Not for e-Newsletter

'We need to put the lid back on': State offers jobs, training to help stem violence

WXXI Local Stories - Thu, 07/22/2021 - 5:26pm
As part of the state’s push to decrease gun violence, New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Rochester’s David Gantt R-Center on North Street on Thursday. Citing more than 200 shooting incidents in Rochester so far this year, Hochul said it wasn’t this way just a few years ago. Rochester Police data from 2018 shows there were 137 shooting incidents that year; in 2019, there were 157. Last year, there were 267.

In Out Alliance’s absence, Rochester's Black and brown LGBTQ organizations expand reach

WXXI Local Stories - Thu, 07/22/2021 - 8:00am
The words “safe zone” still frame the windows of the empty Out Alliance building on College Avenue, but Bianca Castro wouldn’t describe her experience there as safe. “We went to one of the trans groups and it literally was divided," Castro said. "There were white folks on one side and brown folks on the other, and it didn’t feel safe.” Castro briefly attended programs at the organization, which was then called the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley, but she said she never found a community there. The abrupt closing of the Out Alliance last year has been received differently by a divided LGBTQ community. For years, the organization was criticized for centering its mission around white gay men. Its absence has allowed smaller organizations to step in and fill the needs of the Black and brown LGBTQ community who say they never felt included by the organization. Rochester Black Pride may be best known for organizing the annual Black Pride weekend, but its reach goes far beyond that.

After Albany officials pass eviction protections, local activists say Rochester should be next

WXXI Local Stories - Wed, 07/21/2021 - 5:52pm
City Council members in Albany this week passed certain eviction protections for residents, and local activists are renewing their calls for Rochester City Council to pass a similar law here. Albany’s good cause eviction protections give tenants the right to renew their lease and dispute rent increases. They also prevent landlords from evicting tenants without cause. “What it ends is a system we have right now where at the end of the lease, a tenant could be evicted for no reason,” said Ritti Singh with the City-wide Tenant Union of Rochester. “The landlord doesn’t need to tell the judge there’s a reason for it. The landlord can just say, ‘I don’t want them on my property anymore,’ and that’s it.” Earlier this month, Rochester City Council members Miguel Melendez and Mary Lupien gave their support for good cause eviction measures. In a statement Wednesday, Lupien said following Albany's lead on the protections is "imperative." “We must prioritize our people over landlord profits,” she

Mayor Warren pleads not guilty to illegal gun possession and child endangerment charges

WXXI Local Stories - Wed, 07/21/2021 - 11:19am
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that include criminal possession of a firearm, which is a felony, and misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child and failure to properly secure firearms in a dwelling. Warren appeared in a Monroe County courtroom along with her estranged husband, Timothy Granison, who faced the same charges as Warren. He also pleaded not guilty, and both he and Warren were released after the court appearance.

Senator Jeremy Cooney hosts a financial literacy workshop

WXXI Local Stories - Wed, 07/21/2021 - 8:16am
For 12% of adults living in the U.S., an unexpected expense of $400 or more would be a financial hardship, according to a 2019 study by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Studies have shown that financial literacy — learning about budgeting, debt management, and banking — can prevent financial hardship. Those are some of the topics offered at Wednesday’s ROC Your Money financial literacy workshop, hosted by State Sen. Jeremy Cooney and the Financial Empowerment Center.

Warren, estranged husband expected to be arraigned Wednesday

WXXI Local Stories - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 5:25pm
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her estranged husband, Timothy Granison, are scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on five charges including one class E felony. This is the third felony charge that Warren has faced in the last year. There are still two pending felony counts from campaign finance charges filed last October. A news release from the Monroe County District Attorney’s office Friday said Warren and Granison will be accused of criminal possession of a firearm, a class E felony; two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child; and two counts of failure to lock or secure a firearm in a dwelling, a misdemeanor violation under Rochester’s city code. The charges stem from a raid on their home in May. Granison is alleged to be part of a mid-level drug ring and is believed to have sold crack and powdered cocaine . He pleaded not guilty on all charges . There is no indication that Warren was involved at all. A months-long investigation led authorities to Warren and

Former Monroe County judge accused of sexual abuse by secretary

WXXI Local Stories - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 11:51am
A Monroe County state Supreme Court justice who abruptly resigned his seat on the bench last year after allegations surfaced that he had made “improper” and “abusive personal demands” of his staff is now accused of subjecting his secretary to years of forced sex acts and other forms of harassment. The new allegations against the former justice, Matthew Rosenbaum, were leveled in a civil suit brought in federal court last week by his once secretary, Rebecca Klymn, who charged that Rosenbaum demanded that she perform oral sex on him in his chambers. Her lawsuit claims Klymn was compelled to meet his demands over a period of four years — from March 2005, when she was hired, to June 2009 — under threats from Rosenbaum that she would lose her job and custody of her son while she was going through divorce proceedings. The lawsuit also alleges that in November 2006, Rosenbaum raped Klymn in her home. After Klymn refused to continue complying with Rosenbaum’s alleged demands for oral sex in

