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RCSD decides to go with all remote learning for start of school year

There was a big change announced Thursday regarding the start of the upcoming school year for the Rochester City School District - all classes will be held remotely for at least the first ten weeks of the school year. Originally, like a lot of districts, RCSD was going to use a hybrid model -- a combination of in-class and remote learning. For RCSD, that hybrid model would have been used for Pre-K through 4th grade; students in 5th through 12th grades would have continued with distance...

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NYS Fitness Association, Facebook page

N.Y. gym owners ask why they can't reopen 

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello/Facebook

Bello signs equal pay executive order

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There was a big change announced Thursday regarding  the start of the upcoming school year for the Rochester City School District - all classes will be held remotely for at least the first ten weeks of the school year.

Originally, like a lot of districts, RCSD was going to use a hybrid model -- a combination of in-class and remote learning. For RCSD, that hybrid model would have been used for Pre-K through 4th grade; students in 5th  through 12th grades would have continued with distance learning unless they were in specialized programs.

Noelle E. C. Evans | WXXI News


Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) urged the Trump administration and Congress to negotiate a new coronavirus relief bill and provide emergency funds to the United States Postal Service. 

During a stop in Rochester on Thursday, the Senate Minority Leader said that without $25 billion in emergency funding, vital mail delivery of medications, paychecks, and mail-in ballots would be compromised.

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello/Facebook

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello has signed an executive order which requires all non-governmental county contractors to comply with federal and state equal pay laws.

He did the signing at an event at the County Office Building on Thursday with the Pay Equity Coalition, as part of their Sound the Alarm Event to recognize Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is the approximate day a Black woman must work into the new year to make what a white, non-Hispanic man made at the end of the previous year.

NYS Fitness Association, Facebook page

The rate of transmission of the coronavirus in New York state remains low, and all regions of the state have been in the final phase of reopening for at least a month.

But some industries have been left out of those plans and remain closed. Owners of gyms, movie theaters, bowling alleys and other indoor-based businesses held a news conference to ask why they aren’t allowed to reopen.

Meanwhile, 1,500 gyms in New York have filed a class-action lawsuit demanding that the state offer a reopening plan. 

A state agency has made its decision on rate hike requests from health insurance companies.

The New York State Department of Financial Services says that overall, rates in the individual market for 2021 will increase by only 1.8%, the lowest increase in that category since the agency regained the authority to approve the rates a decade ago.

DFS says the 4.2% average rate hike for small group plans is the second-lowest ever approved by the agency during that period.

James Brown / WXXI

A series of online school reopening forums for Rochester City School District families starts Saturday. 

The district announced late last month that it intends to bring prekindergarten through fourth-grade students into school buildings part of the week while offering distance learning for nearly everyone else. The sessions will give the community opportunities to give feedback on the plan.

We mark the annual Black Women’s Equal Pay Day with a conversation about how to make change. Our guests are organizing local events and aim to – in the spirit of their 2020 theme – “sound the alarm,” while hosting a virtual awareness campaign. Our guests:

  • Yversha Roman, co-founder of the Rochester Pay Equity Coalition, and Monroe County Legislator  
  • Ernesta Walker, member of the Rochester Pay Equity Coalition and the Education Committee of Citizen Action Rochester  
  • Candice Lucas, Ph.D., chief community engagement officer for Monroe County

President Trump said this week that he wanted to send a message to “suburban housewives.” The President says he will protect suburbanites against crime and falling property values, and his plan to do that is to keep low-income housing out of the suburbs. The President says Americans spend their entire lives working their way up to a life in the suburbs, and it shouldn’t be disturbed by low-income housing.

We’ve invited many local supervisors in the Rochester suburbs to join us. Here’s who accepted our invitations:


First hour: Local town supervisors react to President Trump's comments about low-income housing in the suburbs

Second hour: Discussing Black Women's Equal Pay Day 2020

Updated 7:09 p.m. ET

President Trump on Thursday attempted to soften remarks he had made hours earlier in which he appeared to confirm that he opposes Democrats' proposed boost in funding for the U.S. Postal Service because he wants to make it harder to expand voting by mail, claiming his only goal in denying the agency funds is to ensure the integrity of the Nov. 3 election.


While there is no live, in-person music happening, WXXI is still bringing the artists you love to you - to your home, from the artists homes. Welcome to HomeStage.

