News

Brindisi/Tenney campaigns

Rep. Anthony Brindisi’s (D-Utica) campaign said Wednesday he has taken the lead over Republican challenger Claudia Tenney in the race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District.

Brindisi trailed Tenney by more than 28,000 votes on election night, but did not concede, saying he was confident enough absentee ballots would swing his way to give him the win.

Jason Smith / WRVO News (file photo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York may permanently expand voting by mail — something it tried on a wide scale for the first time this year — while also trying to reform its molasses-slow and opaque process for counting absentee ballots.

A proposed constitutional amendment would do away with the rule limiting absentee voting to people who are ill, have a physical disability or will be out of town on Election Day.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The governor warned of a post-Thanksgiving uptick Wednesday that could stress hospitals across the state, which has recorded the highest seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases since late April.

New York recorded 6,265 new positive cases Tuesday, the highest for a single day since April 24. About 3% of tests over the past week have come back positive, more than double the rate a month ago.

Michael Whitney / Flickr

The day before Thanksgiving is typically the busiest travel day of the year. But it won’t look nearly as busy this year. AAA reports the pandemic is taking a big bite out of Thanksgiving travel plans. The travel organization expects the biggest one year-decrease in Thanksgiving travel ever.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

A new poll finds the presidential election is not settled yet for some New Yorkers. Three weeks after Election Day, 20% of respondents say it’s too early to tell who actually won.

Brindisi/Tenney campaigns

OSWEGO, N.Y. (AP) — A state judge has ordered a hold on the certification of election results in the tight race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District that stretches from Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania border.

A state supreme court judge in Oswego County issued an injunction on Tuesday blocking all the eight counties included in the district from certifying results.

Republican Claudia Tenney is vying to reclaim her seat in Congress from incumbent U.S. Rep. Anthony Brindisi, the Democrat.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York has banned the disposal of toxic firefighting foam by incineration in certain cities after environmental groups raised concerns about an Albany-area firm that had incinerated foam for two years under a Department of Defense contract.

The law signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, was designed to prevent the Norlite hazardous waste incinerator in Cohoes from resuming the burning of foam containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals known collectively as PFAS.

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Orange zone restrictions are set to take effect in Syracuse on Wednesday. That means gyms and hair salons must close and restaurants can only do takeout and outdoor dining. It’s another hit for certain industries that have been struggling particularly hard throughout the pandemic.

Randy Sabourin is the owner of the Metro Fitness clubs in Syracuse and Fayetteville. They were already closed for about six months this year. Now, facing the closure of at least his Syracuse location, he said it gets more difficult to convince people that going to the gym is safe.

New York State Senate

Democrats who lead the state Senate announced Monday that they have won enough seats to hold a supermajority. That means they can override vetoes by the governor and potentially change the balance of power at the State Capitol.

After wading through an unprecedented number of absentee ballots cast in the Nov. 3 elections, several Democratic candidates in the Senate have pulled ahead of their Republican opponents and have declared victory.

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Onondaga County is navigating a complicated combination of state regulations because of increases in COVID-19 cases. The state-designated yellow zone has changed, and parts of the city of Syracuse and some other towns have advanced to the more serious orange designation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has managed to visit each of New York’s 62 counties this year even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s the 22nd year the Democrat has done so in a row. In light of the pandemic, he opted for one-on-one meetings instead of meeting with large groups.

Schumer told The Associated Press on Monday that he’s tried to use what he’s learned from visits with health care workers, small business owners and other constituents to shape federal COVID-19 packages. He said New York has received billions in federal aid alone.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo intensified restrictions in several parts of New York on Monday as the coronavirus infection rate climbs. He also delivered a stern warning to New Yorkers who are tempted to break the rules during the holiday season, saying careless behavior will lead to more deaths.

Cuomo designated parts of upper Manhattan and portions of Long Island as yellow zones. On Staten Island, which is now an orange zone, hospital space is running out, and the state will reactivate and emergency health facility there which was created last spring.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County officials announced another 202 positive cases of the coronavirus Sunday, with 102 residents currently hospitalized. There’s one big concern as hospitalizations related to the coronavirus, have reached their highest numbers since the pandemic hit central New York.

Upstate University Hospital CEO Dr. Robert Corona said there are enough beds for COVID-19 patients. The facility has long had plans for creating space. The thing that worries him at this point is whether there is enough staff to take care of them.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

As the Thanksgiving holiday week begins, New York officials are recommending that dinners and other gatherings of family and friends be limited or even canceled, to prevent a further rise in COVID-19 transmission.

