WXXI AM News

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

Kat Schwarz

Kat Schwarz and Clayton Eddy are planning on getting married on Dec. 12.

“Having the wedding in December does make me hopeful that we will actually be able to have the wedding," Schwarz said.

The Rochester couple already put money down on the venue and the photographer. Schwarz found a dress she likes.

But it's too early to know what life will look like in eight months.

“It’s almost like 'Love in the time of Cholera,' " said Schwarz, referencing the Gabriel García Márquez novel. "Married in the time of COVID.”

Rochester Regional Health

Clif Genge does not intubate a patient or check their vital signs. He provides another kind of lifeline at Rochester General Hospital.

Genge is a palliative care chaplain.  He gives spiritual and emotional support to seriously ill patients and their families.

If necessary, he is by their side as they transition to death.

"We're always a source of peace and hope and encouragement, but even more so now because we're doing double duty," Genge said. "We're doing our own role, but we're also passing along the messages from family, as well."

freeimages.com/ Julia Freeman-Woolpert

Imagine you’re in a busy hospital to be treated for COVID-19. The medical staff is overwhelmed, and things are happening quickly.

You are deaf or hard of hearing, there is no interpreter on hand, and your nurse or doctor is wearing a mask, so you can’t read their lips.

“You don’t want to be nodding your head about whether or not you have any allergies or something like that when you really don’t understand. You don’t want to be playing that guessing game,” said Gerard Buckley, president of RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Rochester Regional Health

Melissa Bronstein is the system director for infection prevention at Rochester Regional Health.

She oversees the team in charge of keeping patients, staff, and visitors free from infections that may be caused in hospitals or other health care settings.

Under normal circumstances, that's a big job. But during a global pandemic?

Rochester Regional Health

Doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists are all on the front lines treating patients who have the new coronavirus. 

But other hospital workers are also playing critical roles.

At Rochester General Hospital, Scott Sleeper and Vic Zeno are the environmental services operations managers.

"(We) basically ensure the hospital has all the resources to maintain a clean and safe environment for all that enter the building," Zeno said.

Dr. Katie Harmer

On Wednesday, 99 members from the University of Rochester School of Medicine's class of 2020 took the physician's oath in a virtual ceremony.

It wasn't the graduation ceremony they would have expected even a few months ago; but that was before a coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe.

"I've never felt that duty so strongly as I feel it right now at this time of great need for our community," said Dr. Katie Harmer, an Irondequoit native who plans to stay in the area and practice family medicine.

freeimages.com/Ana Labate

Most New York state residents say they are either quarantining themselves or practicing social distancing, according to a new poll from Siena College.

Fourteen percent of New Yorkers said they were under mandatory quarantine, and 42 percent were self-quarantining.

Tom Chiarella

If Tom Chiarella looks out the second story window of his Airbnb rental apartment, he can see the town square in Greencastle, Indiana.

Under ordinary circumstances, it would probably be a nice place to visit. The apartment is in an 18th century Victorian mercantile building located about 20 minutes south of Chiarella's home.

But these are extraordinary times. The loft has been a hideout of sorts, not a vacation rental, for the Rochester native and freelance journalist.

freeimages.com/Zizzy 0104

A local nonprofit is warning older adults to be aware of scams related to the coronavirus pandemic and the federal stimulus package.

Lifespan says there are numerous hoaxes circulating both online and through phone calls and texts that are specifically preying on senior citizens who are more vulnerable than ever because of social distancing.

"The Y is closed, our nutrition sites are closed, so folks are home," said Leita King, Lifespan's scam prevention program coordinator. "They're not even able to go to church. That isolation and loneliness makes them a huge target."

Beth Adams/WXXI News

If you venture into a Wegmans store during the coronavirus pandemic, you may start to see employees wearing masks and gloves.

In the wake of the crisis, Wegmans has adopted a new policy allowing workers to use the protective gear if it makes them feel safer.

Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart wrote to Wegmans inquiring about the company's policies after she said she heard from dozens of Wegmans employees and their family members, who claim they were told they could not wear personal protective equipment at work.

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