regional news

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency wants your old thermometers or thermostats. It’s an attempt to get mercury out of the waste stream.

If you look at an old thermometer or thermostat hanging around the house and see a ball of silver mercury in it, don’t throw it in the trash. Exposure to even small amounts of mercury can cause health damage to humans and wildlife.

Kathleen Carroll of Covanta, which runs Onondaga County’s trash burner, says they do have pollution controls that minimize the danger of the items containing mercury in the waste stream.

Adam W. / Flickr

Canadian media outlets report that the city of Montreal is suspending its plan to dump over two billion gallons of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River. This comes after city officials received a stream of phone calls when the city’s plans to dump the wastewater became public.

Rescue Mission

Some big changes are taking place at the Rescue Mission in Syracuse as the organization continues to fight homelessness in central New York.  

A new $7.2 million wing will increase the number of beds for temporary shelter and for the first time, will offer that service to women, according to Rescue Mission CEO Alan Thornton.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s already making  preparations, in case Hurricane Joaquin hits New York state full force in the coming days.

Cuomo says he’s staffing up emergency operations centers, notifying National Guard offices that they might have to be deployed,  and having work crews clear any trouble spots known to be prone to flooding.

The preparations are ongoing even though the track of the storm is still somewhat uncertain.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

One of the big questions in the wake of the state’s renovation of the New York state fairgrounds near Syracuse, was what will happen to Super Dirt Week once the grandstand and track come down. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during his "Capital for a Day" visit in Syracuse Wednesday, announced that Oswego County will reap the economic benefits of the popular event.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

A New York comedian, who is also an activist on prison rights issues, is drawing attention to the state’s practice of investing a small amount of its pension fund in the private prison industry.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation and the former mayor of Syracuse, Matt Driscoll, returned to Syracuse on Wednesday to give an update on the I-81 viaduct project. Engineers are currently analyzing each proposal for the interstate's future.

Driscoll says he is seriously considering three plans: a new viaduct replacement, a community grid with the boulevard option or a tunnel. While each plan has its pros and cons, Driscoll said money should not be a deterrent for any of the options. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul met with the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council on Wednesday to discuss the region's proposal to win a portion of the $1.5 billion Urban Revitalization Initiative competition. Seven regions are competing and three winners will receive $500 million each, which will go towards permanent private sector jobs and investments.

Hochul, who was in Syracuse for the governor's Capital for a Day event, said central New York’s council has made a good effort to reach out to the community for input about its submission.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Syracuse was “Capital for a Day” Wednesday.  That meant the heads of several government agencies fanned out across central New York to talk about everything from opioid addiction to state parks. Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the master of ceremonies, urging the region to focus on the positive.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A recent poll shows the Republican candidate ahead in the all-important race for state Senate in the Binghamton area. Republicans across the state are keeping a close watch on a special election that could tip the scales of power in Albany.

The Time Warner Cable News/Sienna College poll shows 59 -percent of voters polled are ready to support Republican Fred Akshar, with only 31 percent prepared to vote for Democrat Barbara Fiala. That’s good news for Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse.

One of the least expensive insurers on the New York health insurance exchange will be gone by the end of the year. Federal and state regulators intervened to shut down Health Republic Insurance of New York. With about 200,000 enrollees, it’s the fourth and also the largest co-op to get the ax this year.

Spokesperson for the New York State Department of Financial Services, Matt Anderson says the co-op was on the road to insolvency.

"The premiums that they charged simply were too low and didn’t ultimately cover their expenses," said Anderson.

Ellie George, Paradox Lake, NY

If you’re been anywhere near a lake or a river this summer, you may have seen a big white bird diving into the water to catch fish. Ospreys have made a big comeback. But for many years, the bird was threatened. On Wellesley Island, for example,  Ospreys  are everywhere.

Max Klingensmith / Flickr

Teachers say they hope Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly appointed education commission will fix problems with the controversial Common Core learning standards. But they say a lot has to change, including the unpopular tests associated with the standards.  

The task force will include educators, teachers, parents, officials from the New York State Education Department and the teacher’s unions,” Cuomo said in a pre-recorded web video.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The American Society of Civil Engineers issued gave New York’s infrastructure and gave an overall grade of C- on its 2015 report card. Syracuse officials hope infrastructure funding will come soon from the state and federal governments.

