WXXI AM News

Randy Gorbman

Director of News and Public Affairs

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online. 

Randy has over 30 years of broadcast news experience, and was recently news director at WHAM-AM in Rochester. Randy has also been news director, writer, announcer, and producer at radio stations in several cities in New York and Connecticut, as well as working as an editor at the NBC Radio Network. He served as past president of the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters' Association, and is currently a member of its Board of Directors.

Randy has also taught journalism to local students, serving as adjunct instructor at SUNY Geneseo and Monroe Community College.

Randy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and his Master's degree in Liberal Arts from SUNY Empire State College.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has announced that James R. Reed has been appointed CEO of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and its parent organization, The Lifetime Healthcare Companies.

Reed served as president and CEO-elect since July 2020 and succeeds Chris Booth who retired Monday after leading the company since 2013.

Reed joined Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in January 1996. His roles included executive vice-president of marketing and sales, and central New York regional president.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

New York state’s COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 1.49% on Saturday, dropping below 1.5% for the first time since Oct. 28. 

The statewide seven-day average positivity rate was at 1.84%

The seven-day average positivity rate in the Finger Lakes Region reported on Sunday stood at 2.81%. That was the second highest level in the state. Western New York (Buffalo-area) had a seven-day average positivity rate of 3.38%.

The percentage of New Yorkers who have had at least one vaccine dose is 46.5%

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Monroe County on Saturday reported 218 new cases of COVID-19. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 216 new cases per day. There were no new deaths.

The COVID-19 positivity rate for Monroe County will be updated on Sunday.

The statewide seven-day average COVID-19 positivity rate in the numbers reported on Saturday was 1.89%.

In the Finger Lakes region, the seven-day average positivity rate was 2.91%. That was the second highest positivity rate in the state. Western New York (the Buffalo area) had the highest positivity rate at 3.44%.

rit.edu

RIT holds its Imagine RIT Creativity and Innovation Festival Saturday, May 1, but it will be entirely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year it was not held at all.

Festival Director Ann Miller said that starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, the RIT website will have links to videos of the exhibits that have been put together by students and staff.

westherr.com

Buffalo-based auto dealer WestHerrthat has been buying up some dealerships in the Rochester-area and has just acquired another one.

The company has purchased Vanderstyne Toyota on West Ridge Road in Greece. It is owned by Jay Vanderstyne and Jay Jay Vanderstyne.

Jay Jay Vanderstyne will continue as General Manager for the Toyota dealership.

Vanderstyne has operated that dealership for 29 years, and West Herr says that this will be the company's 29th location, and the sixth dealership in the Rochester region.  

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

The Eastman School of Music has launched the public phase of a $100 million fundraising campaign.

More than half of that amount has already been raised during the quiet phase of the campaign, which is being announced in connection with Eastman’s 100th anniversary that is being celebrated this year.

The public phase of the campaign was announced in an event Thursday night co-hosted by University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf and Eastman School of Music Dean Jamal Rossi.

A Rochester organization that provides programs and services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities is raising its base wage for front-line workers.

Heritage Christian Services is raising the pay scale for those employees to $15 an hour for all positions, effective May 9. Heritage officials said that their residential staff, which is the majority of jobs at the organization, will now start at $15.75, with more money for certain shifts.

Heritage Christian said that is a 20% increase for all frontline positions since the start of the year.

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Webster Central School District Superintendent Carmen Gumina will retire, effective Friday.

In a letter to residents, the district said the school board reached a "mutual agreement" providing for Gumina's retirement.

Gumina was named interim superintendent in 2014, and got the job permanently in 2015.

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Houghton College has named Wayne Lewis, Jr. as the college's sixth president, replacing Shirley Mullen, who announced last fall she would retire this year after 15 years leading Christian college in Allegany County.

Lewis most recently was Dean of the School of Education at Belmont University in Kentucky. Before that, he was the state's education commissioner.

WXXI

Rochester philanthropist and activist Betty Strasenburgh has died at the age of 90. 

Strasenburgh was a philanthropist, harpist, sailor, pilot, adventurer, but most of all, she was a community advocate who, among other efforts, helped lead a campaign to renovate the Eastman Theatre.

Strasenburgh was born in New York City, where she lived through high school. She played the harp and was accepted to the Eastman School of Music, which brought her to Rochester.

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