local news

NY State DEC

Central New Yorkers have been dealing with occasional harmful algal blooms for years, including Owasco and Cayuga lakes. But it wasn’t until late last summer when the green organic matter showed up much closer to home.

 “The third one is the lake that perhaps among all lakes in New York State was the last one we expected to see a harmful algal bloom on, Skaneateles Lake.”

provided photo

Who knew crunching data might result in better ways to keep Syracuse streets clear of snow? The City of Syracuse announced the winners of this year’s Plowing through Data Hackathon Wednesday. The city partnered with AT&T and Syracuse University’s iSchool to call on the community to analyze Syracuse’s snowplow data and create new technologies to better manage the snowfall. Mayor Ben Walsh says they weren’t making the most of the data collected by the plow’s GPS software.

Kijin Higashibaba

The original construction of Interstate 81 through Syracuse changed the city and region forever. Now there are plans to tear down the highway and there are some who see the replacement process as a chance to help Syracuse’s poverty problem.  The highway and poverty are linked in surprising ways, WAER's Kijin Higashibaba reports in Part 2 of their examination of I-81 and poverty. 

Go to citylimitsproject.org to hear the full, unabridged version of this episode. 

Scott Willis/WAER News

Advocates for criminal justice reform in Onondaga County want the system to be more fair. They’re concerned with how people of color and people without resources are treated.  When people are a waiting trial, Retired judge Langston McKinney says many find themselves locked up unnecessarily.  He argues judges don’t always understand bail. 

Matt Ryan / NY Now

Things got heated on the New York State Senate floor this week over a debate on bills that majority party Republicans say will improve school safety. Meanwhile, the state Assembly Tuesday passed its own set of gun control bills.

New York already has some of the strictest gun control measures in the nation, known as the SAFE Act, but since the Florida shootings, lawmakers from both major parties say there’s more to do to prevent school shootings.

The United States Bowling Congress Set to Kick Off Championship Season at the Oncenter

Mar 6, 2018
John Smith / WAER News

48 lanes in 48 days. That’s how long it took the United States Bowling Congress to set up for its 2018 Championships at the Oncenter. The event is weeks away, but they will host a trio of events to kick off their time in Syracuse, including a state competition for high school students starting Friday. Senior Director of Tournament Programming, Greg Moore, says the kickoff is their way of introducing championships to the community.

John Smith / WAER News

Talented Veterans from across Central New York received awards today in the Creative Arts local competition, and some could be advancing to the national level of the contest.  While the artists certainly take pride in their work, the creative process can be very therapeutic and healing.  Laurelle Kaley spent 20 years in the military before she retired in 2005.  She said the military gave her direction and support, and art filled that void when she left.

Lileana Pearson / WAER News

Claudia Tenney was in New Hartford, New York this past weekend to announce her re-election bid for Congress. She was unable to escape some of the recent controversy surrounding her as she launched her new campaign.  The freshman Congress member represents the 22nd district of New York that includes the Utica and Binghamton areas.

At the event, Tenney voiced her intentions to make the tax plan permanent, roll back government regulations, and support community public health and veterans.

By Changing Role, Landmark Theatre Stays on Center Stage

Mar 2, 2018
Matt Mitchell / WAER

Even after 90 years, the show goes on for the Landmark Theatre.

The Syracuse performing arts venue celebrated the milestone anniversary with a community celebration that included a screening of a silent movie and tours of the historic building, the last and grandest of the opulent downtown movie palaces of the early 1900s.


Central New York Healthcare provider Loretto has decided to re-brand itself in order to tell the community about the services it offers.  This comes amid health care reform in the federal government which might affect the company.

Loretto President and CEO Kim Townsend admits that the community might not be quite sure about the services her company provides.  After a year of surveying residents, employees, and the public, the company had a moment of self-discovery.