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WBFO Brief

The WBFO Brief podcast brings you the award-winning reporting from the newsroom of WBFO, Buffalo Toronto Public Media's NPR station, each weekday morning. To get up to the minute news, tune into WBFO on your radio (88.7 in Buffalo, 88.1 in Jamestown, 91.3 Olean), stream us online at, with the WBFO mobile app or with your smart speaker.

  • In today’s WBFO Brief ... Mumbo sauce! On National Chicken Wing Day, a look at John Young’s claim to developing the chicken wing in Buffalo’s African American community years before The Anchor Bar. If it’s Friday, it’s Theater Talk — today with a look at the new rules on joining the Actors’ Equity union and the dilemma that membership might present for some local actors.Also, using Disabilities Trivia to teach about the Americans With Disabilities Act, looking at the possibility of mask mandates returning and a Thursday night that returned from COVID to include a live concert presentation at Shea’s, a concert on Fountain Plaza, The BPO, and the start of Buffalo's infringement Festival.
  • In today’s WBFO Brief, Jay Moran once again turns to Dr. Nancy Nielsen MD for a look at masks, and the continued march of COVID-19 variants against the un-vaccinated. And Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt looks at vaccination mandates for some state employees. A few weeks before the Erie County Fair begins its return after COVID-19, hear an update from Fair officials. Also, one day before their contract expires with the Buffalo News, hear from reporters union Pres. Sandra Tan of the Buffalo Newspaper Guild. And neighbors, activists, developers, and politicians weigh in on a local preservation district for parts of the Elmwood Village.
  • In today’s WBFO Brief, Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt reports on a push to include the right to clean air and water in the NYS constitution. Also, a state arbitrator will look at whether deputies in the Erie County Holding Center will be allowed to wear body cameras or whether that violates their labor contract. And learn how the Community Health Center of Buffalo is reaching out to try and reverse some health inequities in Buffalo.
  • On today's WBFO Brief: This week marks the 31st anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and local organizations are celebrating the milestone by drawing attention to its achievements and the issues that still persist. Buffalo's Mayor, Byron Brown, is proposing issuing $20 million in checks to the city's low-income residents using American Rescue Plan funds; at the same time, the city's Common Council is floating the idea of replacing Brown's job as Mayor with a City Manager position. Charitable efforts by a Buffalo startup are being recognized by the NYS Assembly. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are at odds over the state's use of rent relief aid in the same week that Cuomo is casting doubts on the motives of those investigating his alleged sexual harassment.
  • In today’s WBFO Brief, the latest on housing aid to try and ward off evictions. Also, Albany correspondent Karen DeWitt reports that Gov. Cuomo’s pushback against Attorney General Letitia James’ inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against him is being seen as possible witness intimidation by an Assembly probe into those charges. And take a journey on one of Buffalo’s Garden Walks, which draws people from as far away as California.
  • If it’s Friday, it’s Theatre Talk- today with Peter Hall and Anthony Chase talking about Broadway on the small screen with Apple TV’s “Schmigadoon!” Also, hear about how Albany is funding 961 summer jobs in specific violent ZIP codes as part of the anti-gun problem. This was on a day when a BB gun that was a Glock look-alike prompts a lockdown at the Charles Drew Magnet School on the grounds of the Buffalo Museum of Science Thursday. And hear Ontario correspondent Dan Karpenchuk on how Canada is looking at a fourth wave of COVID and debating mandatory proof of vaccination.
  • In Today’s WBFO Brief, you’ll hear Dr. Nancy Neilsen compare the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in some places to a “raging forest fire”. Also today, Congressman Brian Higgins is threatening to hold up part of President Biden’s agenda unless there’s action on opening the US border to Canadians. And speaking of Canadians, it is the end of the Toronto Blue Jays run of playing Major League Baseball games in downtown Buffalo.
  • On today’s WBFO Brief, hear personal tales of gun violence as Erie County declares a public health crisis. Also, hear how Buffalo’s city council is taking steps toward a new system to pinpoint traffic stops and trends that could make police more equitable and accountable. And get the latest on a push to have unpaid family caregivers receive a tax credit for their work.We recap an unusual news day with several breaking events yesterday: Flooding in Niagara County triggered an overnight state of emergency there with road closures, an industrial warehouse fire triggered evacuations in Williamsville near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and we have more on a house explosion in Lackawanna.
  • In today’s WBFO Brief, Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports on criticism of some new rules that change current absentee ballot procedures in New York State - and she looks at the prospect of same-day voting in future years. Also, Cheektowaga police talk about taking care of each other after the sudden death of Chief Michael Sliwinski, and there’s a chance that if COVID-19 cases rise, Erie County would reconsider restrictions on large scale events- like Buffalo Bills games at Highmark Stadium. And hear about veterans’ struggles to get toxic exposures to things like burn pits recognized as a service-related injury.
  • On today’s WBFO Brief, Governor Cuomo has apparently appeared to answer questions in the Attorney General’s probe of sexual harassment allegations against him. We also have a bit of an environmental theme this morning - with a story that looks at efforts to help preserve the emerald shiner population, and another looking at sewer system upgrades in Buffalo.