Tom Magnarelli

Reporter, Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The developer of a proposed 3.8 million square foot distribution facility in the Town of Clay, is now seeking $70 million in tax breaks from the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, after the cost of the project increased. At a public hearing Tuesday, local residents voiced concerns with the project, many pertaining to the environment. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Updated at 3:00 p.m. Monday

The Syracuse Common Council has voted to expand its sidewalk snow removal program from 20 to 38 miles. The measure passed 7-1. This will be the first full season of the pilot program, which started in January. The city has budgeted out $250,000 for a private company to run the program. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office has found that the county’s Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny, did not violate the law when he drove for Uber and Lyft during office hours.

In My Father's Kitchen Facebook

In its first six months, the Hire Ground program in Syracuse, which provides work experience to panhandlers and the homeless, has helped 250 people. The co-founder of the agency running the program, wants it to expand next year. 

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North Country Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) is standing firm against impeaching President Donald Trump. At a town hall in Lewis County, Stefanik called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on impeachment, so the public knows where their representatives stand on the issue. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Syracuse for the announcement of state funding to help two companies expand in the city. It came after pressure from Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. 

Bankers Healthcare Group, which provides loans and financing to healthcare professionals, will move to a new facility in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor and create more than 300 new jobs. The $35 million project will get $11 million in grants and tax credits from New York State.

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The Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency is closer to approving $65 million in tax breaks, over 15 years, for a proposed warehouse distribution center in the Town of Clay. Officials with Trammell Crow, the developer, highlighted the economic and community benefits of the project to the agency.

George Laigaie of Trammell Crow said the benefits include $28 million of payments in lieu of taxes, also known as a PILOT and 1,000 new jobs starting at $30,000 a year.

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The city of Syracuse is moving forward with its tick and deer management plan. A deer cull is being planned for the east and west sides of the city. Officials are not saying the exact locations of the cull, or how many deer would be killed. 

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A Syracuse resident, who trained thousands of people on how to use Narcan, a lifesaving drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose, has himself, died from an apparent overdose. Kevin Donovan worked at ACR Health in Syracuse, and coworkers remember his passion for helping others. 

Wil Murtaugh, executive director of ACR health said of the thousands of people Donovan trained, more than 500 used their Narcan kits.

“That means, 500 people’s lives were reversed,” Murtaugh said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has introduced legislation that would increase funding for local suicide crisis call centers. It's part of an effort to address the issues and end the stigma of suicide and mental health. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Former Mohawk Valley Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney announced she’s running again to try and retake her seat from the incumbent Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica). Tenney wants to reintroduce herself to voters in the 22nd Congressional District, and cast Brindisi as a far-left political insider. 

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Residents in the village of Liverpool and the town of Clay spoke at a public hearing Monday night, in favor of, against and had concerns with a proposal to build a massive warehouse distribution center in Clay. The 3.8 million square foot facility could bring 1,000 jobs to the area. 

Upstate Medical University

An audit by the New York State Comptroller’s Office finds that Upstate Medical University has insufficiently monitored $4.7 million it has paid in additional compensation to some employees, over the past four years. The audit finds numerous other problems with how human resources works at SUNY Upstate. 

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Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) and his potential Democratic challengers are reacting to a House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. This comes as an account of the call was released, by the White House, showing Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s potential presidential rival, Joe Biden. All three of the candidates running for the Democratic nomination in the 24th Congressional District, say Trump pressured a foreign power to investigate a political rival for U.S. aid.

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New York State Attorney General Letitia James has sent cease-and-desist letters to 16 websites that manufacture or sell untraceable gun parts that can be turned into assault weapons. There are more than a dozen pending cases involving so-called “ghost guns” in Onondaga County. 

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A "brewseum," condominiums and increased boating are just some of the new plans being made along Syracuse’s Inner Harbor. Cor Development is in charge of the $350 million project and has already built the Aloft Hotel in 2016 and more recently, the Iron Pier mixed-use building. The company has faced setbacks, but progress continues in the area.

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There have been 74 cases of vape-associated illnesses in New York State, with seven occurring in central New York. Onondaga County is joining Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state health department in recommending residents stop using electronic cigarettes, until an investigation into the cause of the illnesses is complete. Health officials and sellers of vape products are divided on the state's ban of flavored e-cigarettes.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Syracuse University has opened a new health, wellness and recreation complex at the former Archbold Gymnasium building. The renovations are meant to incorporate additional mental health services to reduce stress and anxiety. 

The Barnes Center at The Arch features a pet therapy room, mindfulness spa and rock climbing, in addition to its four basketball courts, indoor track, pool, counseling center, student health center and pharmacy.

Congressman John Katko Facebook

This week, central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) brought acting administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Pete Gaynor, to tour some of the flooding damage along the Lake Ontario shoreline. The purpose was to figure out how to get funding for those affected. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Law enforcement officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida met with Onondaga County’s school safety task force last week. The officials shared their experience with two separate shooting incidents that happened in south Florida in recent years.

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The New York State Department of Transportation is going to study how the Interstate-81 project will impact Syracuse’s northern suburbs economically. This comes after elected officials and business owners voiced their concern that tax revenue and hundreds of jobs would be lost in their area, if the state goes through with its current plan.   

City of Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration wants to change the city’s code to no longer pick up garbage for properties with more than four residential units. The city currently draws the limit at more than ten units. But the proposal was withdrawn after some city councilors rejected it. 

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Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) hosted a roundtable with local officials and representatives from the Department of Homeland Security, to discuss the severity of cyberattacks and how to address them. This comes after more than 20 school districts in central New York were affected by a national data breach, which compromised student names, dates of birth, ID numbers and some email addresses. 

Onondaga County Twitter

An Onondaga county-wide shared services panel, made up of town and village leaders, convened recently to discuss new ways to save money. It’s an opportunity for Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon to push one large consolidation effort that’s on his agenda.

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A memo of understanding between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli restores the comptroller’s pre-audit review authority over some of the state’s economic development contracts. DiNapoli also wants the state legislature to memorialize the agreement. 

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New York State Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins celebrated 100 years of women gaining the right to vote in the U.S. during Women’s Day at the New York State Fair. 

Hochul noted the suffrage movement started with a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848. Women won the right to vote in New York, two years before women’s suffrage was passed by Congress in 1919. Hochul questioned how women would be judged 100 years from now.

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Centro is debuting a mobile app that will allow some bus riders to buy tickets on their phones. It’s a limited, test pilot program that could lead to a larger rollout. 

Allyn Family Foundation

A new four-story building featuring a public food hall, grocery store, office space and mixed-income apartments, broke ground on construction last week in downtown Syracuse. Part of the project will help food entrepreneurs expand their businesses. 

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The New York State Department of Labor does safety inspections for all 72 rides at the New York State Fair, and continues inspections each day of the fair. Fairgoers can also check to make sure a ride is safe. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Gov. Andrew Cuomo took an Amtrak train from Albany to the New York State Fair for its opening day on Wednesday. Some of the highlights of Cuomo’s trip includes a new plan to make the fairgrounds energy self-sufficient by 2023. 

Cuomo and cabinet officials arrived via train to highlight what Cuomo calls an affordable and environmentally-friendly alternative to get to the fair from Buffalo or Albany.

“It’s a greener way of doing it and there’s also a financial incentive, because if you take the Amtrak train you’ll have free admission,” Cuomo said.

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