The WUTR reporters had the opportunity to meet public officials and different organizations during a two day tour of the Central New York community.
Their first stop was at Turning Stone in the Oneida Indian Nation. They were able to meet with Jerry Reed, the Senior Media Relations Associate and Dan Hartman, the Senior Media Specialist. Reed and Hartman gave the reporters a tour around the casino and a history lesson about the Oneida Indian Nation.
Next, they met with Mayor James Brown in the City of Rome and discussed different initiatives the city is adopting to help economic development and green living. Mayor Brown stressed the importance of creating jobs and attracting businesses in the community. One of their biggest employers, the Griffiss Air Base was shut down, now it is turned into the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. The reporters were able to meet with Jennifer Waters, the Marketing and Communications Associate of Mohawk Valley Edge, a non-profit organization within the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. Waters explained their mission and touched upon the Griffiss International Sculpture Garden, a display of public art which is growing.
Before heading off to Utica College, the reporters grabbed a quick bite to eat at Babe's. They ordered delicious burgers and wraps.
Then, it was off to Utica College where the reporters spoke to Kelly Adams and Christine Leogrande, two representatives of U.C. The reporters were given an overview of different programs the college offers, such as innovative and pioneering degrees in cyber security.
Their next pit stop was off to Faxton St. Luke's where Aida Mariani of the Media Relations Department gave the reporters a tour of the maternity center where they were able to peer into the room where the babies are kept after they are delivered. Moreover, the reporters had the opportunity to see the simulation room where future nurses practice different scenarios on models that react like real patients.
According to Faxton St. Luke's, the hospital specializes in maternity and stroke, while St. Elizabeth's Medical Center specializes in trauma. The reporters headed over to St. Elizabeth's and met with the public relations staff and went over policies. They also learned St. Elizabeth's is an accredited center for sleep apnea. The medical center will also be celebrating their bicentennial this year.
Later that afternoon, the reporters met with Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. Picente talked about both the strengths and challenges of the area that span from law enforcement to the budget.
The reporters ended their first day tour in Utica at City Hall and met with Mayor David Roefaro. Mayor Roefaro discussed long term projects, such as the city's Master Plan, the Harbor Point Project, and current construction happening in Oneida Square to build a roundabout.
The second leg of the journey brought reporters to Clinton, Herkimer County and Otsego County.
The reporters started the day off at Hamilton College and met with Holly Foster and Michael Debraggio from the communications department. Foster and Debraggio discussed their different programs offered at the college and future events the reporters could potentially cover.
The next stop was at the Herkimer County Office with James Wallace, the Herkimer County Administrator. Mr. Wallace touched upon issues such as the Herkimer County Jail and their ongoing issue about it closing down and rebuilding. Additionally, the County Administrator explained the County's windmill project in Fairfield and Norway which helps cut down on the power bill for locals.
It was time for lunch, so the reporters headed over to Jive Caf in Cooperstown. They were able to sit down and enjoy their sandwiches before heading over to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They met with Craig Muder, the Director of Communications at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. They were able to get in the Museum and take pictures with Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
The reporters finally concluded their two day tour at the Bassett Healthcare Center in Cooperstown. Karen Huxtable, the Director of Media and Public Relations explained the various programs the center offers, such as the Columbia Bassett Medical Program for students.