Michael Benny, CNY Central

Michael Benny

CNY Central

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Recent articles by Michael:

Get rid of your cloth masks and wear these instead, top Upstate doctor says

In the very early months of the pandemic, you probably bought one or one that was made for you. Cloth masks were everywhere and considered at the time to be a measure of protection against COVID-19. Not anymore. "My advice would be get rid of the cloth mask, get rid of the gator," Dr. Stephen Thomas ,Director of Global Health at Upstate Medical University. Dr. → Read More

Syracuse to welcome at least 200 Afghans who fled in emergency evacuation

After seeing its refugee resettlement numbers dry up to a trickle during the Trump Administration, InterFaith Works of Syracuse is suddenly preparing to welcome hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan. “We have people calling us and emailing us almost by the hour saying, 'How can we help? '” said Beth Broadway, President/CEO of InterFaith Works. “People are so giving and so welcoming. → Read More

2 CNY men on what it's like to have a COVID-19 'breakthrough' infection

Provincetown, Massachusetts is a familiar Cape Cod vacation destination for many Central New Yorkers. Recently several people who are fully vaccinated vacationed there during July Fourth weekend and beyond, and contracted COVID-19. Mark MacBain and Skip Collins are two of the hundreds of people who contracted “breakthrough” infections after spending time in Provincetown. “For me, I was feeling… → Read More

First look at the replacement of 92 year-old seats at Syracuse's Landmark Theatre

They were installed in 1928 and have only been reupholstered once since then. They have been the source of endless complaints about being uncomfortable. The Landmark Theatre is undergoing a transformation of its original seats. The theater says the work to remove and install new seats will take about three months and it’s selling some of the old seats for between $500. 00 and $750. 00. “Add… → Read More

No one can tell these two COVID long haulers from CNY when they'll be better

Sitting in Schiller Park recently they arrived as total strangers and left with a sudden, strong bond of familiarity. They talk about their lives in two distinct stages: before they got COVID-19 and after the virus worked its way out of their systems. Isabel Claps, 68, hairstylist and longtime small business owner, mother and grandmother says most people who ask how she’s doing are stunned by… → Read More

Syracuse mayor's commission laying blueprint for park without Columbus statue

A group of 29 stakeholders, appointed by Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh will provide the guidance by the end of this year that will be used to reimage and recreate a downtown Syracuse park without the longstanding statue of Christopher Columbus. “These people are working now to create the think-book for an artist who will ultimately create the feature elements of a new park,” said Gregg Tripoli who is… → Read More

Solvay woman was scared to death and brought back from the brink

Patricia Blanchard, 70, of Solvay has been to the brink of death and back. Doctors argue she was clinically dead. Once in an ambulance and once during an intense surgery to fix what incredible fear did to her heart. It was September 2019 and Blanchard was driving home from a quilting class. At James Street and Teall Avenue in Syracuse, she noticed a vehicle pull up next to hers. “I heard this… → Read More

How do we come to grips with Eva Fuld's tragic death?

More than two weeks after the brutal beating and stabbing death of Eva Fuld, 84, in her Syracuse apartment, how does a community come to grips with her shocking death? Police have made one arrest, a 14-year-old boy who lived upstairs from the victim. “She was the loveliest person you could ever hope to meet. "Fuld’s surviving family members do not live in Central New York. → Read More

Inside the first Syracuse COVID-19 Unit that plays a certain song when there is good news

Moments before Upstate University Hospital Registered Nurse Kayli Calkins sat down for a Zoom interview she was “running around making sure everyone has what they need,” she said. On this day Calkins was in charge of Unit 6I, the medical intensive care unit at the hospital. It was the first COVID-19 unit in Syracuse when it opened in March and Calkins has been a member of the unit since day one.… → Read More

The correct way to pour a beer and more revealed inside Baldwinsville’s Budweiser plant

Of the five hundred jobs at the Baldwinsville Budweiser Brewery, none are more coveted than the jobs that suddenly come open every afternoon. Off the production floor, tucked away near offices is the tasting room. This is where the Brew master and Quality Manager gather some selected staff to taste every single one of the 75 products produced at the facility. They even taste the water. Click the… → Read More

