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.

CBP

With the four international bridges in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and Lewiston, New York handling 18 million cars and trucks a year, it’s no wonder the front-line officers have stepped up their security game.

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

At 63 years old, Mt. Morris Dam isn’t getting any younger. And for a piece of infrastructure that was only built to last 50 years, the dam has surpassed its life expectancy.

Situated deep in the Genesee River gorge, the picturesque structure is made up of over 750,000 cubic yards of concrete. Its one and only job is to control river flows that may flood and cause property damage to Rochester and surrounding cities.

Since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) built it in 1952, the dam has prevented over $2 billion worth of flood damages. The most recent event happened just a few weeks ago.

“We had about a 100-feet-deep lake back behind the dam. It was caused from snow melt and spring rains on top of that, and we’ve since successfully been able to pass that water downstream and provide ourselves with full storage capacity once again,” says Steve Winslow, the manager of Mt. Morris Dam.

(Video after the jump.)

THIRD EYE DESIGN INC.

It’s amazing how many drivers out there can tell stories of instances where they were completely blindsided by a nearby motorbike. And the statistics back up the anecdotes.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, motorcyclists accounted for 14 per cent of the total highway fatalities in the country, despite motorcycle registrations representing only three per cent of all vehicles in the United States in 2013.

As more and more New Yorkers join the more than half-a-million licensed motorcyclists in the state, one Rochester man says he has a solution to help keep riders more safe on the roads.

(Video after the jump.)

SASHA-ANN SIMONS/WXXI NEWS

Many families with children with autism describe leaving high school as a ‘falling off a cliff’ - because of the lack of services when they become adults. Add to that, a complicated and intimidating job hunt. Despite the obstacles that people with autism face trying to find work, a new, dedicated job fair in Rochester, New York may be the first step to help that community find employment.

(Video after the jump.)

Supplied Photo

One man is on a mission to heal, and he’s doing it by empowering physical therapists with the unique tool of magic.

After a serious car crash years ago, illusionist Kevin Spencer ended up in neurological intensive care with brain and spinal cord injuries. He spent nearly a year in physical therapy and grew tired of the repetitive process that wasn’t working quickly enough. It was then that Spencer realized the movements required to do the simple magic tricks he learned as a child, were the same kinds of movements that he was doing in traditional forms of therapy. He soon after developed the Healing of Magic program, and has been teaching the skills to occupational therapists across the globe.

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