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

Geani Sanabria/WAER News

The cows responsible for helping to produce Milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream are the stars on the 40th Anniversary of Dairy Day at the New York State Fair.  Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball says the Fair showcases the importance of the industry and how it touches the world.

“It’s obvious at the Fair.  You look at the butter sculpture, you can walk through the barns see the cows, go to the birthing tent.  You come face to face with agriculture.”

Elana Sukert/WAER News

  This November there will be 3 candidates vying for the New York State Senate Seat currently held by Senator Chuck Schumer.  He will have to face off against Republican Wendy Long and Libertarian Alex Merced.  In the current political atmosphere, third-party candidates such as Merced see an opening for more than just the traditional 2-party campaign.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The two employees fired from the Central New York S-P-C-A amid a theft investigation found themselves arraigned on grand larceny charges Friday morning.  Details of the case made public today show the extent of the alleged embezzlement is both staggering and crippling.   Onondaga County’s District Attorney detailed almost $700-thousand in funds siphoned from the animal shelter.  Bill Fitzpatrick says former Director Paul Morgan is accused of writing more than 100 checks to himself.

Cuse.com

Syracuse University Football season is right around the corner, and WAER Sports is back to get you ready for kickoff.

The Orange turns to new head coach Dino Babers to replace Scott Shafer, hoping to lead SU to its first bowl game in three years. 

  Starting quarterback Eric Dungey is back, along with wide receivers Steve Ishmael, Erv Phillips and Brisly Estime. The defense returns Zaire Franklin but there are concerns about the defensive line.

bja.gov

  The Syracuse Police Department’s trail run with body cameras should be the beginning of a conversation about police-community relations and accountability.  That’s the position of the New York Civil Liberties Union.  Central New York Chapter director Yusuf Abdul Qadir says he was happy to hear about the grant that will fund 10 body cameras.  But he has a few areas of concern that need to be addressed by the proper policy.

Scott Willis/WAER News

The New York State Fair is just a few days away, and fairgoers will likely have to reset their internal GPS when they arrive on the fairgrounds.  In part one of our preview series, what you’re likely to see after the first significant changes to the grounds in eight decades.

If you’ve passed by the fairgrounds recently, the most visible change from the front is a new main gate…

John Smith/WAER News

The new Marriott Syracuse Downtown is open and ready for business.  The official opening ceremony was held this morning at the new main entrance on East Onondaga Street.  After the doors closed in 2004, there was a decade of uncertainty for the hotel which originally opened in 1924.  However, one local man with a vision and expertise to restore large hotels tried to keep it from becoming obsolete.  Ed Riley has never been one to take full credit for the $74 million dollar transformation.

John Smith/WAER News

  A law ten years in the making to punish repeat drunk driving offenders isn’t as far reaching as State Senator John DeFrancisco would have liked but, he feels it will get people to think twice about the consequences.  MaryJo Heitkamp-France joined DeFrancisco Wednesday announcing the signing of the law named for her daughter.

    There’s more evidence that the Presidential race may be effecting which party controls the State Senate.

Currently, the GOP is holding on, with the help of one Democrat who meets with them. But a new Siena College poll finds that nearly two thirds of voters think that Donald Trump at the top of the ticket will not help Republicans hold on to the Senate, and Hilary Clinton as the Democratic Presidential candidate will actually help Democrats regain the Senate, says Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

sba.gov/encore

  People who want to start their own business a little later in life got some financial help and encouragement Tuesday from the Small Business Administration here in Syracuse. 

Marcia Lafave is one of these so-called ‘Encore Entrepreneurs.’  Lafave started a home care business called The Right Care to help people with medical needs at home.   

“…help them out with house cleaning, bathing, maybe there’s a person that has had a stroke, a TBI, and needs help giving insulin to themselves; any help that we can give them to ensure their safety in their home.” 

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