Syracuse

4:00pm

Sun September 14, 2014
Poverty

Tom Buckel and Deborah O'Shea on the Campbell Conversations

Deborah O'Shea, left, and Tom Buckel, center, speak with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

This episode of the Campbell Conversations continues with the theme of poverty in the Syracuse region.  Host Grant Reeher talks with Tom Buckel, a former county legislator and partner in a large Syracuse law firm who now works as an Attorney for Legal Services of Central New York, and Deborah O'Shea, the pro bono coordinator for the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County.  They discuss poverty and the access to civil legal services.

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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

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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8:34am

Wed September 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district has new discipline guidelines

Syracuse superintendent Sharon Contreras greets students outside of Hughes Elementary and Syracuse Latin on the first day of school last week.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school district has released new guidelines for disciplining its students. It’s getting positive marks from district teachers and principals.

A student pulling the fire alarm has become a well-discussed example as the district spent seven months reworking its code of conduct.

The district has put more emphasis on restorative over punitive discipline. That means considering the situation in which a student pulled an alarm.

A 50-member task force has broken discipline into three-tiers, with more focus on discussion and keeping students in school.

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4:53pm

Sun September 7, 2014
Poverty

Kevin Frank on the Campbell Conversations

Kevin Frank, Executive Director of the Brady Faith Center in Syracuse.

Syracuse is one of the poorest cities in the nation.  The poorest of those poor, both individuals and families, struggle with homelessness.  As a first installment in an ongoing series on poverty in the Syracuse region, Grant Reeher talks with Kevin Frank, the Executive Director of the Brady Faith Center, located on Syracuse’s South Side.  Frank discusses his on-the-ground and in-the-street work with the homeless, and suggests what government, non-profit organizations, and all of us, can do to promote genuine relationships, which he sees as the key in addressing the problem.

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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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5:57am

Wed September 3, 2014
Politics

Maffei, Katko discuss the role of military surplus program

Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse), while visiting the New York State Fair in Syracuse
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The images coming from Ferguson, Missouri, of police in riot gear facing protesters has some in Congress calling for changes to the way local police agencies are able to use cast off military equipment from the Department of Defense.

The two candidates for the 24th Congressional District seat, which covers all of Onondaga, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the western half of Oswego County, have two different views of that.

Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei has already voted against the program that provides surplus military equipment to law enforcement agencies.

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7:18am

Mon September 1, 2014
Technology

Common councilors add their voice to high-speed internet push in Syracuse

Marufish via Flickr

Syracuse common councilors are adding their voice to the ongoing fight for better internet access to the City of Syracuse.

Lawmakers unanimously agreed to a resolution that encourages Verizon to apply to the Public Service Commission for a franchise agreement that would establish FiOS internet and cable service inside city limits. Right now the fiber optic system is only available in select Syracuse suburbs.

Council President Helen Hudson says that’s not right.

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6:48am

Fri August 29, 2014
Transportation

Another round of public comments on I-81 concluding

The second round of public input on the future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse begins Wednesday.
Zack Seward WXXI

Another study, another round of public comments. It may seem like the decision-making process on the future of the elevated Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse will never end.

An end is in sight, even if it’s still far off. Transportation officials say they hope to make a decision on whether to rebuild the viaduct, divert it around the city or tunnel it underground, in 18 months to two years.

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7:18am

Thu August 28, 2014
Health

5K run at state fair to help doctors perform hip replacements in Ghana

The Operation WALK team that traveled to Panama in 2013 to perform hip and knee replacements.
Operation WALK Syracuse

For the first time ever at the New York State Fair, there will be a running event at the fairgrounds. The Bubble Blast 5K run will take place Sunday.

One of the beneficiaries of the fundraiser is a group of central New York medical professionals who take their skills to third-world countries.

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7:39am

Fri August 22, 2014
Regional Coverage

Large class begins Syracuse police academy

A large class of new recruits has begun training to become Syracuse police officers, but if you ask Syracuse police chief Frank Fowler, it's still not enough cops.

"Keep bringing them," he said. "I tell you, I can find work for every police officer that you send my way. But this is a great start and I’m glad to have it."

Fowler was speaking after the swearing in of a new class of officers. Syracuse is buffeting its police ranks more than normal. It swore in 35 officers to begin six months of training on Thursday.

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7:06am

Thu August 21, 2014
Arts

Makerspace will offer a place for people to tinker

Tony Russo, an engineer, uses tools in the new makerspace in Syracuse, set to formally open in September.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new workshop is getting ready to open in Syracuse. It’ll be a place, known as a "makerspace," for anyone to come and sculpt, cut, weld or print.

