Syracuse

Obama to make a stop in Syracuse

Aug 14, 2013
whitehouse.gov

The White House has confirmed that President Barack Obama will travel to Syracuse next week as part of a two-day bus tour to lay out his plan for reducing college costs.The president will also stop in Buffalo, Binghamton and northeastern Pennsylvania.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse Common Councilor Pat Hogan has unveiled an equal rights plan as part of his campaign for mayor and criticized the city’s handling of police use of force on a bus patron in the spring.

Hogan is challenging fellow Democrat Mayor Stephanie Miner in a primary next month.

The councilor, from the Tipp Hill neighborhood, says he’s deeply troubled by the case of Brad Hulett. Hulett, who has a disability, was hit by a taser by city police officers in May while on a public bus after he refused to sit down.

(Editor's note: Common Councilor Jean Kessner was invited to participate in the panel, but was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict)

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The once heavily-polluted Onondaga Lake has a new environmental steward. The Environmental Protection Agency will fund the position for two years with a $200,000 grant.

Three candidates running for Syracuse Common Councilor-at-Large in a September primary joined Grant Reheer's Campbell Conversation to talk about the role of the city's legislative branch of government.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has announced that more police cameras will be going up in a part of the city's north side that has seen some high profile crime recently. The Syracuse Police Department will add seven cameras to the two currently tracking crime on Butternut Street. She says residents asked for more cameras, including Pond Street businessman Jai Suvedi, who says the current cameras have made a difference.

"So as we see Butternut Street between now and before, is totally changed, in this corridor," Suvedi said. "A lot of the crimes have decreased."

Syracuse Common Councilors started the process of turning over tax-delinquent properties to the new Land Bank of Syracuse and Onondaga County on Monday, beginning a new era as the city tries to get rid of many dilapidated or abandoned properties that have been a blight on some neighborhoods, and a burden for tax collectors.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Updated, 11:33 a.m.:

Surprise inspections of 10 corner markets in Syracuse on Tuesday uncovered numerous code violations, including fire safety, sewage and electrical violations. One was ordered to close immediately and the others were given 24 hour notices to shut down.

At the store ordered to close immediately, Delaware Market on the corner of South Geddes Street and Delaware Street, inspectors found a gas leak. S&R Market on South Avenue was running electrical wiring to an adjacent building, inspectors found.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

After a few weeks delay, transportation planners in central New York are moving forward with the next step in the lengthy process of deciding Interstate 81's fate in downtown Syracuse.

The 1.4 mile stretch of elevated highway through downtown, known as the viaduct, is reaching the end of its useable lifespan.

On Monday, the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council approved a $32 million study as part of the next phase of the project. This coming after a lengthy public engagement process and studies by SMTC itself.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse mayoral hopeful Pat Hogan is proposing a ten-point education program for the Syracuse City School District. He's one of four candidates in a Democratic primary for mayor that includes incumbent Stephanie Miner.

Hogan calls education the elephant in the room when it comes to issues facing the city today. He says it's the perceived state of the city schools that drives many families to the suburbs.   

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The first year of Destiny USA has been a boon to the tourism industry in central New York, according to tourism officials. David Holder, president of the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau says hotel occupancy figures show a marked increase in visitors when the bureau promotes the mall/entertainment venue. He says the geographic origin of those visitors also tells the tale.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Brushing off concerns it may be too little, too late, a new group of business owners and lawmakers has formed to oppose the seemingly narrowed options for the next incarnation of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse.

Save 81 launched Thursday to call for more options for what to do about the aging 1.4 mile stretch of I-81 through the city. While the group is opposed to the "urban boulevard" idea pushed for by many city residents, it said it has no "pre-ordained design" as an alternative.

City of Syracuse/Department of Aviation

Syracuse's Hancock Airport is getting a $4.5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration that officials say will help keep flights on time.  Airport Commissioner Christina Callahan says the funds will pay for a new taxiway, and area where diverted planes can go.

The city of Syracuse is cracking down on property owners who don't pay taxes. But, as lawmakers prepare to vote on whether the city should seize over 100 tax delinquent properties, there are some concerns about those properties that aren't vacant.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Score one for the self-proclaimed clout of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer. Thanks largely to recent efforts of the senator, a former gas station on Syracuse's south side will be redeveloped.

The intersection of East Brighton Avenue and Seneca Turnpike is home to three vacant properties: two former gas stations and an old car wash. Two of them are owned by gas station chain Sunoco.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is looking to raise the amount of money that can go to cleaning up former industrial sites in a move she says will spark for redevelopment.

