Bill Chappell

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Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Council Approves Budget; Passes Comptroller's "Stress Test"

Syracuse Common Councilors have approved a slightly revised version of the Miner administration’s $706 million budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1. Like the mayor’s plan, there will be no increase in taxes or water rates. Council Finance Committee Chair Nader Maroun says the option was there. "There was the ability to increase taxes by up to $1.6 million, which we opted not to do," Maroun said. "We opted to go the route of moving the funds in concert with the administration...
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Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors have approved a slightly revised version of the Miner administration’s $706 million budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1.  Like the mayor’s plan, there will be no increase in taxes or water rates.  Council Finance Committee Chair Nader Maroun says the option was there.

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Chris Bolt / WAER News

The finalists for the "Elevating Erie" project were unveiled at the Erie Canal Museum Thursday Night. These cutting edge designs to transform parts of Syracuse and Dewitt could spark change in city infrastructure. 

For many people there's little connection between Erie Boulevard and the Erie Canal.  But a design competition - and some creative future thinking - are trying to change that.

cdc.gov

It appears New York State and Onondaga County have been a few steps ahead of federal law after news Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration was extending its oversight to all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.  Turns out local laws restricting youth access have been in place for years. 

www.greeningusa.org/12traits/

  Central New York has a number of environmental groups working on a range of issues, from climate change to alternative energy, pollution in the environment to solid waste reduction, green building to alternative transportation.  The group plans to use its annual meeting Thursday, May 12th, to try and do some speed dating and see if groups might have more impact by working together.

Scott Willis / WAER News

About 100 Syracuse middle school students made their voices heard Thursday at a first-ever symposium designed to collect feedback on their educational experience.  Most were candid with their answers on sensitive topics, including this panel of students who were asked if they felt their peers were treated differently based on race.

This was one of many groups of mixed students at the event who discussed the varying perceptions of race among students and faculty.

Many of the middle school students also see their peers regarded differently when it comes to discipline.

John Smith / WAER News

Walking into the Hotel Syracuse is like witnessing a rebirth of historic tracings of the past.  The man responsible for rescuing the hotel was honored today.  The Onondaga Historical Society presented the Owner, Ed Riley with the OHA Medal Award recognizing outstanding and meritorious service to local history.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A confirmed case of the Zika Virus in Oneida County has prompted Senator Chuck Schumer to urge his congressional colleagues to approve nearly two billion dollars in emergency funding to fight the epidemic.  He made his plea Wednesday at SUNY  Upstate, which has already done significant work with mosquito-borne illnesses.

Provided photo

The administrator of board tasked with investigating allegations of police misconduct is stepping down Friday to take a related position in New York City.  WAER News caught up with Joe Lipari, who came to Syracuse in 2012 when the Citizen Review Board was trying to regain its footing after years of obscurity and inactivity.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

A 27-year quest for vindication ended in triumph Tuesday for the families of 96 people who were killed in the Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989. A jury says Liverpool fans weren't to blame for the worst sports disaster in Britain's history — the police and other factors were.

It's illegal for Australia to hold asylum seekers on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea's Supreme Court says, in a decision that clashes with a recent ruling by Australia's high court. The justices said Tuesday that the detention center runs afoul of Papua New Guinea's constitution and should be closed.

Australian officials have been adamant in saying that refugees who reach Australia outside of official means will not be allowed to settle there, citing immigration policies that were tightened in recent years.

Trains began picking up passengers at the Maelbeek metro station in Brussels on Monday morning, more than a month after a terrorist bombing killed more than a dozen people there and wounded many more. The city's metro is now largely back to normal — with a noticeable security presence.

"Only two entrances per station will be open for now, and police and army patrols will be maintained," Teri Schultz reports for our Newscast unit. "A commemorative wall has been put up in the station for anyone who wants to leave a message of support and condolences."

The first cruise ship to sail between the U.S. and Cuba in more than 50 years can now carry passengers who were born in Cuba, after the island nation eased its ban against native-born Cubans returning by boat. The cruise ship, operated by Carnival, is set to depart Miami for Cuba on May 1.

It only opened around six months ago — and now comes word that Apple's iTunes Movies store in China is closed at least temporarily, along with its iBooks Store. The company has issued a statement saying that it hopes to reopen the movie and book services soon.

The closure was reportedly ordered by the Chinese government last week; according to local media, it comes just as a controversial Hong Kong film that's been censored in China is being released on Apple's Hong Kong iTunes service.

Prince — the Purple One, who reeled off pop hits in five different decades — has died at age 57. The shocking news was confirmed by Prince's publicist after reports that police were investigating a death at his Paisley Park compound outside Minneapolis.

"It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer Prince Rogers Nelson has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57," publicist Yvette Noel-Schure said. "There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time."

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

Joanie Laurer, who overcame a troubled home life in Rochester, N.Y., to win an international following as the pro wrestler Chyna, has died at age 45, according to her official website and World Wrestling Entertainment. Police found her body at her home in Redondo Beach, Calif., on Wednesday, according to local media.

The news emerged after this message was posted to her Facebook page last night:

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