Michael Giannattasio is a sculptor and metal worker by trade, but he knows his way around a 3-D printer, too. There are a couple set up in what Giannattasio refers to as the "clean space" in an old Syracuse factory building.

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6:15am

Tue August 12, 2014
Health

New dental program provides free care for homeless, uninsured

Dr. David Dasher talks with a patient at the free dental clinic in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There’s a new free dental clinic in the city of Syracuse, attached to the Amaus Health Services clinic at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Syracuse. The idea is to offer basic dental care to the homeless and people who have no dental insurance.

The first patient is a Syracuse man named Barry. He says his mouth is a mess after years of neglect.
 

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6:54am

Mon August 11, 2014
Regional Coverage

Some answers about Syracuse housing Central American children

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner listens to residents at a community meeting a few weeks ago.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

At a community meeting a few weeks ago, questions and comments about Syracuse being used as a shelter site for children flooding into the country from Central America were heaved at Mayor Stephanie Miner for two hours; some written neatly on note cards, others shouted from a crowded room.

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12:59pm

Wed August 6, 2014
Health

Bedbug problem hits Syracuse again

Charles LeBlanc Flickr

Bedbugs are out of control once again in Syracuse.

Sharon Sherman runs the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network. She says she thought a bedbug infestation that swept across the area a few years ago was under control, but now she says it is not.

“I can’t explain it," Sherman said. "I know even the housing authority was telling me that they got so backlogged, they had trained their employees, they were certified by DEC. They had to bring an outside exterminator to catch them up. I don’t know what the answer is.”  

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3:59pm

Tue August 5, 2014
Business

Syracuse combats lack of affordable housing by educating landlords

The Syracuse Land Bank demolished it's first vacant home earlier this year. (File Photo)
Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

The city of Syracuse is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, but one organization is hoping it can ease things by educating landlords.

Part of the problem is timing. For the last year, the Syracuse Land Bank has been buying properties seized by the city for back taxes, according to Sharon Sherman of the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network.

"Hundreds of properties have been foreclosed on and are making their way into the land bank, but very few have been sold yet, so that’s taken quite a few out,” Sherman said.

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4:53pm

Sun August 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Stephanie Miner and Joanie Mahoney on the Campbell Conversations, Pt. 1

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, left, and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, center, speak with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

Syracuse is facing a host of challenges and opportunities; front and center among them are the replacing of I-81 and the economic development of the city.  On this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney sit down together with host Grant Reeher to discuss these key issues. 

Note: See the transcript below for highlights of the conversation.

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4:54pm

Fri August 1, 2014
The Upstate Economy

First half statewide sales tax revenue increases overall, but some counties falter

Overall, sales tax revenue in New York increased for the first half of this year, but revenues were mixed across the state.

Across the board, New York saw sales tax revenue grow $177 million over the first half of this year, according to numbers tallied by the state comptroller's office. That's a 2.5 percent jump, but it's been an uneven increase, with some counties seeing big gains, while others decreased.

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7:08pm

Wed July 30, 2014
Health

Health advocates promote "She Matters" mammogram campaign in Syracuse

The "She Matters" campaign will kick off at Pioneer homes in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There is a nationwide racial disparity when it comes to breast cancer. The mortality rate is 41 percent higher for African-American women than Caucasian women. But a special program at Pioneer Homes in Syracuse hopes to put a dent in that number.

The idea is to get the 149 women over the age of 40 in this public housing development to get a mammogram, which can detect cancer in its early stages and can lead to better survival rates.

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5:30am

Tue July 29, 2014
Energy

New organization's goal is to Solarize Syracuse

Solar panels on the home of Peter Wirth in Fayetteville.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

There’s a movement afoot in the Syracuse area to get more people to install solar energy technology in their home or business.

Peter Wirth of Fayetteville installed solar panels on his home two years ago. And one of the most frequent questions he hears is,

“Does it work in central New York? Well, it’s produced almost 100 percent of our power for the last two years,” said Wirth.

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7:18am

Mon July 28, 2014
Regional Coverage

Peace activists says drone protests at Hancock Air Base will continue

Activists stand near the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base to protest drone use.
Courtesy of Upstate Drone Resisters

Activists opposed to drone warfare continue targeting the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base north of Syracuse.

During a protest at the air base last week, local upstate drone activists were joined by some members of the Atlantic Life Community Activists, an East Coast-based group of pacifists.

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7:22am

Thu July 24, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Community job training program will expand

Participants in Northside UP's Green Train job program in 2012.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A minority workforce training program on Syracuse’s North Side is being expanded with the help of several local agencies.

