Highlights

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Meet Buffalo's first female African-American Fire Lieutenant

History made within the Buffalo Fire Department is being recognized. It now has its first-ever African-American female Lieutenant.

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just buffalo literary center

Pulitzer-Prize winning Poet Lucille Clifton talks about her work in advance of a visit to Buffalo

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo and Erie County have received $1.35 million in federal funding to begin work toward a future regional water delivery.

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.

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From the BBC World Service... A British parliamentary committee has branded Facebook a "digital gangster" as it said fresh controls should be put on social media giants to help limit harmful content. While Facebook says it's open to more meaningful regulation, can new laws help to limit the spread of fake news? Then, British intelligence officials have concluded that the risks posed by involving the Chinese technology giant Huawei in critical U.K. telecoms projects can be managed, in stark contrast with governments in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia.

As facial recognition software spreads, it brings the challenge of diversity along with it. So far, programs identify male, white faces far more accurately than they do black women, for example. A new IBM project aims to change that. Diversity in Faces is a data set of a million faces pulled from public domain pictures on Flickr. It gives computers a lot more to look at and process, and it introduces a way to better measure diversity in faces. John R.

As facial recognition software spreads, it brings the challenge of diversity along with it. So far, programs identify male, white faces far more accurately than they do black women, for example. A new IBM project aims to change that. Diversity in Faces is a data set of a million faces pulled from public domain pictures on Flickr. It gives computers a lot more to look at and process, and it introduces a way to better measure diversity in faces. John R. Smith is an IBM fellow and lead scientist of Diversity in Faces.

After dance pioneer Alvin Ailey died in 1989, the future of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was uncertain. It's difficult to keep a dance company profitable after its founder is long gone – many have tried and failed. But 30 years later, the group is thriving, and decided to celebrate its 60th anniversary and founder by commissioning a new work titled Lazarus.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Heritage Moments

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Heritage Moments: Fugitive slave fights for a family's freedom

In his 1847 memoir, “Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave,” the abolitionist William Wells Brown recalled the years he spent in Buffalo as a worker on lake boats. He remembered one dramatic episode from his Buffalo years in gripping detail .

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