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WAER News Round up: Week of Mar. 25

news roundup 0325

1. Driver shortages and gas prices force ride-to-work program to end service in Syracuse

This is the van for Providence Services of Syracuse.
Scott Willis

Providence Services of Syracuse couldn’t withstand the combination of the pandemic, high gas prices, and labor challenges. The unique ride-to-work program aimed at those with limited transportation options ended operations this week.

2. Syracuse organizations tackle poverty crisis in underrepresented communities

Maxwell Mimaroglu
Peace Inc. headquarters on South Selina Street in Syracuse, NY, March 21st 2022.

Syracuse non-profit organizations are bringing attention to the continued impact of concentrated poverty on non-white communities after the city ranked first for childhood poverty rates among cities with more than 100,000 people. Although Syracuse received $1.7 million to fund anti-poverty work in 2019, it remains a prominent issue.

3. Gov. Hochul says COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant not yet a cause for concern

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Karen DeWitt
NYS Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett speaks at COVID-19 briefing at the state's Wadsworth Labs on March 21, 2022. Gov Kathy Hochul is at left

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said the COVID-19 Omicron sub-variant BA.2 is showing up in testing in New York. But she said, so far, it is not spreading as fast as it has in Europe and the United Kingdom.

4. I-81 replacement project could get the "green light" in a matter of weeks

i81 schumer.jpg
Scott Willis
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer speaking in front of the I-81 viaduct

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer announced Monday that the final approval for the massive I-81 replacement project is just weeks away. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg confirmed the timeline to Schumer last week.

5. Gov. Hochul's memo fails to ease tensions over bail reform laws

Darren McGee/Darren McGee- Office of Governor
Gov. Hochul in Yonkers last week.

Tensions between Gov. Kathy Hochul and the state legislature are intensifying over a proposal to change the state’s criminal justice laws, with the date for finalizing the state budget just over a week away. The governor’s proposals reverse portions of the law that ended most forms of cash bail.

6. What Ketanji Brown Jackson’s public defender experience would bring to SCOTUS

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Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson at SCOTUS hearing.

A Syracuse University law professor said if confirmed, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson will bring a perspective to the U.S. Supreme Court that no one else has in its history. Jackson’s experience as a public defender would "shed more light on the parts of society that often don’t get the benefit of a full hearing."

7. Syracuse city schools remember the stories of four Holocaust survivors


Syracuse city school student heard from families of Holocaust survivors this week during social studies classes. At Lincoln Middle School, students were introduced to Sarah Pila Liederman from Chicago who told students about her Polish grandfather “Zaide” Saloman Pila.

8. Onondaga County Executive focuses investments on tourism-related developments and human services needs

Inner Harbor
Maxwell Mimaroglu
Board Walk at the Syracuse Inner Harbor, Syracuse, NY, March 23, 2022.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon Wednesday night declared the state of the county “stronger than ever” as it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed much optimism for the future major tourism-related projects.

9. Tick activity increasing with milder temperatures

A look inside Lab at SUNY Upstate.jpg
John Smith
A look inside Lab at SUNY Upstate

It is going to be another very active season for ticks if temperatures continue to rise consistently. Doctor Saravanan Thangamani and his team are doing their part to detect the presence of many pathogens in ticks that could lead to illnesses.

Yoki Tang was raised in a big city of China called Shanghai. He speaks Mandarin, Korean and English. His majors are Broadcast Digital Journalism and Selective Study In Education and would be graduated in May 2023. The desire to get the facts right and the quest for accurate facts made Yoki want to study broadcast and journalism in the first place.