WXXI AM News

James Brown

Reporter

Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.

James cut his teeth in journalism as an associate producer and weekend assignment editor at WHEC-TV.

A Rochester native and an East High School graduate, James earned a Bachelor of Communications degree from Niagara University where he won awards for his poetry and resurrected the school’s radio station.

James Brown WXXI

For the first time, the official Juneteenth flag is flying outside City Hall.

Juneteenth is the day that the last African American slaves learned of the surrender of the Confederacy -- a full two months after the Civil War ended.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and the Community Foundation’s Simeon Banister spoke in a ceremony Friday to commemorate the holiday.

James Brown WXXI

Every 10 years, the census counts everyone who lives in the United States and that information is used to help distribute the nearly $700 billion federal budget.

That’s why local leaders involved with the Rochester-Monroe Complete Count Committee are discussing ways to get the word out.

Bello, the bipartisan committee’s co-chair along with Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, said the census should not be a political issue.

File photo

As Mayor Lovely Warren has continued her push for a state takeover of Rochester city schools, state Assemblymember Harry Bronson has dug in, saying he opposes removing the elected school board. And he's mentioned that he's preparing legislation to improve student outcomes and the district's general functioning.

On Thursday morning, Bronson released a draft of the bill, the Rochester City School District Empowerment Act. The legislation, which he plans to introduce this session, targets a few areas of district operations:

WXXI photo

The Transportation Security Administration screened nearly a half-million people at Greater Rochester International Airport last summer. The Transportation Security Administration’s Lisa Farbstein said we’re likely to surpass that number this year.

“We’ve already set a new record for the highest number of passengers screened for a single day,” said Farbstein. “TSA experienced our busiest day ever on May 24th, which was the Friday before Memorial Day.”

James Brown WXXI

The Rochester City School District estimates that two out of every five district students don't have access to internet at home, let alone high speed internet.

The district is tackling the issue by offering roughly 8,000 Rochester City School District high schoolers at least 10 gigabytes of high speed WiFi per month, and a Chromebook by December.
 

The district said that even students who have one computer with internet access will be offered take home chromebooks and MiFi units. MiFi devices are portable hotspots that offer people internet access.

State Assemblymember Jamie Romeo said it’s not appropriate to ask Rochester residents to vote on the removal of the city Board of Education when there is no clear plan to replace it.

Mayor Lovely Warren introduced legislation last week that would dissolve the elected school board for five years after a citywide referendum in November. The proposal also includes asking State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to appoint a new board.

Even if the referendum passes, only state lawmakers have the power to dissolve the board.

Office of NY Governor Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state agency officials were in Rochester on Monday to kick off a new commission that will work to toughen the infrastructure along the Lake Ontario shoreline.

The Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative, or REDI, commission is part of the state’s response to the flooding that has hit the south shore of the lake this year, just two years after the last wave of floods that damages homes and other properties.

Cuomo says a number of state agencies will be involved.

James Brown / WXXI News

Rochester Board of Education President Van White says he was taken aback by a proposal  Mayor Lovely Warren discussed on Friday,  that would see the current city school board dissolved.

He says he met with her in the last week and she didn’t bring it up. White says he needs to work on his relationship with the mayor.

“I hope and pray that she thinks that I’m strong enough to hear not only when we agree but when we might disagree," White told reporters.

The Rochester City School District has submitted to the state its updated response to Distinguished Educator Jaime Aquino’s report.

Last fall, Aquino’s report detailed the failures in the district’s finances, educational outcomes, governance and more. State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia rejected the district’s original response earlier this year and gave the district a six-week extension to improve it.

North Clinton Avenue has a problem.

“North Clinton is one of the most unsafe corridors in the state for pedestrian activity,” said Stantec’s Michael Damico.

Damico is the project lead for Reconnect Rochester’s Complete Streets Makeover, a contest where people nominate high-traffic intersections to be temporarily altered to be more pedestrian-friendly. Past alterations have included creating temporary bike lanes and crosswalks.

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