News

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.

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.

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.

Cheektowaga, NY – There may be help for small businesses in Erie County that suffered damage from December's snow storm. Congressman Jack Quinn says he's seeking Small Business Administration assistance.

"My whole life is in this garage. I can't even fathom how much it would cost to put it back together again," John Drysdale, owner of the Airport Truck and Rental Center on Aero Drive in Cheektowaga, said.

Buffalo, NY – There has been a total change in leadership at the Erie County Legislature.

A weighted vote system, imposed by a federal court, has shifted the majority over to seven Republicans within the County Legislature. Democrat Albert DeBenedetti, who has often sided with the Republicans, defeated Democrat Lynn Marinelli for the chairmanship seat because of the new system. He replaces Charles Swanick. Swanick say the court order was issued on an interim basis and believes there will be a chance to challenge the decision.

Buffalo, NY – My family and I are definitely what you would call pro Buffalo. We think the city is great and has so much to offer. There’s just one problem; we live in the suburbs. We moved out of the city almost as if by accident some thirteen years ago. Call it the fault of mid-80s real estate, but by the time we had found our perfect house after two years of searching in Buffalo, the house just happened to be in the suburbs. We’ve been checking the home finder for Buffalo real estate every Saturday ever since our move.

Buffalo, NY – Four more Buffalo schools have been placed on the state's School Under Registration Review -- or SURR -- list. They are Schools 38 and 53 and Burgard and Kensington High Schools.

Schools placed on the SURR list are furthest from state standards in math or English. At the four Buffalo schools, all were cited for poor student performance in math exams. Kensington was also cited for a high drop-out rate.

Albany, NY – Governor George Pataki Tuesday announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved his request to expand federal snow emergency assistance for Erie and Niagara counties to help pay the costs of dealing with the recent severe snowstorms that hit the region.

FEMA has granted the Governor's request to extend the time period allowed for reimbursement of snow removal operations and critical emergency needs from 48 hours to 120 hours and to lift the $5 million funding cap.

Pages