WXXI AM News

Noelle E. C. Evans

Reporter/Producer

Noelle E. C. Evans is a general assignment reporter/producer for WXXI News with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.

Noelle previously worked in Quito, Ecuador, for a Latin American media organization. She has a nuanced understanding of the need for freedom of the press, and is conversational in Spanish.

Noelle is a BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie scholar (2016) and has worked with BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. She received her M.A. in International Journalism from Cardiff University in Wales – one of the top ten ranking journalism schools in the U.K. Noelle was awarded the university’s USA Excellence Scholarship in 2016.

She began as an intern at WXXI in 2014.

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The New York Attorney General has announced a new statewide initiative against housing discrimination. 

Attorney General Letitia James launched an online resource to report housing discrimination against people who receive government assistance. That includes housing vouchers, welfare, and those who receive child support.

“Every New Yorker deserves safe and decent housing, regardless of their lawful source of income,” James said in a statement.

Dawn Schlaks

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his first priority in his New York state budget announcement on Tuesday: climate action.

The $33 billion plan includes comprehensive nature conservation, a more significant transition to renewable energy, and a major shift to carbon-free transportation.

“We start with the most aggressive climate change program in the country,” Cuomo said in his address. “Because my friends, the clock is ticking and it's ticking faster and faster."

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal released on Tuesday makes one brief reference to the Rochester City School District, indicating that he would like to see legislation establishing a monitor for the district. 

Assemblyman Harry Bronson has been among the area officials pushing for someone to keep track of the district’s finances, after problems with the prior budget and the current spending plan have caused a potential $65 million budget gap.

The Democrat was pleased to see Cuomo put some language in the budget plan about a state-appointed monitor. 

WXXI photo

The city of Rochester celebrated the National Day of Racial Healing on Tuesday at City Hall.

City officials recognized the work of the Race, Equity, and Leadership project team, which included workshops and training sessions on race-related issues for city employees. Going forward, the project aims to expand that training for Rochester residents.

Deputy Mayor James Smith said small changes on a personal level can help transform the community at large.

Provided

For one Rochesterian, living with a disability as a queer black woman means navigating not only racism and sexism, but also ableism.

Since she was a toddler, Luticha Andre Doucette has been living with incomplete quadriplegia and chronic pain. This, she says, has had a tremendous impact on her experience not because she uses a wheelchair, but because of how people view her and how inaccessible many environments are.

Photo provided by Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church

Faith leaders in Monroe County issued letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators this week urging them to continue upholding bail reform. 

Rev. James Simmons is one of seven clergy who signed the letter addressed to Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Attorney General Letitia James calling on them to support bail reform despite backlash from some legislators and police who claim the new law will leave dangerous criminals on the streets.

Joseph Celestin, Immigrant Defense Project

Immigration advocates gathered Tuesday in Albany to urge state lawmakers to pass a bill that would prohibit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from making arrests in and around local and state courthouses. 

Mizue Aizeki with the Immigrant Defense Project says that for the past five years, the organization has been monitoring ICE community arrests in New York state. She says since 2017, there’s been an uptick in courthouse arrests.

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

On Monday, Senator Chuck Schumer condemned the federal government’s lack of action to assist veterans with some health conditions linked to Agent Orange exposure. The senator says this affects around 20,000 Vietnam-era veterans in the Rochester-Finger Lakes region.  He made the comments at the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester.

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

Legislators and local law enforcement joined an anti-human trafficking coalition in Rochester on Friday for a roundtable discussion about proposals to decriminalize prostitution in New York state. 

Melanie Blow with Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking said she believes that full decriminalization of prostitution would increase instances of human trafficking.

“This is a very, very complicated issue, this is a very nuanced issue, so to educate elected officials, to educate the public, we wanted to have an in-depth conversation about this,” Blow said.

A. Sue Weisler/RIT

Amid tensions between the U.S. and Iran, one Iranian RIT student says he’s worried about what this means for citizens back home.

Amir is an Iranian PhD student at Rochester Insitute of Technology. He asked to use a pseudonym to protect his identity because he’s concerned about his family’s safety. 

Amir says that on Tuesday night when news hit that Iran had struck two U.S. military bases in Iraq, he was scared it meant war.

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