local news

The past couple of weeks, Central New Yorkers from all walks of life have been focused on and excited about one major world event, the Winter Olympics. 

As the Winter Olympics come to a close, now is the opportunity to ask yourselves: what is it about the Olympics that everyone loves? Jason Burns instructs a sports in American society course at Excelsior College in Albany.

John Smith/WAER News

The Boys and Girls Club of Syracuse talked to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station Friday morning, asking him questions about his job and life in space.  The ISS was traveling at about 17,000 miles per hour as Astronaut Mark Vande-Hei took the time to answer a series of questions from the children. 12-year old Mhubiri was excited for the opportunity to talk to the astronaut.

 “I actually thought about being an astronaut so today was a very exciting event for me so I was very happy I was able to talk to him and ask him some questions.”

Rep. Tenney Highlights Tax Reform at Suit-Kote; Declines to Clarify Controversial Comments

Feb 22, 2018
Scott Willis / WAER News

Republican Congressmember Claudia Tenney stopped by a Cortland-based paving company Thursday to highlight how the business and its workers will benefit from the federal tax reform law. The family-owned Suit-Kote Corporation has a payroll of $37 million for its 800 employees. President Frank Suits, Jr. says his personal taxes went up, but says the lower corporate tax rate is better for his company. 

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The same day Florida High School students made news for their lobbying on gun control, protestors took to the streets of Syracuse also demanding action.  Demonstrators at Congress Member John Katko’s office had a large check on which the payment amount read ‘Thoughts and Prayers’. 

William Happy with the group Swing Left compares campaign donations with the ‘value of good wishes’ as a response to gun violence, such as the Florida School Shooting of last week.

Scott Willis/WAER News

SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry biology students are researching this year’s most compelling breakthroughs in evolutionary research, such as: fossil finds, species endangerment, and chemical resistance. Environmental forest and biology professor Rebecca Rundell says that almost 200 students have made posters revolving around Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Leo Tully / WAER News

Mayor Ben Walsh put his mark on history this morning by signing his name in Syracuse’s Mayoral Autograph Book in the Onondaga Historical Association Museum. The signature marks the 52nd to be added since Syracuse’s first mayor, Harvey Baldwin, added his autograph in 1848.

Walsh’s name also sits alongside his grandfather’s, William Walsh, who served as the 48th mayor of Syracuse from 1962 to 1969. 

John Smith / WAER News

Some Central New York restaurant owners and employees are lining up against a plan to make tipped workers, such as waiters, into full minimum wage employees.  The New York State Restaurant Association is calling on local businesses to oppose Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal.  It would eliminate the “tip credit” that allows employers to pay a lower wage to workers who get tips.

Melissa Fleischut of the Restaurant Association says eliminating the credit would hurt workers and the industry.

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An undocumented Syracuse immigrant has been released on bail after a court hearing Tuesday in western New York. Organizers from the Workers’ Center of Central New York traveled to the federal detention center in Batavia to support Hector Navarro. He was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, at his Syracuse home on December 21st.  WAER News caught up with Nikeeta Slade from the Workers’ Center while she was in Batavia.  She says his bond demonstrates how important he is to the community.


The Libertarian candidate for governor is spending time this week in Upstate New York positioning himself as a viable third option in November’s election.  Larry Sharpe told WAER News in an interview he feels the time is right for many voters to get away from two-party thinking.

Sharpe is looking to flip the script on New York’s government from Left or Right, which he says just makes people angry.  And he says he’s fine this election with being the Anti-Cuomo.

Jubilee Initiative Hosts Vigil to Honor Florida Shooting Victims

Feb 19, 2018
Lileana Pearson / WAER NEWS

A group of Syracuse residents are saying thoughts and prayers are not enough in the wake of last week’s Florida school shooting. Instead, they are getting out into the community to discover what they can do to help.

This past Saturday, a group of peace activists called the Jubilee Initiative hosted a vigil in honor of those affected by the Florida school shooting.  Several Syracuse residents gathered at Willow Bay on Onondaga Lake to pay their respects to those whose lives were lost, but more importantly, to start a conversation about safety in schools.