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.

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INNER HARBOR DEVELOPMENT
6:27 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Starwood-brand Hotel Coming to Syracuse's Inner Harbor

Left to right: Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, Starwood Hotels Senior Director of Development John Salvatore, Governor Cuomo, and COR Development's Steve Aiello, and Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli look at a model of what the harbor might look like
Scott Willis WAER News

Syracuse’s Inner Harbor will soon be home to a 130-room Starwood-brand hotel as the first part of the larger, 350-million dollar mixed-use waterfront development project.  Governor Cuomo stopped by Thursday to make the announcement.  In his remarks, he acknowledged the decades-long struggle for any significant progress on the 28 acre parcel. 

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Liberty United Launches in Syracuse
6:24 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Miner Announces New Partnership to Recycle Seized Weapons

A few pieces from the Railroad Spike jewelry collection
Credit Liberty United

Guns currently in possession of the Syracuse Police will now be headed for new lives – as high-end jewelry.  The city announced a partnership today with a company called Liberty United, which melts down the metal from guns and turns the new alloys into bracelets, necklaces and rings.  Money from selling the jewelry is directed back to gun-violence prevention programs in participating communities. 

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PEDIATRIC MEDICINE
11:41 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital Makes Breakthrough in Treating Brain Tumors

Dr. Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.
Credit Giulia Vasconcelos / WAER News

Neurosurgeons at Upstate’s Golisano Children’s Hospital say they’re the first in the world to use a minimally invasive laser therapy to treat a rare disease that causes tumors to grow on the brain. 

Doctor Zulma Tovar-Spinoza says the M-R-I technology uses lasers to eradicate the non-cancerous tumors, which cause seizures.  She says the difference between open surgery and the new procedure is night and day...

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Affordable Health Care Act
6:05 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Health Care Act Enrollment Begins for Central New Yorkers

Credit Wolfman-K / Flickr

Central New Yorkers will be among 2.4 million residents statewide who can start enrolling for some form of financial help as parts of the Affordable Healthcare Act kick in. Beginning October 1, 2013 individuals are able to enroll and secure financial benefits, which begin at the start of 2014.


Ron Pollack, with Families USA, says most will be eligible for financial help:
 

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I-81
6:23 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Business Group Urges More Community Engagement on the Future of I-81

A portion of I-81 in Syracuse now.

Local business leadership organization, Centerstate CEO, wants the community to work together and ask more questions before settling on a solution for the new I-81 viaduct through Syracuse. Centerstate C-E-O is laying out principles and priorities for the one-billion dollar decision that will impact the area for the next 75 years or more.

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