Need to Know

Thursday 8:00 p.m. & Sunday 11:30 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12
Teen Empowerment

It’s an issue surrounded by controversy throughout the United States - the presence of law enforcement in schools. On this edition of Need to Know we examine the role of School Resource Officers which is intended to build and not divide. However, some say that role is being challenged in Rochester City Schools.

Also on the show, introducing the world of cycling to the over-55 crowd. How one local effort is helping residents improve their health and for some, reclaim their youth.

And the fight for the future of Rochester’s young people through the arts. We’ll learn the story behind a local dance theatre celebrating 35 years working with area youth.


An all-female car race team from Rochester Institute of Technology finished third place in the electric category in its first global event. In early May, Hot Wheelz took part in the Formula Hybrid at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.


On some level, all art is impermanent; materials break down, paint chips away and canvases tear. But that's not usually on the forefront of the mind of the average artist. 

Nate Hodge is different. The process he takes in painting is one of embracing change. Watch this Need to Know interview with artist, Nate Hodge and M.A.G. Director, Jonathan Binstock. 


It’s all the rage right now in the media and discussion forums to talk about how to ‘engage’ millennials in the work place. The focus is often on capitalizing on their strengths and abilities – while at the same time embracing viewpoints and approaches that might be different from their co-workers who represent other generations. Millennials currently make up 25% of the U.S. population and statistics show that by the year 2025 these young professionals will make up 75% of the workforce.


They are often referred to as the least understood generation, and now more than ever it’s time to listen up. We’re talking about millennials and on this edition of Need to Know, we hear from them what it will take to make more of their peers want to live and work in Rochester. How do we fully integrate young professionals in the workplace?  

Sasha-Ann Simons | WXXI News

Playing video games, especially violent ones, appears to increase the level of pain tolerance in some people. That’s the fascinating result following a study from researchers at the American Pain Society. I-pads and other devices are showing up in more and more hospital rooms and cancer treatment centers. So, how does it all work? The Innovation Trail’s Sasha-Ann Simons explains in this Need to Know report.


Watch Need to Know with host Sasha-Ann Simons filling in for Hélène Biandudi Hofer Thursday at 8pm on WXXI-TV, Channel 21.1 and Cable 11 or 1221.

Mildred Muhammad

Mildred Muhammad is a survivor of domestic violence. You may not recognize her name, but you might be familiar with a story from back in 2002 of a man referred to as “The D.C. Sniper.” That man, John Allen Muhammad, was Mildred’s former husband. He and a teen accomplice shot and killed 10 people in a 3-week killing spree in the Washington D.C. area. What was later revealed was that the main target was actually Mildred and the shooting spree was part of an elaborate scheme to make it look like she was the victim of a crazed sniper. Mildred endured years of domestic violence before breaking free from her marriage. She was invited to Rochester recently by the Willow Center for Domestic Violence to share her story of survival.

Watch this Need to Know interview with author and advocate, Mildred Muhammad, and President and CEO of Willow Domestic Violence Center, Jaime Saunders.

Discovery Charter School

Students from a Rochester charter school have become experts in a niche topic over the past few months. The mission of the school is “real skills for the real world” and they’ve been working hard in preparation for a big gig on Saturday May 14th at the Seneca Park Zoo. Need to Know’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer stopped by Discovery Charter School to learn more and ended up getting schooled herself…and you will too!

The ex-wife of the man who became known as “The D.C. Sniper” was in Rochester this week. We’ll talk with Mildred Muhammad and learn about a story that’s more common than you may realize. The indiscriminate act of domestic violence and what you need to know about it, on this edition of Need to Know with host Hélène Biandudi Hofer.

Also on the show, imagine a prescription for video games! WXXI’s Sasha-Ann Simons explains how electronic gaming can help those dealing with pain find some relief.

And are you smarter than....a first grader? Probably not when it comes to your knowledge of one particular reptile. Meet the young experts who have been preparing to school Rochester just in time for World Turtle Day.