Mike Desmond


Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. He also hosts “You and the Law,” a popular segment that involves interviews with local lawyers. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.

Ways to Connect

Youth Alliance for Education

After living through the nightmare of this COVID-19 school year, some local students want big changes in the way schools are run.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

There was applause Wednesday evening, as Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash told the School Board meeting students will be in class full-time this fall.

Lifting COVID restrictions opens up local economy

Jun 16, 2021
Destination Niagara USA

The good news is that the local economy is improving and more tourists are coming to town. The bad news is there is a shortage of workers to staff businesses and serve those tourists.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The top Republican in the state legislature asks, if most of the COVID-19 restrictions are ending with New York's adult vaccination total hitting 70%, why won't the governor give up his emergency powers?

Erie County Sewerage Management

A sewer pipe project will start soon along Transit Road, near North French and County roads in Clarence. Erie County plans to use a new method that will cost much less and take much less time to complete.

Niagara County Fair

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement Monday that the New York State Fair will be able to operate at 100% capacity this summer provides hope for county fairs, who have been waiting for further guidance.

National Cancer Institute

There is a new prostate cancer treatment for patients who have used up all of their alternatives.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

This year's elections aren't exciting voters in Erie County the way last year's presidential election did. Board of Elections figures report just under 1,500 votes cast in the first two days of early voting.

Fort Erie

On the north side of the Niagara River, the sun is out, the beer is cold and customers will start their weekend on the patios of bars and restaurants. Long-awaited, Ontario lifts months of COVID lockdown restrictions three days earlier than planned.

Screenshot / YouTube

A lot of issues got covered during Thursday evening's Buffalo mayoral debate, despite the technical problems that plagued its virtual platform and an incumbent who didn't participate

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

It's going to be another two weeks before the Lockport Town Board is likely to rule on a large solar farm planned for Slayton Settlement Road.

File Photo / WBFO News

The COVID lid comes off Ontario Friday. Three days early, restaurants, bars and tourist attractions can open their doors and outdoor patios again. However, the larger question is, when will non-essential travel start to flow again on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border.

WBFO's Nick Lippa / Buffalo Police

Cariol Horne's pension quest moved forward a little Tuesday, with a vote by the Buffalo Common Council.

Buffalo Common Council members on Tuesday put some new rules into the city's budget practices, revolving around the municipal piggy bank. The city is tightening its financial controls during these hard COVID-19 times.

Angelica Morrison / WBFO News

Tens of millions of dollars are expected to come to Western New York from the Biden Administration's giant infrastructure proposal now before Congress. But with so many local projects in need, which should take priority?

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Hours after Gov. Andrew Cuomo eased mask rules, protesters were along Walden Avenue outside the Galleria Mall in Cheektowaga protesting masks.

Mayor Byron Brown / Facebook

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is making youth employment and job training his initial priorities for the federal dollars heading to the city through the Biden Administration's American Rescue Plan.

New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Major construction would continue along the Great Lakes under the Biden Administration's proposed budget now before Congress.


Well into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. border with Canada is still mostly closed, except for essential workers. On Sunday, however, Canada approved an exemption to facilitate the Stanley Cup semifinals.

Pathstone Mental Health

As students limp to the finish line of this school year, many are believed to be mentally beaten down by loneliness, lack of knowledge and problems trying to learn online, potentially in a home where there are siblings in the same fix. That is the result of a new study of 90,000 kids across the Niagara River in Ontario.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

A citizen's call of four men with a gun Thursday led to a police chase through Buffalo's East Side and Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Cheektowaga. When it ended on Harlem Road, four suspects were in custody and one police officer was at Erie County Medical Center in critical condition.

Erie County

Erie County is looking to continue its decade-long relationship with a group that supports repair and improvement projects in Chestnut Ridge Park.

Allegany County Industrial Development Agency

Apparently, there is still a possible future for a giant cheese factory and warehouse planned for Allegany County.

Montreal Canadiens

When the Montreal Canadiens and the Winnipeg Jets face off Wednesday evening in Manitoba, there will be fans in the stands, even in a Canadian province with terrible COVID problems. What's going on behind the scenes is the question of whether the winner of that series will be able to cross the border to face off with the winner of this year's American wing of the NHL for the Stanley Cup.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo fans turned out for major league baseball Tuesday for the first time locally since 1915 and a ballpark in the middle of what's now the city's Hamlin Park community.

File Photo / WBFO News

Three towering smokestacks at the closed Tonawanda Coke plant in the Town of Tonawanda will be imploded June 5. Residents in the surrounding communities are being warned to be prepared for the big bang.

photo provided by Jack O'Connor

Families of veterans in greater Buffalo, Rochester and Batavia are observing Memorial Day placing flags  and honoring their loved ones at the Western New York National Cemetery for the first time this year.

WGRZ.com photo

The Clean Air Coalition is warning residents around the old Tonawanda Coke plant to be prepared, just in case something goes wrong when three-towering smokestacks at the plant are leveled on June 5.

Pool photo/ Harry Scull, Buffalo News

With the state Legislature session getting close to the end, there's a fight over this year's criminal justice reforms, and it has Erie County District Attorney John Flynn suggesting that a serial rapist like Altemio Sanchez, known as the Bike Path Rapist, could be let free.

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

As citizens are being vaccinated against COVID-19, ash trees in Buffalo's Olmsted Parks are being vaccinated against the emerald ash borer, a beetle that is lethal to most of the trees.