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

Scott Willis/WAER News

The former Excellus Building on South Warren Street in Syracuse marked a milestone today as Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul cut the ribbon on its transformation into a mixed-use space called Icon Tower.

“This project, vacant for nine years, sort of taunting people as they walk by, saying the best was in the past.  And then you have true believers who say, ‘no, this building can be part of the downtown comeback’.”

The state chipped in $2.3 million for the $20 million project. Developer Grazi Zazzara says they had no trouble leasing the 89 apartments…

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Pride Week in Syracuse got underway Monday with a proclamation at city hall and a memorial to victims of the massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub a year ago. Mayor Stephanie Miner and other local officials commemorated L-G-B-T-Q pride by raising the rainbow flag in front of city hall.  Calling for more equal rights, Miner also remembered the 49 victims killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Millions of dollars in renovations at Green Lakes State Park are moving ahead and are expected to pay economic and ecological benefits.  State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey reviewed what’s been done and what’s still ahead Wednesday. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Mayor Stephanie Miner and representatives of ACR Health announced significant progress towards ending the state’s AIDS epidemic by 2020. New York’s AIDS crisis peaked in 1993 with nearly 15,000 new infections. In 2015, the number of new infections was down to 3,123, a 79% decrease. But the fight is far from over.

Denise Smith lost her 32 year-old son Ron to AIDS just last December. Ron was diagnosed in late 2013 after being disoriented and having trouble walking.

mayoclinic.org

Medical professionals agree that when it comes to stroke treatment and prevention, time is of the essence. Reacting quickly to stroke symptoms greatly improves the effectiveness of stroke response and care. Upstate Comprehensive Stroke Center outreach coordinator Josh Onyan finds many people underreact to stroke symptoms.  He wonders if they’re not certain what to look for.  Onyan suggests the word FAST can help you member symptoms.

syrgov.net

Concerns here in Upstate New York over the Trump Administration Budget range from education to the disadvantaged to farmers.  Cuts proposed to a wide range of federal programs would have impacts locally.  Alliance for Quality Education Billy Easton envisions a number of ways school children would suffer.

Photo courtesy of Dale Currier. / http://oswegocountytoday.com

High waters on Lake Ontario, Sandy Pond and other lakes could play a role in people’s recreation plans this holiday weekend.  Meanwhile residents are still dealing with record high waters, as the state tries to offer assistance.  Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner Ken Lynch knows people will be out on the water this Memorial day.  And he shares some advice.

Photo credit: Sumukha J. N.1.2.3.

The Top Ten list of New Species is out from the Institute for Species Exploration.  The SUNY E-S-F program shows how making new discoveries of animals, insects and plants is critical before they become extinct.  The list comes out on the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, an 18th century Swedish botanist who's considered the father of taxonomy, the science of identifying and naming species.  

cdc.gov

Obesity will be the focus of an event this Saturday, May 27th , as the nation continues to struggle with its waistline and the numerous diseases made worse by weight.  One local practice helps point out how science is helping those who are motivated to drop some pounds – and get healthier.

So the bad news about the obesity epidemic is it’s not going anywhere – despite increasing attention on weight loss, healthy eating, wellness.  The good news is science is helping the medical community learn more about what to do. 

file photo

A National Security expert here in Syracuse has what he calls ‘considerable concern’ over events in Washington surrounding a possible intelligence breach and an ongoing investigation involving President Donald Trump. 

Bill Smullen is Director of National Security Studies at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.  He’s worried President Trump’s sharing of intelligence could have diplomatic implications.

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