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.  

Ways to Connect

Zhiyan Zhong/WAER news

  The Palace Theater was filled with some renowned musicians this morning as a preview of what’s ahead next month at the 2016 SAMMY Awards.

The SAMMY’s… also known as the Syracuse Area Music Awards isn’t a complete acronym but, Director Liz Nowak says it’s as close to the Grammy’s as they could get.  The committee’s mailbox was stuffed full with 118 submissions recorded in 20-15, the most ever.

Syracuse University Athletics / Cuse.com

Don’t call it a comeback. After starting ACC play 0-4, the Syracuse Orange (15-8 overall, 5-5 ACC) have stormed back, going 5-1 in their last six games to get to .500 in conference play. On Tuesday, the Orange take on the Virginia Tech Hokies (12-10, 4-5) in yet another critical conference matchup at the dome.

Who’s Hot- Malachi Richardson

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Onondaga Nation is calling for a change in strategy on cleaning up Onondaga Lake. Nation leaders were at the lakeside today, criticizing one part of the remediation that failed. Nation attorney Alma Lowry says the public hears about progress, but not problems.

Syracuse Basketball Pre-Game vs. Notre Dame

Jan 28, 2016
David Lauterbach/WAER Sports

The Syracuse Orange (13-8 overall, 3-5 ACC) hope to get back on track at home against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-5 overall, 5-2 ACC). The Orange are coming off of a close loss to Virginia on the road, after gaining momentum with road wins at Wake Forest and Duke.

THIS POST INCLUDES A TOTAL OF 6 ENTRIES.  PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

105 Sports Story: "Name That Violation"

Some NCAA violations might test the limits of common sense.  Syracuse and many other schools have felt the wrath of the NCAA over the past few years for various academic and ethical violations. But some punishments are sillier than others. WAER's Varun Ragupathi pokes some fun at the real - and unfortunate - rules that govern college athletes.

  105 Sports Story:  "A Teams Response to Death"

A TOTAL OF 4 ENTRIES.  SCROLL DOWN TO FIND THE VARIOUS CATEGORIES

104 HUMAN INTEREST FEATURE: "Blacktopia, Utopian Visions of Black American Life"

AN EXHIBIT OF RARE MATERIALS PUT TOGETHER BY THE SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IS LIKELY TO SHED A DIFFERENT LIGHT ON THE VARIOUS UTOPIAN VISIONS OF BLACK AMERICAN LIFE.  W-A-E-R’S SCOTT WILLIS REPORTS THE COLLECTION IN PART COMMEMORATES THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PUBLICATION OF THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X.

104 HUMAN INTEREST FEATURE: "Syracuse, a Film Mecca?"

Total of 6 Entries:  Please Scroll Down for Various Categories

101 RADIO SPOT NEWS ENTRY: "Passionate Vice President calls for End to Campus Sexual Violence"

Syracuse University got a visit from the Vice President of the United States today.  Less than a month after deciding not to run for President, he’s calling people out on stopping campus sexual violence.  WAER’s Chris Bolt reports without having to run a campaign, Joe Biden has time for one of his most passionate causes. 

Ban-the-Box Laws Gaining Steam in Syracuse

Jan 25, 2016
Chris Bolt/WAER News

Advocates for helping people with criminal records get jobs say the issue is connected with Syracuse’s high poverty rate. There’s been recent attention on the Ban-the-Box laws in Syracuse and other cities. The laws make it illegal to have a check-off box for criminal history on employment applications, so people with a criminal record don’t immediately get rejected. Syracuse Common Councilor Jean Kessner is an advocate of removing that potential barrier.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The epidemic of heroin and opioid painkiller abuse was on display in a packed forum last night at Syracuse’s Civic Center.  The event emphasized the incredible scope of the growing problem…but also some ways to attack it. 

A crowd of more than 250 people came to a weekday evening meeting which showed the size and concern over the heroin problem.  It’s pointed out by at least one statistic: an 800% increase in heroin admissions at Crouse Hospital’s treatment facility.  

(A list of treatment resources below)

Chris Bolt / WAER News

  Onondaga County’s Sheriff has a few ideas about how to reduce what he’s calling an epidemic in heroin abuse.  He’s trying to help addicts in the community as well as those behind bars. 

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