Highlights

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Botanical Gardens reopening restored greenhouse, aquatic and Asian gardens

A project more than a year in the making will be officially opened to the public over the holiday weekend at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. A restored greenhouse space within the complex is home to a new aquatic garden and Asian garden.

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The New York Times has written of Carl Dennis' poetry that it is "wise, original and often deeply moving." Dennis, an award winning UB English professor, now has eight collections of poetry. His new one is titled "Practical Gods."

Hamburg, NY – A massive restructuring effort by Ford Motor Company will cut 35,000 jobs worldwide. In North America, 22,000 Ford workers are being cut.

Buffalo, NY – Catholic Charities is looking for a few more heroes. The Diocese of Buffalo kicked off its 2002 appeal Thursday, "Be a Hero, Give Hope." This year's goal is a record $10 million.

It's been a tough year by any standard. The economy, already weakened by recession, was sent reeling after September 11th. And that has led to many more people in need of financial and crisis assistance. Bishop Henry Mansell says the numbers are up in some areas nearly four-fold. But the Bishop says this is not an appeal about numbers.

Buffalo, NY – There was some better news from the Buffalo Board of Education Wednesday night. School leaders say they've managed to reduce the number of planned layoffs and close the $28 million budget gap.

"There isn't a penny anywhere that we haven't been able to scrap together and be able to maximize," Schools Superintendent Marion Canedo said. She was pleased to report that they were able to reduce the number of planned teacher layoffs from 433 to 212.

Buffalo, NY – In 1876, Frederick Law Olmsted bragged about Buffalo, calling it "the best planned city as to its streets, public places and grounds in the United States - if not the world." But he might have withrawn that praise if he'd been around to witness the "urban renewal" that took place here in the mid 1950s. In recent years, the debate has resurfaced about how - or if - to restore Olmsted's vision. Wednesday night, the first of three public hearings was held on a proposed redesign of the Scajaquada Expressway.

Buffalo, NY – Roswell Park Cancer Institute says its effort to recruit clinical and scientific talent for its research center was a big success.

Dr. David Hohn, president and CEO of Roswell Park, introduced more than 40 new physicians, scientists and senior staffers recently hired. Hohn says they've come from other countries, Japan and United Kingdom, as well as from California, Texas, Boston and Maine.

"With funding, an excellent facility and a talented staff, this kind of recruitment can be done in Buffalo," Hohn said.

Amherst, NY – The landmark $26.5 billion dollar education bill was signed into law Tuesday by President Bush. And U.S. Congressman Tom Reynolds took the opportunity to explain the new law to a group of government honors students yesterday at Amherst Central High School. But if the congressman had been graded on his presentation he might have received an incomplete.

Albany, NY – Governor George Pataki says New York will rebuild -- and it will succeed -- in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Pataki delivered his annual State of the State address before a joint session of the Legislature Wednesday. He recognized emergency personnel for their bravery in responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center. The governor then outlined a series of initiatives for the coming year.

Albany, NY – Money spent on research at colleges and universities in New York has reached record levels. State officials reported Tuesday that research spending in 2000 approached $2.3 billion.

The numbers for 2000 were put together by NYSTAR -- the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research. Cornell University spent the most on research -- more than $410 million. The University at Buffalo placed fourth on the list at nearly $187.7 million. NYSTAR spokesman Jim Denn says the increase is significant.

Buffalo, NY – Top State Assembly members heard from Buffalo Niagara business and economic development leaders about the area's economy Monday.

The Assembly is holding a series of hearings to find ways to improve the upstate economy. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Tonawanda is chairing the hearings. The first one held in Buffalo. Schimminger began the hearing by reciting the area's lagging employment numbers and wage rates and a declining population.

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Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0

Heritage Moments: Farm girl at the Lockport library, 7-year-old Joyce Carol Oates discovers books

In all of world literature, few authors are as highly esteemed and abundantly prolific as Joyce Carol Oates. Several of her more than 40 novels and numerous short stories, essays, and poetry collections have won honors including the National Book Award, the O. Henry Award and the Pushcart Prize, and she herself was awarded the National Humanities Medal. From the early ’60s to today, her works have often been dark, brooding, even Gothic – but always revelatory and ineffably beautiful.

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NPR News

The day Princess Diana stepped into an active minefield

Jan 13, 2017

On Jan. 15, 1997, one of the world's most famous women walked through an active minefield in Angola, and detonated a mine in front of an audience of international reporters, with the help of a land mine removal expert.

"I did not want to be on the front page of the news the next day," that mine removal expert, Paul Heslop, recently told the BBC, "as the man who'd blown up Princess Diana."

This has been updated at 10:00 pm ET with Clapper statement

President-elect Donald Trump denounced as "fake news" Wednesday reports that Russia had compromising information about him before the election.

He also acknowledged for the first time that Russia was behind the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee, although he seemed to couch it later in the news conference by saying it "could have been others."

Donald Trump hasn't held a wide-ranging press conference in 167 days. That streak is expected to be broken Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET, when Trump holds his first news conference since being elected president.

He'd tweeted 1,601 times in that time, as of midnight Wednesday.

At more than eight hours long, the first day of Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing for attorney general was a marathon. The Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Sessions on a wide range of topics, including allegations of racism that have dogged the Alabama senator for years and his views on immigration as well as the government's use of torture.

President Obama reflected on the achievements of his eight years in the White House on Tuesday night, telling supporters in his hometown of Chicago that they were instrumental in helping him boost the nation's economy, create his signature health care reform law and extend equal rights to more Americans:

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