P. Kenneth Burns

  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed four pieces of legislation aimed at reforming prison policies Monday night. Three bills focused on sentencing and one focused on how prisoners are treated during public health emergencies.


Steve Adubato
Steve Adubato

Stephen N. Adubato Sr. was an iconic Newark and New Jersey political power broker who created the North Ward Center, a non-profit community service organization during the turbulent 60's in the state's largest city. "Big Steve" also built the Robert Treat Academy Charter School. 

Tributes from politicans, community leaders, school officials and residents have been pouring in since Steve Adubato, Sr. passed away last Friday at the age of 87.  

Courtesy of the artist

If you’re unfamiliar with James Francies, it is surely just a matter of time; he’s on a steady trajectory to becoming a household name.


DD: The NY Film Festival, which ended last weekend, was a miracle that it happened at all. The 58th festival, since its founding in 1962 by Richard Roud and Amos Vogel, faced challenges that the previous 57 never did. Like Toronto last month, it scrambled to go virtual. The good news is it turned up some quality films among its 50 film lineup that will make their way to you on your home screen, and possibly to theaters, some day soon.

New Jersey reported 1,192 new cases of coronavirus Monday, pushing the state’s cumulative total since the start of the pandemic to 221,205 cases.

Another four residents died from COVID-19. There have now been 14,425 lab-confirmed fatalities and another 1,789 probable deaths attributed to the virus.

“While these numbers are a far cry from where we were at our springtime peaks, they are also significantly higher than where we were throughout much of the summer and until just a few weeks ago,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.

De Blasio: COVID Cases in NYC Hot Spots Leveling Off

Oct 19, 2020

 New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says data continues to show a leveling off with coronavirus cases. de Blasio was asked if restrictions could possibly be lifted this week in coronavirus hot spots.

“If you are talking about the red zones, and the orange zones overall in Brooklyn and Queens, some work to be done.  Looks like another week or two of work overall.”

Nicole L. Thompson

Nicole L. Thompson, a filmmaker born and raised in Newark, will kickoff the virtual Women In Media - Newark 2020 Film Festival, which runs through October 21.  Thompson is the Director and Producer of Blackbird, an aspirational tale about Sherri Jones, an African American young woman who cleans planes for a living, but dreams of being a pilot.

Thompson spoke to WBGO News Director Doug Doyle from her home in Los Angeles. 

Joyce Adewumi is the Director and Producer of We Are The Endless Roar, a film that gives a better understanding of traditional African cultural practices and beliefs.

The Pink Fund

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  While there are many great survivor stories,  Molly MacDonald's journey is one of the more inspiring ones. MacDonald, a Detroit, Michigan resident, is the founder and Executive Director of The Pink Fund.

The Pink Fund is a non-profit breast cancer organization that provides 90-day non-medical cost-of-living expenses to breast cancer patients in active treatment for breast cancer, so they can focus on healing, raising their families, and returning to the workplace. 

Ann Davila Cardinal

Halloween is approaching and because of the pandemic, this is going to be a very different Halloween.

If you have teenagers in the house and they’re staying in this year, TV is not the only source of scary content.

WBGO’s Jon Kalish introduces us to an author who writes horror fiction for young adults.

Commentator Mildred Antenor: Women vs. COVID

Oct 16, 2020
Healthcare Workers

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor says she's angry over how women are being treated during the coronavirus pandemic, especially those in the healthcare industry.

Antenor is a professor and the author of  The Gladioli Are Invisible: A Memoir.

Click above to hear the entire commentary.

United Community Corporation

Three local nonprofit organizations, United Community Corporation, Roosevelt Community 4 U and Bessie Green Community Inc.  have all come together to ensure community members are taken care of as they face some of the toughest challenges during this pandemic


How is the jazz community in Philadelphia responding to the global pandemic? Jazz Night in America found a few different answers to that question. 


In their first Manhattan meeting since January, pianist Andy Milne, bassist John Hébert and drummer Clarence Penn reconvened in the piano salon of Yamaha Artist Services.

Bart Babinski

Manfred Eicher is the founder and producer at ECM Records, but the word that best describes his role at the label might be “auteur.”

