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Republicans Admit Defeat On Health Care Bill: 'Obamacare Is The Law Of The Land'

Updated at 5 p.m. ET House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass. "Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law." Ryan may have...

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A new report sums up the crazy winter that brought unusually warm temperatures to the Great Lakes region -- as well as some brutal Lake Effect snowstorms.

Toronto recorded its highest February temperature -- 66 degrees -- on Feb. 23, according to the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. The following day, more records were set in Syracuse (71), Binghamton, N.Y. (70), and Erie, Pa., (77).

The KeyBank Foundation has announced a $250,000 grant to help Rochester Preparatory Charter School.

Rochester Prep is free and open to all families living in Rochester, which helps prepare students while they are still in high school and also follows them to college to ensure they are getting the support and resources they need.

The grant from KeyBank will be used for the school’s College Access and Success program, which helps ensure students are choosing colleges that are the right fit for them.

Sasha-Ann Simons / WXXI News

About 200  protesters gathered outside the Federal Building Friday afternoon on State Street in Rochester to voice their concerns about recent incidents involving immigrants in Western NY.

The protest was actually scheduled even before Thursday night’s rally outside the Border Patrol station in Irondequoit. It had been scheduled in connection with the recent detention of farmworkers in Orleans County.

But Thursday night’s incident brought an additional sense of urgency to the downtown  protest.

Elected officials react to scrapped health care bill

21 hours ago

Republicans on Friday pulled the bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying, “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

Elected officials representing the region and state had this to say about the scrapped effort:

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer:

Spectrum News

The U.S. Border Patrol released this statement on Friday in connection with the immigration story involving some people from Guatemala:

"On March 23, 2017, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Rochester Border Patrol Station responded to a call from a local police department requesting assistance during a vehicle stop.

Weekend Connections is a collection of some of the most noteworthy moments from the week on Connections with Evan Dawson. This episode includes conversations about:

  • The Rochester Association of Black Journalists' "Rochester Legends;"
  • A local man's struggle with kidney disease, and his video series, "Cooking for Your Kidneys;"
  • Gay conversion therapy, and the new film, Fair Haven;
  • The discovery of the Trappist star system.

Rochester Reads is Writers & Books annual event, choosing one title for the community to read together. They've selected The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld, a book about a death row in an ancient stone prison. Through the eyes of an inmate who finds escape in books and in re-imagining the life around him is woven a fantastical tale of the people he observes and the world he inhabits.

We talk to Denfeld about the book, and the upcoming events surrounding her visit. Our guests:

  • Rene Denfeld, author of The Enchanted
  • Kyle Semmel, executive director of Writers & Books
  • Karen vanMeenen, director of special projects at Writers & Books

M&T Bank

M&T Bank’s regional Rochester headquarters has a new home. On Friday the bank officially unveiled its new space at the building formerly occupied by Frontier Communications on South Clinton Avenue.

M&T had its regional headquarters on East Avenue near Union Street for a number of years, but regional president Dan Burns says they really needed some updated offices.

State Senator Rich Funke sits down with us for the hour to discuss state business, from ride sharing to the governor's free tuition plan, education spending to taxes.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

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News from NPR

Some basketball viewers on Friday night were subjected to television commercials that were guilty of peddling some alternative facts.

That's because in some markets with conservative-leaning districts, commercials aired praising some Republican House members for their efforts in repealing the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.

Lourdes Flores Valdez says she got her diabetes under control after she was able to sign up for Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid, under the Affordable Care Act's expanded eligibility rules. Sitting in an exam room at the UMMA Community Clinic's Fremont Wellness Center in South Los Angeles, she suddenly veers away from discussing the health law and starts talking about her husband, who is in the United States illegally.

As Iraqi forces backed by the United States ramp up efforts to take Mosul back from ISIS, there are reports of scores of civilians killed by airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition.

In a statement, the United States Central Command admitted that its airstrikes had hit an area where civilians casualties have been reported.

Political predictions are a dangerous business, especially this year. But it does look as though one way or another, the U.S. Senate will vote to confirm the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The open question is how much damage Democrats will do to their own long game in the process.

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?

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