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

Mayor Byron W. Brown is not taking a public position on which location he would prefer to see a new Amtrak station built in Buffalo. But comments that Brown, chairman of the train station site committee, made to The Buffalo News Editorial Board on Tuesday suggested steep challenges for the Central Terminal as the location. [Gallery: Inside Buffalo's Central Terminal…

West Seneca Central continues to be opt-out central, with nearly three-quarters of its students refusing to take the English Language Arts state assessments Tuesday. The opt-out movement seemed to remain strong, although opt-out numbers are down in some Western New York school districts and districts around the state also reported more students are taking the tests tha…

The $4.1 million that Billie B. Becker admitted stealing from Towne Automotive Group makes her the biggest individual embezzler anyone in the Erie County District Attorney's Office can remember prosecuting. It's possibly the largest single embezzlement in Erie County history. And the $4.1 million is only the amount prosecutors said they could prove she stole, since bank…

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 shuttered its stores in the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga and the Boulevard Mall in Amherst. The company had announced in December that the closings of the stores and their related auto centers would take place by mid-April, and the stores have conducted liquidation sales since January. The closings leave large holes in the two shopping centers that the ma…

Continuing the progress of Great Lakes restoration while solving the watershed's emerging challenges were the top topics of discussion at Tuesday's public meeting held by the International Joint Commission in Buffalo. Some of the top goals? An international designation of importance for the Niagara River. The elimination of sewage overflows. More wetlands an…

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…