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

A law requiring inspections and heavy-duty covers for traps that capture grease from restaurants in Monroe County has been signed. 

Bryce’s Law is named after Bryce Raynor, the 3-year-old who died after he fell through a grease trap cover behind the University Avenue Tim Hortons in July while his mother was working there. 

City of Rochester

The Rochester Riverside Convention Center’s North Terrace reopened Monday. It’s the second piece of the $50 million state-funded Roc The Riverway project. The north terrace will be an all-seasons public space with a lighting scheme donated by RG&E. 

RG&E’s Veronica Dasher handles community outreach matters for the power company, which provided the  lighting facades for the project.

“We understand that Roc The Riverway is extremely important to the city of Rochester and its vibrancy and we want to be a part of that,” said Dasher.

James Brown / WXXI

In a special session Monday, Rochester City Council voted 8-0-1 to ask the state to manage the finances of the City School District. Councilmember LaShay Harris abstained because of her employment at the district. 

This decision is in response to what Superintendent Terry Dade calls a “crisis” in overspending that left the district, about $30 million in the red, just months after its finance department said the budget was balanced.

James Brown / WXXI

Rochester City Council is appealing a ruling that will prevent a public vote on an independent police accountability board this November. The ruling came from New York Supreme Court Justice John Ark, who struck down the referendum Wednesday. In question is the legality of the law passed by city council in June which creates the board. 

James Brown / WXXI News

The Rochester City School District is grappling with a $30 million shortfall.

That estimate was revealed by District Superintendent Terry Dade in a Thursday afternoon news conference after district officials recently indicated that a year-end audit for the last school year found that the district was over-budget.

Ruling halts referendum on Police Accountability Board

Sep 25, 2019
James Brown / WXXI

Rochester's Police Accountability Board proposal will appear on the ballot in November, but you won't be able to vote on it unless a court rules that votes can be counted.

Supreme Court Justice John Ark issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday barring the proposal from being voted on in November. Ark said a court will need a chance to more thoroughly review the legislation creating the accountability board.

James Brown / WXXI News

A $12 million affordable housing development in downtown Rochester has just been completed.

Charlotte Square on the Loop is the first residential development as part of the city’s Inner Loop East Transformation project.

The new development has 50 affordable apartments. Officials say that most of the apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the 'area median income.'

Theresa Reda is living in one of the new apartments, and notes that she had some tough years, trying to find a place for herself and four daughters.

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

On the same day that NYS Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced his office will audit the Rochester City School District, Mayor Lovely Warren said she was told by a source last weekend that district officials have known about the shortfall in last year’s budget for quite some time. 

James Brown / WXXI

After numerous requests from local leaders, State Comptroller Tom Dinapoli’s office will examine the finances of the Rochester City School District. 

Board of Education President Van White announced last week that a routine audit of last school year’s budget showed that the district spent too much. White told WXXI News on Monday that progress reports from the district’s finance department did not show the discrepancy. 

James Brown WXXI

Fresh from the campaign trail, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand made an appearance in Rochester Friday.   

The New York Democrat held a roundtable discussion at the Center for Disability Rights.

Gillibrand was looking to find out more about issues that are important to people with disabilities. She said conversations with activists when she was on the presidential campaign trail inspired her to take action.