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Author Jane Plitt worries that Martha Matilda Harper's remarkable story has been lost to history.

"Her story needs to be held up in the same way that George Eastman is," said Plitt, "as a representative of using business for social change."

Harper, with the help of her intelligence, determination, and floor-length hair, rose from the servant class to worldwide entrepreneur, and her rags-to-riches story started in Rochester.

In 1888, the same year George Eastman unveiled the Kodak camera, Harper, a Canadian immigrant, opened her beauty shop in the Powers Building.

Couple brought together by music plays at jazz festival

Jun 17, 2019
Courtesy of the artists

Two young people from different backgrounds meet and fall in love -- and society tears them apart.  You may recognize that as “West Side Story.”

Here’s another story: Two young people from different backgrounds meet and fall in love -- and end up making music together all over the world. 


Manpower is out with its survey of hiring over the next three months in the Rochester area, is there good news for job seekers? Also, Vuzix, a company making virtual reality and augmented reality glasses, has a new product allowing you to stream video services onto glasses you wear.

Plus, RIT announces the Herbert Vanden Brul Award winner, recognizing the leaders of Optimax.

Provided photos

Eva Mozes was 10 years old in May 1944 when she and her twin sister, Miriam, and their family were taken from their hometown in Romania to the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.

It was just three weeks before Allied forces would turn the tide of the war in Europe in their favor by storming the beach at Normandy, France, on D-Day, June 6.

Eva didn't know about the invasion at the time. "But I sure wish that D-Day would have happened a month earlier," she said. "Maybe the Nazis wouldn't have been able to take us away."

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

As Lake Ontario lingers at record highs, public outcry against the group that manages lake levels continues to rise.

Barbara Hasenauer lives on Edgemere Drive in Greece. While picking up sandbags to protect her property from the incessant flooding, she said it’s something she shouldn’t have to do.

"I’m very angry about it," she said. "They can do something, but they don’t. And I don’t mean the people in Greece -- they’ve been great -- but it’s the IJC."

The IJC, or International Joint Commission, is the bi-national group that oversees Great Lakes Management.

In the latest WXXI Business Report: Find out if tariff concerns are having an effect on the hiring decisions made by small and medium-sized businesses.

Also, don't be surprised if you see the Kodak brand on a new instant digital camera and printer, plus there's a company at Eastman Business Park looking to get more efficient with its utilities.

Renee Heininger / CITY Newspaper

Zola Brown has spent most of the last decade involved with the 19th Ward Community Association and became its president just a few months ago.

Over cheesy grits and coffee at the Arnett Cafe, Brown said the neighborhood is in transition.

Renee Heininger / CITY Newspaper

Northwest Rochester is home to the JOSANA neighborhood, which is poor and mostly black and brown.

While the neighborhood has faced many challenges, it's also seen some positive changes recently.

"The neighborhood back then was known as ghost town. It's not called ghost town anymore," said Luis Aponte, chairman of Charles House Neighbors in Action. The group is a mix of area residents, business owners, and teens. About 12 years ago, the group merged with the organization that gave the neighborhood its name: the Jay Orchard Street Area Neighborhood Association.


A telecommunications company with a large presence in the Rochester area is consolidating operations downtown.

Windstream says that it will be moving the 350 or so employees that it has on Monroe Avenue near Alexander Street to the building that the company already leases on South Clinton Ave. That will happen later this year.

In the latest WXXI Business Report: find out why workers at Spot Coffee in Rochester will unionize; learn about Monro Auto & Tire Centers' job growth at corporate headquarters; and find out where Fleet Feet Sports new location will be. 

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