Tom Magnarelli

Tom Magnarelli is a freelance reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area.

The New York State Department of Transportation has selected an active rail yard in the town of DeWitt as the location for a central New York inland port. This comes after years of waiting for a decision on a few different sites.

New York State Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said if net neutrality rules are repealed by the Federal Communications Commission, it would benefit only the most powerful and wealthy. The rules require Internet service companies to provide the same service to everyone equally.

A packed audience in Syracuse participated in a town hall on congressional Republicans’ tax bill Tuesday. The town hall was hosted by Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who is reconsidering a run against central New York Republican Rep. John Katko.

An independent study of the tunnel options to replace the Interstate-81 viaduct in Syracuse was released Monday. The study said tunnel options are feasible, which contrasts the analysis the New York State Department of Transportation made last year.

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said members of Congress accused of sexual harassment allegations should resign. But Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for investigations first.

Many students at Syracuse University protested congressional Republicans’ tax bill Wednesday. The students said they are upset with a tax increase on the tuition credits of graduate students.

Gemma Cooper-Novack is a graduate teaching and research assistant at SU. She receives tuition credit in addition to a stipend for her work. She is not paying taxes on that tuition credit, worth tens of thousands of dollars. But she might have to if the GOP tax bill is signed into law.

Central New York Republican Rep. John Katko met with businesses in Syracuse Monday to discuss the tax bill he voted for, which passed the House of Representatives. Business owners said they would reinvest in their companies if the deal goes through.

Most of central and northern New York’s members of Congress voted for the Republican tax overhaul bill which passed the House of Representatives Thursday.

Upstate University Hospital’s Trauma Center is offering free classes to teach individuals and organizations how to stop a person from bleeding in a life-threatening situation. The training is being encouraged in the aftermath of recent mass shootings.

Syracuse independent mayoral candidate Ben Walsh won big Tuesday night and will be the first mayor of the city not affiliated with a political party. Walsh won with a mix of support from Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

Starting next year, Le Moyne College will offer a $10,000 scholarship over four years, to all New York State residents, regardless of income. This comes after the state began its Excelsior Scholarship earlier this year, which offers tuition-free college at SUNY schools for middle class residents.

Local substance use clinics in central New York are reacting to President Donald Trump’s declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency. Some officials said there are real solutions the federal government can do to save lives.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for vetoing bills that DeFrancisco said would help residents in the region. DeFrancisco has been pushing one bill in particular for the past three years.

A universal visitability tax credit would give some reimbursement for residents to retrofit their homes to be more accessible for the elderly and disabled, like adding wheelchair accessible entrances. Tania Anderson, the CEO of Arise, which provides disability services, said local residents are waiting 1-4 years for accessible housing.

This week, Syracuse University is asking students to remember the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, including 35 SU students studying abroad. SU’s Remembrance Scholarships honor each of the students killed in the attack.

The number of Syracuse University students confirmed to have mumps has increased to 27 with 45 more probable cases. SU, in partnership with the county and state health departments, will offer a booster dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) to students this week.

Individuals with autism can be at risk when law enforcement and first responders do not know how to react to them during an incident. But a recent training seminar hosted by Arc of Seneca Cayuga in Auburn was meant to bring more awareness of the autism community to first responders.

The role of the traditional political parties is being called into question on the national and local levels. Syracuse’s mayoral race offers a few examples of candidates outside the mainstream trying to break through.

Friday is the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming November election, but it is also the last day to change party affiliation before next year’s primary. New York is a closed primary state meaning only registered party members can vote in their party’s primary.

The New York Mets have announced an agreement to buy the Syracuse Chiefs minor league baseball team. The Chiefs are community-owned and the deal still needs the approval of shareholders.

Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said there was a little bit of arm twisting by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney and Sen. Charles Schumer to get the Mets to come to Syracuse.

Syracuse University professors and students helped work on the discovery of gravitational waves, which won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. They were part of an international scientific collaboration of about 1,000 researchers, analyzing the data from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. SU physics professor Duncan Brown said gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space time caused by colliding black holes.

In the wake of Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, parents are left with the difficult decision of how to talk to their children about national tragedies. Some medical professionals in Syracuse recommend parents be honest but also reassuring with kids.

Updated at 8:00 p.m. Thursday

Onondaga County health officials continue to say that the city of Syracuse's drinking water, along with the drinking water of other municipalities that draw water from Skaneateles Lake, is safe to drink. 

Samples tested Thursday at the state’s Wadsworth Lab in Albany found 0.25 parts per billion inside the City of Syracuse Gatehouse located in the Village of Skaneateles, but prior to the completion of the chlorination.

This level is consistent with prior reported sampling at the Gatehouse and below the health advisory levels for both adults and sensitive populations. All other locations in the water system – including the City of Syracuse, the Town of DeWitt, the Town of Skaneateles, the Village of Elbridge, and the Village of Jordan – showed non-detectable levels of algal toxins in finished water. These levels remain below the EPA’s 10-day health advisory level of 0.3 parts per billion for sensitive populations and well below the EPA advisory level for adults of 1.6 parts per billion.

Residents in the Village of Skaneateles and the other municipalities which use this drinking water source can continue to drink the water.

Original Post

Elevated levels of toxic blue-green algae have been discovered in the water of Skaneateles Lake. The lake is the primary water supply of the city of Syracuse’s water system. While tests show the public water is still safe to drink, residents who live along the lake’s shoreline and drink water directly from the lake could be at risk.

Another Democrat has announced she will seek the party’s nomination to run against Rep. John Katko's (R-Camillus) 24th Congressional District seat next year. Dana Balter, a Syracuse University professor, said she was compelled to run after the results of the 2016 election. Balter said she feels like the country, its people and its values are all being threatened in the wake of last year’s election.

Today is Primary Day in upstate New York and most voters will begin casting their ballots at noon. This year, the Onondaga County Board of Elections has had an unusual amount of challenges to petition signatures collected by candidates.

Central New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney is pushing to uphold the funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which provides legal aid to those who cannot afford it. This comes after President Donald Trump released a proposed budget earlier this year eliminating the funding.

Tenney said the House of Representatives has restored $300 million to the Legal Services Corporation in their proposed budget but that still leaves an $85 million cut.

Many students are returning back to school this week and law enforcement in central New York is issuing a reminder for drivers to stay alert. Drivers can expect more school buses on the road and school speed zones to be in effect.

Onondaga County Sheriff Gene Conway said the beginning of school marks an exciting and dangerous time for students. He said drivers need to pay attention to the speed limit in school zones. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

 

New York Reps. John Katko (R-Camillus) and Tom Reed (R-Corning) expect that Congress will support a financial aid package for the victims of Hurricane Harvey when they return to Washington, D.C. next month. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

Central New York Republican Rep. John Katko said the amount of taxes and regulations in the U.S. are choking businesses and he wants Congress to pass some relief.

David Stone / Flickr

(WRVO) - Central New York state legislators have introduced a bill that would give the state Department of Environmental Conservation more flexibility with issuing deer control permits. This comes after DEC officials determined they were steering too far away from the current law.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO Public Media

(WRVO) The New York State Fair opens its 2017 edition Wednesday. The fair has some new features, fixed some problems from last year and is getting ready for the second part of a major expansion.

Phase one of the fair’s revitalization included a new entryway and larger midway. Phase two will begin after this year’s fair with the creation of a new Expo Center which Acting Director Troy Waffner called the gem of the expansion.

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