The WUTR News Team was back on the streets today, getting to know our new community! This time we split up into two teams, exploring various parts of the wonderful city of Utica! Team One included Multimedia Journalists Stephen Bond, Jennifer Lee, and co-anchor Caroline Gable. The second team consisted of Multimedia Journalists Chelsea Rarrick and myself, Elsa Gillis.
We both started with some of our communities heroes--the Utica City Police Department and the Utica Fire Department. Police Chief Williams and Sgt. Hauk showed us one of the department's greatest crime stopping tools--The Armadillo, an armored surveillance vehicle with infared technology and cameras that can record 360 degrees around the vehicle, equipped with slash and bullet resistant tires. At the fire department they met with Fire Chief Russ Brooks. He spoke with us regarding the unique Utica Fire Academy the department offers. Be sure to check out Jennifer in fire gear!
The next stop for Team One was the Oneida County Court, where they met with the Hon. Michael Dwyer. He briefed the team on how to deal with difficult situations in the court room a nd general court room etiquette. They quickly traveled further down on Genesee Street to meet with the Interim Superintendent of the Utica Public School System. Bruce Karam, a native Utican with over 20 years of experience in the school system here, is a candidate for the permanent Superintendent position.
Chelsea and I had the opportunity to visit both the Stevens-Swan Humane Society and the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, both fascinating centers in Utica. Entering the Humane Society, we were greeted by several cats and dogs, all looking for good homes.
The Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees is celebrating their 30th year here in Utica. 400-500 refugees come through the Center every year, all part of a national resettlement program. The Center is designed to assist refugees move to eventual self-reliance in their new homes. With 18% of Utica's population derived from refugees, the Center plays a central role in the community.
The news team immersed themselves in the local culture by visiting the F.X. Matt Brewery. A local favorite, Team One finally had an opportunity to take a tour of the infamous brewery--the second oldest brewery in the nation. They were particularly impressed at the volume of beer that is brewed on a daily basis.
Following their visit in Cooperstown to the National Baseball Hall of Fame last week, the team stopped by the National Distance Running Hall of Fame. Among the interesting displays, they saw an autographed Wheaties box from the 100th Boston Marathon.
Chelsea and I ended our day with an amazing tour of the Munson-Williams Proctor Arts Institute. We were given a tour of the entire grounds, and were able to see the amazing wedding gown exhibit. The exhibit runs until September 18th, so be sure to check out before it's taken down.
Our journey around the Utica area continues later this week, so stay tuned for more updates!