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ALBANY – Democrats are pledging to reunite as early as April to oust control of the state Senate from Republicans, who have dominated the chamber for most of the past 100 years. To the current Senate Republican majority leader, John Flanagan, a seemingly singular response is offered: Yawn. “I’m confident we’re going to continue to be in a good position,’’ Flanagan sa…

Valu Home Centers Thursday presented the Salvation Army with a check for $50,320 as part of the store's annual holiday fundraising drive. The donation brings Valu’s 16-year fundraising total to more than $760,000, according to Doug Wasiura, vice president of marketing and development for the hardware store chain. The funds collected are intended to support the Salvat…

Two pedestrians were dead Friday following a fatal crash in the Town of Salamanca, according to the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office late Friday. The incident occurred at about 5:37 p.m. at Route 353 and North State Street, the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office said. The driver of the vehicle was uninjured, the Sheriff's Office said. A passenger in the vehicl…

Crime

Ronald J. Winter, a veteran Niagara County attorney who was taped last year allegedly trying to talk a Niagara County deputy sheriff out of arresting his daughter on a drunken driving charge, faced little in the way of consequences. A spokesman for the state court system said Friday that Winter, confidential law clerk to State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.,…

Cheektowaga

Emma Voit, a petite 12th-grader at Maryvale High School, sat attentively in the auditorium Friday afternoon as actor William Fichtner fielded questions from the cast and crew of the school's annual musical production. Voit, cast in a lead role in the school's production of "The Little Mermaid," listened to Fichtner as he described film after film of his successful caree…

Local News

ALBANY – A sweeping measure calling for new tools to address sexual harassment and assaults was proposed Friday by two female Republican senators in New York. The proposal includes prohibiting courts from accepting secret sexual harassment settlements by alleged harassers or their employers. "Celebrities are getting lots of attention, but this affects people across a…

Buffalo

Starting at dusk today, the Peace Bridge will be bathed in blue, red and gold lighting in honor of Saturday's commissioning of the new USS Little Rock at Canalside. The lighting will continue until 1 a.m. Saturday, according to officials at the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, which operates the span linking Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ont. The $440 million w…

Local News

ALBANY – Though watered down from a previous effort, a new law was approved Friday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo requiring that American-made steel and iron products be used in state road and bridge projects. The approval came despite a report by The Buffalo News last month that Canadian officials were not ruling out taking trade retaliation steps once Cuomo approved the “Buy…

The former South Shore Golf Club, a 155-acre parcel at the corner of Southwestern Boulevard and Camp Road in Hamburg where residential, retail and office development is planned, has been sold. South Shore Community LLC bought the property at 5076 Southwestern Blvd. for $4 million. South Shore is working with David Homes, which is planning the new urbanism development, w…

Buffalo

A Buffalo man was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for heroin possession, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office. Erie County Court Justice William M. Boller sentenced Brayand Nazario, 26, of Royal Avenue, who previously pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, the DA's Office said. Investigators executed …

Crime

A West Seneca man with three prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol was charged Thursday night after he crashed his pickup into a parked car on Seneca Street, according to West Seneca police. Thomas A. Capitano, 31, of Lein Road, failed field sobriety tests at the scene and a certified drug recognition expert determined he was under the influence o…

Crime

The New York State Police will take part in a national campaign to crack down on impaired driving over the holiday season, the governor's office said Friday. The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" initiative runs from Dec. 15 through 30, and troopers also will conduct sobriety checkpoints on New Year's Eve and early on New Year's Day, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's office said. …

Politics

In one of her rare Western New York appearances, Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand on Friday didn't focus on her recent Twitter war with President Trump or her call for his resignation. Instead, she came to Cheektowaga to plug vocational education. The Democrat took only a handful of questions from reporters, breaking no real new ground at the Harkness Career and Technical …

Crime

State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. on Friday stuck by his promise not to put up with any violations of probation from a woman responsible for a crash that killed one of her passengers. Kloch sentenced Taylor J. Clause to one to three years in state prison for first-degree vehicular manslaughter in the death of Jasmin P. Dubuc, 19. Dubuc was ejected fro…

Business

The rows of empty cubicles inside Strategic Financial Solutions in Amherst are a sign of what's coming: more employees. A lot more. The Manhattan-based firm is in the midst of a hiring push, as it aims to have at least 1,500 local employees in five years. So far, though, the company has a long way to go. It has more than 30 employees on board and expects to double…

Erie County

Don Vidler thinks the weather will be perfect for the 45th annual Carolcade in front of Vidler's 5 & 10 in East Aurora on Saturday. He also thinks there will be more people this year than last year, when the Carolcade tried to set a Guinness World Record for the largest caroling event outdoors. The unofficial count from last year, when it was cold and rainy, is 2,30…