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Cuomo proposes new taxes, tax restructuring in new budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $168 billion budget plan that would close an over $4 billion gap by reducing some spending and imposing tax increases on health insurers, big businesses and prescription opioid users, among others. Cuomo said he also wants to look into legalizing marijuana in New York.

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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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As the prospect of a long-term immigration deal for young people who were brought to the country illegally as children dwindles, the Justice Department is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The department says it will take "the rare step" later this week of filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

Accidental deaths in the United States rose significantly in 2016, becoming the third-leading cause of fatalities for the first time in more than a century – a trend fueled by the steep rise in opioid overdoses, the National Safety Council reports.

Accidents — defined by the council as unintentional, preventable injuries — claimed a record 161,374 lives in 2016, a 10 percent increase over 2015. They include motor vehicle crashes, falls, drowning, chocking and poisoning, a category that encompasses accidental overdoses.

Colin Campbell needs help dressing, bathing and moving between his bed and his wheelchair. He has a feeding tube because his partially paralyzed tongue makes swallowing "almost impossible," he says.

Campbell, 58, spends $4,000 a month on home health care services so he can continue to live in his home just outside Los Angeles. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or "Lou Gehrig's disease," which relentlessly attacks the nerve cells in his brain and spinal cord and has no cure.

Three-quarters of the seats on the U.S. National Park Service advisory board are vacant following a mass resignation Monday night, citing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's unwillingness to meet with them.

Nine of the panel's 12 members, led by former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, handed in their resignations. The bipartisan panel was appointed by President Obama and the terms of all members who quit were set to expire in May.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who has already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

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Heritage Moments

Ilyas Ahmed/AMISOM

Heritage Moments: From a cubicle on Swan Street to the presidency of Somalia

Three world leaders have called Western New York their home. The first two, the American presidents Millard Fillmore and Grover Cleveland, are well known to people living in the region. The third is less celebrated here.

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Major funding for Great Lakes Today on WBFO is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people

Theater Talk 25th Anniversary Photo Gallery