WRVO News (file photo)

Supporters of a measure to ensure better workplace safety during future pandemics are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the bill, which was passed by both houses of the state Legislature this week.

The bill -- known as the New York Health and Essential Rights, or HERO, Act -- requires that the state health and labor departments design minimum standards for health and safety during outbreaks of airborne viruses and all infectious disease outbreaks.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

The leader of the New York State Assembly’s impeachment inquiry gave a brief update Wednesday regarding several investigations into Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Lavine said a hotline set up by the committee has generated over 200 tips on probes into sexual harassment allegations made by multiple women; whether Cuomo illegally used staff to help him write and promote a memoir; and if his family and friends got preferential access to coronavirus tests when they were hard to get earlier in the pandemic.

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Religious leaders across central New York have a message on this Earth Day; everyone needs to cut back on fossil fuels to stop runaway climate change.

A statement signed by leaders of a broad spectrum of faiths, from Tibetan Buddhists to Muslims to Christians, urges central New York to start planning a transition away from fossil fuels, now.

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The Oswego City School District was ready to bring the remainder of their students back for in-person learning four days a week starting April 19, but just as their preparations came to a close the state released new reopening guidelines earlier this month and Oswego had to start from scratch.

“We were ready to bring kids back right away,” said the district’s superintendent, Dr. Mathis Calvin. “And then out the blue, we get this new guidance, which really upended everything that we had worked very hard and diligently for.”

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YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) — Walk-in COVID-19 shots will be available to anyone over 60 at mass vaccination sites run by New York state starting Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.

“You can just walk in to any of the mass vaccinations sites across the state, and walk in, and they will give you the vaccine,” Cuomo said during a virtual briefing in Yonkers. “You don’t have to go onto the internet. You don’t have to make a phone call. You don’t have to do anything. Just show up at the vaccination site if you’re 60-plus and they will give you vaccine.”

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The nature community in central New York lost one of its biggest advocates recently. John Weeks died last month at the age of 96.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has extended the curfew for bars and restaurants from 11 p.m. to midnight. While business owners welcome the change, some say it’s still not enough. 

Jon Page opened the vintage arcade bar Three Lives in downtown Syracuse’s Armory Square, in the summer of 2020.

“I’m a musician so I have impeccable timing with things,” Page said. “It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s not impossible.”

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An Onondaga County program meant to offer a boost to local restaurants business has been a quick success. The “Keeping it Local” restaurant gift card matching program sold $500,000 worth of vouchers in five hours Tuesday.

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At a board meeting in Lowville in Lewis County last week, Town Supervisor Randy Schell introduced a law that would bar marijuana dispensaries from setting up shop and would prohibit on-site consumption of marijuana at any local businesses.

“[The] town of Lowville wants to opt-out of cannabis retail dispensaries, and on-site cannabis consumption sites from being established to operate or operating within the town's jurisdiction,” said Schelle at the board meeting.

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Officials say by the end of this week, two-thirds of eligible Onondaga County residents will have been vaccinated against COVID-19. That could mean a shift in the county's vaccination strategy.

Business at Onondaga County’s vaccine clinic at the Oncenter has slowed down. On Monday, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said 600 people got a shot, compared to 1,800 a day earlier in the process. The county is looking for different ways to get shots in arms of some of the more hard-to-reach populations.

New York Now

Next year’s race for governor in New York has officially begun.

Republican leaders in New York gathered in Albany Monday to hear from potential gubernatorial nominees, who would go on to compete next year against either Gov. Andrew Cuomo, or whichever Democrat lands on the ticket in his place.

Steps from the state capitol, eight interested Republicans took on the task of convincing their colleagues they could be the first Republican elected statewide since 2002.

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State lawmakers in New York could take the first step this year toward scrapping the state’s current ethics agencies and replacing them with a new, more powerful panel less likely to be influenced by elected officials.

Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, said in an interview on New York NOW, that there’s appetite in the state Legislature for an ethics overhaul in Albany, and that it could start this year.

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A new poll finds that scandals surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo have taken a toll.

While New Yorkers continue to believe the governor did a good job leading the state through the COVID-19 pandemic, most believe the multiple women who have accused Cuomo of sexual harassment and do not think the governor should run for office again.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

New York state’s comptroller is authorizing the state’s attorney general to begin a potential criminal probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s book deal, looking into whether he used his staff to help him write a memoir about his handling of the pandemic.

The referral from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli allows Attorney General Tish James to look into whether senior and junior staffers were coerced into helping the governor write and edit the book, "American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," or whether they simply volunteered their time, as the governor claims.

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Local school districts are getting a much-needed financial boost, thanks to the recently passed New York state budget. The spending plan includes a record $29.5 billion for school aid, an 11% increase.

That includes a $1.4 billion Foundation Aid increase, a major source of funding for local districts, and a promise to make good on a 2007 deal to fully fund schools by the year 2024.