Frozen in time but possibilities abound in Syracuse's Woolworth building

301 South Salina Street in Syracuse has been an art deco jewel since 1941. The terra cotta adornments on the outside facing Salina and Fayette Streets are classic Woolworth. In fact, the Syracuse building has a twin in Seattle, Washington. The Syracuse building has been vacant since Rite Aid lefts its first-floor space in 2018. The other floors have been largely untouched since Woolworth closed… → Read More

Syracuse grandmother fighting COVID-19's aftermath wants to talk about Thanksgiving

Isabel Claps, 67, lives her life on the move – but not these days. She’s been a rule follower when it comes to public health guidance for the duration of the pandemic and does not know for certain where she was exposed to the virus, but she was. Claps is now in the fourth week of her battle with COVID-19 and its lingering, troublesome symptoms. Her cough is still intense, her dreams are vivid… → Read More

104 year-old Syracuse man casts his 21st Presidential ballot

SYRACUSE – The first time Samuel Bovalino, 104, of Syracuse, cast a vote in a Presidential election the year was 1940. That election resulted in the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt to an unprecedented third term in the White House. “I do believe in voting, it is a wonderful thing and very important that you do it every time,” Bovalino said from the front of his Tipperary Hill home as he waited… → Read More

Mattydale baby won't wait so family and 911 helps deliver him in the living room

The plan was for him to come into the world at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse. But he had other plans. It was just after 3:00 am Wednesday morning and the baby was on the way. Michelle Varre says it all happened so fast. Her pregnant daughter delivered a seven pound, twenty inch baby boy in the family living room with help from the Onondaga County 911 Center on the phone. → Read More

At 103, Syracuse's Ruth Colvin is still swinging a golf club and teaching life lessons

Imagine your life at 103 years old. Then consider what life is like for Ruth Colvin of Syracuse. Some of her time is spent on the golf course where she still has quite a swing in spite of her advanced age. Colvin recently wrote her 12th book, a memoir. The book ‘My Travels Through Life, Love and Literacy’ is an examination of a long life. if (window. hasOwnProperty("burstEmbedFrameworkCheck")) → Read More

Nightly fireworks in Syracuse annoy neighbors & have mayor's attention

Over the last several weeks, neighbors in Syracuse have been complaining openly on social media about nightly fireworks. It seems to be happening in every corner of the city. It's not just in the hours after dark, some neighbors report hearing them going off until 2:00 a. m. On Tuesday evening, Mayor Ben Walsh responded. On Twitter, he wrote: "Yes, I hear the fireworks every night and they drive… → Read More

New owners of Civil War era mansion in Auburn will restore it and call it home

The City of Auburn voted Thursday evening to award the winning bid on the Seymour Mansion to a couple from Pennsylvania with ties to the city. James and Katie Joynt of Doylesburg, PA are the new owners of the historic mansion. The couple owns a produce farm and told city leaders their plan is to move their family, including seven children into the mansion when renovations are complete. → Read More

Mayor Walsh readies Syracuse for 'devastating' COVID-19 economic hit

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh on Friday prepared the city for a COVID-19 economic hit that could total nearly the entire budget for the city’s Police Department. And, the number could push higher than that, he warned. On April 8, Walsh said the estimated economic pain caused by the pandemic was likely to be around $20 million dollars. Most of that lost money due to a severe decline in sales tax… → Read More

Tully man was a breath away from a ventilator in ICU with COVID-19

Of all the stories that have been told in Central New York about the COVID-19 crisis, no one who was been in intensive care with the virus has talked about it, until now. Mike Foti, 58, of Tully does not know where he contracted the virus. He’s lucky to be alive. When the first symptoms came on Sunday, March 22 he knew enough about COVID-19 to know he had reason to worry. “I had a very high… → Read More

Exclusive access to a place you've probably been to, but not under

Under Syracuse’s Clinton Square is a bunker-like room that controls what happens above. Giant chillers work around the clock during the winter to keep the ice frozen for skating. Giant pumps work during the spring and summer months to manipulate the water for the fountain. The hulking equipment including pipes of refrigerant, shaft seals and reciprocating compressors were lowered into the room… → Read More