Utica

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A solar project planned for Utica will now be built in the town of Lisbon in St. Lawrence County. The city of Utica can still receive all of the power from the site.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the Federal Highway Administration and the New York State Department of Transportation to unlock funds for the city of Utica to use in a new project. The funds were frozen because they were earmarked for a different project that never went through.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Complaints from Utica residents about the city's roads have reached a fever pitch. 

"It has been a long time since required paving has been increased and there is a big public outcry to fix the roads, it was blatantly apparent in the last campaign season," said Common Council President Michael Galime.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The Utica City School District has settled a lawsuit with New York state over allegations that it denied equal education opportunities to some refugee and immigrant students. The school district had diverted some foreign students to an alternative education program that taught them English, which the lawsuit claimed was inferior. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A recent report from the New York State Financial Restructuring Board praised Utica officials for stabilizing the city's financial condition. The assessment came at the request of Utica's mayor and common council after they took painstaking steps to reverse an $8 million budget gap and depleted fund reserves in 2012.

Redeemer Cup brings new & old Uticans together

Jun 8, 2016
David Chanatry/NY Reporting Project

The sounds of sport filled the air in Utica this past weekend, but despite the time of year, it wasn’t the crack of the bat that was heard. More than 10 percent of the city’s population is made up of refugees, and they were playing a different game.

In Utica’s Proctor Park, between a baseball diamond and basketball court, several fields were full of sounds of “the beautiful game.”

It’s the sixth Redeemer Cup international soccer tournament, a sort of mini-World Cup in central New York. Fifteen teams competed this year, comprised of refugees and immigrants.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo tried to find a compromise over how to best utilize a corridor in the Adirondacks, he opened old wounds from a decades-long debate.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The race in New York's 22nd Congressional District is considered by the Cook Political Report to be one of the most competitive in the nation. At least five candidates are seeking the seat that three-term Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) is vacating at the end of the year. The district stretches from the eastern part of Oswego County to the Mohawk valley to the Southern Tier and includes all or part of eight counties.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Ahead of the Empire State's April 19 primary, Donald Trump supporters in central New York are organizing to gain support for the presidential candidate.

In Utica's historic train station, a group of Mohawk Valley citizens gathered to say they think the country is off track and Trump is the only candidate who can help.

"We've been going in the wrong direction for too long, in particular the last eight years," Perry Onderdonk said. "He's achieved personal greatness and I think he can apply his business acumen to fixing what's wrong with our country today."

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says the number of governments in the county is unsustainable. In his annual State of the County speech Tuedsay, he renewed his call for downsizing the size of government, noting that sales tax revenues in Oneida County are down by $3.8 million. The county has 47 government units and 345 taxing jurisdictions. Picente said that ultimately leads to overlapping public services.

centro.org

A tracking system that shows customers where Centro buses are in real time is in a test stage in Syracuse.

Bus Tracker is already in place in Centro’s smaller markets, Auburn, Oswego, Rome and Utica. But the bus company just finished geocoding the system in Syracuse. Centro spokesman Steve Koegel says now that’s done, patrons can actually see buses moving along a bus route in Syracuse.  

WRVN 91.9 in Utica is back on the air

Jan 5, 2016

Thanks for your patience as WRVO Public Media engineers repaired an antenna problem at our transmitter site in Utica. Our signal on 91.9-FM has been restored to full power. Signals across the WRVO network are operating nominally, as is our online stream.

Utica remembers history of abolition

Oct 30, 2015

It’s been 150 years since the passage of the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery in the United States. The amendment was ratified after the end of the Civil War, but the

fight to end slavery took place over decades. One battle fought in 1835 in downtown Utica was commemorated recently.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

There’s been an unusual focus on upstate New York among top state politicians from the downstate area in recent weeks.  

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a speech in Utica Thursday, says downstate lawmakers -- who numerically dominate  the legislature -- have been unified in seeking aid and programs for New York City and Long Island. But he says upstate lawmakers are more balkanized and have been largely unsuccessful.

“There is no place called upstate,” said Cuomo, who said New Yorkers tend to identify with the city they leave nearest, like Syracuse or Buffalo or Rochester.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce held what they're calling "chamber day" for the first time on Thursday. The goal was to connect local businesses in the Utica area to each other.

 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Public meetings began in Utica this week discussing whether residents are comfortable with a local farm applying to grow and dispense medical marijuana in New York.

Twelve-year-old Mackensie Kulawy was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy or Doose Syndrome when she was four and has been living with persistent seizures. Julie Kulawy, of New York Mills, is her mother.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

The city of Utica has climbed its way out of near bankruptcy to post a sizeable budget surplus.

Utica’s government is smaller, shedding about 100 jobs in recent years. "Fire had cuts, police had cuts, city hall employees, we had cuts," said Mayor Robert Palmieri in an interview. "So we really had to do some soul searching and employees now are doing two and three different jobs."

