April Franklin

Weekend Edition Host

Before her current role as the local host of WXXI's Weekend Edition and reporter at WXXI News, April spent 12 years working in the Emergency Department at URMC.

Her passion for community and storytelling led her to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Broadcast from SUNY Brockport.

April is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the current Vice President of Rochester Association of Black Journalists.

Ways to Connect

Anna Shvets

Studies show that close to 100 million tons of food goes to waste in the U.S. each year. A state program on the RIT campus has developed a toolkit to help reduce food waste in municipalities throughout the state.

Charles Ruffing is the director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I). He says the toolkit provides strategies to design and implement a food waste recycling program.

Photo by Julius Tejeda


People who incurred funeral expenses aftering losing a loved one to COVID-19 may have some of their expenses recovered. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced applications are open for COVID-19 funeral assistance. The program is funded through pandemic relief legislation. 

Ekrulila from Pexels

Colleges and universities across the state may need to adjust their commencement plans now that the state has updated its guidelines around graduation ceremonies.

The guidelines announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday allows a limited number of guests for indoor and outdoor events of various sizes.

Here are the updated state guidelines:

Outdoor events:

James Brown / WXXI News

Resisting Gentrification: Then & Now is the theme for the fourth annual Gentrification Conference hosted by 540 West Main and City Roots Community Land Trust. The two-day event will be held virtually and in-person with a focus on the history of Rochester’s housing segregation and activism.

Calvin Eaton, founder of 540 West Main, says the event will educate the people who will be directly affected by community development.

Justin Ortiz / Generation Outreach

Justin Ortiz started Generation Outreach 10 years ago to give students in Rochester early exposure to tech careers.

“In the minority community, we’re underrepresented in a lot of these tech industries because it’s simply not presented to us,” said Ortiz. “Kids who have these careers presented to them usually excel in them, and people are going to make money out of these careers and why not it be our kids?”

Brittan Harders / Next Generation Men of Transition

 An annual event dedicated to raise awareness and celebrate the contributions of transgender people is being observed around the world today. 

Locally, advocacy group Next Generation Men of Transition organized a balloon display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park to mark the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

RIT Libraries

Wikipedia is used as a resource by millions, but compared to the total amount of its users the site has a small number of mostly male contributors. A 2010 study by the Wikimedia Foundation found that at the time only 13% of its contributors were women. RIT Libraries' Women on Wikipedia-edit-a-thon events are geared toward changing that imbalance. 

Jody Breslin

Jody Breslin was like any ordinary parent until July 2019, when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Breslin says besides having some stomach pain she didn’t have any symptoms. She did a colorectal cancer home screening upon recommendation of her primary care doctor.

"I was devastated because I had put off my colonoscopy," says Breslin. “I was raising two active teenagers, I had a full-time job, it was just not something that I wanted to take out in order to do.”

Max Schulte / WXXI News file photo


This week marks one year since Daniel Prude's encounter with Rochester Police that resulted in his suffocation, and ultimately, his death. Prude was in Rochester visiting his older brother, Joe, who didn’t learn the details of Daniel’s death until months later.

Police bodycam footage showing Daniel Prude the night he was restrained was released to the public in September, six months after his death.

University of Rochester Medical Center

Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced it has begun COVID-19 vaccine testing in children. The University of Rochester Medical Center wants to make sure children from the Rochester area are represented in the national vaccine trial.

URMC and its network of providers are currently screening children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years for phase 2 and 3 of the Moderna vaccine trial.

Dr. Mary Caserta and Dr. Jennifer Nayack of URMC Pediatric Infectious Disease will be monitoring the study.