Jay Moran

Morning Edition Host

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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.


The Buffalo Bills haven't played on Thanksgiving day in 25 years and haven't enjoyed a win on the holiday since 1975.  Analyst Matt Sabuda says tomorrow the Bills "can write their own history" with a win in Dallas over the Cowboys. Victory won't come easily. Sabuda points out the Cowboys, despite their 6-5 record, are ranked near the top of the NFL in offense and defense.


Buffalo Rising

There are hopeful signs on Buffalo's West Side. New businesses are opening their doors on Grant Street and Newell Nussbaumer of Buffalo Rising believes the activity is an indication of good things to come. He thinks the types of retailers showing up in the neighborhood will spark enough shopping to sustain the businesses and avoid some of the failures of the past. Nussbaumer says many of the shops have organized West Side Wednesdays, a coordinated effort to create a fun, vibrant event for shoppers.


Derek Gee/Buffalo News

The bridges crossing into Canada are a familiar part of life in Western New York. Move east beyond this region and that international border becomes more complex. Reporter Tim O'Shei and photographer Derek Gee of the Buffalo News spent weeks exploring that border. Their research received a boost from the access granted by Aaron Bowker, Public Affairs Liaison for U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Buffalo field office. They stopped by the WBFO studios recently to discuss their findings and the ongoing series of articles appearing in the Buffalo News.


While it has not a been a great season for the Denver Broncos--they have a 3-7 record--their defense continues to rank among the best. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, Denver is eighth in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed. Heading into Sunday's game with the Broncos, Sabuda doesn't expect Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills to repeat last week's 37-point performance against a weak Miami team. But the Bills will need to limit their mistakes to come away with a win at New Era Field.


Joseph Gramaglia is Buffalo's Deputy Police Commissioner, the department's second-in-command. He is also the "officer in charge" of the Village of Blasdell police department. According to Geoff Kelly of Investigative Post, most observers say Gramaglia does a fine job in both roles. In fact, it's not unusual for Buffalo police personnel to have second jobs. But Kelly raises the question: Should high-level officials of New York's second-largest police department have their attention diverted toward second jobs?


Howard Owens / The Batavian

A 19-hour standoff between an armed man and police in Batavia has ended peacefully.


While the Bills are enjoying one of their best records (6-3) in years, analyst Matt Sabuda feels fans are growing dissatisfied with the current state of the team. The lack of production on offense, he says, has become a "legitimate concern." In losing at Cleveland last Sunday, the offense produced only 14 points, the latest in a season full of disappointing performances. Sabuda believes quarterback Josh Allen has the talent to improve the situation, but he's running out of time to keep this year on track to contention.


In advance of January 1, 2020, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is advising his prosecutors to seek special permission before requesting bail for those charged with misdemeanors and non-violent crimes. At the start of the new year, New York State will no longer allow bail to be imposed in such cases. According to Ali Ingersoll of Investigative Post, some factions of the criminal justice system may not be ready to embrace the reforms.


RoswellPark.org

New York has now raised the minimum age to buy tobacco and electronic cigarettes to 21 years old, from 18. The law, which went into effect today, "is going to save thousands of lives," said Dr. Andrew Hyland, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior for Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Creative Commons

New York State has been moving to shut down coal-burning electric power plants in recent years. On WBFO's Press Pass, Kate Kaye of Investigative Post outlines one such effort that may be producing unintended consequences.

Republicans are the dominant party in Genesee County. According to Howard Owens of The Batavian, Democrats have been dispatched to a distant second and that spot is finding a challenge from the Libertarian Party, which has three candidates on this year's ballot.


Jay Moran/WBFO

Fresh from graduating from Cornell University this year, Austin Morgan earned the Democratic Party nod in the race for the vacant seat in the 57th Senate District. The native of the Cattaraugus County town of Freedom says he got into the race to help "those little towns that have been voiceless for too long."


The Buffalo Bills were outclassed by the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-13, last Sunday at New Era Field. It was a dispiriting game, says analyst Matt Sabuda, but all is not lost for the 2019 season. He says the schedule is giving the Bills a chance to regain confidence this Sunday against "dysfunctional" Washington, which comes into the game with a 1-6 record.


Jay Moran/WBFO

Though Democrats control state government in Albany, Republican George Borrello says he's prepared to make a difference if he wins Tuesday's election in the State Senate's 57th district. He promises to build good relationships with other legislators from both parties, "but not lie down" while fighting for the district's interests. Borrello points to his current work as Chautauqua County Executive as a blueprint for how to work with others while achieving results for constituents. He explained his thinking during a recent sit down with WBFO in Irving, New York.

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