regional news

file photo / WAER News

On Thursday, Governor Cuomo will detail his proposals to help New Yorkers affected by changes to the federal tax law. But Republicans who rule the State Senate are cool to the ideas, including one that creates a payroll tax instead of a state income tax.

Cuomo’s budget director previewed the plans, on Monday which will be released as part of the 30 day amendments to the governor’s state budget proposal. Robert Mujica says if changes aren’t made to mitigate the cap on state and local taxes income and property deductions , then higher income New Yorkers will move out of state.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Can your smart phone make you safer in the City of Syracuse?  Mayor Ben Walsh joined members of the Syracuse Police Department to roll out new technology to help reduce crime and improve community relations. You might have a phone app to find your way around or get a ride, maybe check the weather or play a game. Deputy Chief Joe Cecile wants you to get another app for community benefit.

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A renowned fisheries expert from SUNY ESF admits he never gave Onondaga Lake or its fish much thought as he drove past the lake for ten years.  Now, after more than 30 years of research, Dr. Neil Ringler will discuss improvements in Onondaga Lake’s fish population at a special event later this month.  He says when he first began in 1986, he was astounded at how many fish were in the polluted lake…

"I'm not sure a respectable bald eagle would dive and grab something out of that lake.  But there was never a time that we know of when there were no fish in the lake."

Most drivers are well aware of the hazards of drinking and getting behind the wheel … and the dangers of distracted driving.  But new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is pointing at another threat.  Many motorists have probably zoned out or maybe even nodded off briefly, drifting out of their lane onto rumble strips or off of the pavement.  AAA spokesperson Elizabeth Carey says drowsy-driving accidents are severely underreported.

file photo / WAER News

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she has a bi-partisan solution to improve access to job training programs that could help New Yorkers land better-paying jobs.  Companies in Central New York and elsewhere often say they have openings, but can’t find workers with the skills they need.

Sen. Gillibrand says 5.8 million jobs nationwide go unfilled because of a shortage of workers with in-demand skills.  But she says simply telling workers to get training misses the larger picture.

An Associate Political Science Professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School says both Republicans and Democrats should be able to come together on reaching an immigration deal.  Elizabeth Cohen thinks that President Trump isn’t providing a clear picture of what U.S. immigration really resembles and she feels that he continues to portray immigrants as criminals.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS research of a few years ago has inspired a similar chilling challenge here in Syracuse to raise money for the United Way.  The challenge combines two things Syracuse is known for, snow and the number 44. United Way board member Jim Capparelli says the reason for the challenge is actually quite serious. 

Scott Suchman /

Central New York native Lizzie Klemperer is embracing her return to Syracuse for her latest show.  She will be performing at Symphoria’s concert called A Night at the Oscars on Saturday.

I've been trying to get back to Syracuse to do a concert with Symphoria for several years now.  This is the first time it worked out with scheduling.  The concert is really's an Oscar-themed concert, everyone will be dressed up.  I hear there’s going to be a red carpet.”  

The city of Syracuse is turning to tech-savvy residents for new ways to make snow clearing more efficient with GPS-tracked plows.  Syracuse is partnering with Syracuse University's iSchool and AT&T to launch the “Plowing Through the Data” Hack-A-Thon, an initiative to publicize data on the routes plows take throughout the city.  The city’s Chief Data Officer Sam Edelstein says the data will allow residents to offer new ways to tackle street clearing.

Scott Willis / WAER

Current and former Syracuse University graduate students have formed a new tenant association in an effort to address what they say is a pattern of unsafe living conditions at dozens of properties operated by Syracuse Quality Living. Many of the students have been bounced from apartment to apartment, only to find conditions worse than before while paying sharply higher rent. Phalande Jean, Benesemon Simmons, Susima Weerakoon, and Eli Gebler shared their experiences.