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

  Many musicians in Central New York grew up on Beatles music and might well have been influenced by it.  Some of them are remembering the group’s long-time producer George Martin who passed away Tuesday. 

The song yesterday might point out one of George Martin’s most significant contributions to popular music.

  Many people might not know that there are certain types of cancers that can be almost completely prevented. Colorectal cancer is one of them …and the Onondaga County Health Department is dedicating this month to colorectal cancer screenings. It’s the third most common cancer among men and women in the U.S. …yet a third of those most at risk don’t get tested.  Public Health Educator Emily Young wonders if people have enough information.

Sophia Morris/WAER News

More than a hundred supporters rallied and chanted together today in support of Vera House and its efforts to combat domestic and sexual violence. Survivors are telling their stories to illustrate the need for the annual White Ribbon Campaign.

Wanda Marshall found herself a victim of date rape… and faced the trials of domestic violence all on her own.

“When I became a Mary Kay consultant we work in support of Vera House by giving grants to them.  It’s just my way of giving back and helping other women know there is help out there and there is support that they can and will get through it.” 

Today Wanda is a survivor and was proudly dressed in white to support the campaign’s goal to create awareness to the community.

  Syracuse Alumnus and former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe is following the return of Astronaut Scott Kelly after nearly a year in space.  Now, Professor of public administration at the Maxwell School, Sean O’Keefe says the record-long flight reveals the effects of space travel on aging.

“The historic flight for Scott Kelly provided an awful lot of information on how the human body and the physiology reacts to being micro-gravity condition for an very extended period of time.”

Astronaut Kelly’s identical twin brother Mark, who is also an Astronaut, remained on earth during the 340 day journey.  O’Keefe says the two were as close to identical as one could imagine.  However, upon Scott’s return to earth, he now measures two inches taller than his brother.  


   O’Keefe says even travel to our closest planetary neighbor, just as depicted in the recent movie The Martian, might take more than a year in space.

“And so understanding the consequences of long-duration space light and what that will do to the human physiology is a pathway to understanding how we explore just the planetary system we’re in.  Forget about the solar system.”

O’Keefe says scientists have been successful at simulating micro-gravity conditions for only short periods of time on earth.  So the Space Station missions are important.    A U-S Astronaut and a Russian Cosmonaut are always on the space station…which makes it a neutral ground for diplomacy.

All Onondaga County Kids Under 5 Now Eligible for Free Book Program

Mar 2, 2016
Matt Gutierrez / WAER

  Wearing their red and white-striped Dr. Seuss hats, one dozen children sat in a circle and listened to a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “Are You My Mother?” today.  They sat on the front steps of a replica City Hall inside WCNY’s Education Center in observance of “Read Across America Day.”

"I must get something for my baby bird to eat, she said. I'll be back," County Executive Joanie Mahoney read to the group of children.

  If you or a loved one have ever experienced symptoms that your doctor hasn’t been able to diagnose, you’re not alone. Monday was Rare Disease Day, dedicated to raising awareness about little-known diseases...that can impact patients’ and families' lives.

Excellus BCBS

  The percentage of people without health insurance in upstate New York is less than half the national average.  Information from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield suggests employers and Obama-care are helping keep the region healthier.  Excellus Regional President Jim Reed says many not-for-profit insurers and a higher percentage of plans through people’s workplaces are key.


A lot of people here in Central New York have Black Friday marked on their calendars for holiday shopping.  But one local economist says despite all the flashy ads, those great deals you’re counting on are not the focus of most stores. 

Zac Wasielewski Flickr Page

A spokesperson from the New York Farm Bureau says members are concerned the Governor’s free tolls for the farming industry would only provide them with limited use. Right now the proposal covers smaller trucks. Although, the Farm Bureau’s Steve Ammerman feels the starting concept is making positive strides for the State’s farming industry.

Scott Willis/WAER News

  The search for the 21-month old girl reported missing Sunday ended in tragic fashion when the body was found Tuesday in the Inner Harbor.  Details are starting to tell the story of an abduction and alleged murder.