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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Character Education
3:07 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

A Cleveland, NY Elementary School Finds Building Character Boosts Performance

Cleveland Elem Students get a healthy dose of character education as school starts.
Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News

Public Schools started this week…and one Central New York school is trying to pack in much more than the Core Curriculum.  Cleveland Elementary in Oswego County has a commitment to “Character Education.”

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TAX REFORM
7:26 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Local Businesses Voice Discontent at Tax Hearings

Senators Carl Marcellino, John DeFrancisco, Dave Valesky
Credit Scott Willis / WAER

In a hearing Thursday to discuss ways to reduce and reform the state’s taxes, a theme emerged:  Syracuse-area business owners say the state’s high tax burden and shrinking population make it tempting to do business elsewhere. 

The Pioneer Companies development firm has been based here for four generations, but Chairman Michael Falcone testified he’s had to branch out to ten other states.  He says that gives him a solid basis of comparison:

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Save the Rain
3:54 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Onon County Taxpayers Will Pay More for 'Save the Rain' Projects

County approves suburban Save the Rain projects like this Westcott Street construction
Credit WAER News

Onondaga County taxpayers will be spending $2 million more this year on projects meant to keep rainwater from flooding the sewer system.  The County Legislature approved the money for additional “Save the Rain” projects…even though the program has its own budget.

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Juvenile Justice
4:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Trying to Get 16-and-17-year-olds Out of Adult Courts and Prisons

Raise the Age is trying to change New York law regarding criminal defendants who are 16 or 17 years-old.
Credit RaisetheAgeNY.com


A coalition of criminal justice, children’s and civil rights groups is trying to change how teenagers are treated in the New York’s criminal justice system.  They want to keep young people accountable if they’ve committed a crime…but also preserve their future.

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STATE FAIR: DAY 7
6:36 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Women's Day at New York State Fair Is Back, Applies to Modern Values

A shot of the Women’s Day Luncheon Program, featuring the Sleep Laboratory from St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center.
Credit John Smith / WAER

Women’s Day at the New York State Fair has changed over the years, but the celebration Wednesday still offered opportunities for personal growth and chances to improve the community. 


Art and Home Center Director Sheryl Lavin remembers the event used to be a great opportunity to get women connected with service groups.


Speakers addressed health issues that apply especially to women (such as heart disease and sleep troubles) and provided advice on avoiding discrimination or scams based upon gender.

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