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.


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…

Members of the Niagara Power Coalition are looking to organize the group that has control of $3 million in annual funding for the Niagara River Greenway.Coalition Chairman William L. Ross said Monday several group members have discussed calling for an official meeting of the Host Community Greenway Fund Standing Committee.Coalition members remain concerned about the establ…

A group of residents pleaded with the Town Board on Monday to look into operations at a dairy farm whose owner is constructing a lagoon to store manure.Issues of odor, state permit compliance and enforcement were among the topics raised by residents during a meeting in Town Hall.The farmland, on Lake Road just west of the Town of Wilson, is owned by Flevie Danielewicz of C…

No boats have sailed the Erie Canal to Buffalo for almost 100 years, but that hasn't stopped an area lawmaker from pushing a plan to get the Queen City back in the flow.A state bill that would make Buffalo the western terminus of the Erie Canal awaits action from the governor and has been criticized for bowing to factual inaccuracy for a potential money grab.Meanwhile, an…

Construction is slated to begin later this year on the first four units of an 18-unit condominium project along Lake Road.The project was approved last week by the town Planning Board.East Garrison Fort Niagara Residential Development, on 2.9 acres just south of Old Lake Road, has been in the works for more than a year.Planning Board Chairman George H. Spira said the proje…

It may have been vintage fighter planes, roaring jets and parachute jumpers that filled the skies Saturday above the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.But feelings of patriotism, thankfulness and support for American military personnel were also evident on the first day of the Thunder of Niagara airshow.Bob Kapuszcak of Buffalo said he believes the crowds -- expected to re…

Members of the Niagara Power Coalition, who were the subject of a scathing state comptroller's report last month for exhibiting a "lack of financial oversight," say they've learned from their mistakes.In its early days, the coalition operated like a "back-pocket operation" and engaged in "loose housekeeping," according to the group's present chairman. But coalition officia…