WAER News Round-up: Week of Feb. 21
This week saw the return of one beloved Syracuse celebration and progress toward bringing back another this summer. Yet these past couple of days were darkened by Russia's attack on Ukraine that prompted reaction from local elected leaders.
A local education expert saw significant takeaways from the Syracuse City School District’s historic increase in graduation rates. The district recently revealed a 77% increase in graduation rates for high school students. Syracuse University’s professor of mathematics education Joanna Masingila, also a former dean at SU, said the school district’s focus on professional development and student problem solving is likely the right formula to lasting academic benefits.
New York made progress this month supporting residents with disabilities with a newly established office, but the development comes as two-thirds of New Yorkers with disabilities are unemployed despite a growing American economy. State Sen. John Mannion’s new legislation aims to tackle that problem.
Onondaga County lawmakers just might be moving the Syracuse Jazz Fest a little closer to reality for this summer. A committee approved a measure that would direct $125,000 toward the event matching an amount already pledged by the city of Syracuse.
Attorney General Letitia James is using the power of her office to hold the owner of the troubled Skyline apartment complex and other properties accountable for uninhabitable conditions. In a visit to Syracuse, James says Green National has agreed to address the problems in 60 days or pay a $300,000 fine. James says her decision comes after the Skyline was repeatedly cited for code violations, including human waste and drugs in hallways.
Syracuse Winterfest is back after a hiatus last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The local business community has been eager to see the festival's return as the event draws visitors to the area. People are coming from neighboring states and even traveling from Canada for the 11-day winter celebration.
A hard cap on out-of-pocket cost for insulin – $35 maximum – is the centerpiece of the Affordable Insulin Now Act. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said the Senate will take up the bill in the next few weeks.
All eyes are on Ukraine as Russia is attacking the country at its eastern border, and the invasion is expected to grow. Elected officials across the state and in the Syracuse region are condemning the action and offering support to the Ukranian people.
Central New Yorkers are suffering at the pump following the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The price had gone up just in ancitiation of an invasion and now that Russia is actually attacking its neighbor, relief seems unlikely.
President Biden has selected Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as his Supreme Court nominee to fill the seat left when Judge Stephen Breyer retires this summer.