City of Rochester

A woman who is known for her philanthropic activities in the Rochester area as well as her connection to the founder of Xerox has died.

Catherine Breslin Carlson was 91. Her friends say she died peacefully on Thursday morning.

Catherine Carlson was originally from Milton, Massachusetts, and moved to Rochester in 1969. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in philosophy, and after graduation embarked on a business career, including assisting the head of Leahy Clinic, working on staff with boat builder George O'Day, traveling for Connecticut General Insurance Company, and serving as registrar and development officer at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

While in Boston, Catherine met Rochester inventor Chester Carlson and his wife Dorris, and when traveling to Rochester on business, she often stayed at the Carlson home.

Chester Carlson developed the Xerographic process, which eventually led to the founding of the Xerox Corporation.

After Chester Carlson died in 1968, Dorris invited Catherine to assist her and continue Dorris and Chester's philanthropic work and support of spiritual interests. When Dorris died in 1998, Catherine became  Chair of the Chester and Dorris Carlson Charitable Trust.

Office of Gov. Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Rochester on Wednesday to help celebrate the expansion of Datto.  That’s a data protection company started by Austin McChord, an RIT grad who last year announced a $50 million donation to his alma mater.

Cuomo notes that Datto has moved its 225 jobs from its previous location on Franklin Street in Rochester, to several floors in The Metropolitan, which is the former Chase Tower.

Cuomo also announced that the state is creating a new venture capital fund to help attract other entrepreneurs.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

This is Deaf Awareness Week, a time that is set aside worldwide each year to increase public awareness of deaf issues, people and culture.

Officials raised the International Deaf Awareness Flag outside City Hall in Rochester on Monday, and among those speaking was the Chairperson of Deaf Awareness Week locally, Fred Beam.

Through an interpreter, he talked about the need to educate hearing people about the capabilities of those who are deaf.


Thousands of people take part in or watch the annual Rochester Marathon, and that will also mean some road closures this weekend.

The main events are Sunday, but there are activities on Saturday as well, including the Rochester 5K,  starting at 8:00 a.m. as well as a kids’ event. The Saturday events will start and finish at Frontier Field.

On Sunday, the events starting at 7:30 a.m. include the full 26.2 mile marathon, a half marathon and a marathon relay with more than 2,000 athletes.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Some community members are criticizing a draft of the police accountability board from Rochester City Council.

The Police Accountability Board Alliance and The Religious Leader Caucus of the Rochester Alliance of Communities Transforming Society or ROC ACTS are two groups who have spoken out against certain parts of the draft legislation.

Pastor Wanda Wilson is a member of both those groups.

Ray Grosswirth/Facebook

The Rochester Chamber Orchestra recently filed its papers to dissolve the organization.

Ray Grosswirth, who is President & Treasurer for the orchestra, says this is something officials with the group had been contemplating for a couple of years, hoping their financial situation would improve.

But he says the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, which has been around for 54 years, has been facing some of the same challenges that other performing arts organizations have had to deal with.

"We had to face the reality of an aging donor base, aging audience, diminishing funds and it just came to a point where we realized it was time to end the organization, we hated to do that, but we didn’t see any way out of this.”

A Rochester couple is making a substantial contribution to the Seneca Park Zoo’s “Wilder Vision” capital campaign.

Mark and Maureen Davitt have committed $2.5 million for the zoo’s multi-year transformation project that began last year. The total cost is expected to be about $60 million. Monroe County has committed $37.75 million through its Capital Improvement Program budget. The Seneca Park Zoo Society will raise the remaining $23 million.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

The Genesee Brewery  in Rochester does this a couple of times a year…they will close all of the shifts at the facility in High Falls, and more than 300 employee volunteers will then work on various community revitalization projects, everything from planting new trees to picking up trash.

That’s what Carlos Rojas was doing when I saw him with his orange plastic bag, using some long tongs to pick up debris along the Genesee Riverway Trail.

And Rojas isn’t exactly part of the rank and file at the brewery. He is Chief Financial Officer for Florida Ice & Farm Company, also known as FIFCO. It is the Costa Rican-based corporation that owns North American Breweries, the parent company of the Genesee Brewery.  He says these types of community activities are very important to the company’s overall corporate philosophy.


RIT’s College of Art and Design says it is moving its gallery space to the Sibley Building  in downtown Rochester.

The gallery is now located on College Avenue and it had been called “Gallery r“

The venue will move this fall to the first floor of the Sibley Building and it will be called RIT City Art Space.

The gallery will continue to serve as exhibition space for College of Art and Design students, faculty, alumni and visiting artists.

But gallery director John Aäsp  says this move will increase visibility for the artworks being displayed.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Rochester will need to find a new police chief.  Chief Michael Ciminelli is stepping down to take a different job with the federal government. 

Ciminelli, who has been chief since 2014 has accepted a job with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and will retire September 15th.

He previously worked for the DEA and he says  he is looking forward to returning to the Washington, D.C. area where his three daughters live. 

Mayor Lovely Warren said that Ciminelli has provided strong and steady leadership from the start of her first term.

“Chief Ciminelli served the citizens of Rochester well, from reorganizing our police department from a two-section model to a five-section model, to instituting and launching the largest body-camera program for a city of our size."

Ciminelli says he is pleased with progress made in some areas during his tenure, which he says has been due to a team effort.

“Certainly, we’re looking at now a longer-term decline in violent crime, especially firearm crime and shooting. That needs to continue. I think the reorganization was very near and dear to my heart, and the fact that the mayor wanted to go through this reorganization was one of the main reasons I took the job, which I didn’t originally apply for.”