ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in his new state budget dubbed them “loophole closures,” “reforms” and “modernizations.” Others call them tax increases. And, like governors before him, Cuomo is relying on hundreds of millions of dollars to help him balance his 2017 budget and pay for spending increases he wants lawmakers to embrace. Add in his call to …

A Williamsville developer is asking the Town of Amherst to rezone seven acres of land along Sweet Home Road where he plans to build 79 upscale apartment units, according to plans filed with the Amherst Planning Board. Robert A. Savarino would build two three-story apartment buildings, along with six single-story garage buildings, on seven acres of the nearly 12-acre par…

Family, friends and fellow officers welcomed two new police officers to the City of Tonawanda Police Department with swearing in ceremonies and a reception at City Hall on Wednesday. Officers Adam J. Cruz and Kyle J. Gallivan will start at the Central Police Academy at Erie County Community College's north campus on Monday. Both new officers grew up in the City of To…

LITTLE VALLEY -- A 78- year-old former Hamburg resident has been returned to state prison for at least two years after his latest burglary  conviction. Gary Heinaman was convicted as a repeat felon on third-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property for a Town of Ellicottville break-in Nov. 29, 2015,  District Attorney Lori Pettit Rieman …

After the unexpected retirement of Superintendent Dawn F. Mirand earlier this month, the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board named its former assistant superintendent, Stephen A. Bovino to step into the role on an interim basis last week. Bovino  retired in September after 9 1/2 years in the role, but came back when Mirand announced January 5 that she would retire i…

Michael Billups, a much-arrested Buffalo man, and his wife, Nicole, were arrested during a raid on their Briscoe Street home last week, Erie County Sheriff's deputies reported announced Wednesday. A stolen loaded.38-caliber handgun was found in the house during the raid, according to Alan Rozanky, chief of the sheriff's Narcotics Unit. That may mean federal charges aga…

The arrest of 19-year-old Hector Santiago last week marked the latest development in what Buffalo police say is as an uptick in the thefts of tires from parked cars in the Allentown and Elmwood Village areas, Detective Chief Dennis J. Richards said. Richards said  Buffalo police and other area police agencies have been investigating such thefts since last fall. Tire…

 The girls race back and forth across the gymnasium, kicking the soccer ball to each other. In a classroom on another floor, a group of students prepares traditional African sambusas, a type of pastry. Meanwhile, other students practice English or prepare for college entrance exams while their parents learn about financial literacy and health care. All of this in thre…

Helen S. Liebler retired from Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart several years ago, but enjoyed teaching math at the all-girls high school so much that she frequently returned as a substitute teacher. "It was part of her life," said the Rev. Msgr. Robert E. Zapfel, pastor of St. Leo the Great in Amherst, where Liebler attended Mass almost daily. "She took great joy in…

Mark A. Samara, 28, of  Esser Avenue, was taken into custody Wednesday for the theft of a car during a Christmas Eve incident in the 1200 block of Hertel Avenue, Buffalo police reported. After assaulting the owner of the vehicle during the Dec. 24 incident, Samara used the victim's credit card at least three times in the last few weeks, police said. Samara is charge…

Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski will deliver her second State of the Town address during a luncheon Thursday, Jan. 19 at the Millennium Hotel, 2040 Walden Ave. The luncheon, sponsored by the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce, will take place from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. Benczkowski will update the public on the progress made in Cheektowaga during 2016 and outline h…

A man was seriously wounded Wednesday night in a shooting in the area of Walden and Bailey avenues, Buffalo police said. The male victim was shot at about 10:45 p.m. in the 100 block of Keystone Street, off Walden and east of Bailey, according to police. The victim was taken to Erie County Medical Center. Police have released no further details. Anyone who may hav…

It turned out to be much more – and much less – than expected. For all of the justified euphoria over the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama on Friday will leave behind many of the same structural inequities African-Americans coped with under his predecessors. Which raises the question: What did it all mean? Putting race aside, his accomplishments with n…

The Buffalo Preservation Board will hold a special meeting  at 6 p.m. Feb. 2 in Lafayette High School Auditorium to discuss a demolition application for five properties on Elmwood Avenue, two on Ashland and one on Potomac. The meeting was originally scheduled for next week in Council chambers. The demolitions would make way for a mixed-use development of apartments …