Highlights

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Shoreline Trail bridge now open for bicyclists, pedestrians

A bicycle and pedestrian bridge crossing over a busy Buffalo highway is now open to the public. Congressman Brian Higgins celebrated completion of the Shoreline Trail bridge Tuesday.

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Buffalo, NY – The Alleyway Theatre Company got a belated Christmas present. The company was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for renovations of its new Upper West Arts Center on Richmond Avenue.

Buffalo Philharmonic Welcomes Flutist Carol Wincenc

Buffalo, NY – A native Western New Yorker returns to perform and make a recording with the Buffalo Philharmonic. Good morning. I'm Bill Raffel with Music Notes.

Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, NY – The decision over the weekend by the Seneca Nation of Indians Tribal Council to approve a gambling agreement with New York State has raised the hopes of supporters for casinos in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and on Seneca land.

According to the Buffalo News, Seneca President Cyrus Schindler will submit the terms to Governor Pataki. He expressed optimism Pataki would accept them but would not say what they are.

Buffalo, NY – State Assemblyman Sam Hoyt is calling on Governor Pataki to instruct his appointees on the NFTA Board of Commissioners to reject a proposed fare increase for Metro Bus and Rail.

Assembly Hoyt says the governor promised New York City residents in December that he would do what he can to stop proposed rate hikes for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Pataki is quoted as saying the fare increase would be the "wrong thing to do" as the New York City continues to recover from September 11th.

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Building and Construction Trades Council rallied outside the Tri-Main Building in Buffalo Friday. Inside, representatives from Erie County were meeting with the non-union shop, Merit Construction Alliance, and construction manager, Ciminelli Cowper, about the county courthouse renovation project.

Trades president Dan Boody says he believes they were also discussing the disadvantages of a Project Labor Agreement.

Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Buffalo, NY – Jim Santella and Anthony Chase review "Philadelphia Here I Come" at the Irish Classical Theatre, plus "Noises Off" on Broadway and in Buffalo

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.

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Heritage Moments: Buffalo picks a polka

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