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To the delight of consumers – and the chagrin of taxi cab companies – Uber and Lyft officially opened for business in Western New York at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Jeff Whacker, of Snyder, was among the first drivers to rove for rides shortly after midnight on Hertel Avenue. It started out slow. He checked out UB South and the airport with little luck. His first request …

As Uber and Lyft open for business in Buffalo Niagara on Thursday, newbie passengers will try ride-hailing services for the first time. It may not be a smooth ride right out of the gate. Passengers may show up late for rides, forget to tip or annoy the driver with loud phone calls. And what they don't know can hurt them. Both Uber and Lyft allow drivers to rate passenge…

West Side resident Carolyn Taggart likes the idea of setting her own hours. Ann Taylor, of Amherst, is retired and wants to stay busy. Maria Sanchez, of Buffalo, spends half of her time "driving somebody somewhere" and figured she might as well get paid for it. All three recently applied to drive for ride-hailing company Uber, which will begin operating in Western…

State regulators fined Gerald Buchheit's Queen City Landing $50,000 for breaking a state environmental conservation law when it allowed a section of concrete wall to fall into Lake Erie last year during the demolition of the former Freezer Queen building on the waterfront site. Queen City Landing admitted to violations and agreed to pay the fine as part of a consent ord…

As work continues on the Northland Corridor project on Buffalo's East Side, two more workforce-related organizations are considering signing on as tenants for the East Side light-industrial hub. The Buffalo Employment Training Center and the Buffalo Public Schools' Nurse's Aide Training Program have asked the Buffalo Urban Development Corp. about taking up space in the …

One of Western New York's smallest banks has named a new chief executive to succeed its longtime head as part of a planned management transition. Alden State Bank on Wednesday promoted Steven J. Woodard to president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2018. He will take over from Richard D. Koelbl, who has held those titles since 1991, but will remain full-time chairman of the b…

Ever wonder what happened to Willoughby Exchange? It hasn't gone away. But it did go back to the drawing board. Craig Willoughby's proposal for a 10-story apartment building at Main and East Ferry streets created some furor in the surrounding neighborhood when the auto insurance purveyor first promoted it over a year ago. So he and his partners have been tweaking it thro…

About 400 street parking spaces in the city's central business district are listed as "no-parking" zones or are not priced right, leaving them unused or underused at a time when downtown parking remains a problem for many, according to Buffalo Place. The nonprofit business improvement district, which oversees activities along Main Street and adjacent roads, is conductin…

When Catholic Health System made plans to offer methadone, suboxone and other medications to drug-dependent patients in Amherst, it wanted to do that at its existing outpatient drug treatment center on Sheridan Drive. But the clinic's landlord balked at drugs being distributed there and refused to renew the lease. That meant Catholic Health had to seek a new location…

A $10.8 million project to convert a vacant former Methodist church on Richmond Avenue into a performing arts campus is getting $395,600 in tax breaks through the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. The subsidies were approved by the IDA board Wednesday for developers Rachel Ann and Ryan Heckl's project to turn the former Richmond Methodist Episcopal Church at 46…

White House Black Market, a women's clothing store, has reopened at Walden Galleria. The store has moved to the lower level across from H&M and Anthropologie. It made the move to accommodate a highly anticipated Zara store. Zara, a fast-fashion clothing store, will fill 30,309 square feet on the upper and lower levels when it is slated to open in winter. Until n…

Arthur Wingerter, the president of Univera Healthcare, has been named chairman of the Invest Buffalo Niagara board of directors. Wingerter replaces Randall L. Clark, the Dunn Tire chairman and president, who has been Invest Buffalo Niagara's chairman on two separate occasions. Also named to the Invest Buffalo Niagara board were: vice chairman, Douglas Dimitroff, Phil…

Canterbury Woods has completed a $2.3 million renovation and expansion of its Amherst campus that includes a refurbished swimming pool, a fitness center and an environmentally friendly green roof. The senior community, sponsored by the Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates, unveiled its new suburban wellness and fitness center this week – the latest physical expansio…

A new biotechnology developed at the University at Buffalo shows promise in helping to treat autoimmune diseases, and the State University of New York is investing $50,000 for more study of its effectiveness in gene therapy. Sathy V. Balu-Iyer, UB professor of pharmaceutical science, has invented a nanoparticle that can be used in conjunction with biologic drugs that of…

The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine has completed the first phase of a $25 million renovation of its pre-clinical simulation center and patient clinics. This is the school’s first major renovation in more than 30 years with a goal of significantly upgrading Squire Hall on the South Campus as an educational and clinical treatment facility. The new si…