Local News

Veronica Volk / WXXI

City officials and residents of the 19th Ward are celebrating completion of the Thurston Village Revitalization. The project has included improvements to public safety, assistance for local businesses, and street beautification.

Norman Jones is the commissioner of environmental services for the city. He says this project was an opportunity to restore the rich, diverse neighborhood to its former glory. Jones says the "streetscape" efforts in particular are important not only to the look of the neighborhood, but the attitude of the people who live there.

The leaders of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative are casting a wider net to collect thoughts and ideas from the community.

Residents are asked to offer their anonymous input in an online survey seeking ideas about how to lift people from poverty.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

It's the 39th annual Beep Baseball World Series, but this is Rochester's first year with a team.

In an Upstate versus Downstate match against the Long Island Bombers, you can feel the new team's growing pains. It isn't until the top of the fourth that the Rochester Red Wings get their first out in the field, but the payoff is worth the wait.

Bombers Batter Nick "Pizza Slice" Pasquale hits one to left field.  Red Wings Outfielder Jessica Smith lunges toward the beeping ball, clasps it, and holds it high over her head.


Both benches erupt in applause.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)  Authorities in western New York say they've arrested a 44-year-old man from Lackawanna on a charge of attempting to support the Islamic State group. 

U.S. Attorney William Hochul said at a news conference Wednesday morning in Buffalo that authorities were tipped off by a resident who heard Arafat Nagi talking about his jihadi beliefs. 

Nagi is due in court later Wednesday to face a charge of attempting to support a terrorist organization. Authorities say his social media posts and travel records were checked out as part of the investigation. 


A lower percentage of Rochester homeowners have mortgages that are "underwater" than any of the other real estate markets ranked in a recent report.

The social media company WalletHub analyzed data from 25 real estate markets.  The report ranks Rochester eighth overall on a list of the top ten healthiest housing markets.

The report said 6.3 percent of Rochester-area mortgages are "underwater", or higher than the home's value. That's compared to 38 percent in Las Vegas.

WXXI photo

With perhaps the hottest day of the week on tap Wednesday, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren has initiated the city's Cool Sweep Heat Emergency operation.  Temperatures are expected to get into the low 90s.

Cool Sweep provides relief from the heat with cooling sprays from fire hydrants, extended hours at city pools, Durand Eastman Beach, and spray parks.

During a 'heat emergency' the Cool Sweep program extends into the Carter Street Community Center and city branch library locations where residents without air conditioning can go to cool off.

A new report out by the Empire Justice Center in Rochester says that there are continued disparities in the way home mortgages are granted in parts of the Rochester area.

The non-profit legal advocacy organization says that home mortgage lending  recovered in 2013 from a low point in 2011.  But the report also shows that African American middle and upper income borrowers were denied loans at least twice as often as white people in the same brackets.


Special Olympics announced Saturday that it has received its largest single private gift in the organization's 47-year history from the Golisano Foundation.

The Director of Campus Ministry at St. John Fisher College has died.  Reverend Joseph Lanzalaco  was 65 years old when he passed away on Friday.

“Father Joe epitomized the Basilian virtue of Goodness, as he was kind and welcoming to all, a true friend, and a loyal colleague. His unmatched sense of humor, love for the College, and strong faith will be missed on campus, but his spirit will remain,” said Gerard Rooney, president of the College.

Lanzalaco  was a Rochester native and an alum of Bishop Kearney High School, MCC and St. John Fisher.

Veronica Volk / WXXI

In 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. It said persons with disabilities could not be discriminated against in employment, transportation, communications, government and public services.

In the 25 years since, the City of Rochester says it has continued to work toward inclusion. At a commemorative event at Edgerton Spray Park, representatives from the city celebrated their efforts to make public areas more universally accessible -- most recently, playgrounds, waterfronts, and the public market.