Tom Magnarelli

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

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.

Syracuse Astronomical Society

(WRVOFor today’s solar eclipse, people across central and northern New York can expect the moon’s shadow to partially block out the sun this afternoon, with the peak happening just past 2:30 p.m. 

Raymond Dague of the Syracuse Astronomical Society describes a total solar eclipse as spectacular.

“Suddenly the entire sky goes completely dark, the birds think it’s nighttime,” Dague said.

Hundreds rallied in downtown Syracuse Sunday for a Black Lives Matter vigil, responding to the events that unfolded in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. 

Four children in central New York were hit by cars last week and three of them died from their injuries. It can be a dangerous time of year for kids out of school.

Sgt. Jon Seeber with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office said they have seen this increase in kids being hit by cars during the summer before and many times it comes down to child pedestrian errors.

“They tend to play, talk and not pay attention to cars when crossing the street,” Seeber said. "I think it is really important for parents and adults that we supervise them as best we can."

Parts of upstate New York have been receiving record amounts of rainfall this year. The rain is one of the contributing factors to the high water levels on Lake Ontario which has caused extensive property damage. But it is also taking a toll on local farmers.

Upstate New York, like the rest of the country, has suffered through decades of job losses in manufacturing. But some manufacturing companies in the Mohawk Valley and Southern Tier can’t find enough skilled workers to fill job openings.

There have been some bumps in the road since ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft started operating in upstate New York more than a month ago. One concern has been traffic congestion in a small, popular area of downtown Syracuse.

Heavy rains wreaked havoc on Oneida County about a month ago causing flash floods, power outages and destroying some homes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited one area on Tuesday to announce funding that may help prevent flooding in the future.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - The wet weather has made it another challenging year for dairy farmers. State agriculture officials are trying to help farmers cope how ever they can, including expanding the New York State Grown & Certified marketing campaign to include dairy products. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Tensions are high between the Onondaga Nation and the LaFayette School District, which runs the Onondaga Nation pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school. The Onondaga Nation wants a bigger say in how the school operates. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - New York state residents receive a five percent discount on Thruway tolls if they have an E-Z Pass. Last year, the New York State Thruway Authority decided to eliminate that discount for out-of-state drivers. Some state lawmakers want to see that new revenue go to local governments. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - New York State led the country in a decorative arts movement in the early 20th century and an exhibition at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica showcases those products and objects. The country lacked a modern art identity in the mid-1920s, but the revolutionary time period changed everything.  

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) kicked off a series of town halls across the state at Syracuse University Friday. The generally friendly audience gave Gillibrand a warm reception but asked questions on the biggest issues facing Washington. 

Utica College

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - In addition to New York’s free college tuition program being offered to some middle class students that attend state schools, there is also the Enhanced Tuition Award for students attending private schools. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft will be allowed to operate in upstate New York starting June 29th. But some in Syracuse want the city to opt out.  

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

SYRACUSE (WRVO) - A new exhibition at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica looks at how New York state led America into a new artistic and decorative era in the early 20th century. Many of the pieces on display  were manufactured in upstate New York. 

Pages