Syracuse

7:33am

Fri October 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Green Party candidates offer voters another option in Syracuse elections

Green Party candidate Kevin Bott makes his announcement to run for mayor of Syracuse on September 11, 2013.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

This is turning out to be a quiet election season in Syracuse despite a race for mayor. Without a Republican running against Mayor Stephanie Miner, and with Democrats having with a stranglehold in most common council and school board races, Green Party candidates are emerging as alternatives for voters in a handful of races. All three Green Party hopefuls appeared on the Campbell Conversations with Grant Reeher.

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7:25am

Thu October 10, 2013
Business

Syracuse land bank becomes a landlord

The Syracuse land bank became a landlord this week as part of its work to put more city land on the tax rolls.

The land bank, known formally as the Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation, closed on the sale of 17 properties that are vacant or owners were significantly behind on their property taxes.

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6:17am

Tue October 8, 2013
Business

Syracuse council delays vote on airport authority transfer

Syracuse is in the process of transfering control of its airport over to a private authority.
mrsmecomber via Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council says it has delayed fully turning over control of the airport to a private authority in order to get the deal right.

Councilor Pat Hogan, who chairs the airport committee, says several union representatives and employees still had questions about the deal, which would be a 40 year lease.

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4:27pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse lawmakers will rewrite drone ban language

Joe Kummer, president of Propulsive Wing in Elbridge, N.Y. demonstrates his prototype unmanned aerial vehicle.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse lawmakers are re-working their proposed ban on the use of surveillance drones over city skies.

A draft of regulations were introduced on the council agenda at a study session last week, but were quickly withdrawn.

New draft federal guidelines out on drone use prompted the re-write. The federal rules will be incorporated into the city's, according to councilor Jake Barrett, who chairs the public safety committee.

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7:53am

Fri October 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Search begins for new State Fair director

File photo
Stu Gallagher New York State Fair

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets announced Wednesday it is searching for a new director for the New York State Fair. While in Syracuse Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the new director should be someone who can move the fair forward.

"What's the next evolution of the fair, right? How does the fair continue to grow and develop, so we attract even more people? And if fair management is becoming more and more sophisticated and they're now multi-entertainment venues,  someone who brings that expertise I think would be great."

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7:44am

Fri October 4, 2013
Politics and Government

Land Bank law amended, counties can now buy vacant properties

A new state law amends New York's land bank legislation introduced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration in 2011. Land banks are mechanisms for acquiring or demolishing abandoned properties that are delinquent on their taxes. The bill removes previous barriers that restricted counties and municipalities from purchasing properties without judicial authorization, allowing them to bid at public sales. Republican state Sen. Mark Grisanti sponsored the legislation.

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6:29am

Fri October 4, 2013
Business

Upscale hotel coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Starwood Hotels development director John Salvatore, left, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, listen to COR Development's Steve Aiello outline the Inner Harbor redevelopment project.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

An upscale hotel chain has signed on as the first tenant in the redevelopment of Syracuse's Inner Harbor.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced Thursday that will build an $18 million, 130 room "Aloft" hotel at the former barge canal, as part of a larger redevelopment of the now rarely used site.

In all, COR Development is working on a $350 million overhaul of the site. It plans more commercial and residential space.

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7:35am

Wed October 2, 2013
Health

New Yorkers flock to register on state health exchange

Willie Terrell gets advice from a navigator about what health care coverage plans are available.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The health exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act opened Tuesday, and in short order there were two million hits on the New York state website that's selling health insurance policies. People who weren't turning to the website in central New York were lining up to get face-to-face information on how to choose a plan.

Willie Terrell, of Syracuse, has been waiting for this day since he lost his health insurance a year ago.

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7:35am

Tue October 1, 2013
Business

Utica launching Syracuse-modeled student business incubator project

File photo
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The city of Utica will soon become the home of a new business incubator, modeled after Syracuse's Student Sandbox. Utica's thINCubator project, which stands for The Home of Innovative New Companies, is spearheaded by the Mohawk Valley Community College Foundation and local investors, who are contributing $100,000 to start the program.

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7:18pm

Wed September 25, 2013
Transportation

I-81 debate is personal for those who live in highway's shadow

Interstate 81 carries tens of thousands of cars through downtown Syracuse every day, but its infrastructure is aging.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

A decision on one of Syracuse's largest development projects of the century is still years away, but already opinions are becoming entrenched as others plea for more talking and new ideas.

A 1.4 mile elevated stretch of Interstate 81 running right through downtown Syracuse, known as the viaduct, will soon need to be replaced and state and federal transportation officials are in the midst of a lengthy decision process to decide how the next incarnation of the roadway will look and work. A decision is penciled in for 2017.

