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.

Jacob Walsh / Rochester City Newspaper

Monroe County executive candidates Adam Bello and Cheryl Dinolfo locked horns Tuesday at the Rochester Rotary meeting at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. 

Economic development dominated the agenda. Dinolfo, the Republican incumbent, pointed to her record. She said that 20,000 jobs were created and that Monroe County was third in the state for jobs retained.

James Brown / WXXI

In the wake of the death of her 3-year-old son, Tenitia Cullum is focused on preventing similar deaths. 

Bryce Raynor died after he fell through a grease trap cover behind the University Avenue Tim Hortons in July. His mother was working inside. 

He is one of several children to die after falling into outdoor grease traps across the country in the last few years. The traps are a common way to capture grease from commercial kitchens. 

A panel of judges this week said that Rochester voters can vote on a Police Accountability Board in this year’s elections, but for Frank Simmons, it's about getting justice for his son.

James Brown / WXXI

Just before Kenneth Morris took the stage Thursday to talk about his nonprofit’s plans, he learned that longtime Congressman Elijah Cummings had died. He asked everyone for a moment of silence for the Democrat who served Baltimore and several nearby towns. 

Morris said he met Cummings several times while he lobbied to pass a law on Capitol Hill. 

Gates Firefighters IAFF Local 3792

A leader in the local fire prevention community has a new foundation that’s been established in his memory. 

Joseph Manuse was honored Wednesday for his decades of fire prevention efforts. He was a volunteer firefighter for Gates-Chili from 1989 until his death last month. He died off duty, after complications from a bee sting... Later on he became a fire prevention officer for the Gates Fire Department

James Brown WXXI

Transparency and a lack of confidence were among the concerns voiced as Rochester City Council members peppered city school district leaders with questions about the district's finances Thursday night. 

Internal and external investigations are ongoing into how the district went from a balanced budget that it presented to City Council in June to about $30 million in the red this fall. 

James Brown WXXI

Rochester City School Superintendent Terry Dade on Tuesday night revealed his first steps in bridging the district’s budget gap and he’ll have to accomplish that with a new chief finance officer.

The district's chief financial officer, Everton Sewell, resigned Tuesday. Sewell told district leaders that its budget was balanced in May -- when it wasn’t. This decision caused an uproar over the last month -- with calls for investigations, resignations, a state takeover of the district’s checkbook, and even mayoral control.

James Brown / WXXI

A Rochester man pleaded guilty Monday to bilking at least 1,000 people around the country out of more than $100 million.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said financial adviser Perry Santillo ran a Ponzi scheme for about a decade. Kennedy said the scheme started when Santillo and an unnamed partner lost millions in investor money in another Ponzi scheme back in 2007. 

James Brown WXXI

Federal and state agencies are nearing the end of a project to bring Lake Sturgeon back to the Genesee River. 

Webster Piersall from the State Department of Environmental Conservation says the project started in 2003 after the federal government required the restoration of those fish.

James Brown / WXXI

A video of alleged police misconduct in Rochester has thousands of views on Facebook -- and even the mayor has commented on it. 

“What is going on here,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a comment on the video of the Sept. 19 incident. The video shows police manhandling and pushing 13-year-old Jusmeir Mitchell to the ground on Lake Avenue after he got off a school bus. 

A statement from the Rochester Police Department said officers responded to the bus, which had stopped because of a fight on it. The department said when Mitchell tried to get off the bus, police asked him to stay on it. But Mitchell did get off the bus and police detained him.