regional news

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Cornell University said goodbye this past week to a special group of students who spent a semester in Ithaca because they couldn’t attend college in Puerto Rico.  The special offer came their way after Hurricane Maria devastated much of the Island.  WAER’s Chris Bolt found out the experience had impacts on the students as well as the Cornell community.

Jose DeJesus Szendry and Andrea Valdes Valderamma had one expected reaction when they came to Cornell back in January.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

The New York legislative session is due to end in three weeks, and some state lawmakers believe they will accomplish so little in that time, that they are talking about leaving a week early. 

Political gridlock in the state Senate, and worsening relations between Governor Andrew Cuomo and majority party Senate Republicans has led some lawmakers to say that perhaps they should end the session early.

But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says his Democratic members are staying until at least June 20th, the scheduled end of the session.

Cuse.com

Syracuse Basketball fans will have another familiar face on the court once the season gets started.  Tyus Battle yesterday officially withdrew his name from the N-B-A draft … and plans to come back to school for his junior year.  Battle spent the last few weeks getting assessed by pro teams, including attending the N-B-A combine. 

He made visits and did workouts for several teams.  He was considered by some analysts as likely to be a second-round draft pick.  First round picks have guaranteed contracts, while in the second round, contracts and income are less certain.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse’s taxi companies and independent cab drivers say ride sharing services Uber and Lyft have basically wiped out most of their traditional customer base.  Common Councilors got an ear full at a committee meeting Wednesday about how the city needs to level the playing field by stepping up regulations on ride sharing…while easing the numerous, costly, and strict regulations for traditional cabs.  Frank Manzi with Yellow cab says his business has dropped by more than half.

Scott Willis / WAER News

ACR Health is using the occasion of its upcoming 26th annual AIDS Walk/Run to call attention to another growing public health threat:  The Hepatitis C virus.  Officials say while the rate of new HIV and AIDS cases continue to decline, Hepatitis C cases have soared in recent years.  ACR Health Executive Director Wil Murtaugh says this area is especially vulnerable.

PEACE-caa.org

A program to help children get ready for school – and break the cycle of poverty – continues to get federal support.  PEACE Inc. here in Syracuse will receive $5.8 million for its Head Start program in the region.  Program Director Rebecca Heberlie says Head Start and Early Head Start serve about 1200 children, including some parents.  In most cases, these are kids who wouldn’t be in other pre-school or Pre-K programs.

Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

The founder and organizer of the Syracuse Jazzfest confirmed Thursday, the event is cancelled for 2018 – a year after celebrating its 35th anniversary.  Frank Malfitano says money issues prevented him from putting on an event of the caliber of previous years. 

John Smith/WAER News

The Upstate Trauma Center in Syracuse introduced employees to its new virtual driving simulator today ahead of the busy summer driving season.  The simulator is unique because drivers get to sit in an actual car and allows people to move the steering wheel.  The front tires of the car rest on elevated platforms with high tech sensors capturing the movement.  Trauma Outreach Coordinator Jerry Morrison prepares drivers before they take a virtual spin.

NYS AG flickr page

  The New York State legislature chose Barbara Underwood, the acting Attorney General, to replace the former AG Eric Schneiderman for the remainder of the term, which ends December 31.  Underwood will be the first woman to hold that office.

  

nyclu.org

A Central New York civil rights watchdog group says the expansion of the police department’s body camera program is only as good as the policy that guides their use.  One hundred officers could be wearing the cameras by early next month as part of a one-year trial.  

Yusuf Abdul-Qadir commends the Walsh administration’s effort to improve transparency and accountability in the police department.  But the director of the CNY chapter of the NYCLU wants to make sure that the policy being drawn up between SPD and the county district attorney’s office is comprehensive and inclusive.

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