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Robert G. Wilmers was much more than the Buffalo Niagara region's biggest banker. Wilmers, who died unexpectedly Saturday night, was a unifying force for the region's business community at a time when it was scattered and weakened by self-interest. As chairman and CEO of M&T Bank, Wilmers, 83, was one of the first to see the potential in the Buffalo Niagara regio…

Local News

The day before Thanksgiving, a former Erie Community College student walked into a class in progress on the City Campus. The man wasn't supposed to be there, but when the instructor told him to leave, he spewed vulgarities and leaned his shoulder into her upon exiting. Then, in the campus cafeteria, the man made inappropriate comments to two women while sticking his hand d…

Local News

Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour represented the Traffic Safety Committee of the National Sheriff’s Association last month at a program in front of U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington. Voutour joined Elaine L. Chao, secretary of transportation, for the kick-off remarks for the National Traffic Incident Response Awareness Week event. The sher…

Obituaries

June 19, 1944 – Dec. 14, 2017 John J. Mattio, an attorney and longtime Wheatfield town justice, died Thursday in Roswell Park Cancer Institute. He was 73. Born in Niagara Falls, he attended Bishop Duffy High School and was a 1969 graduate of the University at Buffalo Law School. He started his career as a public defender after military service during the Vietnam W…

A man bolted through the emergency exit doors of the Home Depot store in Niagara Falls Saturday morning after stealing a $700 snow blower, Niagara Falls police reported. The suspect fled the Builder's Way store through the garden department shortly after 10 a.m. with the red-and-black Toro machine. His method of escape from that point was not known.

Crime

Troopers responding to a 911 hangup call at a home in Ashville Sunday arrested a man who they said threw a woman to the ground and twice prevented her from calling 911, state police said. The suspect, Clint Apthorpe, 44, of Ashville also allegedly destroyed a cell phone. Apthorpe was charged with three counts of fourth-degree criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, and se…

Crime

A 35-year-old Randolph woman was arrested Friday after state police found that she had been providing a location for minors to gather so they could drink alcohol and consume drugs. Police, acting on a tip about illegal activity in a home, charged Amber Redeye with five counts of unlawful dealing with a child, three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one co…

Local News

Feels kind of balmy this morning, right? Temperatures are only expected to be in the upper 30s today, but it will feel a lot warmer than it has lately. The mercury will break above freezing for the first time since Dec. 9. Forecasters said the unseasonably cold, snowy stretch that dates back nearly two weeks comes to an end today with a daytime high close to 40 degre…

Local News

OLAF FUB SEZ: A favorite observation from Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, born on this date in 1943, “It’s great to be here. It’s great to be anywhere.” . . . PERSPECTIVES – Nancy Stevens, executive director of the Maria Love Foundation Fund, will talk about history and the future at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the IMAGINE Buffalo lunchtime lecture series in the Ring …

Local News

The American Red Cross' Western New York chapter said Sunday that its volunteers responded to three separate fires in the last 24 hours, helping 15 people with emergency assistance. The fires occurred at Pheasant Run Road in Amherst, with two adults and four children impacted; Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, with one adult; and Dewitt Street in Buffalo, where eight adults an…

A poorly placed grill cost someone their Lexus while tailgating before the Buffalo Bills game on Sunday. Orchard Park Police said that they were called to a private parking lot on Southwestern Boulevard with a report of a fire at 12:22 p.m. They found a 2010 Lexus engulfed in flames. The Windom  Volunteer Fire Company responded and extinguished the blaze, which police s…

Niagara Falls High School will be closed for students and staff Monday due to ongoing problems with a water main break, school officials announced on the district website. A Niagara Falls Fire Department dispatcher said that the break, which was discovered Friday, is on 47th Street near Packard Road and Niagara Falls Boulevard. A section of 47th Street is closed, the di…

Buffalo

M&T Bank Chairman Robert G. Wilmers cared about urban public education at a time when many of his business colleagues had written off Buffalo schools as a lost cause. Never a believer that poverty should doom children to failure, Wilmers aggressively worked to prove that community investment in schools could lead to stronger outcomes for public school children. That…

A New Albion man has been charged with two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter in the deaths Friday evening of Salamanca Town Supervisor Michael Phillips and his wife, Donna, the town clerk-elect, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Office reported Sunday. Kevin L. Donaldson Jr., 27, of Leon Road, near the Village of Cattaraugus, also was charged with driving wh…

As word of the sudden death of Robert G. Wilmers reached into the community, words of praise flowed in from those who knew and worked with him: "While many will remember Bob Wilmers for his unparalleled skill in business, I will always remember him for his wonderful generosity and his love for Buffalo and WNY. Mr. Wilmers has been a tremendous asset to our community a…

Business

The death of M&T Bank chairman and CEO Robert G. Wilmers on Saturday leaves a leadership gap at a bank that was already coping with the loss of a prominent executive earlier this year. In February, M&T president and chief operating officer Mark J. Czarnecki died after a battle with cancer. Rather than name a new president to succeed him, the bank divided Czarnec…