WXXI AM News

justin roj

City of Rochester

The city of Rochester is reopening spray parks that had been closed because of COVID-19.

Starting Saturday, eight spray parks will be open daily from noon to 6 p.m., the city said. Two more parks are under construction.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Aaron McCullough brought his 3-year-old daughter, Ariana, to the Humboldt R-Center on Atlantic Avenue Wednesday hoping for some relief from the heat.

The playground is one of seven spray parks in Rochester that offer cooling water to area residents whenever temperatures exceed 85 degrees.

Except during a pandemic.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Even with record-high temperatures this week, residents won't get relief through the city of Rochester’s Cool Sweep program.

The program, which allows for extra hours at spray parks, swimming pools, and air-conditioned spaces like city recreation centers and libraries, is canceled for at least the next several weeks.

City spokesperson Justin Roj said the program conflicts with social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

James Brown / WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed that all local government workforces be reduced by 50 percent at any one time in an effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus.

With that, local leaders are figuring out how to continue serving residents with far fewer people in their offices.

Mayor Warren opposes sex ed, STD vaccine bills

Feb 26, 2020
James Brown / WXXI News

A legislative push in Albany to compel school districts to provide comprehensive sexual education from kindergarten through 12th grade has its detractors.

The New York State Catholic Conference opposes the legislation, for instance, because it says the measure ignores religious sensibilities and shuns parents who want a role in guiding their children’s sex education. Republican legislators, too, have railed against the bill.
Now, count Rochester’s Democratic mayor, Lovely Warren, among its critics.

James Brown / WXXI

A video of alleged police misconduct in Rochester has thousands of views on Facebook -- and even the mayor has commented on it. 

“What is going on here,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in a comment on the video of the Sept. 19 incident. The video shows police manhandling and pushing 13-year-old Jusmeir Mitchell to the ground on Lake Avenue after he got off a school bus. 

A statement from the Rochester Police Department said officers responded to the bus, which had stopped because of a fight on it. The department said when Mitchell tried to get off the bus, police asked him to stay on it. But Mitchell did get off the bus and police detained him.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

City Council voted Tuesday to prohibit cars from standing or parking in bike lanes.

City officials said the rule change, submitted to the council by Mayor Lovely Warren, will encourage more people to ride bikes and help Rochester meet its transportation and climate goals.

“We need to market our city to the outside world,” said Chief of Staff Alex Yudelson. “We know we need to attract business. We want to attract young people. We want to retain young people. We want to make all of our city accessible by all means of transportation for everybody.”

Mayor Lovely Warren said Thursday that she was first approached to take mayoral control of the Rochester City School District earlier this year.

The district has been under increased scrutiny from state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia because of its fiscal and management problems and its long history of poor graduation rates.

Warren would not say who approached her, but she did say she’d rather have experts run the district.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

The city of Rochester has installed more than 60 miles of bike lanes since 2011.

But there’s a problem: Those bike lanes are often filled with parked cars. And the city has no way to track where or when it’s happening.