regional news

6:24am

Fri September 19, 2014
Health

Concerns over care from veterans toward Syracuse VA

Navy veteran Bob Stewart, left, and Brad Edwards listen during a town hall on the VA medical center in Syracuse Thursday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse Veterans Affairs Medical Center got an invited earful from veterans about their care. The hospital hosted a town hall on Thursday.

The first question at a town hall-style meeting in the basement of the V.A. came from Navy veteran Bob Stewart. It was not in high praise of the V.A.

Stewart was denied coverage for surgery on his knee, so he had to pay out of pocket at a private hospital.

"I could afford to do that. There are so many veterans out there that can’t afford to do things like that. And something needs to be done about it," he said.

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6:24am

Fri September 19, 2014
Environment

Environmentalists gear up for weekend climate change march in New York City

http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

Central New York will be represented in this weekend's climate change march in New York City.

Several buses of local activists, college students and people concerned about climate change are heading to New York for what organizers are calling the largest climate march in history.

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6:44am

Thu September 18, 2014
Politics and Government

Judge says redistricting proposal cannot be described on ballot as independent

New York state's 2012 Assembly map.
New York State Board of Elections

A judge has ruled that the wording on a November ballot item making changes to New York‘s redistricting process is biased and must be altered before Election Day.

The Supreme Court judge ruled that language describing a new board created to oversee redistricting in New York as independent is misleading and must be struck from the amendment’s description.

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6:43am

Thu September 18, 2014
Health

SU students protest closure of sexual assault advocacy center

Students and faculty at SU protested the closure of the college's sexual assault advocacy center.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

More than 100 students and staff rallied on the steps of Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel Wednesday, protesting the way the school closed a center that helped sexual assault victims. Some students ultimately took their complaints to the SU chancellor.

Students don’t like the way SU shut down the Advocacy Center in June, consolidating sexual assault services in the school's counseling center and moving student support groups into the the Office of Health Promotion.
 

For one freshman, the Advocacy Center was one of the reasons she came to SU.

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5:30am

Thu September 18, 2014
Politics

Pro-Cuomo ad criticized for photoshopping opponent's son out of picture

Rob Astorino (second from left) greets supporters while in Oswego earlier this week.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

This election season seems to feature more than the usual amount of negative ads, with television spots painting opponents in a dark light. But an ad that criticized a candidate’s choice of football team may have backfired when controversy arose over a picture that was altered to cut out his son.

Viewers of the most recent Buffalo Bills game saw an ad, sponsored by Erie County Democrats, that criticized Republican candidate Rob Astorino for being a Miami Dolphins fan.

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7:33pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County's public defender system knocked in report

The Onondaga County courthouse.
vadikunk via Flickr

The public legal defense system in Onondaga County is being highlighted by a civil liberties group on the eve of a lawsuit against the state to change it.

A third of alleged criminals in Onondaga County using public defenders never met with their lawyers outside of the courtroom, a report from the New York Civil Liberties Union has found.

Onondaga County was one of five in the state singled out in the report.

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4:17pm

Wed September 17, 2014
Politics

EPA rejects Cuomo plan for thruway bridge loan, Astorino responds

The new Tappan Zee bridge is anticipated to be complete in 2018.
Doug Kerr Flickr

7:47am

Wed September 17, 2014
Politics

Astorino says policy changes, hydrofracking can help upstate New York economy thrive

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino was in Oswego to talk about his policies.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino was in Oswego Tuesday to meet with supporters, including Assemblyman Will Barclay, to discuss his plans for office if elected. One of the many topics he covered was the need to regrow the upstate economy, including leveraging the region's residents and location to help spur economic development.

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6:24am

Wed September 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Future of fracking will influence November election for governor

A fracking well in northern Pennsylvania
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

The issue of hydrofracking played a role in the recent Democratic primary for governor in New York, and those who oppose the gas drilling process hope it will influence the general election, as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once on a fast track to begin the natural gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing in New York, has put his decision on hold while his administration is conducting a health review that began two years ago. Cuomo, asked about the future of fracking in the state one day after the Democratic primary, said he’s still reserving judgment.

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3:46pm

Tue September 16, 2014
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County looks for options to help mental health inmates

The Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The number of mental health inmates at the Onondaga County Justice Center is on the rise, and the implications of that are widespread.

Esteban Gonzalez, chief custody deputy for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, sees more and more mental health cases in the jail’s daily count.

"It’s gotten pretty high in the last four weeks," Gonzalez said. "We have more than 20 constant observation inmates on any given day.”

Gonzalez believes some of the increase is due to the heroin epidemic currently plaguing central New York.  

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3:39pm

Tue September 16, 2014
Education

Local program uses story telling to help students become successful

Ralph Singh, with the Wisdom Thinkers Network, kicked off the "Inspire 14" event in Oswego.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Community leaders, business representatives and educators met in Oswego recently to discuss ways to reduce bullying in schools and provide students with the tools to become successful citizens. The "Inspire 14" program was hosted by the non-profit organization Wisdom Thinkers Network, and attempts to prepare children for the future through story telling.

