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


The pace of development at the former Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna is picking up, with a major new project to be finished this summer and the latest proposal to connect a bike path to Woodlawn Beach State Park in Hamburg.

Erie Cou

Erie County health officials are seeing a surge in COVID infections among students.

Office of Brian Higgins

Before COVID, every day an Amtrak passenger train went through Niagara Falls, N.Y. on the way to Toronto and another Amtrak train came from Toronto on the way to New York City. Falls Mayor Robert Restaino wants that service to return as soon as possible, and with more trains eventually added.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein, 69, will be staying at the Wende Correctional Facility a little longer.


New state money may help people with some disabilities stay in their East Side homes.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The historic bridge in Eden's hamlet of Clarksburg has been blocked off since Oct. 15, since the driver of a loaded propane truck lost control on the steep hill leading down to the bridge. The truck hit the bridge, then fell into the gulch below. That left the bridge damaged and two fire departments struggling to provide protection.

WBFO Photo/Mike Desmond

The Buffalo History Museum is showing off a major renovation project, a space that has been closed for a generation.

Smith Group

A group of volunteers has soldiered on to keep Buffalo's historic Central Terminal complex from falling apart completely, gradually assembling the political support to put significant cash into planning its future.

Google Maps

The Niagara Town Board is giving opponents of a proposed asphalt plant another opportunity to end the construction plan.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Local parents who went to court Tuesday to force their school districts to return to in-class learning five days a week have been put on hold.

Erie County Department of Public Works

The new state budget puts a lot more money into repairing New York’s tattered roads and bridges and creates a new program to repair city streets and fill potholes.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The spirit was willing, but COVID regulations took much of the rowdy fun and crowds out of Buffalo's annual Dyngus Day parade.


Medicine is moving into the selfie age, with the increased use of tiny cameras probing the insides of a body. The idea has become especially useful in the COVID-19 era.

File Photo / WBFO News

Washington is putting billions of dollars into community colleges from two recent stimulus bills. That's going to help Erie Community College, which is dealing with a significant enrollment drop and the resulting income drop eating into college reserves.

Made in America Store

It took 11 years, but there are now 10,000 items in stock at local Made in America stores. Owner Mark Andol said that is quite an increase from the 50 items at the first store in Elma.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The neighborhood around the former American Axle plant on Buffalo's East Delavan Avenue is going to get a larger role in the cleanup of the heavily contaminated industrial site.

Westminster Community Charter School / Facebook

The Buffalo School Board Wednesday evening pulled the plug on two academically troubled charter schools. The board said Westminster Community and Enterprise charters had failed to be better than the regular public schools and will close.

Crystal Peoples-Stokes / Twitter

The legalization of marijuana will allow many New Yorkers to restart their lives. That's according to the measure's sponsor in the Assembly, Buffalo Democrat Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center

Albany has located a mass vaccination site at the Niagara Falls Conference Center in downtown. It is staffed by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and 100 temporary workers.

Mayor Robert Restaino has expressed some doubts about the site, because it's far away from some of the poorest residents and difficult to access by public transit. Niagara University’s Rolanda Ward agreed, saying there may be better ways to persuade people to get shots.

Associated Press

With Albany slated to legalize marijuana this week, Canadians are watching with some interest. They are also apparently shipping large quantities south, judging by some major busts at the Peace Bridge in recent weeks.

Tom Rettig / Chautauqua Institution

When the Chautauqua Institution opens another summer season during COVID soon, there will be a major change very close to the top.

City of Buffalo

Mayor Byron Brown may see Buffalo as a city on the move, but local activists presented quite a different view in their virtual "State of Our City" address Thursday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Local law enforcement said a sweep of drug houses has netted some major drug dealers, but it is also a sign that dealers are moving into bigger deals and connecting directly to drug cartels for supplies.

KeyBank Center

Starting Wednesday, KeyBank Center will open its Lexus Club as a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Buffalo School Board

Buffalo School Board members spent four hours Wednesday evening debating the futures of Westminster Community and Enterprise charter schools. They decided more discussion is needed and will hold another meeting next week.

Amherst Police

Across New York, governments sponsoring police agencies -- hundreds of them -- are completing and sending off to Albany their mandated police reform and reorganization plans. They are due by April 1.

Some plans are hundreds of pages long. The next stage is the implementation.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Parents rallied Tuesday to demand Erie County ease social distancing rules in schools and allow students to attend full time, while county officials maintained the decision is out of their hands.

Town of Tonawanda Police

With time running down to get police reorganization plans to Albany, the Town of Tonawanda approved its 166-page package Monday night, ready to send it on to the State Division of the Budget.