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When Lindsay Shookus was at Williamsville South 20 years ago, she performed "Saturday Night Live" sketches with a classmate. Now she heads the "SNL" department that books the hosts and the musical acts that perform on NBC's legendary late-night program. In an interview at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the small talent department office near Studio 8H where "SNL" is perform…

Orchard Park police have arrested a 75-year-old maintenance worker at an apartment complex who is accused of sexually assaulting several female residents of the building over the summer. Town police arrested Robert J. Bykowicz, who was a resident of the complex, on Oct. 11. The department announced the arrest Friday. Bykowicz is charged with two counts of sexual abuse, …

Ninety top designers, developers and data scientists from 29 countries are arriving in Buffalo to compete in the 2017 Topcoder Open hosted by the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus starting this weekend. Think of it like the March Madness of coding. Programmers from places as far as China, India and Nepal will square off in timed competitions to develop algorithms, …

What do you get when you combine the county comptroller’s audits with the sheriff’s power of arrest? Six apprehensions occurred Thursday stemming from Erie County Family Court warrants for failing to pay thousands of dollars in child support.  The arrests were announced during a news conference Friday at the Sheriff’s Office. The arrests were part of a 15th an…

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster welcomed more than 300 Great Lakes advocates to the region this week by asking them if they'd heard about the late July black sewage discharge at the American Falls. Most raised their hands. "It took about five minutes for that image to travel around the globe," Dyster said. He added: "Generally speaking, one would say that's a bad…

When James Helminiak of Buffalo first scratched off his winning lottery ticket, he thought something had to be wrong. Instead, everything was just fine – to the tune of $1 million. Helminiak, 52, was introduced Friday as the New York Lottery's latest local big winner. He won the top prize on the New York Poker ticket, which Helminiak has played since 2005. Helmi…

A household hazardous waste drop-off will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the North Tonawanda Public Works Garage, 758 Erie Ave. Organized by the Niagara County Refuse Disposal District, it's a chance to safely dispose of paint, automotive fluids, pesticides, fertilizers, driveway sealer, pool chemicals and household cleaners. Also Saturday, an electronics…

Four Niagara Falls elementary schools will get air conditioning if at least 60 percent of voters approve a $55 million package of school building projects in a Dec. 12 referendum. The Board of Education unanimously approved the plan Thursday. Superintendent Mark R. Laurrie said a supermajority is needed at the polls because bonding for the up-front cost of the project …

The titanium screws inserted in Amber Simone Baker Chinn’s skull when she was 6 months old are still in her head. And they probably will be for the rest of her life. But that hasn't stopped the singer/songwriter from performing on TV or wanting to give back to the hospital that made an imperfect baby look "fine." Baker Chinn was born with a rare condition with…

When it comes to weight gain, we are about to enter the danger zone. Halloween is the first obstacle in these parts when it comes to greater eating and drinking temptations. Coupled with temperatures that are about to sink, and you have a combination that's enough to make the health-conscious scream. "It sounds like an oxymoron but we can approach this time of year w…

More than 100 apartment units in three Tonawanda complexes were acquired this week for more than $4.62 million, as a longtime owner unloaded the properties. Richard J. Williams, through three entities, sold the Williamsburg Village Apartments, Colonial Village Apartments and Englewood Avenue Apartments to limited-liability companies managed by John J. Edwards, but owned…

The  Metro Rail expansion into the former DL&W terminal appears back on track after Congress last week restored money that the Trump administration had canceled for a federal grant initiative. Now Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Brian Higgins are starting a process they hope will produce a key transportation and commercial center in the old Delaware, Lackawanna an…

Ryan Gurnett landed a string of data entry and customer service jobs after college, and the hot flashes, queasy stomach and extreme fatigue he struggled with since high school intensified. Pain came and went in various parts of his body. He started to fall asleep on drives to and from work. By the time he hit 30, it wasn’t a matter of if he would have to stop working,…