James Brown

Before coming to WXXI News, James spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for Rochester City Newspaper. While at City, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.

James cut his teeth in journalism as an associate producer and weekend assignment editor at WHEC-TV.

A Rochester native and an East High School graduate, James earned a Bachelor of Communications degree from Niagara University where he won awards for his poetry and resurrected the school’s radio station.

A Rochester man pleaded guilty Monday to bilking at least 1,000 people around the country out of more than $100 million.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said financial adviser Perry Santillo ran a Ponzi scheme for about a decade. Kennedy said the scheme started when Santillo and an unnamed partner lost millions in investor money in another Ponzi scheme back in 2007. 

Henry McDonald was born in Haiti in 1890 but when he was 5, his parents allowed an American coconut importer to adopt him and bring him to Canandaigua, believing he’d have better opportunities in America. He wouldn’t see his mother again until he was in his 60s, he told the Democrat and Chronicle.

McDonald spent his life in the Finger Lakes region, where he shined as an athlete at Canandaigua Academy and East High School. 

Scott Pitoniak, a longtime sports columnist and author, called him a forgotten pioneer.


A new study from Rochester Institute of Technology found a striking difference between political parties on the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana in New York state.

When you walk into Optimax, you instantly hear the buzz of people at work on millions of dollars’ worth of machinery.  

The Victor company is an optical manufacturer known for creating the lenses for the 2020 Mars rover. It’s tough to imagine people using these machines while high. But with legal recreational marijuana a real possibility in New York state, that’s something the folks at Optimax are thinking about now.