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

Governor signs cyberbullying bill

Jul 9, 2012
Photo from YouTube

Governor Andrew Cuomo  signed Monday legislation that defines cyber-bullying in New York State. 

The bill, sponsored by members of the WNY delegation, was crafted following the suicide of Williamsville teenager Jamey Rodemeyer last September. 

Photo from Google Map Street view

A 52-year-old Depew man was struck and killed by a dump truck while riding his bicycle along Walden Avenue in Lancaster Monday morning.

Eyewitnesses tell police that James Coffed was struck just after 8 a.m. when the truck turned right into his path at Sheldon Avenue.

Both the truck and bike were traveling eastbound on Walden. Testing on the truck driver have ruled out alcohol and drugs as factors. An investigation is continuing.

WBFO

The Niagara Frontier Transit Authority has announced that it has added 14 state-of-the-art hybrid electric buses to its Metro Bus fleet, as of today.

Fourteen of the fleet's oldest diesel-fueled buses will be retired from revenue service.

The new, U.S.-built buses were acquired for nearly $8.7 million.  $7.2 millions came from the Federal Transit Administration, with the remaining balance split by the NFTA and the state Department of Transporatation.

The family of Alexandria Rice  retracted an earlier request posted on a Facebook  Memorial page for their daughter Wednesday asking members of the public to write letters to Judge Sheila DiTullio, requesting that she impose the maximum one year prison sentence on Doctor James Corasanti for his reduced driving while intoxicated conviction last week.

Rice was struck and killed by Corasanti last July along Heim Road in Amherst, and widespread public outrage followed last week's jury decision to acquit Corasanti on several felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter.

Google Map, street view photo

Buffalo Police say they have apprehended the driver of a hit and run accident that took place at around ten Tuesday night at Delaware Avenue and West Utica Street.

A 36-year-old woman fled on foot after the pickup truck she was driving struck a motorcyclist and a fire hydrant. The motorcyclist is identified as 51-year-old Jeffrey Stanton of Tonawanda, who is in critical condition at ECMC’s trauma unit.

Stanton was driving north on Delaware when he was hit by the pickup, which was westbound on Utica.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley-

More than 800 teams are scheduled to participate in this weekend's Gus Macker basketball tournament downtown.

As of Friday afternoon, Delaware Avenue between Huron and down to Niagara Square to West Eagle Street is closed to traffic.

Crews are setting up and preparing 52 courts.

The streets will remain closed to traffic all the weekend for the tournament and are expected to re-open late Sunday night. 

The closures has caused some gridlock on some downtown streets, including parts of South Elwmood near Huron and Delaware and Franklin. 

 

 

Nicholas Gunner/WBFO file photo

CBC News is reporting that the Canadian Consulate office in Buffalo will be closing. The Canadian government says the closing is due to budget cuts and changes in immigration rules.

The main function of the Buffalo office was to help foreign students and temporary workers extend their visas to stay in Canada, but that will now be handled online and in immigration offices in Canada. Other consular functions in the Buffalo office will be transferred to New York City.

A Carrier Coach bus aide has been arrested by state police and charged with misdemeanor third-degree assault in connection with an alleged attack of a 15-year-old autistic boy.

The suspect is identified as 28 year old D'Andre Robinson of Cheektowaga.

The Buffalo News reports that the incident took place last Friday, May 18, while the bus was transporting students to the Baker Victory School in Lackawanna.

The unidentified boy suffered facial injuries.

 

A Blasdell man faces 5 to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty this morning to several charges connected with a fatal DWI crash on January 28.

Nineteen-year-old Bradley Maloney pleaded guilty this morning to charges of first degree vehicular manslaughter, first and second degree vehicular assault, and driving while intoxicated.

The crash, on Versailles Plank Road in Hamburg, took the life of 14-year-old Angela Keim, and caused serious injuries to two other teenage girls.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

A second Buffalo police officer who is listed as injured on duty has been arrested and charged with mail fraud and health care fraud.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul announced that 50-year-old Patrick O'Mara was put on the injured on duty list in February 2004. After two periods on light duty assignments, O'Mara was back on the IOD list from September 2005 until his retirement on March 31 of this year.

Independent medical examinations indicated O'Mara was not disabled, and he was seen walking without a limp when out of the office. 

The former head of the Wyoming County SPCA has been charged with 20 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

Former manager Susan Davila was arrested by state police this morning in the wake of February 15 raids at the Wyoming County facility in Attica and the animal adoption center it ran at the Eastern Hills Mall. More than 300 cats were found in deplorable conditions in the South Creek Road Attica building and some needed emergency medical attention.

The first views of proposed changes to the former General Donovan State Office Building on lower Main Street were unveiled today. The renovated building will be known as One Canalside.

The city planning board received the plans from Benderson Development at its meeting Tuesday morning. Three stories of the building will become a 96-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel with the upper floors reserved for the Philips Lytle law firm, and retail and restaurant space on the first floor.

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.

Pages