regional news

Julia Botero

 

A military lender based near New York City has agreed to stop charging Fort Drum soldiers excessive interest on emergency loans.

Matthew Anderson, with the New York State Department of Financial Services, says for over a decade, military lending companies have been charging service members more than double the state's interest rate caps.

“If you were not a permanent New York resident but were simply stationed here, the lenders took it to mean they didn’t have to comply with New York laws. They could charge higher interest rates,” Anderson said.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Media Company

    

The Upstate Cancer Center, in Syracuse, is expanding its mammography screening program, which focuses on residents who live in public housing.

The program, called She Matters, has spent the last year encouraging women over the age of 40 from Pioneer Homes, a predominately African-American housing complex in downtown Syracuse, to get the breast cancer detecting tests.  Since then, 88 women have received the tests, with one woman being diagnosed.

Tioga Downs only bidder for Southern Tier casino

10 hours ago
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

 

The contest for a full casino license in the Southern Tier is now in the review stage and Tioga Downs in Tioga County is the only bidder.

New York State Public Service Commission

 

The area code 315 covers a lot of ground: it covers the entire region from south of Syracuse and central New York, west toward Rochester, and north to the Canadian border. That could change.

Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center / Flickr

One dairy cow produces close to eight tons of manure a year. On big farms, that poses a serious, and regulated, waste disposal problem. In the spring and summer, farmers can spread manure on their fields before planting. But in the winter, all that manure has to be stored somewhere.

Milk Street Dairy in Jefferson County has more than 1,000 dairy cows. The owners are constructing a seven-million gallon lagoon to hold liquid manure. The site is on Ridge Road in the town of Rutland. It overlooks the Black River, and Watertown city officials aren’t happy.

Tom Magnarelli

 

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) is cosponsoring a bill called the TREAT Act in Congress that would increase the number of patients that medical practitioners can prescribe medication for treatment of drug abuse from 30 to 100. Katko held a public meeting in Oswego to address the recent rise in heroin addictions in central New York.

 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Agriculture Council wants you to buy local produce. A campaign has kicked off this June to encourage more people to spend food dollars on items grown in Onondaga County.

Brian Reeves, of Reeves Farm in Baldwinsville, says getting people to buy local is in part a matter of getting the word out.

“Sometimes I think it’s a lack of information.  If a consumer knew more often that it was local or fresher they would prefer it,” Reeves says.

Seneca Lake protesters soldier on

Jul 6, 2015
David Chanatry / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

Every few weeks since last fall, groups of protesters have been blocking access to a work site on Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes. They want to stop plans to store natural gas, as well as propane and butane, in the emptied-out salt caverns alongside the lake.

Here comes that Croghan Bologna!

Jul 4, 2015
Julia Botero / WRVO News

Croghan Meat Market is a North Country family institution. Croghan is a small town in Lewis County, north of Lowville. For more than a century, the market has been making a type of sausage called Croghan Bologna. The bologna has made the market famous. WRVO'S Julia Botero visited the market and spoke to Blaine Campany, the fourth generation of the Campany family to take over the business.
 

Samuel Whitehead / WSKG News

Ithaca wants more people to live within the city limits. With that goal in mind, a new comprehensive plan passed the planning board Tuesday and will soon move to the Common Council.

But attracting more residents won’t be easy. More than anything, Ithaca needs affordable housing -- and that starts with a location.

City Planning Director JoAnn Cornish says the city has targeted certain spots around Ithaca where they feel that housing can go, like the West State Street Corridor.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York state legislature passed a law that lets each county determine if they're going to allow sparklers leading up to the Fourth of July weekend. More than 30 counties in New York legalized sparklers including Jefferson, Madison and Cortland counties. The ban on sparklers is still in effect for Onondaga, Oneida, Tompkins and Oswego counties.

 

Joan Dolinak, a burn surgeon at Upstate University Hospital, said most sparkler injuries happen to children five-years-old and younger.

 

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Transgender students in New York continue to face harassment and discrimination at school, according to a recent report from the New York Civil Liberties Union. That’s despite a five-year-old anti-bullying law called the Dignity for All Students act, or DASA.

The law bans discrimination based on a whole list of characteristics, including race, religion, gender and gender identity. But when it passed in 2010, the social climate was different.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York State is investing millions into the state park system with some high profile Central New York parks jumping in on the funding.

A day after Aaron Woolf announced he would not run for the North Country's 21st Congressional seat again, another Democrat stepped up to say he will. Mike Derrick is a Clinton County, New York native.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Federal authorities are ratcheting up terror warnings across the country in advance of this Fourth of July holiday weekend.  

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are asking local law enforcement officials to be prepared for any potential terrorist activity. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says this alert reflects a new kind of radicalization.

