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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.


A proposal for the New York State Power Authority to expand its financing of energy-efficiency projects drew criticism Thursday from State Sen. George D. Maziarz, who said he believes the legislation opens up the benefits of Western New York's hydropower resources to be drawn downstate and elsewhere.However, supporters of the bill said it would actually increase the opport…

Creativity can come from physical environment or state of mind.For Jason Lytle, it's both."My whole goal is to get in that place where I'm just like a little kid in his own head with his imagination -- playing with action figures, drawing with his crayons," Lytle said. "It's just an enjoyable place for me to be."Lytle is opening for indie rock starlet Neko Case this week a…

The Common Council on Tuesday approved a new three-year contract with the city firefighters union that will require new members to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums beyond 10 years of service.In a 4-0 vote, city lawmakers agreed to a deal that calls for members to pay a quarter of their premiums over the first six years on the job. After six years and for th…

An underground container that holds about half of the world's supply of radium may be leaking into groundwater in northwestern Niagara County, an advisory group to federal regulators warns.The Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for investigating an area in the towns of Lewiston and Porter holding leftovers from the Manhattan Project, has found uranium …

An underground container that holds about half of the world's supply of radium may be leaking into groundwater in northwestern Niagara County, an advisory group to federal regulators warns.The Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency responsible for investigating an area in the towns of Lewiston and Porter holding leftovers from the Manhattan Project, has found uranium …

Two teacher-coaches suspended last year after allegations of child endangerment will be headed back to their classrooms in the fall.The Wilson School Board on Tuesday night voted, 6-0, to allow William M. Atlas and Thomas J. Baia to return to their teaching posts. They had been suspended from teaching since April 30, 2008.During a meeting in the Wilson Middle-High School a…

A group home for developmentally disabled women, proposed for a campus where an existing town home project faced strong opposition, should be put elsewhere, Supervisor Timothy E. Demler has told The Buffalo News.Demler prefaced his comments by saying that he has no problems with group homes in general and that he lives "right next door to one." He said he was talking speci…

When a church proposed an affordable-housing project for senior citizens and low-income families in late 2006, many neighbors reacted with fiery opposition, some of it taking on racial overtones.Neighbors created a community group aimed at stopping the project. Town Supervisor Timothy E. Demler ordered an access road used during construction blocked and instituted a tempor…

A coalition of 11 area environmental groups has called on the Niagara River Greenway Commission to withdraw last month's endorsement of a scenic trail proposed in Lewiston.The Town of Lewiston, which sponsored the proposal, lacked adequate detail in its application and relied too heavily on the current layout of the Robert Moses Parkway, the Niagara Relicensing Environment…

A proposal to tax hazardous waste disposed in New York was introduced this month in the Assembly, although the chamber's regular legislative session ended last week without the full body taking action on the bill.The measure would place a $20-per-ton disposal tax on hazardous waste landfilled at CWM Chemical Services in the Town of Porter, the Northeast's only commercial h…

A Buffalo congressman has called for a bigger chunk of the New York Power Authority's profits to be funneled into Western New York.But some elected leaders in Niagara County -- home to the plant that generates the power that creates a majority of the authority's profits -- have concerns about the federal lawmaker's proposal for how to split up those proceeds.Rep. Brian Hig…

Plans for a Wal-Mart Supercenter must again be reviewed and approved by the city's Planning Commission, which must first assess a yet-to-be-submitted storm water pollution control plan for the proposed site, a judge has ordered.In a ruling issued Friday, State Supreme Court Justice Ralph A. Boniello III dismissed 10 of the 11 complaints in a lawsuit filed by North Tonawand…

A group of citizens and elected leaders in Niagara County has created a new environmental organization to deal with water pollution issues, not only here but in the entire Great Lakes Basin.Founding members of the group, called the Niagara Watershed Alliance, said they are focusing on preventing chemicals and other toxic substances from being discharged into waterways that…

The pastor of a Baptist church in Buffalo said Tuesday night that there are still some people who don't "get it" when it comes to the revelation of racist and sexist e-mails sent to colleagues by the head of the Lewiston-Porter School Board.The Rev. Darius G. Pridgen of True Bethel Baptist Church also said he hopes that the recent revelation of forwarded e-mails sent by bo…

LEWISTON -- Students at Stella Niagara have traded their pencils, scissors and notebooks for shovels, seeds and watering cans.With a nod to the value of an outdoor learning experience, a grass field-turned-garden on the campus on the shores of the lower Niagara River will serve as a living, breathing classroom as part of the recently launched Stella G.R.O.W.S., or the Grow…