Emma Benz




Like so many students around the world, Owen Penniston had a tough school year during the COVID-19 pandemic.


"I felt really isolated,” the 12-year-old said.


Remote instruction just wasn't a good fit for Owen, who is on the autism spectrum.


“I don’t have my teachers here and it sometimes gets really hard to learn," he said. "Especially with the computer often giving you the answers.”


Max Schulte/WXXI News

Norman Jones is old enough to remember the Inner Loop being built more than half a century ago.

“I have a clear memory of that machinery,” Jones said. “When you’re 4, 5, 6 years old, and you see big trucks and the excavators, you go, ‘Wow.’ When you see it all moved around, you just thought it was the coolest thing, and probably everyone else thought it was the coolest thing.”

The 63-year-old commissioner of the city Department of Environmental Services keeps two outsized frames hanging on the wall of the agency’s conference room at City Hall that act as his guides when he considers the future of the sunken expressway.

We're joined by two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. It's our fourth and final discussion with candidates in this race prior to the primary on June 22.

Incumbent and current board vice president Cynthia Elliott and educator and activist Clianda Florence-Yarde join us to discuss their platforms and priorities for the district.

Our guests:

We talk with two more candidates for Rochester City School Board. Nine candidates are vying for three open seats on the board. Our goal is to talk to all of the candidates before the primary on June 22.

This hour, we hear from Joshua Bauroth and Tatiana Welch about their platforms and priorities for the district. Our guests:

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello/Facebook

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, who began his term in office 18 months ago, delivered his first State of the County address Monday.

It was a look back at a tumultuous year and also a look ahead to what comes next.

Bello gave his speech at Seabreeze Amusement Park,  meant to symbolize how that park and many other venues were shut down last year due to COVID-19 but are now reopening as the county gets out from under the impact of the pandemic with the help of vaccines.

The Buffalo Bills training camp will not be coming to the Rochester area for the second year in a row.

The team announced on Monday that the Bills evaluated two options for training camp locations in 2021.

They say that after evaluating St. John Fisher College and the team's practice facility at One Bills Drive, the Bills have finally decided to again hold their 2021 training camp at the ADPRO Training Center in Orchard Park.

Jo Panuwat D

A few months ago, Megan Mack discovered a lump in her breast. 

Mack is 36, and with breast cancer most often diagnosed in women 50 and older, she said her doctor initially told her not to worry about it. 

“I trusted her, and I thought if you say it's benign, it's benign,” said Mack, who is the producer for the talk show "Connections" on WXXI News.

Mack's doctor didn't seem overly concerned, but said she could go for imaging if she wanted to. Mack decided to follow her instincts and have that done

A historically Black sorority is doing its part to further eliminate vaccine hesitancy among people of color. 

The Theta Omega Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority will host Protect Your Team, Learn About the Vaccine,a virtual panel discussion among Black professionals who were once hesitant but are now completely inoculated and want to share their stories.

Jessica Lewis, one of the event organizers, said more Black people are doing their research and getting vaccinated, but some still need more information before making a decision.

"There's still a segment of the population who is apprehensive, who are on the fence, and that's why this event is going to be critical,” Lewis said.

Kimberly Brown, a seventh-grade teacher in the Rochester City School District, will speak at the event. She said among other things, protecting herself and her students superseded her hesitancy.


There’s a new way to get around the City of Rochester and some nearby suburbs.

A company called HOPR, will bring pedal bikes, electric assist bikes and electric scooters to the city and locations including Brighton, Brockport, Irondequoit, Pittsford, Fairport-Perinton and the University of Rochester.

The program involving the 500 shared vehicles involves a partnership with RTS and the city. Bikes and scooters will be placed at transit hubs, parks, commercial centers, campuses and other locations.

What do bees have to do with microplastics? We're joined by experts who explain how honeybees are living probes of how microplastics are scattered around the world.

Our guests: