Syracuse local news

People who participate in this year’s Women’s March are honoring more than the call for equality and justice.  The expected thousands that go to Seneca Falls this weekend are also commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, as well as a significant milestone for the Equal Rights Amendment.

New figures out from the State Education Department show Syracuse City schools had their highest graduation rates in a decade.  The data shows 64.5% of students that entered in 2015 graduated High School. 

Lida Buniak

When the Ukrainian airliner was allegedly shot down over Iran this week, the pain and loss was felt here in Syracuse.  The local Ukrainian community is planning a memorial service tomorrow to remember all the victims.  Lida  Burniak said the incident was more than just a tragedy involving a Ukrainian plane.

 “This involves multi-national passengers and it’s a humanitarian issue for a loss of innocent lives. So if we could come together and pray together, things (would ) look more optimistically that there’s something more beyond politics,” said Burniak

Queen City Workers' Center

You might have heard our past overage of the SWEAT bill – Securing Wages Earned Against Theft – an attempt to help workers get pay being withheld by employers.  Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill on the last day of 2019, but advocates for the measure are not giving up the fight.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A crowd of one hundred-plus endured near-freezing rain to protest a possible war with Iran.  The Saturday demonstration joined others in dozens of cities around the nation after President Trump ordered the killing of an Iranian General. 

Chris Bolt/WAER News

New York's minimum wage increased across the state this week to $11.80 an hour – outside of New York City - and one Ithaca business owner says she’s ok with it.   Jan Rhodes Norman owns Ithaca Made and Silk Oak clothing and has already been paying two full-time employees higher than the state’s minimum wage for years now.  They earn $15.37 an hour.

A spate of assaults against Jewish people in New York and New Jersey has caused one State Senator to renew his call for stiffer charges and punishment.  NYS Senator Joe Griffo of Rome calls recent incidents appalling and unacceptable.  He’s proposing changes that might help law enforcement.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

What are the pros and cons of raising the tax Onondaga County collects from people staying in local hotel rooms?  That’s the question county lawmakers are considering, after County Executive Ryan McMahon and Visit Syracuse asked for a jump in Room Occupancy Tax. 

WAER File Photo

The flu looks like it’s getting a jump start on the normal infection season here in Central New York.  Pharmacist Shannon Miller is Director of Patient Outcomes for Kinney Drugs.  She says reported cases in the state jumped 77% in the last week. 

Cindy Bell for Look Now Project /

Facing breast cancer means different things to different people.  That was the mission of – and the takeaway from – the production of TitBits: Breast Cancer Stories in which 8 people share how they were affected (listen below).  Patients, doctors, caregivers all recount personal and emotional details of their stories.  Excerpts of the production aired on WAER as an episode of Syracuse Speaks.