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Coming Up on Connections: Tuesday, January 5th

First hour: Media Roundtable: Political patronage in Monroe County

Second hour: GRAAF and supporting local athletes on their Olympic and Paralympic journeys

 In our first hour, local reporters join us for a discussion about political patronage in Monroe County.  Former County Executive Maggie Brooks is the Regional Transit Service's newest vice president. Some say the job was created for her. It raises questions about other examples of political patronage in the community, and how journalists cover these stories. Our guests:

  • David Andreatta, columnist, Democrat and Chronicle
  • Cody Combs, reporter, 13WHAM
  • Jeremy Moule, staff writer, City Newspaper

Then, in our second hour, what does it take for athletes to fulfill their Olympic and Paralympic dreams? Talent, training, and coaching, of course, but what about funding? One local Olympic hopeful says between coaching and training costs, hotel room fees and living expenses, medical bills, competition entry fees, and plane tickets, the costs can amount to $25,000 per year. A local non-profit's mission is to provide financial support to athletes. We'll learn about the Greater Rochester Amateur Athletic Federation (GRAAF) from former and current grant recipients. Our guests:

  • Mike Ingham, president of GRAAF and former GRAAF recipient (Olympic sailing)
  • Miranda Melville, current GRAAF recipient (training for Olympic trials in race walking)
  • Anja Pierce, current GRAAF recipient (training for trials in para-kayaking)
  • Emily Wright, current GRAAF recipient (training for Olympic trials in kayaking)
  • Iris Zimmerman, member of GRAAF's Board of Directors and former GRAAF recipient (Olympic fencing)

Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.