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

WBFO's Mike Desmond

It was a typical block party with music, roller skating and food on Buffalo's West Side. However, this one party had a message: a political pitch toward basic economic change.


Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Buffalo has a new school budget which is likely to bring another lawsuit from the Buffalo Teachers Federation.


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In the not-too-distant future, you are going to see bright red bikes being pedaled around town and parked in computer-controlled racks in potentially busy areas. The bikes from Reddy Bikeshare are yet another sign of increasing interest in bicycling in a city which was a center of biking a century ago.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

For Muslims, this is the month of Ramadan, a time of religious fasting. The observance continues in a mosque on Buffalo's West Side, offering a look at the city's evolving cultural mix.


The current Buffalo school board majority may be losing power at the end of this month, but it is certainly going down fighting.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

With the appointment of an architect to oversee a massive redesign of its historic site, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery now must focus on the largest fund drive ever for Western New York.


WBFO News file photo

Buffalo Public schools have 6,000 students who are what are known as English Language Learners or ELL's. As they struggle learning the English language, they also struggle with standardized tests.


Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Two aging group homes in West Seneca are empty today, after up to seven high-risk sex offenders were moved out.


A new report says Buffalo is one of 33 US cities that cheat when measuring lead in drinking water.

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The planned sale of One Seneca Tower in downtown Buffalo to a New York City businessman has fallen through.

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The Buffalo Lighthouse has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as supporters look to transform the structure into a key waterfront attraction. Last night, a local expert explored the connections communities share with the navigational landmarks.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

With the proposed Buffalo school budget slated to pull millions of dollars out of thinning reserves to balance the spending plan, board members spent several hours Wednesday night looking for savings.


WBFO News File Photo

With a parking ramp on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus about 60 percent demolished, the i's are being dotted and the t's crossed on a much larger replacement.

Buffalo Zoo President Donna Fernandes says her zoo is a safe place for visitors and for animals. Her comments come in the wake of the shooting death of a Cincinnati gorilla, after a small child went through security fencing and fell into a gorilla exhibit.


Albany has ordered a stop to the evictions of residents of the Shoreline apartments.  Last week, Norstar Development had informed 175 residents that they had six months to move out to make way for a new housing project.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Not only are Buffalo students going to college through the Say Yes program, but early results show they’re staying in, too. Right now, around two-thousand graduates of Buffalo public and charter schools are in college using support from Say Yes.

WBFO News file photo

The Buffalo Public Schools Board has a long history of long fights over the ranks of consultants it hires for various projects -  sometimes fights over a few thousand dollars or whether the consultant is from out of town. Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash is looking at the millions of dollars involved and calling for a rethink.

City officials are unveiling plans for new armed security in City Hall, with some phases going into effect within weeks.

Mike Desmond/WBFO

The fiscally-strapped Buffalo school board has been looking at a laundry list of ways to cut spending in its budget for the approaching school year. One spending line that is under scrutiny is the millions of dollars for outside consultants.


As the harsh reality of the opioid abuse continues to emerge, more communities are gathering in a search for solutions. Last night's forum at Bennett High School examined how the abuse problem is interconnected with mental health issues.


WBFO News file photo

The Erie County Legislature Wednesday passed an amended version of spending from last year's surplus. Money was allocated for programs combating lead poisoning and the opiate abuse epidemic and for staff buyouts at Erie Community College.


Mike Desmond/WBFO

While Buffalo School Board meetings often devolve into rants, targeting blame for the many troubles inside the city's educational system, Wednesday night's session took a moment to highlight success. Two students have won college scholarships through the Gates Millennium Scholars Program.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

With a series of high-profile incidents sparking controversy around the country, the use of force by police has become a hot topic. The issue was addressed during a Wednesday panel discussion in the Central Library sponsored by the Erie County Bar Association.


Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Buffalo School Board still hasn't decided what to do about major problems in the admissions process for the city's criteria schools, most visibly City Honors.


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Some big changes in local community gardens, from buying land to merging Buffalo and Niagara Falls organizations, are blossoming at the new Grassroots Gardens Western New York.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

For years, the knock on doing something about the Central Terminal was that fixing it up would take a lot of money. Now, an Ontario-based developer is willing to spend $100 million on redeveloping the terminal -- and another $100 million to  build a residential complex on a mostly-vacant parcel next door.

WBFO News File Photo

Nearly 200 Shoreline Apartment tenants have been told they must be out by November. That's after years of Norstar Development telling them a new construction plan would allow them to move around and into new units.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Another sure sign of the weather gradually turning from spring to summer is the 18th Parkside Tour of Homes in North Buffalo. It's a chance for the neighborhood to show off its varied housing on the edge of Delaware Park, with much of that housing surrounding the landmark Darwin Martin House on Jewett Parkway.

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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown today will receive a big promotion to a part-time position. With the backing of Governor Cuomo, he's slated to be elected chair of the State Democratic Committee during a party meeting in Saratoga.


Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Improvements are coming to a section of Buffalo's Schiller Park, courtesy of a $298,000 allocation from the Common Council.


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