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Karen Magee delivered her message in no uncertain terms. "I am saying that I would urge parents at this point in time to opt out of testing," the New York State United Teachers president said in a 2015 interview on the radio show "Capitol Pressroom." The remark made Magee among the first high-profile union leaders in the country to explicitly encourage parents to opt the…

Kenmore East High School will present its spring musical, "Once On This Island," at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 30-April 1, at the school, 350 Fries Road. The acclaimed Broadway musical was the winner of the 1995 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical and is based on the book "My Love, My Love," also known as "The Peasant Girl," by Rosa Guy. Inspi…

Mayor Byron W. Brown proclaimed Monday "Randi Weingarten Day" in Buffalo to honor the influential president of the American Federation of Teachers union. Brown called Weingarten "a trailblazer and true champion" during a ceremony at City Hall. Weingarten has served as head of the federation, which has 1.6 million members and is one of the nation's largest labor unions, …

Registration is now open for the 37th  J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Buffalo at  www.jpmorganchasecc.com. The 3.5-mile road race is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. June 15. It's open to runners, joggers and walkers and companies can order race-night hospitality in Delaware Park. Over 13,000 are expected this year. Last year, the race attracted 12,488 entrants from 38…

John Andreozzi, author of "The Italians of Lackawanna, NY: Steelworkers, Merchants and Gardeners," will talk about the legacy of Italian-Americans in the Steel City at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 6 in the Lackawanna Public Library, 560 Ridge Road. The talk will include the history of Lackawanna, the immigrant saga and the role immigrants played in the steel-making industry. …

An Orchard Park woman was served with an arrest warrant Monday, accused of spraying a police officer with a "household product" at her residence on Feb. 19, Orchard Park police said in a statement Monday. The police officer, who was not named, sought medical treatment after the incident and was treated and released. Patricia Hansen, 62, was charged with resisting arr…

Three young teenage girls reported that a man approached them in Martin Luther King Jr. Park while walking home from school Friday afternoon and offered them money and shoes if they got into his car, Buffalo police said. The girls, all Buffalo school students, told police the man offered them money, and then offered to buy them sneakers, if they would get into his vehic…

Pawn shops have long been havens for thieves trying to fence stolen merchandise. And getting stolen items back to the rightful owners can be a daunting task, city officials say. That is why Common Council members want to require pawn shops to digitally photograph and catalog each item pawned and to hold the item for at least 60 days. The enhanced record-keeping will hel…

The Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is losing one of its key people, a top manager who received tens of thousands of dollars worth of training in recent years while he was being groomed to possibly become an assistant executive director. But instead of getting a No. 2 spot at the Buffalo authority, Anthony J. Laulette, 43, is heading to Columbia County, not far fro…

The Town of Clarence has joined other communities in adopting a solar code that restricts commercial and residential ground-mounted solar systems. The code was adopted after an eight-month moratorium. The law only applies to ground-mounted solar systems, said Jonathan Bleuer, assistant director of community development. He said there are no projects in the wings, but…

Rising property values and return of commercial properties to tax rolls will drop the property tax rate for  Williamsville by 4.8 percent, Mayor Brian J. Kulpa says. Trustees proposed a $3.67 million budget for the new fiscal year that would reduce the general fund tax rate to $4.19, a drop of 21 cents per $1,000 from last year. "We are glad to see our property valu…

A proposed land swap between Natale Development and Williamsville has support among neighbors, according to Mayor Brian J. Kulpa. Natale originally proposed building dozens of townhouses and apartments on the site of a former construction yard on California Drive but ran into opposition last year from some neighbors and never gained approval from planners. The deal…

The Buffalo Preservation Board has given its approval for demolishing a deteriorating Allentown building as long as its façade is kept intact. Owner May Wong had sought to demolish the two-story, red-brick building at 15 Allen St., but the board's approval last week hinged on leaving the front wall standing to remain part of a streetscape that preservationists are vig…

A Cheektowaga woman Monday admitted that she helped others to file false New York State personal income tax returns. Shonnel Harri, 48, pleaded guilty in Erie County Court to criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree, according to District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. In pleading guilty, Harris acknowledged she acted as an unlicensed tax preparer while assisting others i…

Two men were charged by West Seneca police with driving under the influence of a substance in separate incidents less than 12 hours apart. Joshua J. Huber of Orchard Park was charged with driving while intoxicated and leaving the scene of an injury accident after the vehicle he was driving struck another vehicle about 4:40 p.m. in the 1300 block of Union Road. Officers …