WXXI AM News

Hélène Biandudi Hofer

Need to Know Host

Hélène Biandudi Hofer is host and producer of WXXI TV's Need to Know, an award-winning, half-hour weekly news and public affairs program. Hélène joined the station in September 2010 as the host of All Things Considered.

Before moving to Rochester, Hélène worked at the CBS Primetime show 48 Hours Mystery in New York City. While at CBS she contributed to several documentary specials for the network including the tragedy at Virginia Tech, the tribute to news icon Walter Cronkite, the inauguration of Barack Obama and the CBS/VOGUE Fashion’s Night Out program.

Hélène is a graduate of New York University’s Broadcast Journalism program. After graduation, she returned to her hometown, Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an associate producer for WBNS-TV.

Ways to Connect

The head of the local teachers union says Albany is bullying the city school district by suspending millions of dollars in federal Race to the Top money.

But Dr. Adam Urbanski says he’s confident the issue will be resolved soon.

State Education Commissioner, John King, announced earlier this week that State Improvement Grants to 10 school districts - including Rochester - are being suspended.

King cited shortcomings in the application for the grant money - in particular the teacher-principal evaluation system - as the reason for the suspension.

The owner of a local towing service says new provisions to New York State’s "Move Over" law will save lives.

On New Year's Day the expanded law went into effect. Previously, drivers were required to shift lanes when approaching flashing police lights. Motorists will now have to follow the same rules for tow trucks and other emergency vehicles with flashing amber colored lights.

“Coke or Pepsi?” “Coke.” “McDonalds or Wendy’s?” “McDonalds” “LeBron James or Dwight Howard?” “LeBron.” “Winter or spring?” “Spring.”

I’m playing a game of This or That with Dequane. He’s about 5’4’’ with inquisitive brown eyes and a soft smile.

“Jay Z or Kanye?” “Jay Z.” “NBA or NFL?” “NBA.” “Rap or hip hop?” “Hip Hop.” “Ice cream: vanilla or chocolate?” “Vanilla.”

The head of the Rochester City School Board is now calling on the community to rally around education. Board President Malik Evans made the comment after the Democrat and Chronicle reported Assemblyman David Gantt will be re-introducing legislation for mayoral control.

Buffalo public school kids are being offered quite an incentive: graduate and get into college, and the finances to pay for school will be available. That's what a new education partnership is promising city school kids.

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Say Yes to Education, a national nonprofit, are teaming up for the initiative. The goal is to offer full or partial college scholarships to city school kids over a 20-year period.

Alphonso O’Neil White is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation.

Monroe County’s outgoing District Attorney is trying to decide if it’s time to say goodbye to politics for good.

This after news broke that Mike Green is no longer in the running to receive a federal judgeship.

Green announced today that over the weekend he was informed by Senator Chuck Schumer’s office that his confirmation as a federal district court judge had been blocked by Senate Republicans. His nomination was then returned to the White House where it was then announced that he would not be re-nominated in the new year.

Area preservation advocates are sharing their concerns over Genesee Brewery's plans to tear down a 19th-century building. Genesee Brewery says rehabilitation of the 122-year-old structure would be too costly.

The move comes after Genesee announced plans last month to create a new brew pub. The plan includes transforming an old packaging plant near the brewhouse into a bar and visitor center.

Thursday, preservationists attended a hearing held by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals, which must approve the demolition.

WXXI-TV aired "The Dropout Dilemma," a LIVE Town Hall meeting on the crisis in city schools and the impact it has on the community Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m.

The program focused on how the dropout issue in the Rochester City School District impacts the community as a whole and possible solutions to the problem.

WXXI's Hélène Biandudi and WDKX's Tariq Spence hosted the live program from WXXI's Television Studios. You can watch the full program in the video box below.

A new musical from the Rochester Children’s Theatre is now making the rounds at elementary schools in the city school district.

Sweet House is the name of the show. It’s a modern twist on a classic tale inspired by Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.

After a recent performance, a few young critics from School 35 weighed in on the musical. You can hear their review by clicking the audio player above.

A local pastor says it's time for Rochester residents to become a voice for the voiceless by standing up in support of migrant workers.

Reverend Chava Redonnet is the Pastor of Oscar Romero Church in the city - she also leads a migrant ministry at an undisclosed location outside Rochester. She says immigration laws are forcing migrants to live in constant hiding and fear.

And she says with increasing raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement many migrant workers are missing, their whereabouts unknown.

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