Jay Moran

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Newell Nussbaumer and Jessica Marinelli of Buffalo Rising join WBFO's Jay Moran on this week's Press Pass. Today, a look at the continued expansion of craft breweries in Buffalo and the potential impact of legalized recreational marijuana. But first, a look at a proposal to ban plastic bags in New York State.

Tuesday at 1 p.m. WNED/WBFO is hosting another Facebook Live event as part of the "Making Buffalo Home" initiative. It's the second in an ongoing community conversation on the impact of immigration in Western New York. For a preview WBFO's Jay Moran chats with WNED Senior Producer Lynne Bader.


WBFO file photo

New York State's long, contentious relationship with the Seneca Nation appears to have taken another negative turn. On Tuesday, an arbitration panel determined the Nation should resume making casino revenue-sharing payments to the state. "The Seneca people are angry. They can't believe these three judges came up with this decision," said John Kane, host of the radio show "Let's Talk Native."


National Comedy Center

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown wants your vote.

WBFO file photo

A source has confirmed to WBFO that Buffalo City Comptroller Mark Schroeder will be leaving his office to assume a post with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

For most of last two decades, the season finale for the Buffalo Bills has been a dreary affair, a meaningless game for a team that would again be sitting out the postseason. Of course, 2017 finished with the Bills ending their record playoff drought. While the 2018 season didn't feature a return trip to the playoffs, analyst Matt Sabuda believes the Bills 42-17 rout of the Miami Dolphins was full of indications the franchise could be ready to return to relevance.


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Kyle Williams, a fan favorite throughout his 13 seasons with the Buffalo Bills, will play his last game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. His retirement announcement was released by the organization early Friday morning.

Since the Civil War, U.S. political leaders have championed the cause of the American war veteran. While it's a popular stance with the electorate, the reality of providing for veterans has been more complicated. In her recent report for Investigative Post, Sara Jerving details the difficulties members of Gold Star families have had in accessing benefits from programs established specifically for them. In some cases, family members have been denied assistance. 


Losing to the New England Patriots continues to be a tradition for the Buffalo Bills. Since the turn of the century--and the arrival of Tom Brady-- the Patriots have dominated the Bills. That was the case again Sunday as New England cruised to a 24-12 win on their home field. Analyst Matt Sabuda says there's plenty of blame to be shared, from the "putrid" Bills' run defense to the inadequacies of rookie quarterback Josh Allen. But Sabuda stresses the game also highlighted the need to upgrade the team's "downright awful" unit of wide receivers.


The Buffalo Bills head into this Sunday's road game against the New England Patriots with no chance of making the playoffs. Despite that sad reality for Bills' fans, analyst Matt Sabuda believes the team has a great opportunity this weekend. The Bills could deliver a blow to the Patriots pursuit of home-field advantage in the playoffs. The game also offers rookie quarterback Josh Allen a chance to show his progress against a traditional NFL power.


Daniel C. Britt

For freelance writer Daniel Britt, his recent story originates in Buffalo and stretches all the way to the Rohingyan refugee camps in Bangladesh.


Development projects in downtown Buffalo are likely to be numerous in the coming year. That's the view of Jim Fink of Business First who provided updates on some key projects during his monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass. At the top of his list is the former site of the AM&A's department store on Main Street. The structure has been mostly vacant for years, but Fink believes the current owners will move forward in 2019 on renovating the complex into a massive hotel.

Many leaders have been focused upon the potential financial gains of legalizing recreational marijuana in New York State. Some of those benefits include job creation and a boost to tax revenues, says Bill Ganley, Buffalo State Economics Professor.  Ganley also believes the regulation of marijuana will produce a "standardization of the product" which would likely "clean up the existing black market" where marijuana is currently bought and sold in New York.

Rookie quarterback Josh Allen ran for a touchdown and threw for another in helping the Buffalo Bills sneak past the Detroit Lions on Sunday, 14-13.  While it wasn't a great performance for Allen, analyst Matt Sabuda believes the rookie took another step forward. Sabuda is hoping for more in the team's remaining two games. 


Almost since quarterback Nathan Peterman's disastrous season-opening start at Baltimore, the playoff hopes for the Buffalo Bills have been dim. Consistently recognizing that reality throughout the year has been analyst Matt Sabuda. He's been encouraging the franchise to build toward the future and now has "a sense of intrigue" for the remainder of the season. While some see three meaningless games on the schedule, Sabuda is eager to watch how the Bills' young players continue to progress.


David Corbett

It's the holiday season and Buffalo Rising has a present for its readers—images from cartoonist David Corbett, who is expected to be a regular contributor.


Rookie quarterback Josh Allen continues to excite fans with athletic runs and his strong arm. With Sunday's performance against the Jets, Allen became just the fourth player in Buffalo Bills history to rush for 95 yards or more in three consecutive games, joining Fred Jackson, Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson on that list. Of course, the effort wasn't enough as the Bills lost Sunday to the New York Jets, 27-23.  Allen took a step back, says analyst Matt Sabuda, who believes the quarterback would be better served to use his running ability to establish a more effective passing game.


