Syracuse

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The Watertown City Council is considering a new law that would require landlords to register their rental properties with the city. Homes would then be subject to inspection every three years. Councilman Steve Jennings says the measure will help improve the city’s housing, but landlords say the measure goes too far.

Jason Smith / WRVO News File Photo

The Onondaga County Legislature has solidified the future of minor league baseball in Syracuse.  Lawmakers agreed Tuesday on a new deal for the Syracuse Chiefs to rent the county-owned NBT Bank Stadium for the next decade.

Poetry in America, and around the world, has undergone a lot of change in recent years.  This week on the Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher provides a break from politics to speak with the Syracuse-based poet Christopher Citro, the author of The Maintenance of the Shimmy-Shammy.  They discuss poetry’s recent history, new developments in poetry, Citro’s own approach toward writing, and poetry’s appreciation and fun.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A Syracuse police officer has been cleared by a grand jury of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of an armed woman.

Police officers Darrin Ettinger and Jeremy Decker were called to the scene back in February on a complaint of drug dealing. Upon arriving, the woman, brandishing a sawed-off shotgun, ran away from police officers, who told her multiple times to drop her weapon. The woman turned and pivoted towards Decker, pointing the gun in his direction. Ettinger fired two shots that hit the woman.

Zack Seward / WXXI

Work behind the scenes continues as the New York State Department of Transportation moves towards removing or replacing the crumbling Interstate 81 viaduct that cuts through the heart of Syracuse.

The community has been talking about this for years now -- what to do when the viaduct that brings I-81 through Syracuse comes to the end of its lifespan next year.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is staying out of fiscal stress, based on a system developed by the New York state comptroller’s office.

The city has never been flagged by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for having a government teetering towards insolvency.

“In the three years we’ve been doing this, Syracuse has never been in any stress categories and that certainly is very good news for this community,” said DiNapoli during a visit to Syracuse Monday.

Wayne Marshall / via Flickr

Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse have applied for funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue a lead paint removal program. The city has be unsuccessful in its last two attempts at funding since its program was put on probation in 2013.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Fire Department has confirmed six people died in a fire that started early Friday morning on  the city's north side.

Officials said eight people lived in the home. A 33-year-old male was not home at the time of the fire. A 32-year-old woman was home when the fire started but was able to get out. She was taken to a hospital. A seven-year-old girl died as well as three boys ages 10, 12, and 13. A 33-year-old man and a 34-year-old man also died in the fire. Two of the bodies were found downstairs and four were found upstairs.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) laid out a plan he and others in Washington are working on to fight poverty across the nation. Katko visited one of the poorest neighborhoods in Syracuse Tuesday to hear from residents and explain what he thinks will help solve the problem. 

Theotis Wallace, 23, dropped out of high school in 10th grade. He lives on the south side, is trying to take care of his son and is thinking about going back to school at Bryant and Straton College, which Katko encouraged him to do.

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.”

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.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The presidential candidates and their surrogates traveled throughout upstate this weekend, trying to drum up support and encourage New Yorkers to vote for them in Tuesday's primary.

Meanwhile, more than 250 people protested outside Donald Trump’s rally in Syracuse on Saturday. Many were students upset with Trump's language on immigration.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The walls are up on the first tiny homes in Syracuse. And they will be used in the fight against homelessness.

Volunteers erected walls on two 300 square foot tiny homes in a low income neighborhood on the city’s south side. The roof and indoor work comes next, and Tiny Homes for Good executive director Andrew Lunetta expects the first residents to move in by the end of May.

"So you walk in, and have a full Murphy bed. There will be a walled-off bathroom and a small kitchenette."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is pushing for upstate New York votes before the state’s primary on April 19. During a visit to Syracuse on Friday, Clinton focused on creating jobs and raising incomes, two issues pertinent to central New York and the rest of upstate.

Clinton to campaign in Syracuse Friday

Mar 30, 2016
Hillary Clinton / Facebook

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be in Syracuse Friday for two events, her campaign announced Wednesday.

The former senator, who represented New York, will hold a roundtable discussion on her plan to support manufacturing jobs. The time and location for the discussion has not yet been announced.

On Friday afternoon, Clinton will hold a grassroots organizing event for supporters at the Central New York Regional Market. That event starts at 2:00 p.m.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

In 2014, Donald Trump attended a Republican fundraiser in Syracuse as he floated the idea of running for governor of New York.  Some of the talking points and style Trump now uses on the presidential campaign trail can be heard in that earlier speech.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Everson Museum in Syracuse has hired a new curator of art and programs. One of his goals is to bring more community involvement to the museum to continue a shake-up of the institution.