Intense emotions at Joyce Mitchell's sentencing

Sep 29, 2015
Clinton County Sheriff's Department

Joyce Mitchell got the maximum range of two and a third to seven years behind bars. There was both relief and anger in the Clinton County courtroom in Plattsburgh yesterday when Mitchell was formally sentenced.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircraft out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircraft to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse has its first pop-up shop. The space is the result of an AT&T-sponsored competition for student entrepreneurs at Syracuse University.

An empty contained glass space near the front of Marshall Square Mall has become home to this pop-up shop thanks to Julia Haber, a sophomore public relations student at SU.

"A pop-up shop is a space that is occupied by individuals for a certain amount of time that comes and goes and kind of can be whatever it wants to be at the moment, said Haber."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

JetBlue Airlines is resuming nonstop flights from Syracuse to Fort Lauderdale, Florida thanks to some convincing from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Christina Callahan, the executive director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority said JetBlue stopped service to that destination back in 2009 because of high fuel prices. But now Callahan said fuel prices have gone down and the amount of people flying every year is up two percent from last year, for a total of two million people using the Syracuse airport.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A multi-million dollar public space is being renovated at Perseverance Park in downtown Syracuse. Two design teams were chosen to develop the project and they held a public meeting over the weekend to gather input from the community on how the space should look. Jerry Von Eyck is the founder of !melk and his team will collaborate with Balmond Studio on the project.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO File Photo

The latest drive for Solarize CNY is the largest campaign the grassroots solarize group has tackled, moving beyond Onondaga County into surrounding counties.  And since this latest push started, more than 700 homeowners have signed up for a site assessment to look at the feasibility of a solar system on their property. But while the solarize movement has been successful so far, there are concerns about the future.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The number of syphilis cases has increased dramatically in recent years in central New York.  

It used to be that when there was an outbreak of syphilis in New York state, the state Department of Health would find people infected in a particular school or neighborhood.

"But now the social networks are different. People meet though the Internet. If they’re looking for sexual partners, and if they throw that net wide enough, they’re going to find them,” said Dan Casler, the head of the state health department’s communicable disease program.

Pipeline fight puts focus on one particular agency

Sep 28, 2015
Bret Jaspers / WSKG News

The Constitution Pipeline almost passed through Cindy Beach’s backyard. But the route changed. Now, the pipeline will be about two football fields away from Beach’s house in the village of Franklin in Delaware County. 

To get the change, she asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, if it was possible to bypass her small property. But one neighbor wasn’t so lucky. Beach says the pipeline company is taking part of his property by eminent domain.

Julia Botero / WRVO news

This weekend is expected to be another beautiful one -- sunny with temperatures in the 70s.  For many that means getting in one last swim of the season. WRVO's Julia Botero takes us to her favorite swimming hole, about a half hour west of Watertown in Robert Wehle State Park near Henderson in Jefferson County.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Fixing the state’s troubled ethics commission will be the subject of hearings in Albany on October 7 and in New York City October 17. Reform groups say they are ready with suggestions.

The panel, created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in May, is tasked with looking at ways to improve the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, which has been widely criticized as secretive and ineffective. JCOPE was launched by Cuomo and the state legislature during the governor’s first months in office back in 2011.

Oliver Hine / via Flickr

A continuing study of low-wage workers in Central New York shows that many suffer from physical ailments caused by the job. And the situation takes a toll on their mental health as well.

The Low-Wage Workers Health Project has spent the last two years getting a sense of what life is like for someone living at the poverty level in the Syracuse area.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Victims of past sexual abuse by Catholic priests in central New York are calling for justice as Pope Francis makes his visit to America. But the victims are limited in what they can do by New York State law.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The aging infrastructure across upstate New York has created another problem in the city of Syracuse: sinkholes in the streets. The city is expected to pay for the majority of these repairs.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr


A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for a phased in $15 an hour minimum wage is resonating among his base group of supporters. The Siena poll also finds the governor’s job approval rating is still at near record low levels. 

Julia Botero / WRVO News

State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan toured Fort Drum Wednesday for the first time since becoming a state lawmaker in 2002. Flanagan was elected Senate majority leader in May when former leader Dean Skelos resigned due to his arrest on federal corruption charges. Flanagan's visit was part of a day-long tour of the North Country. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A recent study that ranks Syracuse number one in the country for concentrated poverty among blacks and Latinos has ignited activists, who want city government to do something about creating jobs for residents who live in poverty.

At a rally on the steps of Syracuse City Hall, Rev. Nebraska Carter, a vice president of the Urban Jobs Task Force, compared poverty to a cavity in a tooth.