regional news

Upstate University Hospital

Researchers from Upstate University Hospital are testing a vaccine that could prevent a common respiratory virus among newborns.

Respiratory syncytial virus, better known as RSV, is the most common reason newborns end up in the hospital. It’s a very contagious respiratory virus that’s everywhere, and for most children, it plays out as a common cold. But for infants less than two months old it can be life threatening.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Government reform groups say you can add one more item to the long list of reforms that they believe are needed in Albany. They say limits are needed on campaign contributions to county political committees. The committees collection and distribution of money factor into a growing criminal case against New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, and upstate Senate races in 2014.

The Libertarian Party is growing in New York state. This weekend, Onondaga County becomes the latest county to join this party that challenges the idea of an omnipresent government, instead looking to individual sovereignty as the way to peace and prosperity.

Onondaga County will be the 15th county chapter the party has chartered in New York state and the fourth this year.

Shawn Hannon of Syracuse is leading the central New York effort.

"Libertarian people try to keep the government out of your wallet and out of your bedroom,” he said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Onondaga County District Attorney’s office has confirmed that it is investigating the city of Syracuse. The investigation revolves around affidavits signed by two common councilors supporting a lawsuit the city brought against the COR Development Company.

The affidavits, signed by councilors Helen Hudson and Khalid Bey, claim that Steven Aiello, president of COR Development, promised not to seek tax breaks, called a PILOT agreement, on the Inner Harbor project in 2012.

“I can’t comment on that business happening with the DA,” Bey said.

The campaigns of Claudia Tenney and Steve Wells

Two Republican candidates running for the open seat in New York's 22nd Congressional District are feuding over past campaign donations. New Hartford Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney is criticizing her main rival, Cazenovia businessman Steve Wells, for donations he and his company have made in the past to Democrats.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s a new nature sanctuary in Onondaga County. The Nature Conservancy has acquired more than 200 acres of undeveloped land along the Seneca River in Baldwinsville.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A conference for the New York Tactical Officers Association is being held at the Turning Stone Resort this week. Various social justice groups from across the state are protesting the conference which they say contributes to the militarization of police departments.

You probably know it's against the law in most states to text and drive — but studies suggest that many of us still peek at our smartphones when we're behind the wheel.

This habit, however, contributes to distracted driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 3,179 people were killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver in 2014.

Meesh / Flickr

Syracuse is getting some federal funds that will help youth transition from the criminal system back into society.

Twenty-four-year-old David Lefler was in and out of the Jamesville Correctional Facility for several years. He says it was hard to stay out of trouble once jail became a way of life.

"If you really don’t care, then it’s just going to keep happening,” Lefler says. “You’re going to hang out with the wrong person, and next thing you know you’re in a car with a bag of dope and you’re going to jail.”

Oswego pawn shop bill drawing criticism

Apr 27, 2016
Payne Horning / WRVO News

In an attempt to crack down on burglary, Oswego is considering a bill that would require the city's pawn shops to keep better records of their business transactions.

Mayor Billy Barlow, who's leading the effort, said he has heard from too many frustrated residents who say Oswego police (OPD) often reach dead ends when looking for their stolen property.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County’s Central Library, located in downtown Syracuse, has been undergoing an $8 million renovation as part of an effort to update and modernize the library for the 21st century, while taking advantage of downtown’s revitalization.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is putting a technology called SQUID into use this month, which is meant to help city hall make smarter choices when it comes to fixing crumbling streets.

SQUID – or Street Quality Identification Device – is a tiny contraption that sits on the bed of a pickup truck used by the Syracuse Department of Public Works, designed to measure the quality of the streets of Syracuse.

Varun Adibhatla is project director of ARGO labs, which came up with the technology. He says Syracuse is the first city to use it.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

In the past week, two major natural gas pipelines have been scrapped in New York. A third, which would expand a line that is near the Indian Point Nuclear Power plant, is still scheduled, but opponents are putting pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to use his persuasive powers with the federal government to stop the expansion.

Opponents of new pipelines carrying natural gas extracted from hydrofracking have had a good week.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Common Council is considering a proposal that would make it illegal to deny housing based on a person’s source of income. Currently, a renter can be turned away if they are using Section 8 or public assistance.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Melissa Ives was recovering from a brutal motorcycle accident, the opioid medication she was prescribed helped mask the pain. But eventually, those pills ran out so she turned to a cheaper alternative - heroin.

