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.

An executive order allowing the sale of alcohol with takeout food in New York state has been extended, and will now end June 5. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the order to allow the sales when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the state last year. 

For Scott Donnelley, owner of Donnelly's Public House in Fairport, the alcohol sales are a lifeline for his business, providing much needed cash flow. He said his business barely made it through the last year.


Now that New York state has legalized recreational cannabis, AAA of Western New York says residents should be careful when they smoke or eat it, especially when they intend to get behind the wheel. 

Under the new law, it is legal for anyone 21 and older to possess up to 3 ounces of the drug.

Since Washington state legalized recreational pot in 2012, AAA’s Tony Spada Jr. said, there’s been an alarming trend: More drivers involved in fatal car crashes have pot in their systems.

During a panel discussion Wednesday, Spada said his group’s stance is clear.

James Brown / WXXI News

Two weeks ago, members of the Monroe County Legislature’s Black and Asian Caucus released an anonymous letter they received which contained a bevy of complaints about Monroe Community Hospital Among the complaints: the hospital is understaffed, managers mandate double shifts at the last minute, and if someone refuses the extra hours, they get punished and sometimes fired. The hospital is run by Monroe County.

James Brown / WXXI News

Less than 10% of tenants have access to an attorney during disputes with their landlords and local Democrats are trying to change that. 

During a news conference outside the Hall of Justice Friday, the state's Democratic delegation announced a $3.5 million tenant defense fund that will be split among agencies in several upstate counties. The program’s goal is to stabilize housing and prevent homelessness.

James Brown / WXXI News

During a news conference Friday, Rochester mayoral challenger Malik Evans said he intends to run in the general election, no matter the result of the primary election. He’s challenging Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren in the June 22 Democratic primary. Evans will be on the Working Family Party line in the general election.

James Brown / WXXI News

Families with prospective Rochester City School District students will have the opportunity to register this weekend

The district’s Department of Early Childhood Education and Office of Student Equity and Placement are holding a student registration event on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Freddie Thomas Learning Center at 625 Scio St. Families will need a recent physical, immunization records, and a birth certificate. They’ll also need a photo ID with proof of a city address in order to register. 

Strong Museum of Play

The Strong Museum of Play broke ground on a 90,000-square-foot expansion Wednesday. CEO and President Steve Dubnik said the new wing will feature the museum’s biggest exhibit yet: ESL Federal Credit Union Digital Worlds. 

Dubnik said it's expected to be home to the World Video Game Hall of Fame, an outdoor play exhibit, a new atrium, and admissions area. All told, he said the museum will eventually be 375,000 square feet. The museum is expected to stay open while under construction.

The Islamic Center of Rochester

After a year off, prayer has resumed inside the Islamic Center of Rochester during Ramadan. 

For Muslims, Ramdan is known for fasting, prayer, reflection and community over the course of a lunar month.

Max Schulte/WXXI News

A Hilton elementary school principal is accused of sexually abusing students.  

James Brown / WXXI News

An anonymous letter made public Wednesday said that Monroe Community Hospital is a hostile work environment. 

The letter was released during a news conference by the Monroe County Legislature’s Black and Asian Caucus. When asked how many complaints there are, Legislator Ernest Flagler-Mitchell would not say.