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.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the state senate seat in New York's 54th district is open. A crowded field of mostly Republican candidates are vying to replace longtime Republican State Sen. Mike Nozzolio, who's retiring. The district encompasses all or portions of Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Cayuga, Tompkins and Monroe counties. 

The town of Canandaigua's supervisor Pam Helming is considered the GOP favorite. She won endorsements from all six of the county Republican parties. Helming said her top priority in Albany would be to roll back regulations. 

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has adopted a 12-year plan to support the state's financially impaired nuclear power plants. The Clean Energy Standard (CES), a component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's initiative to double the state's renewable energy providers and cut carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030, was approved unanimously at a meeting in Albany Monday.

New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said his position on climate change is "evolving." The Republican representative recently signed onto a resolution that acknowledges a human role in causing climate change related to erratic and damaging weather patterns. That's a reversal from his 2014 campaign when he said it was unclear if human activities had any influence.

Oswego County Administrator Phil Church is a shipwreck diver and photographer in his off time. These days, he's bringing his hobby to work. Church is coordinating an effort between Oswego, Jefferson, Cayuga and Wayne counties and the city of Oswego to have the southeastern part of Lake Ontario designated as a national marine sanctuary. There are only 14 in the world and Church said Oswego has a good case to join that list.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo stopped at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse to visit the family of a corrections officer who was harmed when a package delivered to his Oneida County home exploded. The 52-year-old officer was in critical condition after opening the package at his home Sunday morning in the town of Floyd.

The officer suffered burns to his hands and arms, and Cuomo said Upstate burn’s unit is the best place for him to be.

In response to a wave of minority student protests at universities across the country, like at Ithaca College, the State University of New York (SUNY) is enacting mandatory reforms meant to create a more inclusive and diverse environment.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced Monday at the annual State of the University Address that the system's 64 campuses will be required to appoint a chief diversity officer over the next year. In addition, staff will complete cultural competency training and each campus will be required to submit its progress annually.

Despite two attempts at negotiations with New York state, Entergy said those talks were unsuccessful and are now over. The company will close the James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant at the end of its current fuel cycle in about a year.

Pages