Ear Shot

Get up to speed on the stories you may have missed by subscribing to Ear Shot, the podcast that brings you on-demand stories, interviews, and other tidbits of what's happening around Rochester and the Finger Lakes, all from the WXXI News team.

Autism Council of Rochester

Last summer, 11-year-old Jacalvionne Boyd, who has autism, walked away from his home on Avenue E in Rochester over 20 times.

Once, he was found 10 miles away in Gates. His mother called police to track him down.

"His mom had newly moved here to Rochester and didn't have any supports or services in place," said Lawana Jones, founder and executive director of the Autism Council. 

UR becomes battleground in China, Hong Kong conflict

Dec 4, 2019
Max Schulte / WXXI News

The dozens of students who gathered in a stretch of the University of Rochester's elaborate tunnel system on a recent Sunday night wore all black, save for the blue surgical masks over their mouths.

They were in battle fatigues for the latest salvo in a series of conflicts on campus that had been simmering for months over opposing views on all things China – the Hong Kong protests, the status of Taiwan and Tibet, democracy, and human rights.

Aaron Winters

It's a reasonable question to ask: What the hell were Bat McGrath and Tricia Cast doing in Nashville?

freeimages.com/Griszka Niewiadomski

More former paperboys are coming forward, saying they were molested by their supervisor when they worked for the Democrat and Chronicle in the 1980s. 

They shared their stories after WXXI News' and CITY's reports last month about a lawsuit filed by Rick Bates, another former paperboy, under New York's Child Victims Act.

Mike Turzanksi

It's 8 p.m. on a snowy Wednesday night in November, and a crew of musicians is gathered in the cozy third-floor attic of Ben Morey and Katie Morey-Preston's home, which doubles as a recording studio and rehearsal space.

The group is gathered to rehearse for a rather unconventional event: a live performance of Harry Nilsson's "The Point!," which will take place at the Cinema Theater on South Clinton Avenue on Nov. 23 and 24. The all-ages event is a fundraiser for The Submarine School of Music, a community music school that the married couple hopes to launch in fall 2020.

James Brown / WXXI

A number of law enforcement leaders joined forces in Rochester and statewide Thursday to ask Governor Andrew Cuomo to slow the state’s move toward criminal justice reform. It's part of a statewide show of force by the law enforcement community. One common concern expressed in Rochester was about discovery. 

Livingston County Sheriff Thomas Dougherty said his department makes many drug-related arrests on Interstate 390. One reform requires police agencies like his to process, test and turn over all evidence to defense attorneys within 15 days.

On Tuesday, it became official.

GateHouse Media closed its $1.1 billion takeover of Gannett, becoming the country's largest newspaper company by far as the industry tries to deal with print's decline.

The new company, which will keep the Gannett name, will oversee about 260 daily papers, including the Democrat and Chronicle and the Daily Messenger in Canandaigua, and hundreds of weekly publications.

James Brown / WXXI

The Monroe County Legislature has passed a law that makes harassing or annoying police officers against the law and adds protections for first responders and peace officers. And the penalties are stiff. 

It was approved last week in a 17-10 vote. The measure, written by Republican Legislator Karla Boyce, could mean thousands of dollars in fines or even jail time for anyone who “intends to annoy, alarm or threaten the personal safety of the police officer, peace officer or first responder.” 


Patrina Freeman has a personal stake in one of her main priorities as a newly elected member of the Irondequoit Town Board.

"This is a little self-serving, I guess," she said with a laugh. "I don't want my sons to have to move from Irondequoit."

Freeman, a Democrat, plans to propose town partnerships with area colleges to develop programs and apprenticeships for jobs in fields such as photonics, cell battery development, and health care so businesses have an ample supply of skilled workers.

Emily Hunt for WXXI News

It could be more than a year before a new president is in place at Monroe Community College, and the search for Anne Kress' successor may put the already tense relationship between faculty and college leadership to the test.

After a decade leading MCC, Kress is leaving to become president of Northern Virginia Community College.