Need to Know

Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. & Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WXXI-TV & on City 12

On this week's program, New York Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle will share his perspective on the national political scene and discuss issues you “need to know” about closer to home.

Also, whatever happened to neighborhood stick ball and dodge ball games? We’ll look at the challenges in getting youth from rural to urban areas in our region to get more active – and what’s being done to increase access to youth sports. 

And our series looking at the person behind the politician returns with Rochester mayoral candidate Lori Thomas. 

Soapbox racing started in the 1930s and in Rochester, there’s a pretty solid fan base among Rochester teens willing to ditch their smartphones, tablets and video games to get outside for a little healthy competition.

WXXI’s Denise Young introduces you to these youngsters and explains why the real thrill of racing is the camaraderie built on the track by these ‘Super Kids’.


Finding the right place to live requires a different type of checklist for individuals with developmental disabilities. And for those seeking independent housing the barriers can be daunting. But now there’s a new local model created to change that. Easing the transition to independent living on this special Move to Include edition of Need to Know.

Also on the show, they’re called “Super Kids” for a reason. We’ll learn about a local group teaching young people with disabilities far more than the skill of racing.

Institutions and can be common living arrangements for individuals with disabilities. We’ll examine a new approach to break down barriers to independent living in our community.

You'll also learn how a sport that’s been around since the 1930s is being adapted for kids of all abilities. And meet one of the teens who helped make history in Rochester with his soapbox derby skills. 

Don’t miss a special Move to Include edition of Need to Know this week.

The Top of the Class series introduces viewers to exceptional high school students working to make a difference in their schools and our community. These are all students who are described by peers and teachers as leaders who don’t seek attention, but rather ways to serve. Meet a young mean who seems to be the epitome of smarts and service – 2017 Webster Schroeder High School graduate Dalton Pumputis.

WXXI asked all the candidates in the race for Rochester mayor for an opportunity to get to know them better….as a person and not a candidate running for office. We figured tagging along as they partake in one of their favorite pastimes was a pretty good way to get a glimpse inside their lives. On this segment of Need to Know it’s Green Party candidate Alex White. 

The Erie Canal is getting quite a birthday party. It was 200 years ago this month when construction began on the Canal. When it was completed in 1825, the canal connected Lake Erie with the Hudson River - forever changing a young nation, socially and economically. It’s the latter that state and local leaders are working to emphasize. While the Erie Canal has been described as an “empire builder” by Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Rodriguez Plate, does it still have relevance as an economic force today? 

It’s been 200 years since the birth of the Erie Canal. While it was a game-changer in our nation’s history, on this edition of Need to Know we discuss whether it still carries economic weight.

Also on the show, what you may not see on the campaign trail in the race for Rochester mayor. This week we’re tagging along with Alex White to learn about the person behind the politician.

And, our Top of the Class series continues. We’ll talk with a recent high school grad with big goals to help create unity in our society through architecture and sports. 

This week, our series taking us inside the lives of Rochester’s mayoral candidates continues. This week we tag along with Alex White who has a passion for taking what was once vacant and abandoned and turning into a new creation.

Also on the show, meet a phenomenal high school student in our “Top of the Class” series with a unique plan to bring together communities through athletics.

A local event is giving the term “ladies night” a whole new meaning. Armed with knee pads and helmets young women in Rochester are coming together to hone their craft, learn new moves and build bonds through the sport of skateboarding. What has long been regarded as a male-dominated sport is seeing the development of “girl gangs” throughout the country and around the world. And it’s happening in Rochester. On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn about the monthly Ladies Night events taking placing in the city and the rise of the female skateboarding community in Rochester.