Rachel Ward, Editor


Editor of the Innovation Trail.

Rachel Ward is based at WXXI in Rochester.  She edits the multimedia work of the Innovation Trail crew and oversees the project's content and editorial vision.

Prior to joining the Innovation Trail, Ward reported on business and the economy in western New York with NPR's Economics Training Project, and hosted All Things Considered at WXXI-AM. Her reports have appeared locally and nationally.

Ward came to WXXI after earning a master's degree in telecommunications through Ohio University's public broadcasting fellowship program, where her thesis research centered on how public broadcasters are reacting to new technologies like podcasting.

Ward has also worked for the Association of Public Television Stations, and interned at WAMU-FM in Washington, DC. Her undergraduate degree in anthropology and English is from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.



Thu March 24, 2011
Be there or be square

Join us for We Live New York!

Here's your chance to step up to the mic and tell us if you're staying - or going.
visual.dichotomy via Flickr

Why do young people leave upstate?  How can we get them to stay?

Those are the questions we're going to try to answer tomorrow when the Innovation Trail tapes "Innovation Conversation: Will You Stay or Will You Go?"

So come join the conversation!  We're recording the show live at the We Live New York Summit in Ithaca tomorrow.  If you're planning to be there, join us in the Columbia Room at 10:45 at the Statler Hotel for the taping.  

Read more


Thu March 24, 2011
Morning news round-up: politics

NY Census data out today, Cuomo threatens government shutdown

Today we'll find out exactly how much New York counts.
poesygalore via Flickr

At the 30,000 foot level, New York's Census data is set to be released sometime this afternoon reports Kenneth Crowe at the Times Union.  We already know from the Census Bureau that we've lost enough population to lose two congressional seats. Today's numbers should offer a deeper look into demographic data like the changing racial make-up and age distribution of the state.

Read more


Thu March 24, 2011
Morning news round-up: business

Syracuse developer could be moving forward with Destiny USA tech park

Carousel Center Mall is only one part of developer Robert Congel's massive "Destiny USA" complex.
Courtesy photo Destiny USA

The developer behind the troubled Destiny USA project has purchased 47 acres of polluted land that he once targeted for a giant clean-tech complex.  Rick Moriarty at the Post-Standard reports that observers had thought Robert Congel had abandoned his $2.7 billion plan but now it appears that he might be moving forward:

Congel has not granted interviews about Destiny USA in more than two years. His spokesman, David Aitken, said last week that resurrecting the research park plan was “a distinct possibility,” though he provided no details.

“We look forward to redeveloping it over time, in concert with market conditions,” Aitken said.

Read more


Thu March 24, 2011
Morning news round-up: aid and incentives

Empire State Development hands out $12 million in incentives

The cash is going to companies that say they'll create or keep jobs in New York.
borman818 via Flickr

Empire State Development (ESD), the state's economic development agency, opened its wallet yesterday, doling out more than $12 million for what it says will yield more than 800 new jobs and more than 1,800 retained in New York.

Read more


Thu March 24, 2011
Morning news round-up: higher ed

Do students drive development - or drive it away?

College students pro and con: someone is making money off that beer - but some people aren't keen an public drunkenness.
Mohan S via Flickr

Higher ed is consistently touted as an economic driver for upstate New York, but as Chris Churchill reports at the Times Union, sometimes the "enthusiasm" of students can actually drive away development.  Case in point: the "kegs and eggs" riot that took place in Albany's Pine Hills neighborhood last week:

Now, in the wake of the embarrassing pre-St. Patrick's Day melee, nearly everyone with a stake in the rowdy neighborhood -- students, residents, city officials, and nearby schools -- agrees the long decline of the area must be addressed.

In part, that's because student-related issues are spreading to other parts of Pine Hills, threatening the health of a neighborhood that Albany can't afford to lose.

Read more