Aaron Besecker - The Buffalo News

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Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker is a breaking news and criminal justice reporter for The Buffalo News. He has been a News staff reporter since '07.


The city building inspector wants the Common Council to consider amending two city codes following complaints about problems caused by large recreational vehicles and permanent gas-powered generators.Building Inspector Cosimo R. Capozzi wants city leaders to give his department the power to take action on large mobile homes or RVs, and possibly boats and boat trailers, tha…

Both opponents and supporters of a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter pushed their messages during a public hearing on the project's environmental impact in City Hall Monday evening.The fiery debate prompted City Clerk Thomas M. Jaccarino to call for assistance from city police 20 minutes into the session as verbal disputes erupted simultaneously in the front and back of the ro…

The Niagara River Greenway, which is supposed to link parks and recreational amenities along the Niagara River from Buffalo to Youngstown, will get $9 million over the next three months, with the bulk of that money flowing by the end of October.The payout is part of the proceeds from the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project, hailed by many as a historic financial op…

Virginia Lass remembers volunteering at the first Niagara County Peach Festival nearly a half-century ago.Lass, a Lewiston resident now in her early 80s, recalls the early days of shortcake-making, when the peaches were peeled by hand.Saturday, standing inside the festival's Peach Tent in Academy Park, she said she has watched the event continue to grow every year.A sign o…

Niagara County entities that will control millions of Niagara River Greenway dollars over the next half-century debated Friday with the New York Power Authority over what process should be used if they cannot reach consensus on projects they will support.During a two-hour meeting in the Niagara County Center for Economic Development, the seven Niagara Power Coalition membe…

Seven residents questioned city officials on the proposed 2008 spending plan during a public hearing Tuesday evening in City Hall as city officials work to meet a Sept. 15 deadline to adopt a budget.The Common Council altered Mayor Lawrence V. Soos' budget proposal over several workshop sessions since it was unveiled in early August.The Council is expected to approve a fin…

All indications are that this has been a positive summer for the local tourist trade despite concerns about potential changes to passport requirements and even though final industry figures for the summer haven't been released.And while Labor Day weekend is the traditional sunset for the season, the flocks of visitors haven't ended yet, as the season seems to have been ext…

Mayor Lawrence V. Soos says he doesn't want the popular Molson Canal Concert Series to leave Gateway Harbor Park, but he would like to see it downsized because of liability concerns.The summer concerts held Saturdays along the Erie Canal can bring between 10,000 and 15,000 people downtown -- too many for Soos' liking, he said.Any one incident, whether it stems from an alte…

City residents will have the chance to comment Tuesday on a proposed 2008 budget with a 2.7 percent tax increase, down from Mayor Lawrence V. Soos' original spending plan and its 7 percent hike.The Common Council finalized its proposed budget during a work session Wednesday, ultimately cutting about $400,000 in spending from Soos' proposal for the city's general fund.Counc…

Law enforcement officials late Tuesday afternoon located a missing man in the Niagara River between Lewiston and Queenston after a 20-hour search.The man, from a Chicago suburb, had been reported missing Monday by his mother and was believed to have gone into the water just before 7:40 p.m. Monday.Members of the Niagara County Sheriff's Office underwater team found Richar…

A plan taking a regional approach to the redevelopment of brownfields will be presented during meetings in Lockport and North Tonawanda on Wednesday.But the Niagara Strategic Brownfields Waterfront Plan is about more than just brownfields. It's about the economies and neighborhoods surrounding scarred industrial sites, according to the project's consultant."It's really abo…

The Niagara Power Coalition since mid-July has spent several hours behind closed doors discussing proposed guidelines for spending $3 million in annual settlement payments.At the same time these private discussions have taken place, the New York Power Authority has held two public meetings in which stakeholders in the Niagara Power Project relicensing have debated and coll…

Shaun Halligan of Buffalo ran into a slight snag as he moved into his dormitory room on the Niagara University campus late Friday morning.In the swarm of plastic storage totes, rolling dollies and long lines for the elevator -- otherwise known as college move-in day -- the 18-year-old freshman locked his keys in his car.Halligan, who will be attending the College of Hospit…

Police are continuing their investigation into Thursday night's double shooting on 21st Street that left one man dead and his sister injured.Police said Donald J. Paige, 24, of the 2300 block of 21st Street, had pulled into his driveway and entered his house shortly after 10 p.m. while Victor L. Bullard, 22, waited in the front seat of the vehicle.That's when two males wea…

State regulators have approved a set of radiological testing plans on the site of CWM Chemical Services, where several hazardous waste landfill operators have ignored a 1972 state Department of Health order banning the disturbance of soil.Officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation on Friday announced they have accepted the plans after consultation wi…