regional news

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Vice President Mike Pence visited central New York Tuesday and said Congress is working on immigration reform this week that will address issues including the separation of children and their families crossing the Southern border. Pence said he and President Donald Trump do not want children taken away from their parents and want a solution to the problem.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner entered the race for governor this week, where she looks to face incumbent Andrew Cuomo. But Miner, a long time Democrat is not running on the Democratic Party line. Instead, she is the candidate for a newly formed political movement.

Miner, coming to the race relatively late, and with little money and name recognition outside of upstate New York, says she knows she faces an uphill battle.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state will sue the federal government over the Trump administration’s policy of separating families accused of crossing the U.S. border illegally, a practice that violates the constitutional rights of thousands of immigrant children and their parents, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

“We believe this practice is illegal,” the Democrat said in a conference call with reporters. Cuomo said that he expects the lawsuit to be filed within two weeks in a court yet to be determined.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Vice President Mike Pence was in central New York today for a fundraiser for Rep. John Katko, and to visit to a steel factory in Auburn.  But he was greeted by protesters as he arrived at a $1,000 per plate fundraiser at a Syracuse hotel.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was in Syracuse Monday pushing gun safety legislation meant to address school shootings. The bill, which would prevent individuals from buying or possessing guns who are believed to be a severe threat to themselves or others, is still tied up in the state legislature.

Giorgio Quattrone / Flickr

Syracuse lawmakers  voted unanimously Monday to protect animals left outside in extreme temperatures. The legislation, called Adrian’s Law, passed at the city level, after Onondaga County lawmakers rejected it earlier this year.

Common Councilors unanimously approved the legislation, named after a pit bull that died after being tied up outside in below freezing temperatures in January.  

Jason Driscoll is the dog control officer who found him.

Molinaro for Governor / Facebook

Prosecutors and lawyers for the defense gave opening statements Monday in the bid rigging trial of a former associate of Gov. Cuomo and two upstate development firms, who are accused of fraudulently obtaining lucrative taxpayer-funded state contracts. 

Meanwhile, Cuomo’s political opponents seized on the trial as evidence of what they say is corruption in the incumbent governor’s administration, while reform groups pressed for changes in New York’s laws.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is joining the race for governor, according to an announcement reported this morning in the New York Times. 

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

Prosecutors Monday will present the second of two corruption cases against former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in federal district court in Manhattan.

Clergy abuse victims in Syracuse Diocese face deadline

Jun 18, 2018
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Monday is the deadline for some people abused as children by clergy in the Syracuse Roman Catholic Diocese to decide whether to participate in the diocese’s compensation program, or wait to see if state lawmakers pass a bill that would extend the statute of limitations, so they could sue later.

That bill is the Child Victims Act. Besides extending the statute of limitations for people abused as children to sue, it would also open a one-year window, so that those previously barred through the statute of limitations to bring their case to court could do so.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media File Photo

Members of Congress from New York, on both sides of the aisle, are focusing in on how their parties can win seats in November's midterm elections. The economy and women are two factors that could push each party towards victory.

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Finger Lakes Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) both agree; to win in the general election, Republicans need to focus on the strong economy. Reed said Republicans should celebrate the low unemployment rate, which is at historic levels for the black and Hispanic populations and promote passing tax cuts.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Sen. Dave Valesky (D-Oneida) has his first Republican opponent in eight years. Economist Janet Burman has decided to run against Valesky, in a district that stretches from the city of Rome in Oneida County into Cayuga County, and includes half of the city of Syracuse.

Burman said she and her husband almost decided to leave New York for a lower taxed state two years ago, but decided against it, because they loved Syracuse. Now she says she’s going to try to do something about those taxes, by running for state Senate.

Democrats Dana Balter, and Juanita Perez Williams will face off in a June 26 primary, with the winner moving on to face Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) in November. The two share a number of things in common, but there are also differences between them. Those differences came out during a conversation with Grant Reeher for this week's edition of the Campbell Conversations. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Demonstrators in Syracuse took part in a “Families Belong Together” rally, happening across the country Thursday, to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the Southern border. The policy is meant to deter immigrants from crossing the border illegally. Protesters call it cruel, violent abuse and a moral outrage.

