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Barbara O'Brien


Local News

The fracas over who will run Hamburg's Buildings and Grounds Department – and for how much – has been settled: Highway Superintendent Ted Casey will continue for the foreseeable future, and he'll receive the $2,500 stipend. The Town Board also made a promise to Casey: "We will take a good look at the demands of the operation during this calendar year and give a good fai…

Local News

A father and daughter from Allegany County won more than $1 million Monday night on the NBC game show "The Wall." Kirk and Brooke Spangler of Belfast won $1.41 million, which is the most won on the show, hosted by Chris Hardwick. "We've had a lot of ups and downs, and no matter what, which way it came, we came out on top. My heart and soul will always be with you two…

After spending more than two hours in executive session, Hamburg Town Board members had no updates Monday night on who will run the Buildings and Grounds Department -- or for how much money. Hamburg Highway Superintendent Ted Casey said he wants to continue overseeing the Buildings and Grounds Department, and never said he wanted to get out of doing it. The Town Boar…

Amherst

Hamburg's highway superintendent wants to quit leading the Buildings and Grounds Department, and the town is investigating how that might happen. The duties of highway superintendents are laid down in state law, and include taking care of highways and bridges. They are not required to operate another department, but many superintendents have taken on additional work, in…

Local News

Hamburg Supervisor James M. Shaw, starting his second month in office, wants to: Wait, but not forever, for the Kaleta group to build a sports complex in the town. Secure financial help from New York State and Erie County to help run Woodlawn Beach State Park. Create a non-profit organization to combat the opioid crisis in the town. Meet with Village of Hambu…

Five Erie County high schools and one in Chautauqua County have been named Reward Schools by the state Education Department. They are among 155 schools in New York identified for the distinction, which indicates they have high academic achievement or the most progress in the state and without  significant gaps in student achievement between subgroups. Akron, Amherst,…

Local News

Ever wonder what to do in a major disaster? Since a victim or bystander provides the first immediate assistance in most emergencies, West Seneca is offering emergency response training to prepare residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors. The six-session free emergency preparedness class covers fire extinguishers and suppression, first aid and triage…

Education

It was a proposal, they thought, that couldn't be beat: Build a $6.6 million synthetic turf field for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and football, as well as an eight-lane track, all for an extra $6.24 a year in taxes for the owner of a $200,000 home. But Iroquois Central voters did turn it down Jan. 10, as well as a companion proposition for a $4.43 million syntheti…

Local News

Less than a week ago the Quaker Arts Festival was out of business, but now it has been saved, before many knew it was in jeopardy. The Orchard Park Jaycees, which had run the annual event since 1965, announced late last week that 2017 was the last year for the event. But the Orchard Park Chamber of Commerce and Village of Orchard Park will continue running the two-da…

West Seneca has another tool to help fight zombie houses in the town. All vacant and abandoned residential property must be inspected by the town before it is sold, according to a local law approved Monday by the Town Board. "It helps the people that are buying these structures know what they are getting into," said senior code enforcement officer John Gullo. Insp…

Amherst

Many of New York's poorest children are saying yes to the state English and math assessments, while students in schools in wealthier districts are opting out in far larger numbers. Those are the findings of a study by High Achievement New York, a coalition of business, urban and community groups that advocates for rigorous standards and against opting out of state asses…

Erie County

This is the 61st year the West Seneca Veterans Committee has served veterans of the armed forces in West Seneca, and Monday night veterans participated in changing the colors inside the West Seneca Town Board meeting room. "Each year on a rotation basis, the chairperson passes from one unit to the next," Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan said. The leadership changed from P…

Hamburg

How far can you throw a hay bale? The third annual hay bale throwing contest will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Western New York Farm Show at the Erie County Fairgrounds. Hay bale toss contests for those 12-and-under are scheduled before the adult toss. While the free farm show features cutting-edge agricultural products and technology, other …

Local News

An eagle was taking flight Sunday from one of the pine trees felled by last July's tornado in Chestnut Ridge Park. Jimmy Keller, a 15-year-old from Gowanda, gave the bird its wings with his Stihl chainsaw, the engine's cutting drone drawing onlookers to watch him, intent on his work at this year's Winterfest. "It's amazing what you can do with the trunk of the tree, …

Crime

Witnesses said a City of Tonawanda man drove a pickup truck into Ellicott Creek, got out, and walked away. But the 2012 Chevrolet Silverado had been stolen from his former girlfriend's driveway in North Tonawanda, and the man, Benjamin F. Stanley, 43, is now facing felony charges. Tonawanda police said witnesses told them Stanley "aimed the truck toward the creek…