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Need to Know

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

Candidates in the race for Rochester mayor are painting a picture of what city schools might look like under their administration. Now that we’ve heard some of their plans, we hear from the School Board President. On this edition of Need to Know, Van White weighs in on their proposals, the Superintendent and his vision for what’s next in city schools.

Also on the show, our relatively warm forecast this week doesn’t change the fact that Lake Ontario remains at record high levels. Great Lakes reporter/producer Veronica Volk shares the stories of those impacted, mounting fears and next steps.

And we’ll meet a Rochester high school student utilizing her own life experiences for the sake of racial tolerance and understanding. She’s the latest to join WXXI’s “Top of the Class” series on Need to Know.

There are approximately 7,000 rare diseases that affect 30 million Americans. That means one in ten lives with a rare disease. A condition is considered rare if it affects fewer than 200,000 people. The University of Rochester is one institute  leading clinical research and therapeutic development of rare diseases. Joining this edition of Need to Know is one of the gifted minds involved in that work. Dr. Erika Augustine, Director of the Center of Human Experimental Therapeutics discusses her recent findings and an upcoming event focused on rare diseases sponsored by the University of Rochester.

Anti-Semitic incidents are up 86 percent in the U.S. compared to the same time last year. That’s according to the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights organization. Some of those acts of hatred against American Jews took place right here in Rochester. A public discussion on these events and how to respond to them to create a more tolerant community is taking place with area leaders and residents. The effort is being led by the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Project out of Monroe Community College. On this edition of Need to Know we discuss the causes of religious bigotry and local work to bring more acceptance to Rochester.

He says Rochester is experiencing “a legacy of failed progressive Democratic philosophies.” So how would Republican mayoral candidate Tony Micciche change that legacy if elected to Rochester’s top spot? His campaign is focused on Rochester City schools, what he calls “wasteful” and “redundant” business regulations and a public safety plan intended to reduce crime and improve police-community relations among other issues. The candidate in the race for Rochester mayor and Monroe County Legislator Tony Micciche joins this edition of Need to Know to make his case.

He’s the only Republican contender in the fight for Rochester’s next mayor. And he calls this election a “battle of philosophies.” Why Monroe County Legislator Tony Micciche believes he’s the only candidate who will bring real change to this city. He makes his case on this edition of Need to Know.

Also on the show, we look into what’s driving hate speech, religious bigotry, and racial violence. How can communities like Rochester respond? We’ll hear about a community effort to bring tolerance to our neighborhoods and our nation.

And we’ll meet one of the brilliant minds in our local medical community researching rare diseases to help find treatment and a cure.

He says he’s one of us and he’s the American dream. Monroe county legislator Tony Micciche joins the program to talk taxes, jobs, education and what it will take become the first Republican mayor in more than 40 years in the city of Rochester. Our conversation with this year’s mayoral candidates continues on Need to Know.

It’s been said that history has a way of repeating itself. The global refugee crisis of more than 65 million displaced people draws a correlation to one of the darkest times in human history. Today the world is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

As some nations open their borders to refugees escaping conflicts in their homelands, closer to home we remember our past when nearly a thousand refugees from Europe arrived in Oswego, New York in 1944.

For Keturah Ariel, making art that inspires, uplifts and advocates for her community is a priority. When the artist had a hard time finding paintings and drawings of girls that reflected her - young women of color - she began creating the images herself. The result: a business for her passion that empowers young girls.

On this edition of Need to Know, we’ll learn about Ariel’s story from PBS affiliate WOSU. We’ll also talk with Rochester artist Johnnie Lee Smith who says African American and Hispanic youth not only need to see images of themselves reflected in art, but also need to see artists who look like them. 

When kids lash out or negatively act and speak out in the classroom there are repercussions. There’s detention, suspension, expulsion and sometimes legal ramifications. But what’s the story behind their behavior? And what would the response be if we knew, that for some, their actions are directly connected to the violence they’ve witnessed or endured and the long-term damage that violence has caused such as trauma? According to a survey done by the Department of Justice, 58 percent of kids have experienced or witnessed violence. On this edition of Need to Know we hear about a local effort to mitigate the impact of this public health crisis.

You may have heard a relatively unfamiliar name now in the race for Rochester’s next mayor. It’s Lori Thomas. The former teacher says she’s not a party politician, but a public servant who, if elected, will make the city prosperous. And, like some of her competitors in this race, she’s got a plan. A plan for turning vacant lots into homes for veterans. A plan for empowering the lives of seniors. And a plan for improving the lives of city youth. We hear from Lori Thomas on this edition of Need to Know.

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