Jenna Flanagan

Jenna first knew she was destined for a career in journalism after following the weekly reports of the Muppet News Flash as a child. In high school she wrote for her student newspaper and attended a journalism camp at SUNY New Paltz, her Hudson Valley hometown. Jenna then went on to study communications and journalism at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ where she earned her Bachelor of Arts.

In 1999, Jenna took her first job in the business as a Production Assistant for 1010WINS eventually working her way up to assistant editor. Working in a busy New York newsroom, she quickly learned what it takes to churn out a factual, engaging and newsworthy story on deadline.

From there she took her first on-air position at WBGO, Newark Public Radio and began a lifelong love of public broadcasting. After WBGO, Jenna spent 6 ½ years writing, reporting and producing All Things Considered for WNYC in New York City. Her work has also aired nationally on NPR.

Her television reports can be seen on WMHT's award-winning public affairs show, New York NOW, which airs on PBS stations statewide.

Jenna Flanagan/New York Now/Innovation Trail

  The dog days of summer are sizzling New York making water recreation more tempting than ever. The Hudson River is much cleaner than it was and the Innovation Trail’s Jenna Flanagan talks to advocates working to help the public determine what contamination it left.

“New York State’s waterways have come a long way. What used to be casual dumping grounds for corporations and municipalities have slowly gotten cleaned up thanks to the pioneering efforts of environmental groups like Riverkeeper. But they’re not done yet, Riverkeeper is hoping to use the public’s squeemishness over the idea of sewage or fecal matter in the waters that they fish boat and swim in as a jumping off point to spur more state spending for river clean up.”

(Video after the jump. Starts at 17:00)



This week in our latest Innovation Trail report, Jenna Flanagan visits one downstate company hoping to grow and distribute medical marijuana after the state passed legislation allowing it last year.

New York's decision has companies from all over the country (let alone the state) trying to get one of the five licenses the state will grant this summer.  The Department of Health wants the facilities, once they're named, to be up and running by January 2016. Video preview after the jump.


Jenna Flanagan/WMHT


With the 2014/15 legislative session coming to a close, state lawmakers, who’ve been ‘distracted’ by corruption scandals, still have some major pieces of legislation to tend to.

On that docket are the state’s rent control laws. They mostly affect New Yorkers in the 5 boroughs and nearby counties but the decision to renew, alter or even repeal them is a point of contention in Albany.

Hydraulic fracturing is currently not allowed in New York state. But a group of medical professionals, advocates and residents are warning that the industry still poses a grave risk to the empire state.

It’s not fracking that’s causing worry. It’s the industry infrastructure that has a large footprint in the state, despite the fact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced late last year that fracking would not be permitted in New York.

It may not have taken place around a roulette wheel, but there was a palpable air of suspense as the state Gaming Facility Location Board announced three of the nearly 20 communities hoping to get a piece of the gaming action on Wednesday. The board was entitled to grant up to four licenses.

The five-member volunteer board immediately got down to business, nixing all seven casino proposals in Orange County and approving one Hudson Valley/Catskill site to the Montreign Resort and Casino, located in the tiny village of Thompson in Sullivan County.