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

Keeping our bodies and minds healthy can be a challenge when many of us are concerned over the Coronavirus and the impacts it’s having on our lives.  In our last segment, we told you about how parks can help.  Today, we look at something some of us are missing that can be replaced by something that can keep us healthy.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Many people around Central New York spent their weekend trying to figure out what to do while remaining safe from any exposure to the Coronavirus. There’s value in finding activities that will boost our physical and mental health.  We start a series today looking at a few ways to preserve your body and mind, which can play a role in dealing with the threat of the virus.

Pew Research

Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Saturday moving the presidential primary from April 28th to June 23rd, in the wake of health concerns from the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The move aligns the voting for presidential nominees to the same date voters would be choosing congressional and legislature nominees in the various parties.


People in Onondaga County observed violating social distancing orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 might get a visit from law enforcement.  Sheriff Gene Conway says most might only get a warning, as was the case for about 50 calls that have come in over the past 24 hours. 

Syracuse-area Congress Member John Katko fully supports the stimulus bill heading to the house.  He shared some of the details he believes will help Central New York, including more than 300 Billion dollars for small business loans.  Katko says there will be very little paperwork, and if used for essential costs, a business won’t have to pay them back.

Wiki media

The number of cases of COVID 19 in Onondaga County jumped 35% as of Wednesday’s local update.  County leaders continue to emphasize staying isolated, while saying those told to stay in quarantine could face criminal charges should they ignore the order. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Many college students enrolled in local schools started classes again this week after spring break.  The isolation policies due to the coronavirus are affecting students’ learning … as well as organizations that help them. One student from Syracuse is trying to keep her dream alive amid the changes and restrictions. 

Scott Willis/WAER News.

Onondaga County saw a jump in thnumber of Covid 19 cases as the results of more and more tests come in.  County Executive Ryan McMahn announced at a Saturday briefing on the virus outbreak 21 new confirmed cases.  That brings the county total to 34 as of the 3:00 p.m. briefing.  He added 80 people are in quarantine, watching their symptoms.
(Watch Saturday Briefing Here)

NY Farm Bureau

Severe restrictions on people crossing our borders could present a problem for Central New York’s farmers.  The New York Farm Bureau is asking for state and federal help to make sure farms have labor to plant, harvest and produce food.

Petr Kratochvil / Public Domain Pictures

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he may take more steps soon to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including ordering the closure of most businesses, but has not made that decision yet. The governor , trying to tamp down rumors spreading on social media, say he has no plans at this time  to quarantine any cities in the state.