Tom Magnarelli

Tom Magnarelli is a freelance reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Converting from fossil fuel heating systems to electric will help meet New York state’s climate goals and make home heating more affordable, according to a new study. The initial cost of installing electric systems is steep, but the report says there are ways the state could help.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing legislation to help seniors who have been financially exploited by phone and online scams. Scammers hack personal information and trick seniors into giving them money.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse has opened its cord blood bank, only the second facility of its kind in the state and the first outside New York City. Blood from umbilical cords is processed for stem cells, which can treat cancers and other diseases. The bank is open for public and private use.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Several names are popping up as possible contenders to run against Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. One Republican business expert is exploring that idea and attacking what he calls Cuomo’s lack of understanding of how businesses create jobs.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

While New York would not be as greatly affected as other states if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, there could be some changes to the health exchange. Republicans, controlling the House, Senate and soon the presidency are now positioned to repeal President Obama’s healthcare law.

In upstate, the minimum wage is at $9, but will rise to $12.50 by the end of 2020. It is an issue that affects many across upstate, from farmers and small business owners to the workers themselves.

Anthony Emmi is the general manager of Emmi and Sons Farm in Baldwinsville, just outside of Syracuse. Among the crops are tomatoes, squash and peppers.

"I raise about seven acres now, the bell peppers," Emmi said. "I started cutting back, we were at 72 acres. We used to ship up and down the East Coast. Now, New York state is it."