WXXI AM News

James Brown

Reporter

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.

cityofrochester.gov

After a spike in homicides in the last several days, Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester Police Chief LaRon Singletary on Friday made an appeal to the public to help stop the violence. They spoke at the Portland Avenue peace garden just south of Norton Street.

As always, Singletary says it’s important for people to speak up.

“I urge residents that if you know of a loved one involved in illegal activity, if you know someone carrying a gun out here in these streets. Call us before it’s too late,” Singletary said.

Rochester Fire Fighters Local 1071

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren made a very public offer to the firefighters Thursday. 

Warren interrupted a press conference held by Firefighters Union President Eddie Santiago about brownouts or as the city calls it, dynamic staffing. That’s the policy that allows the fire chief to close firehouses if staffing is too low.

James Brown WXXI

The City of Rochester is making large investments in youth athletics with soccer as a focus. 

The ribbon was cut on a new soccer field just outside of downtown Rochester on Wednesday in Troup Street Park near Exchange Street. Mayor Lovely Warren and City Councilman Mitch Gruber were on hand to pass the ball with a few kids as the first goals were scored.

Gruber, who lives nearby, says he’s seen kids play soccer in the park for years. 

Rochester Police Department

The City of Rochester released a graphic police body-cam video that shows a Rochester police officer assaulting a man last year.

Officer Michael Sippel was found guilty of assaulting Christopher Pate in May after wrongfully arresting Pate for burglary. The nearly hour-long video shows the encounter. Police Chief LaRon Singletary called the conduct in the video is embarrassing. Sippel punched a handcuffed Pate in the face and body breaking a bone in his face. 

James Brown WXXI

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Rochester Fire Fighters Union IAFF 1071 are at odds over what the city calls ‘dynamic staffing’ - a new policy that allows the fire chief to temporarily close a firehouse when staffing gets low; the union says it could endanger residents and firefighters.

When Rochester Fire Department’s Engine 1 was temporarily closed on July 1st, it sparked protests among firefighters and concerned community members. Deputy Mayor James Smith sparred with neighborhood leaders at a standing room only emergency meeting at the Lyell Avenue Library Monday night. 

James Brown WXXI

A Rochester firefighters union held a public input session Monday evening about the recently implemented changes in staffing at its firehouses.

Deputy Mayor James Smith took questions from concerned residents at the Lyell Avenue Library for nearly an hour and a half. They didn’t hold back.

James Brown WXXI

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo says she’s reducing the fee that some low-income families pay for child care.

The Republican said she instructed the county Department of Social Services to lower that fee, which is a percentage of the cost of care, from 35% to 25%. She said the move will save about 2,200 low-income families an average of $800 per year. 

“That money can be used for savings, it can be used to put food on the table, it can be used for housing, any way the family chooses to really enhance the quality of life for our children and families,” said Dinolfo.

James Brown WXXI

Norman Jones says that filling in the entire Inner Loop is a long time coming. Jones is a long time city employee and says he was there for the first charette on the project 20 years ago. Now, as the head of the city of Rochester’s Department of Environmental Services, he’ll have a say in what happens next to the inner loop. 

“What we’re doing through an RFP process is we’re soliciting the best ideas from all the different firms around, local, some may be regional, some maybe national, to look at what types of concepts, what types of things can happen here,” said Jones. 

summermealsroc.org

The Summer Meals Roc expects to give out about 5,000 free cold meals every day this summer to kids under 18 in the city of Rochester, no questions asked. That adds up to more than 300,000 meals between now and September.

“(There are) roughly 21 or 22,000 students who do access their meals through school if you think about the summer months; that becomes potentially a burden for families,” said Aaron Lattanzio who coordinates the program.

youngfireworks.com

The City of Rochester will be celebrating the 4th of July with free concerts and fireworks. Local salsa group Orquestra Antonetti, and soul groups Paul Boutte & the Motown Revue, and Divine Nature will be performing downtown starting at 7 p.m. 

One big fan of the music is the organizer, City’s Special Events Manager Kara Osipovitch.

“They are a lot of fun to watch. The crowd tends to sing along. They know the music. So it will be a lot of fun,” said Osipovitch.

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