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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 State Canal Corp. on Tuesday announced the designation of a trail system of 100 launch sites for boats and paddle craft across New York.Dubbed the "Canalway Water Trail," the effort aims to improve existing sites by making them more user-friendly, Canal Corp. Director Carmella R. Mantello said at a news conference in Mayor's Park, located on the Erie Canal.Us…

When radioactive waste like that buried in Niagara County was cleaned up at a site in Ohio, federal and state regulators worked openly with the community, the former head of the site's advisory panel said Wednesday night.About three-dozen people attended a public information session sponsored by the former Lake Ontario Ordnance Works Restoration Advisory Board in…

The city needs to upgrade its 911 system, at a cost of a half-million dollars or more, the city's top police officer told lawmakers Tuesday night.The equipment in the decade-old communications system in Police Headquarters has been failing, Police Chief Randy D. Szukala told the Common Council during a workshop in City Hall.In addition, the company that provides ma…

The operator of the Northeast's only commercial hazardous-waste landfill could have moved more quickly to upgrade an out-of-date system that removes contaminated groundwater from its site, a representative of the state's environmental regulatory agency told an advisory panel Monday.Officials at CWM Chemical Services declared the system out of service last August,…

The Town of Lewiston will be able to spend more than $800,000 from a parks and recreation fund on three projects, including 5,700 linear feet of new sidewalks in Sanborn, thanks to votes Wednesday from a panel of eight governmental bodies.The Host Community Standing Committee, without a single dissenting vote, agreed to allow the town to fund the projects during a …

City lawmakers agreed Tuesday night to hire a consultant to conduct a redevelopment study for the unused, city-owned former marina on the Niagara River.The Common Council, by a 5-0 vote, approved a recommendation from Lumber City Development Corp., the city's economic-development agency, to sign a deal with Applied Technology & Management of Charleston, S.C.The f…

One of the area's first female police chiefs has retired, one month after her husband, a police captain under her command, pleaded guilty to a federal assault charge.City of Tonawanda Police Chief Cindy J. Young, who retired effective Sunday, was cleared in an internal probe into how the Police Department managed complaints, according to city officials.Young had be…

The Lewiston-Porter School Board wants the district to be considered for a cash donation from CWM Chemical Services' parent company through a golf event to be held locally this year, even though the board voted last year to oppose the hazardous waste landfill's proposed expansion.Board members voted, 4-2, on Tuesday night to respond to an inquiry from CWM officia…

One of the area's first female police chiefs has retired, one month after her husband, a police captain under her command, pleaded guilty to a federal assault charge.City of Tonawanda Police Chief Cindy J. Young, who retired effective Sunday, was cleared in an internal probe into how the Police Department managed complaints, according to city officials.Young had be…

Erie County on Monday reopened an Auto Bureau in Amherst's Northtown Plaza, the same commercial plaza where a bureau had been located before it fell victim to the county's budget crisis in 2005.The bureau, now located at 3095A Sheridan Drive, near My Tomato Pie and Taste of India, is designed to serve Northtowns residents, County Clerk Kathleen C. Hochul said.The…

The Niagara Falls school maintenance worker who was allowed to resign after he was found doing private contracting work at the homes of district officials while on school time was given added benefits in the years before he left, as well as when he quit.Jeffrey B. Pasquantino received more than a month's worth of extra sick days during the last few years he was on …

A Niagara Falls School District maintenance worker did private contracting work on the home of the then-superintendent during a paid workday, according to a private investigators' report and district attendance records.Jeffrey B. Pasquantino, who resigned last January, was seen leaving the Cayuga Island home of then-Superintendent Carmen A. Granto on June 7, 2004, accordi…

A federal advisory panel listened to pleas Wednesday from Western New Yorkers who had family members die of cancer after working in facilities that handled nuclear materials.The 16-member Advisory Board on Radiation and Worker Health opened three days of meetings in the Crowne Plaza Hotel to calls for help from frustrated residents who believe that the government i…

Three days after losing a part-time city patronage post, the chairman of the North Tonawanda Democratic Committee got a $49,000 job with the New York Power Authority.Mark C. Houghton took a job May 3 as a buildings and grounds attendant, a full-time position at the Niagara Power Project, according to an authority spokeswoman.Houghton, 55, had been clerk of the Nort…