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

Crashes that produce thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths on our highways could be avoided with a little more attention and precautions.  A Triple-A foundation study found that could also save some New York drivers from going to jail.

  New York State scored five out of a possible ten in getting behind suggested policies and aggressively passing laws to reduce cancer deaths and suffering.  The Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality was released yesterday from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.  Government Relations Director Julie Hart says while the State scores high to deter kids and adults from smoking… there’s still room for improvement.

  Advocates for people living with H-I-V and AIDS are trying to find out what kinds of services and support could be improved.  Mohawk Valley Health Infectious Disease Clinic Director Regina Brown says treatment for those with the virus has improved to one-pill-a-day to keep them healthy.  But that doesn't solve the problem for many people.

John Smith/WAER News

  An Onondaga County Grand Jury has determined a Syracuse Police Officer acted responsibly when she fired a fatal shot at an armed suspect.

D-A Bill Fitzpatrick says the Father’s day gathering in June heard in that 9-1-1 dispatch started out fine and then a dangerous scene unfolded as a gang related incident.  Officer Kelsey Francemone was the first to respond to a shots fired call.  Fitzpatrick showed a surveillance video from Stone Court Apartments leading up to the moment a crowd piled on top of her.


Syracuse poverty rate ranks number 1 out of 100 cities for having the highest concentrations of poverty among Blacks and Hispanics. The 2015 findings were published by a Rutgers University Professor. We decided to examine some of the local efforts to eradicate poverty.

Learn more about these anti-poverty programs and initiatives, and hear from some of the people on tech front lines here.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A one-two-three lineup of crowd-pleasing jazz artists and sunny skies with upper 70's temperatures gave the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island its first complete sellout.

The Saturday slate of Chick Corea, Norah Jones and Gregory Porter packed the outdoor venue at Fort Adams State Park, with views and sea breezes from three sides of Newport Harbor.

New York State officials are trying to stop companies from marketing products they say prevent or protect against the Zika Virus. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman today sent cease-and-desist letters to seven companies that are taking advantage of public concern about the outbreak.


Utica Area Republican Congress Member Richard Hanna made public his decision Tuesday to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.  In a letter to The Syracuse Post Standard and Syracuse-dot-com, Hanna says he fears Donald Trump will make issues such as tax reform, infrastructure, immigration and the environment much worse.  In the opinion letter Hanna further calls Trump offensive and narcissistic.

  The 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act was honored in Syacuse by people sharing their own experiences.  Angela Winfield is a legally blind attorney who spoke at today’s proclamation. She recalls going on a cruise with her husband who is also blind, with their Seeing Eye dogs. Winfield was approached by a woman who asked the couple what they had to do to get pets on board.  And her husband responded, “Well first… we had to go blind.”

Karen Dewitt

  Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced a surprise guest at   the New York delegation breakfast, Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders spoke to the delegates of Hillary Clinton’s home state, who received him enthusiastically, chanting “Bernie, Bernie” over and over . The Vermont Senator  told them that Clinton is the best candidate to beat Trump, who he calls a bigoted “demagogue”, who led the movement to question President Obama’s citizenship.

“That type of mentality does not and will not ever see the inside of the oval office,” Sanders said.