Mike Desmond

Reporter

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

Buffalo Zoo

Elephants are a favorite animals of people who like to watch the huge mammals roam vast plains and use their long trunks for food and water. What’s different about elephants is that they can get cancer, but don’t die from it.

Thomas O'Neil-White / WBFO News

The criminal justice system is a key part of America’s race problem, according to panelists during a virtual session sponsored Thursday evening by Erie Community College’s Anti-Racism Task Force.

Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership / University at Buffalo

A year ago, prospective business owners could feel confident, based upon 11 consecutive years of economic growth. The pandemic, of course, has raised several questions as enterprises look to move forward.

Volunteer Lawyers Project Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic

It's that time of year when many local residents have begun counting down to April 15. What's new is COVID-19 and how to account for it.

US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Erie County officials say that the county is anticipating a shipment of 1,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week for individuals with qualifying comorbidities and underlying conditions to be distributed through hospitals, and has also received enough to begin rescheduling some appointments that were cancelled on Jan. 23.

WBFO file photo

State Supreme Court Justice Emilio Colaiacovo ruled against the Buffalo Teachers Federation in their legal bid to stop in-person instruction. While Buffalo school officials see the decision as an affirmation of their approach to reopening classrooms, BTF President Phil Rumore continues to argue schools aren't safe.

WBFO file photo

A familiar community struggle over the value of a development project is emerging in Hamburg.  The world's richest company, Amazon, is seeking tax breaks to locate a warehouse near Woodlawn Beach State Park.


WBFO Photo

 A Buffalo -based watchdog group says that in a sample of school boards across the state, two thirds of them didn't use the right reasons when shutting the doors during public meetings and going into executive session.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

On a day when state pop-up COVID vaccination clinics occurred on Buffalo’s West Side and East Side, key issues of healthcare in the city were online. It was the latest of a series of virtual Town Hall meetings, this time with the overall focus on vaccinations in the minority community.

USA Swimming

Swimming, both recreational and competitive, has taken a heavy hit during the long pandemic. However, USA Swimming is trying to turn that around and get people back into the water.

Seneca Gaming Corporation

The Buffalo Bills won't be making an appearance, but with an estimated 100 million television viewers, Sunday is one of THE days to bet on sports.

New York State Board of Elections

The next time Congress and both houses of the state legislature are on the ballot, there will likely be fewer Congressional seats to fight over and very different legislative districts.

Erie County / YouTube

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine continues to disrupt Erie County’s handling of the issue, even as the governor has expanded the list of essential workers entitled to the shots and the president is sending New York State 5% more vials.

Siemens Energy

German industrial giant Siemens Energy is seeing limited future in the gas and power business, so it is cutting nearly 8,000 jobs around the world, including 500 at its Olean facility, where the company is ending manufacturing.

PUSH Buffalo / Twitter

An array of local social change groups says the effects of the continuing pandemic show the need for basic changes, from housing payments for the homeless to restrictions on evictions.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

Within hours of the news Gov. Andrew Cuomo killed a bill requiring a look at where high-speed broadband existed in New York, a press aide said the governor still saw it as a good idea and would bring it up in budget talks. State Sen. George Borrello can tell him why it’s needed.

Great Lakes Today / Facebook

Have you ever looked out across Lake Erie or Lake Ontario and wondered what’s going on in that water? The Great Lakes have changed drastically over the last few centuries and there is increasing scientific interest to figure out why.

United Nations / YouTube

Thousands of Buffalo Public Schools students return to their buildings Monday morning, after months of studying in front of a computer screen. For some, there are many sides to the issue of in-person education.

YouTube

There may be fewer people facing gun and violence charges walking out of courts in Erie County under orders from District Attorney John Flynn.

Flickr

New Yorkers having difficulty paying their rent got some relief this week. Monday was the day the state's eviction moratorium expired, but that deadline has been moved to May 1.

Broadway Market

Buffalo’s Broadway Fillmore neighborhood has changed in recent decades, from the heart of Polonia to a community of many ethnic groups and religions. That is the core of a consultant proposal: to use those key groups to reinvent an East Side landmark.

File Photo / WBFO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lifting of Orange and Yellow restrictions Wednesday changes the dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic, with lawyers filing even more lawsuits to get rid of even more restrictions.

Trout Unlimited

The uncertainty of everything last year meant there were a lot of anglers out, looking to relax and test the ability of a fish to avoid a hook in Western New York’s inland streams.

Screenshot / You Tube

New analyses of COVID-19 data in Erie County shows more people have died in the last four months from the virus than in the first six months of the pandemic.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a briefing at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center Monday afternoon that Western New York is doing much better in dealing with COVID-19 than it has been. He said that means the ban on elective surgery has been lifted and the state Health Department on Wednesday may ease the restrictions of Orange status for most of the region.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

There was a sense of hope, steamy breathing and gradually rising noise as Buffalo Bills fans began to fill a blocked-off area of Chippewa Street in downtown Buffalo Sunday evening. Fans were willing to brave the cooling temperatures to support the Bills and Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

The Erie County Legislature has approved the first of several Erie Community College contracts to bring all three campuses up to federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards, costs that will eventually total several million dollars.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority

President Joe Biden used to commute daily on Amtrak between his home in Wilmington, DE and Washington, DC when he was in the U.S. Senate. During those days, he was known as "Amtrak Joe." For members of the local Citizens for Regional Transit, that is an indication he might be willing to put up the federal dollars to turn the proposed Amherst extension of the Metro Rail into concrete and steel.

Fred Froese / iStockphoto via NPR

It may sound easy: vaccinate nursing home staff and residents against COVID-19 and the horrors of the last year will recede into the history books. But a local doctor says, it’s not that simple.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

People are apparently traveling long distances to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. Gov. Andrew Cuomo told his briefing Wednesday that some have gone from Buffalo to Rochester.

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