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

Two seasoned public servants are vying for the 126th Assembly District.  Current Representative, Republican Gary Finch has been in office since 2000 and owns a small business.  Democrat Diane Dwire is a Veteran, she once chaired the Onondaga Democratic Committee.  Finch says he has several initiatives he wants to accomplish including green algae issues in Owasco Lake and the heroin epidemic.

John Smith / WAER News

Flu season is upon us, and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney got her flu shot in hopes of encouraging residents to do the same to stay healthy.  The county is once again offering the vaccine free at its walk-in clinic.  Mahoney says it's quick and easy.

"It was short and sweet and painless," Mahoney said.  "It's something we're asking everybody to do to keep all of us safe.  It's not only good for people to get for themselves, but it's good for your co-workers, for your family.  Flu season is right around the corner."

twitter.com @nysendems

There’s a greater chance than ever that the Senate could be dominated by Democrats after the November 8th election.  Many issues stalled in the Republican led Senate for years would now have a possibility of passing.

Campaign finance reform,  the Dream Act- which offers college tuition support to the children of undocumented immigrants- and more money for underperforming schools are just a few of the topics that might be approved under a Senate controlled by Democrats.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County residents will soon be able to see how their neighbors voted thanks to a new Results Caster system.  Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says anyone can go to their website to see how individual districts reported on each race on Election Night.  He demonstrates how to use the system using 2015 election data from the county executive race.

savetherain.us

Crews are expected to being working Saturday to repair a leak in a pipeline that released some raw sewage into the southern part of Onondaga Lake last Friday. High flows from last week’s heavy rain put enough pressure on the 50-year-old pipe to cause the leak.

strokeassociation.org

World Stroke Day is Saturday, and there may be no better place to raise awareness than in Central New York.  Jennifer Schleier is a certified registered nurse andProgram Manager at Upstate’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.  She recognizes the need for stroke education.

Schumer photo: John Smith/WAER / Long photo: twitter @WendyLongNY

It looks like New York Senator Chuck Schumer will be re elected to a fourth term on November 8th, barring any major turn of events.  Schumer is nearly 40 points ahead of his nearest opponent in the polls.  The bigger question now is if will Schumer be the next Senate Minority Leader or Majority Leader.

Schumer is  running for reelection, but he’s not exactly campaigning. He’s mostly just continuing what he’s been doing for years- relentlessly traveling the state, focusing on local issues.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Hundreds of women…and some men donned their best red outfits Thursday for the 13th annual Go Red for Women Luncheon at the Oncenter.  A 12-year-old Syracuse girl was among those who helped raise awareness of heart disease among women.

City of Syracuse flickr

Mayor Stephanie Miner on Wednesday announced a new way to help with Syracuse’s infrastructure thanks to a program the city recently joined, and how residents and others outside of city hall might be able to help.  The City of Syracuse is one of 16 cities selected to join the What Works Coalition this week, and is now among 55 cities working to make government more effective and efficient through the use of data.  She says the program was launched in 2015 by Bloomberg Philanthropies to help collect data and make it available to the public.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer was in Syracuse Tuesday where he offered his unique perspective on the presidential race.  Fleischer was also a campaign spokesperson for candidate George W. Bush leading up to the contested 2000 election.   He says this probably isn’t the ugliest cycle in political history, but it certainly does stand out. 

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