Mike Desmond


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. He also hosts “You and the Law,” a popular segment that involves interviews with local lawyers. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.

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Top Buffalo Public schools officials will be huddling Thursday morning to talk about the mass shooting in Florida and how it might affect active shooter plans in city schools.


Common Council members were provided a disturbing story Tuesday of why so many people in the BMHA's Frederick Douglass town houses have been losing heat and hot water this freezing winter.

Eileen Buckley/WBFO News

Albany is closing Buffalo's academically-challenged Oracle Charter School.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

There's increasing concern around Buffalo about the effects of reassessment on property tax bills. The issue drew a large crowd Monday night to First Presbyterian Church in Allentown, including homeowners who are facing retirement and who are on fixed incomes.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Potholes are as common to Western New York winters as gray skies and school closings. But commuters, street crews and auto repair technicians have reached a consensus that this year's pothole problem is one of the largest in recent memory. 

Buffalo schools are becoming concerned about food allergies among the students. That ranges from the peanut issue to determining what is in other food brought into the buildings, like cupcakes for birthdays.

WBFO file photo

An interim police commissioner, technology and two separate probes of deaths in confrontations with Buffalo police officers are leading to significant changes in the way officers and the public meet.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

No one showed up for an Erie County Legislature public hearing Thursday night to support conversion therapy. The county is considering a proposal to ban the controversial therapy aimed at "curing" homosexuality.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Erie County is bringing in large quantities of the Hepatitis A vaccine, in the wake of discovering a client of the Buffalo City Mission has been diagnosed with the disease.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Buffalo Public Schools are looking at spending $42 million on major projects over the next four years, with the first three years paid for by refinancing loans used for the $1.5 billion school rehab plan. At the same time, the district is not certain the schools being worked on today are the schools of the future.

The prospect of going to college for little or no money is paying off for SUNY and CUNY, with statewide applications up - a lot.

Church of the Ascension

Conversion of a landmark church at North Street and Linwood Avenue in Buffalo to affordable housing for seniors moved closer Tuesday, as the Common Council approved the plan and sent it to Albany and Washington for final approvals.


An aneurysm is essentially a bubble on a blood vessel. If it ruptures, about 40 percent of those people die. A local startup corporation is working on a simple blood test to detect these health threats in the brain.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The Code Blue shelters were open and crowded Monday night, as the system tried to persuade homeless people to get inside and get a hot meal amidst desperate cold.

The Buffalo Zoo has seen millions of dollars put into new and renovated exhibits in recent years - and not just because it is such a familiar site for locals to visit.

Daniel Sack

Many buildings in Buffalo are covered with what looks like stucco, but it is usually called Dryvit. Dryvit is part of a product line called Exterior Insulation and Finish System, more often called EIFS. Use of the material is now banned in much of the city under the Green Code, but there is a fight to lift that ban.

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Are you interested in teaching in Buffalo schools? Can you start right away? Can you fill out an application today and potentially be available for an interview tomorrow? Buffalo Public Schools are in a hiring mood.

Two Buffalo police officers have been cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of an unarmed man who was trying to flee the scene following a traffic stop in May of 2017.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Leaders of the Buffalo Fire Department were joined Wednesday by high-level city officials in welcoming the newest class of firefighter recruits. By adding 66 firefighter recruits, the number of sworn personnel in the department stands at 680.

When Ruby Bridges was five years old, she was the only student in her New Orleans school because a judge had ordered the school integrated and white parents pulled out all of their children. The woman who was the subject of a legendary Norman Rockwell painting going to school guarded by white U.S. Marshals spoke at Niagara University Wednesday evening.

Sinatra & Company

The winter hiatus is apparently over. The Elmwood Village development wars are reheating, this time over what to do with the former Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

Google Maps

The one-time Wildroot complex on Bailey Avenue in Buffalo is getting closer to being an official city landmark. The plan was approved Tuesday in the Common Council's Legislation Committee and sent to the full Council.

File Photo / WBFO News

The visual images on television were very clear: Republicans were vocal in their praise of President Trump's State of the Union message, while Democrats were not wearing out their hands with applause. However, there was one issue that seemed to cross the aisle: infrastructure.

HHL Architects

Two more hurdles are out of the way for a major adaptive reuse housing project on Buffalo's East Side.

Kideney Architects, P.C.

The Buffalo School Board had hoped to open its new restaurant and hospitality high school this fall. However, the earliest possibility is now September of next year, as lease negotiations for a site continue.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo's Common Council chamber is a landmark - a soaring mass of stone, concrete, sculpture and stained glass. It is not handicap accessible, but that is going to change.

MIke Desmond / WBFO News

The City of Buffalo owns seven of the eight Buffalo and Erie County Library System branches in the city. A new master lease between the city and Library System will allow branches to seek grants to pay for major rehabs.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Yet another housing adaptive reuse project has had a ribbon-cutting, appropriately in a former mattress factory in Hamlin Park.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Reaching back half a century to Martin Luther King Jr., economic activists have revived King's Poor People's Campaign with the Truth Commission on Poverty.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Pushed hard by Allentown residents, Buffalo's Common Council is now shoving back against the long and slow expansion of bars along Allen Street.