Maria Welych / MoST

The Museum of Science and Technology is starting to put together the largest, most expensive visiting exhibit the museum has ever hosted.   It’s called Nature’s Machines and it's so large that five tractor-trailers were needed to bring it to the MOST.  The 5,000 square foot exhibit was built at The Field Museum in Chicago, and its debut here is the first time an exhibit of this scale has ever been on display in a mid-market city.  Chief Program Officer Peter Plumley says Syracuse should be excited.   

Scott Willis / WAER News

Many Central New Yorkers this weekend might pause and reflect on the events of 15 years ago when terrorists used airliners to kill nearly 3,000 people.  The 21-foot, 6-ton steel column from the World Trade Center in front of DeWitt town hall is a constant reminder of that horrific day in 2001.  The tragedy hits close to home for DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko.

  The swift closure of I-T-T Technical Institute in Liverpool has placed many students in a precarious situation.  Some other colleges are looking at the closing as an opportunity for students to apply.  The Dean of University College at Syracuse University, Bea Gonzalez says it’s very possible that some I-T-T class credits will transfer over.

Jess Buttery Flickr Page

  Central New York voters and business owners have a way to measure the performance of their state lawmakers according to the criteria of a pro-taxpayer, pro-business advocacy organization.  The group Unshackle Upstate is out with its latest scorecard of senators and assemblymembers.  Executive Director Greg Biryla says they release the results every legislative cycle…

"The purpose behind the scorecard is to try to distil the very complex machinations of Albany into an objective analysis of legislators and their performance on issues that we feel through feedback and other means are very critical to the economy, the employer community, and other communities in Upstate New York."

Biryla says their analysis looks at a range of issues.

"The cost of energy, the tax burden, the regulatory burden, unfunded mandates," Biryla said.  "These are all issues thar get voted on in various ways on various bills over two years, and it can be very difficult to keep track.   So we try to provide an easy, handy voter education tool for the public."

In the Syracuse area, republicans including John DeFrancisco in the senate, and Will Barclay and Gary Finch in the assembly all scored an 88.  But democrats like Senator Dave Valesky scored a 68, while Assemblymembers Bill Magnarelli and Al Stirpe scored 37 and 42 respectively.  While the results may seem to favor republicans, Biryla says their focus has always been on lawmakers who support pro-growth policies…and not on party politics.

"Our ultimate goal would be to see everybody regardless of party  score high on these marks," Biryla said. "We think a lot of the bills involving reform on things such as workers compensation, scaffold law, and other regulatory items are very common sense measures that unfortunately have been blocked for a number of years by powerful special interests."

Biryla says the scorecards are also a factor in their endorsement process.  

Here's how lawmakers are graded:

The scorecard grades are comprised of points accumulated or lost based on legislators’ sponsorships and floor votes on bills that Unshackle Upstate either supported or opposed.  A complete list of bills is available here. Votes and sponsorships were divided into four categories and graded with a maximum score of 100:

Scott Willis / WAER News

  Those who live, work, or visit parts of downtown Syracuse will soon be able to try their hand at playing some musical instruments.  The drums, bells, and pipes will be installed in clusters at three locations as part of an effort to bring music to the community.  Symphoria Managing Director Catherine Underhill says the instruments will be weatherproof and ADA accessible.

"They're all melodic, they're all tuned so they're harmonious one with another," Underhill said.  "They'll all be in ensemble formation, so you can just walk up and make some music."

Katie Zilcoksy/WAER News

  Syracuse School children and teachers officially got their new semester started Wednesday in all but one city school.  A few of them had some special guests with encouragement – and some challenges on their minds.

Salem Hyde Principal Patricia Floyd Eccles greeted children…and had Mayor Stephanie Miner and Interim Superintendent Jaime Alicea in tow…ready to kick start the year.

Miner told the students that they "look smart and engaged and ready to be here".

Syracuse University Athletics /

The Syracuse Orange (1-0, 0-0 ACC), fresh off a 33-7 win against Colgate, welcome the Louisville Cardinals (1-0, 0-0) to the Carrier Dome. This game will be the first conference game in the Dino Babers era. Fans got a look at how fast a Babers led offense can be in the opener against Colgate, but it will be interesting to see how the offense looks against a tougher opponent.

Who’s Hot- Amba Etta-Tawo

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Syracuse residents who got the shock that their property is now in a flood zone can find out more information at a meeting this week.  They’ll find out what’s at stake in the future of flood risks and costs.

John Smith / WAER News

Driver’s will be get reacquainted to programming themselves to be extra observant for students and yellow school buses with flashing lights as a new school year begins this week in Onondaga County.  Law enforcement from Cicero, DeWitt, Geddes, Liverpool, and North Syracuse came together today at Liverpool Elementary to remind drivers it’s time for them to be more vigilant.  North Syracuse Police SGT. Jeff Tripp says drivers will be watched closely.