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ALBANY – Deals were tentatively struck Wednesday at the state Capitol to assist public and private students with rising college expenses, legalize ride-hailing upstate and enact the state’s largest-ever water infrastructure improvement program. The topics were among others nearing completion in state budget talks -- including raising to 18 years the age of adult cri…

Catching that train to the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus may soon have a silver lining, depending on where you live. Those who commute to the Medical Campus and are looking to hop the Metro Rail, but live a good distance from it, may get some help to get to the train and back home so they don't have to drive and search for parking. The non-profit organization that c…

Sean M. Vickers' conviction  for sodomy and criminal sexual acts against minors has been reversed by an Appellate Court that objected to changes made in the charges before the case went to a jury. One conviction, sexual abuse in the first degree, was allowed to stand. Vickers, 47, was found guilty in Genesee County in 2014 of sexually abusing five boys and sentenced to…

Two house fires were reported late Wednesday night in Buffalo, including one that fire officials believe was sparked by a child playing with a lighter. Just after 10 p.m., Buffalo firefighters were dispatched to a blaze reported at 1270 Kensington Ave., between Bailey Avenue and Eggert Road. The fire was in the first floor of the house and caused $15,000 in damage. Fire…

Putting Buffalo's new train station in the historic Central Terminal – rather than Canalside – would actually be cheaper, according to Rep. Brian Higgins. Higgins is a strong backer of returning train service to the Central Terminal. He argues that previous estimates for putting the train station at the East Side landmark include "gratuitous padding" and doesn't fac…

A Buffalo man admitted in federal court that he helped launder money for a drug trafficking organization. Bryant Hudson was accused of participating in a drug trafficking organization that had ties to a Mexican drug cartel operating out of the Los Angeles area. The organization shipped drug packages to various states including New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Colora…

A Niagara Falls man with a prior conviction for possessing images of a child engaged in sexual activity was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 27 years in prison, following his most recent conviction on distributing child pornography. Daniel Krull, 44, using the Facebook profile "Danny Blaze," distributed 11 images of child pornography to other individuals …

Four people pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to taking part in a marijuana distribution and money laundering scheme. Damarcus Hennings, 25; Shaquata Hennings, 30; Shahana Beaver, 25; and Janice Humphrey, 28, all of Buffalo, each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, acc…

When the Lancaster Town Board unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on commercial solar development, it joined a growing list of municipalities that are revising their town codes to keep pace with the skyrocketing industry. Lancaster's moratorium will end Sept. 20, said Matt Fischione, Lancaster code enforcement officer. "I've received inquiries by phone and e…

Franciscan Sister Ilia Delio, an award-winning author, is as well-versed in Louis Pasteur as she is in Tielhard de Chardin, holding doctorates in pharmacology and religion. A senior fellow in science and religion at Georgetown University’s Woodstock Theological Center, she comes to Buffalo this week for a pair of appearances. A free lecture, “Consciousness and the N…

Administrators at Global Concepts Charter School, where some parents have been picketing, have invited parents to an informational meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday to discuss the creation of a parents advisory council. The invitation dated March 27 was contained in a letter from school CEO Tracy McGee that was sent home with the students. "It is my hope that we can establi…

Jack Muscarella isn’t much on winter. He caught the biking bug a couple of years ago – after finding out about the Big Wheels Bicycle Club while reading WNY Refresh – and far prefers hitting the open road, and bike trails, once the outdoors become more inviting. His wait is pretty much over. GObike Buffalo has encouraged those in the region to pledge to “3…

Democrats ready to capitalize on the GOP’s health care debacle have the perfect opportunity to remind folks that government can work for people. There’s just one problem: First you have to make sure government works – especially the government that you run. In this bluest of states, the ongoing failures of both the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the Cuomo admin…

WASHINGTON – President Trump wants to get a head start on the massive spending cuts he proposed for 2018 – and just like in that budget proposal, Trump's immediate funding reductions would be aimed in part at a host of programs that benefit Western New York. Great Lakes funding, community development aid and the transit program that returned cars to Main Street in d…

A new playground on Buffalo’s East Side may open this summer, thanks to the Jami Masjid mosque and the Universal School – an Islamic, faith-based elementary school – which have teamed up to raise funds for the project. Plans call for the playground to be built at the corner of Genesee and Forman streets, on a parking lot on the school’s property. The mosque and…

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. has hired Thea Hassan from one of its partners, GoBike Buffalo, to help tackle transportation issues on the expanding Medical Campus. Hassan, who began working as transportation program manager two weeks ago, previously worked as communication outreach director for GoBike Buffalo, where she first began volunteering prior to being …