Jay Moran

Morning Edition Host

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Ways to Connect

Over the last two decades, eight different politicians have held the seat in New York's 60th Senate district. As Geoff Kelly points out, Republicans and Democrats have struggled to stay in the seat, though some have used the post to jump to other offices. Byron Brown was the senator before turning his sights on Buffalo's City Hall. Now, Chris Jacobs is leaving the senate as he seeks a spot in Washington as the congressman for New York's 27th District. Kelly speculates on who will next serve a district where a moderate approach to politics seems necessary.


Tonight on WNED-TV, Frontline will air the final segment of its  two-part documentary: "America's Great Divide: From Obama to Trump." The series focuses on the nation's increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics. It's a familiar theme for UB's Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Doctor James Campbell. In 2016, he addressed the topic at the beginning of the Trump Presidency with his book, "Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America." 


Though snow totals remain below average for this winter, bouts of extreme weather continue to challenge Western New Yorkers. Over the weekend, winds in excess of 60 miles per hour battered the region, leaving thousands without power. To start the work week this morning, freezing drizzle is expected to glaze some roadways. The conditions have prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Weather Advisory until 10 a.m.


Despite their overtime playoff loss to the Houston Texans, the Buffalo Bills enjoyed a solid season. Analyst Matt Sabuda says several young players were at the heart of the postseason push in 2019. That group should be expected to improve in the coming season, but Sabuda believes a "few key additions" are needed. At the top of his list is a top-tier wide receiver and an impactful pass rusher. He'd also like to see the coaching staff take an aggressive step forward. "My biggest criticism this year was their tendency to take their foot off the gas when they had any kind of success."


Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Two prominent Buffalo-area businessmen were killed in a helicopter crash Thursday night.


Jay Moran/WBFO

Sean Cullen's acting credits include work with Hollywood luminaries like Al Pacino, George Clooney and Alec Baldwin. He also appeared in 1,000 shows of the production of  SOUTH PACIFIC at Lincoln Center, yet the actor still feels very much at home in Buffalo. Named Road Less Traveled Productions 2020 American Theatre Master, Cullen will be on stage in his hometown frequently in the coming weeks.


The region's economic health may turn in the coming months, but Jim Fink of Business First sees another strong year for business development in 2020. As some high-profile projects--Elmwood Crossing, the Forge--will continue to take shape, Fink expects more investment coming "into Buffalo neighborhoods." In his 2019 report looking at regional development, Fink calculated some $20 billion in large-scale projects in Western New York. He won't be surprised if that total is equaled or surpassed in the coming year.


Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans has established himself as one of the NFL's "best young quarterbacks," so says analyst Matt Sabuda. While he believes Watson and his talented teammates present a major challenge, Sabuda wonders if the Buffalo Bills can "keep their nerves in check" in Saturday's playoff game at Houston. If they do, he says the Bills have the talent to come away with their first playoff win since 1995.


When George Borrello was elected to the state senate in November, it set off a whirlwind of maneuvers in Chautauqua County government. Borrello vacated his post as Chautauqua County Executive, a position temporarily filled by Stephen Abdella as Acting County Executive. In December, County Legislator P.J. Wendel was nominated to take over as County Executive in 2020. While that promotion became official Thursday following a vote of the County Legislature, there could be more movement in the coming year.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

An arson investigation is underway following a New Year's Day fire which left six people seeking shelter with the Red Cross.

Two Buffalo police officers are recovering from injuries suffered when their patrol vehicle overturned early in the morning on New Year's Day.

In just over a half-year, Devin Chevanne has captured a wide variety of subjects in his role as Director of Photography at Buffalo Rising. He says he's enjoyed shooting most of the 120 video productions he's assembled in 2019, but a few stand out, like the passionate mushroom farmer or the Buffalo cobbler. The common theme Chevanne has found among his subjects, "They all love Buffalo."  He shared his observations during WBFO's Press Pass.


The outcome of Sunday's game with the New York Jets will not change the Buffalo Bills' position heading into next week's playoffs. Since they are sure to be the fifth seed, analyst Matt Sabuda suggests fans take a moment to enjoy the team's progress. "This is the best team that the Bills have put on the field in 20 years," Sabuda declares. The roster, highlighted by second-year quarterback Josh Allen, is full of emerging young talent, Sabuda says, and that's reason to feel confident the Bills will be in contention for the foreseeable future.


First Look Buffalo Stage Productions

From finding investors to auditioning actors to securing an available theater stage, Bob Rusch has been busy getting First Look Buffalo Stage Productions off the ground. Now, his group is ready to open COPS AND FRIENDS OF COPS, a play written by Ron Klier, on January 10 at the Elmwood Theatre Lofts.


File Photo / WBFO News

Holiday celebrations continue Thursday in the City of Buffalo with the start of Kwanzaa.

Jay Moran/WBFO

Now in its third generation as a family business, the deep connections of Meibohm Fine Arts are evident. "We are currently 118 years in business. My grandfather, Carl Meibohm, opened our shop on Connecticut Street in Buffalo in 1901," said Grace Meibohm who now runs the operation on Main Street in East Aurora, its home since 1957.

