regional news

RIT HOT WHEELZ

An all-female car race team from Rochester Institute of Technology finished third in the electric category in its first global event. In early May, “Hot Wheelz” took part in the Formula Hybrid at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Supporters of farmworker justice chanted “yes we can” at a rally in Syracuse Thursday. They’re encouraging support for the Farmworkers Fair Labor practices Act, a piece of legislation that’s been stalled in the state legislature for 15 years.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Several bills in the New York state legislature would extend or eliminate the criminal and/or civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse.

Kathryn Robb with Massachusetts Citizens for Children, is a survivor of child sex abuse and an advocate for removing the criminal and civil statute of limitations.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The executive director of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport told a congressional panel in Washington Thursday that the addition of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) PreCheck Enrollment System has been very successful in cutting down on security lines at the facility.

Credit SUNY Polytechnic

Probes deepened into alleged corruption by former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former members of his administration, as the attorney general’s office conducted a raid at SUNY Polytechnic Institute offices in Albany Thursday afternoon.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

During nearly two hours of testimony in Oswego City Hall Tuesday, community leaders and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Plant employees begged staff from New York's Public Service Commission to support the proposed "clean energy standard" under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's goal to generate half of the state's energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

A board controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders voted Wednesday to approve more than $485 million for the Buffalo Billion project. But there were some questions from board members about details of a program that is now under federal investigation.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

New York State government could be getting out of the fair business. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has launched a privatization task force to look at the ways a private sector developer can help run the New York State Fair.

In a stop at the Geddes Fairgrounds Wednesday, Cuomo admitted that the state had apparently been trying to find a top-tier private sector company to run the state fair, but couldn’t find a taker.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A Syracuse police officer has been cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an armed woman.

Police officers Darrin Ettinger and Jeremy Decker were called to the scene back in February on a complaint of drug dealing. Upon arriving, the woman, brandishing a sawed-off shotgun, ran away from police officers, who told her multiple times to drop her weapon. The woman turned and pivoted towards Decker, pointing the gun in his direction. Ettinger fired two shots that hit the woman.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

During a hearing on Capitol Hill, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) urged his colleagues to designate Oswego's Fort Ontario and Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Shelter Museum to National Park status. The Republican congressman is sponsoring a bill that would trigger a study to determine if the historical sites are worthy of becoming part of the National Park system.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), the second highest ranking member of the state Senate, is weighing in on what ethics reforms may or may not get passed before the end of the legislative session in June. There are a number of reforms DeFrancisco said he would support as long as there are no exceptions.

SUNY ESF

Every year an international committee of taxonomists for SUNY ESF’s International Institute for Species Exploration comes up with a list of the top ten new species discovered in the last year. For the first time, it has social media to thank for one of the discoveries.

It was a random posting on Facebook in Brazil of a carnivorous plant called a sundew. There are nearly 200 variations of the plant that secretes a thick mucus on its leaves, which traps insects. This particular plant, which at four feet high is taller than any others, wasn’t in any science books.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has released a bill to close a loophole that allows for unlimited big money donations to candidates. The LLC loophole has played a key role in the federal corruption trials of both former leaders of the state legislature, and may be a factor in the ongoing federal investigation of the governor’s economic development projects.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The Watertown City Council has decided to demote eight fire captains at a council meeting Monday night.  Mayor Joe Butler said the council made the decision to avoid lay-offs within the fire department. 

“Our contention is that they have 1.7 firefighters for every officer. We’ve contended before that we are top heavy. This restriction will help eliminate that top heaviness and still preserve the personnel we have,” Butler said.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Novelis, the aluminum manufacturing plant in Oswego County, unveiled a new $120 million addition to its operation Monday. The "automotive finishing line" takes strips of aluminum through furnaces, coolers and chemicals to strengthen the metal. It was designed specifically for the 2017 Ford Super Duty truck.

