Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

There's a new look coming to a well-known downtown hotel. The Rochester Plaza Hotel will be getting a makeover and a new name.

Hotel General Manager Paul Kremp says it will become a Holiday Inn property.  He says the hotel owners, New Horizon Hospitality, decided that getting that well-known branding will help them compete in a crowded Rochester marketplace.

"With the new development in downtown, the redevelopment of the Strathallan, the Hilton Garden Inn, we just felt that for us to stay competitive we needed to continue to do some upgrades and get a brand on the hotel."

You might not have known it was there, but the Monroe County Crime Analysis Center has been operating out of the Rochester Public Safety Building since 2007.

The idea behind crime analysis is that you hire several people and put them in a room with access to all sorts of resources to help investigators. They have DMV records, gang information, Facebook profiles, all at their fingertips. They are able to analyze crime patterns and identify high-risk situations.

Giving birth in the United States is far more expensive than in other countries, and the additional cost does not appear to come with additional benefits — Americans do not have more access to care or better access to care than citizens in other developed nations, according to an analysis from the New York Times.

Dr. Gene Declercq is one of the leading voices in the effort to reduce the number of c-section births in the United States. Thursday, he's in Rochester for a public event, but first, he's on Connections.

We've seen a remarkable range of headlines about social media nastiness: anonymous attacks on Yik Yak; ugly tweets about a former baseball star's daughter; racist chants shared on video. Even Monica Lewinsky is talking about social media shaming. We'll examine the headlines, with a look at what can get someone in trouble at work or on campus. Also, how are local colleges dealing with Yik Yak, the newest headache for professors? We discuss with our panel: 

  • Mary Ellen Zuckerman, provost of the College at Brockport
  • Imani Lawrence, Brockport student
  • Mike Johansson, social media strategy consultant

The state Assembly, Senate and Governor Cuomo continue to work on sticking points in the state budget, as yet another item has now been dropped from the spending plan, raising the state’s minimum wage.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos emerged hopeful from a closed door meeting with Republican Senators. The Senate and Governor Cuomo have been at odds over ethics reform, including requiring financial disclosure of Senators’ law clients in their outside jobs as private attorneys.

Alex Crichton / WXXI

Local and state officials gathered on a chilly day at Rochester's Public Market to talk about the success of the venue, and state programs designed to encourage healthier eating habits.

State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball, says New York is home to 36-thousand farms, and markets like the one in Rochester are important, because they serve as a point of contact between farmers and their customers.

The Rochester area saw a gain of 3,400 private sector jobs in February compared to last year.

That's according to new numbers from the State Labor Department, and regional analyst John Slenker says a number of sectors saw growth, particularly jobs in the education and health areas.

He does say that even if some months have not seen large gains, we've been pretty consistent over the last several years.

Senate Leader Say Minimum Wage is Out of the Budget

3 hours ago

The leader of the State Senate says raising the minimum wage is now out of the state budget, setting up a potential  conflict with the state assembly as the budget deadline draws near.

Add the minimum wage to a growing list of items that have been dropped from the state budget.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Dean Skelos, who’s been against Governor Cuomo’s proposal to further increase the minimum wage to $11.50 downstate and $10.50 upstate, says, the proposal won’t be part of the final state spending plan. And he questions

City Highlights Community Policing Initiatives

4 hours ago
Alex Crichton

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren  and Police Chief Mike Ciminelli are calling on members of the community to partner with police, as law enforcement prepares to launch a new neighborhood-based patrol model.

The new 5-section model starts April 20th, and Warren says it's a great time to think about community policing.

Warren says among the many RPD programs that are available, the PAC-TAC, or Police and Citizens - Together Against Crime, is an example of one program that can grow through the new model.

The University of Rochester is reporting that the "Meliora Challenge" campaign has surpassed its initial $1.2 billion goal. And that happened more than 15 months ahead of schedule.

That level was achieved in part to an $11 million commitment from Robert and Pamela Goergen to the University's Institute for Data Science. U of R President Joel Seligman made the announcement at a Board of Trustees leadership retreat off the Florida coast.