On Monday she crossed upstate New York promoting the Brownfields Utilization Investment and Local Development Act, or BUILD Act.

Most former industrial sites are contaminated with solvents or metals that leaked into the ground. They're known as brownfields and require remediation before they can be redeveloped.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

LeMoyne's Madden School of Business is seeing a big jump in enrollment. Incoming Dean Jim Joseph says there is a 34 percent increase in enrollment in the business school this semester.

"The last ten years, the average class size of the business school has been in the 90 plus range," Joseph said. "This year, our incoming class will be 126."

The goal is to attract 150 students next year. He says the school's global programs and experiential learning are some of the reasons that the Madden school is seeing that enrollment increase.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Advocates for the disabled in Syracuse are marking the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but activists say there are still some areas where progress needs to be made.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse economic development officials and representatives from Sen. Charles Schumer's office will meet with executives from the Sunoco gas station chain next week. They will discuss the future of three vacant, former gas stations on the city's South Side.

Syracuse says the properties are an eyesore and accuses Sunoco of blocking their redevelopment in order to preserve the competitive advantage of its newer fueling hub nearby.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It's been almost two years since the ground breaking of the Logeun's Crossing project on Syracuse's east side.

Upstate Medical University is combining forces with COR Development to turn 14 acres of blighted properties off of East Fayette Street into a mix of residential, retail, office and educational space. COR President Steve Aiello says they've finished tearing down the old Kennedy Square apartment complex, and can start working on the basic framework of the new neighborhood.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A brutal murder and rape case that shocked central New York earlier this year is closed. In a plea deal with prosecutors, David Renz, 29, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first degree murder and sexual assault charges in the death of Lori Bresnahan and the rape of a 10-year-old girl in a mall parking lot in Clay last March.  

The deal basically assures that Renz will spend the rest of his life in prison, said Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick.

Protesters in Syracuse have joined a coordinated national demonstration opposed to intervention in the Syrian civil war.  

Derek Ford of the Syracuse chapter of the ANSWER Coalition admits it's been hard to get traction in the anti-war movement when it comes to the war in Syria.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Renovations have slowly been continuing on an historic home on Syracuse’s east side.

The Babcock-Shattuck House stands at the gateway to Syracuse’s Westcott neighborhood. It’s also a rare empty property in an otherwise vibrant area.

It was built around 1895 and last served as a home for Jewish war veterans. It's been empty since the late 1980's.

Now, the University Neighborhood Preservation Association is working to convert the vacant property into four condos.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The Upstate New York Poison Center wants to make sure parents are giving their children the proper doses of medicine.

A recent study shows that 40 percent of parents are giving their child the wrong amount of medicine, something that can lead to a possible overdose. The reason? They are using a teaspoon out of the kitchen drawer as a measuring tool, instead of a calibrated medicine spoon, according to Upstate Poison Center Communication Director Gail Banach.

Stephanie Miner/Facebook

The focus in the race for mayor in the city of Syracuse at this point is on a September 10 primary. Three candidates have turned in petition signatures this week to get on the ballot in September. Onondaga County Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says history shows whoever wins that race, will be victorious in November.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The story of Onondaga Lake, once called the most polluted lake in the nation, will be told in a major interactive exhibit at the New York State Fair this year.

"We no longer have to look at it and be embarrassed, or discuss what we are going to do. Now we can look back at where we have been and where we are going," said Onondaga County Deputy Executive Matt Millea.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The next stage of the planning process regarding the future of the elevated portion of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse has been pushed back a few weeks, as heat grows on state officials over the process.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

It's been almost two years since Onondaga County lawmakers approved funding for renovation of the Central Library in downtown Syracuse. Now the first steps in revamping the facility are starting.

The Central Library has been ensconced in the Galleries of Syracuse for 25 years now. When it opened up, the Galleries was a retail hub, that's now morphed into what amounts to an office building. Central Librarian Doreen Milcarek says the facility needs to downsize, a move that will reflect staffing cutbacks and the changing needs of library patrons.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

A photography exhibition at The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Finnish migration to the United States.  And one of the goals is to reestablish a connection between Syracuse and its sister city in Finland, which began more than 20 years ago.

The pictures of people and architecture that line the halls of The Gallery at The Tech Garden look like they’re from the same place. But half were taken in Finland and the other half in America where Finnish people settled, mainly in the Great Lakes region.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

More than a third of the post-recession jobs Syracuse has gained have come in the health care sector. That's a percentage that puts it near the top of cities dependent on the industry for economic growth.

According to numbers tabulated by the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Institute, 35.9 percent of Syracuse's recently added jobs have been in health care. Only three other metro areas in the country had a higher percentage.

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