Mathieu Bitton

When Don Was took the helm at Blue Note Records not quite a decade ago, it looked from the outside like a trusted industry vet moving up from the control room to the board room. That wasn’t the way he saw it, though.

New Jersey reported 973 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 216,994 lab-confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

Another six people died from complications of COVID-19. The state has now reported 14,408 confirmed deaths and another 1,789 probable fatalities resulting from the virus.

The state’s testing positivity rate was 4.35% on October 11.

The statewide rate of transmission was 1.16, which means for every 100 people who caught the virus they spread it to another 116 residents.

M. McCartney

“I think so much of what I do is intuitive,” says Diana Krall. “It’s based on a feeling.”

Essex County

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., The Board of Chosen Freeholders and Reverend Carmelo Roman, Lead Pastor at Temple Rock of My Salvation will host an Emergency Food Distribution Event on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 9 a.m. The distribution will take place at Temple Rock of My Salvation located on 88-90 Verona Avenue, Newark, NJ.

On this edition of Newark Today Host Michael Hill is  joined by Mayor Ras Baraka and Director of Health and Community Wellness Dr. Mark Wade to talk about all the latest around the city's Coronaviraus response and the possibility of a second wave, the recent State of The City address, Census 2020, the upcoming presidential election, and much more!! 

University Heights Charter School

Come get your new laptop!

The University Heights Charter School in Newark is giving out new computers to its 850 students, Pre-K through middle school, to make sure everyone is prepared for remote learning.

Schools Chief Christy Oliver-Hawley said it was a dire situation. “Many of our students used loaner laptops that we had in our district, they may not have been the most up-to-date but it was something for them to use,” she said. “Some of our students had to use their tablets at home, some of them had to even use cell phones.”

Wikimedia Commons

Statistics show that in New Jersey, cancer strikes more often in minority communities, and Rutgers Cancer Institute is trying to make the cancer researchers of the future a more diverse group.

Its program designed to introduce high school and college students from minority groups to medical research, the Rutgers Youth Enjoy Science Program (RUYES), has just gotten a grant of more than a million and a half dollars from the National Cancer Institute.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says progress is being made in the coronavirus hot spots of Brooklyn and Queens

He didn’t give data but Mayor de Blasio says since the tight restrictions were put in place late last week the coronavirus infection rate appears to have stopped rising the hot spot areas.

“We have a lot of work to do but we are seeing a leveling off in the sense of not consistent increases and different results for different areas that encourage us because we see some starting to come down a bit.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that the state was doling out another $100 million in aid to help residents and business owners recover from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“All of this will help us keep our economy moving ahead and our families working even as we continue our work to not only defeat the virus, but to deliver even more critical aid to our families and our small businesses,” Murphy said.

The money will be distributed through several existing programs:

Consumer advocates in New Jersey are raising the alarm just days before a moratorium on utility shut-offs is set to expire.

Scores of residents financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic could find themselves again having to pay their utility bills when the shut-off ban ends on Thursday, even as the state continues to see record unemployment.

  An Italian American nun who made significant contributions to New York City is being honored on this Columbus Day.   

Mother Cabrini helped develop schools, hospitals and orphanages in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The governor along with the Chairman of the Columbus Day Celebration Angelo Vivolo unveiled a statue of mother Cabrini in Battery Park.

“Mother Cabrini is a revered figure in New York and in the Italian community worldwide.  If ever someone deserved a monument it is this woman of faith and love.”

New Jersey switched to a primarily vote-by-mail general election this year because of the coronavirus — which means every registered voter in the state should receive a mail-in ballot without having to ask for one.

Some voters have wondered: What if my mail-in ballot doesn’t arrive on time? What if I prefer to vote in person? Here are your options:

Although it is called a mail-in ballot, there are several ways to submit your vote without sending it through the U.S Postal Service.

Dave Stapleton

Tracks from five new albums that expand horizons, each in its own way.


Backed by 10 years of research, VKTRY is the world's first high performance insole, scientifically proven to help athletes run faster, jump higher and train smarter.

VKTRY CEO Steve Wasik is the latest guest on SportsJam with Doug Doyle.