New York’s rate of the virus has been creeping up through the fall, though the state is still at a significantly lower rate than most of the nation. 2.74% of all tests were positive on Saturday, and 30 people died of the disease, and 2,562 were in the hospital.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Sunday that several areas of the state could face new COVID-19 restrictions this week after the positivity rates in those areas remained relatively high over the weekend and continued to increase in some cases, according to state data.

Part of Manhattan, Staten Island, Rochester, Syracuse, and Long Island could face new, or stronger, restrictions if the positivity rates in those areas don’t decline in the coming days.

Syracuse University

The incoming Biden administration is expected to usher in many changes, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

This week, Grant Reeher speaks with James Steinberg, who served as Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama administration, and Deputy National Security Advisor under President Clinton. Steinberg currently serves as University Professor of Social Science, International Affiars and Law at Syracuse University. 

New York State Senate

Democrats have all but clinched a supermajority in the State Senate after declaring victory in another seat Friday, bringing the total number of seats controlled by the party in the chamber to at least 41 at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

Democrats need 42 seats in the chamber to hold a supermajority, which would give them the rare power of overturning a veto from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s also a Democrat.

Brindisi/Tenney campaigns

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A rematch between a former Republican congressional member and the Democrat who ousted her from office two years ago has come down to a just a few dozen votes, with a judge likely to play a role in the final outcome.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Bureau distribution of toys and food to low-income families in Syracuse will look a little different this year, due to the pandemic. The organization is still expecting a big turnout.

Hospitals are making plans to deal with the current surge of COVID-19 cases in central New York, expanding their ICU capabilities, according to Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

"In the event that you have 84 people in the hospital, some of them get sicker and you gotta be ready.”

Jason Smith / WRVO News (file photo)

This week, as the coronavirus infection rate climbed higher in New York state new microcluster zones were announced in New York, and some existing ones were intensified.

Brindisi/Tenney campaigns

The race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District has come down to the wire. With nearly 5,000 new votes from Chenango County on Thursday, Democrat Anthony Brindisi and Republican challenger Claudia Tenney are approximately 206 votes apart.

The current tally comes from unofficial vote counts reported by all eight county boards of elections in the district.

Brindisi continues to close in on Tenney's election night lead

Nov 18, 2020
Brindisi/Tenney campaigns

BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — The race for New York’s 22nd Congressional District is narrowing. As of Wednesday evening, incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) trailed Republican challenger Claudia Tenney by fewer than 2,000 votes.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared more regions as microcluster coronavirus hot zones as the rate of COVID-19 continues to climb in New York.

The new designations come as New York City’s mayor closed the city’s schools effective Thursday, as the virus rate there reached 3%.

Cuomo is upgrading some yellow zones in western New York to orange zones. Effective Friday, there will be new restrictions on religious gatherings, along with some business closures, including gyms, hair salons and tattoo parlors. Indoor dining is banned.

WRVO News (file photo)

Now that elections are over, leaders of the New York State Legislature are facing pressure from a wide range of groups to reconvene and deal with pandemic-related economic problems. Legislative leaders say they are not ruling it out.

Sixty-three politically progressive advocacy groups have written a letter to legislative leaders, asking them to hold an emergency session before 2020 ends.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

Halloween weekend combined with testing delays allowed the coronavirus to spread among students on the Syracuse University campus, forcing it to move to remote learning.  As students leave campus this week, officials are looking back at how things went wrong.

SU Vice Chancellor Michael Haynie said keeping thousands of students mostly COVID-free for nearly four months was actually a pretty impressive feat, creating a bubble around students. But that bubble burst on Halloween weekend, in part he believes, because of coronavirus fatigue.

luluinnyc / Flickr

Onondaga County is streamlining the contact tracing regimen that’s used to try and corral the coronavirus. This comes as the county continues to report large numbers of positive cases every day.

Numbers in the last few weeks have hovered between 150 and more than 200 new cases every day and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon says that’s a lot of work for county staff doing case investigations.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The counting of absentee ballots in Onondaga County might not resume until the end of the month, after eight positive cases of COVID-19 were reported among staffers at the county Board of Elections. But the elections commissioners have a plan, as a state deadline looms.

WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, members of the state Legislature, and judges in New York will not receive a pay raise next year due to the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall heading into 2021, according to a report issued Monday by a state panel tasked with evaluating those salaries.

The decision wasn’t a surprise; the same panel declined to provide raises to the state’s judges last year when the budget deficit was less than half what it is now.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County officials announced 238 new cases of the coronavirus Sunday, another new record for daily cases since the pandemic began in March.

County Executive Ryan McMahon said of the 238 cases, 141 are from community spread, 21 are from K-12 schools, and 37 from colleges and universities.

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