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3:13pm

Wed September 25, 2013
Regional Coverage

Turning guns to jewelry to help fight gun violence

Jewelry pieces crafted from guns and bullets by Liberty United
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The city of Syracuse is joining forces with a company that turns the remnants of guns and bullets into jewelry, and turns the profits towards helping reduce gun violence.

At a press conference in Syracuse Wednesday, Peter Thum, founder of Liberty United, showed off some of the jewelry that's been created from the remnants of melted-down guns and bullets confiscated by police -- some of them from Syracuse.

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7:38am

Tue September 24, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse mayoral candidate Kevin Bott challenges incumbent Stephanie Miner to debate

Syracuse's Green Party mayoral candidate Kevin Bott shakes hands with incumbent Democratic Mayor Stephanie Miner.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Syracuse's Green Party mayoral candidate, Kevin Bott, met his opponent, current Mayor Stephanie Miner, for the first time Monday night and challenged her to a debate.

Miner said she was willing to listen to what he had to say and that her campaign manager would get back to him.

Bott says the people of Syracuse deserve to hear different viewpoints debate each other in a general election.

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7:27am

Mon September 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse joins federal government in motion to try to change civil service tests

The city of Syracuse has joined the federal government in a legal motion that could end up changing the civil service tests that are the baseline for hiring police and firefighters across the state.

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7:16am

Mon September 23, 2013
Health

Syracuse's Golisano Hospital using laser technology to treat brain tumors

Dr. Zulma Tovar-Spinoza with two-year-old Arianna Failla and her mother, Jennifer Failla.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse's Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital is the first in the nation using laser technology to treat a rare, genetic disease with a multi-staged approach. The new use of laser ablation technology has changed the lives of families with children suffering from tuberous sclerosis in central New York.

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7:40am

Tue September 17, 2013
Politics and Government

Republican Party drops out of Syracuse mayoral race

Onondaga County Republican Party Chairman Tom Dadey announces that the GOP will not field a candidate for mayor of Syracuse in the November elections.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

For the first time in a century, there won't be a candidate on the Republican line in the race for Syracuse mayor this November. The GOP held off as long as it could to try to find a candidate, before calling off the the search.

"We gave it a yeoman's effort to try and find a candidate," Onondaga County Republican Party Chair Tom Dadey said. "That's why we went to the extraordinary lengths we went to, to preserve our ballot line for as long as we could, in hopes that that candidate would come forward, who's never come forward."

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7:53am

Thu September 12, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council considers beefing up noise nuisance laws

Members of the Syracuse Common Council are considering beefing up fines for residents accused of disturbing the peace.

These are the kinds of complaints lawmakers hear a lot, according to northside Syracuse councilor Jake Barrett. He says these types of complaints affect the quality of life of city residents, and can be big or small.

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7:17am

Thu September 12, 2013
Politics and Government

Kevin Bott launches Green Party mayoral campaign in Syracuse

Green Party mayoral candidate Kevin Bott stands on the steps of City Hall while launching his campaign.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

Syracuse's Green Party is optimistic about the race for mayor of Syracuse. Candidate Kevin Bott kicked off his campaign on the steps of City Hall yesterday, suggesting that even though incumbent mayor Stephanie Miner won a three-way Democratic primary, there are signs her political support isn't that strong.

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7:20am

Wed September 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse primaries shrink field for mayoral, councilor-at-large positions

Stephanie Miner receives a hug on primary night.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner took a step toward a second term in yesterday's Democratic mayoral primary, after winning more than half of the votes cast in a three-way race for the Democratic spot on the November ballot.

"Tonight we heard loudly and clearly, that the people of this party are looking forward and not backward," Miner said.

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7:40am

Tue September 10, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syrian protesters gather at Syracuse University for peace vigil

Two protesters hold a sign during a peace vigil at Syracuse University.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

A vigil was held at Syracuse University Monday evening in opposition to a proposed U.S. led military strike in Syria. About 30 people came to show support. Syria is currently in a civil war, and the United Nationas estimates more than 100,000 people have died since 2011.

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6:36am

Tue September 10, 2013
Politics and Government

Primary day expected to draw low numbers

Columbia City Blog Flickr

It's primary day in New York state, and city halls throughout the region are at the center of voting. Probably the highest profile mayoral race is in New York City, but voters will also be choosing candidates for mayor in Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Watertown and Syracuse.

While the polls give an edge to incumbents in these races, Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says candidates can't afford to take anything for granted.

