New York State Senate

Democrats are leading in the polls in New York’s statewide races for governor, attorney general and comptroller. The most heated contests this Election Day are in the state Senate, where Democrats are trying to win enough seats to take control of the chamber away from Republicans.

WRVO Public Media

Tuesday's elections could tip control of the New York state Senate to Democrats, which in turn could have a profound inpact on the state's policies, from healthcare to taxes to government ethics and campaign finance. This week,  Grant Reeher moderates a debate between the two candidates running for New York's 50th Senate District, Republican Bob Antonacci and Democrat John Mannion. Both are running to replace longtime Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is retiring from office this year. 

Karen DeWitt

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t show, but his four challengers swapped ideas and joined together to criticize the incumbent in a largely amiable debate Thursday night in Albany.

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The tragic ties that bind Syracuse, N.Y. and Lockerbie, Scotland are stronger than ever, 30 years after Pan Am Flight 103 crashed in the tiny village after a terrorist's bomb exploded on the plane.

Colin Dorrance was an 18-year old off-duty police officer on the way to a Christmas party on Dec. 21, 1988, when he saw the aircraft plunge into his small village. He was one of the first responders on the scene of the terrorist bombing that killed all 259 people on board, and 11 people on the ground.

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More than $60 million in renovations to Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport has been completed. The project is meant to improve the traveler experience and the region's image.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo cut the ribbon in the redesigned terminal with new interior and exterior signage, more natural light and kiosks. Gone is the outside concrete canopy, replaced with a new façade and two glass pedestrian bridges. Cuomo said airports are key for driving tourism and new businesses.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Four of the five candidates for governor in New York are set to participate in the last scheduled debate before election day — though Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t expected to show up.

Republican Marc Molinaro, Libertarian Larry Sharpe, independent Stephanie Miner and Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins all plan to participate in Thursday evening’s exchange at the College of St. Rose in Albany. The event is sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

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Joanie Mahoney begins her new job at SUNY ESF and Upstate Medical University in Syracuse this month, and she expects a smooth transition into a job that was created for her.

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The Syracuse City School District is joining forces with the American Heart Association to try to fight childhood obesity.

According to the AHA, about 37 percent of Syracuse City School District students are overweight or obese, higher than the nationwide average of 30 percent. So, it is taking a fundraising program called Growing Healthy Hearts and adapting it to five elementary schools in the district. 

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The state’s teacher union is trying to figure out how to deal with an impending teacher shortage in New York.

"Our teachers are nearing retirement, many of them. And we have seen a decline in the enrollment of teacher prep programs by as much as 47 percent," said Jolene DiBrango, Executive Vice President of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

DiBrango said the shortage is being seen across the state, and across a number of different areas.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

A group that opposes big money in politics has issued a report showing that a handful of billionaires are contributing heavily to Republican congressional campaigns in New York.


Central New York Democratic State Sen. Dave Valesky, first elected in 2004, was one of six members of the former Independent Democratic Conference to lose in primaries this year. That has opened the 53rd Senate District seat up to Democrat Rachel May, who defeated Valesky, and Republican Janet Burman, both of whom live in Syracuse. The winner will move the district from the center to either a more progressive or conservative ideology.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Dozens of central New York School Districts are coping with a rash of cyberattacks that has put data about students at risk.

There have been nine recorded cyberattacks on the Central New York Regional Information Center (CNYRIC) since April. It provides technological services to the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES and the nearly 50 school districts it deals with. CNYRIC Chief Technology Director Pam Mazzaferro said BOCES identified the attacks early on, so no there was no data breach, but said they were well crafted attacks.

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One of the major party candidates in the New York race for governor has issued a "civility challenge," asking his opponents to refrain from all negative ads and attacks from now until Election Day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Boosters of drone technology in central New York are hoping the federal government comes through with some new research dollars in the coming months.

When lawmakers go back to Washington for a lame duck session, they are expected to approve a first-ever funding stream earmarked for research into unmanned aircraft systems.

