Dr. Pamela Brown is now officially the new superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools. Brown was sworn in by Justice Rose Sconiers at City Hall Thursday afternoon.
Brown's three-year contract was unanimously approved Wednesday night by the school board after a court battle. An attempt by Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino to block Brown's hiring was tossed out by State Supreme Court Justice Donna Siwek late Wednesday afternoon.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has announced the creation of a Medicaid Anti-Fraud Task Force.
Poloncarz says Medicaid continues to represent the single largest cost to the county -- $211 million already this year. He says the new task force will root out "provider-level" waste, fraud, and abuse from doctors, dentists, transportation services and pharmacists.
Poloncarz says the task force will go after "the types of entities that overbill the system." He cited a Monroe County pharmacist that fraudulently billed for prescriptions that were never filled.
The state's top cop is cracking down on stores that sell dangerous designer drugs. More than a dozen so-called "head shops" across New York, including one in Buffalo, are headed to court.
The sale of synthetic drugs in head shops has contributed to a public health crisis in New York and across the nation, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The attorney general has filed lawsuits against 16 retailers for violating the state's labeling laws by selling designer drugs known as "bath salts" and "synthetic marijuana."
A decision on whether the Peace Bridge will be the site of a pilot program for easing congestion at northern border crossings could be announced in about 60 days.
In a written statement, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is "on board with the plan." Governor Andrew Cuomo is also urging Napolitano to choose the Peace Bridge.
Along with an announced effort to crack down on trucks left idling at the Peace Bridge, the State Department of Environmental Conservation has also agreed to conduct air monitoring on Buffalo's West Side near the bridge's inspection plaza.
Air monitoring will begin within the next 45 days and will be conducted over a two-month period. The latest data was collected in the late 1990s.
New water rescue equipment being deployed by the Buffalo Police helped save a life just hours after they hit the street.
The city began outfitting every police car in its fleet with a flotation device on Wednesday afternoon. By early Thursday morning, the new equipment called a Life Sling was put to use by officers responding to a call about a man in the water at the foot of West Ferry Street.
The push is on to spruce-up the neighborhood where the new University at Buffalo medical school will be opening in about four years.
The area is being called the 'Western Gateway' to the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus. With construction of the new medical school expected to get underway soon, Rep. Brian Higgins, Mayor Byron Brown and other leaders are working to build support for the Allen Street Improvement Project.
BNMC President and CEO Matt Enstice says the campus's workforce will double to about 17,000 when the Medical School opens in 2016.
Long-overdue maintenance work is in on the way for some bridges in Niagara Falls.
Mayor Paul Dyster says the project will not only prolong the life of the spans, it will help create jobs in a region where unemployment is 8.5 percent.
"Trying to move as many of these construction projects forward as possible is one of the ways, that we, in local government, can contribute to try and put people to work at this critical time," Dyster said.
Wrecking crews will not be going to work near the Peace Bridge tomorrow. State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Glownia issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday barring the demolition of seven homes along Busti Avenue.
The order will remain in place until the court receives and reviews additional court papers and conducts an oral argument on the petitioner's request for a preliminary injunction. Late last week, Buffalo Re-use began tearing out items from the homes for preparation of the demolition.
Proposed spending plans for Niagara-Wheatfield and Cheektowaga-Sloan were rejected the first time around and steep cuts are likely if the budgets are voted down again.
With Niagara-Wheatfield's tax cap set at 7 percent, voters May 15 soundly rejected the first proposed budget that came with a 9.9% tax increase. Since then, the school board cut $1.4 million, including teachers, staff, administrators, and school buses.
Niagara-Wheatfield Interim Superintendant Kerin Dumphrey says if the budget goes down again, class sizes could increase.
Ringo Starr and His 13th All Starr Band take the stage tonight at the Fallsview Casino in Canada for the first show of their North American tour.
Media and invited guests got a preview Wednesday.
Starr's newest band mates, Steve Lukather of Toto and Gregg Rolie of Santana are joining All Starr alumni Richard Page, Mark Rivera, Gregg Bissonette, and Todd Rundgren, who has toured with the All Starrs twice before.
Campaign contributions appear to be flowing to Albany from opponents of increasing the minimum wage. According to Fair Elections for New York, $399,436.87 in contributions have been made to the campaigns of state senators and party committees since January 2010.
Meanwhile, the proposed hike in the minimum wage remains stalled. At a press conference Monday, outside Lincoln United Methodist Church, Director of Community Organizing for PUSH Buffalo, Jennifer Meccozi said, there's strength in numbers, and people can send a message to politicians.
A state lawmaker from Elma is calling for changes to the current DW I hit-and-run law.
Senator Patrick Gallivan is proposing a new bill in the wake of last week's verdict in Dr. James Corasanti's vehicular manslaughter trial. Gallivan said under his proposal a drunk driver who fails to stop would have no excuse for "not knowing they hit a person."
Corasanti was acquitted of serious charges for the hit-and-run death of Alexandra Rice.
Along with a dispute with New York State over alleged violations of its casino compact, the Seneca Nation of Indians is now questioning the safety of state bridges and highways on the Nation's territories.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was denying reports yesterday that his effort to expand casino gaming across New York was influenced by $2 million in donations to a lobbying group created to support him.
The Canadian Consulate's Visa and Immigration section in Buffalo is now closed. Visa services have been transferred to other offices across the country ahead of the consulate's closing at the end of August.
Members of the Western New York Congressional delegation sent a letter to Prime Minister Steven Harper last week urging him to reconsider the cost-cutting move. Rep. Kathy Hochul says given all the commerce that crosses the region's international bridges, the consulate is important.
Several local members of the state delegation are pushing for swift passage of the cyber-bullying law currently pending in Albany.
Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says the bill came about after bullying victim Jamie Rodemeyer, a Williamsville teenager, committed suicide last September.
Ranzenhofer says the issue pervades the entire state and he is challenging Governor Cuomo to "get on board." The Amherst Republican says the updated bill defines the law and aids police how to handle alleged cases of cyber-bullying.
Alexandria Rice's father Richard and her mother Tammy Schueler say they are "unhappy, shocked, dissatisfied [and] disappointed" with the verdict against the man who struck and killed their daughter.
Dr. James Corasanti was acquitted Wednesday of the most serious charges in the hit-and-run death of 18-year old Rice. The jurors cleared Corasanti on two manslaughter charges as well as tampering with evidence and leavening the scene of an accident without reporting, resulting in death. Corasanti was only found guilty on a DWI charge.
The Buffalo Police Department has fired one of its own after an arrest this morning by federal law enforcement officials.
U.S. Attorney William Hochul said former police officer Jorge Melendez, 41, is charged with running a drug manufacturing business out of two warehouses in South Buffalo. Agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the FBI arrested Melendez at Police Headquarters.
An Erie County Court jury has found Dr. James Corasanti not guilty on all of the major charges against him in the death of 18-year-old Alexandria Rice.
Jurors returned to the courtroom just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to issue their verdict.
The jury acquitted the 56-year-old Corasanti on second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, resulting death, and tampering with physical evidence.