WXXI AM News

Sasha-Ann Simons

Arts InFocus Host/Reporter/Producer

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Sasha-Ann comes to Rochester after spending her formative years growing up in Toronto, Canada. She studied broadcasting at Ryerson University, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Sasha-Ann earned her first news gig as a chase producer at CityTV, while still a college freshman. She subsequently took on various roles in other Toronto newsrooms as a videographer, host, and producer, and was part of the award-winning Global Television Network news team.

Sasha-Ann has covered and produced stories in the Canadian national spotlight, including Occupy Toronto, the Eaton Centre mall shooting, the Toronto Argos CFL championship win, and the Mayor Rob Ford crack scandal.

Sasha-Ann is fun-loving and sassy. She is also passionate about education issues. When she's not on the air, Sasha-Ann spends her time with family and exploring new recipes in the kitchen.

Ways to Connect

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

Mayor Lovely Warren received the 2017 Partner America “Small Business Advocate” award Thursday morning, for her efforts and support of small businesses in Rochester.

The award is given by Partner America, a public-private partnership that was created by The U.S. Conference of Mayors, to assist mayors in providing the resources and information small businesses need to thrive within their local communities and the global economy.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

A new, important tool to keep families safe is now available to the public at the click of a mouse.

At a news conference Wednesday, Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn and area law enforcement introduced Offender Watch, an electronic management system and community notification tool to tell residents the exact whereabouts of sex offenders in their neighborhood.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

Rochester has its own unique, complex, cocktail of different racial and ethnic groups in the city, and like many parts of America, it has some traces of poverty.

As a placement and career services developer at PathStone, a not-for-profit organization providing services to low-income families and economically depressed communities, Dionne Jacques sees the crippling effects of poverty in Rochester every day. She describes her clients as predominantly young, African American men, whom are in and out of the criminal justice system.

CUOMO STAFF

Governor Andrew Cuomo made a stop in Rochester Tuesday afternoon to discuss Finger Lakes region highlights of the 2018 state budget.

Among those highlights, is $40 million allocated to the revitalization of the Greater Rochester International Airport.

“We’re going to be investing in airports all across Upstate New York,” Cuomo said. “Having a first-rate airport is essential to be a first-rate economy. You look at airports around the world and you see how this country has been asleep.”

LaBella Associates/City of Rochester

The longtime questions of what will be built on Parcel 5 in downtown and where the Rochester Broadway Theatre League will build a new performing arts center were both answered at the same time Friday morning.

RBTL will build a new center on Parcel 5 at Midtown, it was announced at the Tower280 building. The Golisano Center for the Performing Arts and Tower will be a joint venture between Morgan Communities and the RBTL.

Over the last four years, the New York State and federal rehabilitation tax credit program has spurred $3 billion of investment in historic commercial properties. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York State led the nation in the number of completed historic building revitalization projects using the tax credits.

In 2016, $748 million in investments was generated by the credits to revamp old buildings throughout the state.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/ WXXI NEWS

Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo has launched a new social media recycling education campaign.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, she said the “Refresh Recycling” campaign is aimed at teaching residents how to recycle properly at home. This includes highlighting what can be recycled, what can be brought to the Monroe County Ecopark, and what must be sent to the landfill.

It's Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, which coincides with the announcement of a $10 million federal grant to enhance services provided to children who are victims of crime.

The New York State Office of Victim Services, who obtained the two-year grant, is making the funding available to some state-approved Child Advocacy Centers. Eligible centers can apply for the funds to help offset the cost to purchase and install video recording equipment and hire specially trained staff to interview young victims of sexual and physical abuse.

The Landmark Society of Western New York is seeking help in identifying important landmarks in the history of Rochester’s LGBTQ community.

The group is launching a web page and new hashtag, #WNYlgbtqsites, where they can gather community input about these important landmarks and spread the word on social media. 

Larry Francer, associate director of preservation, said the dedicated web page will add to the sense of pride about the part that Rochester plays in the fight for gay rights.

Mayor Lovely Warren is seeking community input Wednesday evening about what to do with the vacant City-owned site at 151 Mt. Hope Ave.

The nearly two-acre site is located near the Genesee River, south of I-490 in the South Wedge neighborhood. 

"As we work to transform our city, creating safer more vibrant neighborhoods, more jobs and better educational opportunities for our children, we are here to listen to what residents and business owners have to say about opportunities in their neighborhood,” Warren said in  a news release.

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