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Provided photo / Office of Sen. DeFrancisco

Central New Yorkers came through once again to help soldiers overseas keep in touch with their loved ones.  Senator John DeFrancisco's 7th annual Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive netted more than 1,100 used mobile phones.  

  The national non-profit program recycles the devices and  uses the proceeds to purchase international calling cards for deployed troops.  One recycled phone provides an average of 30 minutes of talk time.  That means this year's collection will give troops roughly 33,000 minutes of free calling card time.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

It looks like an abandoned gas station at a busy crossroads on the city’s far southeastern side will finally see some new life.  The former Mobil station at East Brighton Ave. and East Seneca Turnpike closed more than two years ago, and the city has been trying to redevelop the site.    But Finance Commissioner David Clifford says until now, a legal technicality got in the way…

Sean Farrell

The overwhelming majority of businesses in the region plan to grow or maintain job levels in 2015, according to data presented on Thursday at Centerstate CEO's Economic Forecast Breakfast at the Oncenter.

About 93 percent of survey respondents plan to expand or keep employment numbers constant, Centerstate CEO's president Rob Simpson revealed at the conference.

Mark Bialczak

  When my friend Theresa Constantine told me how she'd signed up as a tour guide for the Onondaga Historical Association's walk through the Hotel Syracuse set up for the last weekend of 2014 and asked if I'd like to tag along as her back-of-the-pack support, I jumped.

  It's a gray late Saturday afternoon in Syracuse, the sun has been nowhere to be found in more than a week, the temperatures have not risen over the freezing point in at least that long, those that shovel the pavement they call their own are probably still more than a little bit sore, and the holidays that call for gift-giving and before that gift-wrapping are knock-knock-knocking at everybody's door.

Organization Uses Federal Grant to Help Syracuse Refugees Find Jobs

Dec 11, 2014
(c) John Smith, WAER.

The Somali Bantu Community Association has received a $450,000 Federal grant to support self-sufficiency and provide employment services to the Somali Bantus, as well as other refugees in the Syracuse area. Self-sufficiency is a top priority for the association, which works to assist the refugees along their path toward becoming United States citizens. 

Haji Adan, Executive Director of the association, says the group’s mission is to facilitate a successful transition to American life.

Mark Bialczak

The halls of Nottingham High School were hopping Saturday afternoon.

Scott Willis

  For the second time in two weeks, members of a wide-array of community advocacy groups gathered Friday in front of the Syracuse Federal Building to peacefully protest the lack of charges against white police officer, Daniel Panatelo, for the July killing of unarmed black man, Eric Garner.

Syracuse Peace Council

  The Syracuse Peace Council is hoping community members will do some holiday shopping at a city high school this weekend, rather than the big box stores. 

Valerie Crowder, WAER News

For Tom Uva, helping others is the best way to show gratefulness on Thanksgiving. For the last two years, he and his daughter Jenna, 12, have volunteered with about 250 others at the Syracuse Rescue Mission, serving a hot, holiday meal to hungry families.

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