Syracuse

6:42am

Thu May 15, 2014
Government

Miner vetoes council's tax increase in Syracuse budget

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has vetoed a last-minute property tax hike the Common Council added to the city's spending plan because she says councilors didn't bring it up for public discussion first.

"When you don’t allow that process to happen, you create cynicism and you allow people to get turned off from the process," Miner said Wednesday.

Read more

6:26am

Mon May 12, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district exploring turning Delaware into charter

Delaware Elementary School opened in 1917 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district is considering turning one of its underperforming elementary schools into a charter school.

Superintendent Sharon Contreras sent a letter home Friday to parents of Delaware Elementary School saying a charter school is the best option available under state rules for chronically poor-performing schools.

Read more

5:40am

Fri May 9, 2014
Education

District, state silent on plans for future of Delaware School

Delaware Elementary School opened in 1917 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Both the Syracuse school district and state education officials are being hush about the future of one of the city's elementary schools, possibly because the district is still scrambling to come up with a plan, as sources have indicated to WRVO.

Under state policy for chronically underperforming schools, Delaware Elementary School must be drastically overhauled or shuttered.

Read more

7:07am

Thu May 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council approves small tax hike for city residents

Syracuse's Common Council met Wednesday and approved the city's budget, with a small change in the tax rate.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Syracuse's Common Councilors are raising taxes in the city in a way they say won’t be painful.

Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed budget didn’t include any tax hikes, but the one the Common Council passed Wednesday does. The tax increase they are instituting is ultimately a wash because of a new state program that reimburses taxpayers for any tax increases they pay this year.

Read more

4:08pm

Wed May 7, 2014
Regional Coverage

Rosamond Gifford Zoo celebrates 100 with plans for the future

Map of proposed changes at Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse is 100 years old this year. To coincide with that anniversary, the zoo has announced a 20-year new action plan that could change the way the zoo looks like in the future.    

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the anniversary makes it a great time to look towards the future.

Read more

6:13am

Wed May 7, 2014
Politics and Government

Onondaga County to help pave over potholes in Syracuse

As the snow melted after the hard winter, many central New York roads were left with lots of potholes.
Gino Geruntino WRVO file photo

Onondaga County will be helping out some local governments, including the city of Syracuse, re-pave roads ravaged by a bad winter.  

It wasn’t as much as originally offered by Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, but Onondaga County lawmakers did agree yesterday to foot the bill for paving two major roads in the city of Syracuse.  

Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says the county will spend a half a million dollars to re-pave Adams and Harrison Streets.

Read more

7:21am

Mon May 5, 2014
Education

Haudenosaunee heritage center to become 'place of ideas'

A display from the former Sainte Marie among the Iroquois museum.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The transformation of the former Sainte Marie among the Iroquois museum on Onondaga Lake into a Haudenosaunee heritage center continues. Museum experts are in the midst of reprogramming the focus of the museum and are looking for help from the public.

Rick Hill is a guest curator working on the interpretive script for the new Skä•noñh Great Law of Peace Center. He says it’s going to be a different kind of museum.

Read more

7:20am

Fri May 2, 2014
Transportation

The 16 different paths for a new Interstate 81

Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A new Interstate 81 could rise 25 feet higher than it currently does, or be buried 81 feet below the ground's surface. Those are just two of the 16 options the state Department of Transportation has revealed to the public as an update to their lengthy process of choosing how to replace the current roadway.

There are two constants in the 16 options: The north-south I-81 will be properly connected with the east-west I-690 in all directions. And properties will have to be knocked down, though DOT provided few details about that.

Read more

6:08am

Thu May 1, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse budget hearing highlights need for first responders and literacy

Virginia Carmody, with the Literacy Coaltion of Onondaga County, speaks during Syracuse's public hearing on its annual budget.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Pleas for funding for a literacy program, and concerns about public safety spending rounded out comments at last night’s public hearing on the city of Syracuse’s proposed 2014-2015 budget.

In all, six people spoke to common councilors about Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed $660 million spending plan last night. Among them was Felicia Salley, a mother of three from Syracuse’s southside. She says the Imagination Library, run by the Literacy Coalition of Onondaga County, has helped her kids prepare for school by providing each of her children one new age-appropriate book a month.

Read more

5:31pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

Where an Interstate 81 tunnel through Syracuse could go

An artist rendering of what Almond St. in downtown Syracuse could look like with Interstate 81 tunneled below it.
N.Y. Department of Transportation

A tunnel to replace Interstate 81's current elevated path through downtown Syracuse could take four possible routes through the city.

The New York Department of Transportation revealed tunnel options ahead of a meeting to explain all 16 possible variations of a new Interstate 81 in Syracuse. 

