Jay Moran

Morning Edition Host

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

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When Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the city's budget for the approaching fiscal year, much of the discussion centered on a lower property tax rate and the ambitious set of goals outlined in the $508 million spending plan. After reviewing the proposal, Geoff Kelly of Investigative Post has raised several questions about some projected revenues. At the top of the list:  $11 million in casino revenue from the Seneca Nation of Indians, a funding line that is unlikely to be realized anytime soon.

Reaction continues to President Trump's decision to raise tariffs on thousands of Chinese imports.

The closing of Women and Children's Hospital on Bryant Street had a negative effect on many of the  nearby retail businesses along Elmwood Avenue. That trend appears to be reversing. During his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First discusses the hopeful signs emerging throughout the neighborhood.

Omar Fetouh / WBFO News

A variety of experts from the private and public sectors will appear over the next six weeks in the series "Imagining a More Livable Niagara Falls--Exploring Solutions for the Future of the City." One of the organizers, Tom Lowe, Director of IMPACT/ReNU at Niagara University, says the public is encouraged to attend the discussions. Starting tonight, the sessions will be held on six consecutive Thursdays at 6 p.m. at the new Niagara Falls Train Station at 825 Depot Avenue.


Following a long winter of ice and wind, an array of detritus can be found along the region's beaches. Cleaning those beaches has become a passion for artist Alexis Oltmer. On WBFO's Press Pass, Jessica Marinelli and Newell Nussbaumer discuss how Oltmer is recruiting volunteers to help with the cleanup and her plans to transform beach debris into a work of art.

With the ninth pick in Thursday night's NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected Ed Oliver, a defensive tackle from the University of Houston. The move received favorable reviews from analyst Matt Sabuda who expects Oliver to be a contributor in the 2019 season.  As for the team's remaining nine picks, Sabuda would like to see the Bills add to the offensive line, a unit which struggled throughout the 2018 season.

Joe Biden.com

With his announcement today, former Vice President Joe Biden enters a crowded field of Democrats running for President in 2020. Bruce Fisher, Buffalo State Professor of Economics and Finance, acknowledges the difficulty ahead for Biden in separating himself from the many challengers. Still, Fisher, who worked as press secretary during Biden's 1988 Presidential bid, sees his former boss as a force in the campaign. "Biden is a very formidable candidate because he is going to be able to connect to Trump's base."

Racism, says author Cecil Foster, "can easily leave you hopeless." It's a theme the former Canadian journalist explores in his 13th book, "They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada." In narrowing his narrative to the trials and efforts of Canada's Black porters, Foster shows how the land which once served as the final destination for former slaves on the Underground Railroad went through many ugly decades of barring Black immigrants before becoming a modern, multicultural country.

Many thoughts moved through the mind of Father Paul Seil Monday as he followed news of the fire which engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He's familiar with the iconic structure, having visited five times over two decades, most recently in January. "I concelebrated mass there once," Seil told WBFO.

As more consumers shop online, brick-and-mortar retail outlets are struggling. That impact is being felt at the Boulevard Mall, which has been looking for a new owner to help it move forward. As Jim Fink of Business First points out during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, the receivers controlling the mall are now searching online for that new owner.


From gentrification to the city's underfunded schools, the second annual "State of OUR CITY" event addressed a number of issues impacting Buffalo. According to Harper Bishop, the 200 people attending  Wednesday's session at Asbury Hall shared a similar message: they "no longer want developers and power elites to run their city."

Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

It was 100 years ago when George Rand, then the President of Buffalo's Marine Midland Bank, got the ball rolling in creating a foundation to help fund efforts to improve the lives of those living in the region. The result today is the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Its current President and CEO is Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, who visited our WBFO studios to outline the Change Maker Awards.

Special Olympics New York

Of the 7,500 athletes beginning competition today in Abu Dhabi at the Special Olympics World Games, six are from New York State. "Special Olympics is all about inclusion," said Stacey Hengsterman, President and CEO of Special Olympics New York. ESPN's coverage of the event from Abu Dhabi, Hengsterman believes, "really sends a message to the world."


Now living in Rochester as a self-described "Peace Farmer," Arun Gandhi works to carry on the message of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi. "We don't recognize the passive violence we're committing everyday," Arun Gandhi told WBFO in advance of today's keynote address at the Compassionate Niagara Conference. His message will focus on understanding on how passive violence "fuels the fire of physical violence."

With a change of state law, the Buffalo Traffic Violations Agency was created in 2015. While the move allowed for more flexibility in how the city handled traffic violations, it has also signaled a significant rise in traffic tickets issued. Investigative Post's Marsha McLeod reports Buffalo collected $2.8 million in traffic fines in the last fiscal year, helping to ease the city's financial stress. It's a benefit that may be causing pain for Buffalo's poorest residents.

