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When Lindsay Shookus was at Williamsville South High School 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…

Officer Craig E. Lehner's death was unlike any other the Buffalo Police Department has endured. His funeral will not be like any other, either. The 34-year-old officer's funeral Wednesday in KeyBank Center may be the largest police funeral in Western New York history. The center, home of the Buffalo Sabres, seats more than 19,000, so it should be able to accommoda…

Just before the trial of former state Sen. George D. Maziarz was set to begin last month, his attorneys learned of internal state Board of Elections emails questioning whether he committed any crime at all. Now, Joseph M. LaTona, of Buffalo, and E. Stewart Jones, of Troy, are moving to dismiss the three-count indictment against the former Niagara County Republican power…

Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. is re-listing three multifamily apartment houses on Potomac and Ashland avenues, after officials decided they would not be a core part of the developer's planned Arbor + Reverie project along Elmwood Avenue. Ciminelli said the properties - 584 and 588 Potomac and 721 Ashland - will be put back on the market this weekend through Red Door Real …

Before she did anything else, she called her mother. Tamia Bowden was about to make a stand -- an unpopular stand in an unpopular way. Before the freshman at Canisius College even mentioned to her teammates about taking a knee during the national anthem at their next volleyball match, she talked it over with her mom. Her mom, Desiree Groves Marshall, is an Army comba…

Eric L. Fehr of Royalton, who inflicted a brain injury on his infant son by shaking him last year and choked a woman into unconsciousness last month, pleaded guilty in both cases Friday. After prolonged negotiations with attorneys Friday, Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III said he will likely sentence Fehr to six years in prison Jan. 12 for reckless assault on a…

A Bronx woman has admitted she was part of a ring that committed mortgage fraud by obtaining home loans for unqualified borrowers, causing M&T Bank and other financial institutions to lose $1.75 million, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Buffalo announced Friday. Tina Brown, 42, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud affecting a financial instituti…

Rep. Chris Collins reiterated his criticism Friday for the International Joint Commission's handling of Lake Ontario's water levels and urged the Trump administration to replace Commissioners Lana Pollack and Rich Moy. Collins rebuked Pollack in particular for saying a combination of extreme weather, high water levels and ice were the sole reasons for the devastating …

Amherst police have made an arrest in a shooting in January on Hartford Road. Police from Amherst and Cheektowaga served a search warrant Friday morning on Marne Road in Cheektowaga and took Raaquim McCrayer into custody, according to Amherst police. McCrayer, 25, of Cheektowaga, is charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the Jan. 28 shooting of a…

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…

A Buffalo police officer has been cleared of accusations that she helped facilitate heroin use by two addicts for the sake of making a movie and that she overstepped her role in law enforcement by recruiting the pair for an anti-opiate film after they were arrested. City Court Judge Joseph A. Fiorella ruled Friday that the fact the officer recruited the addicts for the …

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…