Fans are eager for Saturday's game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. With a playoff spot already secured and a difficult path to winning the AFC East, analyst Matt Sabuda believes the Bills are "playing with house money." He says, win or lose, the Bills are in a good position heading to the postseason.


Winter Weather Advisories continue today for areas south of the city of Buffalo. While those locales will see the heaviest snow, Buffalo and its immediate suburbs will also contend with two to three inches of snow. Tony Ansuini of the National Weather Service says today's light winds and mild temperatures will be gone tomorrow. Lake effect snow is in the forecast for Wednesday through Thursday as drivers should expect areas of blowing snow. Temperatures will fall into the teens.


JusticeForMigrantFamilies.org

New York State's Green Light law technically went into effect Saturday, but processing at the DMV central office begins today. With that, Jennifer Connor, Executive Director for Justice for Migrant Families WNY is encouraging applicants to avoid fraud by checking the guidelines at the state DMV website.

With their 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night, the Buffalo Bills are going to the playoffs for just the second time in this century. The Bills improve to 10-4 on the season and still hold an outside chance of ousting the New England Patriots from their familiar spot atop the AFC East. Analyst Matt Sabuda believes this edition of the Buffalo Bills is different from other recent teams "in the best ways possible."


It's simple for the Buffalo Bills, says analyst Matt Sabuda, win this Sunday and they clinch a spot in the playoffs.  Simple, but by no means easy. The Pittsburgh Steelers, winner of four straight games, will host the Bills Sunday night. Sabuda says the Steelers aggressive defense will test young quarterback Josh Allen who is coming off an uneven performance in last Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Oddsmakers have made the Steelers a slight favorite.


Most of the region is under a Winter Weather Advisory today as lake effect snow will reach from south of Buffalo early this morning and into the Northtowns later in the day. Meteorologist Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service expects the morning commute in Buffalo to be impacted by one to three inches of snow. Later this afternoon, that band will drift back into the city and combine with increasing winds to create bouts of blowing snow.


The city of Buffalo has exhausted most of its cash reserves following years of using the extra funds to cover budget gaps. That problem, says Geoff Kelly of Investigative Post, will be compounded by New York State's $6 billion budget deficit. As Kelly points out, with the state unable to rescue future Buffalo budgets, the city may be forced to lean on taxpayers.


Jay Moran/WBFO

This is the 37th consecutive year Alleyway Theatre is producing A CHRISTMAS CAROL. At the same time, the Main Street theater is offering a show that is new to Buffalo, THE GOLDEN GIRLS: LOST EPISODES, HOLIDAY EDITION. Associate Artistic Director Chris J. Handley says advance ticket sales for THE GOLDEN GIRLS have been strong. Extra shows have been added to accommodate the expected large crowds for A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which again features David Mitchell as Scrooge.


While Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills (9-3) and the Baltimore Ravens (10-2) carries playoff implications, it also features two of the five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson. Analyst Matt Sabuda sees Jackson as the leading candidate for league MVP, but he says Allen's production is not far behind.  According to Sabuda, Jackson leads all quarterbacks with 32 total touchdowns; Allen is fifth with 24.  The game also represents the most combined rushing yards by opposing quarterbacks in NFL history.


Fordham.edu

With his removal as head of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese, Bishop Richard Malone will hold an ignominious place in history.  Professor Patrick Hornbeck, Chair of Theology at Fordham University, is an expert in canon law and has been following local developments.  Putting his tenure into context, Malone's actions were not among the worst things bishops have done, Hornbeck said. "Unfortunately, far from it.  But these are incredibly serious allegations that go to the heart of people's ability to trust."

LittleValleyLibrary.org

Three inches of rain in an hour worked to flood part of the village of Little Valley in July. One of the casualties was the Memorial Library of Little Valley. While a coordinated community response saved all 40,000 books, the damage forced the library to close for the remainder of the summer.  An exceptional volunteer effort allowed the library to reopen in early November.


ComedyCenter.org

When the National Comedy Center opened to great acclaim in 2018, officials hailed the Jamestown attraction as a key driver for economic development in the Southern Tier. "Sometimes these destinations are built and they're oversold," said Jim Fink of Business First during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. "I think the center is living up to its advance billing and then some."  According to Fink, 60 percent of visitors are spending at least two days in the area. The average person is spending about $365 during those stays.


Ice, not snow, was the major weather factor for Buffalo on Sunday. Icy roads made for difficult travel, including at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport where a plane slid off the taxiway. This morning, a layer of snow will be added to the mix and that has prompted the National Weather Service to continue a Winter Weather Advisory through 11 a.m.


Maria Baranova

It may defy description, but MANMADE EARTH is connecting with audiences. Created by New York City-based 600 Highwaymen, the production debuted in Buffalo a year ago as part of a larger festival hosted by Torn Space Theater. With eight young actors from Buffalo in tow, MANMADE EARTH has been on the move, including performances in front of sold-out audiences at Brooklyn's Invisible Dog Art Center. This weekend the show will conclude its local two-week run at 612 Fillmore Avenue.


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