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

Karen Dewitt

  It’s supposed to be Hillary Clinton’s convention, but all of the focus Monday was on her primary challenger Bernie Sanders and his delegates, who continue to stew over a wikileaks release of DNC emails that showed favoritism to Clinton over Sanders.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A unique approach to housing the homeless took a step forward today when a small duplex opened in Syracuse to give two people a home of their own.  The tiny homes might be a novelty; the purpose might also be unique.

Christian Unkenholz/WAER News

A state grant of $250,000 will help families and individuals navigate addiction problems and help them seek treatment.  

Jason Chen/WAER News

A long time Syracuse plastic maker seems to be bucking the trend of the declining manufacturing sector in Central New York. But it hasn’t come without some help from the state. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stopped at the expansion of Tessy Plastics in Van Buren today to announce $13.5 million in aid.  Hochul says they’ve learned from the successful experience in Buffalo and believe Syracuse can have the same results.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/

Upstate Medical University Cancer Center researchers are optimistic that the recent “Cancer Moonshot” initiative by the White House will bring positive advancements towards treating the disease. Professor Leszek Kotula says this new push will help expand research efforts.

Jeremiah Thompson/WAER News

A crowd of people marched Syracuse streets today to demand an end to violence and call for better treatment by Police.  Organizer Shauna Spivey-Spinner believes better relations in each community can help.

“We need community policing.  We need to know the cops in our neighborhoods and they need to know us.  You can’t expect someone from Solvay to come and work on the Northside when they know nothing about our neighborhoods so we need community policing.  We need to know who these cops are so we can trust them, because trust needs to be built.”  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Local residents who like the idea of a trail around Onondaga Lake might like to know about a federal program that could help complete it.  After years of a construction stalemate, Onondaga County has applied for a federal transportation grant that would pay most of the cost of finishing the 13-mile loop.  Senator Chuck Schumer was in Syracuse on Monday touting the benefits of completing the trail.

Elana Sukert/WAER News

  Central New Yorkers who aren’t playing Pokémon Go, or don’t know what it is, have probably wondered why people of all ages are walking around, almost aimlessly, staring at their smartphones.  Some in the tech community see what could be the beginning of a trend.

It’s a new world for Pokémon fans in search for Eevies and Jigglypuffs…

The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as you can.  I talked to an app development, consultation, and design team called Bojaga Studios at the Syracuse Tech Garden to find out the appeal.  

http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap

  An expansion in the eligibility of federal food benefits could help local families and elderly.  It might also boost the local economy – if people take advantage.

The big change in the SNAP program is raising the eligibility threshold to 150% of the federal poverty level.  Food Bank of Central New York Outreach Director Amalia Swan can see a significant impact on those struggling.

Jason Chen/WAER News

  Central New Yorkers who visit the Rosamond Gifford Zoo can once again see elephants playing in the water.  Officials opened the new pool area on Tuesday, and the elephants could already be seen taking a dip.  Zoo Director Ted Fox says many families and visitors have been very anxious to see what the new habitat will look like.

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