WXXI AM News

Top Stories

In Major Blow To Trump, GOP Health Care Bill Vote Delayed

The long-promised Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been delayed, NPR's Susan Davis reports. It was supposed to get a vote Thursday night, but it has been running into trouble — from both the right and the center. Thursday afternoon, the votes were not there to pass the bill. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy tried downplay the task ahead, saying on CNN that leadership just needs to convince "a couple more" lawmakers to give their...

Read More

Lovely Warren says she never runs from a fight. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll hear how she plans to seek a re-election victory in a battle she anticipates will be a tough one - the battle for Rochester Mayor.

Also on the show, in the midst of weeks of anti-semitic rhetoric a Rochester woman shines a light and draws a deep connection between the Holocaust and the refugee crisis of today and she’s doing it through art. And our region happens to be home to some pretty brilliant young people. Don’t miss the launch of our new series Top of the Class. You’ll get to meet high school seniors making a lasting imprint. 

PBS.org

A recent study of the economy for the Rochester area over the last several years presents a mixed picture.

The study is an annual report from the Washington based think tank, the Brookings Institution. The Metro Monitor report tracks the economic performance of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas.

Matt Ryan New York Now

Another sitting state legislator, Sen. Rob Ortt, has been indicted on corruption charges, along with George Maziarz, who held the western New York Senate seat before him. The indictments come as ethics reform proposals in the state budget are faltering.

Ortt is accused of creating a no-show job for his wife to pad his own salary while he was mayor of North Tonawanda in Niagara County.

The long-promised Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has been delayed, NPR's Susan Davis reports. It was supposed to get a vote Thursday night, but it has been running into trouble — from both the right and the center.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Two western New York politicians are facing felony charges they violated state election law.

Republican state Sen. Robert Ortt of Niagara County pleaded not guilty Thursday in Albany to charges that, as mayor of North Tonawanda, he used a no-show job to funnel money to his wife.

Meanwhile, Ortt's predecessor, former Republican Sen. George Maziarz, pleaded not guilty to charges that he used campaign money to secretly pay an ex-staffer accused of sexual harassment.

First hour: State Senator Rich Funke

Second hour: Rochester Reads 2017: The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld

Matt Ryan New York Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s considering suing the federal government over an amendment to the health care act proposed by two New York congressmen, saying it may violate state sovereignty.

Congressmen Chris Collins and John Faso support a plan that would require New York state to take over the counties’ share of Medicaid costs, outside of New York City, worth about $2.3 billion. The plan does not offer funds to pay for the shift, and Cuomo, in a third day of attacks against the plan, said anyone who believes it’s a savings for taxpayers “is being taken for a ride.”

Despite condemnation by the American Medical Association and all the major mental health professions, conversion  therapy designed to change a person's sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual is still prevalent across the United States. Only five states and Washington, D.C. have outlawed the practice for licensed mental health providers. In fact, there may be hundreds of reparative therapy centers, but many are underground or protected by religious freedom laws. Researchers say the treatments -- which range from talk therapy to electroshock therapy -- have dangerous consequences.

A new film shot in and around Rochester tells the story of a gay teen's experience with conversion therapy. Our guests are from that film, Fair Haven:

  • Tom Malloy, producer and actor who plays Reverend Thomas
  • Kerstin Karlhuber, director
  • Jack Bryant, writer
  • Gregory Harrison, actor who plays Dr. Gallagher

Maciej Golubiewski, the consul general of the Republic of Poland, is in Rochester this week. Poland is one of six Eastern European nations appealing to the U.S. for help in standing up to Russia.

We talk to Golubiewski about a range of topics, including the U.S. Army's mission in Poland, U.S.-Poland relations within NATO under the Trump administration, and the future of trade between the two countries. Plus, we discuss the latest regarding the investigation of Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman who worked to advance the interests of Vladimir Putin. Our guests:

Watch Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer Thursdays at 8pm on WXXI-TV, Channel 21.1 and Cable 11 or 1221.

Pages

News from NPR

President Trump got good news on Thursday from the federal agency that oversees the three-year-old lease on his five-star hotel in Washington, D.C.

The General Services Administration said in a letter that the Trump Organization is in "full compliance" with the lease on the luxury hotel that's located just blocks from the White House.

Former President Obama took a victory lap Thursday on seventh anniversary of his signature health care law even as Republicans had planned to formally begin the process of gutting it in celebration.

But now, it's the GOP replacement plan that remains on life support. Republicans postponed a planned evening vote in the House, denying them a symbolic chance to make good on their years-long promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

About this time last year, roughly two dozen daring young strangers bid farewell to the modern world as we know it, bearing their hunting equipment and their wiles into the remote Scottish highlands with the aims of creating a new community from scratch — cameras rolling for a reality show all the while, naturally.

Who Will Listen To The Suffering Syrians?

2 hours ago

Dr. Hussam Jefee-Bahloul, a Syrian psychiatrist, writes poetry that reflects his deep longing for a lost homeland.

"Poetry and art is another way to cope," he says, "we are all grieving in our own ways. The country is no longer the one that I left and it still haunts me in my dreams." (Click here to read one of his poems.)

More news from NPR

From the Inclusion Desk

Advocates from the Center for Disability Rights and other organizations are calling on local Republican congressional members to preserve critical components of the Affordable Care Act that would affect disabled populations.

Damita Peace works with the Regional Center for Independent Living and said most importantly, they’re asking for the continued right that people with disabilities can live and receive necessary care in their homes, rather than institutions.

Sesame Street Workshop

Sesame Street is introducing a new Muppet to its cast, and she is unlike any Muppet they have had before.

Her name is Julia, and she has autism.

The character was introduced online in 2015, but will now become a regular on the television show.

Rachel Rosner, the director of education and support services at Rochester-based Autism Up, said introducing a character with autism is a huge step forward for the show — and for raising awareness.

Martin Kaufman / WXXI News

Rainey Walker had been out of work for about four years.

But that all changed when he partnered up with the Arc of Monroe’s Job Path program, which works to find jobs for people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.

After completing development training and assessments, Walker decided to give being a cashier a shot.

Walker has been working at Hart’s Local Grocers in Rochester for about three months now. He said there’s a lot about his job that he likes.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The New York State Senate and Assembly are in agreement on a plan to increase funding for the care of the developmentally disabled. 

The Republican-led Senate and Democratic-controlled Assembly both included $45 million in additional funding in their chamber's proposed state budgets. 

The money would support pay raises for the direct support professionals who care for people with developmental disabilities. Low pay has created high turnover and staffing shortages. 

More stories from the Inclusion Desk

Rochester: Hub For Photonics

What is photonics and why is it coming to Rochester?

Meet the WXXI News Team

The reporters you hear everyday