Brett Levin / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to release details of a plan to make recreational marijuana legal in New York state when he outlines his budget proposal later this month. Even the governor concedes, though, that there are many unanswered questions about how to proceed.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

SUNY Upstate Medical University has a new interim president. Dr. Mantosh Dewan takes over during a tumultuous time for the institution.

SUNY Upstate is under investigation by the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office and the state inspector general and comptroller offices for paying some former employees off-campus assignments for little or no work, including a former hospital CEO. Dewan said he is aware of the investigations.

WRVO Public Media

WRVO Public Media is celebrating a milestone in 2019. On January 6, 1969, WRVO aired its very first broadcast. Through the year, we'll be commemorating our 50th birthday, but we wanted to start with some history.

WRVO Public Media

After 9/11, artist Robert Shetterly was inspried to begin a series of portraits he called "Americans Who Tell the Truth."  The collection grew to 238, and he's still painting them. This week, Grant Reeher talks with Shetterly about what motivates him, how he goes about painting his subjects and what the works have meant to him and to others.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Democratic state legislators are beginning the New Year with some resentment towards Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a deal that gives them a big raise – but comes with several strings attached.

In March 2018, Cuomo and the legislature agreed to set up a pay commission to examine the salaries of Senators, Assemblymembers, and the Governor, who had not seen a raise in 20 years.

The deal permitted the commission to have the final say on whether pay would go up, so lawmakers would not be required to cast a potentially unpopular vote to raise their own salaries.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As the new session of Congress opens in Washington, activists are continuing to keep the pressure on central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). At a rally in Syracuse Thursday, they focused on the issue of campaign finance reform.

A few dozen people gathered in front of Katko’s office in downtown Syracuse with one message. They want Katko to vote for H.R. 1,  a package of good government and election reforms proposed by Democrats.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi's office

Newly sworn-in Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) already fulfilled one campaign promise Thursday by not voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House. In a protest vote, Brindisi voted for former Vice President Joe Biden, but Pelosi won the speakership anyway. Democrats regained control of the House in the midst of a government shutdown.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The 116th Congress is beginning its first session today, and Democrats are now in control of the House of Representatives. Watch the first day of actions live, including the election for House Speaker, which Nancy Pelosi is expected to win, and debate on new House rules.

Wayne Marshall / via Flickr

The city of Syracuse is considering legislation that would continue to fight the city's lead poisoning crisis, now that the federal government is once again providing funding for lead abatement programs in the city.

New York State Senate

On Jan. 9, Democrats will officially take over the state Senate for only the third time in more than a century.

They expect to act quickly on a number of measures that have been bottled up in the chamber for years — but there could be some friction between them and the state’s Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Onondaga County Legislature passed an agenda Wednesday that legislators said will determine the success or failure of the county for years to come. In addition to some significant financial decisions, the county passed a resolution on the future of Interstate-81.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo began his third term in office with a speech at the historic site of Ellis Island Tuesday evening, where the ancestors of millions of Americans arrived as immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. He focused much of his speech not on state issues, but instead on what he sees as the nation’s problems, and said New York will lead the fight against them.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Syracuse Fire Department said heating is the second leading cause of home fires in the region, and there is an increase in fires during the winter months. Officials said they find a lot of winter fires are caused by heating equipment that has not been serviced properly.

Deputy Fire Chief Elton Davis said furnaces, boilers and chimneys need to be serviced and cleaned every year.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

Many communities in central New York are reaping the benefits of the region's top-place prize at the state's annual regional economic development awards. That includes Oswego and Fulton where plans that have been in the works for years are finally receiving state funding.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Minimum wage workers across New York State are getting a raise. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it shows government can make a difference in people's lives, but central New York businesses are mixed on its impact.

WRVO Public Media

How do the Trump Administration's actions on trade in combination with Brexit affect Britain's trade with the United States? How important is trade with Britain for central New York? And what does a longtime British diplomat admire about the United States. This week, Grant Reeher speaks with Antony Phillipson, Britain's trade commissioner for North America, and the U.K.'s Consul General in New York. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says there are no clean hands in the fight that has caused the federal government to shut down.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

One of the longest serving elected officials in central New York is retiring at the end of the month. State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) has some thoughts about how those who follow him can make politics a productive profession.

