local news

New Yorkers United for Justice and the President of the NAACP in Syracuse say the state’s parole system is unfairly locking up Black and brown residents and costing local taxpayers $7 million annually.  NYUJ Executive Director Alexander Horwitz says a 76%  recidivism rate in local prisons is due largely to ‘technical parole violations’ -not new crimes. 

City Has Tried For Years To Help Address Problems At Skyline Apartments

Apr 13, 2021
Chris Bolt / WAER News

Syracuse city officials say the recent murder at Skyline Apartments is just the latest example of deteriorating safety and living conditions that they’ve been trying to address for at least two years.

New York Stops Distribution of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine After Health Risks

Apr 13, 2021
John Smith / WAER News

Use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is on pause in New York State. The FDA and CDC Tuesday morning recommended suspending usage of the vaccine after 6 women developed severe blood clots following inoculation. Appointments for the shot were cancelled at the state’s vaccination clinics, like the one at the New York State Fairgrounds.


Criminal justice advocates say they hope to build on victories in recent weeks like the legalization of adult recreational use of marijuana, to gain more reforms for members of Black and Brown communities who are incarcerated at a higher rate than white New Yorkers.


A Syracuse University Management Professor says the vote against unionizing an Amazon warehouse in Alabama is still a victory for the labor movement.  The final vote tally was about 1,798 to 738.  Whitman School Assistant Professor Lynne Vincent says organizers shouldn’t be disheartened.

WAER File Photo

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s $265 million budget is meant to position the city to recover from the pandemic, but a Councilor At Large is questioning some initiatives. Khalid Bey is also a candidate for mayor, and says the Mayor’s budget is more of a political maneuver than a governmental one.



 Vera House's White Ribbon Campaign against Domestic, Sexual and Relationship Violence just wrapped up, but their outreach efforts continue in April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.    Special Events Coordinator Hannah  Fuller says there was a dip in donations last month, but that doesn't mean the organization has slowed down its work.  She says fewer large-scale events and campaigns through businesses and schools were possible due to the pandemic. 


Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says his proposed budget positions the city for recovery from the pandemic after withstanding the first wave of damage.  His nearly $265 million budget comes in about $12 million more than last year, and uses about $21 million, or one-fifth of the federal relief package.

WAER file photo / WAER News

Central New York School Districts are expecting a significant increase in funding after State Lawmakers struck a deal to include a record amount of school aid in the 2022 Fiscal Year Budget.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

Progressive democrats in the New York state legislature took a victory lap after passing a budget that achieves many of the groups’ long term goals, including a substantial increase in taxes on the wealthy and the fulfillment of a 15 year old court order to fully fund the schools.  Meanwhile,  Governor Andrew Cuomo, who's embroiled in several scandals, put the best face on items that did not go his way.