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To the delight of consumers – and the chagrin of taxi cab companies – Uber and Lyft officially opened for business in Western New York at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. Jeff Whacker, of Snyder, was among the first drivers to rove for rides shortly after midnight on Hertel Avenue. It started out slow. He checked out UB South and the airport with little luck. His first request …

If you have a boat, don't expect to get close to the second annual Dunkirk-Lake Shore Air Show by sea. The U.S. Coast Guard will set up a temporary safety zone on Lake Erie near Dunkirk from 12:45 p.m. Saturday, July 1 to 5:15 p.m. Sunday, July 2, the Department of Homeland Security announced in the Federal Register. Boats and people will be prohibited from entering …

Work is expected to begin soon on window upgrades and air conditioning in the Lackawanna Public Library. A state grant of $165,218 will fund most of the project, while the City of Lackawanna will provide $40,000, according to state Assemblymen Sean Ryan, D-Buffalo, and Michael Kearns, D-Buffalo. Windows in the Ridge Road building will be replaced, and two new air con…

The Coast Guard and police agencies will be on the lookout for drunk boaters on area waterways this weekend. Authorities will be boarding watercraft as part of "Operation Dry Water" from Friday through Sunday, the Coast Guard said. The effort is part of a national awareness and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing alcohol- and drug-related incidents on the water, t…

Few people start to seriously about gender inequality, poverty and homelessness at age 6. Muskan Virk is a rare exception. It helps explain why the now 10-year-old, from Vancouver, B.C., has embarked on a tour to promote her first book, “365 Days of Gratitude: My Attitude of Gratitude.” “She is a very special young lady,” said Jill O’Hara, a holistic health…

Sister Corinne Yarborough of Buffalo was among the readers who offered thoughtful, passionate replies to a column last Sunday that made a simple point: Dawn at Terrapin Point, at Niagara Falls – where the sunrise forges a brilliant and often short-lived rainbow from the mist – is a moment of almost otherworldly beauty. That account led Yarborough, of the Sisters …

Dionte D. Dolson, 23, of McKoon Avenue, Niagara Falls, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in State Supreme Court to an indictment accusing him of taking part in an unsuccessful May 12 robbery of an alleged Niagara Falls drug dealer, who was shot during the incident. The man who allegedly had the gun was Darius L. Bray, 23, of Pine Avenue in the Falls, who pleaded not guil…

The developer planning apartments and retail stores on Niagara Falls Boulevard in northwest Amherst said he expects to begin foundation work this fall. Anthony Cutaia, president of Rane Management, received final approvals from the town Planning Board earlier this month for his development at 3455 Niagara Falls Blvd., next to the former Evergreen Golf Course. Cutaia…

With the Carl Paladino hearing over, the betting window is now open. In the race from the bottom to respect the citizens who pay their salaries, the frontrunners have to be the Buffalo School Board and the Erie County Water Authority – if only because they have so much to clean up. After running with the pack so for so many years, the School Board made itself the odds-…

One section of Transit Road in the Village of Depew is so narrow that it can be difficult for fire trucks and other large trucks to emerge with sideview mirrors unscathed. "I've had to scrape the sides of the bridges because people push you over," said Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz, who is also a volunteer firefighter. "It can be a taxing thing during the rush hour." Four r…

Firefighters battled an apartment fire early Thursday morning on Central Ave., according to the Lancaster Fire Department. A fire appeared to heavily damage a second-floor apartment above a business. The building houses Happy Tails Doggie Daycare, which said on Facebook it would be closed on Thursday. The building also houses Today's Dog, a pet boarding and grooming bus…

Dana Papaj, the Grand Island woman injured by a hit-and-run driver while walking her dog two weeks ago, remains in guarded condition in a coma, unable to speak or focus her eyes. But she has spontaneously opened her eyes on a few occasions, which has given her family "tremendous hope," according to Steven M. Cohen, the family attorney. "They are praying around the c…

For 14 years, Sally Jo Robins worked in billing and accounts receivable at Lincare in Amherst, rising through the ranks to become a supervisor and trainer. For about half that time, Kathleen Dunlap, a Town of Tonawanda resident, worked under Robins. No one knew at the time, but Robins – of Buffalo – and Dunlap became whistleblowers in a lawsuit accusing Lincare, …

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to French author and aviator Antoine de Saint Exupery, born on this date in 1900, “Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.” . . . GIFT OF LIFE – The Williamsville Branch Library, 5571 Main St., will host a Unyts blood drive from 3 to 7 p.m. today in the Community Room. Free T-shirt…

West Side resident Carolyn Taggart likes the idea of setting her own hours. Ann Taylor, of Amherst, is retired and wants to stay busy. Maria Sanchez, of Buffalo, spends half of her time "driving somebody somewhere" and figured she might as well get paid for it. All three recently applied to drive for ride-hailing company Uber, which will begin operating in Western…