Many New Yorkers are getting a raise starting today.  Overall Minimum Wage jumps…with an even higher boost for fast-food workers.  The issue is likely to get more attention this year.

John Smith / WAER News

  Cupcakes crowned with multi-colored frosting with butterfly rings capped off a check presentation at the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital in Syracuse on Wednesday.  Even sweeter was a $240,000 check from Paige’s Butterfly Run fundraiser held last summer and from events held throughout the year. It’s the largest gift to the hospital’s pediatric's unit received this year.  Paige Yeomans Arnold, whom the fund is named after, died of complications of her treatment for Leukemia in 1994.


  The SEFCU credit union joined the holiday spirit handing out $50,000 to local charities.  Donations went to the Rescue Mission, Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels the Samaritan Center and the Northeast Community Center and Food Bank of Central New York.  It was part of 250,000 donated to shelters and pantries statewide. 


Many Central New Yorkers probably aren't complaining about the late arrival of winter weather.  But that’s definitely not the case among ski resorts and those who hope to hit the slopes.  Peter Harris is owner operator of Song Mountain in Tully and Labrador Mountain in Truxton.  Neither has yet to open and stay open. 

"We're looking forward to some lake effect, and we're looking forward to some nor easters.  The winter's not a total bust yet.”                                            

Harris hopes they can this weekend if they can make some snow.

An Upstate New York-based organization is taking on the challenge of finding 100 businesses to commit to hiring those with disabilities.  The Our Ability Alliance is aiming to fulfill an executive order from the governor.  Managing partner John Robinson they’re excited about the prospect of funneling more business and employment to those with disabilities.

"We believe we can set up a New York Business Leadership Network and answer that call of signing up 100 businesses that are willing to employ."


2015 saw the fall of two of the three most powerful people in state government, and the rise of one U.S. Attorney. 

Less than a year ago, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Leader Dean Skelos led the legislature. They were both at Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech on January 21, sitting on stage , where Cuomo acknowledged his partners in the government triumvirate.

“To a good year, Dean,” Cuomo said, to applause from the assembled lawmakers and lobbyists in the cavernous auditorium. “It’s a pleasure to be with you Mr. Speaker.”

Syracuse University

Excitement is building at Syracuse University over the potential of the proposed National Veterans Resource Complex.  SU officials want to make such a statement that, for the first time in years, they’ve launched a national design competition to select an architect for the project.  Mike Haynie is Vice Chancellor and Director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at SU.  He says the rapid growth and success of the programs at IVMF has presented some infrastructure barriers that keep them from having a local impact.

  Lots of people think about their pets with holiday gifts and treats.  One Central New York animal advocate wants you to think about other animals this holiday season.  Marion Secor of Skanda Equine has made it sort of a personal quest to see if she can help horses and the people that care for them over the winter.

  Many of us will indulge this holiday at the dinner table, maybe the dessert tray, the office party or the bar.  But you might not realize overdoing it is actually posing a health risk.  Saint Joseph’s Hospital Interventional Cardiologist Doctor Michael Fischi says a flood of calories, carbohydrates and other things in a big holiday meal or party can lead to emergencies – especially for people with underlying health issues.

  The greatest holiday gift a Central New Yorker could give might only require a simple sign up or a check off on your drivers’ license.  The Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network is using the holiday season to try and get more people to give the gift of life.  Communications Director Nancy Ryan says any fancy clothes or electronic gadget pales in comparison to an organ someone might be waiting for.