Ralph Singh, chairman of the Wisdom Thinkers Network, says the program fosters collaboration between students and their communities.

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6:41am

Tue September 16, 2014
Business

Mahoney proposes plan to pay for Onondaga Lake amphitheater

County Executive Joanie mahoney speaks to the Onondaga County Legislature to promote her bond plan.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Slightly lower property taxes and decreased spending are the hallmarks of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s proposed $1.25 billion spending plan. The debate over the budget may ultimately be overshadowed by another proposal from Mahoney this week for a bond that will pay for the Onondaga Lake amphitheater project.

At the end of ten days of budget reviews, county lawmakers have injected a review of the western Onondaga Lake revitalization project, that includes construction of an amphitheater on the west shore of Onondaga Lake.

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6:31am

Tue September 16, 2014
Politics and Government

Green Party candidate for governor wants to be involved in debates

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says he should be involved in this fall's debates because he is the only progressive running.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor wants to be included in any upcoming debates. Howie Hawkins says he is the only candidate left in the race to represent the state’s progressives.

Hawkins, a Syracuse-area UPS worker and Teamsters union member, says by any reasonable standard he should be included in any debates for the governor’s race that feature major party candidates, Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo and Republican Rob Astorino.

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4:55pm

Mon September 15, 2014
Politics

Gillibrand says she supports action against ISIS, wants reform in NFL

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Senate Democrats Flickr

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) says she supports President Barack Obama's call for airstrikes in Syria. During a weekend appearance on CBS "Face the Nation," Gillibrand said the United States needs to take action against the militant group known as ISIS in Syria, but the U.S. needs to make intelligent decisions about how to do that.

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5:28am

Mon September 15, 2014
Business

Syracuse Hancock International Airport is looking west for continued growth

Hancock International Airport says its passengers want more flights west.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

It’s been a good year for Syracuse Hancock International Airport, according to it’s yearly report to the community. It added new concessions, a new airline and destinations, and improvements to the facility. But perhaps the biggest change came behind the scenes, as facility management was turned over to the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority.

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5:20pm

Fri September 12, 2014
Health

Contagious respiratory virus hits three children in central New York

Dr. Quoc Nguyen and Dr. Jana Shaw discuss the first cases of enterovirus in central New York.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

There are three confirmed cases in central New York of a highly contagious respiratory virus that health officials said was only a matter of time before it struck children here.

Two school-aged children from Onondaga County and one from a neighboring county were admitted this week to Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse with the Enterovirus 68, according to county health officials and the hospital.

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3:08pm

Fri September 12, 2014
Higher ed

Syracuse University law school christens new home

Dineen Hall is located on Irving Ave., on the western edge of Syracuse University's campus.
courtesy Syracuse University

Syracuse University law students are settling in for many long nights of studying in a new space. 

The university's college of law christened its new home, Dineen Hall, Friday. It's named for two alumni, Robert and Carolyn Dineen. 

The Dineens both put themselves through Syracuse law and became prominent attorneys in both the city and New York state. Their children donated $15 million for the new hall.

One daughter is the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King, a judge on the federal fifth circuit, based in New Orleans.

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7:12am

Fri September 12, 2014
Environment

New SUNY ESF president says college could be at the forefront of environmental learning

SUNY ESF President Quentin Wheeler says the college could become a major leader in environmental programs.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A new era officially begins at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse this weekend. Quentin Wheeler will be inaugurated as the school’s fourth president. Wheeler sees ESF fitting into a world where environmental issues are moving closer toward the forefront.

Wheeler, a biologist who specializes in bugs and biodiversity, comes to ESF after stints at Arizona State University and Cornell. And that biodiversity background bubbles up when he talks about the future of Earth.

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5:30am

Fri September 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Attention now on Cuomo-Astorino gubernatorial contest

The New York state Capitol building.
Wallyg via Flickr

The primaries are over and the focus now shifts to the general elections, which are a little over seven weeks away. Incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces Republican challenger Rob Astorino.

Cuomo made a rare campaign-style appearance in Buffalo with running mate Kathy Hochul just after winning the Democratic primary with 60 percent of the vote. Without mentioning him by name, he portrayed Republican opponent Rob Astorino as a hyper-conservative who was out of touch with New Yorkers.

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9:08am

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Secrecy surrounds the use of 'franked mail' in Congress

Matt Churchill/flickr

Watchdog groups say upstate New York lawmakers, along with lawmakers nationwide, are blurring the line between their campaigns and official duties as representatives.

