Tom Magnarelli

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

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

(WRVO)   The first MQ-9 remotely piloted aircraft or drones were launched from Hancock Field next to Syracuse's Hancock International Airport. The operation was the first in the country to fly unmanned aircraft into airspace around a commercial airport.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

(WRVO) A federal judge handed down the maximum sentence to two people who pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of six different children, including two Amish girls they kidnapped. It was essentially a life sentence for both of them as they face hundreds of years behind bars.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse University purchased 37 body cameras for about $1,000 a piece, to be worn by their on-campus peace officers. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

(WRVO) Manufacturers of synthetic marijuana have been able to skirt around U.S. laws by slightly altering the chemical makeup of their product. While synthetic drugs are still showing up legally on retail store shelves, Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) introduced legislation this week that would make it easier to prosecute the distributors.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

The New York Public Interest Research Group released its annual report on potentially hazardous toys for children this year. NYPIRG is focusing on four areas of hazards:  toxicity, choking, magnets and excessive noise.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

A human trafficking and prostitution sting operation between federal, state and local law enforcement yielded multiple arrests during this year’s New York State Fair. Many of the women arrested apparently became involved in prostitution because of drug addictions.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Starting Thursday, smoking will be banned in all of Syracuse’s public housing. The decision comes from a recommendation made by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which may institute the ban nationwide.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Vice President Joe Biden spoke at Syracuse University yesterday calling for an end to sexual assault on college campuses. A nationwide campaign is asking students to change the culture on campuses and to speak up when they see sexual assault.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Transgender service providers say doctors are not being trained to deal with LGBT issues. Medical professionals attended a conference held by ACR Health and the Q Center in Syracuse on Wednesday to learn more about the struggles transgender people face in accessing quality health care.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Residents on both sides of the issue spoke out at another public hearing on managing deer and ticks in central New York on Tuesday night. Funding will soon be available for neighborhoods to address the problem.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Residents spoke out at a public hearing on the state's effort to make utilities more affordable for people with low-income. That might mean all customers may have to pay a little more.

Central New York Regional Development Council

Central New York's proposal for the state's economic development competition includes one project with the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs. Those jobs could go to a part of Syracuse that needs it the most.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

A coalition of peace organizations are making a 165-mile walk from Syracuse’s Hancock Air Base to the Niagara Falls Air Base, to bring attention to the military's drone operations that take place there. One of the goals is to educate the public on what it is like being in Afghanistan, where the fear of drones is a part of life for many.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Rep. John Katko (R-NY) spoke at a rally to save the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant on Monday. The owners of the plant said they may have to close it next year because it is no longer profitable with the low price of electricity. Katko said nuclear energy is clean energy and with new federal carbon emission standards, New York state can't afford to lose nuclear power plants.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Elected officials from the local, state and congressional level have organized a rally in support of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. This comes after news that there is a possibility that it could close. Lower electricity prices are squeezing the profits from some nuclear plants. 

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul met with the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council on Wednesday to discuss the region's proposal to win a portion of the $1.5 billion Urban Revitalization Initiative competition. Seven regions are competing and three winners will receive $500 million each, which will go towards permanent private sector jobs and investments.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

The American Society of Civil Engineers issued gave New York’s infrastructure and gave an overall grade of C- on its 2015 report card. Syracuse officials hope infrastructure funding will come soon from the state and federal governments.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

JetBlue Airlines is resuming nonstop flights from Syracuse to Fort Lauderdale, Florida thanks to some convincing from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).

Ryan Delaney / Innovation Trail

The Air National Guard wants to fly remotely piloted aircrafts out of Hancock Field at the Syracuse International Airport. The change would save time and money, as the National Guard has to send its aircrafts to fly from Fort Drum because of airspace restrictions.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Victims of past sexual abuse by Catholic priests in central New York are calling for justice as Pope Francis makes his visit to America. But the victims are limited in what they can do by New York State law.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Pope Francis will celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Friday. Some lucky central New Yorkers won tickets and will be among those in attendance.

New York Invasive Species Information

About half of the National Forest Service’s budget has been spent on fighting wildfires in the West and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said it is taking funding away from other critical programs.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

The 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship is being billed as "lacrosse comes home" because it is being hosted by the Onondaga Nation and the sport was invented by indigenous nations in upstate New York. The tournament runs from Sept. 18-27.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

About 370 adults and children are currently staying in emergency shelters in Syracuse. Syracuse is focused on poverty now more than ever in light of a recent report which rates the city as having the high concentration of poverty for blacks and Hispanics in the nation.

Union groups from across central New York marched in the Labor Day parade at the New York State Fair Monday morning.

The president of the New York State United Teachers federation, Karen Magee, spoke to a large crowd about the accomplishments of the labor movement including better safety conditions, weekends and the 40-hour work week. NYSUT is made up of 600,000 members who work in education, healthcare and human services.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) encouraged New York State Fair attendees to build on the legacy of women’s rights in New York state. Gillibrand was the keynote speaker for the fair's Women's Day on Wednesday. She said 87 percent of the American workforce has no access to paid leave in the case of a medical or family emergency.

Many central New York communities are considering deer management programs to curb the rising deer population. A bait-and-cull approach is catching on but some animal rights activists are against it.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

The New York State Nurses Association held a rally at the state fairgrounds yesterday to launch their “Protect Quality Patient Care for Central New Yorkers” campaign. Many upstate medical centers and health department nurses are in the early stages of negotiating new contracts with hospital management.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

There is about $14 billion in lost money or unclaimed funds owed to residents in New York state. People attending the New York State Fair can check out the new state comptroller's booth to see if they have any unclaimed funds.

Today is the opening day of The New York State Fair which always has a great impact on central New York at this time of the year.

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