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.


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…

Mark S. Zito charged forward Thursday in his legal fight with the Niagara Power Coalition, as lawyers for the former executive director filed a lawsuit against the group and its members seeking $37.5 million.Zito has been credited with helping broker a deal between seven municipalities and school districts in western Niagara County and the New York Power Authority worth $1…

Parties looking to develop the Niagara River Greenway continued Tuesday to hammer out the rules to control $450 million in spending over the next 50 years, including what to do if a consensus cannot be reached.Members from the four decision-making bodies, known as standing committees, are being invited to comment in coming weeks on a third set of proposed protocols, said T…

Teachers in the North Tonawanda City School District packed Tuesday evening's School Board meeting to protest the pace of ongoing contract talks.And they did it without saying a word.Even though more than 100 people filled the audience inside the district's Humphrey Street administration building, none of the speakers addressing the board mentioned the negotiations.North T…

Men who survived the horrors of captivity as prisoners of war during World War II will be the focus of a program scheduled for Oct. 6 in Youngstown.Men like Bill Veronica of Cheektowaga, who parachuted from his plane when it was shot down over Hamburg, Germany, in May 1944. When he landed, he was injured and bleeding, only to find himself under attack by German civilians c…

Meghan Hinton of Lockport had her father to thank when she took the stage Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds in the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls.Hinton's father, Tom, had spent the night outside in a sleeping bag making sure his daughter got the 36th spot in line for the local tryouts for the popular network television competition "American Idol."Dad was still the…

Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer on Wednesday vetoed a bill aimed at limiting the siting of hazardous waste facilities in New York, saying the proposal was overly broad and may have had a negative impact on the environment.The proposed legislation would have prohibited the siting of a hazardous waste landfill in an area with the potential to discharge into the Great Lakes system.The…

Common Council President Brett M. Sommer sat back in his chair, leaning his head against the wall and staring at the ceiling.It was nearing the end of a more than 2 1/2 -hour budget work session in the city clerk's office Tuesday night. Sommer had already gotten up from his seat at the head of the table and left the room at least three times.Council members had convened to…