Utica

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When voters in Utica's first ward head to the polls on November 7, they will see a unique addition to their ballots. Next to Utica Common Council candidate Lou Poccia's name are the words "NOHOSPITAL DWNTN."

"We wanted to demonstrate in a very vivid way that the people of this city are opposed to this downtown hospital," Poccia said. "It is being forced down our throats by the elites of our community."

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

A state Supreme Court justice in Franklin County ruled Wednesday that the Cuomo administration's plan to turn a 34-mile-long section of an Adirondack railroad into a multi-use trail was "arbitrary and capricious" and failed to follow numerous state laws.

The state's plan called for removing the rails between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for a trail corridor that could be used by hikers, bicyclists, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

Oswego is offering up to $400,000 to individuals, business owners and or organizations that can help the city combat poverty. It's part of the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI), which aims to help 16 cities improve the lives of their lower-income residents.

Central New York Veterans Outreach Center

New York state is helping build new housing units for homeless veterans in Utica.

Officials involved with the Central New York Veterans Outreach Center broke ground on the $3.2 million project last week. The funding will create 10 permanent and seven temporary housing units for homeless veterans in the center's headquarters, which is a former YMCA that already has older individual units in the upper portion of the building.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Central New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney is pushing to uphold the funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to those who cannot afford it. This comes after President Donald Trump released a proposed budget earlier this year eliminating the funding.

Tenney said the House of Representatives has restored $300 million to the Legal Services Corporation in their proposed budget but that still leaves an $85 million cut.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Utica-area Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is calling for more testing of the city's drinking water. The question is over the levels of chloroform and other carcinogenic contaminants, contained in the water.

Brindisi said a report from the Environment Working Group shows chloroform levels at 48 parts per billion in the water at the Mohawk Valley Water Authority. That’s higher than the state and national averages as well as the water tested in Syracuse and Rome.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Now that the Mohawk Valley Health System has secured the necessary state funding, designs are underway for its new hospital in downtown Utica. Officials working on the project say the hospital will breathe new life into downtown and make the surrounding area more attractive. But that could come at the expense of dozens of businesses that are already operating in the proposed footprint.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is getting backlash for comments she made about an opponent's family member. The Republican questioned Democratic candidate Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) because his father is a former criminal attorney who represented clients with ties to organized crime, remarks that many are calling an ethnic slur and inappropriate in general.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

New York State led the country in a decorative arts movement in the early 20th century and an exhibition at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica showcases those products and objects. The country lacked a modern art identity in the mid-1920s, but the revolutionary time period changed everything.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is running for Congress in the 22nd District, looking to challenge his former colleague in the Assembly, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford).

Brindisi jumps into the race after declining last year to run for the open seat that was vacated by moderate Republican Richard Hanna. He said a lot has changed in that time.

Brindisi says Tenney is far more loyal to Republican Party initiatives, like the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. And that, he says, has hurt the district.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A new exhibition at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica looks at how New York state led America into a new artistic and decorative era in the early 20th century. Many of the pieces on display  were manufactured in upstate New York.

From flapper hats made in Buffalo to Eastman Kodak cameras in Rochester and Steuben Glass in Corning, more than 100 objects from across the state, defining the modern era, are featured. Guest curator Lori Zabar notes modernism is a difficult term to describe.

Oneida County Executive's Office

Oneida County officials want to capitalize on the state's recent investments in a hospital and nano technology center in the Utica area. They say the key to developing Utica is building an arts, sports and entertainment district in the city's downtown.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Russell Brooks is a staple of the Utica Fire Department. He's been there for 42 years and run it for the past 13. But last Friday, Brooks was told to turn in his cell phone and vehicle and leave the building.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Legislators from the Mohawk Valley say they are disappointed with this year's budget process, but pleased with the outcome.