File photo

Al Dirschberger, the former Erie County Commissioner of Social Services, took the stand Thursday in an Albany courtroom where he faces charges he raped a former employee.  Sandra Tan of the Buffalo News has been following the testimony and shared her reporting with WBFO.

A promising trend is emerging, one that may reverse the familiar flow of young people leaving the Buffalo area in search of other opportunities. According to research by Realtor.com, more millennials are choosing to purchase their first homes in affordable markets like Buffalo. Jim Fink of Business First sees evidence of that trend throughout the city's robust housing market.

The strongest winds occurred Sunday afternoon as a gust of 69 miles per hour was recorded at 3:17 p.m. at the Buffalo office of the National Weather Service. The effects of those winds, however, are still being felt. Over 50,000 customers are without power Monday morning, forcing dozens of schools to close.

WBFO file photo

With winter bearing down with record-setting snow falls, residents are searching for indoor activities. During her appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Jessica Marinelli of Buffalo Rising offers some alternatives, including the latest offering at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Humble and Human: An Exhibition in Honor of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. With Erie County Free Week underway, Marinelli says the event provides an opportunity to view the works of great Impressionist artists like Monet, Renoir and Gauguin.


Ten years of passionate advocacy by the Families of the Victims of Flight 3407 has brought important safety changes to the regional airline industry. That's the view of transportation attorney Mary Schiavo, the former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, who also holds some reservations. Schiavo says the flying public is not informed adequately when it comes to mechanical issues discovered at some carriers. "The public really has to trust the carrier whose name is on the door and sometimes they don't deserve it."

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

As the snow began to fall in Buffalo early Tuesday morning, it was mixed with enough freezing rain to have a major impact on the commute. Though crews were out overnight treating roads with salt, the precipitation made for a slow ride for most. While a Winter Weather Advisory is in place through 10 p.m., forecasters expect temperatures to warm Tuesday afternoon and for the precipitation to change to all rain for the drive home.

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

JoAnn Falletta took home another trophy at Sunday's 61st Grammy Awards. The longtime music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra earned the third Grammy of her career for a recording with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Tim Tebow Foundation

It was a call for help that was answered with overwhelming support. Pastor Chad Rieselman sought volunteers for tonight's "Night to Shine for People with Special Needs" at Lumber City Church in North Tonawanda. He estimates there will be two volunteers on hand for each person who attends tonight's prom. With over 500 proms taking place across the country, event sponsors say their motivation is "to change how culture embraces people with special needs."

image provided by Samantha Christmann

The death of Larry Bierl, known as "Larry" from his life on the streets of Williamsville, has been widely discussed on social media. The cause of death was hypothermia, his body found in a bus stop shelter during the last week's extreme cold. WBFO's Morning Edition host Jay Moran spoke with Buffalo News reporter Samantha Christmann, who was following the discussion on Facebook, shares her personal family story. 

Eileen Buckely/WBFO News

Lake-effect snow moved through Erie County late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning as extreme weather converged on Western New York.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Like real estate and restaurants, location matters when it comes to lake effect snow in Western New York. While Niagara and Orleans Counties are expected to see little or no snow Friday, it's  a drastically different story in Buffalo and locations south of the city. The National Weather Service reported snow fall rates at nearly three inches per hour earlier Friday morning in some locations and more activity is expected to move throughout the region later Friday. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for Erie, Genesee, Wyoming, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties. 

Eileen Buckley/WBFO

Today's Facebook Live conversation takes a deep look into the workings of Crisis Services, the 24-hour agency which handles more than 85,000 calls each year.

Bidding wars have become common for real estate purchases in the city of Buffalo over recent months. While the demand is obvious, the rising costs are startling. On WBFO's Press Pass, Jim Fink of Business First cites a recent example: in the month of December, the new homes in North Buffalo's Colvin Estates sold at an average cost of $395,000. 

Jay Moran/WBFO

"Wind chills are running 20-to-25 below zero this morning, which is a very chilly start, even for us in Buffalo," meteorologist Kirk Apffel told  WBFO at 5 a.m. Don't expect much improvement as the day progresses. The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory through 7 p.m.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The mild weather of recent weeks is coming to an abrupt halt this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning from 10 a.m. Saturday through 6 p.m. Sunday. While the warning encompasses 32 hours, meteorologist David Thomas expects "the bulk of the snow" will fall from Saturday night through Sunday afternoon. Accumulations may total 1' in some locales, while single-digit temperatures will cover the region. Thomas warns wind chills could dip to 20 below zero.