Kate O'Connell

Innovation Trail Reporter

Kate O’Connell comes to WXXI from Melbourne, Australia, and studied journalism at Royal Melboure Institute of Technology.

During her studies, Kate was a freelance journalist, reporting from Nepal and Haiti, and worked with the media team of the United Nations partner group, International Organization for Migration.

Kate's experience also includes work for the Shepparton News, Australian Broadcasting Company, Melbourne’s Channel 31, RRR radio and WIN television.


Nuclear Waste Storage
11:13 am
Fri April 11, 2014

West Valley Nuclear Waste Facility Still Years Away From Full Decommissioning: Video

West Valley Demonstration Project Exterior
Jim Day/WXXI/Innovation Trail

The U.S. is the world’s largest nuclear power producer, and more than a quarter of New York’s electricity is supplied by atomic energy. As older nuclear plants in the state, and across the US, reach the end of their operational life, managing the nuclear waste left behind has become an ongoing national issue.

For nearly half a century, western New York has been home to one of the nation’s most unique nuclear facilities. The West Valley nuclear site, 30 miles south of Buffalo, is the only commercial nuclear reprocessing plant to have operated in the United States. (Video tour of the facility after the jump)

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7:34 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

CityGate Project Is Moving Forward

Credit WXXI photo

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks have announced a bipartisan deal that will see the stalled CityGate project move forward.

The development will include Western New York’s first Costco store.

And, Warren says the retail giant will bring hundreds of living-wage jobs to the Rochester area.            

“This project will bring over 1500 jobs to the area. That’s construction jobs, full time jobs, and quality of life living for many people that live in our city and live in our county.”

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4:53 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

PSC to be Sued Over Withheld Information

Some rights reserved by SalFalko

The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) is coming under fire yet again with claims that the body’s proceedings lack transparency.

A group of elected officials, ratepayers, and environmental groups announced Thursday that they’re filing a lawsuit in state Supreme Court against the PSC in an attempt to gain access to documents relating to the future of two power plants in upstate New York.

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4:43 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Fast Food Workers Vie for Higher Wages

Matt Martin/WSKG

Rochester was just one of many cities that saw strikes Thursday as part of a campaign by fast food workers to raise the federal minimum wage.

Walkouts were planned in at least 100 cities in support raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, roughly $15,000 per year for a full-time job.

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3:50 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

More Arrests In LDC Investigation

An investigation into local development organizations (LDCs) in Monroe County saw four more arrests today. Robert Wiesner, husband of County Executive Maggie Brooks was included in the group facing criminal charges.

Charges brought against the four by the state Attorney General's office include money laundering, conspiracy, and falsifying business records.

Wiesner, a retired Rochester police captain was arraigned Wednesday along with Daniel Lynch, Nelson Rivera, and John Maggio.

All four men pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them.

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Innovation Trail
12:46 pm
Mon November 4, 2013


Researchers at the ECBC look at results from human-on-a-chip testing

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 10:45 am

In a handful of labs around the U.S., researchers are creating human tissue from stem cells and manipulating them to replicate the functions of human organs, all on platforms about the size of a thumb drive. This research platform is known as a ‘human-on-a-chip’, and it has the potential to change the nature of medical treatment.

Dr. Harry Salem has been involved in his fair share of exciting scientific breakthroughs, including the creation of the breathalyzer, the infant incubator, and Nyquil.

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WXXI Top Stories
9:01 am
Tue October 22, 2013

The Copy Machine Turns 75

Chester Carlson demonstrates his copying process
Credit Xerox

It’s one of the most iconic pieces of office equipment from the past century. It’s saved countless hours for workers, become a symbol for office shenanigans, and revolutionized the way we do business.

And it all started 75 years ago, today.

The Xerox copy machine stems from a breakthrough made by inventor Chester Carlson on October 22 1938.

On this day, in his small apartment in Queens, Carlson made the first ever dry copy. He used static electricity created with handkerchief, light, and dry powder to make the first copy in 1938.

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WXXI Local Stories
6:30 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Advocates Urge Cuomo, Raise the Age

Some rights reserved by x1klima

New York is one of only two states in the country where all children 16 and older are treated as adults in the criminal justice system. This month the Raise the Age initiative kicked off a statewide campaign in upstate New York, renewing their effort to keep kids under 18 out of adult prisons.

Kyle Chambers was incarcerated in an adult prison when he was 16 years old, and spent his 17th birthday inside.

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12:12 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

CarestreamTeams With The Bills On Investigating Head Injuries

Carestream Health and the Buffalo Bills have entered into a partnership aimed at advancing medical imaging technology that could help with earlier detection and treatment of brain injuries.

The agreement builds on research already in the works between Carestream and Johns Hopkins University and will expand the collaboration to include new systems for imaging head trauma.

President of digital imaging solutions at Carestream, Diana Nole says the partnership with the Bills will help them understand how their equipment could be used in a real-life setting.

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WXXI Local Stories
4:13 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The Book of Mormon, Way Off Broadway

A dress rehearsal of the pageant
Kate O'Connell

With its cast of 750, more than a thousand costumes, and special effects to rival a James Cameron film, the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant is back in town.

It’s been touted as the way off-Broadway version of the Book of Mormon, but this one’s the real deal.

The show, held in Palmyra, is a retelling of the history of Mormonism involving hundreds of cast and crew members.

People travel from across the country and around the world to be involved, but they’re not just here to entertain.

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