May 14, 2014 — As the use of heroin surges, many people arrested for drug-related crimes are ending up in drug court. It's one of the so-called 'problem solving courts' that have emerged in recent years. And they rely on the discrimination and skill of a judge. Go to full article
Dominique Tarkenton and her foster mom, Tammy Otto, at Tammy's house earlier this month. Photo: Zach Hirsch
Apr 23, 2014 — Tens of thousands of kids end up in foster care each year in New York State. And a lot of the time, it's because they were abused or neglected at home. Foster care is supposed to be a short-term arrangement. Child Protective Services gets kids out, and a foster care agency gives them a safe place to stay. The idea is, they'll go home when things stabilize.
But it's not a simple process. When the caseworker first arrives to pick a child up, a moment they call the "removal," it can be terrifying. Many children put up a fight. But Dominique Tarkenton didn't resist. At 11, she knew it was time to go. "I decided I just wanted to leave, to get out. And not come back." Go to full article
Schenectady, NY, Apr 06, 2012 — This week, the Cuomo administration kicked off a series of workshops to help New Yorkers start and grow their own small businesses. The Innovation Trail's Marie Cusick reports. Go to full article
Burmese refugees at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Utica
Utica, NY, Feb 10, 2012 — For half a century, one of the most repressive nations in the world has been Burma, or Myanmar, as its military government renamed it several years ago. But recently surprising political changes in that Southeast Asian country have led to a possible opening to the West.
Some of the people watching most closely are the Burmese Karen refugees. They're an ethnic minority, many of them Christian, who live right here in upstate New York. Our story comes from David Chanatry with the New York Reporting Project at Utica College. Go to full article
Sherrill, NY, Apr 15, 2010 — A three-term Oneida County legislator wants to unseat Republican State Senator Joe Griffo. Democrat Mike Hennessey lives in the city of Sherill, which has been embroiled in land claim and cigarette tax issues with the Oneida Indian Nation. So it's no surprise Hennessey wants New York to collect taxes on tobacco sold at native-owned stores as a way to close the state deficit. He also wants to eliminate unfunded state mandates, reform state ethics codes, and create jobs. Hennessey is a financial advisor and former small business owner. He told David Sommerstein a visit to a local soup kitchen for veterans compelled him to run for State Senate. Go to full article