WRFI Community Radio News

WRFI is your hyper-local, community news source for Tompkins and Schuyler counties. Listen to our daily newscasts with intern George Christopher every weekday.

You can also keep up to date by following us wherever you get your podcasts.

News Director Jimmy Jordan stepped down in September and WRFI News is looking for new ways to sustainably expand our service.

Latest Local Headlines

Features and Interviews

2021 Sales Tax Improves in Tompkins and Schuyler Counties

By WRFI News Staff | August 18, 2021

ITHACA, NY —  Across New York State, 2021 local government sales tax revenue is up by 21 percent on average. That’s compared to sales tax revenue generated between January and July of 2020. Tompkins and Schuyler Counties are a bit above that 21 percent state average. Tompkins County has seen a 23.8 percent increase in…

As Kids Return to School, Mental Health is on the Mind

By Michayla Savitt | August 18, 2021

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — As New York schools gear up for the fall term, physical and mental well-being of kids in grades K-12 is in the forefront, especially with all in-person instruction returning for many this month. Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual, offered tips for supporting children’s mental well-being, and…

Tompkins County Health Department Clarifies COVID-19 Testing Recommendations

By WRFI News Staff | August 17, 2021

TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY — The Tompkins County Health Department is clarifying its recommendations around COVID-19 testing. First off, the Health Department recommends getting a PCR test whenever possible. They are the most sensitive and reliable way to test for COVID-19. They are available through the Cayuga Health System. All Tompkins County testing sites report their…

NY Comptroller Calls the State’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program ‘Poorly Managed’

By Jimmy Jordan | August 17, 2021

ITHACA, NY — New York’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, has got problems. That’s the finding of New York’s Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli.  ERAP is a $2.7 billion fund to help eligible New York renters and landlords avoid financial ruin as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of New York’s ERAP fund…

Cornell Updates University COVID Policies

By Jimmy Jordan | August 16, 2021

ITHACA, NY — With students soon to arrive on campus, Cornell has updated it’s COVID policies. Cornell now has three alert levels: green, yellow, and red. The alert levels are determined through a variety of factors, including local hospitalizations, Ithaca area COVID transmission, and the university’s capacity to isolate people. At all alert levels, unvaccinated…


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