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As a teenager, Jeff Brown rode a metro bus from his home in South Buffalo to McKinley High School in North Buffalo nearly every day. He stared out foggy windows, wondering why parts of the city seemed so desolate. “I couldn’t understand why no one was hanging out here,” he said. “People didn’t want to be downtown. For some reason, everybody would rather move t…

ALBANY – New York’s state budget could be adopted in phases, instead all at once, under a plan Gov. Andrew Cuomo floated today. He says he recognizes the uncertainty of federal fiscal policies under President Trump that could sharply affect the state’s finances. The governor said that the “extender” route would be taken if he and lawmakers cannot agree on …

The Buffalo Niagara unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent in February as a wave of retirements among the Baby Boomers left fewer local workers holding jobs, the state Labor Department reported Tuesday. Even with the modest increase in joblessness, the local unemployment rate remained below 6 percent during February for just the third time in the last 15 years. "These…

Sears has closed its stores in the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga and the Boulevard Mall in Amherst. The company had announced in December that the closings would take place by mid-April, and the stores have conducted liquidation sales since January. A recorded phone message for the Galleria store announces the closing of that store and its auto center. Brian Calver…

Restoring the Great Lakes and tackling the environmental challenges facing them is being discussed this afternoon at a public meeting held by the International Joint Commission at the WNED-TV studio at 140 Lower Terrace in downtown Buffalo. The Buffalo News' environment reporter, T.J. Pignataro, was there. Talking #GreatLakes in #Buffslo with @IJCsharedwaters @WBFO p…

LOCKPORT - Joseph J. Lloyd, a Southtowns contractor with a long history of defrauding clients, will serve 3 1/3 to 10 years in state prison for failing to repay his victims. "In the words of Nobel Prize-winning poet Bob Dylan, 'Some men rob you with a fountain pen,' and you fall into that category," Niagara County Judge Matthew J. Murphy III told Lloyd. Lloyd had ple…

Spiritual leaders can use their pulpits to educate their congregations on the disease of addiction and embrace those who are suffering. That message is part of Tuesday's daylong seminar in the Catholic Newman Center serving the University at Buffalo's North Campus where some 30 members of the clergy and counselors have come for guidance on how to help those in the mids…

LOCKPORT - A Niagara Falls burglar who quickly flunked out of a drug treatment program by committing another break-in was sentenced Monday to 2 1/3 to seven years in state prison. "This is how I was raised: stealing, robbing and selling drugs," Atrel M. Hudson told State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. Hudson, 23, of 24th Street, added that he was "addicte…

LEWISTON - A 185-year-old house was torn down Tuesday morning in a village- and state-approved demolition. Harry W. Wright, chairman of the Village of Lewiston Historic Preservation Board, said 470 Ridge St. was too deteriorated to be saved. "Another little piece of Lewiston's history is gone," mourned Eva Nicklas, artistic director of the Lewiston Council on the A…

The Buffalo City Mission won approval Monday from the Buffalo Planning Board for its $15.1 million proposal to construct a new four-story complex in downtown Buffalo to house its growing operations. The nonprofit, together with McGuire Development Group, plans to erect a new 74,138-square-foot facility on its current parking lot at 90 E. Tupper St. and then demolish i…

The remaining commercial building of the former Shea's Seneca Theatre will get a new lease on life. The Buffalo Planning Board Monday night approved developer Jake Schneider's $9 million adaptive-reuse proposal to renovate the two-story building at 2178 Seneca St. into a mixed-use facility. Plans call for 21 apartments, a new 136-seat black-box theatre for Second Gen…

Two weeks after signalling their readiness to approve a major project on Jefferson Avenue, the Buffalo Planning Board formalized its support Monday for People Inc. and two development partners to construct a pair of new apartment buildings just north of the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Athletic Sports Pavilion. The social services nonprofit is working with Nick Sinatra and…

The Buffalo Planning Board on Monday approved a proposal by the owners of the Tri-Main Center on Main Street in Buffalo to finish their $4.5 million redevelopment of the nearby former Phoenix Frontier building into a mixed-use project. Plans by Tri-Main Development LLC call for renovating the three-story building at 45 Jewett Parkway, at the corner of Halbert Street, wi…

The Town of Tonawanda temporarily put the brakes on the erection of all new cell phone towers, including monopoles or micro cell towers, by declaring a moratorium Monday night. The moratorium was put in place until the Town Board meets with a consultant and updates the town code. These smaller towers, which can be as small as a lamp post or a flag pole, can be locate…

Keith O’Neil, who played for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, will speak April 6 during the 33rd annual National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Buffalo & Erie County Awards & Dinner at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens. Also, the Mental Health Association (MHA) of Erie County will host its Annual Dinner and Auction from 6 to 8:30 p…