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

songmountain.com

Many Central New Yorkers probably aren't complaining about the late arrival of winter weather.  But that’s definitely not the case among ski resorts and those who hope to hit the slopes.  Peter Harris is owner operator of Song Mountain in Tully and Labrador Mountain in Truxton.  Neither has yet to open and stay open. 

"We're looking forward to some lake effect, and we're looking forward to some nor easters.  The winter's not a total bust yet.”                                            

Harris hopes they can this weekend if they can make some snow.

ourability.com

An Upstate New York-based organization is taking on the challenge of finding 100 businesses to commit to hiring those with disabilities.  The Our Ability Alliance is aiming to fulfill an executive order from the governor.  Managing partner John Robinson they’re excited about the prospect of funneling more business and employment to those with disabilities.

"We believe we can set up a New York Business Leadership Network and answer that call of signing up 100 businesses that are willing to employ."

Syracuse University

Excitement is building at Syracuse University over the potential of the proposed National Veterans Resource Complex.  SU officials want to make such a statement that, for the first time in years, they’ve launched a national design competition to select an architect for the project.  Mike Haynie is Vice Chancellor and Director of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at SU.  He says the rapid growth and success of the programs at IVMF has presented some infrastructure barriers that keep them from having a local impact. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

A Syracuse artist is offering to support Symphoria in a unique way…by raffling off a piece of his stained glass art at  Friday night’s first holiday pops concert.  Here's the story of a former computer programmer and professor turned full-time artist who also appreciates classical music.

Robert Oddy came to Syracuse from England in 1981 to teach at S.U.  Sixteen years later, he decided to leave the university and pursue stained glass art full-time.  And he’s been doing it ever since.

Elana Sukert / WAER News

  The Dean of Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management says the Federal Reserve’s action to increase interest rates by a quarter point is not a surprise, and should be seen as good news.  Kenneth Kavajecz says the fed considered masses of mainly domestic economic data in reaching their decision from productivity and price increases to employment and wage growth.  He says wages have not grown as one might expect.

City Sues Inner Harbor Developer Over Broken Agreement

Dec 15, 2015
Scott Willis / WAER News

 The City of Syracuse has filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the company set to develop the inner-harbor. 
 

COR Development Company struck a deal Tuesday with the approval of the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA).

Scott Willis / WAER News

The synthetic drug epidemic continues in Central New York, and Congressmember John Katko and his colleagues have submitted legislation aimed at getting the drugs off the shelves.   If approved, the measure would remove a key barrier to prosecuting those who sell the substances.  Law enforcement officials on all levels have been saying for years that their hands are often tied because the drugs have to be on the federal drug analog statute to warrant arrests. 

Official Flickr of Governor Andrew Cuomo

  Central New York’s Regional Economic Development Council continued its winning ways this year, walking away from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) Awards with a total of $500 million.

The region will receive the money over the course of five years in roughly $100 million increments.  

Laura Molina / WAER News

About 500 additional Syracuse high school students will have the option to ride the bus come February after an agreement with Centro.  The city school district announced Monday the maximum walking distance for students  has been reduced from two miles to 1.5 miles.  Centro director Frank Kobliski says it was a matter of logistics and no extra buses.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

Monday's Syracuse Common Council meeting will include a new member…but he’s no stranger to the council or city hall.  Veteran politician Joe Nicoletti returns as a city lawmaker for the first time in nearly 25 years.  Hiss storied political career began in the 1970’s when he won his first election. 

"I joined the council in 1977.  I was the young guy then."

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