WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Noelle E.C. Evans

Noelle E. C. Evans is a general assignment reporter/producer for WXXI News with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.

Noelle worked in Quito, Ecuador, for a Venezuelan media organization during a critical time in the country’s history. She has a nuanced understanding of the need for freedom of the press, and is conversational in Spanish.

Noelle is a BBC Grace Wyndham Goldie scholar and has worked with BBC Radio Wales and the BBC World Service. She received her M.A. in International Journalism from Cardiff University in Wales – one of the top ten ranking journalism schools in the UK. Noelle was awarded the university’s USA Excellence Scholarship in 2016.

She began as an intern at WXXI in 2014.

Philipe Rivera goes by "Flip." He's 34 years old and has cerebral palsy. He has a tattoo on his arm, uses a wheelchair, and communicates through a device called a DynaVox. 

"I also use a head pointer for my personal PC," Rivera said. "I cannot use my hands. I rely on people to help me with getting dressed, feeding, bathing, etc."

He's been at Monroe Community Hospital since he was 20. Before that, he lived with his mom who was struggling with substance abuse. She couldn't care for him, so he was placed in the nursing facility owned by Monroe County. He said it's never felt like a home. For 10 years, he's been trying to get out. 

Here's something you may not know: People with disabilities are not guaranteed the right to live in the community.


While the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that the Trump administration cannot immediately shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, the New York Immigration Coalition says more needs to be done to recognize immigrants’ humanity.

The 5 to 4 ruling is seen as a narrow victory for immigrants and their loved ones who feared possible deportation had the ruling gone the other way.

 

When the pandemic reached Rochester, equity coordinator with the city government Luticha André Doucette says that she was concerned for her safety. Doucette has a disability and is immunocompromised.

However, amid the pandemic there was a silver lining. Doucette along with so many others began working from home. Her cats have made regular appearances on ZOOM calls. She said that while it’s comfortable, it’s also brought up frustration. 

 

The Wilmot Cancer Institute at the University of Rochester Medical Center is resuming postponed procedures and turning more to telemedicine amid the pandemic. Treatments are still ongoing.

According to URMC, some cancer surgeries were postponed during a ban on elective surgeries. That ban was lifted on April 29.

As for Roslyn Goldman, 82, she’s been receiving treatment for lymphoma throughout the pandemic. So far, she said, she feels good. 

 

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia on Monday. 

The lawsuit calls for ICE to protect all detainees who are considered at risk of complications related to COVID-19 as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control.


The director of Cornell University’s prison education program is leading a campaign to provide more face masks to inmates across New York state.


Rob Scott with Cornell said 225 inmates in the Finger Lakes region were enrolled in the school's prison education program for the spring semester. 

In a matter of three weeks, 49 detainees at an immigration detention center in Batavia tested positive for the novel coronavirus. 

One of those detainees, Cristian Diaz Arvelo, said he first heard he had COVID-19 when a guard at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility told him he was moving to another unit within the center.

“Not even the doctors come, just they, one of the officers came: ‘Oh you gonna be moved to a unit,’” Arvelo says. “I asked them why. ‘Oh, you tested positive.’ That’s all they say.” 

Many people with disabilities have been left behind during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester. 

Some senators have some ideas on how to change that. 

Gregg Beratan, the center's director of development, said that an institutional bias in funding for home- and community-based services has forced more people with disabilities into nursing facilities because certain services are only available to them there. 

For the second week in a row, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among detainees at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia has more than tripled in a week. 

Forty-five detainees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday. That’s more than any other detention facility in the country. 

One of those who tested positive for the coronavirus is a man in his 30s from the Dominican Republic. His attorney, Siana McLean, said he also has asthma and high blood pressure. 

Victor Cortez has worked on dairy farms in New York state for almost 15 years. He currently works on a farm in Wyoming County.

Right now, with the coronavirus, he says everyone’s worried.

“We’re isolated from the population, and we continue working. We haven’t stopped and we keep working,” Cortez says in Spanish. “Our worry is, if we get infected, what would happen to us? What plan is there for us?”

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