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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the mass protests in New York City and in upstate cities over the past few nights have been "counterproductive" to the cause of racial justice and may even reignite the spread of the coronavirus.

Cuomo said he supports the curfew set Monday night for New York City, saying the looting, acts of violence and alleged misconduct by the police in some instances are "unacceptable."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Curfews have been lifted in the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County that were put in place early Sunday morning in the midst of violence and vandalism that coincided with anti-police brutality protests over the weekend. 

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City imposed an 11 p.m. curfew Monday as the nation’s biggest city tried to head off another night of destruction erupting amid protests over George Floyd’s death.

With an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, New York is joining other cities around the country in imposing such restrictions after days of violence. The limit on the movement of 8.6 million people comes after months of restrictions already imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse officials thanked the community Sunday for their cooperation over a chaotic weekend that saw hundreds of protesters, but few arrests. 

"Much of [Saturday] was filled with peaceful protest, and that is something we will always support," Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said during a news conference Sunday.

Michael Riecke / for WRVO News

As protesters retreated from Syracuse’s Public Safety Building Saturday night and into the streets of downtown, sirens wailed as a handful of demonstrators vandalized at least a dozen downtown buildings. M. Lemp Jewelers was among them.

The store’s owner, Don Lemp, received a call from his alarm company Saturday, minutes before midnight.  Someone broke the storefront’s window, but nothing was stolen, Lemp said.

“Everything was in the vault. Unless you wanted a couple bottles of hand sanitizer, there wasn’t really anything to take,” Lemp said.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo said he’s asked the state’s Attorney General to look into what he said are "disturbing" videos of police conduct during protests and unrest in New York’s cities over the weekend, including one of an NYPD police cruiser driving into a crowd of people. He said he’s also sent state police to assist upstate cities where demonstrations occurred, and has the state’s National Guard on standby.

"Last night was an ugly night all across this nation," Cuomo said about the protests Saturday night. "It was an ugly night across this state."

Michael Riecke / for WRVO News

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh declared a state of emergency and imposed an emergency curfew early Sunday, as protests in the city escalated. The state of emergency and curfew were extended to all of Onondaga County by County Executive Ryan McMahon Sunday afternoon

Protesters gathered in front of the Public Safety Building in Syracuse Saturday afternoon, to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd, who was black, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The office has since been charged with murder.

David Sommerstein / NCPR

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests.

WRVO News (file photo)

Democrat Dana Balter is in her second run for Congress against Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). But before she can run against Katko, she has to get through a primary in June against fellow Democrat Francis Conole. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Balter about her campaign.

WRVO Public Media File Photo

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said over the last 24 hours, the behind-the-scenes restart process played out in public. It was confusing, draining and emotional, he said, but at the end of the day, everyone got the result they wanted. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced earlier Friday, that the central New York region could now move into Phase Two. 

At his Friday press conference, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that five regions in phase one of reopening, including central New York, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier, are ready for phase two. 

New York state has implemented a moratorium on evictions through August 20, but Utica tenants like Teoka Muhammad note that provides people with only a temporary solution.

"It is stressful sitting at home wondering am I going to make enough money or the unemployment- or are we going to get a stimulus check that is going to help us to take care of the rent, the National Grid [utility bill], which is cool that they said you know that said they are not going to turn this off but that doesn't stop us from having to pay," Muhammad said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Updated at 6 a.m. Friday. Local officials in five regions around the state that began phase one of reopening two weeks ago, have been preparing for phase two to begin Friday, and officials have been telling business owners to be ready to open. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says phase two won't start until data from phase one is examined by outside experts. 

WRVO News (file photo)

Voters in New York have until Friday to register to vote in time for the state's June 23rd Primary. This year, voters will be able to either go to the polls, or vote by absentee ballot.

The state has mailed out absentee ballot applications to everyone eligible to vote in the primary. Onondaga County Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny said more than 15,000 thousand voters have asked for an absentee ballot in Onondaga County.

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Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said the central New York region is ready for a phase two reopening on Friday, which will include professional services, hair stylists and more retail. But New York state has not yet put out guidance on what phase two looks like, although that should be coming soon. 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought his plea for more federal relief from the coronavirus pandemic to Washington Wednesday.

