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.


As the Common Council reviews Mayor Lawrence V. Soos' proposed budget for next year, one member has noted that a half-million-dollar hole remains on the books because of the delayed sale of the Niagara River Yacht Club.City officials had included the proceeds from the sale as revenue in this year's spending plan, but it still needs approval from the State Legislature.Counc…

As the Common Council reviews Mayor Lawrence V. Soos' proposed budget for next year, one member has noted that a half-million-dollar hole remains on the books because of the delayed sale of the Niagara River Yacht Club.City officials had included the proceeds from the sale as revenue in this year's spending plan, but it still needs approval from the State Legislature.Counc…

The Town of Pendleton is the latest Niagara County municipality looking to lengthen terms for three of its elected representatives.The Town Board will hold a public hearing on the matter just before its 8 p.m. meeting Tuesday in Town Hall, 6570 Campbell Blvd.Town officials are considering whether to increase the terms of the supervisor, town clerk and highway superintenden…

Call him the Cataract City's Kobayashi.Chris Marcantonio flung his face into a plateful of spaghetti Saturday afternoon as part of the Italian Festival's adult spaghetti-eating contest.After a couple minutes of chomping and chewing, he became the first in a three-person field to slurp up every noodle. This was the third straight year Marcantonio won the event and his sixth…

Representatives from entities controlling $450 million for Niagara River Greenway projects told the New York Power Authority on Friday there's still work to be done on the protocols that will guide decision-making on how to spend all that money.Officials from various public and private bodies -- including the City of Buffalo, the Niagara Power Coalition and nonprofit group…

Mayor Lawrence V. Soos' proposed 2008 budget would raise property taxes a little more than 7 percent, and includes two initiatives aimed at improving the city's cash flow.The $31.5 million proposed spending plan, presented to the Common Council Thursday evening by City Accountant David R. Jakubaszek, also includes funding for a proposed recreational vehicle park in Gratwic…

Thirteen of the city's most historic structures, including some that were once the homes of industrialists and community leaders, will be open for public tours Sunday.From noon to 6 p.m., the North Tonawanda History Museum will host its Historic Treasures Tour, which includes 11 homes and two other historic buildings.Among the homes featured on the tour are the Wurlitzer …

Those with dreams of improving recreation along the Niagara River will be one step closer to seeing millions of dollars in dedicated annual funding later this week.Parties to settlement agreements with the New York Power Authority in the federal relicensing of its Niagara Power Project will meet Friday in Lewiston.Their goal is to discuss ways to gain access to funding for…

As time draws near for the governor to consider a new law that could limit the potential locations of hazardous-waste facilities, hundreds came out for an annual open house Friday at CWM Chemical Services.The event, which attracted more than 500 people in its first two hours, is part of the company's outreach effort, a spokeswoman said."We open up our doors and let folks v…

Anyone looking to get out and enjoy the Niagara River will get an opportunity Saturday along the shores of Grand Island.The second annual Paddles Up Niagara, a 4.8-mile course for paddle sports enthusiasts, will launch from Beaver Island State Park just after noon.Following a traditional Native American departure ceremony, kayakers and canoers will head toward the East Riv…

The city has a verbal agreement to make the former Lowry Middle School the home for its fall recreation programs, a Recreation Department official told the Common Council on Tuesday.While the cost to the city has yet to be made final, the Payne Avenue property had been the top choice since programs were moved out of the Col. Payne Community Center, Recreation Director Jero…

City officials continue to negotiate with representatives of an Erie Avenue car wash that owes about $48,000 in back taxes and unpaid water bills, but the business may be standing only one step away from foreclosure.Dr. Huggs Car Wash has had several repayment agreements with the city of North Tonawanda for county, city and school taxes owed, said Jeffrey N. Mis, administr…

Hundreds of people took an up-close look at a white and green 88-foot time machine along the Erie Canal on Saturday.The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal schooner, will be open for public tours at several canal sites in Western New York through Aug. 1.In what's being called the "Grand Canal Journey," the boat is part of an effort by officials from the Erie Canalway …

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has criticized the financial practices followed for six years by the Niagara Power Coalition, which controlled more than $1 million in taxpayer money and paid more than $141,000 to former Executive Director Mark S. Zito, his son and his fiancee.According to an audit report, which covered the period July 20, 2000, to May 19, 2006, the co…

Most mayors would probably shy away from being pushed up a hill in a wheelbarrow.North Tonawanda Mayor Lawrence V. Soos is one exception, especially when the person doing the pushing is Tonawanda Mayor Ronald J. Pilozzi.On Tuesday, Pilozzi paid the price for Tonawanda's loss a day earlier in the annual Canal Fest tug-of-war between teams from the Twin Cities.Per the tradit…