WAER 88.3 News | NPR from Central New York

Local news feed from the WAER 88.3 in Syracuse, NY. National Public Radio for the greater Central New York region. The latest local and community news from Syracuse Public Radio.

WAER Syracuse Public Radio NPR

Growing Canadian Pet Licensing Firm Sets Up U.S. Headquarters in Syracuse
November 16, 2018, 7:24 pm | Source
A fast-growing municipal pet licensing service out of Canada has decided to establish its U.S. headquarters right here in Syracuse. Docupet introduced on-line registration service here about two months ago, and now they have an office in AXA Tower II.

Syracuse Reads Round-table: Born A Crime
November 14, 2018, 3:11 am | Source
WAER and Hendricks Chapel recently hosted an on-air, round-table discussion on Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” . The book was selected for the 2018-19 Syracuse Reads Program, a shared reading initiative coordinated by the Provost’s Office that is part of the First-Year Experience for all new Syracuse University students. Hosted by WAER General Manager Joe Lee and the Rev. Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel, the round table conversation also included four first-year students—Bryan Hudnell, Dassy Kemedjio, Hadiya Lee and Allison Weiss—focusing on themes of identity and belonging, spirituality, and diversity and inclusion.

New Equal Rights Heritage Center Opens in Auburn, Complete with Statue of Harriet Tubman
November 13, 2018, 11:37 pm | Source
There’s a new place in Auburn to stop and learn about New York’s civil, women’s and LGBTQ rights pioneers. Officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on the 10 million dollar Equal Rights Heritage Center.

SU Honors Highest-Ranking Female Alumnus at Veterans Day Ceremony
November 9, 2018, 10:23 pm | Source
A large crowd attended Syracuse University’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony Friday morning at Hendricks Chapel, complete with members of the 198 th Army Band. A Syracuse University Alumnus from Oriskany Army Major General Peggy Combs retired Thursday night on campus. She reflected on the best part of her 33 ½ years of service. "You meet many so like-hearted people who are committed to the values of the nation and upholding the constitution. There's no other brotherhood and sisterhood like it. The camaraderie with your brothers and sisters in arms is very unique. It's a very small profession...when you think how many people actually serve. There's only 1.4 million on active duty right now.” Combs has earned the distinction of becoming the highest-ranking female officer who ever attended SU. In her keynote address, Combs encouraged others to do something bigger than themselves, carry out integrity and honor and hold ‘personal courage’ to do the right things in life. Vice Chancellor Mike

A New Vera House Initiave Aims To Make Syracuse's Nightlife Safer
October 31, 2018, 3:19 pm | Source
Vera House unveiled a new initiative today designed to make Syracuse’s nightlife scene safer. The program entitled “ Raise The Bar ” works with establishments where alcohol is served to train staff on how to prevent sexual aggression and violence.

National Grid: Customers to Pay Less for Gas, Electricity this Winter
October 23, 2018, 5:01 pm | Source
With winter fast approaching, central New Yorkers will be happy to hear that they’ll likely pay less for energy costs compared to last year. National Grid Central New York Director Alberto Bianchetti says natural gas supply costs are trending more favorably for customers. "Assuming a typical winter, supply charges for the upcoming winter heating season are estimated to be about 13.7 percent lower compared to what customers saw last year.” Factor in a slight increase in delivery charges, and Bianchetti says most consumers will still end up paying about $31 less for the heating season, which runs from November first through the end of March. So, the cost of natural gas is down, but what about electricity? " Outside of unanticipated weather events, National Grid is also expecting electricity bills in Central New York to be lower. The supply side of residential electricity bills for the coming winter is expected to be 17% lower than last year.” That’s certainly good news for customers, but

