Central Terminal

Buffalo's Central Terminal has emerged as the big winner in the National Trust Buffalo Challenge. 

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company announced that Buffalo’s Central Terminal has received the most votes winning a $10,000 preservation grant.

The Central Terminal competed against three other local sites -- the Colored Musicians Club, Graycliff, and the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site. 

SantaCon comes to town!

Dec 19, 2011
Photo provided by events@kcyouthere.com

Over the weekend, the first ever SantaCon was held in Buffalo and organizers are deeming it a "great success".   

Nearly 200 Santas, reindeer, elves gathered to show their holiday cheer exactly one week before Christmas and help collect toys for the needy.  

WBFO News file photo

While the state's new property tax cap level is welcome relief for residents, it could mean difficult times ahead for local suburban school districts.  

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked to the head of the New York State School Boards Association who warns of sweeping and maybe even drastic changes.

WBFO News file photo

One of the many issues new Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz will need to tackle is a new lease deal to keep the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. 

The county is hoping the state will kick in some cash, but as WBFO's Eileen Buckley tells us, the Governor is making no promises.

Photo on Buffalo Spree Website, by Joseph Cascio

This month's edition of the Buffalo Spree focuses on three vacant church structures in city.

In this week's Press Pass, WBFO's Eileen Buckley is joined by Buffalo Spree editor Elizabeth Licata to discuss her special Preservation Ready: Sacred spaces under a deathwatch.

Photo provided by Buffalo Police

An off-duty Buffalo Police officer was seriously injured in a one car crash in North Buffalo early Friday morning.

Buffalo Police spokesman Mike DeGeorge says it happened around 4:30 a.m. at Main Street at Depew Avenue.  57-year-old officer Anthony Douglas was taken to ECMC. He remains in critical condition.

The accident remains under investigation, but Police believe the officer might have suffered a heart attack and slammed into the center median.

New leader at UB's MCEER center

Dec 16, 2011
Photo from UB Website

A University at Buffalo professor has been elected to a two-year term as the director of  MCEER.

 Dr. Andrew Whittaker is an internationally recognized expert in earthquake and blast engineering.  MCEER  is the national center of excellence focues on multi-hazard engineering.  It is headquartered at UB.   

Whittaker has been faculty member since 2001. He now becomes the sixth director in the center’s 25-year history. 

Photo from Salvation Army Website

Tough economic times are being felt by the Salvation Army of Buffalo.  The annual Red Kettle campaign and other fundraising efforts are significantly behind from last year's donations.  

Salvation Army executive director Major Thomas Applin tells WBFO News at the same time, request for their services significantly high.

"For instance, our Red Kettle effort, which is the bell ringers in the stories in the area, their down "$25,000 from last year," said Major Applin

A Canadian sports doctor has been spared prison time. 

52-year-old Anthony Galea of Toronto appeared in a Buffalo federal courtroom Friday afternoon for his sentencing.

Galea admitted to bringing unapproved and mislabeled drugs over the border into Buffalo.  He promoted himself as a healing specialist, who helped athletes recover from injuries. His list of clients included Tiger Woods and players from the NFL and Major League baseball. 

Photo from Uncrowned Queens & Kings Website

A member of the transition team of Erie County Executive-elect Mark Poloncarz has resigned after sexual harassment and discrimination allegations surfaced.  

Bernard Tolbert is a former special agent-in-charge of the Buffalo FBI.  He is being sued by women employees from the National Basketball Association.  Tolbert once headed security for the NBA.  

A New York Times article says Tolbert also settled a sexual harassment case filed against him in 2009 by an administrative assistant at the NBA. 

WBFO News file photo

No one from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority attended Thursday's Common Council hearing on the future of the NFTA's waterfront property.

The city is trying to regain control of the valuable real estate that it once owned. The NFTA has asked for proposals from those interested in buying Gallagher Beach, the Small Boat Harbor and the old port terminal complex.

South District Council member Michael Kearns says the city has a fundamental responsibility to participate in these discussions.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

 The leader of MusicalFare Theatre is looking forward to the leadership change in County government. The 2012 county budget has restored much of the arts and cultural funding previously cut by outgoing County Executive Chris Collins. County executive-elect Mark Poloncarz, in addition to being open-minded to arts funding, has also included a member of the theatre community on his transition team.

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talked to MusicalFare's artistic and executive director Randal Krammer at the theatre's recent "Unsilent Night" holiday fundraiser.

Photos from Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY. Photography by John Koegel

With the  holiday season in full swing, many of the area theatres are featuring Christmas performances. 
This week Jim Santella and Anthony Chase offer reviews of few of the special holiday shows, including It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play wrapping up this weekend at the The Kavinoky Theatre in Buffalo. The Holiday Guys continues on stage at MusicalFare Theatre, starring Jeffry Denman and Marc Kudisch, and Eyewitness News weather man Mike Randall continues his holiday tradition as Charles Dickens Presents: A Christmas Carol.

GED program dedicated at Buffalo high school

Dec 15, 2011
WBFO News photo by Michael Mroziak

The Buffalo public school district's adult education division, in cooperation with the South Buffalo Education Center, has moved a program into South Park High School where those who did not earn a high school diploma can now do so.  Both education and elected leaders gathered at South Park High School to dedicate a new sign identifying the high school as the home of their joint adult education effort. 

