City of Rochester

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Rochester is getting a new fire chief. Mayor Lovely Warren announced on Thursday that the current chief, Will Jackson, will retire at the end of February after 25 years of service. Jackson took over leadership of the department just over two years ago and the mayor said that when Jackson became chief in 2018, he made a promise to his family that he would retire after 25 years of service.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren officially kicked off her re-election bid for a third term on Saturday, posting a video on her YouTube and Facebook pages.

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Unorthodox times led to an unorthodox State of the City address from Mayor Lovely Warren on Thursday, as the mayor replaced a formal speech with a release of a short video and a 48-page booklet titled the “Equity and Recovery Agenda.”

In the latest WXXI Business Report, find out about a new grant program from the city of Rochester designed to help small businesses.

Also, the new leader of the Retail Council of New York state says the organization is trying to help its members keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 directives; and Bausch Health, parent company of Bausch + Lomb, will pay down another $275 million of its debt.

James Brown / WXXI News

City of Rochester COVID-19 testing sites will be open through the month of January, according to an announcement Friday from Mayor Lovely Warren, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Rochester City School Supterintendent Lesli Myers-Small.

Pre-registration for next week’s testing dates opened on Friday. Appointments will open weekly at noon on Fridays, for the following week.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Walk-ins will be accepted as capacity allows. Those arriving without an appointment cannot be guaranteed a test.

State Supreme Court Justice Ann Marie Taddeo has temporarily blocked the city of Rochester from publicly releasing the disciplinary files of any Rochester police officer.


After the city of Rochester released an advisory over the weekend about possible coronavirus exposure at a recent protest, activists said that some Rochester police officers who responded were not wearing masks.

On Sunday, the City of Rochester reported that there may have been an exposure risk at a protest outside of 57 Glasgow St., where a court-ordered eviction was taking place. 

Protesters at the Dec. 18 eviction blockade said Rochester police officers who were not wearing face masks posed the greater risk of coronavirus spread.


The owners of City Blue Imaging, which has deep roots in the city of Rochester, is working to regroup and stay in business after a devastating fire on Christmas Eve.

Rochester city officials say they want to get the word out that one or more individuals who participated in the protest against an eviction on Friday, Dec. 18 on Glasgow St. in Corn Hill later tested positive for COVID-19.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

When I was a kid, I lost a glove on the McCurdy's department store escalator downtown. I was maybe 9, and my mom was angry. We were late for our bus and I wouldn’t stop talking.

We made it — barely. As the bus pulled away from East Main and Franklin streets, I looked up at this giant pole, and wondered: What is that thing?

Turns out, the concept for a Liberty Pole began thousands of years ago.