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3:51pm

Mon September 9, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse Common Council approves more foreclosures

Syracuse Common Councilors have agreed to begin foreclosure proceedings on more than two dozen addition tax delinquent properties, that will be turned over to the land bank. This is the third round of foreclosure decisions by lawmakers in the last month. But, there is an end game in sight.

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7:11am

Fri September 6, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse's Hancock International Airport selected for TSA's PreCheck program

A view of Syracuse's Hancock International Airport, which was recently selected for the TSA's new PreCheck program.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse's Hancock International Airport is one of the medium size airports that will offer the TSA's new PreCheck program, becoming one of 60 across the country that will be able to take advantage of the expedited screening.

The PreCheck initiative is a frequent traveler screening program that will make it easier for frequent fliers to get through the screening process. Syracuse Aviation Commissioner Christina Callahan says there should be demand in Central New York.

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7:31am

Tue September 3, 2013
Arts

Syracuse embracing art revitalization through public pieces

Walt, the Loch West Monster is one of several art installations done in downtown Syracuse to beautify and promote the area.
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

The steady loss of manufacturing jobs in upstate cities has caused a similar decline in their downtown areas. But cities like Syracuse are hoping to change that perception through art revitalization projects aimed at promoting the city's center while beautifying neighborhoods.

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7:28am

Fri August 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Police and economy focal points during Syracuse mayoral debate

The use of technology versus having an officer on the street seems to separate the candidates when it comes to fighting crime in the city of Syracuse. The three candidates in September's mayoral Democratic primary debated the issue on the Campbell Conversations. Common Councilor Pat Hogan suggests there aren't enough officers on the street.

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4:45am

Fri August 30, 2013
Politics and Government

Syracuse Democratic mayoral candidates on The Campbell Conversations: Part 2

The three democratic candidates running for Syracuse mayor during a Campbell Conversations forum
Tom Fazzio

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, we continue with the forum we first presented last week--a discussion among the three candidates vying for the Democratic Party line in the upcoming city of Syracuse mayoral election. Participating in the forum are Mayor Stephanie Miner, Common Councilor Pat Hogan and Alfonso Davis. The topic for this week's debate, moderated by host Grant Reeher, concerns public policy questions that bear on the city's future.

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6:52am

Thu August 29, 2013
Education

Seven Syracuse schools enter first year of Innovation Zone

Teachers hold a rally during the iZone kick-off event at Porter Elementary School.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The seven worst schools in the Syracuse City School District are joining forces in an attempt to improve the performance of those schools in a short period of time. The district says the Innovation Zone schools, armed with more than $31 million in state grants, can turn things around.

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9:05am

Wed August 28, 2013
Business

Communication and trust remain key to minority business success

Vicki Brackens
Ryan Delaney/WRVO

Today is the 50th anniversary of the historic Civil Rights March on Washington. Across America, people are celebrating the journey of African-Americans since 1963. Here in central New York, Vicki Brackens, an African-American woman who has been a part of the business and financial community in Syracuse for 30 years, spoke with the Innovation Trail’s Ryan Delaney about being a minority entrepreneur.

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7:55am

Tue August 27, 2013
Regional Coverage

DiNapoli discusses upcoming pension rate numbers, impact on municipalities

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
Ellen Abbott WRVO file photo

The New York state comptroller's office this week comes out with some numbers of great interest to local governments. Pension rates are one of the reasons many local governments, including the city of Syracuse, say they are in financial peril.

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7:50am

Tue August 27, 2013
Politics and Government

Former councilwoman McCarty shows support for mayoral candidate Pat Hogan

Nancy McCarty stands with about 30 other women on the steps of Syracuse City Hall, showing their support for mayoral candidate Pat Hogan.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

About thirty women stood on the steps of city hall in Syracuse Monday with democratic leader Nancy McCarty, showing their support for Syracuse City Councilman Pat Hogan for mayor.

Led by McCarty, a former city councilwoman and school board commissioner, the women voiced their support for Hogan's educational platform which includes full-day pre-kindergarten. Joanne Batalia, a retired teacher's assistant with the Syracuse City Schools, said President Barack Obama came to Syracuse because the Say Yes to Education program has been somewhat successful.

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7:53am

Mon August 26, 2013
Technology

New security cameras installed at NY State Fairgrounds

Thousands of people walk through the fairgrounds during the New York State Fair.
NYSFair/flickr

Among the improvements to the infrastructure of the New York State Fairgrounds this year, is an upgrade of the fair's surveillance system.  New high-tech cameras are replacing an older system that will keep an eye on anyone visiting the 375 acre fairgrounds.

Phase one of the installation involves laying down the infrastructure for the new cameras and installing them in certain areas, according to Assistant Fair Director Troy Waffner.

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