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

Chris McGlynn / WAER News

Hundreds of Central New Yorkers packed into Henninger Athletic Center at Le Moyne College Friday night to catch a glimpse of a Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich.  For some, it was a chance to find out a bit more about the Governor of Ohio.

“It will probably give me a new perspective into his policies and his ideals,” said college student Braden Lee before the event.

Facebook - Stephanie Miner

  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner released her new budget proposal Friday. The proposal holds the line on property taxes, water, and sewer rates for the fiscal year, which begins July 1.

59 percent of the $706 million spending plan would go to the School District; the City would receive the remaining 41 percent. The plan needs $12.1 million in reserve funds to be balanced.

http://gelfny.org/

Syracuse advocates for renewable energy are urging Governor Cuomo to ramp up his efforts to reach a more sustainable New York. Mark Dunlea of the Green Education and Legal Fund says he is pleased that Cuomo recognizes climate change as a serious problem, but…

“Unfortunately, what he has proposed to date in terms of the state’s climate action agenda is not enough to really avoid catastrophic climate change.”

Scott Willis

Syracuse university and the City of Syracuse have reached a deal on a new five-year, $7 million service agreement that offsets the cost of city services to the university while also providing funding to adjacent neighborhoods.  Officials say the deal shows how the two entities are woven together.  SU Chancellor Kent Syverud says if there’s one thing that brings the university and community together, it’s successful sports teams.

Judgment in Housing Discrimination Case Raises Awareness of Ongoing Barriers

Apr 6, 2016
cnyfairhousing.org

Some Central New Yorkers with disabilities have been getting discriminated against when they look for a place to live.  Recently, a two year-old case was finalized when a judge sided with CNY Fair Housing.  A judge agreed that a caseworker was illegally asked by a rental property owner if her client had a disability. 

   Once the property owner found out the client was disabled, Executive Director Sally Santangelo says the case-worker was told the housing was no longer available.

Colleen Callander / WAER News

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visited Syracuse University Tuesday to discuss her current role in international affairs and the challenges in foreign policy.  The recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom joined the dean of the Maxwell School to deliver the Tanner Lecture on Ethics, Citizenship, and Public Responsibility.  

prescription-drugaddiction.org

A new federal bill announced in Syracuse Monday could help limit the amount of opiate painkillers that get prescribed…and then get abused.  One local family knows all too well the pain of painkiller abuse.   The tragedy of the Socci family of Auburn started when their 29-year-old daughter broke up with a boyfriend over his addiction to painkillers.  

Hillary Clinton Brings Presidential Campaign to Syracuse

Apr 1, 2016
Scott Willis

   Former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator and First Lady Hillary Clinton made two stops in Syracuse as part of her campaign Friday. She met with local business owners Syracuse's Institute of Technology at Central High School first and then proceeded to a rally at the Regional Market. 

Arise's facebook page / ACRHealth.org

  Two of the community’s longest-serving leaders in the human services field are retiring Thursday.   Michael Crinnin has been executive director of ACR Health, formerly Aids Community Resources, for more than 26 years.  Before that, he served as founding executive director of Arise for 10 years starting in 1979.  Meanwhile, Tom McKeown has been executive director of Arise since 2002.  Both men have spent their careers in human services, and both have seen significant, perhaps monumental changes concerning those with disabilities and HIV/AIDs during their long careers.

Davis Hovey / WAER News

Recovering addicts.  

A parent who lost a child to substance abuse.  

Onondaga County’s health commissioner.  

Drug counselors.  

Federal prosecutors.

 

  All will be on hand Wednesday evening for a substance abuse forum organized by three east side school districts.  It could be the first of many discussions on a growing epidemic.

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