Syracuse Snow Plow Operators Face Stiffer Fines for Unlicensed Operation Under Updated Ordinance
October 22, 2018, 10:15 pm | Source
Syracuse Common Councilors Monday agreed to beef up an ordinance that regulates snow plow operators with hopes of increasing accountability. A license will still cost $250, but the cost drops to only $50 per additional truck in the same fleet. Fines for unlicensed operation, however, will jump from $150 to $350. Director of Operations Corey Driscoll Dunham says snow plows are just like other private contractors in the city and need to know the rules. "We do have issues where private contractors dump snow in the street, the sidewalk, or on hydrants. This is an opportunity to educate them, and to compensate the city for the time spent dealiing with snow plow license operators." Councilor Joe Carni was the lone no-vote on the updated ordinance. " If there is an issue of dumping in the median, someone's property, or the road, it's largely complaint driven by the neighbors and it's addressed. It doesn't matter if they're licensed or not with the city." Carni says he's already heard from

A New Photo Exhibit Provides A Personal Look Into The Lives Of Breast Cancer Survivors
October 19, 2018, 9:39 pm | Source
A new exhibit at the Point of Contact Gallery in Syracuse is taking an intimate look at Central New York breast cancer survivor’s personal stories. WAER’s Katie Zilcosky sat down with Project Director Tula Goenka to talk about the project, " Look Now: Facing Breast Cancer ." The exhibit is on view until the end of October. The Point of Contact Gallery is open from 12p.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday, and it is free to the public.

Syracuse Takes Stock of Housing Instability Ahead of Visit by Award Winning Author of "Evicted"
October 18, 2018, 9:58 pm | Source
Eviction, poverty, and housing instability are some of the biggest challenges facing Syracuse residents, and Pulitzer Prize winning author Matthew Desmond will be in Syracuse Tuesday evening to put it all in perspective. He wrote the book “ Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City ” that puts a microscope on poverty and eviction in America.

Major Upgrades Coming to NBT Bank Stadium as Part of 25-Year Deal with NY Mets
October 17, 2018, 3:43 pm | Source
Big changes are coming to NBT Bank Stadium as part of a new agreement with the New York Mets… "I'm proud to announce that the county is investing $12.5 million in partnership with the state to undertake major renovations at NBT Bank Stadium, and we're doing this in preparation for the arrival of the New York Mets minor franchise."

Inaugural Horse Shows Set to Debut at Fairgrounds Expo Center This Month
October 11, 2018, 9:11 pm | Source
The upstate New York event management company hired to book and market non-fair events at the state fairgrounds is ready to debut its first horse show next week at the new Expo Center. HITS entertainment President and CEO Tom Struzzieri hopes to build upon the success of other equine shows they put on across the country. "The Central New York Reining Horse Association will hold a four day premier reining event here in the building. That's what we're getting ready for now. With over $100,000 in prize money, this event will attract athletes from all over the east coast and Canada." Today's announcement also included demonstrations. Tom Hoyt and Pinstripe Benz performed a reining demonstration, where the horse slides to a stop, and also turns in circles. Cazenovia College Senior Keeley Gambino and Twister performed a series of jumps. Board member of the New York State Horse Council Dan Gruen says Central New York will now be among a number of lucrative competitions held across the country

OCWA Participates in "A Day Without Water"
October 11, 2018, 7:59 pm | Source
The Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA) is assuring customers that they're tryng to get out in front of water problems, such as is failing infrastructure and toxic threats to water quality. But their investments in safe and secure water will have an impact on water bills in the future.

CNY High School Students Explore Careers in Energy at National Grid
October 10, 2018, 9:09 pm | Source
About 30 students from Syracuse’s Institute of Technology got a taste Wednesday of what can go wrong when a squirrel gets caught up in power lines. Well...it wasn't a real squirrel, but the look-alike did cause a component to blow, startling the students and other observers. The demonstration was one of many activities at National Grid’s sprawling training facility in Liverpool as part of “Careers in Energy Week.” Manager of new talent development Erin Cunia says there is a growing need for new workers to fill the vacancies left behind by retirees and others leaving the industry. " We need people who want to be line workers. We need people who want to be gas mechanics. We're working with the high schools and colleges to try and raise awareness of those trade positions that don't necessarily require a college education. But maybe they can get a certificate that makes them more qualified to get that job off the street." Cunia says they just signed an agreement with the SUNY system that

Syracuse Downtown Farmers Market Closes; Farmers Change Gears for Fall and Winter
October 9, 2018, 7:51 pm | Source
The Syracuse Downtown Farmers Market came to a close for another year Monday. Change might have been the watchword for the day – due to the season and the changing nature of downtown.

