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

Jason Chen / WAER News

  Patients at Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse will now also be able to visit a primary care doctor at their newly renovated clinic.  Officials cut the ribbon Wednesday on the $2 million renovation of its Madison Street Outpatient Clinic.  Center Executive Director Dr. Mark Cattalani says the addition of phyiscal health care services provides a human-centered environment where people can  feel engaged and supported.

Scott Willis / WAER News

  You may not be able to see it on a sunny day, but when it rains you may find yourself looking at a new take on sidewalk art.  The lack of rain means Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection Commissioner Tom Rhoads had to innovate.  

"Right now we're in dry weather, but what we're going to do is activate the art.  Let's see what happens," Rhoads said as water was poured on the sidewalk.  "So, it says, 'Keep litter out of the forecast.  Connect the drops.  Save the rain.'”                                 

plattecanyon.org

  One look outside at a grassy area will tell you it’s been quite dry for the past month or so.  What does that mean for forests and some of the insects that live there?  First, Dr. Rene Germain wants to make an important distinction.  He's a professor at SUNY ESF's Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management.

" We're in what we call this temporary meteorological drought."

John Smith / WAER News

Central New York’s own orchestra Symphoria will be taking the stage at the Lakeview Amphitheater for the first time ever on July 4th.  The concert will also include a fireworks display immediately after the performance.  Musician and Organizer Jon Garland says the selections should put everyone in a patriotic mood.

Christian Unkenholz / WAER News

Upstate Medical Center hopes a brand new Pediatric ER will help relieve stress on kids and parents visiting Urgent Care.  Director Doctor Richard Cantor says the $3 million project is a big step forward for the hospital.

wikipedia.org

  Registered democrats will go to the polls Tuesday in the 24th congressional district to choose who they’d like to see replace incumbent republican John Katko.  In the first of our series on the upcoming primary, we hear what motivated political newcomers Steve Williams, Colleen Deacon, and Eric Kingson to run for congress.

Christian Unkenholz / WAER News

  The Fowler High School Class of 2016 graduates Thursday, but seniors put on their caps and gowns a day early to parade through local elementary schools. High fives and cheers could be seen and heard in the hallways of Bellevue Elementary School, with younger kids holding signs to congratulate the passing high schoolers. Graduating seniors Juliana Rodriguez and Ramel Davis say the excitement was palpable.

City of Syracuse flickr

  Syracuse school children no longer have to worry about being fined if they’re late to return a book to the city’s libraries.  Mayor Stephanie Miner announced Tuesday the city will pay $7,000 per year to cover the cost of the fines, as well as prevent blocks on library cards.  She says the idea is to keep children reading so they stay on track at school, especially during the summer. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Police are trying to piece together what led to multiple shots being fired Sunday night at a large party that claimed the life of a 41-year-old man on the city’s near west side.  An officer also fired her weapon during the melee.  Mayor Stephanie Miner says police had an idea there could be a problem at an annual father’s day gathering near Skiddy Park.

Jeremiah Thompson / WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner signed a law Thursday that she believes is a major step towards eliminating economic inequality in the City of Syracuse.   The Resident Hiring Ordinance requires 20 percent of workers on city contracts over $100,000 be residents of the city.

Pages