Photographer captures Utica's heart and soul

Feb 14, 2015
Arian Horbovetz / ariandavidphotography

A Rochester wedding photographer recently trained his lens on a different kind of subject. Now he finds himself one of the most talked about people in the Mohawk Valley.  

Arian Horbovetz photographs weddings for a living. But sometimes, he says, that’s not enough.

“My belief is if you are going to do art for an income then you also have to break away from that construct and do art for the sake of art occasionally,” said Horbovetz.

Gino Geruntino/WRVO file photo

Over the years, as businesses in Utica left or closed, the city has faced a problem of what to do with the empty buildings. In recent years, Utica has ramped up its efforts to sell these vacant commercial properties in an attempt to generate sales and property tax revenues for the city.

Since 2012, the city has sold at least eight vacant commercial properties to private developers, including a former Superfund site that was dormant for more than a decade. The buildings, which must be empty for at least three years before the city can foreclose on them, are scattered throughout Utica. Fourteen properties are currently being marketed by the city's Urban Renewal Agency.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is blaming what he calls the state's weak gas zone pricing laws for the Mohawk Valley's higher-than-average gas prices.

According to a recent report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, gas in the Utica-Rome area was selling for an average of $3.24 a gallon, which was the third highest price in the state. By contrast, gas in the Syracuse area was going for twenty cents less.

Brindisi says higher gas prices effect the area's economy.

J J / via Flickr

The Utica Police Department is closing in on its 100th arrest made with evidence gathered on social media.

Four years ago, Utica police decided to post a video of a crime on Facebook. They hoped someone on the social media site would recognize the suspect or provide other clues.

It worked, says Lieutenant Steve Hauck, and they’ve been using Facebook more and more since.

Joe Marino

The city of Utica is showing its appreciation to the nation's veterans, not only on Veterans Day, but every day of the year. The city recently unveiled specially designated parking spaces near the disabled parking spots for veterans and their widowed spouses.
 

Fourth Ward Councilman Joe Marino says he came up with the idea while he was talking with his brother-in-law, who had returned from serving overseas a couple years ago. Since then, Marino says the city has rallied behind the plan.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Before returning  to Washington for the next session of Congress, Sen. Kirsten Gllibrand (D-NY) made a stop yesterday in Utica to talk about cybersecurity.

Gillibrand came to Utica College to tour the Northeast Cyber Forensic Center. She said the region has long been fundamental to the nation’s national security.

"Utica and Rome nearby have been at the heart of our national defense, particularly in areas concerning cyber," Gillibrand explained. "So we almost have a corridor of expertise in this region which is very powerful."

Wikipedia Commons

ACR Health has expanded its needle exchange program in Utica.  

In the Syracuse area, the organization’s three-year-old needle exchange program has reached almost 1,000 injection drug users. ACR health prevention director Erin Bortel says one of the reason it’s so successful is that it goes to where the injection users are.

"We’re able to infiltrate the community in a little bit more practical way, than expecting people who continually experience stigma and discrimination from having to come to us. So our mobility is our huge asset in our ability to reach individuals.”

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

Students in the Utica City School District headed back to the classroom Thursday. In recent years, the city's school district has made several decisions to help close budget gaps, including cutting about 200 staff positions. The result has been an incremental increase of the number of students in each classroom, which has now reached an all-time high.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

This summer, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is hosting an exhibition featuring some of the world's greatest European painters, from Rembrandt to Rubens, called The "Golden Age of European Painting."

It isn't long after stepping foot into the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute that one sees why the city of Utica is excited to show off its most recent art exhibit, including the "Portrait of Madame Adelaide."
 

Aiden / Flickr

In January, all of New York state will be involved with the 211 call service. The plan is to reduce the number of calls to 911, while helping those who need assistance get help.

Brenda Episcopo, executive director of the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area, says the service is a mix of 911 and 411.

Utica councilman calls for public safety review

Aug 18, 2014

At least one member of Utica's Common Council is calling for the city's public safety commissioner to perform a top-down review of the city's safety policies, saying a rise in gun crime and the heroic actions of two residents are a call for change.

Councilman Joe Marino presented his request during a meeting last week and is calling on Mayor Robert Palmieri, who also serves as the city's public safety commissioner, to provide the council with a full review.

Brindisi continues push for new high school diploma

Jul 18, 2014

In an attempt to increase the number of New York high school graduates who are work ready, one state assemblyman is pushing for the approval of a new high-tech and manufacturing-based diploma. The goal is to help employers fill jobs with qualified graduates.

Although the state legislature won't return to Albany until January, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is getting an early start by promoting his bill to create a Career and Technical Education, or CTE, diploma.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The bourbon being produced at a Utica distillery is being described as the first legal bourbon produced in central New York. It's proof that the craft liquor industry is growing in New York state.

The Adirondack Distilling Company started out by crafting vodka. Then they moved to gin and, most recently, white whiskey. Now, master distiller Jordan Karp says the company is moving on to that quintessential American drink.

"Bourbon is an American spirit made with at least 51 percent corn, and stored and aged in a charred, new, oak American barrel,” Karp explained.

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