WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Beth Adams

Beth Adams joined WXXI as host of Morning Edition in 2012 after a more than two decade radio career. She was the longtime host of the WHAM Morning News in Rochester, where she was recognized for her work by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association and the New York State Humane Society. Her career also took her from radio stations in Elmira, New York to Miami, Florida.

Beth is active in the Rochester community, having volunteered for organizations including the Humane Society at Lollypop Farm, the Heart of Gold Children's Foundation, the Rochester Press Radio Club Children’s Charities, and the Rochester Broadway Theater League Education Committee.  She is an avid reader of historical fiction and a devoted animal lover. Beth is married to award-winning writer and author Scott Pitoniak. 

The coronavirus pandemic is causing delays for people who want to get their first driver's license in New York state.

Before someone can schedule a road test, the state requires them to complete either 24 hours of formal driver education or a five hour prelicensing course.

That has been on hold since mid-March, since classroom instruction is not allowed because of social distancing concerns.

The coronavirus pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives, and there is no definite end to all the changes.

It's not surprising then, that therapists are talking to a lot of people about stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.

Tonya Girard's list of clients has grown quickly since the beginning of the pandemic.

The licensed marriage and family therapist is treating some people who have never sought counseling before.

Most New York state residents say they are either quarantining themselves or practicing social distancing, according to a new poll from Siena College.

Fourteen percent of New Yorkers said they were under mandatory quarantine, and 42 percent were self-quarantining.

If you venture into a Wegmans store during the coronavirus pandemic, you may start to see employees wearing masks and gloves.

In the wake of the crisis, Wegmans has adopted a new policy allowing workers to use the protective gear if it makes them feel safer.

Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart wrote to Wegmans inquiring about the company's policies after she said she heard from dozens of Wegmans employees and their family members, who claim they were told they could not wear personal protective equipment at work.

Instead of filing into courtrooms, judges, attorneys, and litigants in some civil and criminal cases are now logging onto Skype.

It's a way to keep legal proceedings moving in the age of coronavirus.

The 7th Judicial District, which covers all the state, county, town, and village courts in Monroe and seven surrounding counties, went virtual on Monday.

That means only a handful of people are in an actual courtroom for legal proceedings. The rest are on a video conference call and only for cases that are deemed essential.

Wegmans shoppers will no longer be able to carry their groceries home in the store's recognizable brown plastic bags at the end of January.  

The Rochester-based supermarket chain is removing single-use plastic bags from its New York stores on January 27, ahead of a statewide ban that takes effect on March 1.

Customers will have two choices: bring their own bags - which Wegmans is encouraging them to do - or request paper bags, which come with a 5-cent fee per bag. Customers who receive SNAP or WIC benefits are exempt from the fee.

Kevin Higley can't remember if it was the summer of 1987 or the summer of 1988, but he does know he was 14 years old and serving as an altar boy at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Scottsville.

He said a parish priest, Father Paul Cloonan, asked him to go with him to visit a nearby monastery.

"And in the car on the way back from the monastery, he asked me if I could help him with a medical issue," Higley said.

Volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps across New York have a tough time recruiting volunteers.  A group of state lawmakers say an incentive may make that easier. 

Republicans in the Senate and Assembly are proposing full state income tax exemptions for volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel.

Assemblyman Stephen Hawley said the tax break would also be a way to demonstrate gratitude for the work these people do.

Adoptee rights advocates are urging New York lawmakers to pass legislation allowing adopted people to get unrestricted access to their birth certificates when they turn 18.

"Why should we be treated any differently than anyone else?" asked Annette O'Connell, spokesperson for the New York Adoptee Rights Coalition.

Adoptees say it's a matter of equal rights, but opponents of the measure worry about birth parents' rights to privacy.

The global demand for milk and other dairy products is expected to increase more than 50 percent in the next 30 years, but climate change is threatening the dairy industry.

Dairy cows produce less milk and are susceptible to infertility and disease when the weather is warm.

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