Emyle Watkins

Reporter

Emyle Watkins is a multimedia journalist with experience in newspapers, web, TV and radio.

Emyle joined WBFO in March 2021 to cover the disability community - a topic area she believes deserves better coverage and investigative reporting to improve the lives of people with disabilities.  As someone who identifies as disabled, herself, and has an autoimmune condition, she wants to make sure the lived experiences of those with disabilities are accurately represented.

Buffalo-born and raised a short drive from the city, Emyle (pronounced like Emily, despite the spelling) got her bachelors degrees in Multimedia Journalism and Digital Media Arts at Canisius College.

Emyle’s journalism career began at the early age of 16, when she became the primary sports reporter/photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Springville Journal. Since then, she has also freelanced or had work published in other newspapers including The Buffalo News and The Public. 

While Emyle started as a sports journalist, early on in college she realized she wanted to pursue investigative journalism as a way to make a difference for communities and hold those in power accountable.  

In college, Emyle quickly moved into an editorial position at The Canisius Griffin, and served as the managing editor there, leading the investigative team, often looking into finances and covering student government/college administration. She also redesigned the newspaper’s website and print product to be more accessible to readers with visual disabilities.

As part of Canisius’ Video Institute, Emyle co-produced and was the reporter for the documentary “NewBorn: Maternal Resources in New York State,” which one a Telly Award in 2020. While on a fellowship at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she won a Pennsylvania Golden Quill by co-writing “There are Black people in the future,” a series of artist profiles.

Emyle interned at WBFO in 2020 and later became an associate producer on the digital and investigative teams at WGRZ -TV (Channel 2). There she helped develop stories on such topics as unsolved shootings in Buffalo, and how over 900 graves were lost in a Cheektowaga cemetery.

A metal staircase is coming down a steep hill, with a light to the right and leafy trees framing the photo.
Emyle Watkins / WBFO News

Niagara Falls is getting a refresh this spring – just in time for everyone who fell in love with parks during the pandemic to get out of the house. A new entryway now links Buffalo Ave to Niagara Falls State Park, and steep hill no longer poses a boundary for those who can traverse stairs. 

Zackary Drucker / The Gender Spectrum Collection

On Wednesday, new guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were put into action by New York State, allowing vaccinated individuals to access some public spaces without masking. But many have asked: what does this mean for immunocompromised individuals and people with disabilities?

The right image shows two women standing next to each other, and the right image shows orange cards that say "Ramadan Kareem!" and a heart next to "Feed Buffalo dot org." The cards are handwritten.
Left Image: @mustafahussainofficial, Right image: Rabia Mirza

Eid al-Fitr was this week, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims. In Buffalo, for the end of Ramadan, from May 3 to May 12, Feed Buffalo organized a community effort to make sure every person participating could break the fast each night with a healthy halal meal. 

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

A Western New York roundtable called “Fighting for Our Vote 2.0” will take participants through how to vote, what happens to your ballot after you submit it, myths and truths about voting, and issues that impact access to voting.

Family of Saniyya Dennis

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn provided an update Thursday in the disappearance of SUNY Buffalo State student Saniyya Dennis.

http://carrouselmuseum.org/

May 3 through 9 is Screen Free Week: a global effort to get people offline and an engaged with activities away from a screen. In Western New York, a local museum and a learning scientist at the University at Buffalo have a few ideas on how families can get involved.

On Friday, the Buffalo Common Council voted to accept Mayor Byron Brown’s proposed budget and pass it along to committee.

The mayor spoke about his budget just before the vote, which is proposed at $534.5 million, an increase of 2.9 percent from last year’s budget.

The budget’s increase, Brown says, are due to higher personnel costs, due to the rise in the living wage and higher pension costs, as well as the restoration of cost of living increases that had been put on pause during the pandemic.

WBFO file photo

The Williamsville School District has chosen Dr. Darren Brown-Hall to potentially become its new superintendent. All that is left is a school board vote on Thursday to confirm his hiring. 

Teresa Leatherbarrow, the Board of Education president, confirmed this in a statement to WBFO on Friday. Brown-Hall is currently second-in-command at Buffalo Public Schools, where he is the chief of staff.

Muslims and their non-Muslim neighbors are invited to a unique event in Amherst Thursday that will honor two important parts of Ramadan: the fast and charitable giving.

WBFO News file photo

The pandemic has certainly guided more of us out of our homes and into parks where we can socially distance and enjoy some time with friends. Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) executive director Stephanie Crockatt says that COVID increased visitors to the parks by 40 percent. 

Crockatt says that this year they've got a lot of exciting changes on the way for park visitors, but also needs the community's help in protecting and caring for the parks.

Muscular Dystrophy Association

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is looking for people with neuromuscular conditions and their families to share input through a survey that will drive its advocacy, research and educational work.

Two baby penguins sit in the gloved hands of an employee.
Aquarium of Niagara

Penguins: you might know them as a sweet little animal with a cute waddle. But did you know they’re threatened? It’s not for a reason you’d expect. The good news is, this weekend you have a chance to meet and help some penguins, right here in Western New York. 

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

The pandemic’s impact has been felt particularly hard by the live music industry, but on Thursday, a grant program meant to help venue owners opened the application process for such relief.

University at Buffalo

Vaccine eligibility opened up Tuesday to people ages 16 or older, which meant college students could sign up for appointments. However, as some students told WBFO, they feel their classmates might wait until there are closer and easier opportunities to get vaccinated. 

The good news is, it won't be long until that is the reality, at least for University at Buffalo students.


A blue cloth face mask is pictured on a white table.
Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo / University at Buffalo

On Wednesday, the University at Buffalo announced some good news for those who might be having a bad week.

Researchers at the university are looking for people who just got diagnosed with COVID-19 to participate in an outpatient treatment study. 


File Photo

On Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that 1.2 million eggs will be distributed to food banks throughout New York as a unique part of a settlement in a price gouging lawsuit.

File photo

The coronavirus has exposed many inequities and disparities that exist in our community, and among those is transportation. Now, more than ever, having a safe means of transportation to work, to get groceries, or assist relatives is important.

cc-wny.org

Many local organizations have donated their spare masks to medical personnel, but one local community group has gone a step beyond that to buy masks directly to donate them to local hospitals.

Buffalo parking commissioner Kevin Helfer says the city's new school zone cameras are already showing significant improvement in reducing speeding.

Mayor Byron Brown said there are still no confirmed cases of the virus in Buffalo or Western New York and the city currently plans to continue holding large public gatherings, such as this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Local colleges are addressing the spread of coronavirus to countries where their students are studying abroad.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing the Trump Administration over banning state residents from trusted traveler programs. The administration says the ban is needed because under the Green Light Law, Homeland Security can no longer verify NEXUS and other applications against the state DMV database. Now, Western New York's top federal prosecutor is speaking out against the law, which allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.


Mt. St. Mary's Academy

As the world is watching the bushfire crisis in Australia, one local teenager 10,000 miles away has stepped up to make a difference.

Emyle Watkins / WBFO News

John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital announced Wednesday some new visitation policies in the wake of a severe flu season that has already claimed the life of a local child. The policy limits the number of visitors who can visit and measures to prevent the spread of viral illnesses.