Bello, Mendoza, Democratic legislators denounce ethics reform measure

WXXI Local Stories - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 3:36pm
Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County’s public health commissioner, would face a tough choice under a county ethics law proposal introduced by two leaders in the Legislature . The ethics measure would bar all county management and professional employees from earning outside income, without exception. In addition to serving as public health commissioner, a position that pays between $170,565 and $214,376, Mendoza maintains a medical practice at Highland Family Medicine, where he sees patients two days a week. During a news conference Monday, Mendoza explained that in order to keep his board certification in family medicine, he needs to maintain his practice and see patients. But ethics legislation proposed by Republican Majority Leader Steve Brew and Democratic Legislator Vince Felder, who claims the title of Democratic minority leader, would mean Mendoza would have to choose between his county job or his practice. Mendoza, 46, said he has much of his medical career ahead of him and that

Cleanup continues after record-setting rain

WXXI Local Stories - Sun, 07/18/2021 - 5:37am
The heavy rains that caused some flood damage and other problems on Saturday have eased, but the cleanup continues. Rochester saw just over 2.3 inches of rain which broke a daily record set back in 1873. Some area creeks overflowed their banks, including a usual trouble spot in Monroe County at Ellison Park. The Irondequoit Creek caused flooding in that area, in parts of Brighton and Penfield. There is still a flood warning i n effect for that part of the county until 2pm Sunday. Local fire departments were kept busy on Saturday, pumping out basements, and area highway crews worked to clear debris that was clogging up storm sewers. Sunday's forecast calls for showers to end, with cloudy skies and a high in the mid 70s. This tweet was sent by the Monroe County Sheriff's Dept. on Saturday: Several neighborhoods throughout Monroe County are experiencing flooding due to today’s heavy rain. Landing Hill at Boughton Hill Rd. in the Town of Mendon, Hogan Rd. @TPerinton & Railroad Mills Rd

Visitors return to theme parks by the thousands, but finding good help is hard

WXXI Local Stories - Fri, 07/16/2021 - 4:21pm
Workers have tons of choices when it comes to employment right now, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sector. New York state Department of Labor data released Thursday showed the number of jobs in those industries is up 46% since last year, likely because of the season and pandemic protocols are easing. One of the most common seasonal opportunities for work is at amusement parks like Roseland Water Park in Canandaigua or Irondequoit’s Sea Breeze. Roseland owner Dan Fuller said reopening earlier this month was a thrill. “This year, starting Roseland again was like opening a brand-new business because we've been closed for the past 22 months,” said Fuller, whose family also runs Bristol Mountain Ski Resort. He said they were prepared to open last summer, but a last-minute change in state COVID-19 protocols nixed that. This year, many of those protocols are gone, and crowds are back with thousands visiting on some days. But seasonal employees have been harder to come by. Fuller

Warren, Granison face gun, child endangerment charges

WXXI Local Stories - Fri, 07/16/2021 - 3:56pm
Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and her husband, Timothy Granison, are facing felony gun charges under an indictment handed up by a Monroe County grand jury and unsealed by a judge on Friday. Warren and Granison have each been charged with criminal possession of a firearm, a class E felony; two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child; and two counts of failure to lock or secure a firearm in a dwelling, a misdemeanor violation under Rochester’s city code, according to a news release from the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office. A copy of the indictment was not available Friday, and will likely be available from the court next week, according to an office spokesperson. The defendants will be arraigned on the charges before Justice Thomas Leone, a Cayuga County Court judge who will handle the case in Monroe County Court, though a date has not yet been set, according to the DA’s office. The indictment stems from a search warrant executed May 19 by New York State Police

Extra monthly checks heading to millions of families

WXXI Local Stories - Thu, 07/15/2021 - 5:37pm
Almost every family with children in the country is expected to be eligible for direct payments from the U.S. government for the next several months. This temporary child tax credit extension offers cash until year’s end. It was passed as part of a COVID-19 stimulus package, and the monthly payments started appearing in checking accounts Thursday. How much money families will receive varies depending on income, the child’s age and the parent’s marital status. Some checks will be about $300 per child, others about $160 per child. The money varies based on eligibility . More than 133,000 children in Monroe County are expected to be affected.

Merging to survive: More nonprofits turning to United Way for help

WXXI Local Stories - Thu, 07/15/2021 - 4:57pm
More and more community organizations are coming together lately. In recent weeks, Catholic Charities and Catholic Family Center announced a merger. Then Willow and RESOLVE announced their own. It’s been happening more and more, and in most cases, the funding behind it comes from the United Way of Greater Rochester.

