Finger Lakes

Gabe Altieri / WSKG

In September, a class from Wells College was on Cayuga Lake, near Aurora, when someone noticed a non-native weed in the water. It was hydrilla, an invasive plant that can cause big problems.

devinkennedy / Flickr


(WXXI) The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency has announced its choice for the winning bidder to take over the former Seneca Army Depot. 

Ithaca Journal / Associated Press


LANSING, N.Y. (AP) — Mining operations remain on hold at a central New York salt mine more than a week after 17 workers were rescued from an elevator stuck 900 feet underground.

LANSING, N.Y. (AP) — Crews are preparing to remove the elevator on which more than a dozen central New York mine workers got stranded hundreds of feet underground.

The newly published anthology "From The Finger Lakes" features memoir, fiction, essays and articles by 44 of our most accomplished regional writers, including Alison Lurie, Diane Ackerman,. J. Robert Lennon, Jeanne Mackin, Alice Fulton, Fred Wilcox and many more.  It was published by Cayuga Lake Books, a local imprint. Hopper is an editor, writer, poet and co-founder of CLB, and Ellis, a writer and editor, served as guest editor for this anthology.

Blue-Green Algae Now Found In At Least 3 Area Lakes

The Ontario County Health Department says that the presence of blue-green algae has been confirmed in parts of Honeoye, Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes.

Tom Magnarelli, WRVO

Onondaga County's Lakeview Amphitheater comes to life tonight for the first time, when country star Miranda Lambert takes the stage. Many in the community hail the entertainment venue, along the shores of Onondaga Lake, as an economic engine for years to come. But there are still environmental concerns from one front, about the choice to build a stage on top of 80 feet of industrial waste beds. 

Jumilla / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A state prison in central New York has been locked down for an unexplained reason.
Corrections officials say prisoners have been locked in their cells at the maximum-security Auburn Correctional Facility since Friday. The Auburn lockdown began just after a separate lockdown at the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility in northern New York was lifted following the escape of two inmates.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Starting as early as the end of the summer, all officers in the City of Ithaca Police Department are going to wear body cameras. City of Ithaca Police Chief John Barber presented the department’s camera policy to common council members on Wednesday. The policy includes rules for operating the cameras, storing the videos and releasing them to the public.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Work on the Ithaca Commons appears on track for a summer completion, more than two years after construction began. Project manager Michael Kuo gave an update to the city’s Common Council during last night’s meeting.

Gas Free Seneca

Federal regulators have denied opponents’ arguments against a proposed natural gas storage facility near Watkins Glen.

Arlington Storage Company wants to build two natural gas storage facilities next to Seneca Lake. Arlington is a subsidiary of Houston-based Crestwood Equity Partners. One of the storage facilities will hold natural gas and the other is for liquefied petroleum gas or LPG. The federal government is reviewing the natural gas project.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

The US Department of Justice will review a December police standoff in Tompkins County after county officials requested their help. The DoJ’s review is to provide technical advice and is not an investigation. The justice department informed Tompkins County officials on Monday that their request will be accepted.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Heather Gowe is not sure where exactly where the proposed manure storage lagoon will be built. It’ll be somewhere in a small stand of trees, up a hill from the intersection where she lives.
Beck Farms is a dairy producer who will build the lagoon. They have about 2000 cows in Freeville in Tompkins County. They want to store 3.2 million gallons of manure on this hill, and build a pipeline to transport the manure. Gowe and her husband Tim are not happy about it.

via Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Salmon was 18-years-old in 1868 when he traveled to Ithaca to go to college. Today the college of veterinary medicine at Cornell is a sprawling maze of labs, barns and hospitals. Back then it was much simpler.
“There was just one academic building in the very beginning,” says Donald Smith, former dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Cascadilla Hall was there for students and faculty as a residence and there was very little else except a farm, a working farm.”

Salmon’s doctorate from Cornell University was the first awarded in the US. The bacteria salmonella was named after him, though his assistant Theobald Smith actually discovered it. And Salmon helped found veterinary colleges in Washington, DC, and Uruguay along with the first federal meat inspection system in the US.

jmac1963 / flickr

GENEVA, N.Y. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comments on its proposal to prohibit boats from dumping sewage into Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake and the Seneca River.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Months after a police standoff in Tompkins County that ended in the suspect’s suicide, the sheriff’s office is defending the tactics used during the encounter. During a public safety committee meeting Monday night, the sheriff presented a detailed summary of the incident.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Marguerite Wells is the project manager of Black Oak Wind Farm, which at this point is just a field with a wind measuring tower outside of Ithaca. But, according to Wells, the hard part of getting a wind farm built there is already behind them.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

The future of the Cayuga coal-fired power plant in Tompkins County remains up-in-the-air, almost three years after plans to close the plant were announced.

