regional news

Leo Tully/WAER News

The Southwest Community Center in Syracuse has been spending time during Black History Month rehearsing an emotionally-heated play that premieres this Friday. It follows African Americans from the Civil War through today. Valerie Hill is the Director of Community Services at Syracuse Community Connections and the woman responsible for writing the play. She spoke about a pattern of unfortunate incidents that inspired her to write it.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Advocates who want the Child Victims Act passed in  New York  are stepping up the pressure on Republicans in the State Senate. Some GOP Senators are the final hold outs against a bill that would extend the statute of limitations and open up a one year window for past victims to file civil lawsuits.

The measure would allow someone to take court action up until the victim is the age of 50. The current age limit is 23.

SCSD's $24 Million Budget Deficit Might Not be as Bad as it Seems

Feb 27, 2018
SyracuseCitySchools.com

A gap of $24 million in the Syracuse City School district budget might not sound good.  But Chief Financial Officer Suzanne Slack says it’s actually smaller than past years. 

"We usually have between a $30 and $40 million gap each year that we work to close through the budget process. When we came in under 30 we were a little bit excited about that. It's still a problem, but to know that it's going in the right direction was a bit of a surprise." 

supremecourt.gov

A case heard Monday in the U.S. Supreme Court and to be decided later on this year could have a big impact on public worker unions in New York.

The case, known as Janus v AFSCME, was brought by  Mark Janus, a public employee in Illinois, who is challenging his state’s policy of requiring that he pay union dues to the Illinois branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  even though he does not want to be a member.

Janus and his lawyers say the mandatory payments violate his First Amendment right to not be compelled to fund political speech.

The police chief in DeWitt says numerous entities are ready to jump in to action if there’s a report of someone who might become a threat at a school or in the community at large.  Meanwhile, the debate continues in Florida over what people knew about the shooter and what could have been done to stop him. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors jumped aboard a larger national movement that would levy a carbon fee on fossil fuels and return that money to households. The Carbon Fee and Dividend climate change resolution, sponsored by councilor Joe Driscoll, would add a $15 fee to every ton of fossil fuel. He said that figure is based on the environmental costs of CO2 emitted by the fuel.

Etan Thomas to Discuss Activism in Athletics and His New Book at SU

Feb 26, 2018
Syracuse University Athletics

SU alum and former NBA player Etan Thomas will give a talk at Syracuse University tonight about athletes' role as activists and their ability to speak out against societal issues like race relations, police brutality, and sexual assault. 

In his recent book, “We Matter: Athletes and Activism,”  Thomas describes recent and past activism in athletics and its perception by the public and the media, informed by both experience and over 50 interviews with notable athletes and figures.  Thomas explains his support for activism by athletes and its history and future.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

WAER’s City Limits Project – investigating poverty in Syracuse turned its focus to education.  How is poverty impacting schools and adult education?  And how much is the basic mission of these institutions changing as they have to deal with the effects of poverty in our community? 

(Full Audio of the panel discussion below)

When you’re inside a school as students are heading to class, the energy and the expectation should be that learning is about to take place to enrich the students.  

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.”

Pages