That would place $6 million up for grabs to the nation's seven Federal Aviation Administration-designated Unmanned Aircraft Systems test sites, including the one at Griffiss International in Rome. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News file photo

After 11 years, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney leaves office this week to start a new phase of her career with SUNY ESF and SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse. 

In January 2008, Mahoney became only the 3rd county executive in Onondaga County history, and she had a plan for staying there.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Some snow plow contractors in Syracuse were under the impression that the city was no longer requiring a license to operate, according to city officials. No licenses were issued last year, until Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration stepped up enforcement of the law. Now the city has updated its ordinance on snow removal contractors to increase further compliance.

New York Now/NYC Public Advocate's Office

The next Attorney General of the state of New York is very likely to make history. Tish James, the Democratic candidate and current New York City Public Advocate, and the Republican, bankruptcy lawyer Keith Wofford, are African American. But the two hold different views on many topics.

WRVO Public Media

The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter. 

The race for New York's 24th Congressional District, currently held by incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), could prove critical in Democrats attempts to take control of the House of Representatives. This week, host Grant Reeher talks with Katko's Democratic challenger, Dana Balter. 

The two candidates running for central new York's 24th District seat held their first debate this week, where they disagreed on nearly every issue. Democrat Dana Balter and incumbent Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) will hold three more televised debates before Election Day.

One of the battlefields on Election Day will be races for the New York state Senate. Democrats are hoping to corral a majority so they can control all three branches of government in New York State. One of the most closely watched races will be in central New York.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The search for the next chief of police in Syracuse has been narrowed down to three candidates. One has extensive experience in the Syracuse Police Department and the other two come from outside New York State.

Syracuse Common Councilor-at-Large Steven Thompson, who was also a former police chief, was a member of the search committee that asked the candidates questions as to how they would decrease the shootings and violence occurring in the city, as well as how they would structure the police department and interact with other agencies.

U.S. House of Representatives/Julio Urrutia

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Democratic challenger Dana Balter faced off their first debate Wednesday, which was hosted and streamed by

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos was sentenced to four years and three months in prison Wednesday after his conviction on public corruption charges.

U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood announced the penalty for the longtime Republican powerbroker, citing his health challenges at age 70 as reason to reduce his sentence from the five years she gave him previously.

She said she would have given him only four years in prison, except he lied and distorted truth on the witness stand.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Central New York Community Foundation will spend $2 million over four years to help end childhood lead poisoning by making residences in Syracuse lead safe. The investments target new housing construction and existing home renovations.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A six-month old jail unit in Onondaga County dedicated to housing prisoners who are also veterans is proving to be a success.  

Gary Bixler became addicted to opioids during a stint in the Army while recovering from an injury. A drug related crime has left him serving a lengthy jail sentence at the Jamesville Correctional Facility. He said being part of a special unit for vets that offers perks and special services has made a big difference in his life.

Cuomo/Molinaro campaigns

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican challenger, Marc Molinaro, engaged in a testy debate Tuesday that centered on corruption in state government and the candidate’s views, and relationships, with President Donald Trump.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Eric Trump, son of President Donald Trump, fired up a crowd of volunteers and supporters of Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) Tuesday. Trump was at Republican headquarters in New Hartford where he credited Republican tax cuts for creating a hot economy with record low unemployment. He highlighted the importance of Trump supporters voting in the midterm elections. And he said Tenney is a pragmatic business person and a Washington D.C. outsider.

Cuomo/Molinaro campaigns

After weeks of wrangling, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican opponent, Marc Molinaro, have agreed to a televised debate at 7 p.m. Tuesday on CBS2 in New York City. But not everyone is satisfied.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is introducing a bill to expand health care coverage.

During stops Monday in Rochester and Watertown, Gillibrand said the bill would raise the cap to qualify for federally funded basic health programs from twice to four times the federal poverty line.

Speaking at at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Highland Family Medicine Clinic, Gillibrand contrasted her bill with what she said are efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump to reduce government health insurance coverage.