Chris Bolt

News Director

Maybe I was destined for a career in radio when I built my first stereo receiver from a Heathkit box…then later spent time running wires over beer-stained floors for local bands in Colorado bars.  I remember becoming enamored with Public Radio's story-telling style covering an exiled music group that had come to Syracuse from El Salvador.  The piece involved interviewing through an interpreter and mixing in the music with a strongly-political story of death squads.  Over the next 23 years I’ve enjoyed covering the issues, people, events, challenges and accomplishments of Central New York. 

I came to Syracuse to finish a Broadcast Journalism degree at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.  I’ve worked at WAER since 1990 and truly enjoy our mission of educating and engaging the community, while training aspiring journalists and broadcasters.  I’m passionate about the area’s lifestyle and efforts to improve its vitality.   When not on a story, in a studio or editing and mentoring students, I can probably be found outside.  I love Central New York’s natural areas and waterways, as well as golfing and biking opportunities.  

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bja.gov

  The Syracuse Police Department’s trail run with body cameras should be the beginning of a conversation about police-community relations and accountability.  That’s the position of the New York Civil Liberties Union.  Central New York Chapter director Yusuf Abdul Qadir says he was happy to hear about the grant that will fund 10 body cameras.  But he has a few areas of concern that need to be addressed by the proper policy.

Scott Willis/WAER News

The New York State Fair is just a few days away, and fairgoers will likely have to reset their internal GPS when they arrive on the fairgrounds.  In part one of our preview series, what you’re likely to see after the first significant changes to the grounds in eight decades.

If you’ve passed by the fairgrounds recently, the most visible change from the front is a new main gate…

John Smith/WAER News

The new Marriott Syracuse Downtown is open and ready for business.  The official opening ceremony was held this morning at the new main entrance on East Onondaga Street.  After the doors closed in 2004, there was a decade of uncertainty for the hotel which originally opened in 1924.  However, one local man with a vision and expertise to restore large hotels tried to keep it from becoming obsolete.  Ed Riley has never been one to take full credit for the $74 million dollar transformation.

John Smith/WAER News

  A law ten years in the making to punish repeat drunk driving offenders isn’t as far reaching as State Senator John DeFrancisco would have liked but, he feels it will get people to think twice about the consequences.  MaryJo Heitkamp-France joined DeFrancisco Wednesday announcing the signing of the law named for her daughter.

    There’s more evidence that the Presidential race may be effecting which party controls the State Senate.

Currently, the GOP is holding on, with the help of one Democrat who meets with them. But a new Siena College poll finds that nearly two thirds of voters think that Donald Trump at the top of the ticket will not help Republicans hold on to the Senate, and Hilary Clinton as the Democratic Presidential candidate will actually help Democrats regain the Senate, says Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

sba.gov/encore

  People who want to start their own business a little later in life got some financial help and encouragement Tuesday from the Small Business Administration here in Syracuse. 

Marcia Lafave is one of these so-called ‘Encore Entrepreneurs.’  Lafave started a home care business called The Right Care to help people with medical needs at home.   

“…help them out with house cleaning, bathing, maybe there’s a person that has had a stroke, a TBI, and needs help giving insulin to themselves; any help that we can give them to ensure their safety in their home.” 

newsroom.aaa.com

Crashes that produce thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths on our highways could be avoided with a little more attention and precautions.  A Triple-A foundation study found that could also save some New York drivers from going to jail.

acscan.org

  New York State scored five out of a possible ten in getting behind suggested policies and aggressively passing laws to reduce cancer deaths and suffering.  The Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality was released yesterday from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.  Government Relations Director Julie Hart says while the State scores high to deter kids and adults from smoking… there’s still room for improvement.

  Advocates for people living with H-I-V and AIDS are trying to find out what kinds of services and support could be improved.  Mohawk Valley Health Infectious Disease Clinic Director Regina Brown says treatment for those with the virus has improved to one-pill-a-day to keep them healthy.  But that doesn't solve the problem for many people.

John Smith/WAER News

  An Onondaga County Grand Jury has determined a Syracuse Police Officer acted responsibly when she fired a fatal shot at an armed suspect.

D-A Bill Fitzpatrick says the Father’s day gathering in June heard in that 9-1-1 dispatch started out fine and then a dangerous scene unfolded as a gang related incident.  Officer Kelsey Francemone was the first to respond to a shots fired call.  Fitzpatrick showed a surveillance video from Stone Court Apartments leading up to the moment a crowd piled on top of her.

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