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

iStockphoto / npr.org

It appears more Upstate New Yorkers are resorting to opiates and surgery to address back pain over simpler, more effective treatments.  There’s concern that could be leading to worse outcomes.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse common councilors took time out Monday to recognize 18 accomplished middle and high school students who are heading to a world robotics competition in Kentucky next month.  The Corcoran Cougar robotics team was one of the teams from the Syracuse City School District to advance from the Northern New York State championship at OCC. 

   Junior Kelsey Lent-Moore says it wasn’t a bad showing considering they scrapped their original design after one of the competitions.

Madison Schleicher / WAER News

More than a dozen concerned Syracuse-area residents marked the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown in Japan by gathering in front of the state office building to criticize Governor Cuomo’s support of the industry.

Clean energy advocate Renee Vogelsang said the Prime Minister of Japan has since become a fierce nuclear critic, saying Japan should eliminate its dependence on nuclear energy.

text logo c-s-e-a action alert
CSEA / CSEA

  About 2,300 Onondaga County union workers will be compensated for lost wages after a majority of members voted to accept the county’s settlement offer for an Improper Practice charge brought by the union. 

The charge stemmed from Onondaga County’s approval of a retroactive, three-year contract back in February.  But the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), citing state law, said anything more than a one-year contract can only be put in place if the union agrees to it, which it did not.  

Creative Commons flickr page

Nearly 1/4 of Onondaga County Taxpayers are being encouraged to use the state's free tax filing services.  The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance says those with gross income under $62,000 can save the cost of hiring a preparer and file both federal and state returns at no cost at www.tax.ny.gov.

    

 

http://www.tradingacademy.com/resources/financial-education-center/financial-images.aspx / through Creative Commons flickr page

Chances are many Central New Yorkers who work for a smaller business don’t have an employer-provided retirement savings plan.  That could change if a state-facilitated, payroll deduction plan called “Secure Choice” is approved in the state budget.  

  The AARP is pushing state lawmakers to include it in their spending plans.  The group’s state legislative representative Bill Ferris acknowledges workers do have the option of setting up their own IRA outside of work.  But most don’t bother.

cnysme.org

One of the officials closely tied to business development for the City of Syracuse during the past six years is taking a job in the private sector.  Deputy Commissioner Ben Walsh has led the way on a number of important projects, but knows many challenges remain.  He says things have taken shape since he was appointed in 2010 at the end of the recession.

John Smith / WAER News

A class of 25 new Syracuse Police Officers was sworn in today.  Chief Frank Fowler got things started:

"Recruit class...are you ready?"  

"Yes, Sir!”   

  But Monday's ceremony was only the beginning for the cadets.  The Officers must endure 26 weeks of additional training. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

There’s growing concern among Central New York dairy farmers that Canada is considering changing trade rules that could restrict its import of U.S. milk products.   

  Senator Chuck Schumer stopped by Cayuga Milk Ingredients in Auburn today, a conglomerate of 25 dairy farms doing $25 million in yearly sales to Canada alone.  Schumer says the proposal would be harmful.

Scott Willis / WAER News

St.  Joseph’s Hospital and several partner organizations are hoping a new three-year,$1.5 million dollar grant will help to make communities healthier by addressing the root causes of poor health.  Syracuse was one of six communities to be awarded a grant.

Dr. Bechara Choucair says he knew almost immediately that Syracuse would be a top contender.  He’s Senior Vice President for Safety Net Transformation and Community Health at Trinity Health, which awarded the grant.

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