Chris Bolt

News Director

Maybe I was destined for a career in radio when I built my first stereo receiver from a Heathkit box…then later spent time running wires over beer-stained floors for local bands in Colorado bars.  I remember becoming enamored with Public Radio's story-telling style covering an exiled music group that had come to Syracuse from El Salvador.  The piece involved interviewing through an interpreter and mixing in the music with a strongly-political story of death squads.  Over the next 23 years I’ve enjoyed covering the issues, people, events, challenges and accomplishments of Central New York. 

I came to Syracuse to finish a Broadcast Journalism degree at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.  I’ve worked at WAER since 1990 and truly enjoy our mission of educating and engaging the community, while training aspiring journalists and broadcasters.  I’m passionate about the area’s lifestyle and efforts to improve its vitality.   When not on a story, in a studio or editing and mentoring students, I can probably be found outside.  I love Central New York’s natural areas and waterways, as well as golfing and biking opportunities.  

Ways to Connect

Mary Catalfamo/NextGenRadio

Hamdi Farah knew in college that she wanted to be a teacher for the younger refugee children in Syracuse’s Somali-American community, but she had doubts about the idea. How could she teach them English, for example, when she wasn’t always sure of correct spellings herself?


Malika-Budur Kalila/NextGenRadio

Aromas of curry, cumin, turmeric, onions and other spices fill the room as goat curry cooks in a huge pot on the stove. Meanwhile, various dishes from cuisines around the world are served to customers.  “It’s a blessing to feed people who were fasting the whole day; it’s a really beautiful benefit from God,” says Tatyana Mahmud.


Jordan Muller/NextGenRadio

Ten years ago, 15-year-old Khadijo Abdulkadir arrived in New York City. But as she took her first steps off the airplane and into the United States, there was one thing she and her family forgot onboard: her sister.


(Courtesy of Rita Paniagua)

As a high school junior in Puerto Rico, Rita Paniagua decided to fulfill a civic engagement requirement by teaching English to schoolchildren in an impoverished village west of San Juan, where she lived.


Stacy Fernandez/NextGenRadio

It’s Christmas in May in Jan-Juba Arway’s house. A “Happy Holidays” decal adorns a wall in the living room with five stockings around it, one for Arway and each of her kids. A Christmas tree topped by a glittery gold star anchors a corner of the room.


Vernon Williams Facebook Page

A big weekend coming up for political candidates to canvass before the June 25th Primary.  Among those stumping for votes will be County Legislature candidate Vernon Williams Jr. 


Chris Bolt/WAER News / WAER FM

A geothermal heating and cooling system in an historic Fayetteville home is being used as a model to help expand the use of the technology.  The installation was honored by a state-wide organization, NY Geo, for its innovation and role in reducing climate change.


Wikimedia commons

Syracuse Police are ready to take the next step in their body-worn Camera program.  The department is looking for feedback to make the technology the most effective.


Brandon Ross/WAER News

Last year marked the first time since 2005 that the US Army missed its recruiting goal. A lot of attention has been paid to the problems with getting soldiers to enlist. However, it’s also getting tough to attract officers, people with bachelor’s degrees who serve in leadership roles. 


file photos

People living in Onondaga County can have an impact on some of the programs that could make us - or keep - us healthier.  County health officials want to hear about the health conditions important to you … and what’s making you sick or injured, in a survey about the health of our community.


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