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 News

Monroe Community College Interim President Kate Douglas said she doesn’t like the term “reopening,” because she said the college never really closed. Classes moved online in mid-March due to the pandemic. 

Douglas said different work groups filled with more than 70 staffers are discussing how to safely bring students back in person this fall.

“One of them is called the facilities and operations work group and they have been going through every room on campus and revising what the room capacity would be,” Douglas said. 


For the first time in about two decades, the Buffalo Bills will not train in Pittsford, and both sides wish it wasn’t so.

The NFL has decided that all training camps must happen at team facilities this year. That’s a break from tradition for the Bills, who’ve held their camp at St. John Fisher College for two decades. They typically arrive in mid-July.

The leaders of Rochester’s Black Lives Matter movement said Tuesday that officials are wrong about their assertion that “outside agitators” caused the violence that followed a peaceful rally Saturday.

In protest of George Floyd's death after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, thousands went to Martin Luther King Jr. Park for music and speeches Saturday. Similar demonstrations were held across the country.

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The Rev. Lewis Stewart and the United Christian Leadership Ministry spoke Monday in support of this weekend’s Black Lives Matter rally -- but said the rioting and looting that followed do not honor the memory of George Floyd. 

Floyd's death on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck sparked protests across the country, including in Rochester. 

Local real estate agents are expecting that pent-up demand will create a highly competitive housing market now that the Finger Lakes region is in phase two of reopening. 

City of Rochester

City Budget Director Chris Wagner said Rochester's budget is like a stool that the city sits on. The three legs fund the majority of the city’s services.

“The primary parts of that three-legged stool are property tax, sales tax, and state aid,” said Wagner.

Wagner said the city’s property tax collections are not a big part of the gap, but the other two legs are wobbling, which led to the $64 million shortfall. 

American Press Institute

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield says telemedicine use is booming during the pandemic. 

The insurance giant said Wednesday that during the first four months of 2020, telemedicine services were used about 2.6 million times in New York State; telemedicine was used only about 290,000 times in 2019. 

Excellus Medical Director Dr. Sudha Bakshi said the coronavirus pandemic and our reactions to it are the main drivers for the growth.

“Everyone is dealing with stress related to the environment and the situation at hand and so 

James Brown

The Monroe County Clerk’s office is expected to open for in-person transactions beginning June 8. The office inside the county office building has been closed since late March due to the pandemic. 

In a statement County Clerk Jamie Romeo said they’re making a number of changes to make that happen. 

Masks or face coverings will be required to enter the office. Some services will be by appointment only in order to control the amount of people in the office at any one time. All individuals entering the county office building will be required to get their temperature.checked. 


Nearing the end of a Memorial Day weekend rife with high-profile parties and large fights around Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren took to Facebook on Monday to plead for a stop to the violence and physical distancing violations.

She urged adults to act accordingly for the sake of children in the community, while seemingly referencing racially charged rhetoric that accompanied images and videos of the incidents that were widely shared on social media.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Even with record-high temperatures this week, residents won't get relief through the city of Rochester’s Cool Sweep program.

The program, which allows for extra hours at spray parks, swimming pools, and air-conditioned spaces like city recreation centers and libraries, is canceled for at least the next several weeks.

City spokesperson Justin Roj said the program conflicts with social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.