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Notes, quotes and ratings from a dial-switcher during March Madness: At first glance, the NCAA men's basketball tournament is a huge hit, with ratings up 50 percent on the local CBS affiliate, WIVB-TV, compared to a year ago. But a closer look shows that the huge gain is largely the result of the 2016 tournament tanking here a year ago. Going into Saturday's natio…

An Albanian New York-style pizza specialist has started serving up slices, stromboli and more from his renovated University Plaza restaurant. Afrim Rexhepi has opened Gino's NY Pizza at 3500 Main St., Amherst, across Main Street from the University at Buffalo. Pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salads and tacos are also on the menu. Since arriving from Kosovo in 1999, Rexhepi…

Kenmore East High School will present its spring musical, "Once On This Island," at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 30-April 1, at the school, 350 Fries Road. The acclaimed Broadway musical was the winner of the 1995 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical and is based on the book "My Love, My Love," also known as "The Peasant Girl," by Rosa Guy. Inspi…

Falley Allen opened on March 24, and by March 26 the new restaurant was so full of boisterous people it gave Cantina Loco a run for the title of Allentown's Loudest Restaurant. Once the North Carolina versus Kentucky NCAA basketball game ended with one last Tar Heel jumper, the crowd thinned and the sound level dropped to tolerable levels. The folks drawn to 204 All…

Is it an E.B. Green house or isn't it? That's the question that keeps haunting a demolition request by the nonprofit Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. organization to tear down a small portion of the former Osmose Holdings complex on the northern edge of the Medical Campus. Some preservationists believe a brick home connected in a web of buildings on the site was d…

Mayor Byron W. Brown proclaimed Monday "Randi Weingarten Day" in Buffalo to honor the influential president of the American Federation of Teachers union. Brown called Weingarten "a trailblazer and true champion" during a ceremony at City Hall. Weingarten has served as head of the federation, which has 1.6 million members and is one of the nation's largest labor unions, …

Registration is now open for the 37th  J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Buffalo at  www.jpmorganchasecc.com. The 3.5-mile road race is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. June 15. It's open to runners, joggers and walkers and companies can order race-night hospitality in Delaware Park. Over 13,000 are expected this year. Last year, the race attracted 12,488 entrants from 38…

John Andreozzi, author of "The Italians of Lackawanna, NY: Steelworkers, Merchants and Gardeners," will talk about the legacy of Italian-Americans in the Steel City at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6 in the Lackawanna Public Library, 560 Ridge Road. The talk will include the history of Lackawanna, the immigrant saga and the role immigrants played in the steel-making industry. …

An Orchard Park woman was served with an arrest warrant Monday and accued spraying a police officer with a "household product" at her residence on Feb. 19, Orchard Park police said in a statement Monday. The police officer, who was not named, sought medical treatment after the incident and was treated and released. Patricia Hansen, 62, was charged with resisting arre…

Three young teenage girls reported that a man approached them in Martin Luther King Jr. Park while walking home from school Friday afternoon and offered them money and shoes if they got into his car, Buffalo police said. The girls, all Buffalo school students, told police the man offered them money, and then offered to buy them sneakers, if they would get into his vehic…

Pawn shops have long been havens for thieves trying to fence stolen merchandise. And getting stolen items back to the rightful owners can be a daunting task, city officials say. That is why Common Council members want to require pawn shops to digitally photograph and catalog each item pawned and to hold the item for at least 60 days. The enhanced record-keeping will hel…

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis  WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions. The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requir…

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is losing one of its key people, a top manager who received tens of thousands of dollars worth of training in recent years while he was being groomed to possibly become an assistant executive director. But instead of getting a No. 2 spot at the Buffalo authority, Anthony J. Laulette, 43, is heading to Columbia County, not far fro…

The Town of Clarence has joined other communities in adopting a solar code that restricts commercial and residential ground-mounted solar systems. The code was adopted after an eight-month moratorium. The law only applies to ground-mounted solar systems, said Jonathan Bleuer, assistant director of community development. He said there are no projects in the wings, but…

Rising property values and return of commercial properties to tax rolls will drop the property tax rate for  Williamsville by 4.8 percent, Mayor Brian J. Kulpa says. Trustees proposed a $3.67 million budget for the new fiscal year that would reduce the general fund tax rate to $4.19, a drop of 21 cents per $1,000 from last year. "We are glad to see our property valu…