regional news

6:01am

Mon October 20, 2014
Health

Officials say NY State Health Exchange ready for open enrollment

nystateofhealth.ny.gov

Officials for the New York State Health Exchange say $27 million will go to help residents connect with insurance -- the same amount as last year. The state health department says it’s ready for the second open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act, starting November 15.

National health care advocates worry that most states will be investing less on support staff to help sign people up for insurance, than was invested last year.

Sinsi Hernández-Cancio, health equity director at Families USA, says the second year of the ACA open enrollment will need resources.

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5:55am

Mon October 20, 2014
Politics

AG candidate proposes tougher laws, more treatment to combat heroin

John Cahill is the republican candidate for New York state attorney general.

Attorney General candidate John Cahill is proposing a plan to fight the heroin epidemic that’s ravaging communities across the state.  

Cahill, a Republican, says the five-point plan attacks the problem from a number of angles. It starts with tougher laws that go after the drug traffickers, including tougher sentences and changes in the classification of the drug in penal law.

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5:34am

Mon October 20, 2014
Education

Watchdog group warns against proposed education bond act

Brad Flickinger Flickr

New York's November ballot includes a proposal for the state to borrow $2 billion to spend on technology, like computer tablets, for school children. But a fiscal watchdog group says it’s not a good way to finance the purchase of iPads.

The bond act would give New York state permission to borrow money primarily to invest in new technology for students in elementary and secondary schools. It would also include money for building more classrooms for expanded pre-kindergarten.

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2:57pm

Sun October 19, 2014
Politics

24th Congressional District draws more national attention

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko, left, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speak to reporters in Auburn Sunday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Some powerful Washington politicians are visiting central New York, stumping for their chosen candidates for the 24th Congressional District, in the final weeks of the campaign season.

It was Republican John Katko's turn first. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) headlined a $75-a-plate fundraising brunch in Auburn Sunday in support of Katko. McCarthy and Katko then toured the Seward House, once home to Abraham Lincoln's secretary of state William Seward.

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9:59am

Fri October 17, 2014
higher ed

SU revokes invitation to visiting photographer over Ebola fears

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
Zixi Wu via Flickr

Updated, 4:19 p.m. with statement Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham:

An award-winning Washington Post photographer who has covered the Ebola virus in West Africa says Syracuse University is caving to the "hysteria" of the virus by canceling his visit to campus this weekend.

The photojournalist, Michel du Cille, was supposed to be on campus this weekend as part of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication's Fall Workshop, a tent post weekend for masters students at the communications school.

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6:59am

Fri October 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo using a different approach in reelection bid

governorandrewcuomo Flickr

In the final weeks before elections, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been promoting his memoir and announced travel plans to Puerto Rico. One thing he hasn’t been doing is running a typical campaign, and he’s said little about what he’ll do in the next four years.

Cuomo, who holds a double-digit lead over Republican candidate Rob Astorino, has more than $30 million in the bank. He has employed a rose garden strategy for much of the political season, and seldom holds campaign events.

He says he's simply letting his job speak for itself.

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6:42am

Fri October 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Maffei vs. Katko: In their first debate, candidates discuss negative ads

Incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei, left, and Republican John Katko, right, are running for N.Y.'s 24th Congressional District seat
Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

The race for the 24th Congressional District has been characterized by its negative campaign ads. Grant Reeher, host of WRVO's Campbell Conversations, moderated the first debate between incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei and Republican challenger John Katko. In this portion of the debate, Reeher asked each candidate about their use of negative ads.

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6:11am

Fri October 17, 2014
Health

Study finds New York would benefit from proposed new coal standards

Duke Energy via Flickr

New Yorkers could see health benefits from proposed standards for coal power plants, new research has found.

A vast majority of New York’s energy production comes from nuclear, hydro and natural gas, but the state is downwind from states that do burn a lot of coal, like Ohio, so that means the soot blows this way.

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6:05am

Fri October 17, 2014
Education

Syracuse police chief makes push for more after school programs

Matthias Ripp Flickr

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler is helping an organization that’s advocating for more after school programs.

The highest profile member of the Afterschool Alliance is former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

“After school programs are between three and six o’clock, which is the danger zone for our kids,” Schwarzenegger said.

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5:59am

Fri October 17, 2014
Health

Cuomo says state preparing for potential Ebola cases

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (far right) is designating eight hospitals as Ebola treatment centers in New York state.
governorandrewcuomo Flickr

There are no known cases of Ebola in New York, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state officials are making preparations in case one occurs and have identified eight hospitals, including Upstate Medical University Hospital in Syracuse, as Ebola care centers.

Cuomo says the eight hospitals around the state have been identified as Ebola treatment centers, and personnel at all 200 of the state’s hospitals will be trained how to respond if a person with Ebola walks into their emergency room.

