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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.


About two dozen people rallied at Central Park Plaza on Saturday morning to raise awareness about their call for help with the run-down property.Led by the Help Revitalize Central Park Plaza Committee, area residents said conditions at the property are a blight on the community.The group's rally at the site, east of Main Street and just south of East Amherst Stre…

Rockers from days gone by, an Elvis-based musical and an "American Idol" star are among the acts coming to Artpark this summer, organizers announced Wednesday.The two free concert series, Tuesday in the Park and Wednesdays at Artpark, will feature familiar and popular faces.The Tuesday series begins on June 15 with War. Organizers said the Aug. 10 Doobie Brothers c…

The New York Power Authority has received 43 proposals for solar projects as part of a statewide initiative unveiled in January, it was announced Thursday.Several Buffalo and Western New York companies submitted proposals, which were due April 22, said Power Authority President Richard M. Kessel, who made the announcement at the authority's Buffalo office.The ini…

City officials are working to finalize a list of streets that will be repaved or resurfaced this year, though there is no firm date when crews are expected to hit the pavement.Road work typically starts in early May, Public Works Superintendent Gary J. Franklin told lawmakers Tuesday evening during a workshop in City Hall. Scheduling of the work will depend on th…

Two City of Tonawanda lawmakers who oppose a proposal to charge for parking at Niawanda Park plan to ask Erie County for funding to help with park upkeep.Aldermen Richard A. Slisz and William R. Poole on Monday said they plan to approach Erie County government leaders about the possibility of providing financial assistance for operations at the popular park on th…

Republican Mayor Robert G. Ortt last month reorganized a 2-year-old committee aimed at attacking blight in the city.The structural changes gave the volunteer Property Maintenance Task Force seven voting members, established terms for those posts and included the removal of five members.However, two of those removed, Robert W. Fritz and Dennis J. Barberio, are Democ…

A White House official said Friday that the Obama administration is working toward greater efficiencies in funneling funding from 17 federal agencies to the nation's cities.Alaina Beverly, associate director of Obama's Office of Urban Affairs, spoke on the University at Buffalo South Campus as part of a lecture series hosted by the Graduate Planning Student Assoc…

Niagara County Community College faculty members would see an average annual raise of about 3.6 percent under terms of the administration's latest contract offer, college officials disclosed Wednesday.Members of the faculty union also would move to a two-tiered prescription drug program and no longer have elective cosmetic surgery covered by their health insurance poli…

An environmental campaign against a type of plastic containing toxic chemicals a push led by the most well-known former resident of Love Canal -- made a stop Sunday at the University at Buffalo.Lois Gibbs, who in the late 1970s was the face of the fight against hazardous waste buried beneath a Niagara Falls neighborhood, called for an end to the use of PVC at college…

About 50 protesters on Friday afternoon targeted an Amherst-based company looking to drill in Allegany State Park.Chanting slogans like "Save Allegany" and displaying signs like "Not in my park" and "This land is our land," the demonstrators rallied in front of the headquarters of U.S. Energy Development Corp. on North Forest Road in Getzville.The company has propo…

A lack of funding has forced the cancellation of a free Saturday night concert series, organizers announced Tuesday.The Gateway Harbor Concert Series, held in Gateway Harbor Park along the Erie Canal, will not be held this summer, organizers said."Sponsorship dollars are really tight right now," said Rhonda Ried, vice president of Gateway Harbor of the Tonawandas. …

The North Tonawanda School Board finalized a proposed budget for next school year Tuesday night that includes closing Grant Street School, but restored a portion of proposed staff cuts, including in physical education, foreign language and the gifted and talented program.Under the $61.7 million spending plan that will go before voters May 18, overall spending wou…

A longtime department employee has become the city's top parks and recreation official.Patricia A. Brosius, who started working in the department in 1977 and most recently held the post of recreation supervisor, has been appointed director of the Department of Youth, Recreation, Parks and Senior Citizens.Brosius was appointed by Mayor Robert G. Ortt on March 30 and…

Curtis Byers still considers the former teammate he brutally beat last year a friend.The 18-year-old Buffalo man said so Monday just before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang sentenced him to three years in prison, the term she had promised in February when he pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree assault, a Class D felony.His sentence does not mean h…