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

Cell phones are often at the center of rapid emergency response plans, as we saw during the recent earthquake in Nepal. Several researchers in Upstate New York are now looking at how that technology can be used for scenarios in the United States.

Solomon Abiola has been making more frequent trips to his native Lagos, Nigeria to demonstrate his latest project. The researcher from the University of Rochester created a smartphone app he says could change the way that we respond to epidemics like Ebola virus disease, which is still affecting thousands of West Africans.  

(Video after the jump.)

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

It’s 8 o’clock on a Wednesday morning and a Paratransit service vehicle pulls up to the front door. This is how Jensen Caraballo, a wheelchair user, gets to work and just about anywhere, outside of his apartment building. Depending on the day, or the driver, he will either make it on time or have some explaining to do...

The 24-year-old was born with spinal muscular atrophy, type 2. As a teenager his family started having a more difficult time meeting his needs. He often got sick, and he was losing weight. His doctors thought taking him out of the home would be best. At just 15 years old, Caraballo was forced to live in a nursing home.

"I finally moved in, went into my room, and I had just a box, that was it. And they kept saying this is your new home.”

(Video after the jump.)

SAVE OUR YOUTH FACEBOOK PAGE

Rochester New York's Northeast side has the image of being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city, exacerbated by low incomes. It's also home to families, local businesses, and a rich history, and often the recipient of community outreach services and anti-violence initiatives.

Save Our Youth is one of the most recent initiatives. The idea is to employ individuals who have come out the other side of the criminal justice system with the motivation to positively impact the community. Their history enables them to help detect and interrupt acts of violence before they happen. The method is based on the Cure Violence Model out of Chicago, Illinois, which treats violence as a disease or public health issue. But it's one of a raft of programs and was only funded for one year.

(Video after the jump)

www.newlabor.org

Over two million American workers are exposed to silica dust in industries like construction, mining, road repair and sand blasting. WXXI’s Michelle Faust reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA - is now pushing for tougher limits on how much silica dust they can be exposed to in the workplace. But the proposed rules will come too late for many workers who’ve already contracted the potentially fatal lung disease, silicosis. 


CBP

I used to cross the US-Canada border so often, it felt like “Anything to declare, ma’am?” was playing on repeat in my mind.

My all-time favorite encounter was on a bus trip with my sister from Toronto to Cleveland, when one of the Customs guys in blue noticed my Jamaican heritage listed in my Canadian passport and asked, “Are you bringing over any ackees?”

(Video after the jump.)

Pages