Top Stories

Max Schulte | WXXI News

Washington Grove's 'incredible trees' are now protected

Washington Grove sits nearby a bus route, but at the center of this 26-acre woodland you could easily forget you’re in a city. Lee Sengbusch thinks so, anyway. He lives just down the street, near Cobbs Hill Park. “You feel right, like you’re way out in the forest. It’s so quiet and peaceful. There’s nothing like it in Rochester," Sengbusch said. "Most cities don’t have this, so we’re so blessed to have this right nearby.” The landscape is marked by valleys and hills formed 10,000 years ago by...

Read More

KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival Coverage

Previews, reviews, and more from WXXI and CITY reporters

D.A. Mike Green Blames Politics for Loss of Opportunity

Dec 20, 2011

Monroe County’s outgoing District Attorney is trying to decide if it’s time to say goodbye to politics for good.

This after news broke that Mike Green is no longer in the running to receive a federal judgeship.

Green announced today that over the weekend he was informed by Senator Chuck Schumer’s office that his confirmation as a federal district court judge had been blocked by Senate Republicans. His nomination was then returned to the White House where it was then announced that he would not be re-nominated in the new year.

State lawmakers have not yet released their proposed  maps for new district lines. A government reform group has tried to fill the void by releasing its own set of maps that it says are a model for non partisan districts.   

Sue Lerner, with Common Cause, says her group has released proposed maps of legislative districts that it says are non partisan, and are based on grouping regions and neighborhoods with similar characteristics together.

“They’re built on factors that are important to people, not politicians,” said Lerner.

WXXI and Little Theatre Announce Merger

Dec 19, 2011

WXXI Public Broadcasting and the Little Theatre have announced a merger of the two organizations. The merger agreement was approved by both organizations' boards within the past month.

Each organization will retain its own name and raise funds separately, but many administrative functions will be combined according to WXXI President Norm Silverstein. The boards of WXXI and the Little will also merge.

For more details you can listen to LeShea Agnew's interview with Silverstein from Monday's Morning Edition on WXXI-AM 1370. Just click on the audio player above.

Special Series: Company Town

Dec 12, 2011

WXXI Innovation Trail reporter Zack Seward looks at Rochester as a "Company Town" - it used to mean the big three, but now it refers to small companies that started here.

Listen every Monday at 8:35 a.m. for "Company Town" during NPR's Morning Edition only on WXXI-AM 1370.

You can listen to a promotional preview of the series.

On NY NOW: DEC's Chief on Hydrofracking

Dec 9, 2011

On a special edition of New York NOW, NY's top environmental regulator answers your hydrofracking questions. The program airs tonight at 8:30 on WXXI-TV.

New York State DEC Commissioner Joe Martens answers questions submitted by people to reporters at WXXI's Innovation Trail.

WXXI-TV News Special: The Dropout Dilemma

Dec 9, 2011

WXXI-TV aired "The Dropout Dilemma," a LIVE Town Hall meeting on the crisis in city schools and the impact it has on the community Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m.

The program focused on how the dropout issue in the Rochester City School District impacts the community as a whole and possible solutions to the problem.

WXXI's Hélène Biandudi and WDKX's Tariq Spence hosted the live program from WXXI's Television Studios. You can watch the full program in the video box below.

Windstream to Cut 52 PAETEC Jobs

Dec 2, 2011

Arkansas-based Windstream announced Thursday that it finalized its 2.3 billion dollar acquistion of PAETEC. It also announced it was cutting about 5 percent of the local PAETEC workforce. That's 52 positions.

Joe Marano is the Windstream VP in charge of the PAETEC merger. He says the deal shows that Windstream is committed to keeping a strong presence in the Rochester area. Marano says the PAETEC deal is Windstream's biggest yet. Windstream becomes a 6 billion dollar company with nationwide presence.

Kodak Shows Off HQ Space Available to MCC

Dec 1, 2011

Officials from Eastman Kodak say 549-thousand square feet of underutilized building space would be a good home for a new Monroe Community College downtown campus.

The buildings sit south of the Kodak Tower, facing Morrie Silver Way. Four of the five office spaces are vacant and available for MCC to use.

Arline Liberti, Kodak's manager of Rochester Facilities,  says bringing MCC's Damon campus to the company's headquarters would be a “win-win” situation.

Need to Know Rochester: Garth Fagan's Madiba

Nov 28, 2011

In this Special Edition of Need to Know Rochester, WXXI News Director Julie Philipp interviews renowned dance pioneer Garth Fagan and Norwood "PJ" Pennewell about their newest productions -- being debuted in Rochester the week of November 28, 2011.

