Air quality in the Tonawandas has significantly improved over the last eight years as levels of certain pollutants continue to fall, state environmental officials announced Tuesday. The state Department of Environmental Conservation's Tonawanda Air Quality Study ended in mid-2008, but the DEC continues to operate two air quality monitors -- on Grand Island Boulevard and…

Unconscious and near death, William C. Sager Jr. was nevertheless handcuffed. So was his friend, Donald Hall. Unlike Sager, he lived to tell about his run-in with the off-duty Buffalo Police Officer, Robert E. Eloff. It was May of 2014 and Eloff was working private security at Molly's Pub when bar manager Jeffrey J. Basil, during an altercation, shoved Sager down a f…

Ed Stone enlisted in the U.S. Navy in Buffalo, in December 1940. He did what the Navy told him. He brought only a light spring jacket. He remembers that he slept the night before at the YMCA. He remembers the stone steps of the old Post Office were covered with ice, and it took him three tries to reach the top, without breaking his neck. He remembers the heater wasn't w…

Spread the word to your friends from across the country: If you're looking for a fun, frugal New Year's Eve, look no further than downtown Buffalo. Wallethub recently rated Buffalo as the fifth best place to celebrate New Year's Eve out of 100 cities nationwide. Buffalo rounded out the top five behind Orlando, San Francisco, Atlanta and Denver. The website based its…

LITTLE VALLEY - Shawn Chastain, 40, of Olean, has been ordered to repay the Cattaraugus County Social Services Department the $67,282.69 in welfare benefits he illegally obtained for over four years, District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman reported. Chastain was ordered to make the repayment following a County Court restitution hearing linked to his recent conviction on se…

Elijah Feaster , 23, of North Parade Avenue and Jordan Hairston, 22, of Girard Street were arrested on weapons and other charges after police noticed their vehicle lacked a front license plate. Police officers on routine patrol noticed a car in the parking lot of a store in the 2200 block of Bailey Avenue lacked a front license plate, as they walked to the parked vehicl…

LITTLE VALLEY -- Justin T. Shaw, 24, of Olean, was ordered by Cattaraugus County Judge Ronald D. Ploetz Monday to serve a 10-year state prison term  on his guilty plea to periodically molesting a young girl in the Town of Portville. Shaw pleaded guilty in August to two felony counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct against a child for incidents with a young gir…

FRANKLINVILLE - A 27-year-old Franklinville man faces felony sex charges after a domestic incident on Route 16 on Monday, State police said. George Merrell is accused of performing criminal sexual acts on the victim, as well as hitting and choking the victim, destroying property and preventing the victim from calling 911, authorities said. Merrell was charged wit…

Carl P. Paladino is getting to know his way around Trump Tower. The Buffalo developer spent an hour with Donald J. Trump Monday, joining the parade of notables paying their respects to the president-elect at his Manhattan headquarters. They discussed everything from Trump's relations with the media to New Yorkers who may serve in the new administration. "We had a …

The Village of Lancaster's economic development arm is refusing to publicly release a copy of the only proposal submitted for the purchase of a nearly 5-acre parcel on West Main Street that the village hopes will jump-start the revival of its downtown business district. In a one-paragraph explanation, Village Clerk Michael E. Stegmeier denied a Freedom of Information re…

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to sportswriter Heywood Broun, born on this date in 1896, “The tragedy of life is not that man loses but that he almost wins.” . . . BAD IS GOOD – The Lancaster Regional Players production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a comedy in which a group of misfit children take over the roles in a church holiday program, continues this wee…

LOCKPORT - Voters in the Lockport City School district approved a $28.66 million package of capital projects Tuesday, with half of the money targeted for improvements to academic facilities and building maintenance, and the other half for new or upgraded sports facilities. The vote was 1,594 to 385. The project will have no impact on property taxes, district official…

WILSON — The SPCA of Niagara seized dozens of snakes, birds and other animals from a Wilson home Tuesday evening, charging it was a case of  animal cruelty. But the residents denied the allegations, saying the animals were left over from an exotic animal business. Robyn Dawe, 59, of Beebe Road, said her daughter Maria Dawe, 21, had operated the exotic animal busi…

NIAGARA FALLS – A 12-year-old Niagara Falls boy is in serious condition after he was hit by a car on 25th Street Tuesday night, according to Niagara Falls police. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene after hitting the boy. The boy was crossing 25th near Niagara Street at about 6 p.m. when he tripped in the crosswalk and fell. While he was down in the crosswalk, h…