Two years ago, the Everson faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in deficits, canceled two traveling exhibitions and saw their executive director move to the Newark Museum in New Jersey. Since then, the Everson has hired a new executive director and now D.J. Hellerman, curator of Burlington City Arts in Vermont, will be filling an open curatorial role.

Gregory Monroe / Flickr

The city of Syracuse is taking action in the wake of stories about lead in drinking water in some central New York schools. 

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says the city will be testing for lead in water in each of the city’s public schools to make sure no high lead levels are lurking that could harm children.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Gay and Lesbian Chorus is celebrating its 25th anniversary with performances that will feature some its favorite songs over the years. The chorus has faced opposition and prejudice throughout their history and this anniversary is an opportunity to remind audiences how far the group has come.

Courtesy of the Onondaga Historical Association Collections

Work will start soon on the restoration of Gustav Stickley’s Syracuse home, one of the founders of the arts and crafts movement in this country. It will become a museum dedicated to the Stickley Craftsman design, with a twist.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

In his 2016 budget presentation, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed investing an additional $100 million in a $200 million grants program that helps pay for water infrastructure projects. Despite the water infrastructure problems facing central New York, only two municipalities in the region are receiving funding in the first round of grants.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse is on the leading edge of using technology to deal with ways to fix a crumbling infrastructure. It’s the work of the city’s so called I-team that is bringing new technology to central New York.
 

Consensus CNY

The discussion over consolidating government in Onondaga County will begin in earnest in the coming days.  And, it should be a lively debate.

The starting point for this discussion is Consensus CNY, the commission on local government modernization that was formed two years ago by the city of Syracuse, Onondaga County and some non-profit groups. It’s expected to issue preliminary recommendations by the end of this month.

Paul Downey / Flickr

New York's statewide poverty rate is 16 percent, but in upstate cities, that number doubles. In Syracuse, more than 1/3 of the residents live in poverty. Syracuse also ranks the highest nationwide for its concentration of minorities in poverty.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There are no federal laws that prevent the trafficking of illegal guns between states. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) wants to change that, and is finding support in central New York.

Tonya Dugan, of Phoenix, is the mom of a young child. And that’s what she says has pushed her to join the ranks of anti-gun activists.

“What spurred me to take action was when we started looking at pre-K for my son, and I found I was terrified to send him.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new president is on the job this week at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. After more than four months getting to know the community, Danielle Laraque-Arena is replacing interim president Greg Eastwood, and wants collaboration to be a focus of her leadership.

“I think the best science emerges when you have effective teams. Medicine in the 21st century is all about team based care. It’s not me as a physician, what I can do individually, because what I can do individually can be augmented and magnified if I can do it effectively as a team,” said Laraque-Arena.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Syracuse are spearheading an effort to try to curb violence among teens and young adult men of color.

The idea, says Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler, is to give these teens and young man strategies to deal with conflicts at school or on the streets.

"If you’re limited in terms of what you think your options are, then you’re going to resort to some of the options you feel are available to you. So by giving these young people additional options to refer to, that increases the likelihood that violence won’t occur,” said Fowler.

Redhouse Arts Center / Facebook

For the last five years, the Redhouse Arts Center has partnered with a Syracuse nonprofit to expose high school students to theatrical productions with professional actors. Students are using the lessons they learn from being in "Dreamgirls" this season and applying them to the real world.

Rescue Mission Alliance

Syracuse’s Rescue Mission is getting ready for Thanksgiving.

Alan Thornton, with the Rescue Mission, said you need a lot of food when you’re making meals for about 2,000 people.

“It’s about 1,200 pounds of turkey, 375 pies, 42 pans of stuffing and mixed vegetables, and mashed potatoes, 20 gallons of gravy," Thornton said. "I don’t know how many people measure gravy in gallons, but we do here at the Rescue Mission.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some Syracuse residents are trying to focus the spotlight on poverty in the city.

More than a dozen members of some Syracuse churches marched through downtown during a busy midday, calling for more action to prevent poverty in the Salt City. Organizer Raymond Blackwell says there are three things that need to happen for Syracuse to lose the distinction of having the highest rate of concentrated poverty among minorities.

"One, is job training and job placement. Two, is fair housing policies, and three, is fully fund the public schools,” said Blackwell.

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