SUNY Chancellor Calls Excelsior Scholarship A Success Despite Low First-Year Numbers

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson is calling the Excelsior Scholarship a success despite statistics that show it was used by only 3.2% of SUNY students to help pay tuition costs in its first year. According to the New York State Higher Education Corporation, just over 20,000 students were awarded the scholarship in the 2017-2018 school year. Johnson wants to drill down in those numbers though.  She said there are some very positive impacts from the scholarship, specifically when it comes to a lower dropout rate. “The retention rate is 10% higher with Excelsior students, with scholarships which are Excelsior, than for students that don’t have an Excelsior Scholarship,” Johnson said. “And 15% higher for community colleges where a lot of our students get their start.

Reimagining The Erie Canal

“We’re really looking at what the canal is, what it has been, but what it could be,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton.

Onondaga Lake Beach Study Says 32K Could Swim In Former Superfund Site, Only 22% Surveyed Say It’s Safe

SYRACUSE (WRVO) – The lake once called the most polluted in the country, could be getting closer to becoming a beach destination for central New Yorkers. But not everyone is on board with the idea of swimming in a former Superfund site. At a recent public meeting, Onondaga County announced results of a survey that showed almost 32,000 people would be willing to go swimming in a potential beach at the Willow Bay area of Onondaga Lake. “To us it’s a very good sign that people who come to get close to the lake, and experience the lake with their own personal senses, are more comfortable swimming in Onondaga Lake,” Travis Glazier, head of the county’s Department of the Environment, said. But on the other side, only 22% of respondents felt the lake was safe to swim in.

Drug Prevention Advocates Prepare For Legalized Marijuana

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday released details of his plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Under the proposal, the drug would be taxed, regulated and sold to those 21 and over. It’s expected to pass the state legislature this year, and drug prevention advocates are getting ready.

Heroin Vaccine To Be Tested In Syracuse

Researchers at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse have joined those at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Health in advancing a novel approach to treating heroin addicts. They hope a heroin vaccine can be a factor in the fight against opioid addiction.

State Officials Push Growth Of Wind Power In New York

If New York state hopes to reach a goal of getting half of its electricity from renewable resources by the year 2030, wind energy will have to be part of the formula. That was the focus of a wind summit held in Syracuse this week, and boosters of wind power are optimistic it will happen.

Episcopal Bishop For Central New York Maintains Support For Same-Sex Marriage

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – The issue of gay marriage is at the heart of a disagreement in the Episcopal Church in upstate New York. An Albany Bishop has banned same-sex marriage in his diocese, going so far as to say in a letter to the Albany Diocese that the church has been ‘hijacked by the ‘gay rights agenda,'” with Satan at the source of this division in the church. 

Need For Diapers Keeps Diaper Bank Busy

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO – The Central New York Diaper Bank has distributed 660,000 diapers to needy families in the area since it was founded in 2016. That may sound like a lot, but it’s not enough to cover the need.

Molinaro Starts RV Tour Of New York At The State Fair

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro is on the road this week as his race against Gov. Andrew Cuomo picks up steam. Moliaro and his family are crossing the state looking for votes in an RV, and one of the first stops for the family of five on Sunday was the New York State Fair. 

New York State Fair Opens

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to unveil the new $62 million Expo Center when the New York State Fair begins it’s 13-day run Wednesday morning. It’s part of a major revitalization of the west end of the Syracuse-area fairgrounds.

More Police Officers Train To Spot Drug-Impaired Drivers

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Drunk driving crashes are on the decline in New York State, according to the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. But at the same time, the number of crashes involving drug impaired drivers is on the rise.  Now the state is increasing the numbers of highly trained officers who can identify the signs of drug-impaired driving.

The Calendar May Be The Biggest Foe In This Month’s New York Primary

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Primary Day is less than two weeks away for two women who want to be the Democratic candidate in the race for the central New York congressional seat currently held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). As their campaigns sprint toward the finish line, they face one factor beyond their control: the calendar. 

Will The Public Swim In Onondaga Lake?

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Onondaga County lawmakers want to make it clear that a potential study that outlines the possibility of a beach along Onondaga Lake, doesn’t mean there will be swimming there anytime soon.

Students Across The Region Expected To Protest Gun Violence

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Students at more than a dozen school in central and northern New York are expected to take part in a national high school walkout today to demand action on gun control. The walkout is being held today, because it is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

Lt. Governor Talks New York State Budget

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) – Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul has been crossing the state talking about some of the items in the recently passed state budget. During a stop in Syracuse recently, Hochul highlighted parts of the $168 budget that New York lawmakers passed last month.

Study Will Determine Feasibility Of Onondaga Lake Beach

It’s been almost 80 years since anyone was able to swim in Onondaga Lake from a public beach. Years of industrial pollution and sewage outflow destroyed any hope of public access until recent years, following a multi-million dollar cleanup of the lake once deemed the most polluted in the country.