Local

Local
10:53 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Parents group protests outside BTF headquarters

The Buffalo Teachers Federation may have had its office at Porter and Niagara closed yesterday but critics of the union and the school system were demonstrating outside pushing for changes in the union contract and in city schools.

The immediate push is for the union to agree to waive a provision in the contract which requires all coaches to be certified teachers, whether they know anything about the sport or not.

Sam Radford is president of the District Parent Coordinating Council and a vocal critic of the school system.

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Local
2:57 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Nearly $12 million in FAA funds to rebuild runway at Niagara Falls International Airport

Inside the Niagara Falls International Airport
WBFO News file photo

A big batch of federal funding is coming to the Niagara Falls International Airport.  

Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul joined Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority leaders at the Airport Thursday morning.  

Hochu announced that the Federal Aviation Administration will provide $11.7 million to rebuild the main runway at the Falls Airport.  

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Local
11:21 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Demolitions will make way for Peace Bridge expansion

Some Busti Avenue homes will be demolished for toll plaza expansion
WBFO News file photo

The long process for speeding up traffic across the Peace Bridge is shifting to improving the plaza on the U.S. end.

That's going to be a relatively small improvement compared to the $300 million plan Washington was pushing but wouldn't pay for.

With plans shown at a public display yesterday in the Niagara Branch Library, the bridge authority wants to demolish a row of houses along Busti Avenue and eventually buy and demolish the adjacent Episcopal Church Home.

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Local
10:25 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Jimmy Griffin statue coming to downtown stadium

Sculptor William Koch with clay figure of Griffin statue
mike desmond/wbfo news

The key figure in building a downtown baseball stadium will soon be memorialized with a bronze statue outside Coca Cola Field.

The statue is a little taller than the real man and he has a hair line from a long time ago and he's smiling as he begins to fire the baseball.

It's Jimmy Griffin, father, grandfather, part-owner of a baseball team, the man behind the baseball stadium.

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Local
9:46 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Poll shows Romney leading among New York GOP

Mitt Romney's race to the Republican nomination will likely ease decisively through New York State.

That's according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University which shows Romney with a huge lead among those expected to vote in New York's April 24th GOP Primary. Romney has the support of 54 percent of expected voters compared to Rick Santorum's 21 percent.

The November election may be a drastically different story.

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Local
9:33 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Man shot by Buffalo police officer

A man is recovering this morning at Erie County Medical Center after he was shot in the stomach by a Buffalo police officer during a standoff in Black Rock Wednesday night.

The wound has been categorized as non-life threatening to the unnamed man who has been described as being in his late sixties.

In accordance to department policy, the officer has been placed on administrative leave as the incident is reviewed by the Homicide Bureau and Internal Affairs.

The Hamilton Street standoff came to a boil when the man threatened an ambulance crew with a knife.

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Local
4:12 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

President Obama signs Slaughter's STOCK Act

In his 2012 State of the Union address, President Obama urged lawmakers to pass the STOCK Act and said he would sign the legislation quickly
whitehouse.gov

A broken leg kept Western New York Rep. Louise Slaughter from attending the presidential signing of a bill she championed that prohibits insider trading among members of Congress and other federal employees.

President Obama cited Slaughter by name during a signing ceremony today for the the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, lauding her six-year effort in getting the bill passed.

"She first introduced the STOCK Act in 2006 and I know how proud she is to see this bill that she championed finally become law," President Obama said.

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Local
1:37 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Governor comes to Buffalo to tout budget accomplishments

Governor Andrwe Cuomo
WBFO News file photo

An estimated 250 guests, politicians from both sides of the isle, and a hoard of local media were on hand late Wednesday morning at the Burchfield Penney Art Center for Governor Andrew Cuomo's Buffalo visit.

The Governor was eager to share his administrations accomplishments.

"We reduced the property taxes with a property tax cap that now limits property tax increases to 2%," said Governor Cuomo.  "We reduce the burden on local government by passing real mandate relief that has the state reduce the number of mandates," said Cuomo.

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Local
1:15 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Delta flight attendant pulled off flight from Buffalo

A Delta Airlines Flight attendant was removed from a flight Wednesday morning at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.  

The Transportation Security Administration says one of its officers at a security checkpoint stated they felt uncomfortable with the actions of one of the male flight attendants.  But the TSA said it was not a security issue.  

Delta issued a statement saying it was notified this morning that a flight attendant appeared to be "unfit for duty". 

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Local
1:14 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Solar power's slow growth in NYS

Solar panels
WBFO News file photo

Solar power is a slowly growing piece of the energy picture in New York while offering jobs possibilities for all of the electrical bits and pieces other than the actual solar panels.

There is solar power used in the Empire State and the State Power Authority generates around two-and-a-half-megawatts itself although it really isn't in the solar business.  Instead, it's working with NYSERDA, the state's energy research authority, to find ways to use solar to reduce conventional energy generation demand and to develop companies which supply the solar industry.