Irene Workman is a social worker who has worked with children who have been separated from their families by foster care or juvenile detention centers.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

The state's highest court ruled today that Gary Thibodeau should not get a new trial in the kidnapping case of Heidi Allen. Thibodeau was convicted of kidnapping Allen in 1994, and is currently serving a 25 years to life sentence. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The city of Syracuse could take the first steps toward building a municipal fiber network this summer. The project would provide high speed bandwidth at an affordable price for the city, but could also benefit the community. 

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A Siena poll finds Gov.  Andrew Cuomo is securely ahead of his challengers, Democrat Cynthia Nixon and Republican Marc Molinaro, in his re-election bid.

Meanwhile, Cuomo is using some of his $30 million campaign war chest to promote an anti-gun violence measure.

The poll finds Cuomo ahead of Nixon by about 35 points, at 61 to 26 percent, among Democrats who say they are likely to vote in the November election.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Primary Day is less than two weeks away for two women who want to be the Democratic candidate in the race for the central New York congressional seat currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). As their campaigns sprint toward the finish line, they face one factor beyond their control: the calendar. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the anti-sexual harassment policies enacted in the state budget are among the strongest in the nation, but his political rivals say the governor has not done enough to respond to allegations of sexual harassment in his own administration.

Cuomo, in his speech at last month’s state Democratic Party convention, contrasted New York’s newest policy to prevent sexual harassment to the lack of action in Washington, where he said “the silence is deafening.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Central New York residents took familiar sides in the ongoing debate over what should replace the aging Interstate-81 viaduct in Syracuse. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Cuomo has begun a statewide tour to promote a bill to give teachers and school administrators the power to go to court and ask a judge to confiscate the guns of a student and their family, if they suspect the student might try to harm themselves or others.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The grassroots movement in Oswego to redevelop the city's neighborhoods with microloans for home improvement projects has now spread to Fulton. 

Linda Egan started the Fulton Block Builders organization after hearing about the success of the Oswego Renaissance Association. She's found a similar fervor for that kind of change in Fulton. In just two years, Block Builders has raised more than $300,000, helping about 350 homeowners pay for their exterior house work.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Two to three women a week who walk into the Upstate Cancer Center in Syracuse with a diagnosis of hormone driven breast cancer will be affected by news this month that says it’s okay to safely skip chemotherapy in certain cases.  

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon brought her campaign to Rochester on Sunday, specifically to focus on the needs of the disability community.

Nixon met with a variety of supporters, including those active in the disability community locally during her campaign stop at Ontario Beach Park.

The actress and activist who is hoping to face Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo in a September primary keyed in on several points important to those with disabilities, including low wages for home health care aides.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media File Photo

A number of Syracuse University fraternity students involved with racist and sexist videos that were released to the public this spring, have been suspended for up to two years. The videos made national headlines and caused an uproar on campus when they were first shown.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Syracuse Police Department is going from 16 to 100 body cameras for its uniformed officers. But some of the policies related to body cameras remain unclear.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The business of the evenly divided New York State Senate remains stalled, as advocacy groups pressed for their bills to be acted on before the session ends in two weeks.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Questions still remain regarding a proposed law in Syracuse that would make it illegal to tether a dog outside in high heat or freezing temperatures for two hours without proper shelter. Wednesday’s public meeting on Adrian’s Law raised concerns from some Syracuse common councilors and dog owners.

Officer Rebecca Cosgrave, the animal cruelty investigator for the Syracuse Police Department, said she responds to hundreds of calls every year of dogs outside in extreme hot or cold weather, which can result in heat exhaustion or frostbite.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Organizations that help impoverished central New Yorkers get an education, find jobs or decent housing are getting a boost from a pot of state money meant to help the poor. 

Wayne O'Connor, of the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection of Syracuse, said the extra cash will help expand his organization that focuses on workforce development, starting in the middle school years.

"It will enable us to hire five youth advocates, and some support for those advocates,” said O’Connor. “Every time we add more students, we grow the culture, we grow the program, so it’s significant."

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed an expansion to his Extreme Risk Protection Order bill that would give teachers the power to go to court to prevent a student’s access to guns.

Cuomo said the measure gives that power to teachers and school administrators who believe a student might use guns to be a danger to themselves or others.

“If a teacher believes there is a troubled student who might be dangerous, that teacher has the legal authority to go to a judge directly,” Cuomo said. 

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