parties in Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne counties decided to endorse two of the three Democratic candidates in the race for New York's 24th Congressional district. 

quinn.anya / via Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council will vote Monday on prohibiting people from booting vehicles parked on private property. First Deputy Chief Joe Cecile with the Syracuse Police Department said it is a public safety issue as they have received calls on arguments over the booting.

“There’s no doubt that eventually you will have a physical alteration over one of these bootings," Cecile said. "The second reason was, there were no regulations whatsoever as far as fines, they could charge anything they wanted.”

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