Ashley Hirtzel

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Crime
2:43 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Pretrial hearing held for former Molly's Pub manager

A pretrial hearing is taking place for Jeffrey Basil in Erie County Court Friday morning.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

A pretrial hearing for Jeffery Basil was held in Erie County Court Friday. Basil is accused of pushing William Sager Jr., 28, down the stairs at Molly's Pub on May 11. The fall led to Sager's death two months later.

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Environment
2:17 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Renewable energy projects to begin on West Side

PUSH Buffalo Executive Director Aaron Bartley, Senator Tim Kennedy, Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Buffalo Common Councilmember David Rivera announce the renewable energy funds.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

PUSH Buffalo announced three renewable energy projects on the city’s West Side Thursday. The New York Regional Economic Development Council awarded $902,980 for the projects from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

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Local
3:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Council staffers, activists protest against excessive force by police

Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen, and Councilmember’s David Rivera and Michael LoCurto participated in the rally
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Buffalo Common Council staffers and local activists held a peaceful protest on the steps of City Hall Wednesday. The rally is in response to the lack of indictments in both Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases and was inspired by the recent walkout of congressional staff and a demonstration by New York City Council members.

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Local
12:40 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

New app to help improve cross-border travel

U.S. Customs and Border Protection unveiled the Border Wait Time app
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Crossing the border into the United States may have gotten a little more convenient. U.S. Customs and Border Protection unveiled the Border Wait Time app Wednesday. It will provide travelers with estimated wait times and open lane status at bridges.

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Local
5:08 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Public housing to replace downtrodden Niagara Falls structures

Map of the new 'Walnut Avenue Homes' project.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

New public housing will be built in the City of Niagara Falls. The Walnut Avenue Homes will include 41 new units that will span over several blocks. A groundbreaking ceremony for the project took place Tuesday.

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Local
11:52 am
Tue December 16, 2014

'Holiday Heroes' encourages blood, organ donation

Local police, firefighters, and first responders in collaboration with Unyts kicked-off the Holiday Heroes campaign.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Local police, firefighters and first responders in collaboration with Unyts kicked off the Holiday Heroes campaign Tuesday.

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Local
5:00 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Tips to bounce back from post-holiday sticker shock

Walden Galleria Mall
Credit uniquelycat (Cathy) Smith / Some Rights Reserved

Holiday spending will be up nearly 5 percent this year, according to the National Retail Federation. WBFO’s Ashley Hirtzel spoke to an advisor from Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo to see how people can ease the post-holiday sticker shock.

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Health
2:17 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

NYS health enrollment extended due to November snow

Doctors checking on patient
Credit Seattle Municipal Archives / Some Rights Reserved

If you haven’t enrolled in the New York State Health Exchange yet, the deadline has been extended a few days. The original cut-off for January 1, 2015 enrollment was December 15, but the state moved the date to December 20, 2015 due to the November snow storm.

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Local
5:00 am
Sat December 13, 2014

SantaCon to spread holiday cheer and good will

People participating in SantaCon
Credit facebook.com/santaconbuffalo

Hundreds of volunteers decked out in Santa Claus costumes will collect toy donations in downtown Buffalo Saturday. The fourth annual SantaCon Buffalo will take place at participating businesses along Chippewa Street from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registration will be held at 1:30 p.m. at 67 West.

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Local
3:58 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Property owners receive state help for storm damage

Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Questions are being answered for property owner who experienced snow and water damage during the November snow storm. The New York State Department of Financial Services is camped out behind the Tosh Community Center in South Buffalo Thursday to assist with insurance related issues.

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Health
3:27 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Public argues pros and cons of universal healthcare

Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried is sponsoring legislation that would create a statewide universal single-payer healthcare system.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Could healthcare become universal for all New Yorkers? The State Assembly held a hearing on the suggested New York Health Act in Buffalo Wednesday.

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Crime
2:04 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Drug trafficking ring dismantled in Lackawanna

U.S. Attorney William Hochul announces takedown of the "Project Boys."
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

An illegal narcotics trafficking ring was taken down by several law enforcement agencies and SWAT teams early Tuesday morning. Twenty men and women have been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged.

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Local
12:40 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Could municipal internet work in Buffalo?

Computer
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Faster internet access for everyone is the goal that two Western New Yorkers are trying to accomplish. WBFO’s Ashley Hirtzel spoke to the organizers of ‘Free the Web’ about the benefits of bringing municipal internet to the region.

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Local
2:07 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Schumer urges FAA, OMB to release drone regulations

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer calls for federal regulations on drones.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for immediate federal regulations for small drones. Schumer says he is urging the FAA and The Office of Management and Budget to expedite the release of rules for the unmanned aircrafts.

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Local
5:11 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Polar plunge almost canceled due to November storm

Woodlawn Beach being prepared for the Polar Plunge
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

The November storm snow almost put a monkey-wrench into the 2014 Polar Plunge Saturday. Mountains of leaves and sticks coated Woodlawn Beach after the storm.

