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WAER News Round up: Week of April 18

A graphic of a notebook paper lists the top stories of the week of April 18, 2022: New Syr police chief; Centro's mark rules; Katko visits SU; Student creates art therapy; and opioid settlement dollars.
A graphic of a notebook paper lists the top stories of the week of April 18, 2022

We had to wait until Friday to get the biggest local news of the week: Syracuse has a new police chief. But we also checked in on masking policies in New York after a judge struck down the federal mandate. Plus, local school districts stand to earn funds to improve mental health support and Syracuse is seeking ideas to revitalize business corridors with federal dollars.

1. First deputy chief Joe Cecile tapped to lead Syracuse Police Department


Joe Cecile, the first deputy chief of the Syracuse Police Department, will now lead the agency following the former chief's resignation Friday.

2. Hochul says rising spread of COVID-19 subvariants in New York is not cause for panic

Gov. Kathy Hochul wears a mask to help stop the spread of COVID variants.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday that new variants of COVID-19 are spreading in New York, but there’s no reason to be alarmed.

3. CENTRO keeps its public transport mask mandate in place

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The New York State Health Department is still requiring masks on public transit, so Monday’s federal ruling doesn’t change anything for Centro, its employees, and its customers. This comes as Onondaga County has seen COVID-19 hospitalizations double over the past three weeks and is now considered a high-risk area by the CDC.

4. More patrols will be in Armory Square this weekend after shooting

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Two probation units will be patrolling the Downtown Business District this weekend. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said these officers will function as a deterrent to those who have "bad intentions" in downtown Syracuse.

5. Rep. John Katko reflects on his years in Congress ahead of retirement


Central New York Congress member John Katko has just a few months left as New York’s 24th District representative. He reflected on his time in Congress during a recent conversation at Syracuse University with Vice Chancellor Gretchen Ritter.

6.  Business, tech are among the top CNY industries advertising remote-friendly work

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People are returning to the office after more than 30% of the nation’s workforce went remote during the pandemic's peak. But local employees in some fields are seeing remote-friendly opportunities increase.

7. CNY high schooler hosts virtual art therapy program for youth struggling with their mental health

Ana Dentler's art therapy activity "My Past and Future Hands" shows drawings of past life experiences on one hand and drawings of future plans on the other.
Ana Dentler
Ana Dentler's art therapy activity "My Past and Future Hands" shows drawings of past life experiences on one hand and drawings of future plans on the other.

This week the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recommended all children 8 to 18 be screened for anxiety, as youth face new and existing stressors during the pandemic. Ana Dentler hopes her program, Crafts & Care, will lessen the stress of participants.

8. Onondaga County receives $3.7 million to combat ongoing opioid addiction crisis

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Central New York is receiving its next installment of opioid settlement funds from a 2019 state lawsuit that held distributors and manufacturers accountable for the epidemic. Attorney General Tish James announced in a virtual event that the region will receive $6.3 million for prevention, treatment and education.

9. Syracuse seeks project proposals to revitalize business corridors using federal funds

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Scott Willis
Mayor Ben Walsh outlines the business corridor improvement fund at 701-703 N. Salina St. Behind him are, left to right, Deputy Director of Business Development Eric Ennis, Councilors Amir Gethers, Jennifer Schultz, Pat Hogan, Michael Greene, and building owner Jamie Stevens.

Syracuse has opened the application window for a new program aimed at revitalizing the city’s neighborhood business corridors using federal pandemic relief funds. Deputy Commissioner of business development Eric Ennis said the funds can provide a much-needed spark for the corridors.

10. NY school districts have a chance to get a portion of $50 million for student mental health


Governor Kathy Hochul announced investments of up to $50 million in available funding for mental health resources. School districts will be awarded money to improve student access and assist students who have experienced trauma that impacted their education.