WBFO News file photo

There is expected to be a change in leadership in the Buffalo Common Council.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says for the last eight years, Fillmore District lawmaker David Francyzk has served as Council president, but now Lovejoy District Council member Richard Fontana is apparently gaining new support to lead the Common Council in 2012

Buffalo Schools turn-around plans approved

Dec 15, 2011

The Buffalo Board of Education approved turn-around models Wednesday night for six low-achieving schools.  Futures Academy and the Charles Drew Science Magnet will both see half of their staffs replaced.  The other four schools will operate under an Educational Partnership Organization.  Known as an E-P-O, it is a restart model that -- if approved by the State -- would see outside organizations run the schools.   

Declining health of Lake Erie

Dec 15, 2011
WBFO News file photo

Back in the 70’s Lake Erie was called a dead lake because of pollution that resulted in little or no oxygen in a large part of the lake.

Today the lake is in declining health again from a number of sources. WBFO contributor Ray Marks takes a look at the issue.

WBFO News file photo

The City of Buffalo is expanding its recycling program, hoping to raise the rate of recycling from 8% to 16%, holding the line on the residential garbage fee and increasing revenues.

The first step began Wednesday morning on Crowley street.

The first of 70,000 Buffalo Green Cart recycling totes was rolled off a trailer, on to the driveway of Rose Marie Brock's home in the Riverside section of Buffalo. Brock, who's lived in the neighborhood for nearly 48 years, is a long time recycler and is quick to list the items she recycles.

Assemblyman to IDAs: Stop Pirating Each Other

Dec 14, 2011

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan says if the Buffalo-Niagara region is to finally move forward in economic development, economic development agencies to stop the practice of one locality pirating a business away from a neighboring locality. 

Dealing with airport security rules for holiday travel

Dec 14, 2011
WBFO News photo by Marian Hetherly

2011There are plenty of things to stress about over the holidays, but air travel doesn't have to be one of them. 

WBFO's Marian Hetherly takes a look at the latest security measures implemented by the Transportation Security Administration--just in time for the busiest travel time of the year.

"The extra thing I do is just stress more," said
Paula Mandel.  Mandel  is from the New York City area and tries to get in front of her customers as much as possible during the holidays. 

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said it was his administration that initially discovered the theft of thousands of dollars in parking meter money. 
56-year-old James Bagarozzo and 39-year-old Lawrence Charles  were arrested at their Buffalo homes Monday by the FBI.  Bagarozzo is accused of taking more than $200,000 from the parking meters, including more than $40,000 stashed in his bathroom ceiling.

Mayor Brown said  they turned the case over to federal authorities.

Year end holiday road travel to increase

Dec 14, 2011

The Automobile Association of America is out with its most robust holiday travel forecast in a couple of years. 

The AAA estimates 90-million people will travel 50 miles of more away from home over Christmas and New Year's, the busiest travel time of the year. This compares to 42 million over Thanksgiving, the next busiest travel time. 

"Ever since '09, we've seen a stagnant or even a little lower number of people traveling," said Wally Smith, Vice President of AAA.

Photo provided by Buffalo City Mission

We hear the phrase “home for the holidays” quite a bit around this time of the year.  While the term might stir up warm and fuzzy feelings for some people, it rings hollow for those who don’t have a place to call home. 

Former Buffalo Sabre Matthew Barnaby pleaded guilty to DWI and other charges in Clarence Town Court late Tuesday.

38-year-old Barnaby was arrested and charged in the early morning hours of December 5th after he was stopped by Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies for driving erratically and without a front tire in Clarence. Barnaby also refused to take a breathalyzer test after failing a field sobriety test.

UB2020 gets state's thumbs up

Dec 13, 2011
WBFO News photo by Michael Mroziak

Governor Andrew Cuomo traveled to the University at Buffalo's Amherst campus Tuesday to announce the approval of the UB2020 application. 

The State has awarded $35 million to UB under the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant program.   Governor Cuomo signed the challenge grant at the North campus late Tuesday morning.  The $375 million dollar plan is designed to create more than 3,000 jobs while helping to revitalize Buffalo's economy.

WBFO file photo

Two city workers have been charged in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars from the City of Buffalo.  

An FBI probe lead to the arrests of 56-year-old James Bagarozzo and 39-year-old Lawrence Charles, both of Buffalo. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Maura K. O'Donnell, who is handling the case, stated that the defendants are employed as parking meter mechanics for the City of Buffalo.  In this capacity, both defendants had the responsibility of repairing defective parking meter machines, but were not authorized to collect any money deposited into the machines.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer was in Niagara Falls Monday afternoon to call on the U.S. Department of Transportation to "fast track" the demolition of a section of the Robert Moses Parkway between the John Daley and Main street exit ramps.

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer took a page out of the Ronald Reagan playbook Monday, calling for the demolition of a short section of the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls.

"Right now the Robert Moses Parkway stands like a Berlin Wall," said Schumer.  "Mr. Transportation Secretary, tear down this road."

City's recycling adds "green" tote carts

Dec 12, 2011
Photo provided by Mayor Byron Brown's office

The City of Buffalo's recycling program has turned "greener" - literally.  Monday Mayor Byron Brown unveiled the city's Buffalo Green Cart Recycling program.

City of Buffalo adds more "green" to its recycling,  It is an expanded recycling initiative designed to increase curbside collection while holding the line on the residential garbage fee and raising city revenues.

New green recycling carts -- similar to the city's large blue garbage totes -- are now making their debut in the city this week.

New Erie County Clerk begins post

Dec 12, 2011
Photo from Facebook to elect Jacobs

Chris Jacobs is now officially the Erie County Clerk.  Jacobs, who moves into the new job after serving on the Buffalo School Board, was elected to the post in a very close race against Maria Whyte. 

WBFO's Michael Mroziak caught up with Jacobs late last week, as he finally spoke about the transition nearly one month after Election Day.