Syracuse Fire Department / Syracuse Fire Department Facebook page

It is budget season in the city of Syracuse and as departments search for ways to tighten their belts, the Syracuse Fire Department has applied for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to offset the cost of 12 new firefighters for a two-year period.

redplanet89 / Flickr

There’s going to be a new way to go solar in central New York. Solarize CNY Communities, the organization that’s helped install solar energy in several homes across central New York in recent years, is moving from rooftop arrays to making it a community affair.

Solarize CNY Communities project coordinator Katelyn Kriesel says all it takes for a resident to take advantage of solar power in this community model, is for them to be in the same utility zone as the arrays that convert sunshine into energy.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn is anticipating more tourists will visit after the announcement that Tubman will be featured on the $20 bill. This adds excitement about the home being turned into a national park.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working towards outlawing boaters from dumping their sewage into the St. Lawrence River. The agency says the river could be designated a “no discharge zone.”

It’s been against the law since the 1970s to dump untreated sewage in U.S. waterways like the St. Lawrence River. But John Martin, with the EPA, says the new proposal would also apply to treated sewage.

“A lot of times boaters for whatever reason will dump untreated sewage into the water. Of course that’s not very easy to enforce if you own a very small vessel,” Marin said.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

New York’s restrictive voter access rules came under scrutiny during Tuesday’s presidential primary. And some are saying there’s a need for changes.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

New York state continues to have one of the lowest percentages of its residents signed up to be organ donors. Now organ donation advocates are hoping some new state legislation will change that.

Every April, the organ donation program at Upstate University Hospital showcases patients who have been saved by organ donations, or families who have made the decision to donate organs from a deceased loved one. This year, Tina Serio told the story of how her family dealt with the sudden death of her sister, who had not made her wishes known before she died.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton won resoundingly in New York's primary Tuesday, including in Onondaga County. But a look at the numbers shows that the county's results stand out in central New York.

Destiny USA

Now that a $7 million tax deal has been approved for a new hotel at Destiny USA, construction is expected to begin on it in June. Controversy remains over which of the region's development agencies should be approving these kinds of tax deals.

Opponents say that for the last three decades, the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, which unanimously approved the Destiny Hotel deal, have traditionally deferred city projects to the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oswego City School Board approved a $79.5 million budget Tuesday, despite opposition from several students and parents who criticized its cuts to athletic programs.

The district is facing a $5 million shortfall because of falling tax revenues, mainly due to a declining tax agreement with the Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility, and a depleted fund balance, which is so low that state officials have asked the district not to dip into it for this year's budget.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Election officials at the Bird Library voting location on the Syracuse University campus said that about one-third of the approximately 200-300 students that came in by 5 p.m. Tuesday were turned away for not being properly registered as a Republican or Democrat in Onondaga County.

Some of those students are registered to a political party but live in New York City and were told they needed to fill out an absentee ballot weeks ago. Many of those students, including sophomore Sunnie Addison, said they had no idea they needed to fill out an absentee ballot.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

There were some boos at the Bernie Sanders supporters’ primary watch party as the projections showed Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic primary in New York state.

Joanna Radzimowski of Syracuse said she is disappointed with the Sanders defeat.

“I have hope that the rest of America is going to see the light and understand that Bernie is really the best candidate for us, for our future," Radzimowski said. "He started a revolution and it is not ending with this.”

But Radzimowski said she would support Hillary Clinton if she wins the Democratic nomination.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, stopped in Watertown Monday to stump for her mother before New York's primary Tuesday.

Chelsea Clinton, who is expecting her second child this summer, told a room full of supporters at the IBEW Local 191 union hall, this will be the first presidential election she’ll be voting in as a mother.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich was in the village of Solvay near Syracuse on Monday for one of his last campaign stops before New Yorkers vote in the primary. Kasich’s question-and-answer session with a crowd of about 150 people, was heavy on policy and in stark contrast to the massive rallies and lively speeches of the other candidates.

Laurie Howard-Patnode says she is torn between John Kasich and Ted Cruz.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Polls open at noon today in central and northern New York for one of the most contested presidential primaries in New York state history. Both registered Democrats and Republicans will choose who they want to see as their party’s standard bearer in the race for president. The big push now is to get supporters out to vote.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Tuesday is not only New York’s presidential primary, it also the day for two special elections to replace the disgraced former leaders of the legislature who lost their seats after being convicted on multiple felony corruption charges.

One of the races is to replace former Senate Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican who is now facing a lengthy prison term on corruption convictions.  

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