local news

Meghan Burke / WAER News

Distracted driving.  School bus safety.  Pedestrian awareness.  All were part of The Onondaga County Traffic Safety Advisory Board’s annual “Share the Road Expo” Wednesday at Destiny USA.  Police and experts from many agencies provided safety information, impaired driving simulators, and even a mini bike rodeo. Sergeant John Seeber at the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department says it’s about staying safe and educating people of all ages about traffic safety.

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Public health care in Central New York is safe for another year.  Utica-area Congressmember Claudia Tenney was awarded the Health Center Supporter Award by the Family Health Network of Central New York at a stop Wednesday in Cortland.  Network CEO Walter Priest commended Tenney for helping to secure $1.5 billion in federal health center funding in the 2018 House budget before the money ran out. 

cannedheatmusic.com

An iconic musical group with roots in Woodstock and Monterey Pop will be playing at the Ridgestock festival in Chittenango this weekend.  WAER’s Chris Bolt and Live Space Entertainment’s Tom Honan got to talk with Canned Heat drummer Fito de la Parra and Manager Skip Taylor about the band’s 50 years of history. 

(Full interview of de la Parra and Taylor below)

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It appears senator Dave Valesky will remain with the Independent Democratic Conference for the time being, despite continued pressure to reunite with democrats to form a majority.  But some feel the IDC has outlived its usefulness.

Valesky continues to defend his alignment with the conference, citing work with both parties on a host of successful issues from property tax relief and economic development to positive, on-time budgets. 

fingerlakes.org

The Finger Lakes region has its fingers crossed about the tourism potential that could come with receiving a certain federal designation.   Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced a bi-partisan bill to consider the region a National Heritage Area.  If passed, the Finger Lakes region—which contains 14 New York counties and 26 State parks—could become part of the National Parks system.  Chair of the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance Coleen Fabrizi says the name would be excellent for the region’s economy.

Dominique Patrick/WAER News

After last year’s cancelation, Syracuse University Football  Fan Fest made a comeback this past weekend.  Coach Dino Babers and players interacted with fans, while numerous other activities got local residents excited for the upcoming season.

Babers is currently in the middle of pre-season practice and said Fan Fest came at a good time to get the community and his players connected.

Dominique Patrick/WAER News

Syracuse joined cities in several other states holding a vigil to speak out against the white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia…and against the violence it ignited.  Several hundred people gathered at the Jerry Rescue monument in Clinton Square Sunday night. 

Many said they could not let the Charlottesville gathering and the hate it represented go unchecked.  Herve Comeau was frightened by what he saw in media coverage there.

Leo Tully / WAER News

  Young volunteer firefighters from Buffalo to Long Island gathered in Syracuse Friday morning for a series of competitions and training courses.  The ninth annual Youth Day is part the 145th annual convention of the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.  President Ken Pienkowski says the events were all about getting young people truly interested in firefighting more than actual training. "It's always difficult to get younger people involved, but it's more difficult to keep them amused.

A proposal to expand New York State’s medical marijuana program would ease prescribing and cover more conditions. The changes would include easier access, shorter training courses for practitioners, and reduced regulations for dispensaries, among other changes. Legislative Counsel at the Marijuana Policy Program Kate Bell says these changes would have a positive impact on patients. 

John Smith / WAER News

Central New York firefighters and state officials gathered in Chittenango Thursday to urge Governor Cuomo to sign a bill that would provide coverage for presumptive cancers contracted by volunteer firefighters. Senator David Valesky says both the Senate and Assembly strongly supported the bill.

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