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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ROSAMOND GIFFORD ZOO AT 100
11:51 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Syracuse Zoo Turns 100 and Officials Credit Community Support

The improved Asian Elephant Exhibit is one of the new additions that has helped attendance reach 350,000 to 370,000 visitors a year.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

  People who visit or take their families to Onondaga County’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo can make a day of it.  The might not have been the case when it first opened 100 years ago.  It’s grown a bit, from what Joanie Mahoney calls modest beginnings.

“A couple of bears and a few waterfowl, and it was four acres.  To put that into perspective for you who are here to see the animals at the zoo, we’re now on 43 acres with 700 animals, so there has been a lot that has happened in the last 100 years.”

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Vera House Annual Report
9:13 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Vera House Hopes to Expand Elder Abuse, Other Prevention Services

Vera House annual report details range of services, grant and fundraising totals.
Credit verahouse.org

  People might want to page through the annual report for Vera House just released today...not to find financial or business information, but to find a wider range of services than many people know the offer.  Executive Director Randi Bregman would like to have people broaden their perspective should they ever need any kind of help for themselves, family or friends regarding relationship violence or sexual abuse. 

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Erie Canal Trail
10:00 am
Mon July 7, 2014

A Different Way to Traverse the Erie Canal: Veteran Through-Hiking It

Scott Armstrong plans to walk the entire Erie Canal trail this summer.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

CORRECTION: WAER HAS UPDATED THIS STORY TO CORRECT  THE NAME OF SCOTT 'ATLAS' BENJAMIN.

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Hotel Syracuse Reopening?
4:18 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Hotel Syracuse Takes Big Step Toward Renovation, Reopening

The historic part of the Hotel Syracuse has been vacant for 10 years, but could have new life after the eminent domain seizure and transfer to a developer.
Credit wikipedia.org

  The Hotel Syracuse is now in the hands of a developer who plans to reopen it.  No one has rented a room there in more than a decade…but city leaders are optimistic that will change, after the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency took possession, then transferred it over.

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Downtown Development
4:57 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Could Senator Schumer Help Bring a Grocery Store to Downtown Syracuse?

Senator Chuck Schumer plans to put some pressure on supermarket CEOs to consider a supermarket location in downtown Syracuse to cater to the growing residential population there.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Downtown Syracuse is in the midst of a renaissance. The number of people living downtown continues to grow by double digits each year. But the city is still missing one thing… a full service supermarket. 

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