Just because you're stuck in the house doesn't mean there's nothing to do. Check out all the virtual events on the CITY event calendar you can be a part of!

WXXI's education department has resources, activities, and more to support families, educators, and students.

Across the Universe with Jeff Spevak

George Nebieridze

The music is perhaps unlike anything you have heard. Or maybe it is like many things you’ve heard. 

It is “Fountain,” the debut album by Lyra Pramuk. Music that flows and explodes out of the classical and electronica realms. A droning, oscillating, leaping, humming. Machine-manipulated vocalizations with the influence of African rhythms dart with electricity and land somewhere between Gregorian chants and the poetry of Laurie Anderson songs.

News from NPR

Retailers had placed much hope on a big midsummer shopping spurt, but July proved to be somewhat lackluster, amid renewed lockdowns and new waves of coronavirus cases. Retail sales grew only 1.2% last month compared to June.

Democrat Joe Biden's lead has expanded to double-digits against President Trump in the presidential election, an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds. Biden now leads Trump 53% to 42%, up from an 8-point advantage at the end of June.

The change comes as 71% of Americans now see the coronavirus as a real threat, up significantly over the last several months, as more than 167,000 Americans have died and more than 5 million have become infected with the virus, as of Friday.

When everyone who tests positive for coronavirus in your community gets a call from a public health worker asking them about their contacts, and those contacts are then asked to quarantine, that can be a powerful way to keep the virus from spreading.

Lawmakers in California are rushing to create a new financial protection watchdog agency by the end of the month. They say it's needed because, under the Trump administration, the main federal regulator has been paralyzed.

And they say that during the pandemic that is leaving millions of Americans who are in dire financial straits more vulnerable to predatory lenders, get-out-of-debt-scams and other wrongdoing.

More news from NPR

Arts & Life

Jeannine Herron

Photojournalist Matt Herron, a Rochester native who was known for chronicling the civil rights movement, has died in the crash of a glider he was piloting in northern California, where he lived.

The 89-year-old’s work primarily appeared in the news magazines of the day, including Life, Look and Newsweek.

Matthew John Herron was born in Rochester on Aug. 3, 1931. His father, also named Matthew, was a certified public accountant. His mother, Ruth, was a fabric artist and weaver. 


Rochester’s modest open window of summer has been slammed shut by the coronavirus pandemic. Among many other pleasures of the season, the lunchtime Hochstein at High Falls live music has been lost.

But not virtually lost. The Rochester musicians John Dady, Hanna PK and Womba Africa Drumming are teaming up for an hour of Hochstein at High Falls brought to you on whatever device you’ve packed along with your lunch. Just like the live outdoor series of past years, it starts at noon Thursday.

The show is a celebration of The Hochstein School’s 100th anniversary this year.

More arts & life stories

From the Inclusion Desk

Willow and Deaf IGNITE announce partnership

Aug 4, 2020

Two organizations that have collaborated for several years have now announced a formal partnership to strengthen the ways this community responds to domestic violence and increase access to services and programs.

Willow Center President and CEO Meaghan de Chateauview says staff from Deaf IGNITE, which advocates for Deaf domestic violence survivors, will join Willow, so now the center can offer specialized services.

National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Gerard Buckley still clearly remembers July 26, 1990.

On that day, he stood alongside dozens of others in the White House Rose Garden, as then-President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law.

"It was really amazing," Buckley recalled. "It was everything I wish the country was today. The Republicans, the Democrats, the independents, the business community, leaders from the disability community all came together."

That day, Buckley was a young deaf man. Today, he is president of RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Until recently, Sherrodney Fulmore rode a bus to get to and from his job at Wegmans.

From his home in Rochester’s 19th Ward to the Holt Road Wegmans in Webster, the trip usually took about an hour, he said.

Fulmore rode on the Regional Transit Service’s Access buses -- the smaller shuttle-size buses that offer curb-to-curb service for people with disabilities.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Rochester area, Fulmore stopped riding the bus.

“We wanted to cut the chance of him getting sick,” said his father, Frank Fulmore.

White House Historical Association

July 26 is the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment and access to government services.

Rebecca Cokley, who served in the Obama administration and is currently the director of the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, recently talked to WXXI's Alex Crichton about the progress that has been made since the ADA went into effect and how much remains to be done.

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

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