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

Regional transportation officials fear the community will be polarized over what to do with the elevated portion of Interstate 81 through Syracuse.  Engineers just got the green light to spend the next few months conducting an environmental impact review of the various options, and narrow them down to one or two.

Rep. Dan Maffei Hosts Discussion on Education

Aug 5, 2013
Christian Bersani, WAER News

With the upcoming school year quickly approaching, Representative Dan Maffei returned to his alma mater of Nottingham High School Monday to hold a roundtable meeting on how to improve pre K-12 education in Central New York.

WAERs Max Brady

Dozens of Syracuse University students living on south campus starting this fall will be getting their heat and hot water from the sun.  S-U has installed solar thermal panels on 20 buildings, which will serve 160 apartments.  

WAER's Max Brady talked with S-U Sustainability Division Project Analyst and Public Relations Coordinator Brooke Wears.

Wears says the panels will work when it’s cloudy, or snowy, and they're angled so the snow won't collect on them.     More information on the project is at sustainability.syr.edu.
 

Several Westcott Street business owners say construction on the latest Save the Rain project in their neighborhood has brought business to a halt.  Work began three weeks ago on the million dollar project, which will narrow the road, add curbs and landscaping, plus replace sidewalks…all while keeping stormwater from overwhelming the sewer system.   

Onondaga

Community College is partnering with a medical interpreting firm to offer a course aimed at more thoroughly training interpreters who help non-english speakers communicate with their doctors.  The need for interpreters has grown as  Central New York becomes home to more refugees who speak many different languages. 

Multi-cultural Association of Medical Interpreters  Executive Director Cornelia Brown says the 135-hour course gives future interpreters the extensive training they need to ensure doctors and nurses understand the needs of the patient.

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.

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