Interstate 81 runs from the Canadian border in the north to the Pennsylvania border in the south. The 50-year-old highway carries thousands of cars each day through Syracuse.

Read more

1:54pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Education

As deadline is extended, no plan for future of Syracuse school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a school board meeting earlier this month. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district has a few more days to present a plan for the future of one of its elementary schools to state education officials, but the school board currently doesn't have a meeting scheduled to approve such actions.

Read more

8:12am

Tue April 29, 2014
Education

Say Yes to Education still working toward fiscal sustainability

Say Yes to Education hosted a resume workshop for city teens in 2012.
Stephen Sartori Say Yes to Education

Say Yes to Education is slightly short of its goal to being independently financially sustainable six years after its start.

Say Yes is a national nonprofit that opened a chapter in the Syracuse school district in 2008. It offers a different strategy to improve urban education with a promise of free college tuition to graduating high school seniors.

Read more

7:36am

Tue April 29, 2014
Business

Plowz smartphone app gets a summertime makeover

The MOWZ app is the second smartphone app developed by Syracuse grads Wills Mahoney and Andrew Englander.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

A Syracuse start-up is building on the success of a smartphone app that helped people get someone to plow their driveway. Now the PLOWZ app is being joined by MOWZ.

Wills Mahoney admits it was a good winter to start a snow plow app. More than 40,000 people downloaded the PLOWZ app, and thousands used it to call a plow, not only in central New York, but into the Midwest.
 

Read more

1:34pm

Tue April 22, 2014
Infrastructure

Syracuse has repaired 2,000 potholes since April 1

Kevin Hunter, a Syracuse public workers employee, prepares the city's new pothole patching truck.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Public works crews have already patched 2,000 potholes on Syracuse streets in April, but there are so many more, they now have their own email address.

City officials Tuesday unveiled a new pothole repair truck and called on residents to help report potholes around town. A quarter of those repaired so far came from city complaints, officials said.

Finding more shouldn't be a problem.

Read more

6:44am

Tue April 22, 2014
Sports

Syracuse runners show they're Boston Strong

Runners take part in an event at Onondaga lake Park.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

About 200 central New York runners marked the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings last night. The running bond remains strong a year after the bombing that left three people dead and scores injured.

A bagpipe serenaded runners hitting the pavement of Onondaga Lake Park to mark the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings.
 

Read more

9:32pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Plan approved for Fowler H.S. remake; district nowhere on Delaware school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a special school board meeting Wednesday. Board Commissioner David Cecile is at the right.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school system has a plan in place for the future of Fowler High School, one of three it's overhauling this year. The school board has approved turning the school into one focused on public service and law enforcement.

Starting in the fall, incoming students will not attend Fowler High School, but the Public Service Leadership Academy.

Read more

7:58am

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Extra state aid helps Syracuse balance school budget

Katie Keier Flickr

The new budget for Syracuse public schools includes more state aid than the district asked for, but the school district still has to dip into the fund balance to level its finances.

The Syracuse City School District asked for $7 million from the state in order to balance its budget. Legislators came up with an extra $1.9 million, part of an overall state spending increase on education.

The extra cash will allow them to restore some previous cuts, Suzanne Slack, the district’s chief financial officer, said.

Read more

6:58am

Mon April 14, 2014
Business

U.S. Export-Import Bank president promotes benefits of selling products overseas

From left: Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Congressman Dan Maffei (D-NY), and Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the first member of Congress to offer the U.S. Export-Import Bank the opportunity to visit small businesses in her state. The result was a meeting last week at Filtertech in Manlius with the bank's president.

Filtertech designs and manufactures industrial size liquid filtration systems.  

In 2008, the U.S. Export-Import Bank financed the manufacturing of a project Filtertech produced with a company in Italy; a project that helped keep them in business at the time.

Read more

10:15am

Thu April 10, 2014
Government

Common Council begins work on Syracuse budget

The Syracuse Common Council is getting its hands on the mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year, which doesn’t call for a tax increase.

More than half of the city’s $660 million budget goes to the school district.

For the rest of the budget, on the upside, the mayor’s office expects to see increased revenue from sales tax, parking fees and property tax collection -- thanks to the land bank, the agency tasked with handling the cities massive list of vacant properties.

Read more

8:04am

Thu April 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse superintendent apologizes over Fowler High School plans

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse City School District superintendent Sharon Contreras apologized Wednesday night for the way news about plans to phase out three of the city's schools was made public.

A letter from the state Department of Education leaked to the press Monday outlined possible plans for three underperforming schools in the city: Fowler High School, Hughes Elementary and Delaware Elementary.

Read more

7:03am

Thu April 10, 2014
Regional Coverage

Activists discuss upstate New York drone use during visit to Utica

Military drones piloted from Syracuse attack targets in Afghanistan. Griffis Airport in Rome has been tapped to test the safety of commercial drones. With little fanfare, upstate New York has become central to adaptation of unmanned aerial vehicles. Wednesday night, the controversy over drones came to Utica.

