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

City of Syracuse

The City of Syracuse is continuing its partnership with an S.U. geography professor in an effort to tackle the city’s most pressing infrastructure problems.  University students will help the city’s innovation team with research and investigation in hopes of identifying solutions.

  Assistant Professor Jonnell Robinson has been Syracuse’s community geographer for more than a decade.  Now as a faculty fellow with the innovation team, she knows there are challenges ahead to address infrastructure that’s hidden and taken mostly for granted.

Syracuse Looks to Keep it Rolling Against Florida State

Feb 10, 2016
Syracuse University Athletics / Cuse.com

The streaking Syracuse Orange (16-8 overall, 6-5 ACC) play another critical ACC matchup against the Florida State Seminoles (16-7, 6-5) Thursday at the Carrier Dome. The Orange will be looking for its fourth straight conference win after starting the season 0-4 in the ACC.

Who’s Hot- Michael Gbinije

City of Syracuse Flickr

  The City of Syracuse continues the emergency demolition of 331 S. Salina St. after the building partially collapsed on Feb. 4.  South Salina St. between Fayette St. and Jefferson St. remains closed to vehicular traffic until further notice. 

The narrow, five-story structure has been vacant for many years. Its ownership has been in dispute for at least two years. The owner of the building says he will reimburse the city for the $235,000 cost of demolishing the structure. Syracuse.com reports this is one of four buildings owned by a Brooklyn real estate investor. 

Syr.edu

  Syracuse University will join the ranks of Harvard, Duke and Yale as a national recognized R1 research university. The Carnegie classification  systems grades each institution every 5 years and Syracuse University was one of 15 universities to move from a R2 to a R1 classification.   Syracuse University's  Interim Dean of the Graduate school and Vice President of Research Peter Vanable says the new classification as a top tier research university should bring top talent and more research opportunities.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Bi-partisan legislation in the house and senate aims to continue and strengthen the long tradition of manufacturing in central New York after a generation of decline. It would push the region to the front of the line to receive federal economic development funding.

The grant program actually already exists.  It was created by president Obama and designated certain cities as national manufacturing hubs.  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says Rochester is one of them, now she says it’s Syracuse’s turn. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

A new exhibit at the ArtRage gallery in Syracuse features an Auburn man’s unique collection of ordinary household artifacts that forces people to confront racist stereotypes and distortions of African Americans.  William Berry, Jr. started collecting the racist memorabilia more than 40 years ago.  With help from traveling friends, his collection includes artifacts from all over the world.   Berry says the theme is the same...African Americans were seen and portrayed in a negative light.  

Consensus facebook page

  Consensus, the Commission on Local Government Modernization, will be holding four more public meetings  starting Monday Feb. 8 to Thursday Feb. 11 in Salina, Camillus, and Syracuse. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Several members of various law enforcement  agencies gathered Thursday to announce the latest results of the multi-agency Syracuse Truce program.  Police Chief Frank Fowler set the tone:

"When I talk about the crime stats, I'm not going to talk about it from a perspective of joy because, in order for us to reach this point, and the reason why we're here, is because two young men lost their lives in the process."

Scott Willis / WAER News

The City of Syracuse is working on legislation that would prohibit the booting of unauthorized vehicles on private property.  Syracuse Police First Deputy Chief Joe Cecile says the problem seems to have reached a boiling point in the past couple months.

"We became aware of it because we were called to situations where booting has occurred by private citizens.  We were called there because there were verbal altercations."

…and a fear that it could escalate.

Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens in Syracuse

Feb 2, 2016
Scott Willis / WAER News

  Syracuse’s second medical marijuana dispensary is ready to open on Wednesday.  Etain Health has set up shop on Erie Boulevard East, and will grant eligible patients access to oil-based cannabis products such as a topical oil, a spray, capsules, and a liquid for use in a vaporizing pen.

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