Local & regional news

New York State

Erie County's new orange COVID-19 status means changes for a variety of places. Here are a few:

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A free COVID testing site is nowhere to be found in Orleans County, says Senator Charles Schumer, and case numbers there are rising like everywhere else. He appeared in the county Thursday morning to urge the Trump Administration to make money available to change that.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

As highly anticipated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that portions of Erie County that were previously under COVID yellow zone status have been elevated to orange, while the remaining portions of the county have now entered the lowest-level color code.

WBFO file photo

An announcement was expected Wednesday that Erie County, which has seen a rise in COVID case numbers, will move from "yellow zone" status to orange or possibly red. That change would mean many institutions which were able to reopen a few short months ago would be ordered to close again.

Maid of the Mist

They only operated for just over a month this year, but the new all-electric Maid of the Mist tourist vessels in Niagara Falls have been named "Boat of the Year" by American Ship Review.

Public input on clean energy proposals in the Buffalo area and statewide is being welcomed starting tonight. But a state legislator says it may not be enough to include rural citizens.

Mike Desmond, WBFO

Buffalo Common Councilmembers have approved a modified schedule for cameras that enforce the speed limit outside 20 schools - public, charter and parochial - within the City of Buffalo.

Cattaraugus County woman dies in head-on crash

Nov 17, 2020

A Cattaraugus County woman died in a head-on collision Monday night.

With major revenue problems and the major local industry in the tank, Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said his proposed spending plan solves major problems in this year's budget and delivered a balanced budget for next year to the City Council Monday evening.

Bob Wiltshire / WNY Alzheimer's Association

For those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having access to social activities is crucial. COVID-19 has presented a few challenges for the WNY Alzheimer’s Association, but it hasn’t stopped them from finding socially safe ways to gather an at risk population on a weekly basis. This includes art related Zoom activities with local partners like the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

What stood as fixtures along the New York State Thruway for six decades are gradually coming down. Crews began removing the toll booths from the Williamsville barrier Monday morning, and they got a visit from state leaders happy to see them go.

Office of the Erie County Executive

There was no decision made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday whether the portion of Erie County already in a COVID "yellow zone" may soon move to orange or red restrictions. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said he expected to hear from Albany soon, while admitting the rising case numbers are discouraging.

WBFO / Nick Lippa

Wind gusts from last night’s storm impacted over 51,000 National Grid customers across Western New York. Late this morning, over 1,000 remained without power throughout Buffalo. At 5 p.m. National Grid reported 90 percent of their nearly 53,000 customers impacted by the storm have had power restored.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Western New York utilities are reporting some 15,000 customers without power Monday morning, after strong winds and heavy rain swept through the area Sunday. West Seneca Central Schools are also closed Monday because of the widespread outages.

WBFO file photo / WBFO

COVID-19 numbers are rapidly increasing across the country and how here at home in Erie County.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and local elected leaders sitting on her Western New York Zone COVID Control Room panel are sending a renewed warning to the public: don't let up on prevention practices or else the region may head into even stricter restrictions, including a new shutdown of non-essential businesses.

Niagara County Sheriff

"The Niagara County Sheriff's Office regrets to inform that the juvenile female that was struck at 7219 Rapids Road did succumb to her injuries and died at Oishei Children's Hospital." That was the update overnight about a motor vehicle accident that happened Tuesday evening in Lockport.

The former Hyatt Regency Buffalo

Washington, DC developer Douglas Jemal said he is about 90 days away from adding the closed Hyatt Regency to his downtown Buffalo trophy collection.

Dr. Peter Winkelstein / University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein are pleading with the public to scale down Thanksgiving plans as one of many steps to prevent the county's COVID rates from continuing to rise.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

If Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown's Capital Spending Plan is approved, it would provide $900,000 to Broderick Park for safety fencing and public art on the grounds. That's just one of many projects that would be covered under the $10.1 million set aside for parks, community centers and cultural institutions.

Thomas O'Neil-White

What was originally planned as a rally to make sure every vote was counted in a tight Presidential race Saturday at Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo, turned into a celebration of the election of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States. 

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

There were fewer seats, due to COVID-related guidelines, but the same spirit as the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony. Alternate memorials were held elsewhere in the park, including one led by peace activists seeking to "Reclaim Armistice Day."

3 youngsters struck, injured by vehicle in Lockport

Nov 11, 2020
Niagara County Sheriff

The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office said it received multiple 911 calls Tuesday reporting a motor vehicle accident that injured several youngsters.

Thomas O'Neil-White

A coalition of community-based organizers has a policy plan they want to see Buffalo implement to ensure the renaissance in the reaches all citizens.

File Photo / WBFO News

A newly-released survey of "best and worst" cities for veterans to live ranks Buffalo in the middle of the pack.


Two Buffalo Common Council members have introduced legislation to require proactive rental inspections of single and double rental housing units.

Angelica A. Morrison / WBFO News

The Buffalo Common Council met Tuesday and, in a unanimous vote, approved the renaming of Columbus Park back to its original name of Prospect Park.

Erie County District Attorney's Office

The Franklinville man accused of brandishing a knife and uttering racial slurs during a Black Lives Matter protest in Buffalo this summer was arraigned on charges related to that incident Tuesday morning, after twice before failing to appear in court for those counts.

Thomas O'Neil-White / WBFO News

Where do we go from here is not only on the mind of every American citizen after the presidential election, but was also the title of Monday evening’s speaking engagement hosted by the Western New York Peace Center, featuring world-renown author, activist and American philosopher Dr. Cornel West.

Erie County

A large section of Erie County was officially designated a COVID cluster yellow zone by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday. While businesses and schools remain open, there are some new guidelines for those institutions to follow. There's also a warning from the Erie County Executive that a further rise in COVID numbers could lead to another public shutdown.