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Emily Hunt for WXXI News

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 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.

James Brown WXXI

A dozen middle schoolers in the Rochester City School District have won an essay contest about the justice system. The contest was held by J.U.S.T. L.A.W., an initiative founded by the City of Rochester, WDKX, the Rochester City School District and the Rochester Black Bar Association.. The goal is to promote a better understanding between court officials and city youth.

The 12 winners were chosen from nearly 500 city students who sent an essay to J.U.S.T. L.A.W. on the topic was “what does justice mean to me?”

April Franklin / WXXI News

In the wake of the New Zealand terrorist attacks that took place at two mosques last week, killing 50 people, and injuring 50 more, hundreds people of various faiths, cultures and racial identities gathered outside of the Islamic Center of Rochester on Sunday afternoon.

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo is warning local seniors of a recent telephone scam targeting social security recipients.

The phone call, coming from a variety of telephone numbers, claims to be the United States Social Security Administration notifying recipients that their Social Security number has been suspended due to suspicious activity.

The call urges individuals to press 1 to be connected with a Social Security representative.  

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

Data retrieved from the black boxes of the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 people on board last week show "clear" similarities with the crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia last October.

WASHINGTON (AP) — New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand formally joined the 2020 White House race on Sunday and previewed the hard line she will take against President Donald Trump by announcing a rally outside one of his signature Manhattan properties.

She had spent more than a month traveling around the country to gauge support for a run.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

Police say the number of people dead in the mass shooting that occurred at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has risen to 50.

"As of last night we were able to take all of the victims from both of those scenes, and in doing so we have further located another victim," New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said in a news conference from the city of Wellington on Sunday.

Another 50 people were injured in the shootings. Of those injured, 36 people are hospitalized, with two in critical condition.

Spectrum News

(AP & WXXI News) April the Giraffe gave birth once again in front of an enthralled YouTube audience on Saturday.

More than 300,000 watched live as April gave birth to a healthy male calf at around 12:45 p.m., the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York said. Harpursville is east of Binghatmon

Park officials say the newborn giraffe was on its feet by 1:27 p.m., and nursing by 1:51 p.m.

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News from NPR

The Sackler family's $1.3 million donation to the U.K.'s National Portrait Gallery will not go ahead as planned, as both sides say they're concerned that allegations of opioid profiteering against the family could overshadow the gift and become a distraction.

"It has become evident that recent reporting of allegations made against Sackler family members may cause this new donation to deflect the National Portrait Gallery from its important work," a spokesperson for the Sackler Trust said.

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a $13.1 million settlement for a man framed by police for murder.

Jamal Trulove spent more than six years in prison for a 2007 murder before being acquitted in a 2015 retrial.

"And trust me I'm not done with them by a long shot!!" a profile appearing to be Trulove wrote on Twitter. "After what these cowards of the law did to me, I will lit my freedom ring through every platform I get to show what injustice really looks like. Me!"

With just over a week to go until the deadline for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, the son of President Donald Trump says that everything would be on track had British Prime Minister Theresa May taken his father's advice on Brexit.

The race to build the next generation of super-fast mobile-data networks has begun in Germany, which started auctioning off its spectrum licenses for 5G on Tuesday.

But this highly technical event has become the center of a geopolitical storm between the U.S. and China, with Europe caught in the middle.

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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