Read more

1:38pm

Tue April 8, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district gets extension on schools phase out

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state Department of Education has given the Syracuse City School District two extra weeks to come up with plans to phase out two underperforming schools in the city.

A letter dated Feb. 27 - and provided to WRVO Tuesday - from the state education department to Syracuse superintendent Sharon Contreras included an April 18 deadline for plans. A spokesperson for the education department gave WRVO a second letter dated March 4 that extends the deadline to April 30.

Read more

6:37am

Tue April 8, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse considers adding more police, firefighters

Mayor Stephanie Miner flanked by the police and fire chiefs and some members of Common Council as she announces her proposal to include a new class of police and firefighters in the fiscal year 2014-15 budget Monday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

If Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s proposed budget is approved as is by the Common Council, the city will soon beef up its police and fire departments.

Miner says even as the city budget continues to be tight, it’s time for the new officers, with more than 200 potential police and fire retirements looming this year.

"You always are trying to manage, and manage and looking at how many retirements you're going to have and how many you’ve already had, where your needs are and how you can balance those needs,” Miner said.

Read more

8:20am

Mon April 7, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Housing Authority marks 75 years

The Syracuse Housing Authority, the agency overseeing publicly-subsidized housing in the city, is celebrating its 75th anniversary.

As it marks the milestone, the authority has a waiting list 3,000 names long to get into one of its units. There are twice as many people waiting to get a Section 8 voucher that helps low income people pay rent. And the federal dollars coming to SHA is significantly less than it used to be.

Still, SHA executive director Bill Simmons says the authority is doing more and they’re moving in a "unique direction" toward a focus on home ownership.

Read more

4:02pm

Sun March 30, 2014
Regional Coverage

Tim Kennedy on The Campbell Conversations

Syracuse Media Group President Tim Kennedy (left) speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

Like other newspapers, The Syracuse Post Standard has struggled in recent years, and it has made significant changes in the way it delivers the news and how it tries to interact with the public.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with Tim Kennedy, the person now in charge of navigating its course.  Find out why he sees a bright future of opportunities for the Syracuse Media Group, despite the hits the company has taken.

Read more

6:30am

Thu March 27, 2014
Regional Coverage

ACR Health hopes program will reduce heroin deaths

Prevention Director Erin Bortel holds a vial of Narcan, which could be used to save someone suffering from a drug overdose.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Along with a spike in heroin and other opiate use in central and northern New York has come a jump in the number of  drug overdose deaths. One Syracuse health organization hopes to bring that number down by teaching people how to administer a drug that can stop the effects of an overdose.

Read more

3:10pm

Thu March 20, 2014
Education

Syracuse leaders come together to advocate for pre-K funding

Supporters of pre-K, including Syracuse Common Councilor Nader Maroun, hold up banner at news conference Thursday.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse-area advocates of universal pre-kindergarten want lawmakers to include it in the state budget expected to be approved in Albany in the next ten days. Supporters crystallized their argument for pre-K  at a news conference at Delaware School on Syracuse’s west side Thursday.

The call to  include universal pre-K in the state budget came from business leaders, like Centerstate CEO president Rob Simpson

Read more

6:18am

Wed March 19, 2014
Religion

Syracuse group opens home to take in pregnant women

The living room of Joseph's House
Credit Ellen Abbott

A house that opens its doors to pregnant women who don’t have anywhere to live will soon open on Syracuse's Northside.

Joseph’s House, a project conceived by two women who are anti-abortion, seeks to offer pregnant women in crisis another option besides abortion.

Kitty Spinelli of Skaneatelas and Maria Miller of Fairmount are the founders of Joseph’s House, which is housed in a home more than 100-years-old in an undisclosed location on the city’s Northside.  

They said they are already getting calls about pregnant women who have nowhere to go.

Read more

8:08am

Tue March 18, 2014
Politics and Government

Syracuse has a comprehensive plan for three decades of planning

The city of Syracuse now has a document to base its urban planning decisions on for the next three decades.

Read more

8:51am

Mon March 17, 2014
Regional Coverage

Syracuse: a little more Irish than the rest of New York

The "green on red" traffic light on Tipperary Hill in Syracuse has become a landmark of Syracuse's Irish culture.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

It’s said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. In Syracuse, that’s a little truer. A sixth of the population claims to be of Irish ancestry, more than any other city in New York state.

It was the potato famine in Ireland and the rise of the salt industry in central New York both happening in the mid-1800s that brought so many Irish people to the city, according to Dennis Connors, curator of the Onondaga Historical Association.

Read more

Pages