Katie Keier / Flickr

Several central and northern New York legislators are praising the state's new budget as a win for the region's schools, but they say it was a hard-fought battle that is not over yet.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The joint effort between New York state and officials in Oneida County to recover from this week's massive snowstorm continue, but some lawmakers say the recovery was hampered by an inaccurate weather forecast that wasted precious time and resources.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Utica city officials have begun crafting their budget for the next year and the mayor's proposed version includes no tax increases. 

Mayor Robert Palmieri says it's evidence that the city's financial recovery continues to make great strides. Back in 2012, the city faced an $8 million budget gap and depleted fund reserves. Today, Palmieri's $69-million budget would not raise taxes nor would it draw from Utica's fund reserves, which have swelled to more than $5 million.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Included in the governor's proposed budget is money to build a new hospital in downtown Utica. After years of planning, Mohawk Valley Health System officials are optimistic that progress will finally be made on their project this year. But some residents are still trying to change the hospital's proposed location before construction begins.

The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees / Facebook

Officials with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees say their philanthropic work has been interrupted by President Donald Trump's attempts to temporarily halt refugees from entering the country, and that's taking a human toll on families who were ready to start a new life in the U.S.

Alliance for Quality Education

The Alliance for Quality Education says Gov. Andrew Cuomo is misleading the public in a debate about school funding. The school advocacy group has published a new report that criticizes the governor's proposed education spending plan and his attempts to defend it. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

At the annual Mohawk Valley legislative forum in Utica, state and local leaders said the region's economy is poised to expand thanks to several major projects, but  the endangered status of the nano technology center in Marcy loomed throughout the discussion.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

A third of the city of Utica lives below the poverty line, including 47 percent of its children. That is the starting point for the city's new poverty reduction initiative task force. At its first public forum last week, those involved with the project revealed that the problem is even worse for African American children, 72 percent of whom are affected.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Lawmakers from the Mohawk Valley are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not visiting or even mentioning their area this week during his six State of the State addresses. They believe the snub comes at an especially tumultuous time for the region, where the economic recovery has been slower than in other areas of the state.

LtGovHochulNY / Flickr

Officials in the Mohawk Valley are scrambling to find a replacement tenant for a semiconductor chip fabrication plant in Marcy after its main corporate partner dropped out. But officials say they are still optimistic about the future of the project.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul made a few stops in central New York on Tuesday focusing on smart growth and sustainability. Hochul toured Syracuse University’s Center of Excellence where students and professors are working on new ways to conserve energy through air conditioning.

That research is through a U.S. Department of Energy grant and is in partnership with the Carrier Corporation. Hochul said these centers of excellence across the state have raised billions in revenue and create thousands of jobs.

Office of the Utica Mayor

At a time when many communities across the country are wrestling with how to improve the relationship between the police and residents they serve after horrific events like a police shooting, Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says his city is taking a proactive approach.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Voters in Utica supported the common council's plan to pave every road in the city in a referendum on Election Day with 60 percent of the vote. Now, Utica leaders are preparing to embark on the ambitious 15-year project, which is expected to cost $75 million.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

For the first time since 1990, the Utica Zoo is embarking on comprehensive master plan. The proposed "Dream Big" project would expand the facility from 40 acres to 80 acres over the next 20 years. The goal is to raise $75 million, mainly through fundraising. If achieved, it will mean new animals, like tigers, bears and orangutans, as well as improved homes for some of its current tenants.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The parents and children in Utica and seven other upstate school districts involved in the so-called "Small Cities Lawsuit" say their fight for obtaining more education funding is not done yet.

They are appealing a state supreme court judge's recent ruling that New York state has met its constitutional obligation to provide additional money from an earlier court decision in 2006. But the plaintiff's attorney Wendy Lecker said New York never fully phased in that remedy, which was called the Foundation Aid Formula.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Utica College is welcoming its largest freshman class ever. The private school's officials say it's just one of the many benefits it's seeing from the "reset" of undergraduate tuition rates. It dropped from $35,000 a year to $20,000. 

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