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Local
11:54 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Road & bridge repairs on Governor's budget list

Inbound Kensington Expressway
WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Albany is moving forward to repair New York's aging and decrepit roads and bridges, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into an accelerated repair program.

That is on top of spending in the regular budget to turn around bad bridges and roads.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is focusing on his New York Works program, with more than a billion federal and state dollars, with $121 million of that going into 48 projects across Western New York, all to start this year.

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Local
9:31 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Congresswoman Hochul initiates Medicare debate

U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul talks with seniors
WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

Medicare was on the minds of more than a dozen seniors who sat down Tuesday with Congresswoman Kathy Hochul at the Blocher Homes on Evans Street in Williamsville. 

At least one member of the group expressed concerns  about those in congress who continually "snipe" at entitlement programs for being too costly, and that something has to be done. 

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Local
9:20 am
Wed April 4, 2012

Bankruptcy reveals executive compensation at Pinnacle

Bankruptcy proceedings are making public some of the problems crippling Pinnacle Airlines, the parent company of Colgan Air, the operator of  Flight 3407, which claimed 50 lives when it crashed in Clarence Center in February 2009. 

As some of its pilots await overdue paychecks, filings with the Security and Exchange Commission reveal generous compensation packages for Pinnacle executives.

The Buffalo News reports the company gave its current CEO a $250,000 raise just a month prior to filing for bankruptcy.

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Local
5:16 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Slaughter breaks her leg in a fall

Western New York Rep. Louise Slaughter is recovering from a broken leg.

Slaughter, 82, was attending an event in New York City honoring women leaders in public service when she accidentally fell and broke her leg.

A statement issued by her office says the congresswoman is in "good spirits" and her doctors indicate she will be back at work when the House of Representatives reconvenes April 16.

However, Slaughter says she is disappointed that she will not be able to attend Wednesday's signing of the STOCK Act with President Barack Obama. 

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Local
2:06 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

Body of local soldier arrives home

Photo from Wilson's Facebook page

The body of Army Sgt. William Wilson III of Getzville has arrived home. 

Wilson was shot and killed in Afghanistan by an alleged member of the Afghan security police force on March 26.  

Sgt. Wilson’s body arrived at the Prior Aviation in Cheektowaga late Tuesday morning.  The 27-year-old was a 2003 graduate of Williamsville North High School. 

A wake will be held Wednesday and Thursday at the Amigone Funeral Home in Amherst.  Funeral services will be held Friday morning at the Chapel at Crosspoint in Getzville.

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Local
10:00 am
Tue April 3, 2012

A new method of detecting lies?

Analyzing eye behavior at 30 frames per second provides insight into how people lie and tell the truth, says UB professor Ifeoma Nwogu.
Daniel Robison WBFO

Detecting lies has never been a foolproof science. Current methods can provide an educated guess but none are considered conclusive.

Now, new research from the University at Buffalo has found a promising new way to identify untruths.

UB researchers have developed a computer program that measures eye behavior - using cameras that shoot 30 frames per second.

The eyes have it

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Local
9:30 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Ryan proposes IDA changes

Sean Ryan addresses a public meeting at D'Youville College
mike desmond/wbfo news

State Assemblyman Sean Ryan is pitching a plan to take away much of the power of the six Industrial Development Agencies in the county and shift economic development control to the Regional Economic Development Council.

The IDAs would also lose much of their power to issue tax breaks, limiting it to the government they represent so that the Amherst IDA could only ease town taxes not those of every government and school district in the county as it can now.

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Local
8:03 am
Tue April 3, 2012

City restricts teenagers on Chippewa Strip

Chippewa Street changes tonight, with a new city ordinance barring those between 18 and 21 from being inside taverns.

That's with the exception of Thursday when they will be allowed in.

Mayor Brown signed the law into effect yesterday and the Council is slated to change it today, to make those Thursday nights a six-month experiment.

Those underage customers are considered part of a safety and crime problem along the "Chip Strip," and city leaders want to fight that to avoid damaging a thriving commercial zone.

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Local
7:44 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Majority Leader's wife faces possible prison sentence

The wife of  Buffalo Common Council Majority Leader, Demone Smith,  has admitted to her role in a counterfeit check scheme while she working for the Buffalo Bills.
    
The Buffalo News reports  that 35-year-old Jayme Smith pleaded guilty Monday to federal bank fraud charges in connection with more than $560,000 in bogus checks.
   
 She admitted creating the fraudulent checks and mailing them to individuals across the United States while working for the Bills last year.
    
Court documents didn't mention of the case's financial impact on the Bills.

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Local
7:27 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Maziarz endorses Bellavia over Collins

Republican David Bellavia
WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

Political lines are being drawn as the Republican candidates battle for their party's nomination in New York's 27th Congressional district.

State Senator George Maziarz is endorsing Iraq War veteran David Bellavia, bypassing the better-financed candidacy of former Erie County Executive Chris Collins.

