The NYS Department of Financial Services has released the rate hikes granted various health insurance companies for 2016, and while the rates are going up, most of them have been cut down from what the firms originally wanted.

For individual customers, insurers had requested on average a 10.4 percent rate hike. The state dropped that more than 30 percent, to 7.1 percent.

In the Small Group Market, insurers requested a rate increase of 14.4 percent. The state cut the rates to 9.8 percent.

We wrap up the great work that WXXI's Michelle Faust has done on the heroin epidemic in Rochester. We look back at the stories that made our "Heroin at Home" series, and play portions of interview that didn't make it to air.

We wrap our month-long series "Heroin at Home" by looking at how heroin addiction impacts families. We brought in a mother to give us some real-world insight that's happening here in Rochester. Our guests:

Recently on WXXI, Special Olympic athlete and ambassador Cori Piels and Onolee Stephen, director of community health programs for Special Olympics, discussed the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. The event brings together more than 6,500 athletes from 165 countries, including more than 300 athletes from New York State. 

You can also watch a video about Cori's experience as a college student on The Institute for Innovative Transition website.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

City officials and residents of the 19th Ward are celebrating completion of the Thurston Village Revitalization. The project has included improvements to public safety, assistance for local businesses, and street beautification.

Norman Jones is the commissioner of environmental services for the city. He says this project was an opportunity to restore the rich, diverse neighborhood to its former glory. Jones says the "streetscape" efforts in particular are important not only to the look of the neighborhood, but the attitude of the people who live there.

A group that advocates for safety in health care says New York hospitals are keeping patients and the public in the dark about their actual nursing staff levels.

The health consumer rights organization New Yorkers for Patient and Family Empowerment is out with a new report outlining how short-staffing in hospitals puts patients at risk.

It's Executive director, Suzanne Mattei, authored the report.

Monroe County will be home to one of five medical marijuana organizations approved by New York State. 

Columbia Care NY LLC will both manufacture and dispense medical marijuana in the county, and will also dispense in New York, Suffolk and Clinton Counties. Columbia care and four other organizations were selected out of 43 companies that applied.

Columbia Care will have both a cultivation facility and a Rochester dispensary at Eastman Business Park, and CEO Nicholas Vita says he hopes to have product on the shelves by January 1, 2016.

The leaders of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative are casting a wider net to collect thoughts and ideas from the community.

Residents are asked to offer their anonymous input in an online survey seeking ideas about how to lift people from poverty.

Matt Ryan New York Now

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he has no interest in challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo in a primaryin three years, saying he prefers to seek re election as state Comptroller.

DiNapoli, a favorite among many state Democrats, especially in the party’s left leaning base, said, in an interview with public radio and television, that  he has no interest in running in a primary against Governor Andrew Cuomo. The state Comptroller says he intends to seek another term in his current post, and says he’s set up a campaign committee for the Comptroller’s slot for 2018.

LinkedIn Photo

Two days in to her new position, Jamie Romeo says she has a lot of ideas and is reaching out to party leaders to get the ball rolling.

Right now, her main priority is getting the word out about ongoing campaigns, like Sandy Frankel for Monroe County Executive.

"We want to make sure people know what's going on and that we have so many opportunities for them to get involved."

Romeo says she's not the only 30 year old in Monroe County with an interest in politics.