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

The close Democratic primary for a seat on Rochester's City Council was settled Tuesday.

Candidate Jose Peo looked on as the votes were counted by hand at the Monroe County Board of Elections in Henrietta; he was ahead of designated candidate LaShana Boose by just 25 votes going into the absentee count and was confident he would win.


A new policy in the city of Rochester gives Fire Chief Willie Jackson the option to temporarily close firehouses any time he wishes.  Protesters call the closures brownouts, City Hall calls the approach dynamic staffing.

Whatever you call it, it's a new way to cover fires in Rochester. City spokesman Justin Roj said it gives the fire chief flexibility.

James Brown WXXI

Sarah Mangelsdorf beamed as she was introduced to the University of Rochester’s campus, from its quad to its libraries and tunnel system. 

The new president praised the university and said she appreciated the area’s role in the women’s suffrage and abolitionist movements.

A watershed moment for the LGBTQ community took place 50 years ago Friday -- the Stonewall uprising in New York City. 

As the Out Alliance’s Tamara Leigh said, Stonewall was a moment where members of the LGBTQ population had enough. 

Photo provided

State Assembly member David Gantt has drafted legislation that would allow the state to take over the Rochester City School District. Gantt’s legislation adds clarity to what the management of the district would look like after a state takeover.

James Brown WXXI

After about two years of collecting surveys from riders and input from community stakeholders RTS has unveiled its new system for people who use the bus.

The plans include building new connection hubs in key areas like Baytowne Plaza, University of Rochester and St. John Fisher College. New “community mobility zones” will include an Uber-like service in select areas to help people get to work or to a hub. 

RTS CEO Bill Carpenter said they’re also adding routes that won’t require the rider to have to stop downtown.

Provided photos

Monroe County Democratic Elections Commissioner Tom Ferrarese said he’s still counting ballots from Tuesday night’s primary races -- and will be until at least next Tuesday.

The combination of a low turnout and a close race means absentee ballots may matter more than usual. In the Democratic primary for the Northwest Rochester City Council seat, Jose Peo leads LaShana Boose by just 25 votes. 

“These are absentee ballots that were requested after we printed our poll books, for the most part,” said Ferrarese. 

James Brown WXXI

Today is primary day across New York state, and in Monroe County, people took time out of their schedules to vote right after the polls opened at noon. 

A little after 1 p.m., Kelly and Aaron Fraver stopped into the Ark of Jesus Ministries on North Winton Avenue to vote. 

Aaron Fraver said primary voting is important. 

“People take primaries for granted, so it’s a chance for us to tell the party who we want to be our designated party in the general elections,” he said.

Kelly Fraver said voting is about showing the next generation what’s possible.

James Brown WXXI

In honor of World Refugee Day, several local immigrants and organizations received honors from the Rochester City School District’s Office of Adult and Career Education Services and Literacy Volunteers of Rochester.

A few refugees shared stories about their hard-earned paths to their new home.

Mir Enayatullah Mosawi said it took him about five years to get everything in place to immigrate to Rochester from Afghanistan. It was challenging, he said, to get himself and his pregnant wife here.

 Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo wants the Monroe County Legislature to permit her to sue the state and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a controversial bill that was passed this week.

Dinolfo strongly opposes the Green Light measure, which will allow undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses in New York state starting in December. She has blasted state lawmakers and called out County Clerk Adam Bello to take a position on the matter.

Traditionally, the county clerk would challenge this kind of measure, as Dinolfo did when she held the role.