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Focus on Education
4:54 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Panelists say Buffalo ‘Renaissance’ is real

Buffalo Heritage Unlimited CEO Marti Gorman, Congressman Brian Higgins, and Niagara University Assistant Professor of Economics and Management Kristine Principe
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Buffalo’s ‘Renaissance’ is real, at least if you ask the panelists who participated in a forum held at Niagara University Friday. The hour-long discussion put together by university students, focused on the dynamics that are helping to change the city’s image.

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Science/Technology
2:37 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Winning civic app to help families find local schools, childcare

First place winners, Scott Falbo (second from left) and Karl Newell (fourth from right) with competition judges.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

The winners of the AT&T Western New York Civic App Challenge were announced Thursday. The competition allowed smartphone app developers and entrepreneurs to tackle social and civic issues across the region through a competitive “virtual hackathon.”

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Local
5:00 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Community input to help make Buffalo more bikeable

People riding bikes in the city.
Credit Thomas Hawk / Some Rights Reserved

Making Buffalo a more bikable is the topic of a meeting being held Thursday night. The partnership between the City of Buffalo and GObike Buffalo will host the second public meeting of the Citywide Bicycle Facility Master Plan.

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Local
12:50 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Local officials call on state to update outdated infrastructure

Rebuild NY Now campaign kicks-off in Buffalo
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

A coalition comprised of local elected officials, laborers, and members of public and private business are urging New York State to upgrade outdated infrastructure across the region. The effort is part of the “Rebuild NY Now” campaign that kicked-off in South Buffalo Wednesday.

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Crime
12:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Man sentenced for killing family friend, setting house on fire

19-year-old David Meyers sentenced in Erie County court for murder and arson.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

David Meyers was sentenced to 20 years-to-life in prison in Erie County court Tuesday. Meyers, 19, admitted to bludgeoning 52-year-old Brian Dombek to death and setting fire to his South Buffalo home back in March to cover up the crime.

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Local
4:27 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Former Buffalo police officer receives probation for assault caught on video

Buffalo Police restraining John Willet back in April
Credit Cop Block of WNY

A former Buffalo police officer was sentenced to one-year probation and fined $3,000 for two civil rights violations. John Cirulli was sentenced in Federal court Monday.

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Business
5:00 am
Sat November 29, 2014

M&T offers assistance to businesses affected by storm

The M&T 'gold dome' in downtown Buffalo
Credit Sean_Marshall / Some Rights Reserved

M&T Bank has launched a new effort to help local small businesses affected by the snow storm. Business banking customers may be eligible for discounted rates on lines of credit and term loans.

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Business
5:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Working group brands shops on business strip in Clarence olidays

Paula's Donuts on Main Street in Clarence
Credit Paulasdonuts.com

In an effort to promote holiday shopping at small businesses, a new working group was formed in Clarence. Discover Main Street Clarence was created to brand the shops on Main Street as a major destination in the region.

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Local
12:01 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Airport, roadways busy this Thanksgiving weekend

Airplane at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

It’s business as usual at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport Wednesday, even though a storm headed for the east coast could have an impact on travelers.

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Local
4:14 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Botanical Gardens closed to clean up storm damage, prepare for holidays

Botanical Gardens' windows shattered by heavy snow
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Heavy snow caused damage in greenhouses behind the main dome of the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. The snow shattered 150 glass panes in the back greenhouses. Plywood is temporarily in place to provide cover until the glass can be replaced.

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Local
1:07 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Snow removal to wrap up this week in South Buffalo

Mayor Byron Brown addresses the media on Abbott Road in South Buffalo.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

Mayor Byron Brown says the worst of the storm may be over, but the city is still responding to the affected areas of South Buffalo and Kaisertown. City crews are focusing on clearing excess snow in the business district on Abbott Road Tuesday.

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Local
2:37 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Snow removal efforts underway at Ralph Wilson Stadium

High lifts are dumping snow into dump trucks to be hauled away.
Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO

People wielding shovels continue to remove snow from Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park. Roughly 150 people are working to rid the home of the Buffalo Bills of snow in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. They’ve been working hand-in-hand with snow removal crews since Sunday night.

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Local
4:49 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

My car was damaged during the snow storm: Now what?

Cars covered in snow
Credit WBFO News file photo

The snow has stopped in some parts of western New York and many cars are being dug out of piles of snow. Now, many residents are wondering who’s on the hook for the damage cars were subjected to by plows, high lifts, and tow trucks.

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Local
9:43 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Business as usual expected post-storm

Checkers restaurant in Cheektowaga
Credit Chris Caya / WBFO

As snow clean up continues many are still stuck inside their homes during a week where holiday shopping would usually begin, but as soon as streets are plowed and driveways cleared many who’ve been cooped up indoors this week are expected to make their way straight to restaurants, retail, and grocery stores.

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Local
2:19 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Limited state of emergency declared in South Buffalo

Skyway is closed
Credit Eileen Buckley / WBFO

A limited state of emergency has been issued in South Buffalo where two feet of blowing and drifting snow has blanketed the area. A driving ban has also been issued from Clinton Street south.

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