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 Wal-Mart supercenter proposed for the former Melody Fair site took center stage during Tuesday evening's Common Council meeting despite no immediately forthcoming decision from city leaders.More than 100 supporters and opponents packed Council chambers to voice their opinion on the proposal. The crowd constituted a fire hazard, city officials said, by exceeding the cha…

Nearly 100 historic and architectural gems in the cross-border region will be open free to the public during this weekend's sixth annual Doors Open Niagara.The event highlighting some of the region's cultural treasures includes many sites in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties."Some really cool new places are participating," said Arlene White, executive director of the Bina…

One year after the storm and 10 months after the cleanup was completed, the City of North Tonawanda is still waiting to be reimbursed by the federal government.City officials opened bids from contractors five days after the surprise October storm struck one year ago today. The winning low bidder began cleanup work five days later.The last pile of chipped brush was hauled a…

A move is on to spur development in a historic downtown building.Facing difficulties in luring developers to North Tonawanda, the Lumber City Development Corp. is looking to jump-start a project that would create lodging in a former furniture store at 62-64 Webster St.Officials don't have a definitive timetable or final budget for planned improvements, but they are looking…

Proposals to reshape the structure of city government may not reach the voters in November after all.A Niagara County Board of Elections official said Tuesday three proposals to amend the city charter were submitted in an improper form.Proposals were to be submitted as questions as they would appear on the ballot, Republican Commissioner Scott P. Kiedrowski said.North Tona…

More than three dozen people gathered in City Hall on Tuesday evening for a public hearing on the proposed rezoning of a Ward Road parcel targeted to become an assisted living development.The operators of Briarwood Manor in Lockport are pitching a 100-bed project for 489 Ward Road to the state Department of Health.In vying for the project, which would fill the capacity ava…

The Waterfront Commission is expected to re-evaluate the city's schedule for docking fees when it meets later this month.The review follows allegations of inconsistent charges levied in Gateway Harbor.City of Tonawanda residents Pamela and Robert Peterman sent a letter to the Common Council in late August requesting a clarification of fees.Boaters who dock at the harbor ar…

Saturday afternoon inside a Presbyterian church hall, Robert MacPherson of Kenmore told a survivor's tale.So did about 20 others, including Mariano Giuga of Cheektowaga, John Zale of North Tonawanda, Bernard Adamski of Buffalo and Dominick Poliseno of Lackawanna.They were all prisoners of war overseas during World War II.They told a crowd of more than 200 in First Presbyte…

While the man charged with trying to murder his wife and a city police officer last weekend appeared in City Court Thursday afternoon, his brother remained locked up in the Attica Correctional Facility for killing his own wife 16 years ago.Thomas B. Simcoe, 42, of Courtside Drive, appeared with his attorney before City Judge William R. Lewis, who kept him held without bail…

In building their new garage-turned-office, Joy and Scott Kuebler of Zimmerman Street wanted to go green.So on Wednesday afternoon, they invited fellow architects, developers, government officials and architectural students into their backyard to witness the beginning of construction of an environmentally friendly roof.Once completed, the roof being installed on the south …

Supporters and opponents of a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter sounded off Tuesday evening in Town Hall during what many believe was the final public hearing on the South Transit Road project.More than 60 people jammed a Planning Board meeting to weigh in on the proposal for a combination supermarket and discount store at the site of the Lockport Mall.About two-thirds of the …

Anthony Kissling looks at the historic Remington Rand building and sees SoHo, circa 1965.The old industrial building on Sweeney Street -- like many in that Manhattan neighborhood at the time -- is ripe for converting into loft space for young businesspeople and artists. And Kissling's expectations for the planned renovation project here are as high as Big Apple skyscrapers…

Standing beneath a blue tent, David Gomberg was doing more than keeping his eye to the sky.Gomberg, the public address announcer on the third day of this year's Niagara International Kite Festival, was looking around for old friends.As nearby speakers buzzed with everything from the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" to Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," the Oregon resident remember…

The Common Council and appointees on the Charter Review Commission debated proposals Wednesday to restructure city government.The discussion in City Hall centered on two City Charter changes that would alter the status of three elected officials.The first would combine the city clerk and city treasurer into one elected position.The second would allow the mayor, with Counci…

Three of four groups that will decide how to spend nearly a half-billion dollars on Niagara River Greenway projects over the next half-century agreed Wednesday to a general set of procedures that will guide their decisionmaking.Meanwhile, seven Niagara County entities withheld support for standard guidelines as they look to reach a compromise with the New York Power Author…