It's the first of what many fans hope will be many meetings between quarterbacks Josh Allen and Sam Darnold. The rookies are scheduled to face each other for the first time this Sunday when the Buffalo Bills host the New York Jets. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, Darnold has stumbled since a strong start to his first NFL season. For Allen, it's been a different story. His mixed start to the year included some awful performances, but Allen's play in the last two weeks compares favorably to some of the league's best quarterbacks.


WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

For Thursday's blast of winter weather, timing is everything. Bob Hamilton of the National Weather Service expects a band of lake effect snow to move through the city of Buffalo between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. Hamilton said the heavy snow and strong winds will reduce visibility for drivers, but the total accumulations should not exceed five inches Thursday. A Winter Weather Advisory is in place for Buffalo and Northern Erie County until 7 p.m. Thursday.


westernotb.com

With minimal copays and no premiums, the health coverage offered to the board members overseeing the operations of Western Regional OTB stands out in comparison with what most people receive. According to Jim Heaney of Investigative Post, 13 of 17 active board members and three retired members utilize the coverage. Heaney's research also discovered an earlier ruling from the Attorney General which found such benefits to be improper. OTB officials say they will now seek an opinion from the Attorney General on the matter.


Analyst Matt Sabuda is looking beyond the final, 21-17, score in the Buffalo Bills' loss Sunday to the Miami Dolphins. "I have to say as someone who wants to see Buffalo sports thrive, I was thrilled with yesterday." Specifically, Sabuda was impressed with the performance of rookie quarterback Josh Allen. Allen threw for 231 yards and set a team rushing record for a quarterback by running for 135 yards.

With the Buffalo Bills finishing their 46th season at their stadium home in Orchard Park, a look to the future was inevitable. The organization started the process earlier this week by announcing it was launching a study to examine stadium needs and options. During WBFO's Beyond the Playbook, analyst Matt Sabuda offered a sketch of what is likely to come: a community conversation over the costs and benefits of being home to the NFL franchise for the foreseeable future.


Snow will be impacting the region over the coming days, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a series of statements. With the possibility of 20 inches of snow coming to higher elevation areas, a Winter Storm Warning will be in place for Southern Erie, Wyoming, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties until 6 p.m. Wednesday. Buffalo will be under a Winter Weather Advisory from tonight through 6 p.m. Wednesday.


In his return to his starting role, rookie quarterback Josh Allen helped the Buffalo Bills to a 24-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday afternoon. His big plays--a long touchdown pass and a rugged scramble for a touchdown--were important elements in the win, says analyst Matt Sabuda. Also key was a fight which broke out late in the third quarter. As Sabuda points out, the scuffle prompted the ejection of the Jaguars' top player Leonard Fournette and fired up the fans at New Era Field, making for a memorable victory.

It was ten months ago when the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars met in the AFC playoffs. Now, the teams continue their disappointing seasons when they meet Sunday at New Era Field. Both come into the game with 3-7 records and only slim chances of returning to the postseason. As analyst Matt Sabuda points out, Sunday also marks a pair of returns: former Bills coach Doug Marrone makes his first appearance in Buffalo since becoming Jacksonville's head coach; and rookie quarterback Josh Allen is expected to return to his starting role for the Bills.

In the end, their guilty pleas were for misdemeanor charges. But the cases involving Kristy Mazurek and David Pfaff may have a wider impact. "I have been writing about these kinds of things for 25 years," said Buffalo News Political Reporter Bob McCarthy. "And, finally, they're now coming home to roost." As McCarthy points out, prosecutors have often overlooked suspicions of illegal campaign coordination. In the cases of Pfaff and Mazurek--and their connection with Steve Pigeon--it took the state Attorney General to pursue the case. 

For those making the workday commute this morning, it could be a harrowing drive as strong winds combine with lake effect snow to create poor conditions. Jon Hitchcock of the National Weather Service says that band will move south from Buffalo this morning and dump heavier snow in Southern Erie, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties. He also expects Thanksgiving temperatures to hover in the low twenties. The record low for Thanksgiving of 22-degrees occurred in 1903 and 1938.


InvestigativePost.org

For a regional economy seemingly addicted to public subsidies, a surprising development is occurring at the New York Power Authority. According to Charlotte Keith of Investigative Post, NYPA is finding no takers when it comes to two subsidy programs.  During her monthly appearance on WBFO's Press Pass, Keith reviews the problem and discusses the real difficulty in modifying the programs. Any adjustments would require a change in state law.

Leave it to the bye week to build optimism among Bills' fans, even when their team has a 3-7 record. In looking to the future, analyst Matt Sabuda sees some positive developments. While he's guarded in his mixed assessment of rookie quarterback Josh Allen, he points to how the team can add a surge of talent to their depleted roster. Sabuda says the Bills will have $91 million in salary cap space to spend on players next year. 


After breaking their record streak of seasons missing the playoffs in 2017, the Buffalo Bills are likely to be sitting out another postseason this year. Analyst Matt Sabuda looks back at what has gone wrong with the Bills, who head into the bye week with a 3-7 record. The offense has been horrid, and the play of injured rookie quarterback Josh Allen hasn't been much better.

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