Scott Willis

Host, Reporter, Producer

I’ve always been enamored with the intimacy of radio.  It’s so personal.  It forces you to listen…and listen only.  No visual distractions.  I grew up listening to mostly top 40 radio in Detroit, with no shortage of entertaining DJ’s.  As a teenager, I discovered the area’s all news station.  I loved knowing what was going on, and the intensity with which they told stories.  I often wondered what it would be like to be the first to know what was happening, and then tell others.  Maybe that’s why I pursued a career in news. 

I would go on to serve as an intern at that all-news station, and it was amazing and maybe a little overwhelming to see what it took to put out a constant stream of news.  But something was missing.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I actually discovered Detroit’s public radio station at my alma mater.  What a difference!  You had time to write and tell engaging, meaningful stories, to be creative, all without the pressure to constantly crank out the news.  Quality over quantity.  That’s when I knew public radio was for me.  I was hooked.

I would hone my skills on and off for almost three years at WDET as an intern under the tutelage of a patient Assistant News Director. I produced daily stories for newscasts, but also was given the privilege of producing long-form features on topics that interested me, and that people knew very little about.  Now THAT was cool.  Right up my alley.  What budding reporter could ask for more?

I landed here in Syracuse in June 2001.  Today, I’ve come full circle, and now teach the craft to more than a dozen student reporters per week.  We work hard to choose informative stories, find the most engaging sound, and edit copy for clarity and accuracy. 

Outside of work, I spend time with my wife and little boy.  We like to take walks, travel, and read.  When I can, I’ll hop on my bike for a quick ride.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the honor and privilege of bringing WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners the news of the day during All Things Considered.  Thanks for listening.

Ways to Connect

Matt D'Ambrosi / WAER News

  The GOP convention has wrapped up in Cleveland, and it’s probably no surprise there are starkly different opinions about the republican nominee.  WAER News brings reaction from trump supporters and a history professor.

Cazenovia College Professor John Robert Greene says what struck him about the convention overall was how little control there was by the Trump campaign.  Too many unscripted moments, rookie errors, protests, plagiarism…

twitter.com@GOPLdrBrianKolb

Long-time Assembly GOP Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) told the New York delegation at the convention in Cleveland that he was humbled to take the stage before one of the largest groups he's ever spoken to. The Finger Lakes-area republican represents a district that covers an area mainly south of the Thruway from Seneca Falls at the northern end of Cayuga Lake, westward to the eastern suburbs of Rochester.  Kolb explains why he supports Donald Trump, shares examples of how the minority has stood firm on legislation in the assembly, and  takes shots at  Gov.

Elana Sukert/WAER News

  Central New Yorkers who aren’t playing Pokémon Go, or don’t know what it is, have probably wondered why people of all ages are walking around, almost aimlessly, staring at their smartphones.  Some in the tech community see what could be the beginning of a trend.

It’s a new world for Pokémon fans in search for Eevies and Jigglypuffs…

The goal is to catch as many Pokémon as you can.  I talked to an app development, consultation, and design team called Bojaga Studios at the Syracuse Tech Garden to find out the appeal.  

Christian Unkenholz / WAER News

  Auburn residents Friday celebrated the unveiling of a plaque in honor of little known abolitionist and friend of Harriet Tubman, Morgan “Luke” Freeman.   Here's how it all happened:

Not many people know the name, Morgan “Luke” Freeman but fourth graders; Elliot, Xavia, and Kara do.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  A pop-up bicycle repair clinic in Syracuse’s Skiddy Park is proving to be more than a place where kids can learn how to repair a flat tire or fix their brakes.  The small effort seems to be going a long way to bring some positive energy to the park and a neighborhood with a history of crime and violence.

Jason Chen / WAER News

  Patients at Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse will now also be able to visit a primary care doctor at their newly renovated clinic.  Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the $2 million renovation of its Madison Street Outpatient Clinic.  Center Executive Director Dr. Mark Cattalani says the addition of phyiscal health care services provides a human-centered environment where people can  feel engaged and supported.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  You may not be able to see it on a sunny day, but when it rains you may find yourself looking at a new take on sidewalk art.  The lack of rain means Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection Commissioner Tom Rhoads had to innovate.  

"Right now we're in dry weather, but what we're going to do is activate the art.  Let's see what happens," Rhoads said as water was poured on the sidewalk.  "So, it says, 'Keep litter out of the forecast.  Connect the drops.  Save the rain.'”                                 

plattecanyon.org

  One look outside at a grassy area will tell you it’s been quite dry for the past month or so.  What does that mean for forests and some of the insects that live there?  First, Dr. Rene Germain wants to make an important distinction.  He's a professor at SUNY ESF's Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management.

" We're in what we call this temporary meteorological drought."

John Smith / WAER News

Central New York’s own orchestra Symphoria will be taking the stage at the Lakeview Amphitheater for the first time ever on July 4th.  The concert will also include a fireworks display immediately after the performance.  Musician and Organizer Jon Garland says the selections should put everyone in a patriotic mood.

Christian Unkenholz / WAER News

Upstate Medical Center hopes a brand new Pediatric ER will help relieve stress on kids and parents visiting Urgent Care.  Director Doctor Richard Cantor says the $3 million project is a big step forward for the hospital.

Pages