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

A group of Onondaga County lawmakers today got an update on the health department’s mosquito control program.  We reported on Wednesday that there are likely to be more mosquitoes as a result of the wet weather, but not necessarily more disease.  Still, Health Commissioner Doctor Cynthia Morrow says West Nile virus and Triple-E are a part of the region’s ecology, and they’re trying to control it.


Christian Bersani/WAER News

The story of Onondaga Lake including all of its blemishes will be on display for visitors to this year’s New York State Fair.  A new three-thousand square foot exhibit in the Center of Progress building will chronicle the lake’s past as the ancestral grounds of the Onondaga people to its ongoing recovery from decades of industrial and municipal pollution.   SUNY E-S-F President Neil Murphy says the space will allow visitors an interactive, hands-on experience.

OCC Welcomes New President

Jul 1, 2013
sunyocc.edu

New Onondaga Community College President Casey Crabill went undercover to explore how students felt about the institution.  She scoped out the school as a prospective student to see what she would be getting into.

Public Health officials and others are urging Central New Yorkers to learn their HIV status so they can get treated and avoid infecting others.  But it's an uphill battle...the Centers for Disease Control estimates one out of five people nationwide living with HIV is unaware of their status.  John Wikiera with the CNY HIV Care Network tells us why it's not so easy to get people tested.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Doctor Cynthia Morrow tells us why "normalizing" HIV might remove the psychological barriers to getting tested.

Upstate Unveils Emergency Department for Seniors

Jun 26, 2013
Christian Bersani, WAER News

The future of medical care for senior citizens in Central New York took a big step in the right direction  today as staff and patients  gathered to officially open the area’s first geriatric emergency department at Upstate’s Community Campus.  Emergency Medicine Director Jamie Ciaccio will help lead the new eight bed  unit called Gem Care that will offer geriatric-specific equipment and emergency care to those 65 and older.  With state of the art technology, Ciaccio says Gem Care’s staff members will work as a team to encourage quick and efficient discharges.

cnyrma.com

Farmers and low-income families in Central New York continue to benefit from a program aimed at encouraging people to buy fresh, local produce.  New York State recently received its largest-in-the-nation allocation of 3.4 million dollars for the Farmer's Market Nutrition Program.  In this two part series, we examine the nutritional and economic impacts of the program. 


Stopping to Smell the Roses

Jun 19, 2013
Maximilian Eyle, WAER News

It was Rose Day Wednesday at the E.M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden at Thornden Park in Syracuse. 

Waleed Shaikh, WAER News

Senator Chuck Schumer stopped by Syracuse to urge the owners of three abandoned gas stations at a key gateway to work with the city to sell or redevelop the properties.  All three are at the corner of East Brighton Ave. and East Seneca Turnpike.  The one at 1001 E. Brighton has been vacant for 15 years.


The two other properties are across the street at 962 E. Brighton Ave. and 571 E. Seneca Turnpike, which are seen behind Sen. Schumer.  




Soundgarden Facebook Page

Forty eight hours after it’d appeared that Soundgarden in Armory Square could close its doors, a compromise was reached that would exempt certain items from the city’s secondhand dealer ordinance.  The store had been trying for months to get CDs, DVDs and other media exempt from some provisions of the ordinance because they said it would be too burdensome to log the thousands of items they take in each month. 

Pages