Mark Wozniak

All Things Considered Host

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.

He started as a volunteer board operator for Bob Chapman and the late Bud Ralabate on the program When Rock Was Young. In the fall of 1979, he applied for a job posting for a control board operator for NPR's new morning news program, and on November 5th, 1979 he was on the WBFO payroll for the debut of NPR's Morning Edition.
 
In 1980, Mark left Morning Edition to host WBFO's lunchtime news program at the time, Midday. He also became involved with audio production work, and other various aspects of station operations, including many of the station's growing computer functions. Mark emceed several call-in trivia game shows on WBFO in the early 1980s, and enjoyed being a volunteer co-host of A Polka Sunday With Friends with the late Stan Sluberski on WBFO from 1981 to 1986. From 1986 to 1997, Mark moonlighted as assistant to the late longtime Buffalo broadcasting pioneer Stan "Stash" Jasinski on his weekend polka and Polish-American radio shows on WHTT-AM in Buffalo. Mark returned to Morning Edition as a local correspondent for a while in the late 1980s, but heavier workloads in the data processing area of his job led to a reduction of on-air duties. In late 1992, Mark returned as WBFO's host of Morning Edition, after then-News Director Toni Randolph left WBFO. Mark is pleased to have Howard Riedel as his fill-in host and pitching partner during the WBFO Fundraisers. In September 2009, Mark was transferred from hosting Morning Edition, weekdays from 5-10AM, to All Things Considered, from 4-7PM.

Mark, a 1971 graduate of Buffalo's (sadly now-defunct) Calasanctius Preparatory School, started his radio career while attending Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken New Jersey, on the school's carrier current AM station WCPR (the Sporty 740 and the Nifty 750!). Like WBFO, WCPR celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2009. His interest in radio came from growing up with "one of America's two great radio stations," the old personality and Top 40 oriented WKBW-AM in Buffalo during the 1960s and 1970s. There were other influences, including the other great Buffalo stations of the time (WYSL, WNIA, WGR, WBEN, etc.) and the famous MusicRadio WABC in New York.

For 17 years, Mark's day would start when the alarm rang at 3:21AM (or, 7, 14, or 21 minutes later, depending on how many times he hit the snooze button). The best part about moving to the afternoon shift is losing the chronic sleep deprivation, and a less hectic routine.

Mark's family includes wife Karen and daughter Carrie, who is now a senior in high school. His son Alex passed away June 27, 2004 following a nearly eight year battle against leukemia and its complications. A web site was set up after he relapsed for a second time in late 2003, to document his treatments. It continues now as a memorial site.

Mark combines his interests in computing and Buffalo history by maintaining a "This Day in History" database of Buffalo and Western New York historical events. It began by computerizing Mark Scott's 1982 WBFO News of the Year book. Trips to the library for other primarily (but not exclusively) Buffalo history and trivia tidbits have expanded that database into over 30 thousand entries (one of these days, he hopes to make it available on the Web). He is also a genealogy buff, tracing his wife's lineage back to pioneer Buffalo settler George Coit, and to the Mayflower (through two lines!). He's also trying to find out more about his own ancestors from Poland.

Mark's other interests include family activities, naps, Beatles music, naps, polka music, naps, home improvements and naps (although since moving to the afternoon shift, the naps are less frequent!).

Ways to Connect

Pool photo provided by The Buffalo News

Testimony resumed today in the vehicular manslaughter trial of Dr. James Corasanti, who is accused of fatally striking teenager Alexandria Rice last July and then leaving the scene of the accident.

This morning, residents along Heim Road in Amherst where the collision occurred described hearing an unusual noise. One called it a "loud thump" and the other said it was a "horrific" noise and a "jarring sound," unnatural for the quiet neighborhood.  She said it's not unusual for bicyclists and skateboarders to use the bike lane on Heim. 

Facebook photo

A New York state trooper has been suspended without pay amid allegations he organized parties that involved prostitution while off duty.
 

