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WAER News Round-up: Week of February 14

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1. New York State striving for more electric vehicles on the roads
Advocates for the environment would like to see the streets of New York State look more environmentally friendly within the next three years. New York’s Alliance for Clean Energy is lobbying state lawmakers for measures that would help get more zero-emission vehicles on the road.

A car is refueling.

2. Republicans debate on canceling mask mandate in schools
Members of the state Senate GOP conference presented an amendment today to force a commissioner want to keep the requirement in place until at least March 4th. GOP minority leader Rob Ortt disagreed and said it is unjustified and hypocritical.

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Students wearing masks walk into school.

3. New York has first Chief Disability Officer
Governor Kathy Hochul created a new state Office of the Chief Disability Officer, and named the first person to lead that office, something she says is long overdue.

Mike Groll/Mike Groll/Office of Governor Ka
Governor Kathy Hochul announces the creation of the Office of the Chief Disability Officer in Troy. She named Kim Hill, right, as the first person to lead the office.

4. Syracuse's independent redistricting commission is a big deal but few people seem to care
Syracuse’s independent redistricting commission has scheduled its first five public meetings in an effort to inform and engage the community in their work. The volunteer commissioners have already been stopping by neighborhood meetings to get the word out.

City Hall
Max Mimaroglu
Max Mimaroglu for WAER
Syracuse City Hall. 2/14/22. (Photos by Max Mimaroglu)

5. Syracuse Police Department seeking new recruits amid record high vacancies
The Syracuse Police Department has been hosting information sessions in the community to attract future officers. The department is looking to hire as many qualified officers as possible to fill historically high vacancies left by former employees who’ve either retired or laterally transferred to other law enforcement jobs.

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6. Syracuse police are getting a jiu jitsu instructor
The Syracuse police department is turning to Brazilian jiu jitsu for help de-escalating tense situations. The training has been found to reduce police and citizen injuries because the grappling style allows officers to subdue suspects without physical harm.

Haven Jiu Jitsu
Maxwell Mimaroglu
Ben Tallini, black belt jiu jitsu instructor, demonstrates a move during a class at Haven Jiu Jitsu in Baldwinsville, Feb. 16, 2022. (Photo by Max Mimaroglu)

7. Kathy Hochul set to receive Democratic Party's nomination for governor
New York Governor Kathy Hochul is headed for an easy ride at her first statewide political convention since replacing Andrew Cuomo last summer. It is the first step on Hochul’s quest to get elected to the post in her own right.

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8. U.S. Senate candidate challenging Sen. Chuck Schumer stops in Syracuse
One of the six Republican United States Senate hopefuls aiming to unseat incumbent Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer stopped by Syracuse Thursday to introduce himself and meet with local leaders. Joe Pinion knows his path to the senate is a difficult one. First, he will have to rise above five other candidates for the nomination, and Pinion says he is not overlooking the possibility of a primary election.

Joe Pinion sits in a chair as he is interviewed.
Scott Willis
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Pinion sits in a chair in the lobby of a Syracuse hotel as he is interviewed by WAER's Scott Willis.

9. Syracuse City School District sees significant gains in graduation rates
The remarkable rise in Syracuse City School District high school graduation rates can have an impact on city students’ and families’ futures according to education experts. Syracuse University professor of educational leadership George Theoharis remembered graduation success was under 50% in the city when he came here 18 years ago.