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

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Hundreds of residents joined lines and lines of police officers Friday to remember an officer lost in the line of duty 25 years ago.  To the law enforcement community, the death of Wallie Howard Junior is a rallying cry. 

Erie Canal Museum /

  Can the wide strip of asphalt that is Erie Boulevard regain some of the attraction of the old Erie Canal?  The Town of Dewitt and City of Syracuse are holding an ideas competition to improve boulevard and canal called “Elevating Erie.”  

There are a couple of problems here.  For one, Erie Boulevard is not as attractive as it might be for shoppers and the businesses that call it home.

  Syracuse police arrested more than 1300 people for domestic violence last year...and Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies took in another 900.  Those are some of the figures that paint the picture in Vera House's annual report to the community on Domestic Violence.  Monday's release of the report focused on the wide range of victims...and growing services to help.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

 A milestone today in the several miles of roadway that’s been transformed to try and bring parts of the community together.  Phase Two of the Connective Corridor is now complete and was celebrated with an event that ceremoniously laid the last pavers.

  Provisions Bakery has reopened its doors after a six-week renovation period. The Armory Square establishment has served goodies to its customers for the last 27 years while also serving its staff with an opportunity.

Access CNY Director for Mental Health Programs Ken Mack explains Provisions Bakery is not only a transitional workplace for people with disabilities.

Chris Bolt / WAER News

    A simple walk across a street Tuesday carried with it a lot more significance than just getting to the other side.

“West Street used to be referred to the nine lines of fury, is what we called it here in our neighborhood and in our office,”  West Side Initiative Director Maarten Jacobs said. “With nine lanes being used by cars, the community for a long time really felt isolated and separated from the rest of the city because of those nine lines.”

  Upstate Medical University’s next president is spending a few days meeting with hospital and medical school staff a few months before she takes over.  Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena was named to the post back in September.

  The Upstate Poison Control Center is receiving an increasing number of calls about toddlers unintentionally ingesting the liquid from E-cigarettes. In 2014 more than 3700 exposures to liquid nicotine were reported to poison control centers nationwide. The American Association of Poison Control Centers reports, this year that number has already topped 2200. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A Report Card on New York State’s infrastructure today supports Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner’s call for help in fixing up roads, bridges and water systems.  A national engineers study has details and recommendations.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Fill a bowl and feed the hungry. The Empty Bowls event attracted a lot of people today to purchase a ceramic bowl to help local food pantry program.

“Child Hunger exists in every county in the United States.” The child food insecurity rate for Onondaga County is 19.4%, or 20,720 children.” 

For some artists who made bowls for Empty Bowls, it’s not the first time they participate. Syracuse University ceramics graduate student Peter Smith says he is excited to see it happen again.