James Brown


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

The town of Brighton is New York’s latest “Climate Smart Community.”

The certification was presented Thursday at Brighton Town Hall by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Town Supervisor Bill Moehle said the town has taken steps to cut energy consumption by 33 percent at town facilities over the last three years.

He said it makes sense for the planet and the taxpayers.

With an average of 20 veterans dying by suicide each day in the U.S., Congressman Joe Morelle said Wednesday that he’s introducing legislation to make sure the Veterans Administration helps prevent more deaths.

Morelle said the VA received $6.2 million in the 2018 fiscal year to promote its suicide prevention services for veterans. It spent less than a third of that money, he said.

“To only have less than a third of that money spent when 7,000 vets are dying every year is reprehensible,” said Morelle.


Rochester City Council has a new vice president. At-large Council member Willie J. Lightfoot was elevated to the post Tuesday night by a unanimous vote. His nomination was announced earlier this week.

“I am honored and humbled to serve our great city as the vice president of the City Council. I am grateful to my colleagues on City Council for selecting me and look forward to serving in this role,” said Lightfoot.

James Brown WXXI

Rochester City Council is considering allowing a retired officer on its proposed police accountability board.

That’s a change from its draft legislation to create the board, which would manage misconduct claims against the Rochester Police Department.

Council President Loretta Scott said there are two other requirements for that board member.

“It would have to be a retired person, of course, and it would not have been a member of the Rochester Police Department,” said Scott.


Rochester City Councilman Willie Lightfoot has been nominated to become Council Vice President. That’s according Council President Loretta Scott.

The role opened after longtime councilman Adam McFadden pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with an investigation involving an organization funded by the Rochester Housing Authority. State law required McFadden to resign his council seat.

Lightfoot must be confirmed at by city council at Tuesday night’s meeting before taking Vice President position.


The owners of The Marketplace Mall are working with Monroe County to acquire the vacant Macy’s that is at that site.

The county’s economic development agency, Imagine Monroe, held a public hearing on the eminent domain proposal Monday in Henrietta. Eminent domain allows the government to take over private property for public use. In this case, Imagine Monroe plans to sell the property to Wilmorite, which owns the rest of the mall.

Wilmorite said it plans to use the land for a project that it said would be “transformative” for the shopping center.

A local child-focused, nonprofit organization is offering a critique of the Rochester City School District’s proposed budget.

The Children’s Agenda review was released Thursday. It lauds the district’s decrease in suspensions, but notes that cuts in the proposed budget may stop the progress.

James Brown WXXI

Rochester Institute of Technology students, staff and faculty have again joined Flower City Habitat for Humanity to build houses -- or at least start them -- on campus.

In the second year of a partnership, about 200 people took shifts Wednesday building parts of houses in a parking lot near RIT dorms. The two houses will eventually be reconstructed on Jay Street in Rochester.

Flower City Habitat for Humanity CEO Matthew Flanigan said these houses are bigger than most they build.

Rochester Lilac Festival

Lilac Festival organizers revealed new details about the annual event on Wednesday.

The popular Wine Tasting, Craft Beer, and Bloody Mary expos are all returning. The organizers also unveiled this year’s poster by Rochester artist Alison Cote, a Rochester native who specializes in creating images with an old-school flare.

“It’s a huge honor,” said Cote. “I honestly feel like I’ve peaked, in terms of what I can do in Rochester. This is it.”

James Brown WXXI

Rochester native La’Ron Singletary has been appointed the city’s next permanent police chief.

Mayor Lovely Warren made the announcement Tuesday morning. Singletary has spent his entire career inside the Rochester Police Department, most recently as deputy chief of community affairs. As he accepted the post, Singletary broke down in tears.

“There is a saying, ‘Heavy is the head of he who wears the crown.’ With faith, family and friends, there is nothing that the Rochester Police Department and this community cannot accomplish,” said Singletary.