regional news

Ahn Young-joon/AP / via NPR

A Syracuse University international relations expert is calling the upcoming summit between the U.S. and North Korea extremely significant and could set the stage for more progress. 

Stuart Thorson is a professor emeritus from the Maxwell school, and has researched technology and governance North Korea.  He says we’ll have to see if the leaders agree to move in a direction that will perhaps formally end the Korean War, and establish diplomatic relations.

Scott Willis / WAER News

A candidate for state assembly says the large swath of vacant land once occupied by the demolished Kennedy Square complex in Syracuse is just one of many examples of Albany’s broken promises.  Republican Edward Ott stood near South Crouse and East Water Street, where he says grand plans from mixed-use development to a stadium fell flat after the complex was torn down five years ago. 

He says the pattern of lost hope is repeated throughout the 129th district…

Stefan Oliva / WAER News

Two Syracuse men have teamed up for a new way to honor gun violence victims. Founder of the I Apologize Foundation Rashawn Sullivan and Onondaga Earth Corps assistant Saptarshi Lahiri hope to plant a tree for each person killed by bullets on the city’s south side.  The project might be unexpected given Sullivan’s dark past.  

"I have lived a life of violence.  I actually had ended a young man's life before.  When I came back out,  I noticed a lot of memorial sites  had liquor bottles and alot of negative attributes.   I wanted to change the narrative." 

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Government reform groups are urging the state Assembly to pass two bills that have already been approved in the  Senate that would  reform New York’s economic development programs. They say it’s needed more than ever on the eve of another federal corruption trial involving Governor Cuomo’s economic development programs.

The former head of high tech development in New York, former SUNY Polytechnic President Alain Kaloyeros, goes on trial on corruption charges June 18th.

Cameron Tirado / WAER News

A dilapidated home with cracking paint and weeds growing through the front steps on Syracuse’s South Side is going to serve as the focal point of a Safe and Healthy home tour.  The house is situated behind another home after a long walk-up a cracked driveway.   

Director of Code Enforcement Ken Towsley says inspectors will lead the public tours and point out what hazards needs to be addressed.

provided photo / CNYCF

The Central New York Community Foundation has launched a new website that aims to spur action on any number of issues facing the region…from housing and lead exposure, to literacy and education.  The site congregates data from multiple sources so users can monitor progress.

Vice president of community investment at CNYCF Frank Ridzi says there are many efforts underway to improve the community, but no central place to see how we’re doing.

file photo / WAER News

The business of the evenly divided New York State Senate remains stalled, as advocacy groups pressed for their bills to be acted on before the session ends in two weeks.

Kevin Fitzpatrick / WAER News

The Urban Jobs Task Force of Syracuse is circulating a petition demanding trade unions create recruitment and retention programs for minorities and city residents for the upcoming I-81 project. They ask that until this happens, the State Department of Transportation must deny unions a project labor agreement.

President of the Task Force Deka Dancil led activists Tuesday in front of the State Office Building on Washington Street to announce their demands.  

In a spirited floor fight in the State Senate, Democrats  tried once again but failed to get a vote on and amendment on women’s reproductive health care. The argument over Senate procedure led to accusations that some Republican Senators were trying to “mansplain”  the rules to the state’s female Lieutenant Governor.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Nearly two dozen agencies across Central New York have been selected to receive a combined $14 million  over five years to address poverty in the region.  The funding comes from a pot of $50 million designated for solely that purpose under the Governor Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization initiative.  

Onondaga County is the lead agency of the 24-member Alliance for Economic Inclusion.  County Executive Joanie Mahoney says everyone came to the table and prioritized which agencies and services could have the biggest impact.