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Tom Precious


Half the renters in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area are unable to afford the monthly payments for the typical apartment, according to a new national study.Those facing problems with housing finances are often forced into substandard apartments or find themselves spending less than the federal standard on things such as food, clothing and health care, housing experts sai…

Patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery at Millard Fillmore Hospital in 1995 were nearly twice as likely to die as the average heart patient statewide, the state Health Department reported Thursday.Millard Fillmore ranked third worst in mortality rates, the agency said in its annual review of the 31 New York hospitals licensed to perform such procedures.With var…

Long plagued by a shortage of customer parking, merchants along Buffalo's eclectic Elmwood Avenue thought they had a relatively simple solution: Get the state to open to the public its mostly vacant lots at Buffalo Psychiatric Center."It was a no-brainer," Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, D-Buffalo, said of the idea brought to him by local business owners."There's very little parking…

In a midtown-Manhattan office suite last week, state Comptroller H. Carl McCall huddled for several hours with his closest political advisers to decide if he should run for governor next year.It was no coincidence that one of the factors discussed that day was the just-approved state budget. As special interests debate the worthiness of the $67 billion spending plan, one t…

Facing the prospects of a nasty and exceedingly expensive campaign, state Comptroller H. Carl McCall said Thursday he would not run next year against Gov. Pataki.McCall, who had been considered the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, will instead seek a second term as comptroller, a post that gives him immense power as sole trustee over the more than $90 billi…

Later and more contentious than ever, the seven-month fight over the 1997-98 state budget ended unceremoniously Monday, as weary legislators gave their final approval to a rush of bills implementing the $67 billion plan.The action comes one-quarter into the fiscal year, just as state agencies are starting to prepare their spending priorities for the 1998-99 fiscal year.The…

With the State Legislature staggering to conclude the budget today, Buffalo's potential budget gap has been nearly eliminated by a last-minute infusion of aid from Albany.The Buffalo school system, however, didn't fare as well as officials hoped for, though state officials here suggested school officials may have overestimated their real needs.School officials this morning…

A massive prison-construction plan approved Sunday night by the State Legislature will add 600 maximum-security beds to three Western New York correctional facilities.The additional cells are designed to be constructed quickly -- within the next year -- and will hold problem inmates now housed in a number of facilities around the state.The new space will ease overcrowding …

Mayor Masiello made a last-ditch lobbying trip Saturday to the Capitol in search of funds to balance the city's budget.He got some encouragement that, with the state budget getting wrapped up in stages, an additional $3 million in aid will be coming Buffalo's way. If not, he said, he would be forced to cut services."People want to help Buffalo, and we've made a compelling …

A deal to finally computerize the campaign filings that candidates provide to the state Board of Elections has apparently been reached, according to sources.For years, government-reform groups have been lobbying to computerize the elections agency -- something the federal government and other states did years ago. Currently tens of thousands of pages from candidates across…

The long nightmare that has been this year's state budget process finally began showing signs of really coming to an end Friday as lawmakers started receiving the numerous budget bills that they will act on in the next 48 hours.The nightmare appears to be turning into sweet dreams for Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a new medical incubator near Roswell Park, Buffalo cultura…

Rushing to complete passage of a state budget by Sunday, Gov. Pataki and legislative leaders spent Wednesday spinning the more than $67 billion proposed spending plan as, in the words of one, "the best-ever" budget in state history.In particular, they pointed to the plan's reduction in property taxes that, by 2002, will cut average property taxes across the state by 27 per…

Tuesday's agreement on the state budget would provide money to help keep the Bills in Buffalo.The budget includes $125 million for recreational facilities statewide, and Gov. Pataki said Rich Stadium "will get a portion" of that funding as part of any deal keeping the Bills from moving.Brad Race, Pataki's chief of staff, declined to reveal the proposal being made by the st…

With one-third of the state's fiscal year already over, Gov. Pataki and legislative leaders wearily agreed Tuesday night on a new $67 billion state budget that will sharply boost education spending, slash a host of taxes and prod thousands of welfare recipients into workfare.A cornerstone of the budget is the beginning of a program to reduce property taxes by $2.2 billion …

Adopting a new state budget, due four months ago, has run into a wall erected by one of Albany's most potent special interests: public-employee unions.For several days, talks to resolve the budget have centered on how the state will require welfare recipients to work for their benefits under new federal guidelines. State and local government-worker unions, concerned their …