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

(provided photo)

A little music in the afternoon at M-and-T bank in downtown Syracuse had to mean only one thing.

The line-up and dates of the M-and-T Syracuse Jazzfest were announced Wednesday.  The 35th edition of the popular jazz concert will feature Jazz icon Ramsey Lewis and his electric quintet on Friday. June 9th.  They’ll be followed by the high-energy group The Mavericks.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Many people have walked or driven right past one of the most prolific passageways of the Underground Railroad in Syracuse…and never even knew it.  Why is an unassuming street corner in Syracuse really an important weigh station of history?

You very well might have driven past the intersection of East Genesee Street and Pine…maybe thousands of times.  Writer and local resident Madis Senner had a friend that lived just a few doors down.  

The opioid and heroin epidemic is still as problematic as ever in Central New York as treatment options continue to expand.  That’s according to the Director of Behavioral Health at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse.  Last year, 325 patients were admitted to the medication assistive treatment program and the current census has 700 patients enrolled for treatment services which can span several years or decades.  Behavioral Health Director Monika Taylor is anticipating funding from the State Budget and at the Federal level.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

Maria Welych/MOST.org

Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci is famous for his paintings of the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper.  But what many might overlook is he was an inventor ahead of his time. The Museum of Science and Technology in Armory Square opened a permanent exhibit over the weekend on National Inventors Day displaying da Vinci’s engineering drawings and models. Senior Director Kevin Lucas says the exhibit was recently on tour and it has found its permanent ho­me at the MOST.

cuse.com

It took overtime to decide the ACC bout between Louisville (21-5, 9-4) and Syracuse (16-11, 8-6) resulting in a 76-72 thrilling winning for the Cardinals.  Syracuse managed to force the overtime after being down 7 with less the 3:00 minutes to play.  In fact the Orange had the ball with a shot to win, but lost it out of bounds. 

The team also had a chance to win or tie in overtime, with the ball down 2.  Andrew White missed a long 3-pointer, but Tyler Roberson corralled the rebound and was fouled.  But he could not sink the free throws to tie the game. 

John Smith/WAER News

The U-S Small Business Administration and Congress member John Katko are hoping what’s brewing at Cafe Kubal can be an example to other businesses wanting to expand.  That’s because Owner Matt Godard is one of the graduates of the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program. 

John Smith/WAER News

Pregnant Mothers in Central New York now have an important choice to make at the time their child’s birth… to donate their umbilical cord or not for potential lifesaving stem cell treatments.  The ribbon was cut today on the $15 million Upstate Cord Blood Bank at the Community Campus.  Upstate President Dr. Danielle Laraque-Arena says it’s one of only 32 public cord blood banks across the U-S and only one of two in the State.

cgr.org/consensuscny

Nearly three years after it started, the Consensus Commission released its final report Thursday with dozens of recommendations on how to modernize local government.  They include everything from infrastructure and public safety to economic development and municipal operations.  

The 19-member volunteer commission collected reams of data, held more than 100 meetings, and gathered comments from thousands of residents to arrive at the 110 page report.  Co-chair Neil Murphy says it’s a chance to embark in a new direction.

Anjali Alwis/WAER News

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

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