Mike Desmond

Reporter

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.

Ways to Connect

File Photo / National Public Radio

After dealing with nearly 1,500 leaks in its system in 2015, the Erie County Water Authority decided to get serious. It has made progress, but much more needs to be done.

National Public Radio

With pressure from President Trump for teachers to be armed in the wake of the school massacre in Florida, there is also increasing pressure for armed college professors with the dorm shootings at Central Michigan University.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Tesla says it is looking for several hundred more workers for its plant in South Buffalo, as production of solar panels and solar roofs increases.

There is going to be more transparency in Erie County government under a new ethics law approved Thursday by the Legislature.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Grand Island reviewed its proposed master plan Wednesday night, as it considers whether the more than two-decade-old plan will well serve in the future.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Remember that Erie County Water Authority leak at its Sturgeon Point treatment plant last August, which left the Southtowns with severe water problems? The final touches on the repair were finally done last week.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

In his lifetime, journalist and author Roland Martin says African Americans have made a lot of progress, but there remains a long way to go. Martin spoke at Canisius College Tuesday at the 50th anniversary celebration of the Afro-American society.

Demolition may start on a decrepit waterfront landmark as early as next week after Buffalo's Planning Board on Monday approved Ellicott Development's Cooperage project just off Ohio Street.


Mike Desmond/WBFO

If restaurateurs and waitstaff agree on one thing, it's that replacing tips with a higher minimum wage is a bad idea.


Mike Desmond

Tennis champion and cultural icon Billie Jean King appeared at Kleinhans Music Hall Monday night. Prior to the private event, King took time to reflect on her Buffalo memories, her role in the fight for equal rights and what she sees as a hopeful future.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

If everything goes right and Washington has the money to help pay for a Metro Rail extension, construction would start in 2024. WBFO's Mike Desmond takes a look at what's involved and what might be the payoff.


Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

As some of Buffalo's difficulties flow across the city line to the suburbs and some of the wealth from the suburbs flows into the city, Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Executive Poloncarz are trumpeting their cooperation on issues like poverty, affordable housing and lead poisoning.

File photo / WBFO News

Rejecting advice from Rep. Brian Higgins (D-Buffalo) to shrink its plans, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority board Thursday voted to hire a consultant to plan extensions of Metro Rail.

National Grid

Buffalo's Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday rejected a plan for an eight-foot fence topped by a foot of barbed wire to guard a new electric substation on the edge of the city's waterfront, but did agree to a fence.


National Public Radio

President Trump's suggestion that schools would be safer with more armed teachers did not draw support from at least two people who have expertise on the subject.

New York State Comptroller's Office

When the final figures came out in sales tax collections across New York in 2017, there was good news for county governments in Western New York and for some cities.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

For supporters of Buffalo's Elmwood Village, the good news is major development along the popular shopping strip. The bad news is that there are a lot of vacant storefronts. However, there is a push to figure out why the gap.

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An East Side church is planning a $3 million expansion, saying new space will help the congregation deal with social problems in the neighborhood. First Calvary Missionary Baptist will build a new church and transform the current church into space for vital community programs.


WBFO file photo

In Buffalo, about one-third of all residents have no computer access. That reality impacts city classrooms as students contend with the digital divide. Efforts are underway to overcome that deficit.

National Public Radio

Erie County legislators Thursday banned a controversial technique called gay conversion therapy. The widely discredited program claims it can "cure" a gay child and turn them straight.

Tim Pohl

Around 4 p.m. Thursday, something went terribly wrong on a Norfolk Southern freight train heading east through Attica, on its way from Bison Yard in Cheektowaga to Mechanicville, near Albany. The train's two engines flew off a high embankment, dragging train cars along with them.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

After an afternoon protest and an evening school board meeting, the fight over pulling teachers out of City Honors School is in State Supreme Court again Thursday morning.

National Public Radio

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.


BMHA

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.

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