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First period at Bennett High School was interrupted Monday by a rock concert. At least it started out that way. The Nashville-based, Kansas-bred band GOODING rocked the high school’s auditorium for four or five songs before the band’s lead singer and namesake turned teacher and gave the howling crowd of students a lesson on a subject they don’t often hear abou…

NIAGARA FALLS - More than 80 unionized employees will receive annual raises through 2024 under terms of a contract ratified Monday by the Niagara Falls Water Board. The deal for three units of the United Steelworkers union includes pay increases averaging 1.5 percent per year. Workers also will receive lump sum bonuses of $10 for every week they've worked since their la…

ALBION - The valedictorian of Albion High School's Class of 1961 this month donated $100,000 to the public library in his hometown, which is now named after him. Library Director Betty Sue Miller said Maurice Hoag and his wife Courtenay Hoag have made four large donations to the library in the past five years, totaling $450,000. Albion built a new $3.1 million librar…

A couple thousand Kids Day volunteers dodged raindrops Tuesday morning as they hawked special editions of The Buffalo News to benefit Women & Children’s Hospital and other local children’s charities. Officials and volunteers reported alternating sprinkles and downpours starting at daybreak, when many of the sellers hit the streets. “When we have inclement w…

LOCKPORT - The police detective who investigated the HTI Recycling fire in Lockport opposes detention for the 14-year-old boy who was an accomplice in the arson -- as long as the boy obtains psychiatric help. "He will not get the help he needs locked up in a detention center," Lockport Detective Lt. Todd A. Chenez wrote to Niagara County Family Court Judge John F. Batt…

Town of Tonawanda police on Sunday charged a Williamsville man with driving while impaired by drugs with a 2-year-old in the vehicle. Police pulled over Michael J. Batt, 36, at about 12:30 p.m. on Kenmore Avenue near Starin Avenue, the department said Tuesday. Batt failed several field sobriety tests and was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, police s…

Joshua Mueller says he understands there's a problem with rats near Niagara Falls Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda. But that doesn't mean it's OK for someone to set the jaw-style, leg iron trap that his cat came home with on his foot, Mueller told the Town of Tonawanda Town Board on Monday night. His cat suffered a "dislocated digit" and he spent $600 on veterinar…

Another active weather week in Buffalo is taking aim at a few all-time records. A daily heat mark will be challenged Thursday. A deep southerly flow will warm things up into the mid-80s, forecasters said. The record for the date is 84 degrees set in 1984.  It would also be the first 80-degree reading in April in four years. http://buffalonews.com/2017/04/24/warme…

A skydiving instructor's parachute may have improperly deployed during his descent, according to investigators looking into the fatal accident Saturday night in Orleans County. Authorities found Erick J. Miller's main parachute on the ground nearby but unattached to his body, the Orleans County Sheriff's Office said, citing the findings of an investigation being conduct…

A bathroom exhaust fan sparked a Clarence Center blaze on Monday that caused about $325,000 in damage, according to Amherst Fire Control. Clarence area firefighters were called to the blaze at 6674 Heise Road at 5 p.m. Residents of the home were able to escape the fire, which spread to the attic, authorities said. Firefighters declared the blaze "under control" at 5:…

Fires that destroyed a seasonal camp and two trailers last week in Cattaraugus County were intentionally set, State Police said Tuesday. The arson occurred Friday on Huyck Road in Farmersville. Fire investigators with Cattaraugus County determined the cause of the blazes to be arson. About $50,000 in damage occurred, state police said. State police ask anyone wh…

Buffalo area refugees will receive free routine health screenings from  physician assistant students and faculty at the third annual Daemen College Refugee Health Fair, which will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County offices at 70 Barker St. Screenings will be available for blood pressure, glucose, respiration, visio…

The Town of Evans has stepped back from the financial brink of disaster, according to its supervisor. Mary K. Hosler is determined to move the town forward after years of financial mismanagement left the town broke and with a credit rating so low that no investors were willing to buy revenue anticipation notes last fall. "It's far from over," she said of the financia…

NITTEC is reporting that the accident that had the left lane heading southbound on the Skyway closed has been cleared. https://twitter.com/NITTEC/status/856869222781259776 https://twitter.com/NITTEC/status/856867209355948032

When Leroy Favors Jr. was finishing his sentence in 2010 for raping and sodomizing a woman, he was not a candidate for civil confinement. The records of that hearing when the decision was made were sealed and may have been destroyed. But according to statements in Erie County Court this week, the decision not to keep holding Favors was based largely on testimony from…

The Amherst Planning Board has delayed voting on a mixed-used project of 152 apartments and retail stores proposed for the northwest corner of town because its members want more details about how the development will affect wetlands that mark the property. The board voted 4-2 to table Rane Management's application at last week's meeting. But Rane President Anthony Cutai…