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The 5-month-old kitten that Ken Pieri bought last October brought much-needed joy to the 85-year-old Grand Island man. His wife was recovering from heart surgery. The cat he had owned for 18 years had to be put down. And then, suddenly, his son died. Lilly, the energetic and affectionate young tabby, often curled up on Pieri's lap. They were quick to bond. So Pieri …

BERRYVILLE, Va. — Congressional Democrats Monday began outlining a new agenda for the Trump era, and it showed the nation's most powerful Democrat — Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer — embracing progressive economics first and foremost over the middle-of-the-road appeals he once favored. A decade after writing a book in which Schumer suggested that Democra…

The legal battle between millionaire law partners Ross M. Cellino Jr. and Stephen E. Barnes took a nasty turn on Monday as Barnes accused his estranged partner of "reprehensible conduct," including efforts to steal lawyers from the Cellino & Barnes firm to begin a new law firm. Barnes accused Cellino of causing "significant harm" to Cellino & Barnes by publicly …

A hearing on a proposed rate hike by National Grid that would increase residential delivery charges by 17.5 percent will be held on Aug. 1 at the Central Library. The hearing, conducted by the state Public Service Commission, will be split into two sessions. An afternoon session, with an information session at 2 p.m. and then public comments at 3 p.m., will be followed …

“The Gathering of the Drums: Indigenous Drum Festival,” a free event, is planned for 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 29 at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center, 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls. Performers include Frankie McNaughton, Carl Jamieson, the African American Cultural Center, Monte Jones, Strong Water Women, SlyBoots’ Mohamed Diaby and his ensemble, Manding Foli…

Jamil T. Alhorebi pleaded not guilty in Niagara County Court Monday to an indictment accusing him of robbing a Town of Lockport gas station at knifepoint Oct. 1. Alhorebi, 31, of Lakeview Drive, Somerset, is charged with first-degree robbery and fourth-degree weapons possession in the crime at the Sunoco station at South Transit and Robinson roads. Assistant District…

Tips to the Crimestoppers tipline led to the arrest of a Buffalo man in the July 14 armed robbery of a Grand Island gas station, Erie County Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said Monday. Michael Church, 39, was arrested July 21 on charges of first-degree robbery, a felony and misdemeanor menacing and petit larceny counts. A little after 10 p.m. July 14, Crimestoppers report…

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter beamed pictures back to Earth last month showing an image that looks a lot like the waterfalls in the Cataract City. But here's the difference: Instead of water, it's a flow of molten lava. NASA named the image the "Niagara Falls of Mars." The three-dimensional image taken from the orbiter's camera shows the rim of a crater abou…

As Senate Republicans struggle over their attempts to repeal Obamacare, one word describes the landscape for health insurers: uncertainty. It's not clear whether repeated GOP efforts to undo much of the Affordable Care Act will ultimately succeed, and time is running short with the approach in a few months of open enrollment for 2018 health plans. Nor has it been cle…

In the midst of a mayoral campaign featuring two of City Hall's major players, their surrogates are arguing over this: Does it make sense to pay city workers to sleep on the job? That is what Mayor Byron W. Brown's administration and city Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder's office are bickering over after the watchdog issued an audit report that criticizes the Fire De…

More than 19,000 Western New Yorkers signed up for the spring Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge, making it the most successful challenge to date. Overall, 3,285 new participants registered for the online communitywide health and wellness initiative, which ran from April 24 through June 4. The series of six-week challenges – which …

A 14-year-old boy accused of shooting another 14-year-old with an air rifle has been charged with a felony count of second-degree assault, the Erie County Sheriff's Office said Monday. Deputies began an investigation on June 25 after the victim was taken to Women and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. The boy had been shot with a pellet gun on June 22 in the Town of Elma. …

Lake Ontario's southern shoreline is about to get swamped again. The National Weather Service issued a lakeshore flood warning for Niagara, Orleans, Monroe and Wayne counties from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. "The combination of high lake levels and wave action may worsen flooding in low-lying areas along the Lake Ontario shoreline," the weather service statement said. …

Marsha Connor had a gift Friday for Helen Donovan. She brought a golden bag and pair of slippers, covered with glittering golden sparkles, for the 98th birthday of the woman who is believed to be the oldest Gold Star mother in New York State, and certainly among the oldest in the nation. Helen loved the presents. She gave Marsha a kiss. She laughed and sang a song, a…

A 64-year-old man who set fire to a 10-unit apartment building because he was angry at his son was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison. Roger Cornell previously pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to a reduced charge of second-degree attempted arson, a felony, for starting the blaze at 437 Bailey Ave. in the early morning of Jan. 21. According to his attorney, C…

Mayor Byron W. Brown's plan for Buffalo's public housing agency goes beyond appointing new board members, and includes bringing in what amounts to financial and housing development gurus to help reform the struggling agency. Gary M. Crosby, a former Buffalo city schools chief financial officer and former president of First Niagara Bank, has agreed to advise the BMHA o…