The baby boomers were born in the two decades after World War II and known for their anti-establishment liberalism in the 1960s. But their beginnings have not made them a predictable Democratic voting block. In 2008, boomers narrowly backed Barack Obama, but they swung over to Republicans in 2010.


Get an Ear Shot of news

Get up to speed on the stories you may have missed by subscribing to the Ear Shot podcast from WXXI News and know what's happening around Rochester

Across the Universe with Jeff Spevak


It’s not that Rachel McKibbens has an issue with a cappella. 

But “unlike other venues,” she says, “it would have been a risk for us to book the YellowJackets.”

As the 12-day KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival unfolds, the University of Rochester vocal group is the last thing that the usual unusual clientele of The Spirit Room would expect to find there. Not in the midst of all those skulls and voodoo tchotchkes and drag queens.

News from NPR

For those in the Northern Hemisphere, summer will come to an end next Wednesday. Slowly but surely since the middle of June, days have been getting shorter. With the arrival of the autumn equinox comes cooler weather and a change of color amongst the trees. And Monday, two days before the official start of fall, the harvest moon.

Elon Musk's SpaceX set another aerospace first by launching Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to orbit, into space Wednesday. And after circling the planet some 45 times over three days, the crew has returned to Earth.

The Dragon spacecraft and its crew splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast at 7:07 p.m. ET Saturday. SpaceX said the spacecraft earlier conducted two burns to drop its altitude from about 350 miles above the Earth's surface to about 226 miles.

A Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday carrying 28 U.S. citizens and seven U.S. permanent residents, the latest departure from the country now under Taliban control.

In a statement, State Department spokesperson Ned Price thanked Qatari authorities, who are coordinating flights out of the country, and acknowledged the role of the Taliban.

The Department of Homeland Security will begin deporting planes full of Haitian migrants as soon as Sunday to discourage more border-crossers from streaming into a camp in South Texas.

The plan, outlined by the Department of Homeland Security, is meant to relieve the overflow at the South Texas border town of Del Rio and deter more Haitians from trying to come to the United States illegally.

More news from NPR

Arts & Life

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

Searching for spirituality in ‘Remnants’

Just a few moments into Friday’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival show “Remnants,” at Ellison Park, I became ashamed of my inferior spirituality.

The park, just off of Interstate 490 and Blossom Road, is home to the remnants of Rochester’s long-ago heritage. A replica of Fort Schuyler. And the spirituality of the Haudenosaunee people.

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

After five decades, Garth Fagan Dance continues to evolve. It must, if it is to survive. The pandemic has shaken all of the dance world down to the pointe technique of its toes.

Ashleigh Deskins / WXXI

What a bargain: For a mere $8, Rochester’s Unleashed! Improv offers a quick synopsis of any show at Rochester Fringe. Imagine! You only need to go to this one show — “Unleashed! Improv Presents: Other People’s Shows” — during the entire 12 days of the festival! This one! It’s all the exclamation points you need!

More arts & life stories

From the Inclusion Desk

Courtesy of Endless Highway / Endless Highway

A wheelchair swing and an accessible merry-go-round are some of the new adaptable features at Basil A. Marella Park in the town of Greece that will allow more playtime for families with kids with disabilities.

Endless Highway, an organization that provides inclusive sports and recreational opportunities, partnered with the town of Greece to make the upgrades at the park. 

During the pandemic, people found themselves alone a lot more than usual.

That includes young people with disabilities who lost something important -- opportunities to build social skills. While there are programs to help with this, what can be done to ensure people with disabilities have the necessary support and resources?

That’s the focus of this Inclusion Desk discussion, moderated by WXXI News reporter/producer Noelle E.C. Evans with guests:

Leaders from organizations that provide services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities say they are dealing with a staffing crisis. Direct support professionals provide assistance to people with disabilities, helping them live and work in their communities. Leaders say there was a staffing shortage prior to the pandemic due to inadequate funding, and now the issue has reached a crisis point.

This hour, we discuss the role of direct support professionals, the state of staffing for their field, and the impact the shortage has on people with disabilities. Our guests:

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

Erica Jae

Democrats in Washington are working on the details of their enormous budget reconciliation bill.

President Joe Biden wants to include $400 billion for home health care services.

This has long been a priority for disability advocates and others who say the investment is needed to keep people in their own homes and communities and out of institutional settings.

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

Check out all the virtual and in-person events on the CITY event calendar you can be a part of!

Meet the WXXI News Team

The reporters you hear everyday