Highlights

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County to receive $16 million from state to boost efforts against addictions

Health officials working closely with an ongoing opioid addiction epidemic say the problem is not going away any time soon. But New York State is committing $213 million to help expand treatment, recovery and prevention programs with the hope the tide may soon turn.

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Lackawanna, NY – Even beyond death, Father Nelson Baker will be helping children in Western New York. Lackawanna's Padre of the Poor - and candidate for sainthood - is the basis of a new educational program from the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Albany, NY – The State Legislature has approved a multi-billion-dollar health care plan for New York. In part, the legislation is designed to boost salaries for nurses, home health care aides and others in the health care industry. It will be partially financed by another increase in the state's cigarette tax.

Governor Pataki and legislative leaders announced they had reached a bipartisan agreement on the plan Tuesday just as the union representing health care workers was holding a rally in Albany in support of it.

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Industrial Development Agency has made permanent the interim appointments of its two leaders. The action was taken Wednesday at the agency's monthly board meeting.

Thomas Kucharski will serve as the agency's president and James Allen as its executive director.

Buffalo, NY – Members of the Buffalo firefighters union received important information this week from their colleagues in Rochester. It basically warns against the implementation of a "Quint/Midi" fire apparatus system in Buffalo.

Buffalo Firefighters Local 282 president Anthony Hynes shared a letter with WBFO News that he received Monday from the president of the Rochester firefighters union.

Buffalo, NY – Adelphia has selected the nationally-recognized architectural firm of Hellmuth Obata & Kassabaum, or HOK, to design its waterfront office complex. Wendel Duchscherer of Amherst will serve as the local partner.

Adelphia CEO Tim Rigas says he envisions a 20 to 25 story building. Various Adelphia offices as well as its Empire Sports cable network will be housed there. It's estimated as many as 1,000 employees will work in the complex.

Buffalo, NY – An update was provided Tuesday on initiatives established to create job growth and new investment in the region. The Buffalo Niagara Partnership released a second quarterly report on Buffalo Niagara NOW.

Albany, NY – Legislative leaders and Governor Pataki say they have a deal on a multi-billion dollar health care plan. In part, the legislation is designed to boost salaries for health care workers.

The plan is expected to be approved by the State Senate and Assembly by the end of the day Tuesday.

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello is planning more employee layoffs to close part of the remaining $7 million gap in this year's city budget.

Masiello is not disclosing the number of layoffs he's planning. But they would affect temporary and provisional employees in Buffalo, many of whom work in the city's public works, parks and streets departments.

The city laid off 75 employees in November.

Buffalo, NY – I live in the Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo, where there have been recent news reports of house break-ins. The Parkside Community Association suggested that a dog may be the best burglar prevention device. My kids really want a dog. I’m not so sure. When I was young, my next door neighbors had a dog...

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.

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Heritage Moments: How Jay Silverheels, the man who played Tonto, got his name

Tonto is one of the most famous and enduring characters ever to come out of American television. He is the Lone Ranger’s faithful sidekick, brave, loyal and just, variously described as Potawatomi or Comanche. And the actor who made Tonto come alive during the entire TV run of The Lone Ranger (1949-57) was a handsome, dark-haired, sometimes-Buffalonian named Jay Silverheels.

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