Sandra Tan, The Buffalo News
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Sandra Tan

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Cityside reporter primarily covering Erie County government. Previously covered Buffalo Public Schools and other community and issue-oriented beats.

Drug-addicted inmates in Erie County who are forced clean while they are in jail will now be given more opportunities to stay clean after they are released. The County Legislature unanimously approved the creation of three new positions in the Sheriff's Office and the Department of Mental Health Thursday to jumpstart a new program that links interested inmates with outpati…

The Erie County Legislature approved a $110.8 million budget for Erie Community College on Thursday that will increase student full-time tuition by $167 for local, full-time students. That amounts to a 3.5 percent increase to a full tuition of $4,900 per academic year. The Legislature voted 9-2 in favor of the college's 2017-18 budget, which was unanimously approved by …

The hearing before State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia regarding the removal of Carl P. Paladino from the Buffalo School Board was supposed to be about Paladino, but for most of Thursday, it was the school board president, Barbara Seals Nevergold, who was in the hot seat. Throughout five hours of testimony, Nevergold was grilled about whether she convened improp…

The Erie County Comptroller's Office is refinancing 2005 sewer bonds that is expected to save taxpayers roughly $2.7 million. The savings was generated by lower interest rates and an improved credit rating, since the original bonds were sold at the height of the county's red/green crisis, when the county's bond rating was much weaker, said Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw. …

Residents who need to conduct business with Erie County government may soon be subjected to a new round of tighter security measures. In the latest security proposal before the Erie County Legislature, the county would spend an additional $158,116 for another round of tighter security at the Rath Building and Erie County Court Building. The new proposal would have count…

Attention animal lovers: Do not touch/pet/pick up that cute/abandoned/injured little fox/raccoon/skunk. You are dooming it to die. Recently, an Erie County resident picked up an abandoned baby skunk by the side of the road. Another man and his son pulled over and "saved" three baby raccoons, feeding and cuddling them after their mother had been hit by a car. All of t…

The Central Library's front lawn will be transformed into a new "reading park" by next spring thanks to a $150,000 national grant. The Buffalo and Erie County public library system was one of only three cities to be awarded the grant in a lengthy and competitive process from an original pool of 75 applicants across the country. Southwest Airlines is funding the grants, …

The new executive director of the Erie County Water Authority has decided against accepting a new car. Last week, the Erie County Water Authority agreed to buy a new $32,000 Chevy Traverse. The authority named Earl Jann, who had been its chairman, as the new executive director a month earlier. Board Chairman Robert Anderson said it was up to Jann to decide whether…

Lawyers will offer free, 15-minute legal consultations for senior citizens in Erie County as part of this year's annual Elder Law Day. The sessions will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 22 in the Adam's Mark Hotel, 120 Church St. Seniors may also attend presentations on a variety of other topics and make appointments to discuss health options. Legal topics can include M…

Suburban water users in Erie County can now receive automatic alerts when water leaks temporarily shut down street access. The Erie County Water Authority put a text alert system in place after a debilitating water main break last summer left residents with no water pressure and poor consumer notification. But it has been little used until now. Residents who sign up…

Earl Jann not only has a new job and a big new salary, he may also get a new set of wheels. A month after the Erie County Water Authority named Jann executive director, the board approved the purchase of a new $32,000 Chevy Traverse. As executive director, Jann becomes one of five high-ranking Water Authority administrators who are provided a vehicle for 24-hour pers…

A new toxicologist, scene investigator, and autopsy and forensic lab technicians are expected to soon join the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office in an effort to better track and address the opioid overdose crisis killing residents at a rate of one per day. The Erie County Legislature approved the new positions Thursday as part of a larger effort to spend an addition…

The Erie County Legislature has signed on to the push to reduce "zombie homes." On Thursday, the Legislature unanimously adopted a request to the state that would enable local leaders to shorten the foreclosure timetable for vacant and neglected homes owned by banks. "When they're underwater, they're destroying neighborhoods and making people unsafe," said Legislator Pa…