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

The All City High School cafeteria was buzzing Thursday as students lined up to receive a Chromebook with free internet access. The computers were supplied by the Rochester City School District and the 1 Million Project, an organization that has helped thousands of students get internet access. They expect to give out about 9,000 Chromebooks to all of the district’s high school students.

James Brown WXXI

A panel of NYS Supreme Appellate Court judges on Wednesday upheld a decision that keeps the City of Rochester from having an advisory referendum in November on the city school district.

Earlier this year, City Council, acting at the request of Mayor Lovely Warren, passed a local law that would remove mention of the Rochester school board from the city charter and would put the change to a public vote. 

James Brown WXXI

With the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture seeking to change who is eligible for SNAP benefits, Congressman Joe Morelle is encouraging residents to get involved.

Secretary Sonny Perdue wants to remove a rule that allows states to ease the income requirements for SNAP applicants. He calls that rule a “loophole.” 

James Brown WXXI

County, state and independent officials are among those investigating the suicide of a man inside Monroe County Jail on Thursday. It's the second suicide in the jail this summer.

Capt. James McGowen has been with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office for about 25 years, the last four as one of the leaders of the jail on South Plymouth Avenue. He said it’s standard procedure to thoroughly investigate cases of suicide and acknowledged that rates of self-harm are higher in county jails than prisons.


The fight to bring Whole Foods to Brighton took another turn Thursday. The State Department of Transportation released the results of its environmental review of the project and said that traffic and other impacts have been minimized. 

James Brown WXXI

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello claims that County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo’s efforts to tackle the opioid epidemic do not meet the scale of the problem. The Democrat, who is challenging Dinolfo, the Republican incumbent this fall, called the epidemic the largest public health crisis to hit Rochester in his lifetime. 

“This is one of the largest public health crisis to hit our community in my lifetime and I think the response from our government needs to be scaled to match that level of emergency,” said Bello.

Rusty Blazenhoff / flickr

New York state lawmakers passed sweeping changes to the criminal justice system this year, including how prosecutors have to handle low-level drug offenses. 

So if you were convicted in New York state for possessing 2 ounces of marijuana or less, odds are that won’t be on your criminal record much longer. One of the new laws calls for record expungements for these types of offenses. 

Theresa Bowick, Conkey Cruisers

Theresa Bowick founded the Conkey Cruisers eight summers ago to promote physical activity on the El Camino Trail.

But this year, the cycling group had to cut its season short to rethink its future.

New York State Education Department

The State Education Department released the spring 2019 test results for grades 3-8 in English and math Thursday, and the Rochester City School District remains the lowest performing of the state's Big Five districts.

Fire Photo

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School opened its new location this week, marking the end of a three-year journey to move 2.2 miles. 

The school sat at its picturesque Goodman Street grounds for 90 years. Lisa Bors, Colgate’s director of development, worked there for 20 of them. 

“I didn’t realize 2.2 miles was this long, but it’s for a good cause,” said Bors. “We’re excited to be a part of the community now and not on the hill and looking at the sky. We’re looking at people now.”