The local utility, NYSEG, opposes a proposed conversion to natural gas and wants to invest in their transmission system instead. Either way, the cost will be added to ratepayers’ bills.

Solvejg Wastvedt/WSKG News

One of New York’s oldest state prisons also has a long-running educational program. Since the 1990s, faculty from Cornell University have taught classes for inmates at the Auburn Correctional Facility. But a few inmates want more. They’ve started their own theater group based on strong group discipline and trust.

Matt Richmond / WSKG News

Sometime between the early hours of December 31 and January 2, Danby resident David Cady took his own life. Cady’s death was the result of a three-day standoff involving police from several counties along with state troopers from New York and Pennsylvania.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -The New York Power Authority board of trustees has approved another round of low-cost power allocations.
Thirty megawatts of cheaper power will be distributed among 59 businesses and one not-for-profit organization to support more than 10,300 jobs.

Four different proposals for the old county library property in Ithaca will get a closer look from the Tompkins County Legislature. The old Tompkins County library is right on the edge of downtown, on the corner of Cayuga and Court streets.

Three Gas Storage Protestors Sentenced To Jail Terms

Nov 20, 2014
Gas Free Seneca / Facebook

In a Schulyer County courthouse on Wednesday, 16 people were arraigned on trespassing charges, for blocking the entrance to a proposed natural gas storage facility near Watkins Glen. Three refused to pay a $250 fine and were sentenced to 15 days in jail, starting immediately.

The three protesters sentenced to jail include a retired air force master sergeant, a prominent scientist, and 86-year-old Roland Micklem, who leaned on his cane and told the judge, “a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do.”

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

One of the most noticeable buildings in Ithaca is the old Emerson Power Transmission plant on South Hill. Perched over the city, near Ithaca College and right by downtown, it has sat empty for years on a prime piece of land.Now there are plans to redevelop the 95-acre site, with a mix of homes and businesses. Matt Richmond spoke with Lisa Nicholas, senior planner in the City of Ithaca, about preparing for the project.

Doug Kerr / via flickr

The DEC’s “draft permit conditions”, released on Monday, propose rules that would have to be followed if the state issues a permit to Finger Lakes LPG Storage. Finger Lakes LPG, which is owned by Houston-based Crestwood Midstream Partners, wants to store up to 2.1 million barrels of butane and propane in old salt caverns on the western shore of Seneca Lake, in the Town of Reading.

That’s what the draft permit conditions issued by the DEC are about. The “issues conference” is part of the DEC’s permitting process. It comes after public hearings, but before a judge would decide on major points of dispute.

And, in this case, there have been some points of dispute.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Incumbent Congressman Tom Reed heads back to Washington after a win against Democrat Martha Robinson in New York’s 23rd Congressional district.

The newly re-elected congressman wiped away a few tears as he greeted supporters in Corning on Tuesday. Reed returns to the House after what turned out to be a comfortable victory over Democrat Martha Robinson.

miss_millions / Flickr

Cornell University and Schuyler County residents are in the first stages of planning the future of the county’s recently shuttered prison.

The Monterey shock facility sits vacant on 20 acres between Corning and Watkins Glen. The state shut down the prison’s 45 buildings back in July.

At the group’s first meeting Tuesday, community members and a group of Cornell students brainstormed ideas for the buildings.

Several residents spoke firmly about the need house jobs while preserving the area’s rural heritage.

Joshua B. Ludzki / WSKG Public Media

As both an industrialist and a philanthropist, Bill Gates has defined our age.  The Microsoft co-founder brought the information age into nearly every home, and with the profits, he and his wife have funded over 30-billion dollars in grants to health, educational and other charitable organizations. Earlier this month, Gates spoke to students at Cornell University about his company, his foundation and his good luck. The tycoon was introduce by Cornell President David Skorton...

SUNY Cortland Alumni Association

A year after the annual installment of the football rivalry between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland led to more than 30 arrests, a public apology by SUNY Cortland's president Eric Bitterbaum, an 82-page report that blamed social media and excessive partying for the mayhem, SUNY Cortland has begun preparing to host this year's game.

In a release issued by the school Friday, school administrators laid out the measures they'll take this year to try and prevent a repeat of last year's spectacle.

bobistaveling / Flickr

Budget negotiations in the City of Ithaca are getting under way and Mayor Svante Myrick’s proposed budget includes a projected reduction in residents’ property tax rate.

Myrick presented his budget to the common council on Wednesday. Spending would increase by $3 million. He’s calling for 8 new police officers, bringing the city’s total to 68, and an increase in the amount of road work done by the Department of Public Works.

The increased spending would mean a 3.89 percent increase in the tax levy.