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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.


Traffic on one of the city's busiest streets will see delays beginning Monday as crews begin replacing a stretch of water line.Road work will start next week on a half-mile section of Payne Avenue between Meadow and Walck drives, 1st Ward Alderman Dennis M. Pasiak said during Tuesday's Common Council meeting.The number of available lanes will be reduced for drivers, and th…

Members of a community advisory group for the Northeast's only hazardous waste landfill want waterways downstream from the facility tested for contamination.The Community Advisory Committee for CWM Chemical Services discussed the idea during its quarterly meeting Monday in Lewiston Town Hall.Committee members said they are unaware of any off-site testing ever taking place,…

A planned commercial development to include a Wal-Mart Supercenter got the green light from the city Planning Commission on Monday night.The board voted, 6-0, to conclude the environmental review for the project, which would be located on the sites of the former Melody Fair theater and Bluebird Bus garage near Niagara Falls Boulevard and Erie Avenue.Before construction can…

A home and kitchen designer from Hartland on Saturday announced her second bid for the 138th District Assembly seat.Republican Paula M. Banks Dahlke, who ran in 2004, has received the endorsement of the Niagara County Republican Committee in this year's race for the post occupied by Democrat Francine DelMonte of Lewiston.Her campaign will aim to change the perceptions of a…

New funding unexpectedly became available for an environmental cleanup project at a hazardous waste landfill site aiming for expansion, the Army Corps of Engineers has announced.The money will be used to remove about 10 underground storage tanks that sit on a former military weapons-production site, an agency spokeswoman said.All of the tanks are believed to sit on a porti…

The Niagara Power Coalition and the New York Power Authority finalized a set of rules on Wednesday that will control spending of millions on Niagara River Greenway projects in Niagara County.By a unanimous vote, both sides approved a set of procedures that were the subject of nearly year-long negotiations.The move unlocks the funding of projects for the Greenway, a planned…

A volunteer group overseeing the cleanup of World War II-era radiological and chemical contamination in northwest Niagara County doesn't have much going for it these days.The federal agency responsible for the site says it's moving ahead with replacing the group with a previously established structure that had been overhauled because members say it didn't work.Regulators …

North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels expects to deliver its millionth meal somewhere in the Twin Cities in early fall.For its members, that's somewhat hard to believe, considering the organization dropped off food to only a half-dozen needy people when it started 35 years ago.More than three decades later, the bonds between volunteers and those who might otherwise go hungry nee…

Promising to fix the problems that existed under a previous promoter, organizers of a free Saturday night concert series in Gateway Park announced this summer's long-awaited lineup at a Friday news conference.Concerts Plus of Western New York and Metropolitan Entertainment Presents take over for Kathy Paradowski and the Canal Concert Series, which will move its shows this …

A controversial report exploring the possible link between industrial pollution and disease in the Great Lakes region includes two area waterways, one of them a popular Niagara County fishing spot aiming for federal cleanup dollars.Eighteenmile Creek in the Town of Newfane and the Buffalo River in the City of Buffalo both were named in a recently released draft review of t…

Crews will resurface or repave portions of more than two dozen streets across the city under a plan finalized Tuesday.The city will spend more than $600,000 on the roadwork, which is about $100,000 more than it spent last year."It's an aggressive plan, but we certainly need it," said Mayor Lawrence V. Soos.Additional state aid received by the city allowed for the increase,…

The Niagara River Greenway Commission on Tuesday refused to endorse a plan to build public restrooms and a septic system at the developing Sanborn-Lewiston Farm Museum.All 13 commissioners on hand in the Beaver Island State Park clubhouse rejected the request from the Sanborn Area Historical Society, which had sought support for its $150,000 proposal.Representatives on the…

The news media aren't telling the whole story about the successes achieved in the ongoing U.N. efforts in Afghanistan, a retired Army colonel who led the training of police there told a gathering at Old Fort Niagara on Saturday.Lt. Col. Craig R. Maefs, of the Town of Tonawanda, served as chief of current operations for the Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanista…

A hospital that nearly closed under state-ordered restructuring has received a taxpayer-funded boost to the emergency services that helped keep it open.Officials from DeGraff Memorial Hospital, Kaleida Health and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, announced Friday the hospital would receive $50,000 in state funding toward the $300,000 renovation of its emergency roo…

A State Supreme Court justice has dismissed the bulk of a $37.5 million lawsuit filed by the former director of the Niagara Power Coalition.But Thursday's ruling leaves open the possibility that a portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars the coalition will receive over the next half-century could be set aside if a jury finds Mark S. Zito deserves part of that money f…