Kevin Schutt, the Novelis plant manager in Oswego, said with more aluminum, trucks can increase their payload and towing capacity. It's part of an industry-wide shift toward more lightweight vehicles for superior fuel efficiency. 

Army Medicine / Flickr

Onondaga County’s yearly mosquito testing program has started for the season. For the first time, the county is on the lookout for the mosquito that carries the Zika virus.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council has approved changes to two busy streets on the Syracuse University campus. The council is also preparing for a potential vote on requiring a certain percentage of contract workers to be hired from within the city.  

The council chambers were packed Monday afternoon with striking Verizon workers who cheered when the council passed a resolution supporting their protesting efforts against outsourcing and other issues.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

It’s just over three weeks until the legislative session is scheduled to end, and hopes for reform are fading, during an unprecedented level of corruption in state government.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

When Joe Butler, Watertown’s new mayor, started drafting the budget for next year he knew money was going to be tight. He and the rest of city council saw one department as ripe for cuts: the Watertown Fire Department.

A public battle

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The water in Syracuse schools has been tested for lead and 43 out of 45 schools were shown to have safe levels. Two schools each have a water source showing elevated lead levels that are not used for drinking.

The sinks in question were located in a janitor’s work closet at Delaware Elementary and a classroom laboratory at the Syracuse Academy of Science. One sink has been replaced and the other is scheduled to be replaced soon.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

City officials and area leaders in Oswego are putting together an application for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's downtown revitalization initiative competition that will award $10 million to 10 New York communities.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Work behind the scenes continues as the New York State Department of Transportation moves towards removing or replacing the crumbling Interstate 81 viaduct that cuts through the heart of Syracuse.

The community has been talking about this for years now -- what to do when the viaduct that brings I-81 through Syracuse comes to the end of its lifespan next year.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

The three candidates running for the Democratic nomination for central New York's 24th Congressional District seat are being more critical of each other as we get closer to the June 28 Congressional primary. The winner will go on to face incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. The three candidates, Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson and Steve Williams, sat down for a debate with Grant Reeher on this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. In this debate preview, the candidates were asked why voters should not re-elect Katko, who has been viewed as more of a moderate Republican.

Syracuse University

As the Syracuse University Board of Trustees moves forward with plans to renovate its campus, the university is asking the Syracuse Common Council to approve of changes to vital streets in the area. The changes are expected to bring an increase in traffic.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is filling more potholes than usual as it embarks on a more data-driven strategy to fixing crumbling streets.

"We have, since April, filled 3,260 potholes,” said Mayor Stephanie Miner.

She said what you can’t see during this process may be the most important: every time the DuroPatcher goes to work, a GPS-enabled device on the vehicle keeps track of where and when a pothole is filled.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to know what New Yorkers think the state can do to address the heroin and opioid epidemic. Hochul is traveling with a drug task force panel across the state, listening to local experts share their experiences.

“What we’re going through right now in New York is nothing short of a public health crisis,” Hochul said.

Speaking at Syracuse University, Hochul said the drug task force is putting together a plan to present to the governor and the legislature before their session ends in June.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

At a forum hosted by the Greater Syracuse Labor Council, AFL-CIO in Syracuse Wednesday, the three candidates running in the Democratic primary for New York's 24th Congressional District said the strength of labor unions have been decimated in recent decades and argued for tougher federal legislation to protect them and other domestic jobs.

James F Clay / Flickr

Almost 98 percent of school budgets were approved in statewide voting Tuesday, including the majority of school districts asking for overrides of the state’s mandatory property tax cap.

Only a small number of districts attempted to get the 60 percent supermajority they need to override the tax cap and increase their spending. But of those 36 districts, more than three-quarters succeeded.

Martina Yach / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pushing legislation that would help school districts deal with old pipes that are leaching lead into school’s water systems.

Schumer says the $20 million federal grant program was included in the Water Resource Development Act. He says it’s necessary because school districts need help to test water for lead.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci is speaking out against the Consensus CNY commission’s preliminary report on local government consolidation released earlier this year. 

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