Syracuse City School District is getting an increase of $15 million over what school officials thought they were going to get.

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While New York state recently legalized marijuana for recreational use, that doesn’t mean it’s legal everywhere.

Most colleges in central New York already don’t allow smoking tobacco on their campuses and at Onondaga Community College, that prohibition is upheld for marijuana too.

With the New York State budget completed, Grant Reeher speaks with Democratic State Senator Rachel May and Republican Assemblyman Will Barclay to evaluate the $212 billion dollar budget.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Large internet service providers will be required to officer plans for high-speed connections at $15 per month to low-income customers starting in the middle of June after legislation on the mandate was signed into law Friday.

New York state will also partner with philanthropic organizations to provide free high-speed internet access to 50,000 students in low-income school districts for one year.

“For America, broadband holds great power,” Cuomo said. “It will either be the great equalizer for society, or it will be the great divider.”


Amazon is investing in central New York's workforce, as it gets closer to opening up a massive distribution center in the town of Clay. The company is expected to open up a five-story, $3.8 million fulfillment center by the end of this year.  It will be one of Amazon’s most automated distribution centers, relying heavily on robotics.

So it makes sense that the online retailer is investing $1.75 million in the new Syracuse STEAM school’s robotics and computer science programs, according to Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.

Onondaga County increasing pop-up clinics at schools

Apr 16, 2021
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Fresh off the heels of Onondaga County’s first high school pop-up vaccination clinic, officials are saying it’s a good start.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said at least 150 students and staff received their Covid-19 vaccinations at Baldwinsville’s Baker High School on Thursday. Next week, the county plans to hold more pop-up clinics at Liverpool High School and East Syracuse Minoa High School, with the goal of getting more students aged 16 and up vaccinated with parental permission.

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The city of Syracuse will resume its ShotSpotter program to detect where gunshots are being fired. The program was disbanded last year due to budget cuts. It comes at a time when violent crime is up in the city, with five homicides so far this year, including an infant who was shot and killed this week.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Eight Onondaga County Republicans are suing to keep their Democratic challengers off of a second party line on this year’s election ballot.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Dave Knapp, Legislator Jim Rowley, Legislator Deb Cody, Legislator Cody Kelly, Legislator John McBride, Mark Olson, Joe Carni, and Colleen Gunnip.

The lawsuit alleges that the Working Families Party failed to properly authenticate its nominating petitions for candidates, submitting signatures that were electronically reproduced instead of the original signatures.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Syracuse city officials are wrestling with how they can hold the management of Skyline Apartments accountable, after years of significant problems. The city has been warning Green National, the management of Skyline, about the lack of security, problem tenants and drugs at the complex.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

State lawmakers, along with restaurant owners and their workers, are pressing for a two-year extension of takeout alcoholic beverages. They said the practice -- authorized at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic -- has allowed the businesses to keep their doors open and avoid some layoffs.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in one of hundreds of executive orders issued in 2020, allowed alcoholic drinks to be ordered and delivered along with takeout food. 

Dan Taylor-Watt / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York will push back its curfew for bars and restaurants an hour to midnight, starting Monday, as the state continues to relax coronavirus-related restrictions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

The governor also announced during a telephone briefing Wednesday that auto and horse racing events will be able to accommodate spectators at 20% capacity starting April 23. Spectators will be required to wear a mask, social distance and provide proof of a recent negative test or completed vaccinations.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

After three years in the making, a full-service grocery store is opening its doors in downtown Syracuse Wednesday. 

The Syracuse Cooperative Market food store’s soft opening Wednesday brings everything you need from a full-service grocery store to a 2,500 square foot spot next to the new Salt City Market, according to co-op general manager Jeremy DeChario.

“We have meats, cheeses, dairy, bread, paper towels, napkins, ice cream, frozen pizza, canned tomatoes,” said DeChario. “I’ve got pet food, that’s a big one for folks downtown. The works."

Madison Ruffo / WRVO News

Vaccination clinics across central and northern New York had to make a lot of adjustments in a short time Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced that they’d be putting the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on pause after six reports of a rare blot clotting disorder traced to the vaccine.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr


New York paused administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, after the federal Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control recommended halting the doses because a few recipients developed blood clots.

Out of the 6.8 million Americans who have already received the J&J vaccine, six women developed blood clots after receiving the doses. One died, and another was hospitalized in critical condition.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state will halt use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after the federal government, Tuesday morning, recommended a temporary pause of the product due to concerns about a rare side-effect that caused blood clots in a handful of recipients.

Appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at state-run sites will still be honored but those individuals will instead receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Onondaga County will begin going into schools this week and offering coronavirus vaccines to eligible teens. Officials are planning a pop-up clinic at the Baldwinsville School District on Thursday, according to County Executive Ryan McMahon. He said that district, one of the biggest in the county, was chosen after a survey showed the most interest from families and district officials, in getting shots in teens’ arms.