regional news

WAER launches City Limits: A Poverty Project, a year-long initiative to examine the gripping, pervasive poverty problem facing Syracuse.  Over the course of the next year, WAER staff will tell stories about some of the impacts of poverty, how the city finds itself as the 13th most impoverished city in the nation and the myriad issues involved in trying to reduce the number of people in poverty. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Members of the Syracuse Police Department responded to a different kind of call over the past two months.  They were up to the challenge…in exchange for wearing pink badges, growing beards, and painting their fingernails. 

Sergeant Colin Hillman says there was a certain feeling of freedom when male officers didn’t have to shave and female officers could paint their nails blue.  Normally, both are prohibited.

"Telling the patrol cops they get to grow a beard for a month was great.  As far as bolstering morale, it was very popular."

Jeff Simms /

A Syracuse University Newhouse School Professor of Television and Popular Culture was surprised by NBC’s quick firing of TODAY Show Host and Anchor Matt Lauer this week.  Bob Thompson said on Wednesday there are many unanswered questions that remain.

“How many people at that organization (NBC) knew what was going on?  If it was going on and how much were they enabling it?  I mean, that’s what was really damaging about that FOX with (Roger) Ailes and (Bill) O’Reilly is that so many people were aware of what was going on and they continued to let it go on.  We don’t know yet about how that’s happening at NBC but, I guess we’re gonna find out.”

Rep. Katko's facebook page

The U.S. Attorney for Western New York says CNY Congressmember John Katko received a voicemail from a 28-year-old Syracuse man threatening to kill Katko and his family if he did not support net neutrality.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gestring says in a release that Patrick Angelo has been arrested and charged with interstate communication of a threat and threatening a federal official.  The message was left at Katko's Washington, D.C. office October 19th.  The transcript follows, provided by the U.S. Attorney's office:  

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse University Graduate Student employees Wednesday went public with their plans to unionize during what they say is a trying time at the university and under the Trump administration.  About 100 students and faculty braved the wind and cold outside Hendricks chapel to rally for organizing and against the republican tax reform plan.  Senior Janet Flores was among those to call on SU administrators to take a stronger stance against the legislation.

What is City Limits?

Nov 29, 2017

What Is City Limits?

In short, City Limits is a year-long multi-platform civic engagement project produced by WAER Public Media that examines and explores poverty in Syracuse.

Governor Cuomo's flickr page

The state Democratic Party, led by Governor Andrew Cuomo, is offering carrots and sticks to two rival factions of Democrats in the State Senate, in an effort to get them to reunite and potentially rule the chamber.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Two local governments have found another way to share services without a mandate from the state.  Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has agreed to offer the city’s grant application services to the Town of Cicero.  Town Supervisor Mark Venesky says while Cicero might qualify for state, federal, or foundation grant money for social and infrastructure programs, the town couldn’t afford contractors to look into it.

City Planning Commission Rejects Request to Demolish Eastwood Building

Nov 28, 2017
John Smith/WAER News

Community reservations and questions about city permits appears to have temporarily stopped the demolition of a building on James Street in Eastwood. A businessman envisions a future of the building located next door to him.

Stephen Skinner owns the Palace Theater and several properties with street-level businesses. He believes community turn-out at a Syracuse Planning Commission meeting on Monday night resulted in its decision to reject a permit to knock down a vacant building next to the Palace.

Cornell University, New York Sea Grant, and charter boat captains have teamed up on a high-tech mission to learn more about the behavior of King Salmon in the Lake Ontario ecosystem.  They’re already getting valuable information from pop-off satellite tags attached to the fish.