OrangeAbility Event Pushes Past Wheelchair Limits Through Adaptive Sports
October 8, 2018, 7:30 pm | Source
Syracuse University presented a different aspect of accommodations for people with disabilities this weekend. OrangeAbility offered a day of inclusive and adaptive hockey, basketball, tennis, and more for students and Central New Yorkers who identify with a disability. President of the Disability Student Union Priya Penner said that sports are essential to disability culture, especially at SU. “We really like focusing on sports with this particular event because Syracuse University is such a big sports school,” said Penner. “Also sports generally just bring people together, there’s that camaraderie within teams, there's a lot that makes sports a really awesome lens to look into disability culture and disability pride.” But for many of the athletes, sports are more than just a fun social activity. They can also be a life changing development.

High-Ranking Naval Officer From CNY Returns Home to Talk With Students About Career and Character
October 3, 2018, 10:19 pm | Source
A high-ranking naval officer with roots in Central New York is spending a few days in his hometown, visiting students of all ages to talk about his long career in the Navy.

The Future of Shoppingtown Mall Hangs in the Balance Pending Tax Payment by Owner
October 3, 2018, 9:23 pm | Source
Time is ticking away this month for the current owners of Shoppingtown Mall to pay up on back taxes as Onondaga County prepares to potentially seize the property. The County has several choices on how to move forward with property, but the town of Dewitt is hoping that it doesn’t get auctioned off to private owners.

Vera House Officials: Accusations Against Kavanaugh Put VAWA Reauthorization Debate Into Context
September 25, 2018, 7:24 pm | Source
The ongoing debate over reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, in Congress appears to have taken on new meaning in light of the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Those who advocate on behalf of survivors of sexual assault in Central New York feels lawmaker’s support of a long-term solution will speak volumes about where they stand. VAWA is set to expire at month’s end, and reauthorization has typically been a simple and bi-partisan process since it was signed into law in 1994. But not this year. Vera House executive director Randi Bregman says the program has brought more than a million dollars in grants to the organization over the last decade to support victims and survivors, as well as educate men to ensure they’re part of the solution to preventing violence. Now Bregman says they’re struggling to make sense of the national news. "Conversations about what does the #metoo movement really mean, when do we believe survivors, what

Syracuse Pastors Make Plea for Peace Following South Side Mass Shooting
September 24, 2018, 3:50 pm | Source
Pastors of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Syracuse’s south side are coming together to ask the community for help in response to Thursday’s mass shooting on Midland Avenue.

Westcott Street Cultural Fair Celebrates Community and Diversity
September 24, 2018, 1:25 pm | Source
The 27th annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair on Sunday drew tens of thousands of residents to the main road for six stages of music and dancing, more than seventy booths for artisan goods, and a diverse selection of food. But this was no ordinary street fair. Sharon Sherman, Chair of the Westcott Fair, says the festivities were a celebration of all the neighborhood has accomplished, and what it has become. “When it was started, the neighborhood was in transition, and not in a positive way,” Sherman said. “So, the idea was to do something to celebrate the neighborhood. Obviously is has grown tremendously. The neighborhood had to find itself, and it has absolutely found itself an identity and type of people that it attracts.” Westcott Nation prides itself on being one of the most diverse communities in Central New York. The neighborhood saw an influx of residents from Downtown Syracuse that was looking for a more accepting environment. Local business owner Ryan Wood says that Westcott’s

WAER News Source: