Jay Moran

Morning Edition Host

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Tucked away in the hills of Cattaraugus County, a the former Nuclear Fuel Services reprocessing facility is generally out-of-sight and out-of-mind for most Western New Yorkers. It's a different story for those who worked there. Opened in 1966, the facility handled over 630 tons of radioactive fuel during its short life. Phil Gambini of Investigative Post has taken a closer look at how workers have been impacted and how they could be helped.


Buffalo.edu

Federal health officials are expected to approve distribution of a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. "This could be a game changer," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.


National Comedy Center

In its brief time in existence, the National Comedy Center in Jamestown has quickly earned a reputation for its many exhibits focused on famous comedians. Now, the center is entering a another realm with an exhibit about a comic puppet, or more specifically, a Muppet: Fozzie Bear.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Storm Warning until 1 p.m. for  Western New York. Heavy snow is expected, with total accumulations of 7"-14" in the metro Buffalo area, Northtowns and Orleans and Genesee counties, 6"-10" across the Southern Tier. Sleet may mix in at times and winds will be gusting as high as 35 mph, producing drifts and poor visibility. The NWS said to expect dangerous travel.

Mutant strains of the coronavirus are challenging public health efforts around the world. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, says one strain is creating problems in South Africa where the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine has been found to be only '"minimally protective."  Nielsen is confident vaccine makers will be able to develop booster shots to combat new virus strains but the development highlights the need to have people vaccinated.  "This is a race against time. Because the more people we get vaccinated with what we have now and what comes down the pike in a couple of weeks, the quicker we're going to stop this virus from mutating."


Associated Press

Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, has died at the age of 78.  Through the decades, as Flynt found himself in court cases centering on the First Amendment, Buffalo attorney Paul Cambria was often by his side. In calling his former client "the real deal," Cambria pointed out how Flynt's' legal efforts not only benefited his business, but the public's right to know.


WNED.org

The names Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are well known for their roles in the battle that earned women the right to vote. Others, of course, contributed to that effort and four of those women will be featured prominently tonight at 9 when WNED PBS airs "Discovering New York Suffrage Stories."

Buffalo.edu

Mutant virus strains are adding to the concerns for health officials as they contend with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. One strain that started in the United Kingdom is making its way across the globe. "That's now found in the U.S. in over half our states," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen during her weekly conversation with WBFO. "Now there's some evidence that it seems to be more lethal."


Buffalo.edu

President Biden has declared that his administration will work to improve the distribution of COVID vaccine. Dr. Nancy Nielsen sees "a lot of things that can  be done better."  The Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is very familiar with the allocation chain involving private companies, federal and state governments. She also wants to give credit where credit is due. "I think very valiant efforts were made so I don't want to disparage those folks that set up the current system under the last administration," said Nielsen, the former President of the American Medical Association. "I think we need to remember we should be enormously grateful for Operation Warp Speed and for the scientists that developed these vaccines. Let's just try to improve things. "


Between Wednesday's Presidential Inauguration and the siege on the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., has been under heightened scrutiny recently. Jerry Zremski, Washington Bureau Chief for the Buffalo News, has been close to the activity. He was among a handful of reporters nearby as President Biden recited the oath of office.  "A lot of people who were there thought it was a very exhilarating experience," said Zremski, who was also in the Capitol as a mob stormed into the building on January 6.


A Lake Effect Snow Warning will remain in place today for much of the region--including the city of Buffalo--however, the majority of the accumulation is likely to be seen in Southern Erie and Northern Chautauqua counties. "That snow band is going to remain nearly stationary through the morning commute and into the early afternoon before heading south toward the Southern Tier," said meteorologist Heather Kenyon at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service. Snow totals this season have been below average to this point, but Kenyon expects that to change in the coming days.


The Buffalo Bills are just one win away from playing in the Super Bowl. It's a reality, as analyst Matt Sabuda points out, that "seemed incomprehensible in recent years, and decades, really."  The defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, are the next challenge. This Bills team, Sabuda believes, has the potential to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 27 years and he's encouraging fans to "enjoy the ride."

A Lake Effect Snow Warning will remain in place today for much of the region--including the city of Buffalo--however, the majority of the accumulation is likely to be seen in Southern Erie and Northern Chautauqua counties. "That snow band is going to remain nearly stationary through the morning commute and into the early afternoon before heading south toward the Southern Tier," said meteorologist Heather Kenyon at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service. Snow totals this season have been below average to this point, but Kenyon expects that to change in the coming days.


WBFO file photo

Western New York Congressman Brian Higgins is part of the growing call to have President Donald Trump removed from office after a mob last week pressed its ways into the halls of Congress, forcing Representatives to halt activities and seek safety. In a conversation this morning with WBFO, Higgins was unsparing in his assessment. "The President incited an insurrection of death and destruction against the United States Capitol." Beyond this tumultuous time, Higgins believes President-elect Joe Biden can bring healing to the Nation. Biden, Higgins says, "has demonstrated throughout his career an ability to work with both Democrats and Republicans."


With their 27-24 win Saturday over the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills have advanced to the AFC Divisional round and will host the Baltimore Ravens Saturday night. The game features an intriguing matchup, says analyst Matt Sabuda. While Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson is the reigning league MVP, Bills' quarterback Josh Allen has earned consideration as MVP this season. As Sabuda points out, both quarterbacks were taken in the  2018 NFL Draft which featured five quarterbacks selected in the first round.


NYS Military Museum

Award-winning WNED documentarian and Buffalo Broadcast Hall of Fame "Distinguished Broadcaster" Ron Arnold has died of complications from COVID-19. He passed away Christmas Eve at the age of 87.

Buffalo.edu

President-elect Joe Biden has set the ambitious goal of  distributing 100 million  COVID-19 vaccinations  in the first 100 days of his Presidency. While that seems unlikely based on the early pace of distribution, local health officials remain focused on the job at hand. "The distribution of vaccine, right now, is to try to take care of those frontline healthcare workers," Dr. Nancy Nielsen said during her weekly conversation with WBFO. " That's why hospitals are the distribution site."


Amazon.com

In describing his memoir, "The Five People You'll Meet in Prison," author Brandon Stickney offers a hard look at New York's prison system and himself. The book is "more of a psychological journey," according to Stickney who says he is bipolar and suffers from depression. He wants to depict "what it's really like to be inside a prison with mental illness." Stickney recalls how pain medications prescribed following surgery started him on the road to opiate addiction, a path that would lead to time in jail.



 


It's been over a year since fans have been allowed inside Bills Stadium to watch their team. That changes next weekend when 6,772 people will be allowed to attend the team's first home playoff game in 25 years. During a special edition of Beyond the Playbook, analyst Matt Sabuda offers perspective on what the development means for a community that enjoys a unique connection with its NFL team.


NPR.org

After nearly a decade as one of the hosts of "Morning Edition," David Greene is leaving NPR. Throughout his last show Tuesday, his co-hosts hailed his friendship while highlighting some of the stories he shared with listeners over the years. His departure also prompted recollection of his 2015 visit to Buffalo for an NPR event and the time he spent chatting with WBFO.


Buffalo.edu

It's been widely reported that a mutated strain of the coronavirus has been creating new problems in the United Kingdom. Early indications show the strain to be more contagious and will likely lead to more hospitalizations. It's enough of a concern that several countries are restricting travel from the UK. Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences,  offered some perspective during her weekly appearance on WBFO.


WBFO file photo

Despite his guilty plea to insider trading charges in federal court, former Western New York Congressman Chris Collins is free to leave prison following a pardon from President Donald Trump. Former assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bruce tells WBFO that Collins is no longer a convicted felon, his civil rights fully restored. Throughout his prosecution, Collins claimed innocence. Bruce dispels that assertion, pointing out how Collins had taken a guilty plea to "easily proven, egregious crime."


WNYLC.org

While still in the planning stages, a  nature trail is expected to emerge along a former rail corridor that connects to Canalside. While the Western New York Land Conservancy hopes to have a final design for The Riverline later this year, they first are seeking public input through photos.

It's been a long time--25 years to be exact--since the Buffalo Bills finished first in the AFC East. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, he was just 13 years old and current Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen  wasn't born when the Bills took the 1995 AFC East title. That changed Saturday night when the Bills rode "an explosion of football energy" to pummel the Denver Broncos, 48-19, claiming the divisional title with two games remaining in the regular season.  It may not be the last title.  "This team's success is driven by legitimate and sustainable young talent," Sabuda said during this week's special edition of Beyond the Playbook.


The expected approval of a COVID-19 vaccine is welcomed news for beleaguered health care officials. While vaccine distribution should begin soon, the virus is expected to continue to spread. "I think our hospitals are really bracing" for an increase in hospitalizations, says Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.  "With Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve all coming up very quickly, it will be mid-January before we see whether this is really going to overwhelm our hospitals."

WBFO file photo

Two years in the making,  National Geographic's December cover story "North Anerica's most valuable resouce at risk" takes a closer look at the threats to the Great Lakes. Author Tim Folger spoke with WBFO about his work in highlighting the problems and some of the long-term solutions.


Buffalo.edu

With COVID positivity rates climbing, much of Erie County has been designated as an "Orange" zone. It may be only the beginning for extensive restrictions.  "It's a particular concern since Thanksgiving is approaching," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen during her weekly appearance with WBFO. Large holiday gatherings will almost certainly expand the spread of the virus. "There's no question: the number of positive cases are the leading indicator, followed several weeks later by a rise in hospitalizations, so we can expect that, followed by a rise in deaths."

CHS.org

Catholic Health workers are ready to care for the rising number of people contracting the coronavirus, so says the system's President and CEO Mark Sullivan. His greater concern is over what's happening outside health care facilities. "The community needs to step up and do more about that. And really be a City of Good Neighbors, (by) masking up." 

NicklausOlmstedBuffalo facebook page

Will Jack Nicklaus be designing a golf course in Buffalo? "It's always a challenge to raise funds for something like this but the good news is we're getting close," attorney Kevin Gaughan told WBFO News.  Close, in this case, equals $500,000 that is needed to reach the region's 20 percent share of the project "that will trigger 80 percent of our budget from outside of Western New York in order to ease the strain on other worthy causes."  Gaughan has been encouraged by the enthusiasm of local civic leaders and philanthropists toward the project.

Jay Moran/WBFO

When it comes to politics in Genesee County, Howard Owens of The Batavian has his finger on the pulse of the electorate. The race for sheriff has captured his attention and the attention of his readers. "We have the incumbent sheriff, William Sheron, who is on the Republican line and, then, David Krzemien who both has the Democratic endorsement and then he got enough signatures to create a Pro-Second Amendment line."  


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