“I’m practicing retirement, and I think I’m going to be very good at it,” DeFrancisco said.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is investing $3.5 million to help Utica further its efforts to reduce lead hazards in the city.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

Social service nonprofits that deal with poverty in Onondaga County are finding more ways to collaborate through a year-old community assessment program.

The program led by the Central New York Community Foundation, lets individual nonprofits figure out what the biggest needs are in regards to poverty through surveys of their clients. Then they can share that information with other nonprofits. It’s something Frank Ridzi of the foundation said really never happened before.

The Capitol Steps

Has it been a rough year? Did you buy stock in Sears? Or invest in Ivanka's clothing line? Did you take a job as a public relations spokesperson for Kanye West?

Then you may feel the need to laugh at 2018, and the Capitol Steps could not agree more! So tune in to the Capitol Steps' New Year's edition of "Politics Takes a Holiday," featuring songs from their latest album, Make America Grin Again.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo begins his third term in office January 1 with a planned address on Ellis Island, the site of major immigration to the United States during the 20th Century. The governor’s next years in office will likely be spent seeking a more progressive agenda than he has in the past.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

A new federal proposal would change the way New York’s military installations get milk, and could hurt local dairy farmers. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is trying to stop it.

Byrne Dairy, which buys milk from more than 250 dairy farms in central new york, delivers more than 250,000 gallons of it to military installations across the state each year. But instead of just directly shipping the milk to bases like Fort Drum, the new plan would send products to a warehouse down south, before coming back up to New York. Byrne Dairy CEO Carl Byrne said he doesn’t want to see that happen.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Thirty-three village and town executives in Onondaga County wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials last week urging them to keep high-speed access along the I-81 corridor in Syracuse. The local officials say rebuilding the viaduct or replacing it with a tunnel are both better options than the community grid for which many in Syracuse are advocating.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Nottingham High School Junior Varsity Football team in Syracuse was honored by the city council for fully embracing one of their teammates who has Down syndrome. Brandon Pearson, 16, was recognized for his hard work and dedication to the team.

Matt Ryan / New York Now (file photo)

Religious and progressive groups say they will press Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature to adopt what they call a "moral" state budget in 2019. The groups brought their views to the Capitol just before Christmas. 

The Rev. Peter Cook with the New York State Council of Churches said the new legislative session should focus on the higher goals of fighting poverty and racism, protecting the environment and strengthening democracy. 

Andy Lederer/Flickr

There is a lot of scientific research showing how regular exercise can have a positive effect on one’s physical health, but its effect on mental health is relatively unclear. A study recently published in the British medical journal The Lancet sought to change that.

Dr. Adam Chekroud, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, and other researchers published a study in The Lancet Psychiatry that examines the association between physical exercise and mental health.

The pros and cons of measuring obesity with BMI

Dec 23, 2018
U.S. Army

Finding one’s body mass index (BMI) is as simple as typing in height and weight measurements into a BMI calculator. Those easy results, though, can sometimes be misleading, which is why the widespread use of BMI is troubling, according to a doctor at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Francisco Lopez-Jimenez joins us on "Take Care" this week. He's division chair of preventive cardiology at the Mayo Clinic. Lopez-Jimenez said the concept of having a standard definition of obesity is relatively new in medicine, originating about 30 years ago. This introduction of BMI was generally a good thing, he said.

Is health education in America comprehensive?

Dec 22, 2018
Bill Stafford/NASA

In many states across the U.S., health education is taught in middle school or high school for a single semester, which is indicative of the lack of quality health education in classrooms, according to a health education professor at The University of Alabama.

Dr. David Birch, past president of the Society for Public Health Education, said health education is not taught the way it should be. He said there are many reasons, the first being that the lessons are not nearly comprehensive enough. We discuss more this week on "Take Care."

Mental, physical health closely intertwined

Dec 22, 2018
George Hodan/Public Domain Pictures

Though current research showing mental health and physical health affect each other in many ways has come a long way, there is still more progress that needs to be made to better understand these two closely connected areas of overall health.

Dr. John Campo joins us on "Take Care" to discuss. He's the chief behavioral wellness officer in the Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute and assistant dean for behavioral health professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. Campo said mental and physical health cannot be approached in isolation.