WXXI AM News

Payne Horning

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.

After signing the National Defense Authorization Act into law at the Fort Drum Military Base in Watertown Monday, President Donald Trump visited Utica - the first sitting president to do so in 70 years. He was there to headline a fundraiser for Mohawk Valley Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford). 

Trump supporters chanted his name and waved American flags as his motorcade arrived at the Hotel Utica. 

After U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry came to Oswego County last week to praise the state's support of nuclear power plants, several environmental groups and New York politicians sent a letter to state leaders saying the opposite.

In the waning days of the New York State Legislature's session, a bill meant to stop a trash incinerator from being built in the Finger Lakes sailed through the Senate and an Assembly committee with unanimous support. But when it reached the Assembly floor, it sat untouched as the session came to a close.

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she supports students who plan to demonstrate today against gun violence. School walkouts are planned across the nation at 10 a.m., including in New York state. It's an attempt to pressure lawmakers to act after the shooting that left 17 students dead in Parkland, Florida, last month.

Elia says school officials and teachers should work with students to make it a learning experience about civic engagement and what it means to be an active citizen in American.

When the parishioners at one Oswego County church gather for worship each week, many of them are armed. And it's no secret. The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God even advertises that its not a gun-free zone - a response to the frequent mass shootings in the country that's the subject of some debate.

Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning) got an earful from an angry crowd in Seneca County over the weekend. He tried to keep things calm at the Romulus Central School town hall on Saturday, but tempers frequently boiled over.


At a special state hearing in Oswego County Tuesday, government officials admitted that there's effectively no way to prevent Lake Ontario from once again reaching the record high levels seen this year. In fact, they said it's bound to happen again. But, they think there may be ways to reduce the amount of damage the flooding caused along the shoreline.

Hurricanes in the southern U.S. have captured the nation's attention -- and federal aid. That's a concern in New York, where lawmakers are still seeking federal funds to help residents and businesses after months of flooding along Lake Ontario.


Several members of New York's Congressional delegation are expressing concern over comments from the nation's treasury secretary about the proposed Harriet Tubman $20 bill.

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