WXXI AM News

Veronica Volk

Enterprise Reporter/Producer

Veronica Volk is the Enterprise Reporter for WXXI News, investigating and exploring issues impacting different communities in Rochester, Monroe County, and beyond. Previously, she reported on environmental and economic issues facing the people and wildlife of Lake Ontario for Great Lakes Today.

She is also the producer of Exited, a podcast about young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioning into life after public school, and producer and co-host of the true-crime podcast Finding Tammy Jo along with Gary Craig of the Democrat and Chronicle.

Veronica got her start as a reporter in the Bronx for WFUV Public Radio, and later rose to senior producer of their weekly public affairs show Cityscape. She holds a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies from Fordham University and is originally from the Jersey Shore, which is nothing like how it is portrayed on MTV.

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With increasing threats to the health of Seneca Lake, Senator Pam Helming today announced funding for a new position – the Seneca Lake Watershed Manager.

Joseph Campbell is the president of the Seneca Lake Guardian. He says Seneca Lake has had a lot of stress lately.

"With the flooding we just had, the wastewater treatment plants were overwhelmed, we had raw sewage going into the lake – this is a drinking water resource for over a hundred thousand people."

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Across the state, migrant farm workers and advocates are drawing attention to an important issue they say could help them: driving privileges regardless of immigration status. 


Just one day after her sentencing for the charge of making terroristic threats against East High School, Abigail Hernandez, the 21- year-old special needs student charged with making terroristic threats against her school, appeared in immigration court.

During the hearing, Hernandez answered several questions to clarify her immigration status. Her family claims she was brought to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 3 by her mother, and that they were escaping domestic violence.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

At Fifth Frame Brewing on St. Paul Street in downtown Rochester, Carolyn Stiles starts talking to me about her favorite beer.

"I really enjoy a good pilsner, like, a well brewed pilsner," she tells me.

Stiles is part of an ever-growing group of craft beer enthusiasts across the country.

Rochester alone has over a dozen breweries experimenting with different malts, hops, and yeasts to make hundreds of local beers. With this rapid growth, Stiles saw an opportunity to start a beer education and appreciation group – just for women.

Martin Kaufman / WXXI News

Residents of Seneca County are still reeling from the flash floods that downed trees, destroyed roadways, and flooded homes.

“It was flooding over, it was going over the banks, it was going over the road over here which has already gone down.”


Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Heavy rains caused heavy damage in parts of the Finger Lakes on Tuesday, particularly Seneca County.

By mid-morning, Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo issued a state of emergency.

She said that was due to flooding and localized road closures in the town of Perinton and other surrounding areas.

The state of emergency in Monroe County was lifted late Tuesday night.

uwrochester.org

The Rochester Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative is holding a town hall on Tuesday in Brighton.

There, representatives from the anti-poverty initiative will have a chance to introduce themselves, and share information about what they’re doing to address systemic poverty in the community, including in Brighton.

They will also be sharing information about their participatory budgeting program – an effort to solicit proposals from the community on how to spend money to alleviate poverty and build community.

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

Luticha Doucette always knew she wanted to be a scientist, even if no one else thought she could do it.

"I was very much discouraged from going into the sciences. People would be like, 'Well, don’t you want to be a teacher?' And I would be like, yeah, teachers are great, but that’s not what my heart was in."

Last summer, businesses and property owners across Lake Ontario did not expect to have a booming tourism season.

After months of flooding, many people were working to repair their property well in to the summer.

In spite of this, a new report shows tourism increased across the state last year, including those lakeside regions. Monroe and Ontario County each saw about a three percent increase in traveler spending.

Traveler spending is a broad category that includes everything from lodging to food service to retail to recreation.

Provided

Laurel Hunter spells her last name, "H-U-N-T-E-the sound a pirate makes."

She has a lisp and is the daughter of a deaf adult.

"I can’t always hear the difference between certain sounds," she says. "That means partly that I can’t hear accents and partly that I can’t say my own name!"

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