Tom Magnarelli

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

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(WRVO) New York State Police have announced that over the past few days they have seized 100 packets of what they suspect are synthetic drugs and made five arrests at two convenience stores in Syracuse and one in Binghamton. The suspects will face misdemeanor charges.

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(WRVO)  New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced $13 million grants for communities to attack the problem of zombie properties. The funds come from a recent settlement that the state attorney general’s office and the U.S. Justice Department reached with investment bank Morgan Stanley.  

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

(WRVO) Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald spoke at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School to students yesterday giving advice on leadership and sharing his experiences coming into the VA. Some of the recent changes implemented at the VA are in response to long wait times for medical care and are meant to improve veterans’ experiences.

TOM MAGNARELLI / WRVO NEWS FILE PHOTO

(WRVO) Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced that 11 people have been arrested for inciting a riot at the Father’s Day shooting in Syracuse, during which an officer fired her gun and one man was killed. The officer responded to a shootout that included 37 shots fired from multiple guns, turning a large block party into chaos. 

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(WRVO) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been traveling the state, promoting a new law that provides free breast cancer screenings. Cuomo made a stop in Syracuse last week with his partner Sandra Lee who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Lee is now cancer free.

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(WRVO) It was Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter’s (D-Syracuse) first legislative session in Albany this year. The assemblywoman said while much was accomplished at the end of the session in June, many issues she is still pressing for many issues that were left on the table.

(WRVO) New York State has a new law that will expand breast cancer screening hours at hospitals and clinics and remove some insurance barriers. African-American women in Syracuse are trying to inform the community about the changes.

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(WRVO) Syracuse University has hired a new athletic director, after its previous one, Mark Coyle, left after less than one year on the job. University officials hope the new athletic director will be staying much longer. John Wildhack is an SU alumnus and executive vice president at ESPN in programming and production.

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Tuesday is primary day in New York State and central New York Republicans and Democrats can vote in two competitive congressional primaries. The two moderately leaning districts could see more far-left and far-right candidates in November.

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(WRVO) A convention led by NASA on the traffic management of unmanned aircraft systems will be held in Syracuse and Rome this fall. The state’s commitment to fund drone programs helped land central New York the convention.

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(WRVO) As more people travel this summer, the Transportation Security Administration is continuing to step up its efforts to get people through security checkpoints quickly and safely. Although flying has been relatively smooth in upstate New York, the TSA has had to drastically change its operations nationwide.

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(WRVO) The state Department of Transportation is informing the public on how it would acquire property if it is needed in the reconstruction of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse. The earliest the state would begin that process is still two years away.

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Several bills in the New York state legislature would extend or eliminate the criminal and/or civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse. Kathryn Robb with Massachusetts Citizens for Children, is a survivor of child sex abuse and an advocate for removing the criminal and civil statute of limitations.

(WRVO) State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), the second highest ranking member of the state Senate, is weighing in on what ethics reforms may or may not get passed before the end of the legislative session in June. There are a number of reforms DeFrancisco said he would support as long as there are no exceptions.

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(WRVO) Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul wants to know what New Yorkers think the state can do to address the heroin and opioid epidemic. Hochul is traveling with a drug task force panel across the state, listening to local experts share their experiences.

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(WRVO) The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use path which extends 360 miles across upstate New York following the original manmade waterway. But there are still large gaps in the trail that advocacy groups want completed.

(WRVO) The state Department of Environmental Conservation is updating the public on its deer management programs. Deer programs used by towns and villages are seeing results but still need to track the lasting effects.

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A conference for the New York Tactical Officers Association is being held at the Turning Stone Resort this week. Various social justice groups from across the state are protesting the conference which they say contributes to the militarization of police departments.

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The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn is anticipating more tourists will visit after the announcement that Tubman will be featured on the $20 bill. This adds excitement about the home being turned into a national park.

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Election officials at the Bird Library voting location on the Syracuse University campus said that about one-third of the approximately 200-300 students that came in by 5 p.m. Tuesday were turned away for not being properly registered as a Republican or Democrat in Onondaga County.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke to a packed crowd in an airplane hangar at Griffiss International Airport in Rome on Tuesday. Trump hit hard on New York’s economy and the political system.

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(WRVO) CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson said despite encouraging economic developments in central New York over the past few years, the economy and population of the region is stagnant. Simpson said the current trajectory of Syracuse and Onondaga County is not sustainable.

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(WRVO) Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on how doctors prescribe opioids for chronic pain. Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Republican Rep. John Katko want to see those guidelines pushed even further.

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(WRVO) Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is pushing for upstate New York votes before the state’s primary on April 19. During a visit to Syracuse on Friday, Clinton focused on creating jobs and raising incomes, two issues pertinent to central New York and the rest of upstate.

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The Syracuse University men’s and women’s basketball teams will both be playing in the Final Four this year. It’s the first time in the school’s history that both will compete in the Final Four at the same time.

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(WRVO) In 2014, Donald Trump attended a Republican fundraiser in Syracuse as he floated the idea of running for governor of New York.  Some of the talking points and style Trump now uses on the presidential campaign trail can be heard in that earlier speech.

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(WRVO) Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is pushing for legislation to give the developmentally disabled more living options. He is proposing to give those living at home the same benefits that those in institutional care get. The disabled may currently be paying high out-of-pocket insurance costs for in-home services because of how current laws operate.

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Included in central New York’s upstate revitalization plan is $40 million to develop an inland port that will process international freight containers coming from the Port of New York and New Jersey. 

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(WRVO) Five years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, protesters in Syracuse are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop supporting nuclear and invest in renewable energy instead. The protest was organized by the Alliance for a Green Economy.

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(WRVO) Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) introduced a bill that would allow employees to save a part of their wages in an account, tax-free, to be used for expenses when they have a child. The bill is Katko’s alternative answer to mandatory paid family leave.

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