WXXI AM News

Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

Officers from New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) are in Rochester. They join us to discuss a range of issues, including school safety; testing; a feared teacher shortage; the New York State budget; and the Janus vs. AFSCME case, which could impact union member and worker rights.

In studio:

  • Andy Pallotta, president of NYSUT
  • Jolene DiBrango, executive vice president of NYSUT

World renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking died early Wednesday morning in Cambridge at age 76. The visionary scientist is best known for his work with black holes, general relativity, and quantum mechanics, but as physicist Adam Frank says, Hawking’s story is about more than the science. At age 22, Hawking was diagnosed with ALS and given only a few years to live. He used a wheelchair and a voice synthesizer to speak. As Frank says, Hawking’s story is about the triumph of the human spirit and the ability to push at the frontier.

Our guests discuss his life and work:

  • Brian Koberlein, senior lecturer of physics at RIT
  • Roger Dube, research professor and director of the Science Exploration Program at RIT
  • Mike Campbell, director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester
  • Adam Frank, astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, and contributor to NPR’s 13.7: Cosmos & Culture blog

www.hawking.org.uk/

First hour: The life and work of Stephen Hawking

Second hour: An update from NYSUT

The Black Cinema Series at The Little Theatre continues this month with the documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor. Oprah recently mentioned Taylor’s name during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, saying Taylor never got justice after she was raped by six white men. Taylor’s case – and others like hers – helped spark the civil rights movement.

We discuss Taylor’s legacy, race relations in 2018, and issues surrounding sexual assault. In studio:

  • Kevin Hicks, journalist and vice president for print for the RABJ
  • Allison O'Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Moiet James, development administrative assistant for WXXI, co-coordinator for the Black Cinema Series, and member of the RABJ
  • Ericka Wilson, producer for WHEC-TV, co-coordinator for the Black Cinema Series, and member of the RABJ

Amazon, JPMorgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway are joining together to launch a new healthcare company. They may seem like strange bedfellows in the healthcare industry, but they think their partnership and ideas could help drive down the cost of care for their employees – about 950,000 people worldwide.

How will they do it? One option is offering telemedicine technology to providers. It’s a growing service that is already widely used in our area. So what will the future of healthcare look like – not only for the employees of these companies, but for all Americans? We talk about the impact of telemedicine and other innovative services, and how they could change the way you visit your doctor. Our guests:

  • Dr. Neil Herendeen, M.D., professor of pediatrics and pediatrician at Golisano Children's Hospital
  • Cynthia Gordon, director of telehealth services at Rochester Regional Health
  • Christopher Bell, executive director of the Monroe County Medical Society
  • Lois Irwin, president of EZaccessMD

First hour: Telemedicine and the future of healthcare

Second hour: The Rape of Recy Taylor

Two of the best players in the NBA recently went public about their struggles with mental health. Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers wrote a piece for the Players Tribune in which he opened up about an anxiety attack during a recent game. DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors tweeted and then gave interviews about his long-standing battle with depression. Within days, each player had heard from thousands of fans who decided to finally open up about their own challenges with mental health.

We discuss stigma, opening up, and the difficulty that comes with hiding mental health issues. Our guests:

  • Kristina Mossgraber, events coordinator and walk manager for NAMI Rochester
  • Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester
  • Steven Mojsovski, lifelong OCD and anxiety sufferer
  • Desiree Pernaselci, teacher at Greece Olympia High School, and coach of the girls' soccer team and girls' and boys' track and field team

President Trump is moving forward with plans for a national military parade this coming November. The parade, estimated to cost between $3 million and $50 million, will celebrate the American military and its achievements throughout history.

Our panel consists of veterans who discuss the meaning of such a parade, and whether they think it should happen. In studio:

  • Todd Baxter, Monroe County Sheriff who has 22 years of service with the U.S. Army
  • Dominick Annese, U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War
  • Gary Beikirch, Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Vietnam War
  • Matt Barnes, Fairport Police Sgt and veteran of the U.S. Army

Official DOD photo

First hour: Discussing President Trump's planned military parade

Second hour: The difficulty of hiding - and speaking out about - mental health issues

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:

  • Immigration policy and whether Latinos are considered "real Americans;"
  • The film, Get Out, and commentary on race in film;
  • Eating disorders in athletes.

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