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The prediction was meant as a well-intended joke. Last week, The Buffalo News teamed me up with photographer Robert Kirkham and sent us to Florida's Gulf Coast, the day after Hurricane Irma. An editor called me at home before we left. He said the area is beloved by many longtime Western New Yorkers. He was sure we'd meet plenty of men and women with Buffalo roots, affected…

Platter's Chocolate will celebrate National Sponge Candy Day with a three-day festival on Thursday through Saturday at the Wurlitzer Building, 908 Niagara Falls Boulevard, North Tonawanda. The Sponge Candy Fest will begin Thursday with all day sampling and candy-making demonstrations at the factory, and a magic show from 7 to 8 p.m. On Friday there will be a beer and c…

ALBANY — Indictments against six defendants in the Buffalo Billion case have been amended, for the second time, after defense lawyers sought to get the corruption case dismissed. The previously amended indictment against the six individuals is being changed “to provide further clarification of the government’s theory in its case,’’ Acting U.S. Attorney Joon K…

Universal prekindergarten spots are still available in the Amherst Central Schools' program for the 2017-18 school year, district officials said. Pre-K is provided at Amherst Community Church Child Care Center, 77 Washington Highway; Amherst Nursery School, 350 Saratoga Road; and Windermere Elementary School, 291 Windermere Blvd. Transportation is available only to th…

The City of Tonawanda Common Council did not pass a local law on Tuesday that would have allowed the city to override the state's 2 percent cap on a tax levy increase. "For a city like ours, to stay under the 2 percent tax cap requires some drastic cuts in services," said Treasurer Joseph Hogenkamp. "This budget is all salaries and benefits." The city has had to over…

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer traveled to North Java in Wyoming County on Wednesday to announce his push for federal funding for farm safety programs. President Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposed a 40 percent cut in funding for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Schumer said that could mean less money for the Northeast Center for Oc…

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo joined the Democratic governors of California and Washington Wednesday to harshly criticize the Trump administration on climate change policies. Pulling out of the 2015 Paris environmental accord has helped make the Trump administration “the most ignorant” ever on climate change, Cuomo said in a Manhattan appearance with California Go…

The Independent Bankers Association of New York State will hold its annual conference Sept. 25 to 27 in Niagara Falls. The group, which advocates for independent community banks, will hold the event at the Conference and Event Center. About 160 people are expected to attend. The scheduled speakers include Jose Gonzalez, the president and CEO of the Federal Home Loan…

If you knew your genetic makeup, would it help you lose weight? Linda Taylor, a functional medical provider, says yes. The nurse practitioner specializes in helping adults better address chronic health challenges including obesity, and recently started offering a multi-week weight loss program based on genetic testing. "The patient comes in and it's a very quick v…

The teenage bicyclist struck by a motorcycle Monday night in Amherst is not as seriously injured as initially believed and police are not filing charges against the motorcyclist. The 17-year-old girl was hit at about 9:30 p.m. while riding her bike on Main Street by a motorcyclist heading south on North Forest Road, police said. Motorcyclist Justin Clukey, 32, was cross…

A developer is seeking to tear down a ranch-style home that hosts a video business and construct in its place a mixed-use building of retail and apartments on Main Street near Transit Road in East Amherst. The applicant, PB Investors LLC, which traces back to Bliss Construction, would construct an 11,855-square-foot building at 6790 Main St., at Tennyson Terrace, on the…

A judge has upheld a hearing officer's determination that a former high-level administrator in the Williamsville Central School District should be fired for misconduct and other charges, the school district's attorney said. State Supreme Court Judge Timothy J. Walker on Thursday dismissed an appeal filed by former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Kim A. Kirs…

Pro-immigrant lawn signs were set on fire in front of an Allentown home on Tuesday night. The signs were burned in front of a home on the 100 block of Mariner Street shortly after 11:30 p.m., Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said in an email. Police are investigating the matter, DeGeorge said. Allentown resident Carmen Rodriguez, who posted photos of t…

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is casting about for ways to improve trout fishing across the Buffalo Niagara region and hopes for insights from local anglers. DEC fisheries officials will ask anglers for feedback about the state's management of the trout fishery. The DEC will provide an overview about how the state manages its trout streams and re…

Les Trent, senior correspondent for "Inside Edition" and a former Buffalo reporter, producer and weekend anchor, will be the keynote speaker for "Journalism in the Age of Fake News: Is the News Still for You?" Trent's speech will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A on how the public can discern "fake news."  The luncheon also will include presentation of the…