Northside UP, a community group targeting the immigrant population in the northern sections of Syracuse, has been running training programs called Green Train and Health Train. The second has placed a few dozen people on the payroll on St. Joseph’s Hospital, also located on the North Side.

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7:07am

Thu July 24, 2014
Politics

In New York's 128th Assembly District race, a familiar matchup returns

Republican candidate for the 128th Assembly District John Sharon during an event on Wednesday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

For the third time in six years, Republican John Sharon will challenge Democrat Sam Roberts for the 128th Assembly District seat.

Sharon admits going into a race in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans overwhelmingly, it doesn’t look promising.

“Just do that red-blue math, the numbers are not good," Sharon said. "But I’m not concerned about that, because I’m trying to reach out to the people who live here. And say, look, I’ll work for you, I will listen to you, I’ll be accessible, I’ll be visible, I’ll give you everything I’ve got every day.”

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6:24am

Tue July 22, 2014
Technology

Syracuse's Tech Garden receives needed upgrade

Seth Mulligan, Tech Garden Innovation Services vice president, loading websites in an instant with the facility's new fiberoptic capacity.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Technological times have changed since the Tech Garden set up shop on Warren Street in Syracuse almost ten years ago.

Six months ago, the technical infrastructure at the Tech Garden was sadly lacking.

"The projection wasn’t widescreen, it wasn’t high-definition," said Seth Mulligan, Tech Garden Innovation Services vice president. "The Internet was crashing and it was slow.”

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10:29am

Mon July 21, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Despite construction and ribbon cuttings, Syracuse lags in job creation

The recent groudbreaking of DeWitt's new nanotech center
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The sight of cranes in the air, and shovels in the ground abound in central New York this summer.  That doesn’t jive though, with the latest job figures from New York state that the Syracuse area continues to lose jobs at an alarming rate.

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4:08pm

Fri July 18, 2014
Health

Cancer center in Syracuse opens, bringing new technology to the region

The exterior of Upstate Medical University's new cancer center.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A ceremony in Syracuse Friday launched the new face of cancer treatment in central New York. The Upstate Cancer Center is ready for patients, and assistant director Dick Kilburg says its innovative design merges nature and advanced cancer-fighting technology.  
 

"Basically what we’re doing with this facility is bringing all the services under one roof, and being able to offer patients what they deserve in this community," Kilburg said. "All the extra services that a cancer center should be offering.”

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5:54am

Fri July 18, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse could become temporary home for immigrant children

Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse could be a potential landing spot for unaccompanied immigrant children who’ve been crossing the Mexican border in droves in recent months. Mayor Stephanie Miner is hoping a letter to the president can bring those kids to central New York sooner rather than later.

Miner is asking President Barack Obama to consider forming a partnership between Syracuse and the federal government to help with the humanitarian needs of the kids, who are waiting for deportation hearings.

She says dealing with immigrants in the past, and in the present, is in Syracuse’s blood.

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6:26am

Mon July 14, 2014
Recreation

Syracuse's Rosamond Gifford Zoo celebrates 100 years

An elephant poses for a photo at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is beginning it’s second century in Syracuse.

When the zoo opened it’s doors 100 years ago, visitors were treated to some birds and a bear. Director Ted Fox says it’s important to take stock after a century.
 

"One hundred years really means a lot to us," Fox said. "It really demonstrates the support of this community from what it was, with four acres and a few animals, to 700 animals and 43 acres now. We’re constantly adding new exhibits.”

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6:14am

Fri July 11, 2014
I-81

SU: campus will be "dramatically" impacted by I-81 construction

Interstate 81's on-ramp back onto the highway, heading north, from University Hill.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse University campus would be greatly impacted by the reconstruction of Interstate 81 through the city, a university working group has determined.

When visitors to the Syracuse University campus exit the Interstate 81 viaduct, they’re currently faced with an “unattractive city fabric,” the study concludes.

"The experience of the University is not such a good one because it’s not so clear how to get to the university," said dean of architecture Michael Speaks, who led the group, adding drivers must navigate a "cluttered path."

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6:12am

Fri July 11, 2014
Business

Starwood announces second hotel coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo addresses a group gathered at the site of the Aloft Hotel in Syracuse's Inner Harbor.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The Starwood group is now building two hotels in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Word of the second hotel came at the groundbreaking of the first.

With developers and dignitaries on hand for the groundbreaking of an Aloft Hotel in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, Jeremy Cooper of Starwood Hotels made an announcement.

"In addition to this groundbreaking, another Starwood Hotel is being built right here in the Inner Harbor. The Element Syracuse Inner Harbor Hotel is expected to open in 2018," said Cooper.

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