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

At the urging of  New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, City School District state-appointed Distinguished Educator Jaime Aquino spoke to the media on Wednesday, to wrap things up before his time in Rochester is over.

James Brown WXXI

Leaders from around Rochester gathered at the Eastman School of Music on Wednesday to learn about new ways to synchronize arts efforts downtown. Arts leaders from Minneapolis, St. Paul, Pittsburgh and Nashville shared their expertise  at the Eastman School of Music as part of the Arts in the Loop symposium.

Jim Doser brought them here. He's the director of Eastman's Institute of Music Leadership.

Renee Heininger / CITY Newspaper

Zola Brown has spent most of the last decade involved with the 19th Ward Community Association and became its president just a few months ago.

Over cheesy grits and coffee at the Arnett Cafe, Brown said the neighborhood is in transition.

Renee Heininger / CITY Newspaper

Northwest Rochester is home to the JOSANA neighborhood, which is poor and mostly black and brown.

While the neighborhood has faced many challenges, it's also seen some positive changes recently.

"The neighborhood back then was known as ghost town. It's not called ghost town anymore," said Luis Aponte, chairman of Charles House Neighbors in Action. The group is a mix of area residents, business owners, and teens. About 12 years ago, the group merged with the organization that gave the neighborhood its name: the Jay Orchard Street Area Neighborhood Association.

 The U.S. Census is an accounting of everyone who lives in the country. A new study from The Urban Institute, a think tank that conducts social and economic research, said the country will likely miss a lot of people, upward of 4 million of them.

The study expects Hispanics in particular to be undercounted in part because of the Trump administration's decision to add a question about citizenship to the census. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule later this month on whether that’s legal.

James Brown / WXXI News

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced Friday that Jaime Aquino, the Rochester City School District’s distinguished educator, has resigned. The New York State Education Department says that Aquino is leaving to pursue another professional opportunity.

Elia said his last day will be June 7.

Elia appointed Aquino last year to give feedback and support to the leadership of the troubled school district. Most notably, Aquino provided a critique of the district highlighting its fiscal and management problems and its long history of poor graduation rates.

Mayor Lovely Warren said Thursday that she was first approached to take mayoral control of the Rochester City School District earlier this year.

The district has been under increased scrutiny from state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia because of its fiscal and management problems and its long history of poor graduation rates.

Warren would not say who approached her, but she did say she’d rather have experts run the district.

James Brown WXXI

Incoming Rochester City School Superintendent Terry Dade was back in Rochester this week for the first time since he was hired.

District spokesperson Carlos Garcia said Dade flew into the city on Tuesday and had back-to-back meetings with district leaders and other local groups since then. He’s expected to do the same on Thursday.

New York state lawmakers have not yet approved electric scooters in the state, but Rochester is ready for them.

Last week, City Council approved legislation that would make Rochester one of the first cities in the state to take advantage of the law.

If approved, the scooters would be a part of the city’s ride-sharing program operated by Zagster, which has rented Pace bikes around Rochester for three years.

James Brown WXXI

There were Memorial Day parades all over the region Monday to remember those who died serving their country including in downtown Rochester. That’s where a chatty nine-year old named Sam Lighthouse was more than willing to talk about the military.