Our Lady of Victory squashes the 'Mosquito'

WXXI Local Stories - Thu, 07/15/2021 - 3:48pm
Pleasant Street may have just gotten a little more pleasant for those who were annoyed by the anti-loitering "Mosquito Device" that Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church was using to ward off loiterers. In a phone call Thursday, a worker with the church's answering service relayed a message from the church's Father Ronald Antinarelli giving an update on the device. "The sounding device at the church has been turned off," the message said. Michele Tucker, a neighbor of the church, said Thursday that she hadn't heard the device since about midday Friday. On Monday, CITY and WXXI News published a story about Our Lady of Victory's use of the Mosquito, and the effect it has had on neighborhood residents' quality of life. The Mosquito looks like a metal-grate box and that emits a high-frequency squeal. The church has boxes affixed on its side, blaring out the tone at intermittent times throughout the day. Antinarelli did not respond to comment for the original story, nor did the Diocese

Some Monroe County primary election results aren’t set in stone yet, thanks to lawsuit

WXXI Local Stories - Tue, 07/13/2021 - 4:35pm
A lawsuit filed Friday will mean some Monroe County primary races can't be officially called yet. Rochester Board of Education President Van White finished about 300 votes shy of winning one of those races. He was up for one of three spots in last month’s Democratic primary for County Court Judge. Because of a new state law , the close race required a manual recount, which the county board of elections did using machines last week . Seven races met this criteria, including two county legislative races. But in a lawsuit filed Friday, White argued that the law requires a manual recount by hand. A judge agreed. White said Tuesday that his suit is more about the law than himself. “The law, in my mind at least, was very clear with respect to what a manual recount meant,” said White. “This wasn't just about the Monroe County Court race. This is also about other candidates' races and more importantly, it was about the tens of thousands of citizens whose votes might not be counted.” White

Work begins on 100th Habitat for Humanity house in JOSANA neighborhood

WXXI Local Stories - Tue, 07/13/2021 - 4:14pm
The goal was huge: 100 houses, built from scratch, all within a half-mile of Enrico Fermi School 17. It took 10 years, but on Tuesday, Flower City Habitat for Humanity began work on house No. 100.

City presents 'stew' of Inner Loop ideas, but residents aren't eating it up yet

WXXI Local Stories - Mon, 07/12/2021 - 3:50pm
As kids played basketball at the YMCA Center of Equity on a recent Wednesday, just a few feet way, adults worked on a project that could be crucial to their futures.

Church's anti-loitering 'mosquito' makes Pleasant Street unpleasant

WXXI Local Stories - Mon, 07/12/2021 - 6:55am
The sounds of the city abound on Pleasant Street in downtown Rochester — car horns, sirens, the chatter of passersby. But rising above the din of it all on a recent morning was an incessant high-pitched squeal emanating from, of all places, the historic Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church.

Morelle's 'Right to Repair' bill would ease tech companies' hold on consumers

WXXI Local Stories - Mon, 07/12/2021 - 5:00am
U.S. Rep. Joe Morelle has introduced a bill intended to protect consumers from being trapped into high repair costs by manufacturers of cellphones, laptop computers, and other products. The so-called "Right to Repair" legislation would require companies to make their repair instructions, parts, and tools available to consumers and third-party repair shops. The Irondequoit Democrat says it has been assumed for centuries that when you purchase a product, you own it and have the right to repair it when it breaks. But in recent years, some manufacturers of everything from consumer electronics to farm equipment have embedded technologies that make it almost impossible to repair by anyone other than an authorized dealer. Morelle says that can be costly and even cost-prohibitive. "In some cases," he says, "it's less expensive to buy new equipment. Well, that's not the way it's supposed to be. If you own it, you should be able to repair it." The proposed legislation would offer consumers more

1 person killed, 4 others injured in boating accident on Seneca Lake

WXXI Local Stories - Sat, 07/10/2021 - 8:14pm
Yates County Sheriff’s Deputies have released more information about the boat accident on Seneca Lake Saturday that killed one person and injured four others. The accident happened just before 5:30 p.m. near the hamlet of Himrod and the Showboat motel, according to Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike. Deputies say that a 45-foot high-performance speedboat was traveling south on the lake at a fast speed when it made an abrupt turn causing it to roll up onto its side. The owner/operator of the boat, Michael Battley, 48, Seneca Falls, Seneca County, and five other people on the vessel were ejected. Battley, was taken to Thompson Hospital but did not require treatment. The person who was killed has been identified as Cynthia Stuck, 65, Waterloo, Seneca County. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband, Deloss Stuck, 57, Waterloo, suffered internal injuries as did passenger Jessica Stine, 40, Fishers, Ontario County; she is Cynthia Stuck's daughter. Also injured was David Knorr, 44,
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