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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Just after noon on a Thursday, eight students are seated at desks spaced out around a large room at the Phillis Wheatley Community Library in Corn Hill.

They range in age from 5 to 12.  Most of them are working on their laptops as several teaching assistants walk around to see if anyone needs help.

"Before this whole program started, I was really doing terrible," said Xavier Johnson, "but since I started coming here, my grades have been getting back up."

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With an increasing COVID-19 infection rate, Monroe County's commissioner of public health says it's time to consider how to enforce health guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing.

Dr. Michael Mendoza tells WXXI  News that County Executive Adam Bello and his team have been  talking with law enforcement leaders about how to do that.

Up until now, Mendoza and Bello have favored education over enforcement.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

Local restaurant owners are responding to a new round of restrictions in the wake of increasing coronavirus infection rates.

New York state designated most of Monroe County as a yellow zone on Monday. Among other things, this limits restaurant seating to four people per table.

Kelly Bush, president of the Rochester Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, said this will be especially difficult for small venues.

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The Rochester Fireworks Company on Whitney Road in Perinton, like many factories during World War II, had been converted to manufacture war products - in this case, military flares.

On November 6, 1942, at 4:30 p.m., a half hour after the start of the second shift, there was an explosion in one of the dozens of buildings at the plant.

"And that small explosion broke out into a fire and the fire spread quickly through a building where many people were working," said Perinton town historian Bill Poray.

In the midst of a global pandemic and a presidential election that has deeply divided the country, it's a painful time for many people.

The Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Rochester has scheduled a series of virtual events aimed at helping the community move forward and engage with one another in a healthy way.

Brett Dahlberg/WXXI News

Monroe County's first director of addiction services is working on ways to reach people who she says are traditionally under-served, forgotten, and missing out on treatment.

Tisha Smith was recently appointed to the new position by County Executive Adam Bello.

She's been on the job for about three weeks but Smith is no newcomer to the field of addiction treatment.

She was most recently director of inmate drug and alcohol programs for the county sheriff's office.  Before that, she was an addiction therapist supervisor at Unity Hospital.

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A Rochester musician says he was inspired to do something to lift people's spirits during a time of distress and separation.

Billy Goodness, drummer and vocalist for the band "The Klick," says the idea came to him in a dream.

"I literally woke up one night ... I guess, one morning at about 3 a.m.," he says, "and this whole thing was playing it my head, but I heard it with this choir, this chorus."

The Rochester People's Climate Coalition has a new name, a new website, and an updated mission.

It will now be known as the Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, or "The Accelerator" for short.

Executive Director Abby McHugh-Grifa said it better reflects who they are as an organization, what they do, and where they do it. 

The group's work is not limited to the city of Rochester. It covers a nine-county region.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

He probably didn't realize it at the time, but Sanford Coley's life took a dramatic turn in the mid-1990s.

That's when Coley, who is now 66, got a job at CleanCraft, a commercial cleaning company in Rochester.  He had already interviewed for 10 or 15 other jobs before this one came through.

"Being an ex-felon," he said, "other companies just looked over me, and it was tough."  

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Feminist, journalist, and social activist Gloria Steinhem has been the face of the women's movement since the 1960s.

The producer of a new play presented by the Jewish Community Center's CenterStage said even a global pandemic can't silence Steinem's voice.