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A century ago, the area now known as Larkinville in Buffalo was a densely packed community, with restaurants, drugstores, movie theaters, a bowling alley, ice cream shops and other businesses, with apartments above. "I think there were 40 restaurants and bars from Van Rensselaer Street to Smith Street," said Howard Zemsky, the businessman-turned-developer-turned-state-o…

The Town of Tonawanda closed a 50-year old pedestrian bridge -- which crosses six lanes of traffic on Sheridan Drive near Hoover Elementary School -- over a year ago, after it was deemed to be unsafe. What's next for the bridge, being torn down or repaired? After receiving a state inspection, the town moved forward on the next step Monday, hiring Buffalo's Watts Arch…

It was a nail-biter worthy of a Hollywood drama until the final vote — but backers of a plan to convert a historic church on Richmond Avenue into a performing arts center finally got the go-ahead. The Buffalo Planning Board approved Rachel Heckl's proposal to renovate the Richmond-Ferry church into the Rosanna Elizabeth Visual and Performing Arts Center after 70 minut…

Police officers, the Patriot Guard, first responders, dogs. It seemed the people and things that were important to Buffalo Police Officer Craig E. Lehner were some of the most memorable images outside the Hamburg funeral home where friends and strangers alike came to pay their respects to Lehner on Monday. Members of the Patriot Guard lined both sides of Camp Road ac…

Shield, the 4-year-old German shepherd who was Buffalo Police K-9 Officer Craig E. Lehner's inseparable partner, will remain in the care of the Buffalo Police. The power of that connection will be evident Wednesday, at Lehner's funeral procession, when the dog is expected to walk alone behind the casket. Department officials say many offers have come in from the pub…

Northwest Bancshares has nearly wrapped up its search for a new member of its executive team. The Warren, Pa.-based bank, which has built a larger presence in the Buffalo Niagara region, is preparing to name someone to the newly created position of president and chief operating officer. The current president, William J. Wagner, will remain chairman and CEO once the new…

Monday marked the start of another repair project at the marble monument in Lockport Veterans Park. The monument suffers from weather-related deterioration. The 50-foot-high obelisk topped by a bronze statue was designed by Lockport artist A. Raphael Beck and erected in 1930 in remembrance of World War I. Other plaques commemorate subsequent wars. An engineering st…

Another Democrat is now a candidate to challenge incumbent Republican Chris Collins in the 27th Congressional District. Businessman Nicholas Stankevich said Monday he will seek the Democratic nomination throughout the 11-county district for a contest still more than a year in the future. “As an entrepreneur and local businessperson, I know that we can do better,”…

Buffalo News reporter Barbara O'Brien is covering the viewing Monday afternoon for Buffalo police Officer Craig Lehner at Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg. A crowd started gathering to pay their respects to Lehner's family at the funeral home by 2 p.m. Monday. The public is invited to the event. The viewing is scheduled from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at th…

The Small Business Administration is expanding in downtown Buffalo to support natural disaster relief efforts, and the SBA's top official will see the growth for herself on Tuesday. SBA administrator Linda McMahon is scheduled to visit the South Elmwood Avenue offices as the SBA moves forward on recently announced plans to add space and personnel. The SBA last m…

John O'Rourk often apologizes for his memory. The retired Buffalo police officer suffered a massive heart attack 18 years ago. He'd been using the snowblower at his West Seneca home. He started to feel "a little wobbly." He suddenly endured crushing pressure — what he describes as "an elephant's foot" — upon his chest. At the hospital, the doctors decided the damag…

Rep. Brian Higgins on Monday called preserving federal historic tax credits necessary for Buffalo's continued resurgence. "There is not a better national model for the success of this program than Buffalo, New York," Higgins said. Developers and preservationists joined him at the old Shea’s Seneca Theatre on Seneca Street in South Buffalo. Higgins, D-Buffalo, sa…

Twenty-one public school superintendents in Erie and Niagara counties on Monday publicly opposed a referendum to hold a constitutional convention in a letter to "partners in education." New York voters will decide whether to hold a convention that could rewrite the state's constitution. The superintendents are concerned that key provisions could be lost in a rewritten d…

A candidate for Hamburg Town Board is getting some support from the lieutenant governor. Kathy Hochul will visit the Village of Hamburg Monday to campaign for Laura Palisano Hackathorn. Hackathorn is a village trustee who is running for one of the four-year terms on the Town Board - the very place Hochul began her career in elective office. Hackathorn said Hochul wi…

A former Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station employee, found to have downloaded child pornography onto his work computer, avoided jail time Monday. Cory MacPhee, 51, of Plank Road, Cambria, was placed on probation for 10 years by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. Kloch also rated MacPhee a Level 1 sex offender, the least severe classification. Niagara…

A City of Lockport man who grew marijuana in his home pleaded guilty Monday in Niagara County Court. Graham D. Manners, 54, of Lock Street, was charged after the county Drug Task Force raided the home April 25 and seized 7.55 pounds of marijuana, Assistant District Attorney Peter M. Wydysh said. Manners faces up to 18 months in state prison when he returns before Jud…