upstate New York

ChrisYunker / via Flickr

It may not have taken place around a roulette wheel, but there was a palpable air of suspense as the state Gaming Facility Location Board announced three of the nearly 20 communities hoping to get a piece of the gaming action on Wednesday. The board was entitled to grant up to four licenses.

The five-member volunteer board immediately got down to business, nixing all seven casino proposals in Orange County and approving one Hudson Valley/Catskill site to the Montreign Resort and Casino, located in the tiny village of Thompson in Sullivan County.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the support of several high profile Republicans, including Larry Rockefeller. But in a newly released campaign ad that started airing Tuesday, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney is publicly giving the governor her endorsement for reelection.

"I'm a Republican and I'm supporting Gov. Cuomo," Mahoney said in the 30 second commercial. "We can't afford to go back to the way things were. Let's keep New York moving forward with Andrew Cuomo."

Ken Lund / Flickr

With less than five weeks to go until Election Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says upstate New York is much improved economically from when he came into office four years ago.

Cuomo said the impact of large-scale investments throughout upstate, including the famed "Buffalo Billion," designed to create thousands of jobs in the western portion of the state, are rejuvenating the economy.

Senate Republicans have a new strategy in what’s shaping up to be an election battle for control of the New York state Senate. They say now that a group of breakaway Democrats is abandoning them and rejoining the rest of the Democrats, the Senate will be dominated by New York City liberals who won’t care about upstate and Long Island.

The five-member Independent Democratic Conference  announced it would break its nearly two-year-old  alliance in ruling the Senate with the Republicans, and plans to join the Democrats in a coalition government after the November elections.

On air: Mental health care in upstate New York

May 5, 2014
Lorraine Rapp / WRVO

This health forum broadcast on WRVO Sunday, May 4 at 7:00 p.m.

The forum explored the current situation for mental health care particularly in upstate New York. What impact does the state government, federal programs like the Affordable Care Act, and non-profits have on mental health care in the community. We discuss the needs and future of mental health care in the region – and how government funding and the social, demographic and economic situation are changing both.

Panelists:

This week: wilderness medicine and more

Apr 18, 2014

Practicing medicine in the wilderness means being able to anticipate problems and improvise solutions. Dr. Jeremy Joslin is with us this Sunday at 9 p.m. He's the director of the Wilderness and Expedition Medicine Fellowship program at Upstate Medical University.

Wilderness medicine requires "the ability to think on your feet and diagnose and treat people without various tests and studies and radiological procedures that you might have in a hospital," Joslin says.

NathanaelB / Via Flickr

Upstate New York’s cities need to make investments in quality of life if they want to recreate their past economic vitality, according to a local expert on cities.

Mildred Warner of Cornell University recently held a conference at the college on the economic state of upstate New York’s largest urban centers.

She says the region’s cities aren’t getting the "full gamut" of rediscovery by younger generations because they’re not investing enough in areas like quality of life and infrastructure.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Many upstate New York municipalities are struggling with higher taxes and are scrambling to find additional revenue sources. The city of Oswego is no different and the mayor is trying several approaches to raise money.

Mayor Tom Gillen says the city is examining every nook and cranny of the budget to try to find ways to save money or bring in revenue.

James F Clay / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to have gained the upper hand and some new allies in his policy skirmish with New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio over how to fund pre-kindergarten, as the fight threatens to turn into an upstate downstate split.

DeBlasio has been seeking permission from Cuomo and the legislature to raise income taxes on the wealthy in New York City in order to pay for access to pre-kindergarten for almost 75,000 four-year-olds there, arguing that it would help ease income inequality.

DucDigital / Flickr

Thursday was the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, an effort begun by anti-cancer groups nearly four decades ago to help people quit smoking. This year the American Cancer Society in New York used the day to call attention to a decline in state spending on anti-smoking programs.

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is continuing its program for promoting upstate produce with new legislation that aims to support the marketing of New York wines. The new laws permit wine to be sold at roadside farm stands and expand wine trail designations along state roadways.

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

The number of parents opting out of having their kids vaccinated against whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is on the rise, according to a recent report. This is resulting in an increase in whooping cough cases statewide.

In 2012, New York state saw the highest number of whooping cough cases in decades, with more than 3,000 cases confirmed statewide.

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

The U.S. frozen food market is on the rise, with expectations it will become a $70 billion industry within the next two years.

Last year, upstate New York got in on the action when France-based company Bonduelle acquired three facilities to expand their production of canned and frozen vegetables. They took over the floundering Allen's plants in March 2012, with the intention of repairing and developing the facilities.

Local growers are now set to benefit from the company’s expansion and investment plans.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The shooting last year at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut just before Christmas and leaving little children dead looked for a moment like it would change gun laws. It didn't, expect in a couple of places. New York was one. That state quickly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but it was hugely controversial, especially in rural parts of the state.

