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.


Rochester city officials are working to close a budget gap of $38.7 million, and Mayor Lovely Warren is looking for public input. Warren said she wants to hear from the community before making these crucial decisions.

“When you look at our structural budget gap, we have to make some decisions,” Warren said.

The mayor said she wants to hear from the community.

“Getting their input about what’s most important for them and what projects are very, very important for them to keep,” she said.

James Brown WXXI

Leaders at Monroe Community College say their next generation of students will be different than the last. The college brought in speakers from around the country to its Brighton campus on Wednesday. The focus for the day-long forum was how community colleges must adapt to their changing student base.

MCC’s Chief Diversity Officer Calvin Gantt is one of the event organizers. Gantt says community college students are increasingly diverse.

James Brown / WXXI News

Officials with the Rochester City School District says they’re in the midst of a “culture change,” in one of the most basic parts of education: attendance.

It’s in response to a new report on Treyvan Rowe. Rowe is the 14-year-old special needs student who walked away from School 12 last March. His body was later found in the Genesee River.

James Brown WXXI

After about five years in business, Hart’s Local Grocers is closing. Many residents are disappointed that the store, which sits next to The Little Theatre about a block from East Avenue, didn’t stay in business longer.

Amanda Hecht works a few blocks from Hart’s. She said she typically does her grocery shopping at Wegmans, but she and her coworkers often pop in to Hart’s for a quick, healthy lunch.

James Brown / WXXI News

About 200 people filled a room at Pieters Family Life Center in Henrietta Friday. They support what they describe as a living wage for Direct Support Workers - those are workers who assist people with disabilities.

A group called, #bFair2DirectCare says that Governor Andrew Cuomo had promised to phase in extra state funding for the workers over five years, including $75 million in the upcoming budget, but that it wasn’t in the proposed spending plan.


With news that Alex Trebek has stage four pancreatic cancer, many are left wondering how the longtime “Jeopardy!” host will be treated.

Dr. Richard Dunne researches and treats cancer at Wilmot Cancer Institute, which is a part of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Dunne says that when the disease is caught early, it’s often treated through surgery and chemotherapy, and patients rebound. But Trebek and the majority of people with pancreatic cancer do not know they have it until their options are limited, he said.

Center for Public Safety Initiatives

If you look at a graph of the number of homicides in Rochester in the last decade, it looks like a roller coaster: 42 in 2008, 28 in 2009, and 41 in 2010.

It kept going up and down until two years ago, when for the first time in more than two decades, the city’s homicide rate stayed below 30 in consecutive years. That’s nearly half the 20 year high in 2003.

The data is from a recent study from Irshad Altheimer, who is the director the Center for Public Safety Initiatives at Rochester Institute of Technology. He says Rochester’s decline isn’t universal.

James Brown / WXXI News

A local coalition is working with Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren to ask for a new governance structure for the Rochester City School District. ROC the Future announced its "Our Children. Our Future." petition campaign on Monday.

Marty Kauffman WXXI

Some teachers at East High School are using the power of food to connect with their students.

“Well I got some competition here,” says Liz Conroy who teaches English and Journalism at EAST. "The jambalaya might be a dark horse in this whole thing but I feel pretty confident about my meatballs. Tried and true."

Conroy says it’s important everyone to experience each other’s backgrounds.

Lawyers argued the appeal Thursday in the case of the first man convicted under the SAFE Act.

That legislation, passed in 2013, adding strict requirements for buying, selling, and storing guns in New York State. Arguments were made at the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Rochester.

Benjamin Wassell is from Silver Creek, New York in Chautauqua County. He was convicted right after the SAFE ACT was passed. Authorities say that he sold a semi-automatic rifle to an undercover state trooper.