CREDO.fracking / Flickr

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced this week that he is leaving that position, just two days after he issued the final environmental impact statement banning hydrofracking in the state.  The final report on fracking is a signal for others to move on as well. Anti-fracking groups say they are using New York’s stance to help convince other states -- and even countries -- to also ban the gas drilling process.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse University has joined the ranks of college campuses that are now smoke free.

The ban goes in effect this month.  Work crews dismantled all of the cigarette butt receptacles and signs went up alerting anyone to the new policy, which prohibits the use of all tobacco products -- cigarettes, cigars, snuff, pipes,  and chewing tobacco.  

Gail Grozalis, executive director of the University Wellness Initiative, says vaping is also on the list.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A Syracuse man, who was being a good Samaritan, is believed to have drowned after a freak accident during Tuesday night’s torrential rains.

Authorities believe 28-year old Brandon Closure was swept away into the city’s storm sewer system, after he accidentally stepped into an open manhole blown open by surging rain water. He was trying to help a disabled motorist at the corner of Croly and East Fayette Streets on Syracuse’s eastside.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Now that school’s out, the Syracuse City School District will start offering breakfast and lunch to inner city children through its Summer Food Service Program.  But the program doesn’t reach all the children who may be going hungry without that daily breakfast, lunch and snack they get during the school year.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

Watertown's City Hall celebrated its 50th anniversary Friday. The city commemorated the day by opening a time capsule sealed and hidden in the wall of the building since 1965.

Watertown Mayor Jeff Graham and former Mayors Tom Walker and Joseph Butler slowly opened a rectangular metal box in front of a crowd outside City Hall. 

“Not sure what to expect here but we’ll grab a corner and pull it off," said Graham.

slgckgc / Flickr

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a new rebate check for property taxpayers, they touted it as a significant, “real” benefit to average homeowners. But fiscal watchdog groups say the program is severely flawed and the money could be better used on something else.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

Student teams pitched their start-up companies at the Syracuse Student Sandbox demo day. The sandbox is a six-week program for aspiring entrepreneurs that teaches them how to turn an idea into an actual company. The program has been expanding their reach internationally.

 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

With so-called “swatting” attacks on the rise across the country and central New York, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced a new federal bill to crack down on the practice. Swatting involves deliberate false alarms called into authorities that often cause deployment of a police SWAT team.  

Swatting will become a federal crime Schumer has anything do with it.  

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

A wage board appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking before a packed crowd of fast food workers, says it will authorize a substantial raise for fast food workers, but would not say when, or even if the increase would be the $15 an hour that many groups are seeking.

A three-member board picked by Cuomo to examine whether fast food workers need a raise say they are in agreement that the current wage of $8.75 an hour needs to be much higher.

Escaped prisoners planned to flee to Mexico

Jun 29, 2015
Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

The two convicted murderers who escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility had initially planned to drive to Mexico.

Bruno Raymond / Flickr

So far, this month has been the fourth rainiest June in central New York, measuring at more than seven inches. For farmers that’s been a little bit of a mixed bag.  

The crop that’s suffered the most is strawberries. Baldwinsville farmer Brian Reeves says the berry does not mix well with a lot of rain.

Joseph Morris / Flickr

Regulations surrounding the use of electronic cigarettes and the liquid nicotine that fuels them continue to increase in New York state, but anti-smoking activists are hoping for more.

The Clean Indoor Air Act of 2003 prohibited smoking in public places, but that doesn’t automatically apply to the newest trend in tobacco use, e-cigarettes, says American Heart Association Spokeswoman Kristy Smorol.

New York State Police

Updated 7:45 p.m.

In a news conference in Malone Sunday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico lauded the actions of NYSP Sgt. Jay Cook, who took down escaped prisoner David Sweat, as courageous.

Refugees honored for keeping the American spirit alive

Jun 27, 2015
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Hundreds of immigrants from around the world, now living in Syracuse, came out to Schiller Park on the city's north side last Saturday to celebrate World Refugee Day. 

 

Drummers from the African country of Burundi kicked off some of the cultural performances at World Refugee Day. The morning started with a soccer and volleyball tournament.

 

  A group of young girls take a break from watching. They're wearing brightly colored head scarves of pink, blue and purple. Dahabo Layli used to live in Somalia.

 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state legalized gay marriage four years ago. Today, state leaders reacted with enthusiasm to the Supreme Court ruling.

In honor of the court ruling guaranteeing the constitutional right to same sex marriage, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the lights on the World Trade center tower will be lit in rainbow colors on Sunday night.  

Cuomo, who arm twisted state Senators to win the same sex marriage vote in 2011, said in a statement that the court “is on the right side of history."

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