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Proposed Rochester City School District budget calls for deep cuts

The proposed Rochester City School District budget unveiled Tuesday evening would cut a number of staff positions; 326 in all, including 194 teachers. The $925 million spending plan calls for cuts in a number of areas in order to balance the budget. One of the issues outlined in the document by Interim Superintendent Dan Lowengard is declining enrollment. It shows the district with just over 25,000 students in the upcoming school year, compared to 31,511 a decade ago. “We have to get to a...

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On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of people from different faiths and backgrounds gathered to support the Muslim community in Rochester. It was a scene that played out in many Islamic Centers around the world.

This hour, we sit down with local Muslims to discuss how to show solidarity with people of the Islamic faith following the terrorist attack in New Zealand. In studio:

Making decisions about end-of-life care can be challenging and confusing. A program called Medical Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) seeks to help families through the process. MOLST forms record detailed descriptions of how patients and families want treatment and care to be handled in scenarios they may experience.

Rochester has been recognized as a leader in IT advances that assist families with end-of-life care, so why don’t more people in the region know about and use MOLST? This hour, we're joined by healthcare providers who help us understand how the program works and what patients and their families need to know. In studio:

  • Dr. Patricia Bomba, M.D.M, vice president and medical director of geriatrics at Excellus BlueCross and Blue Shield, chair of the MOLST Statewide Implementation Team, and program director for eMOLST
  • Jill Eisenstein, president and CEO of Rochester RHIO, who has used the MOLST program both professionally and personally

URMC CENTER FOR COMMUNITY HEALTH AND PREVENTION

The number of flu deaths in Monroe County has increased by one in the latest weekly numbers from the county health department.

There were 10 deaths reported for the current flu season as of March 9.  That compares to 13 at this time last year. All of those deaths involved people 50 or older.

In general, this has been a much less severe season than last year, both locally and nationally.

The latest figures for Monroe County show 3,340 laboratory confirmed cases of the flu this season compared to 5,623 cases at this time last year.

Siena College

A new Siena College poll covers a range of issues, from what New Yorkers think of the fall of the Amazon deal in Queens, to vaccinations and marijuana legalization.

Steve Greenberg, pollster at Siena, says a majority of voters in the state think it was a bad idea for Amazon to cancel putting a second headquarters in Queens.

"Two thirds, 67 percent say it was bad for the state. It's across the board. 64 percent of city voters, 69 percent of downstate suburban voters," Greenberg said.

April Franklin/WXXI News

First hour: Understanding the MOLST program

Second hour: How to show solidarity with people of the Islamic faith 

In the latest WXXI Business Report, companies may be more optimistic to add staff this year - we'll tell you what a new survey from Manpower reveals.

Plus, is Xerox selling off its customer financing business? Reuters says they're exploring the option, so what does that mean for the company? Then, how is New York state helping manufacturing companies protect themsevles from cyber risks?

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

Dutch police have arrested a man they call the main suspect in a shooting that left three people dead and five others wounded on a tram in the city of Utrecht on Monday. A motive for the shooting remains unclear; police have said they were investigating a "possible terrorist motive" for the attack, but reports have also emerged that the shooting might have its roots in a family dispute.

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On Monday in Albany, activists will call on the state legislature to pass Erin's Law, a measure that would require schools to teach sexual abuse and assault awareness to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

The measure is named in honor of Erin Merryn, who was sexually abused by a neighbor at age 6 and by a cousin when she was 11. Merryn, who lives in Illinois, says she's been fighting for ten years to get the law passed in New York.

New Zealand's cabinet has agreed "in principle" to tighten gun control laws, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday, promising the changes will make the country safer. "We've unified, there are simply details to work through," she said.

(AP & WXXI News) New York lawmakers want the state to kick in some money to help local governments pay for the rollout of early voting. 

Lawmakers voted earlier this year to allow voters to cast a ballot starting 10 days before an election. That led to complaints from county officials who said they don't have the money to pay for the extra staff, training and record-keeping related to the change.

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News from NPR

Years from now, when people look back on the aftermath of Russia's attack on the 2016 election, a key part of that history will have been written by women.

Most of the federal judges in Washington, D.C. — who have been quietly managing the grand jury process and presiding over arraignments and guilty pleas for nearly two years — happen to be women.

In a Himalayan valley surrounded by military barracks, blasts of artillery fire often reverberate across the icy mountain peaks. This is one of the world's longest-running conflict zones. It's near where India and Pakistan recently traded airstrikes. So it's not unusual to see helicopters buzzing overhead.

But on a morning in early February, one particular chopper was not part of the conflict.

Every year, the Supreme Court hears around 150 cases, and while there will usually be a few blockbuster opinions, the majority garner little media attention. But these more obscure decisions can often illustrate something interesting, even unexpected, about one of the justices. And so it was on Tuesday with Justice Neil Gorsuch and a relatively obscure and underplayed Indian treaty case.

States. They're just as perplexed as the rest of us over the ever-rising cost of health care premiums.

Now some states –including Montana, North Carolina and Oregonare moving to control costs of state employee health plans. Their strategy: Use Medicare reimbursement rates to recalibrate how they pay hospitals. If the gamble pays off, more private-sector employers could start doing the same thing.

More news from NPR

From the Inclusion Desk

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

The budget proposal approved Wednesday by the New York state Assembly includes a pay increase for therapists who work with the state’s youngest residents.

Reimbursement rates for early intervention providers, who work with children from birth to 3 years old, would increase 5 percent under the plan.

RTS

As the ReImagine RTS project moves forward, changing the way buses move through Rochester, different communities are worried how the changes will affect them.

People with disabilities say many are concerned about fixed routes and paratransit.

Fixed routes are the big buses you see out on the roads, following a single route. And under the Americans with Disabilities Act, paratransit has to exist as a supplement to this service. Within three-quarters of a mile around a fixed route, riders with disabilities can access door-to-door transportation.

Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics on Wednesday honored seven health care organizations and professionals who are working to bring health care services to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo proposed an increase in pay Tuesday for special education providers who haven’t seen one in almost a decade.

Dinolfo, a Republican, said the 15 percent increase is the right amount to stave off an impending shortage of speech therapists, child psychologists, counselors for parents, and other people who work in preschool special education.

“The reason we’re being so proactive is we want to make sure that we don’t put ourselves, the county, our children, in a crisis situation,” Dinolfo said.

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

A wide-reaching epidemic

WXXI, in partnership with public broadcasting stations across New York state, is airing special programming examining the opioid crisis.

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