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

John Smith/WAER News

  Seniors from Corcoran High School we’re out enjoying the nice day with a picnic just for them Monday at Santaro Park on Onondaga Hill.  They signed a board indicating where they’ll enjoy a tuition-free education through the Say Yes to Education program. It’s a perk that’s provided to all graduating students in good academic standing in the Syracuse City School District.  Jakubek  Wicks decided he wanted to pursue his love of music in his hometown.

  Infrastructure might not be Mayor Stephanie Miner’s favorite subject.  But she got to hear about ways to improve water, transportation and other assets from lots of smart minds... as a participant in last week’s Clinton Global Initiative.  Miner heard from other civic leaders and major project financiers that the need for investments is widespread…but the political mood is stalling progress.

NY State Police

  The search for the escaped inmates from a Northern New York prison has turned some of its attention towards Vermont.  Governor Cuomo contacted his counterpart Peter Shumlin to coordinate state law enforcement forces alongside FBI in tracking down and capturing the escapees.


  Students applying to Le Moyne College will not need to take the  SAT or ACT going forward. Le Moyne is one of the latest schools to go test-optional for admission.

NYS Police

  Authorities are warning people across New York State to be on the lookout – and cautious – because of the ongoing manhunt for two convicted murderers who escaped from prison.  The Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, near Plattsburgh, is on lockdown today as an investigation continues.

  A giant helium balloon was launched from the SUNY E-S-F campus at the end of April. It was unknown if the attached pay-loader, with a computer, camera and science experiments inside, would ever be found.  That's until a hiker came across the module in a swamp near Cortland.

  Family members taking care of relatives at home may be receiving more thorough training about how to look after their loved ones.  Both the New York State Senate and the Assembly passed the CARE Act which mandates education for family care givers.  Tracy Murphy of Syracuse has to look after her mother when she came home from the hospital.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  Central New York Congressmember John Katko is optimistic that the Senate will ultimately approve legislation that restores surveillance authority of domestic phone records.  The provision of the USA Patriot Act expired Monday after Senator Rand Paul blocked an extension.  Katko says the USA Freedom Act already approved by the house is basically a renewal, but includes safeguards to prevent abuses of the data collected.

  Drug prevention experts say the finding of the latest methamphetamine lab in Cicero this past week is an opportunity for the community to learn more about the drug and its impacts.  A tip led Onondaga County Sheriff’s Deputies to a home on Bellwood Circle where they found materials for a home Meth lab throughout the house.  Prevention Network Executive Director Beth Hurney explains the chemicals used are dangerous and volatile.

  How much can we learn about our current democracy from looking back at key events and time periods in US history?  That’s what NPR’s Morning Edition Host Steve Inskeep sought to do when he began reading documents, letters and studying 1820s America.  What he found was a story that fascinated him about Andrew Jackson and the conflicts over land between the US and Native  Americans, particularly the Cherokee.