The move follows the endorsement of the Orleans County Republican Party, which is also backing Bellavia.

The Buffalo News is reporting that three-time Congressional candidate Jack Davis is providing financial support to Bellavia's campaign.

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Pinnacle Airlines bankruptcy
3:45 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

Pinnacle Airlines files for bankruptcy

Pinnacle Airlines, the parent company of Colgan Air, which operated Continental Connection Flight 3407, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

The Colgan unit would cease to exist under Pinnacle's planned restructuring, along with its planes and flights.  Flight 3407 crashed in Clarence in 2009, killing 50 people.  Pilot error was cited as the cause of the disaster. 

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Local
3:44 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

City seeks developers for Webster Block

Webster Block area
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The city of Buffalo is seeking request for proposals to develop what is known as the “Webster Block” in downtown Buffalo.

The section of city-owned land currently serves as a parking lot across from First Niagara Center -- bordering Main Street, Washington, Scott and Perry  Streets. 

Mayor Byron Brown said Monday with the hockey arena and Canalside nearby, it is a prime piece of land to develop.

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Local
1:29 pm
Mon April 2, 2012

United Way campaign raises $13.5 million

United Way president Michael Weiner
WBFO News photo by Mark Leitner

The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County has exceeded its yearly campaign goal for the first time since 2002. 

The more than $13,568,000 in pledges for 2011 announced today by United Way officials represents a two-percent increase over the amount raised last year. 

United Way president Michael Weiner says he is grateful for the way the community responded.

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Local
10:15 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Buffalo School Board removing half-days from school schedule

Buffalo School Board
WBFO News file photo

Saying they just aren't worth the trouble, Buffalo schools want to do away with those "half-days," half-days of class and half-days of professional development for teachers.

The district has seven of them this year and wants none next year, although that depends on what Albany does about Regents tests during the year.

"There's limited benefit to the teachers and I'm sure it's very frustrating for the parents as well," said school board member John Licata.

So, district administrators argue they have to go.

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Local
8:53 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Pastor Tony Campolo discusses church and politics

Tony Campolo is a Baptist clergyman and university sociologist, has written a series of books and was a counselor to President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

All during his career, he's been involved in skirmishes with other clergy, including an informal heresy hearing.

While strongly in favor of clergy being involved in issues, he says backing candidates crosses the line.

"There's a big difference between dealing with issues and endorsing candidates," Campolo said.

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Local
8:37 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Lineup set for Lucille Ball Comedy Festival

Billy Gardell of the CBS sitcom "Mike & Molly," and Paula Poundstone are among the major acts appearing at Jamestown's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in August.

According to Journey Gunderson, executive director of the Lucy Desi Center in Jamestown, last year's event drew 13,000 visitors and sparked $3.6 million in economic activity.

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Local, Press Pass
5:00 am
Mon April 2, 2012

Press Pass: Buffalo News Suburban Editor Bruce Andriatch on new 27th congressional district

WBFO News file photo

The newly-redrawn 27th congressional district will make it more difficult for incumbent Democrat Kathy Hochul to win re-election this year.  And two area towns are exploring a job sharing arrangement to reduce costs. 

WBFO and AM 970's Mark Scott touches on these and other topics in this week's Press Pass with Buffalo News Suburban Editor Bruce Andriatch.

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Amnesty before tow in Kenmore
10:41 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Drivers offered leniency for parking tickets in Kenmore

The Village of Kenmore is offering an amnesty period to motorists who have outstanding parking tickets.

Village officials have passed a law that vehicles with at least three outstanding tickets can be towed. It is estimated that at least $500,000 in unpaid tickets have been issued since 2003.

The amnesty period will last until May 31st, and vehicle owners can learn about any unpaid citations by contacting the Kenmore Police Department.

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Sentencing awaits for pair in drug heist
10:29 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Two men face charges in drug theft, distribution

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

A local man is facing a lengthy prison sentence and a hefty fine after a guilty plea was entered on Friday for drug conspiracy charges.

Twenty-six year old Scott Bald is accused of stealing more than 1300 prescription pills from a Clinton Street pharmacy in 2010. The charges detail that Bald conspired with Michael McCallum to steal and later distribute Oxycodone, Oxycontin and Percocet from the pharmacy.

Bald is facing a 20 year prison senctence and a $1 million fine and will be sentenced in July.

McCallum has also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in May.
 

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Second place lottery ticket sold near Rochester
10:24 am
Sun April 1, 2012

Portion of lottery jackpot to be shared in Western New York

WBFO News file photo by Eileen Buckley

Three winners in three different states have been identified as winners in the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot.

The Democrat and Chronicle out of Rochester is reporting that a second place ticket was sold at a Wegman's store in the Town of Henrietta. The value of the ticket is reported to be $250,000.

This is one of seventeen second place winning tickets sold in New York State but the only one purchased in Western New York.

The identity of the winner has not been released.
 

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