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4:59am

Thu September 11, 2014
Health

Very contagious respiratory virus affecting children expected to hit central New York soon

Dr. Jana Shaw says the virus could be more widespread than first thought because it has similar symptoms to the common cold.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Infection control officials at Syracuse's Golisano Children’s Hospital believe it’s not an issue of if a respiratory virus that’s storming the country ends up in New York state, but when. Jana Shaw, a pediatric infectious disease specialist, says there are no confirmed cases yet in New York, but she doesn’t expect that to be the case for long because the virus is very contagious.

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4:58am

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics and Government

After primary, focus shifts to general election

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul during the Democratic Party's nomination convention. (file photo)
Matt Ryan, New York Now

After winning Tuesday’s Democratic primary, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is now poised to run strongly against his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. But will he have any lingering problems after more than one-third of primary voters rejected him for an obscure law professor?

Cuomo’s challenger, Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout, managed to win over one-third of the vote against the incumbent governor, despite Cuomo’s multi-million dollar war chest and near unanimous support from the state’s Democratic political establishment, from Hillary Clinton to local mayors.

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4:58am

Thu September 11, 2014
Politics

Green Party gubernatorial candidate says primary results could help his campaign

Howie Hawkins is running for governor this fall as a Green Party candidate.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor in New York state, likes the position he's in after looking at the results from this week’s gubernatorial primary.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won with 60 percent of the Democrat vote, while a third of the vote went to liberal Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout. Hawkins figures that leaves him as the only option for progressives in the fall election.

A UPS worker from Syracuse, Hawkins believes the primary results highlight Cuomo’s weakness among progressive Democrats, saying it validates his reason to run this fall.

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4:08pm

Wed September 10, 2014
Education

Schumer pushes for education grant to help train manufacturing employees

Sen. Charles Schumer.
Senate Democrats Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says New York has a lack of residents with the skills needed to fill jobs in the state's growing advanced manufacturing industry. That's why he says he's pushing for a $15 million federal grant to help 30 SUNY schools train people to fill those positions.

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5:48pm

Tue September 9, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo, Teachout cast primary day votes

MemphisCVB Flickr

Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor cast their ballots Tuesday, and urged others to vote as well.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is expected to win the primary, cast his ballot near his home in Westchester.

“I encourage people to vote,” Cuomo said. “You have no right to complain about who is in the office if you don’t actually exercise the franchise and go out and vote.”

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6:42am

Tue September 9, 2014
Elections

On primary day, an argument for voting by mail

Columbia City Blog Flickr

A central New York board of elections commissioner says switching to a vote-by-mail system would both increase turnout and save money.

Bob Howe, the Republican commissioner for elections in Cortland County, readily admits he may be the oddball with this thinking.

But with voting machines costing more than $11,000 each and the need to pay observers to staff polling places, Howe argues mail ballots would be much cheaper.

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3:16pm

Mon September 8, 2014
Literacy

Literacy tutoring goes mobile and other notes on Literacy Day

.brsolo. via Flickr

The level of adult illiteracy in Onondaga County has held steady at just above the national average for the past several years. Nearly 1-in-5 adults in central New York can’t read and write beyond an elementary school level.

But it’s not all immigrants taking up English as a second language. There are just has many adults who graduated high school but could never read as well as they should.

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8:55am

Mon September 8, 2014
Business

Schumer wants federal government to continue buying goods from non-profit employers

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) wants the federal General Services Administration to continue buying goods from non-profits that employ people with disabilities.
Ellen Abbott WRVO/file photo

The Central New York Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, or CABVI, is one of many non-profits across the country losing revenues because the federal government is not fully complying with the law. The 1971 Javits-Wagner-O’Day Act requires the federal government to purchase certain products from non-profits that employ the blind and those with other disabilities.

Steve Gannon, the association’s director of development, says although the losses have an impact on some of the products the facility makes, there are large shortfalls nationwide.

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5:38am

Mon September 8, 2014
Business

Injunction filed against Novelis overturned in federal court

Novelis, an aluminum manufacturer, rolls the aluminum used in many vehicle models. (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

An injunction filed against Novelis Aluminum in Oswego to allow the United Steelworkers Union to represent the plant’s employees immediately and force the plant to bargain was denied by a federal court judge, who also ruled for the union in some respects.

In February, a vote on whether or not to unionize the plant failed by 14 votes. But the USW claimed Novelis had interfered with the vote.

Plant Manager Chris Smith says the ruling confirms what the company has been saying all along.

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6:25am

Fri September 5, 2014
Health

St. Joseph's Hospital opens new surgical tower

One of the patient rooms in the new Christina Nappi Surgical Tower at St. Joseph's Hospital in Syracuse.
St. Joseph's Hospital

The new Christina Nappi Surgical Tower at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse features 110 private rooms for patients recovering from surgery. This concept of private room care is an innovative healthcare approach that experts say is the wave of the future.

The halls and rooms don’t look like a typical post-surgical room. They’re large, and able to accommodate all the latest medical technology. There are mechanical lifts at each bed, a special area for family and cabinets that provide all the essentials for a patient recovering from surgery.
 

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