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:

  • Music, history, and culture, with cellist Rufus Cappadocia;
  • The heroin epidemic and one former addict's story;
  • The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council;
  • The Arnett Cafe's success story and the co-owner's thoughts about growing up in Rochester;
  • A new CSA charter.

The company that owns the major shopping malls in the Rochester area remains upbeat about the ongoing presence of J.C. Penney, despite word that chain plans to close some stores across the country.

J.C. Penney has announced it will close 130 to 140 underperforming stores over the next few months. But just which ones will close hasn’t been released yet, that should happen in March after the company sees just how many employees take advantage of an early retirement program.

We preview this Sunday's Academy Awards. Our guests give their predictions for who will win, who should win, and we discuss how this year's Oscar nominations have ended the diversity drought. Our guests:

  • Jack Garner, longtime film critic
  • Lester D. Friedman, professor and former chair of the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith College
  • Adam Lubitow, film critic for City Newspaper

Rufus Cappadocia began playing the cello when he was three-years-old. 14 years later, he added a fifth string to his instrument, and was thinking about music through a global and historical context.

We talk to this remarkable musician about composing and playing music, designing instruments, and about the social and environmental causes he supports.

Dale Robinette/Lionsgate via AP

First hour: Cellist Rufus Cappadocia

Second hour: Previewing the Oscars


Judith Enck, the former regional administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama, said the new head of the EPA under President Donald Trump threatens to roll back major environmental regulations, including climate change actions and pollution protections.

In an interview for public radio and television, Enck explained why she took the unprecedented step of signing on to a letter, along with hundreds of former EPA staff, protesting Scott Pruitt.

Officials with Windstream have announced some staffing changes in Rochester due to the company’s recent merger with EarthLink.

The company says it will cut about 50 jobs over the next three months, mainly in positions that are in corporate support departments, such as finance, legal and human resources.

Windstream says the staffing moves follow a detailed review of the overall functions at EarthLink and an effort to identify redundancies. Affected employee will be able to apply for other open jobs at Windstream, and there will be severance benefits.

President Donald Trump makes his first address to congress on Tuesday at 9 p.m. WXXI News brings you coverage of the address on-air, online, and on your device. Here's where you can watch, listen, or stream the address:

TV: WXXI (cable 11/OTA 21.1)

Radio: AM 1370

Video Stream: Here on WXXINews.org just before 9 p.m.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  Local producers of beer, wine, cider and liquor have opened 32 new off-site stores in New York State in the past year _ evidence the state's alcohol industry continues to age well. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released the numbers on Thursday. A new state law allows local farm breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries to operate off-site stores to better connect with consumers. 

Cuomo, a Democrat, says the businesses are helping to revitalize local economies by creating jobs, benefiting local agriculture and increasing tourism. 

NEW YORK (AP & WXXI News) J.C. Penney says it will be closing anywhere from 130 to 140 stores as well as two distribution centers over the next several months as it aims to improve profitability in the era of online shopping.

The closures, announced Friday, represent about 13 percent to 14 percent of the company's current store count, and less than 5 percent of total annual sales. The news came as Penney posted a profit in the fourth-quarter compared to a loss a year ago.