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Get up to speed on the stories you may have missed by subscribing to Ear Shot, the podcast that brings you on-demand stories, interviews, and other tidbits of what's happening around Rochester and the Finger Lakes, all from the WXXI News team.

    Families say group home residents are suffering because of state's failure to act

    Families say group home residents are suffering because of state's failure to act

    UPDATE: The New York State Office of People with Disabilities announced Friday that starting on July 15, 2020 in regions of the state that are in Phase Four of the reopening plan, home visits may resume for individuals living in OPWDD certified residences. The home visits are subject to COVID-19 safety guidelines that include social distancing, face coverings, hand washing, and proper cleaning and disinfection. The office is urging families to use caution and to limit group home residents'

    • 5 min
    Longtime local film critic Jack Garner has died

    Longtime local film critic Jack Garner has died

    Longtime local film critic Jack Garner has died. The Democrat & Chronicle , where Garner worked for decades, says he died Sunday at the age of 75. Garner’s wife, Bonnie, was quoted in the D&C saying they would have celebrated their 50 th anniversary next month and they were planning to take international trips after the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, Garner was elected an Honorary Trustee of WXXI and The Little Theatre (which is operated by WXXI).

    • 2 min
    Rochester residents navigate an overwhelmed system to claim unemployment benefits

    Rochester residents navigate an overwhelmed system to claim unemployment benefits

    When Allison Roberts lost her job at the Jewish Community Center on March 16, she tried applying for unemployment benefits, but she couldn't get through by phone or online. After weeks of this, the human resources representative from the JCC started helping her with some assistance from the office of a local member of Congress "Finally," she explained, "I got something saying, 'You're approved,' even though I never answered any questions. 'There's a debit card coming for you in three weeks.' I

    • 3 min
    Should the Nathaniel Rochester statue be cleaned?

    Should the Nathaniel Rochester statue be cleaned?

    The Nathaniel Rochester statue on South Avenue was defaced about a week ago, and a group in the South Wedge neighborhood is grappling with what to do next. The statue was tagged with Black Lives Matter, its hands were painted red and the word "shame" was written on its forehead. Rochester, who the city is named after, owned slaves. City spokesperson Patrick Flanigan said the statue will be cleaned as soon as possible, “in a manner that will not damage it.” The city has a program called the

    • 1 min
    A local artist with multiple jobs loses most of them in the pandemic

    A local artist with multiple jobs loses most of them in the pandemic

    On a warm spring morning, Allison Roberts walked with bare feet to the art box she installed in front of her South Wedge home. It looks like a little library, with glass panels on the door and a handle in the shape of a red bird. "I finally had to put a little note up because people kept putting books it in. No! Only art supplies!” she said with a laugh. Inside are colorful ribbons, paper, and other things people can use to create something. They are some of the tools of Roberts' trade. One of

    • 3 min
    Rochester's unemployed: A single mother tries to adjust after losing her job in the pandemic

    Rochester's unemployed: A single mother tries to adjust after losing her job in the pandemic

    Amy Rivera is a paraprofessional. For the past two years, she worked one-on-one with special education students in the Rochester City School District. "I loved it," she said. "I have two kids of my own, and I have a child with special needs, so I know how to deal with kids like this." But Rivera's position with the staffing company that employed her ended in mid-March when schools across Monroe County were closed to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus. "It's been hard," she admitted. At

    • 2 min

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