local news

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

2018 will be a year of criminal trials for former associates of Governor Cuomo, as well as the former leaders of the legislature. Reform groups say they hope the lengthy court proceedings will spur lawmakers to enact some ethics reforms. 

Six continuous months of corruption trials kick off on January 22nd, when Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco faces bribery charges for allegedly soliciting over $300,000 from companies doing business with the state. Blair Horner, with the New York Public Interest Research Group, says it will be a year unlike any other. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

A Climatologist from the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University says Central New York’s biggest concern from the Nor’easter will likely be dangerously cold wind chills.  That could also mean breaking a few temperature records.

After a brief break of the really cold temperatures, we’re about to get even colder.  Jessica Spaccio says the coldest temperature changes will occur Thursday night through Sunday morning.

file photo / WAER News

Lethal batches of heroin are still showing up in Central New York as the addiction epidemic continues to take lives.  Three recent overdoses in Cayuga County illustrate the challenges of reaching addicts, and tracing the potent drugs.

Anytime police hear about clusters of heroin overdoses, they become suspicious about the composition of the drug.  Auburn Police Deputy Chief Roger Anthony says that happened last weekend…

Gov. Cuomo's flickr page

New York is coming off a year of what Governor Andrew Cuomo calls great economic growth and social progress. 

"Crime is down statewide, we have a cleaner environment, we have a fairer criminal justice system, we have more high school graduates who are attending colleges, we have preserved more land than ever before, enacted a more progressive tax code, launched the most ambitious building program in the country."

Governor Cuomo's flickr page

Governor Cuomo delivers his State of the State address on Wednesday. The speech kicks off a challenging year of budget deficits and re- election races.

Cuomo begins his eighth year in office facing the largest budget deficit since 2011. New York is short $4.4 billion, and there’s uncertainty over federal policies, including the overhaul of the tax code, that could leave the state with even a bigger budget hole in the future.

syracusecityschools.com

The new year is bringing some changes to a Syracuse organization that helps underprivileged youth get into college and succeed afterward.  On Point for College is moving out of its long-time Catholic Charities Home …and into Onondaga Commons, the former Rural Metro building closer to downtown.  Executive Director Sam Rowser is seeing quite a bit of growth from its beginnings 16 years ago.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Onondaga County leaders will be listening closely to Governor Cuomo’s state of the state address Wednesday to find out how he might address the state’s budget deficit.  Priorities laid out in the speech are a strong indicator of the spending plan to be presented to state lawmakers.  The state is at least $4 billion in the red, and county legislature chairman Ryan McMahon says the state will have to tighten its belt, hopefully without burdening residents.

www.nysmokefree.com

A lot of people will start 2018 with the goal – call it a resolution or not – of quitting smoking.  The New York State Smokers Quitline has coaches that can be the missing piece in keeping with the goal.  Darlene Drake is a lead supervisor of the Quit Coaches ... who can help you break habits.  Before she quit, Darlene was lighting-up right when she woke up.

Scott Willis/WAER News

The Syracuse Common Council loses a familiar face this year in four-term councilor Nader Maroun.  The democrat was known for asking his share of questions and not blindly following the democratic mayor.

“I’m always an advocate of robust debate.  It’s not a matter of whether you’re aligned with a particular administration or not.  Listen well to what the administration is putting forward, but be prepared to do your homework and understand the not-so-obvious consequences of decisions that you make.”

WAER file

One of the long-time members of the Syracuse Common Council who’s leaving this year has seen a lot of change in the city.  Van Robinson ends 18 years of service as president and a councilor.  His tenure in the city has an interesting spanning-of-generations since he came to Syracuse.

“The mayor was Bill Walsh.  And as I leave my political life, it’s ironic but the mayor-elect is his grandson Ben Walsh.  I wish the incoming administration all the luck in the world.  There’s a new city that has to be built.”

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