State police say in a statement that Trooper Titus Taggart was suspended on Thursday as a result of an internal investigation that began in December.
    

The statement says the probe is ongoing and no arrests have been made.
    

Two other state troopers were also suspended without pay for allegedly engaging in misconduct.

Chris Caya/WBFO

The New York State Board of Regents today followed a recommendation to close Pinnacle Charter School in June at the end of the current school year.

The Education Department recommended the school closing because of persistent sub-par scores on state tests. There is no appeal process, although school officials were meeting with legal counsel Tuesday about a possible lawsuit to block the closing.

Parents, teachers, and students have been rallying in recent days to keep the school open.

WBFO News file photo

Public transportation is at a crossroads.   Though ridership is up, so too are the costs of operation. 

At a public transit forum Friday, experts sat down with members of of the public for a 90 minute give-and-take discussion on funding.  It's a problem because ridership revenues cover only about 25 percent of what it takes to keep mass transit up and running.   

A man wanted in a nearly three year old gang murder case was arrested Friday morning in Springfield Massachusetts.

Police arrested 25-year-old Esteban Ramos-Cruz on a federal warrant charging him with murder, firearms and drug offenses.

Ramos-Cruz was associated with the Seventh Street gang in August 2009, and is accused of being the assailant in the shooting death of Eric Morrow on Auburn Street. Morrow was a member of a rival gang.

The story was recently featured on the television program "America's Most Wanted."

Pinnacle Airlines may be forced to file for bankruptcy.  In a letter to employees, company officials said they need to cut costs with unions and other partners.

Pinnacle is the parent company of Colgan Air, which operated Continental Connection Flight 3407 that crashed in Clarence Center almost three years ago, killing 50 people.

Pinnacle said it cannot sustain losses from its agreement with United Continental Holdings to operate flights with the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop plane, the model that crashed in Clarence.

 

 

The old Route 219 bridge over Cattaraugus Creek on the Erie and Cattaraugus County border was abruptly closed Thursday by the state Department of Transportation.

Much of the traffic on the road was shifted to the new expressway section of 219, just to the east of the old span, which opened 14 months ago.  According to the announcement released by the DOT, the bridge's future will depend on the results of a structural analysis to be conducted.

State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – Elma) was informed of the closure Thursday.

WBFO News file photo

A winter weather advisory is in effect for all of Western New York. The advisory will be posted until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Forecasters say low pressure is bringing us our first real shot of winter weather with widespread accumulating snow Tuesday night, tapering off Wednesday afternoon, although there may be further lake effect snow in the traditional snow belt areas. We can expect up to two inches Tuesday night, and another one to three inches tomorrow, for a total of three to five inches Wednesday. Higher accumulations are expected in the snow belt areas south of the city.

Photo from Governor's video

A tentative agreement has been reached among the governor, and leaders of the state Senate and Assembly, on a new tax structure for New Yorkers.

The proposal would effectively continue the tax surcharge for those making over $1 million per year that was scheduled to expire at the end of the month.

The plan would cut the tax burden slightly for those in the $40,000 t0 $150,000 range. It includes a $1  billion public works component for bridge and road repairs, and other public infrastructure.

A company connected with a disgraced mortgage foreclosure law firm has announced it will be closing, putting about 600 people out of work.

Steven J. Baum announced last week that he was closing his law firm, after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac discontinued doing business with them. That is affecting about 90 full and part time employees in Amherst and Long Island.

Pillar Processing, which did most of the non-legal work associated with the foreclosures, said Wednesday it will lay off 590 Amherst employees, and another 20 on Long Island, probably as of next February 27th.

The state's largest public employees union has agreed to a tentative contract deal that will prevent thousands of layoffs. The Public Employee Federation says it has ratified a revised contract deal that will preserve more than 3,400 jobs.

"More than 75 percent of our membership voted on the agreement," said PEF President Ken Brynien.

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