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Developers shouldn't get tax breaks to build downtown lofts that only affluent people can afford, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. So Poloncarz intends to back a new policy that would require developers seeking local tax breaks for downtown residential projects to include some cheaper apartments in their projects. "If downtown is only available to people…

Frank Budwey, owner of Budwey's Market, was born to be a grocer. His grandmother started the family's first grocery store in 1925. More than four decades later, just as his widowed mother was about to give up on the failing business, Frank took the helm and turned the ship around. He was just 23 years old and fresh out of the Army, but was mentored by another grocer. Ov…

NIAGARA FALLS -- Tim Baxter was like a lot of people. For years he had driven past the black iron gates of Oakwood Cemetery on Portage Road without really thinking about what might be inside. "It wasn't even a blip on my radar, and I grew up in Niagara Falls," said Baxter. "I drove by here thousands of times, but it might as well have been a brick wall for all I knew ab…

Neighbors who want to check up on properties on their block that "no one is taking care of" may soon have a new tool. City lawmakers are proposing a public database of dilapidated properties aimed at tackling urban blight and the "chronic absentee landlords" who contribute to it. The new system will contain property maintenance violations, housing court status and in…

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz gave away reusable bags decorated with the county seal at his 2016 State of the County address, when he was pushing an initiative to ban grocery stores and retailers from distributing plastic shopping bags. This year, he's giving out passports. Not the kind that allows you to cross international borders. Instead, these little g…

A fundraiser for the victims of a fire that destroyed a Buffalo apartment building raised more than $45,000, organizers of the event announced. Fire ripped through the Lafayette-Barton Apartments on the West Side on March 11, leaving more than 80 people without a home. Several families escaped with only the clothes they were wearing. http://buffalonews.com/2017/03/1…

NORTH TONAWANDA - A Lewiston man has been charged in the February death of a pedestrian on Erie Avenue, North Tonawanda police said Wednesday. George A. Spizzirri Jr., 55, faces a felony charge of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident resulting in death without reporting it, police said. Spizzirri is accused of running over James W. Edel, 53, just before 10…

Some stole to cover gambling debts. Others financed a lifestyle of luxury. One man paid for a $10,000 hair transplant. Going back decades, large-scale embezzlement is nothing new for the Buffalo area. A longtime financial official for Towne Automotive Group on Tuesday admitted stealing $4.1 million from the company. That figure is believed to be the largest single e…

A four-year-old lawsuit centered on an East Amherst golf course path will head to trial in January in State Supreme Court unless the parties reach a settlement before then. Justice John L. Michalski set aside two weeks at the end of January for the trial to resolve the lawsuit filed by the Ransom Oaks homeowners association in 2013 against the nearby Glen Oak Golf Cours…

Officials gathered on a gravel-and-grass-covered patch of land at Canalside on Wednesday to mark a major milestone: the beginning of construction on a $27 million project to move the region's children's museum to the waterfront. "This project is going to be game-changing for our region," said David McNamara, chairman of the Explore & More capital campaign. http:/…

WASHINGTON – Two Senate Democrats Wednesday asked the U.S. attorney general to guarantee that any investigation of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price will continue despite President Trump's firing of Preet Bharara, the New York U.S. attorney who was reported to be leading the probe. ProPublica reported earlier this month that Bharara's office had been inve…

Two restaurants – Bonefish Grill, in the Boulevard Mall, Amherst, and Lombardo Ristorante, 1198 Hertel Ave. – will provide 20 percent of their proceeds on Wednesday and Thursday to Headway of Western New York. Headway, a nonprofit affiliate of People Inc., provides resources, support groups, recreational programs, training and educational programs to survivors and c…

June 2, 1926 – March 25, 2017 The thriving Jewish Community Center on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, with its day-care program and fitness facility, might not be operating today if it weren’t for Ann Holland Cohn and her family. The year was 1995, and Jewish Center officials were weighing whether to close the Delaware Avenue building and sell it, at a time when the …

West Seneca has sweetened the tax exemptions it offers small businesses making improvements to their buildings. The exemption applies to town taxes only, and only where the construction, alteration, installation or improvement exceeds $50,000, according to Town Attorney John Fenz. The Town Board approved changes Monday in the amount of the exemption allowed each year ov…