Beth Adams

Morning Edition Host

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester, where she was recognized for her work by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the New York State Humane Society. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York to Miami, Florida.

Beth is active in the Rochester community, having volunteered for organizations including the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm, the Heart of Gold Children's Foundation, the Rochester Press Radio Club Children’s Charities, and the Rochester Broadway Theater League Education Committee.  She is an avid reader of historical fiction and a devoted animal lover. Beth is married to award-winning writer and author Scott Pitoniak. 

Ways to Connect

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Imagine being quarantined for weeks inside a small (by Rochester standards) New York City apartment by yourself.

Well, there are a couple of cats, too.

"I went out last night to see a friend," said Lori Hamilton, "and they were, like, 'You did not tell us you were going out. It was not on the schedule.' "

The comedian has so many characters and skits bouncing around in her imagination, it's easy to see how she survived the COVID-19 solitude.

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Of the more than 170 shows in this year's KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, several are related to the Black Lives Matter movement.

One of them is a production from ROC Freedom Riders.

The group was formed in June, after the May 25 death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police.

That was before the public knew about an incident -- one that would be compared to Floyd's death -- that had happened in Rochester months earlier. In March, police officers restrained Daniel Prude; he died a week later from the injuries he suffered.

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Since a video of the arrest of Daniel Prude was released two weeks ago, calls for police reform have grown louder and more insistent.

Prude died a week after he suffocated when pinned to the pavement by Rochester police officers, who had been called to check on his mental health.

Citizens, activists, and elected leaders are pointing to a program in Oregon as an example of how a community should respond to these kinds of calls.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

The family of Daniel Prude is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Rochester.

Prude died on March 30, one week after he was arrested by Rochester police officers who held him to the ground with a knee to his back as he was experiencing a mental health crisis.

The Monroe County medical examiner ruled the death a homicide caused by "asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint."  

freeimages.com/Kristen Price

With concerns about whether recent changes at the U.S. Postal Service will keep mailed absentee ballots from getting counted in time, State Sen. Brad Hoylman is suggesting an alternative.

The New York City Democrat wants to authorize local boards of elections to set up absentee drop-off boxes so voters can circumvent the post office.

The boxes are used in other states that have all-mail in voting, but they don't exist right now in New York. That would require legislation, due to chain of custody and security issues.

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The union representing more than 1,200 non-teaching employees of the Rochester City school district is proposing changes to the district's reopening plans in an effort to prevent layoffs.

Under superintendent Lesli Myers-Small's current plans, about 200 members of the Board of Education Non-Teaching Employees Union (BENTE) would be laid off for ten weeks.

Brad VanDusen

Plans have been underway for years to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which recognized women's right to vote.

The celebration was planned for this summer in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region with parades and flotillas, speeches and gatherings scheduled. But, the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to many of the festivities.

Throughout all this, the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls was still determined to open its new headquarters at the historic Seneca Knitting Mill on Canal Street.

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Larry Staub has attended all but one Republican convention since 1992. This is the second time the former Monroe County parks director has served as a delegate.

"It sounds nerdy, but it's been an aspiration of mine my entire life," he said.

The first time was in 2016 when Staub, like this year, was a delegate for Donald Trump.

Missing this year, of course, are the balloon drops and convention floor crowds, but Staub says it was a wise decision for Republicans and Democrats to go virtual in the midst of the pandemic.

A local Mennonite family continues to recover both physically and emotionally from a serious crash they were involved in two weeks ago.

Matthew and Katrina Sensenig and their five children, aged 9 years to 7 months, were all ejected from their horse-drawn buggy when it was rear-ended by a vehicle on County Road 22 in Penn Yann on Aug. 9.

All were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Brighton High School bcsd.org

For Brighton High School social studies teacher Jennifer Pacatte, it hasn't exactly been a summer of fun and relaxation.  

"I would say it's been this pervasive state of anxiety for every teacher I know," she said.

Much of that anxiety, she said, is because until a few weeks ago, schools in New York didn't even know if they'd be allowed to reopen.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Aug. 7 that students can return to the classroom if coronavirus transmission rates stay below a certain threshold.