LousivilleUSACE/flickr

Congress is taking aim against invasive species that are clogging New York state's waterways, with New York representatives in the House and Senate backing the proposed "Invasive Fish and Wildlife Prevention Act."

It's a problem that plagues many lakes and rivers in central New York. Species like Asian carp and certain kinds of mussels can interfere with boating and recreation activities on the state's waterways. But championing the legislation is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who says these species can be difficult to deal with.

Bosc d'Anjou / Flickr

President Barack Obama is planning on visiting upstate New York this week to promote an education plan. But whenever a major politician visits the region, the issue of hydrofracking is often on the agenda, whether they like it or not.

Obama’s planned trip to Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton will focus on the importance of getting an affordable college education for students.

But activists opposed to hydrofracking, also known as fracking, want the topic of natural gas drilling to be on the agenda, as well.

A new poll finds most New Yorkers are ashamed of the candidacies of Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer for mayor and comptroller of New York City, respectively. The Siena College poll also finds that Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in contrast, is enjoying a minor rebound with voters.

Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, schools across Upstate New York are dealing more and more with school violence.

SUNY Upstate Medical University forensic psychiatrist James Knoll says if a person asks anyone about school violence, they'll answer Columbine or Newtown, Conn.

"Most of the lay public's attention gets focused on the rare, but sensational acts of school violence like school shootings," Knoll said. "But I think it's the more common everyday violence, physical and mental abuse, and bullying... where our efforts are best spent."

NYS Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name is frequently mentioned as a possible presidential contender in 2016 -- that is if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run. But first, the governor has to think about  his 2014 re-election race and how to shore up his support in upstate, where he’s been flagging in the polls.   

During the past several weeks, Cuomo has spent much of his time in upstate New York.

He paddled in a whitewater rafting contest he organized in the Adirondacks, to boost tourism.

Matthew Powell/flickr

New Yorkers have a chance to vote this November on whether there should be more gambling in the state.  Those who treat people with gambling addictions say it will likely result in more problem gamblers.

The New York Council on Problem Gambling is a not for profit, affiliated with the state agency on alcohol and drug abuse. It coordinates and publicizes treatments for New Yorkers with gambling addictions.

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Ontario County is moving forward with the privatization of its nursing home. The board of supervisors voted last week to accept a $2 million bid for the Hopewell facility, but concerns remain about the level of care a private owner would provide.

The sale makes Ontario the latest in a string of counties in upstate New York looking to privatization as a solution to the rising costs of operating a nursing home.

Steuben, Chautauqua, and Onondaga Counties are among many considering or finalizing the sale of county facilities to private operators.

NYS Governor's Office

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the Adirondack Park yesterday, where he joined some of the state's most powerful politicians and business leaders on a whitewater rafting trip down the Indian River.

Cuomo says his "Adirondack Challenge," held in the town of Indian Lake, is meant to draw attention and more visitors to destinations in Upstate New York.

"I want to expose this part of the state of New York," Cuomo said. "It is a magnificent part of the state, as you can see. Tourism is a big business for us, it's a big part of the economy and this has great potential."

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.

Some rights reserved by 401 (K) 2013

As delays pile up in the implementation of components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded $150 million to the nation’s health care centers as part of an outreach and enrollment program for patients with low incomes.

The grants will help centers provide advice regarding the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, and how it will affect people’s current health coverage as well as those who are currently uninsured.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

When Mahlon Irish became a Homer volunteer firefighter in 1974, it was common for 60 people to head out to a fire. Now, it can be difficult to get the 12 firefighters national standards call for to a working blaze. The decline in the number of volunteers through the years is blamed on many things -- from extensive training required to changing family dynamics. But the expense of being a volunteer is also an issue, says Irish, using the cost of gasoline as an example.

Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Johan Jelsma is taking me on a tour of his garden on the West Side of Binghamton. He rattles off the names of plants in just one small patch of his yard:

“Eggplants, Brussels sprouts, a little bit of remnants of peas left and cucumber, melon.”

Jelsma's entire yard is taken over by a garden of vegetables, fruit trees and flowers. He says some passersby describe it as the wild yard.

“I didn’t like grass per se. I mean I like laying on it, I like running but I definitely don’t enjoy mowing.”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious agenda around economic growth, innovation and clean energy in his proposed 2013-2014 Executive Budget.

The state budget includes a provision aimed at boosting the film industry in upstate New York. The new tax credit creates a two-tiered system that includes a 10 percent credit for productions using particular upstate locations.

Tuesday’s fiscal cliff package included extensions to a range of business-related tax credits, including one aimed at supporting research and development. Although Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse have some of the most active R & D economies in the country, experts say the deal could be a double-edged sword for upstate New York.

A consortium of three upstate medical schools is to receive $12.1 million in funding to try to create a treatment for people living with multiple sclerosis.

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