Scott Willis / WAER News

Nearly 100 Central New Yorkers  crowded into the Empire Room at the state fairgrounds Friday to take the oath of allegiance to become citizens of the United States.   They originate from  40 countries...from Bangladesh and Iran to New Zealand and Vietnam.  19-year-old Michael Malinowski of Syracuse came to the U.S.from Poland when he was 12.  He says he’ll always have a place in his heart for his homeland, but is proud to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather who was with him Friday.  

John Smith, WAER News

Dozens teachers and their supporters wore black t-shirts on the first day of the State Fair on Thursday with a pretty direct message for the Governor… “Call Out Cuomo.” The only problem was, he wasn’t there to see it firsthand. However, he did send Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul who acknowledged the teachers when asked by the media.    

We have two big, sad stories concerning the rush of migrants trying to make it to Europe from conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa: First, Austrian authorities said the number of people found dead in a food delivery truck, some of whom are believed to be refugees from Syria, has risen to 71.

As we reported, the people are thought to have suffocated. The truck was abandoned along Austria's A4 autobahn.

Yonah Perline / WAER News

An effort to improve the appearance and safety of Syracuse’s South Side was on display Thursday as Mayor Stephanie Miner and Police Chief Frank Fowler observed crews cutting down trees and shrubs.  Miner says the effort by the Multi-Agency Service Team, or M.A.S.T  on Fitch Street is focused on eliminating vacant lots and overgrown shrubbery that aids criminals.

"The environment is one part that allows criminals to feel safe.  That's the last thing that we want is criminals feeling safe and secure in our city."

The scene in front of clinics where abortions are performed is often tense, with clinic workers escorting patients past activists waving signs and taking photographs.

But increasingly, another drama is unfolding out back. There, abortion opponents dig through the trash in search of patient information.

Chris Bolt, WAER News

People anxious for the start of the 2015  New York State fair  have to wait no longer as it begins its 12-day run Thursday.

During a preview event, fair officials drew attention to some the changes they feel will interest fairgoers including Equine Avenue. Cazenovia College Professor Doctor Karin Bump hopes it gets more people interested in the horse events and this part of the agriculture industry.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A furious pace of construction by hundreds of workers over the past several months has resulted in the on-time completion of a $49.3 million amphitheater on the western shore of Onondaga Lake.  County Executive Joanie Mahoney says she was fully aware of the risks of the aggressive construction timeline when work began last November, but really took off in mid-February.  Now, the county is the official owner of a completed Lakeview Amphitheater.

Legal-Aid.org

  New Yorkers with H-I-V or AIDS that risk becoming homeless might be able to get legal help from organizations around the state. In New York, over 100-thousand people with H-I-V were living in poverty-stricken environments at the end of 2013. New York State is making a $2.5-million effort to grant legal services to individuals and families affected by H-I-V/AIDS.

It's about time Kim Lembo is getting back to putting so much of her soul into her music.

Mulholland Group / QPK Design

UPDATE: COUNCIL APPROVES TAX DEAL FOR NEW OWNERS OR CLINTON PLAZA.

The Clinton Plaza Apartments downtown are in for some major renovations that will improve the exterior, but also fix up dozens of units that are uninhabitable.  Common councilors Monday approved a tax deal that will effectively cut their bill by two thirds for five years and about one third for the next five years, from what the city now receives from the property.  Councilor Kathleen Joy thought the tax break was well worth helping new owners turn around the building.

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