Sasha-Ann Simons

Arts InFocus Host/Reporter/Producer

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Sasha-Ann comes to Rochester after spending her formative years growing up in Toronto, Canada. She studied broadcasting at Ryerson University, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Sasha-Ann earned her first news gig as a chase producer at CityTV, while still a college freshman. She subsequently took on various roles in other Toronto newsrooms as a videographer, host, and producer, and was part of the award-winning Global Television Network news team.

Sasha-Ann has covered and produced stories in the Canadian national spotlight, including Occupy Toronto, the Eaton Centre mall shooting, the Toronto Argos CFL championship win, and the Mayor Rob Ford crack scandal.

Sasha-Ann is fun-loving and sassy. She is also passionate about education issues. When she's not on the air, Sasha-Ann spends her time with family and exploring new recipes in the kitchen.

Ways to Connect

The proposal by Sierra Club Rochester Regional Group would ban Styrofoam cups and other polystyrene products from Monroe County.

An online petition, which has collected 186 signatures in the last two weeks, is being circulated by the group. It asks legislators to consider eliminating the material.

There’s a growing trend in American schools: uniforms. For a number of public school students gone are the days of picking out your favorite outfits or feverishly searching for something to wear to school. This move has its share of critics and supporters. On this edition of Need to Know, WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons looks into area dress code changes and how they’re being received by kids and families.


Frederick Douglass has been trending in the media lately, but not in response to his significant contributions to human rights, or his antislavery oratory.

President Donald Trump’s comments at a recent Black History event about how Douglass has “done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more” caused an uproar online, with many speculating about whether Trump was truly aware of whom the legend was.


Following the confirmation of Betsy DeVos, a billionaire school choice advocate, as U.S. Secretary of Education, parents, students, and community members across the state will march to demand education justice in New York.

In a news release Thursday, the group said the People’s March for Education Justice will focus on the similarities between the Trump-DeVos agenda on public education and Governor Andrew Cuomo's.

The Monroe County Health Department reports that three adults have died this winter from the flu.

There have been more than 800 cases of the flu confirmed so far, and nearly 170 people have been hospitalized.

At this time last year, there were just over 30 hospitalizations and no deaths.

Monroe County  Health Commissioner, Dr. Michael Mendoza, said it’s hard to compare from year-to-year because the strain of the flu changes, but it is true that the spike is happening earlier this winter.

The use of an electric surgical device to perform a minimally invasive hysterectomy is what Frank Interlichia of Brighton, and others in similar cases across the country, claim caused the death of their loved ones.


Tuesday was International Safer Internet Day, an annual event calling attention to the need for more safety-conscious online behavior every day of the year.

The Rochester City School District marked the day with various workshops and discussions aimed at educating students on topics like online and social media safety, and cyber bullying.


Republican State Senator Robert Ortt, whose district includes parts of Monroe County, says the New York SAFE Act hasn’t been living up to its name.

“The SAFE Act hasn’t done anything to save anybody,” Ortt said. “I dare anyone to show me a correlation between a reduction in gun violence in New York State and the SAFE Act.”


Students at World of Inquiry School #58 showed off their head scarves with pride Wednesday to commemorate World Hijab Day. The idea is that it will promote a greater understanding between faiths and help non-Muslim people to appreciate why the garment is worn.

Dozens of head scarves lay across a table in the school’s cafeteria, until, one-by-one students lined up to put them on. Sasha Ruth, 9, wore a hijab printed with the American flag.


New York voters will decide this fall whether to allow a judge to reduce the pension of public officials convicted of corruption.

On Monday, the state legislature approved a constitutional amendment that would allow a judge to strip various state and local officials of their pension if they've been convicted of a felony related to their job.

“Given the magnitude of the corruption at the state capitol, this feels like the lowest possible hanging fruit