regional news

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is using the shortage of a vaccine in central New York to showcase the impact of a record long partial government shutdown. 

Schumer and reporters jammed into the tiny Burnet Pharmacy in Syracuse Monday to talk about shingles, and how the government shutdown is compounding a shingle shot shortage. 

"This is a glaring example of the shutdown causing real problems," said Schumer.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The Senate and Assembly approved measures Monday to expand the window in which New Yorkers can vote in elections, from one day to 11 days. The action comes at the start at what is anticipated to be a busy week at the State Capitol that includes the release of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The executive director of the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, which operates Hancock International Airport is stepping down. Christina Callahan oversaw $120 million in renovations to the airport, over the past several years.

Callahan said one big investment completed in 2013 was a brand new security checkpoint.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The Democratic-led New York State Legislature is set for a big week.

Action is planned on Monday to implement early voting in the state, and on Tuesday to grant more civil rights to transgender New Yorkers. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also will release his budget proposal.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

When Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow took office, city residents had seen four consecutive tax increases and then a major spike in their sewer and water rates to help pay for a federally mandated sewer and water separation project. And things were about to get worse as a contract that provided Oswego with $1 million in revenue each year was coming to an end.

Two concerts commemorating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock will take place this summer, with one of them being held in central New York. 

Woodstock 50, organized by one of the producers of the original event, Michael Lang will be hosted at Watkins Glen International August 16 through 18th. Woodstock 1969 was held August 15 to 17th.

Chris Banker is the Director of Public Relations for Watkins Glen International and says it’s been incredible to partner with an iconic brand like Woodstock.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

As central New York starts to see some significant snowfall, the city of Syracuse is no longer moving forward with the private contractor it selected for its sidewalk snow removal program. Negotiations ended with the contractor last month over too many unanswered questions over how the pilot project would work.   

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The New York state legislative session began with ceremonies and excitement as Democrats claimed their solid majority in the state Senate and made history with the election of a new female leader.

They promised to act quickly on a long list of progressive issues, including strengthening abortion rights and expanding voter access.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, in her role as Senate president, was the first to introduce Andrea Stewart-Cousins in her groundbreaking role as the first woman and African-American woman to serve as Senate leader in the body’s 241 years.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

Researchers at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse have joined those at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Health in advancing a novel approach to treating heroin addicts. They hope a heroin vaccine can be a factor in the fight against opioid addiction.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Scientists at SUNY ESF have been trying to bring back the American chestnut tree for decades.  Three to four billion of the trees were destroyed by blight in the first half of the 20th century, but researchers are now getting close to bringing back an American chestnut resistant to blight.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The partial government shutdown could be having an impact on some students who get federal financial aid. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Department of Motor Vehicle offices across the state are expecting to be busier than usual the next few years as new federal standards for driver’s licenses go into effect. One central New York DMV office is gearing up for the extra time it takes to process these licenses. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A new court specifically aimed at helping individuals addicted to opioids has started in the city of Syracuse. It’s meant to cope with an opioid addiction crisis that has ballooned in recent years.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.