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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Chris Bolt/WAER News

Travelers and vacationers were already a big part of the Central New York Economy.  But now tourism officials say it’s a focus of state development efforts.  One area that’s booming is craft-beer tours. 

Tom Ireardi was making home-brew beer 25 years ago…but craft brewing didn’t quite take off…He opened Finger Lakes on Tap to bring his aficionado approach to the people.

apc-colleges.org

The presidents of the state’s private for-profit colleges were in Albany Tuesday pushing lawmakers to support legislation that would extend tuition assistance to their students.  The degree-granting colleges serve nearly 40,000 students statewide.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A fourth candidate has entered the race for two Councilor-at-Large Seats on the Syracuse Common Council, that will be contested this November.  Progressive politics that oppose a conservative Congress and President might play a role in the local election.  The Green Party locally has run numerous candidates for a range of positions in City Hall, including this year's candidacy for Mayor by Howie Hawkins.  None has broken through to get elected yet.  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The work of the WAER Sports and News staff was recognized Saturday night by the Syracuse Press Club.  Stories and shows from 2016 were awarded 4 first place awards and three second place mentions.  The work is judged by members of press clubs in other cities.  Awards were announced and presented at the annual Syracuse Press Club Awards Banquet at Drumlins Country Club Saturday.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A statewide campaign visited Syracuse promoting safe spaces for people to use illegal drugs – in hopes of reducing overdose deaths and possibly curbing the drug use.  Angela Woody is with Vocal-New York, a group that works on drug policy, H-I-V AIDS issues, and mass incarceration.  She was in Syracuse with the Safe Shape Tour.  She says I-V and other drug users are shooting up or smoking in places that present a number of problems.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Syracuse mayoral race grew to a total of 10 candidates Thursday after the Green Party’s  Howie Hawkins officially declared his plans to run.  He last sought the office in 2005, and says some of the ideas in his platform have since been picked by the last two mayors.  Hawkins calls his strategic vision for the city “Sustainable Syracuse.”

www.facebook.com/SyrianAccountabilityProject/

A project at Syracuse University’s Law School is monitoring potential war crimes in Syria.  The Syrian Accountability Project has a report out on some of the most violent and deadly incidents, allegedly carried out by the government against its own citizens. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Organizers counted more than 1000 people marching from Franklin Square to the Inner Harbor for a Syracuse version of the People's Climate March Saturday.  It coincided with a large march in Washington, as well as several hundred similar events in other cities.

After a brief rally in Franklin Square the procession began down the Onondaga Creekwalk.  The group ranged in age from retirees to young children and families, bicyclists and groups of high school and college students.  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The chalk outlines of more than 50 bodies were drawn on the Clinton Square concrete today to remember the people in Central and Northern New York who died in their places of work. WAER’s Chris Bolt reports the memorial was meant to remember the victims but also to demand better safety. 

 “I am an example of - I had an accident at my work place. I work at a restaurant. I had a fall. I broke this arm.”

Andres Mendoza says he experienced the kind of attitude that can lead to workplace injuries and even deaths.

Jessica Gorman/WAER News

Syracuse police officers are struggling to keep up with the number of calls coming in...and the department is looking for help from the city budget.  Councilors continued hearings on aspects of the proposed budget from Mayor Stephanie Miner.

Chief Frank Fowler pointed out to Common Councilors the workload is putting a strain on staff.

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