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 / www.aceny.org/NYOWA

As Central New Yorkers and the Nation honor Earth Day, Renewable Energy experts and advocates looked to the future of power.  Experts – from industry, government and non-profit advocacy groups were in Syracuse to share their views about which technologies might be making our electricity … and helping save the environment. 

Wikipedia Commons

A reporter with the New Yorker Magazine will bring a behind the scenes look at North Korea’s government to Syracuse on Monday as part of the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series.  Evan Osnos traveled to Pyongyang in August of 2017 to interview government officials about their perceptions of the US. He describes the city as a staged set that has been prepared for foreign consumption.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse area schools concerned about safety after recent school shootings can look forward to some help from Washington.  Congress Member John Katko today told school leaders and law enforcement officials the new federal budget bill includes more than $2 billion dollars for a range of school safety measures.  Districts can apply for money to hire School Resource Officers, something Auburn Police Chief Shawn Butler said is effective in his area.

Tom Honan/LiveSpaceEntertainment.com

FOCUS Greater Syracuse’s latest Wisdom Keeper was honored for telling the story of the soul of Syracuse.  Columnist Sean Kirst was honored by the group Wednesday night. 

A theme running through many of his stories has been the positive – and even remarkable – things about Syracuse and its people, in spite of so many negative voices.  Kirst calls it: finding the “unexpected narrative.”

Chris Bolt / WAER News

A $12 million civil lawsuit was filed today against the City of Syracuse, Police Chief Frank Fowler and Officer Vallon Smith after alleged police misconduct. Officer Smith allegedly broke a 14-year-old student’s arm at Nottingham High School in February of last year after he was suspended and had been asked to leave the school’s premises.  Jabari Boykins’ mother says he has autism and bipolar disorder.  Lawyer Charles Bonner says the officer assaulted Boykins without probable cause.

Blausen.com staff

Central New Yorkers suffering with back pain might not know the best way to do something about it.  There can be a wide range of causes – which you might want to know before choosing the best therapy.

If the groan of back pain, getting up from a chair or leaning over, sounds familiar, well you're hardly alone.

Lileana Pearson/WAER News

Last year the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center in Syracuse saw over a thousand children from Onondaga County who are victims of abuse.  The facility's unique approach is being highlighted to focus more attention on child abuse and its prevention.

Chris Bolt / WAER News

The Downtown Committee of Syracuse says more than $650 million has been pumped into downtown over the past decade, and the number of residents living in the city center is up a whopping 77 percent.

The committee held a “Progress Breakfast Series” Thursday to discuss how downtown activities affect Syracuse. Spokesperson Merike Treier says that just like the foresight of saving the Hotel Syracuse and developing Armory Square, everyone needs to focus next on what replaces Interstate 81 through Syracuse. 

Carolina Espinal/WAER News

WAER Contributor Carolina Espinal went to Washington for the March for Our Lives rally. She returned with reactions from parents, educators and former Marjorie Stoneman Douglas School students – some of whom drove more than half-way across the country to be part of the event. 

Molly Bolan/WAER News

A March in Syracuse, in concert with the March for our Lives in Washington drew hundreds of  students, parents, teachers and a wide range of other community members.  And while they focused on ending school shootings, they called for progress on other violence in the community as well.  

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