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10:00am

Thu October 16, 2014
Politics

North Country congressional debate gets personal, again

The second of three televisted debates in the 21st Congressional District race was broadcast on WPTZ-TV in Plattsburgh
WPTZ

The issue of who is really from the North Country continues to be raised in the race for the 21st Congressional District seat. Last night, the second of three televised debates was held in Plattsburgh, sponsored by WPTZ-TV. This time, the three candidates were all asked where they maintain their primary residence and whether they were eligible to vote in the district two years ago.

Elise Stefanik, the Republican candidate, has spent the last several years living and working in Washington, D.C., but now lives at her family vacation home in Essex County.

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6:17am

Thu October 16, 2014
Regional Coverage

Greater Syracuse Land Bank gets more funding to demolish, renovate old homes

One of the houses that has been renovated through the Greater Syracuse Land Bank.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse is in line for more money for its land bank. The state announced a second round of awards Wednesday to help communities restore abandoned and dangerous properties.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that another $20 million is going out to land banks across the state, while at a house on Syracuse’s Southside. The home was renovated, and has been sold to a first time home buyer.
 

Katelyn Wright, executive director of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank says the city is in line for $2 million from this round of awards.

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6:17am

Thu October 16, 2014
Health

Mahoney: Central New York is prepared if Ebola arrives

NIAID Flickr

Officials in Onondaga County want to be ready if a case of Ebola turns up in central New York. Earlier this week, all of the players who would be involved in treating the virus laid out a road map for Ebola preparedness.

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5:34am

Thu October 16, 2014
Politics

Cuomo's new women's political party serves multiple purposes

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited Seneca Falls in June to stump for his Women's Equality Act.
Greg Cotterill / WEOS Geneva

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making women’s rights a pillar of his campaign and is focusing on an abortion rights provision. The issue serves multiple purposes for the governor.

Twice now, Cuomo has boarded a bus with his running mate Kathy Hochul, and several other leading female politicians, and rode to rallies for women's equality upstate and in New York City and Long Island.

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12:46pm

Wed October 15, 2014
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County passes budget, excludes extra funding for dog kennel

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says he can find the $100,000 needed to get the county's dog kennel project started.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

It was a relatively easy budget season for Onondaga County lawmakers this fall. Legislators unanimously approved County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s proposed $1.25 billion spending plan. There was only one hiccup; concern about spending more money for construction of a dog kennel at the Jamesville Correctional Facility.

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9:59am

Wed October 15, 2014
Politics

A clean campaign pledge from April still issue for Maffei, Katko

John Katko, Republican candidate for New York's 24th Congressional District seat.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Republican Congressional candidate John Katko is trying to hold Rep. Dan Maffei to a clean campaign pledge the congressman proposed early in the campaign.

To flash back to April, Congressman Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) called on Katko, the former federal prosecutor trying to unseat him in the 24th Congressional District, to run a straight forward, issued-based campaign.

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6:52am

Wed October 15, 2014
Environment

Maffei, Katko talk environment, but in typical tone

Left: Rep. Dan Maffei; right: John Katko.
Ryan Delaney/WRVO and Katko for Congress

The candidates for a central New York congressional seat are talking about their environmental platforms, but as with much of the campaign recently, it’s come in the form of barbs.

Rep. Dan Maffei, the Democrat trying to hold onto the 24th Congressional District against Republican John Katko, says Katko has environmental views that are dangerous for central New York. Maffei charges Katko doesn’t believe in climate change.

"He’s putting politics and this campaign ahead of public safety," Maffei said at press event in Syracuse's Thorndon Park Tuesday.

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6:46am

Wed October 15, 2014
Regional Coverage

More police cameras coming to Syracuse's Northside

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler discusses the locations of new police cameras.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

More police cameras are heading to crime-ridden Syracuse neighborhoods, spreading into more areas on the city’s Northside.

Patricia Simmons is pastor of a church in the Washington Square neighborhood of Syracuse. She’s happy the crime-deterring cameras are coming.

"Our church is on the corner of Park and Turtle,” Simmons said. “Outside our door we see prostitution, we see drug activities happen. If we have a big event, the folks come out to solicit and I think the cameras would also help to alleviate some of that.” 

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2:50pm

Tue October 14, 2014
Politics

Howie Hawkins wants to do away with standardized testing

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, doesn’t just want to do away with the Common Core education curriculum, but as much standardized testing as possible.

That dislike for Common Core is one of the few things Hawkins and Republicans can agree on. Both he and the GOP candidate for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, want to see the national benchmarks for English and math learning be revoked.

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11:41am

Tue October 14, 2014
Politics

Hawkins: fracking industry is "winging it"

Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins says the natural gas industry’s short-sighted attitude is not what New York needs. 

Hawkins recently visited a northern Pennsylvania region that’s experienced an energy rush using the drilling method known as fracking. Part of New York state sits on the same shale formation, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been hesitant to open the state up to extraction, over pressure from environmental advocates.

Rob Astorino, the Republican running for governor, says fracking would bring a major economic boom to the struggling Southern Tier.

