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      Sweet 16: cleaning up and dressing up

      As basketball fans come to Syracuse for the Sweet 16 games, several efforts are underway to leave them with a good impression of the area.At Hancock Airport, the Convention and Visitors Bureau has set up hospitality booths at both baggage carrels, offering maps, directions and free popcorn--as well as oranges.Outside the airport, they were hanging banners for each of the teams, as well as SU banners.The drive in from the airport to downtown was a serious concern. Gene Cilento, from the State Department of Transportation, says crews have been out cleaning road shoulders and removing some of the winter trash though it's too wet to get it all. Usually it's not picked up in some areas until mowing season.

      Cilento told us, "For the past two weeks, ever since we came off the snow and ice rotation and shift work, crews have been out sweeping with the equipment and doing manual sweeping. I was out driving around the area last Wednesday or Thursday, and the area of 81 coming north from the south of downtown was clean. We were there again on Monday morning and it looked like someone emptied a trash bag. You see the same thing over and over again. It's all styrofoam cups, fast food wrappers, and cigarette butts. They've made a lot of progress in two weeks. It's a very noticeable change, but you've got to remember they're not going to reach every location. There will still be trash visible on the roadside".

      'It's not perfect' he says, 'but it looks a lot better'. Now he hopes that motorists will remember not to litter, to keep road shoulders looking picked up.