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WAER News Round up: Sept. 5 - Sept. 9

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This week the state received omicron vaccine boosters, the county got a new health commissioner and local students went back to school. But just Friday morning, the nonprofit Vera House canceled its annual fundraiser amid outage it hired a convicted sex offender. Read on for the details.

1. Vera House scraps annual gala after backlash to hiring controversy 

vera house gala 3.jpg
Vera House

The Vera House Foundation has been called off its annual fundraising event this year after whistleblower claimed a convicted sex offender that worked for the organization.

2. SUNY Upstate infectious disease expert nominated to be Onondaga County's next health commissioner 

health comm anderson greets.jpg
Scott R Willis
Dr. Kathryn Anderson greets Onondaga County Legislators Colleen Gunnip and Deb Cody as county executive Ryan McMahon looks on.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon has decided the next health commissioner in future.

3. Omicron variant vaccine boosters now available in New York 

Don Pollard/Flickr.Com

The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine boosters, created to combat the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants, are now available at certain medical providers throughout the state.

4. Staffing shortages will remain a challenge for schools as new year begins 

Photo By Allison Shelley For The Verbatim Agency For EDUimages
A high school physiology teacher shows students how to create a clay model of the endocrine system.

Many Central New York students have been returned to the classroom and school officials were ready to welcome them back. However, besides school safety, learning loss, and more struggles brought on by the pandemic, CNY is facing the issue of an ongoing teacher shortage.

5. Syracuse City School District prioritizes safety as students head back to the classroom 

SCSD grades Kindergarten through eight and Syracuse high schoolers were having a class.
Ronald John Parrillo
Interim superintendent Anthony Davis talks to a Salem-Hyde Elementary School student on the first day of class.

As students return to school this week, the Syracuse City School District was also focusing on the safety of the school.

6. Onondaga County lawmakers to consider expanding live streaming of meetings 

Scott Willis
A small camera near legislature chairman Jim Rowley streams and records legislative session proceedings. But the audio and video quality are lacking.

Onondaga County lawmakers were considering improving and expanding the way they live stream their meetings rather than videos and audios.

7. Youlanda Hudgins-Johnson named City of Syracuse Director of Minority Affairs 

youlanda higgins
City of Syraucse
Hudgins-Johnson will oversee the management and operation of the city’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program.

The City of Syracuse has promoted one of its current employees to the role of Director of Minority Affairs.

8. NYS Farm Laborer Wage Board sends farmworker overtime recommendation to Labor Commissioner 

Isabel Flores
The Workers Center of Central New York collected signatures outside the New York State Fair in support of reducing the number of hours in the work week for farm laborers.

Although the proposal of lowering the overtime threshold for migrant workers from 60 hours to 40 hours makes its way to the state’s labor commissioner, the debate continues.

9. Adirondack Council fights to save beloved park from impacts of climate crisis 

The Adirondack Park in St. Lawrence County, New York is filled with green vibrant trees and flowing rivers.
Adirondack Council
Adirondack Council
The Adirondack Park in St. Lawrence County is home to various wildlife and flowing rivers.

The Adirondack Council detailed how the park has been impacted by climate change and what New York needs to do to prevent more damage.

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.