The American Red Cross anticipates a blood shortage this holiday season.

Spokeswoman Cara Noble says there are plenty of reasons donations drop off in the summer months: Not only do high schools and colleges with regular drives shut down, people go on vacation. She says more than 40 percent of blood and platelet donors will be away over the holiday.

"Right now we're asking eligible blood and platelet donors to make an appointment right now so we can help prevent summer shortages. Patients don't get a summer holiday or a vacation from needing blood or platelets."

The WXXI News staff checks newspapers and websites to help keep tabs on what's happening in communities across New York state.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News) — Police in New York state say they will be beefing up road patrols this holiday weekend.

State troopers say drivers this Fourth of July weekend can expect to see sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. Troopers say they also will be targeting the illegal sale of alcohol to minors.

State Police last year arrested more than 180 people for DWI during the holiday weekend and issued more than 10,200 tickets.

Authorities say the average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

With July 4th coming on a Saturday this year, and many people off from work on Friday, there are Independence Day activities going on from Friday through Sunday.

The largest fireworks celebration is always in Downtown Rochester.  

That will be held Saturday night, with activities starting at 7:30 p.m. with a jazz performance on the Main St. Bridge by the Jimmie Highsmith Jr. Band.


ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state board studying whether to increase the minimum wage for fast-food workers is set to issue its recommendation this month.

A spokesman for the state Department of Labor says Thursday that the Wage Board plans to meet on July 13 to continue its deliberations ahead of a recommendation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo convened the board to study whether to raise the wage, now $8.75 an hour, for workers in the fast-food industry only.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the total economic impact of New York state's tourism topped $100 billion last year for the first time.

The governor says Thursday an economic impact report conducted by the research firm Tourism Economics found that tourism's overall impact on the Empire State hit an all-time high of $100.1 billion in 2014. He says New York was the most visited state by overseas travelers for the 14th year in a row.

On this edition of Need To Know: Heroin and Opioid abuse is on the rise here in Monroe County and across the country. What efforts are in place to combat this?

Plus, OSHA is trying to curtail a disease that's plagued stone workers since the ancient greeks. We look into how OSHA is tackling silicosis.

Readers of Eat, Pray, Love are asking questions after author Elizabeth Gilbert admitted to being a ‘seduction addict’ in a column she penned for the New York Times. In the column, Gilbert admitted that while married she would seduce a man and while her marriage would be collapsing, she would also be breaking up with the man that was causing her divorce.

Loyal readers of her massive hit book wonder if Gilbert manipulated her memoir for the sake of increasing sales. Similar to a previous show about photos, is it ok to alter events in a memoir? We brought on authors who have written, or are in the process of writing, a memoir to discuss:

Some may say we don’t need feminism, because equality is here, but recent events say otherwise. Take for example that – finally – a woman will grace the front of U.S. currency, but it won’t be the $20 bill. Another example came this week, when a Brazilian soccer official stated his reasoning for an increase interest in the Women’s World Cup: “…the shorts are a bit shorter, the hair styles are more done up. It’s not a woman dressed as a man.”

We discuss these recent events and why the fight for equality is still ongoing with our panel:

  • Deborah Hughes, executive director of the Susan B. Anthony House
  • Barbara LeSavoy, director and assistant professor of Women and Gender Studies at SUNY Brockport
  • Haley Johnson, graduate student

This year is the first year since the 1940s that you can legally buy and use fireworks in some parts of the state.

If you travel westbound on the 104, just past the Monroe/Wayne County Line, you'll see what looks like a circus tent, multicolored and a little out of place in a strip mall parking lot. The sign reads, "Barely Legal Fireworks," which is appropriate not just because of the new state laws but because the owner, Jason Guck, is just 21-years-old.