Speaking at the National Press Club, the Democratic governor said New York and other states hardest hit by the effects of the pandemi also pay billions more dollars in taxes to the federal government than they get back.

He called out leaders in red states, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who say “blue states” should not get any more money.

New York State Senate


State lawmakers returned to session this week with plans to vote on bills aimed at helping New Yorkers cope with all of the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Assembly and Senate began by convening committee meetings for the first time in several weeks. 

But unlike the crowded rooms of the past that were full of staffers, lobbyists and journalists, the gatherings were mostly done remotely. 

Assembly committees shared a feed to hold a succession of meetings, providing audio, but not video, of the proceedings. 

Wallyg / via Flickr

A new poll finds most New Yorkers are comfortable with the pace of the reopening of the economy, even though many are taking a financial hit due to the shutdown.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County is preparing for phase two of the restart of the central New York economy. County Executive Ryan McMahon said Tuesday the numbers are good 10 days into phase one of reopening. He admitted, opening up things like law firms and downtown offices makes this one of the most aggressive moves into higher density situations. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll meet with President Donald Trump Wednesday to discuss an infrastructure program with federal funds for state projects, including repairing deteriorating commuter rail tunnels under the Hudson River. Cuomo said he believes the state has finally "turned the page" on the COVID-19 pandemic -- for now -- and it’s time to refocus on restarting the economy.

Cuomo began the day by ringing the bell to reopen the New York Stock Exchange after a two month shut down.

Syracuse University

The academic year at many colleges just came to a close but faculty at several central New York institutions are already making decisions that will affect the fall semester as they wrestle with the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cuomo: Families of front line workers must receive death benefits

May 25, 2020
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Local governments in New York will now be required to provide death benefits to public workers on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who also urged the federal government Monday to provide hazard pay to those individuals.

Those benefits will be paid for by local pension funds in the case of local government workers, and the state pension fund for employees of the state government, Cuomo said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Onondaga County has reopened the Oneida Shores beach, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and libraries will reopen Tuesday. County Executive Ryan McMahon said while he’s not as concerned about a rise in COVID cases because of those reopenings, his team will be watching the county's infection rate.  

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The daily number of deaths related to COVID-19 in New York has dropped below 100 for the first time since late March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday, marking another turning point for the disease, which has killed more than 23,000 people statewide.

There were 84 additional deaths in New York Friday, the latest data available from the state, bringing the total number of fatalities to 23,282.

WRVO News (file photo)

How has the federal government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic? Was it proactive enough? Did it learn lessons fast enough. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) about the pandemic, and the responses that his office has been taking. 

Long Island, Mid-Hudson regions could begin reopening next week

May 22, 2020
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Communities on Long Island and the Mid-Hudson region of New York could begin the first phase of reopening their economies as early as next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, which would leave New York City as the lone region still on full lockdown.

“If the number of deaths continues to decline, they get their tracing up and online, both regions could reopen this week,” Cuomo said.

Marco Varisco / Flickr


While Gov. Andrew Cuomo has held daily briefings on the coronavirus and issued more than 250 executive orders, the state legislature has been absent from the Capitol for six weeks. Now, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins say they plan to hold committee meetings on May 26 and convene in session in the following days to vote on legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City of Watertown Planning and Community Development / Facebook

New York's statewide shutdown is not just costing businesses a lot of money, it's also depleting the sales tax revenues that local governments need to make ends meet. Syracuse officials earlier this month passed a budget that took $9 million from the city's reserves to plug a budget hole and now Watertown leaders are struggling to make ends meet as well. 

Jason Smith / WRVO News (file photo)

Following a yearlong review, plans to merge five Catholic churches into one parish in Oswego will move ahead. But an historic church in the city Oswego will also continue to operate under different rules.

Jim Griffin / Flickr

Memorial Day weekend begins with beaches around the state opening up and other tentative steps to restart the economy. In his daily coronavirus briefing Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the reopenings can be done safely if people follow the rules.