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9:55am

Tue October 14, 2014
Health

RHIO recieves national accreditation from healthcare commission

jasleen_kaur Flickr

Two New York state regional health information exchanges have been nationally accredited for the security of their systems. 

The Healthcare Information Xchange of New York and Rochester RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization) were recently accredited by the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission.

The commission evaluated the regional exchanges for the privacy, security, and confidentiality of a program that directly alerts primary care doctors when their patients have been treated, for example in an emergency room.

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7:13am

Tue October 14, 2014
Energy

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia? New solar site proposed

Twenty acres of Jefferson County farmland could be used as a solar array site by this time next year.
Julia Botero WRVO

A large solar array is in the works in Jefferson County. A Colorado-based developer plans to fill twenty acres of private farmland in Philadelphia with solar panels by this time next year. 

New York state has agreed to pay 20 percent of the $11 million it will cost to build enough solar panels in Philadelphia to produce 4 megawatts of energy. That's enough to power 700 homes without emitting carbon or burning fossil fuels.

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7:12am

Tue October 14, 2014
Politics

Formerly stay-at-home Cuomo to make third out-of-state trip

governorandrewcuomo Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he plans to visit Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic before Election Day.

Cuomo, speaking after marching in the Columbus Day parade, says he wants to make a trip to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the next couple of weeks.

“I’d like to get there before Election Day,” Cuomo said. “As a sign of respect to those two communities that I’ve worked with for a very long time.”

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7:12am

Tue October 14, 2014
Education

Cayuga Community College rebuilds fund balance, outlines future

Cayuga Community College has several plans for its Fulton campus.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

This time last year, Cayuga Community College had serious financial issues. Now the college's bank accounts are increasing and CCC is set to grow in other ways.

During a recent Oswego County Legislature meeting, Cayuga Community College's Interim President Gregory DeCinque says the college has shown growth since he took over nine months ago.

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4:03pm

Mon October 13, 2014
Politics

Maffei, Katko battle for voters in tight congressional race

Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei (left) and Republican John Katko (right) are running to represent the 24th Congressional District, which includes four counties, including Onondaga County.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Democratic incumbent Dan Maffei and his Republican challenger John Katko are locked into a tight race that will determine who represents the Syracuse-area's 24th Congressional District in Congress.

Maffei says he knew the race would be close.

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9:38am

Mon October 13, 2014
Education

At what age do most kids become interested in STEM?

ECC.edu

When do students fall in love with science and technology? Turns out, it’s at a pretty young age.

"Most people who turn out to be scientists or engineers or mathematicians, originally got interested in elementary school; somewhere between grades K through 6," said Dr. Philip Sadler.

Sadler studies students’ interests in the field known as STEM - science, technology, engineering and math – for his work at Harvard University.

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7:43am

Mon October 13, 2014
Health

80% of NY hospitals face Medicare reimbursement penalties

Eighty percent of hospitals in New York state face penalties based on the number of Medicare patients that are readmitted into their care.

The federal government wants to reduce the number of avoidable hospital readmissions. This is the third year Medicare will cut reimbursements to hospitals based on the number of patients who have to check back in with complications from lung ailments, heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, or after a hip or knee replacement.

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6:40am

Mon October 13, 2014
Politics and Government

Oswego plans for much quieter tax season compared to 2013

Oswego Common Coucil members talk during a meeting. (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Property owners in the city of Oswego were hammered last year with a 43 percent property tax increase. But this year, the city's mayor says he expects a much more pleasant result for the city's taxpayers, citing several positive changes in the city.

Nearly one year ago, Mayor Tom Gillen and the Oswego Common Council were heavily criticized for their passage of the massive tax hike.

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6:38am

Mon October 13, 2014
drones

Just to the north, the drone industry takes off

Ars Electronica via Flickr

There have been 1,020 small unmanned aerial vehicle flights -- what most people call drones -- in Canada this year, according to the Canadian transportation officials.

That's up from 945 in 2013 and 347 in 2012, Transport Canada reported.

"In Canada, as globally, UAV is exploding," said Joe Barnsley, an aviation attorney in Winnipeg, Canada. "It’s a huge growth area."

Meanwhile, the U.S. drone industry is simmering more than exploding. 

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5:17pm

Fri October 10, 2014
Politics

Katko, Maffei tackle heroin, synthetic drug use in different ways

Republican congressional candidate John Katko stands with members of the Oswego County Legislature, Assemblyman Will Barclay, and Teresa Woolson, whose son died after using synthetic marijuana.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Both candidates running to represent the 24th Congressional District want to prevent heroin and synthetic drug use in New York, but have different ways of doing it.

Republican candidate John Katko says he has a twofold approach to address the issue.

"It's targeted enforcement, beefed up targeted enforcement about the heroin and synthetic drug problem, through the enhancement of task forces," Katko said. "So that's basically what this plan is about."

Katko proposes to increase law enforcement funding and manpower, and expand treatment options.

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