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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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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.

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.

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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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Theater Talk 25th Anniversary Photo Gallery