Sasha-Ann Simons, WXXI

@SashaAnnSimons

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She most often tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York as part of a journalism collaborative, and is a fill-in host and regular contributor to WXXI-TV's weekly news magazine program, Need To Know.

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Sasha-Ann comes to Rochester after spending her formative years growing up in Toronto, Canada. She studied broadcasting at Ryerson University, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Sasha-Ann earned her first news gig as a chase producer at CityTV, while still a college freshman. She subsequently took on various roles in other Toronto newsrooms as a videographer, host, and producer, and was part of the award-winning Global Television Network news team.

Sasha-Ann has covered and produced stories in the Canadian national spotlight, including Occupy Toronto, the Eaton Centre mall shooting, the Toronto Argos CFL championship win, and the Mayor Rob Ford crack scandal.

Sasha-Ann is fun-loving and sassy. She is also passionate about education issues. When she's not on the air, Sasha-Ann spends her time with family and exploring new recipes in the kitchen.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

Gary McHale of Buffalo is one of two Dental Fix RX franchisees in Western New York.  McHale rides around from dentist to dentist in a state-of-the-art white van, making daily stops in Rochester, and fixing  hand pieces, chairs, compressors, and X-Ray systems among other things. Dental Fix RX is a national mobile dental repair company and its slogan “The Faster Fix” is splashed in paint across the side of the van.

(Video after the jump.)

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

Public speaking, for many, can make palms sweat and hearts race. Now, researchers from the Human-Computer Interaction group at the University of Rochester have developed a new real-time feedback system using Google’s smart glasses, to help guide your performance as you speak in front of an audience.

The system, called Rhema, was developed last month and designed for people who need a bit of help addressing crowds.

(Video after the jump.)

MAUREEN MACGREGOR/WXXI NEWS

Walk into a beer brewing class these days and it’s hardly the “all boys club” it once was. Scattered throughout the audience of men, you’ll find women with eyes focused up front and pens in hand.

Cornell University’s Brewing Science and Technology workshop was back by popular demand. The full day course, held at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva last week, was at full capacity with more than 80 registered students.  Professor Karl Siebert prepared a packed agenda including lessons on barley and malt, hops, brewhouse operations and beer styles.

(Video after the jump.)

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI

"There aren’t many accessible homes for people with disabilities. And when they are accessible, they’re usually too expensive or segregated,” says 24-year-old wheelchair user, Jensen Caraballo.

It’s been 25 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act established a mandate that five percent of all federally-assisted housing developments must be accessible for persons with mobility disabilities.

Reporting in upstate New York from Innovation Trail reporters indicates that many New Yorkers living with disabilities still face challenges accessing services and difficult choices balancing quality of life and affordability.

(Videos after the jump)

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI

Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is reintroducing a bill she thinks will help protect public health. The Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act is meant to prevent farmers from feeding their livestock antibiotics.

Slaughter says she's been concerned with this issue since she did her masters thesis in microbiology.

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