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Massive traffic jams caused by black-ice spinouts on the eastbound Youngmann Highway this morning prompted Town of Tonawanda police to caution motorists.The spinouts and crashes, involving multiple vehicles, have occurred on or near overpasses at Niagara Falls Boulevard, Colvin Boulevard and Delaware Avenue, town police said.Emergency responders were at the scene or headed…

Amherst

The popular 1990s song “True Colors” always reminds Janine Luss of her son, Ryan.The lyrics about seeing someone’s “true colors shining through” despite obstacles describe how she sees the 14-year-old, who has autism. “Sometimes it holds him back. But a mom sees. What an amazing person I’ve been blessed with,” she said.That’s why Luss chose the song for an ice skating duet…

The tight-knit art community of Western New York got a double-dose of disappointing news last week, when longtime curators Sandra Q. Firmin of the University at Buffalo Art Gallery and Cori Wolff of Buffalo Arts Studio announced they’d be leaving for new jobs in other cities.In her 13 years at UB, Firmin consistently mounted challenging and mind-opening exhibitions and ove…

Amherst

Chess coach Michael McDuffie calls himself an ambassador for chess, helping hundreds of youngsters learn the strategic board game through Archangel 8 Chess Academy. For almost 15 years, McDuffie has spearheaded enrichment youth chess programs in communities including Amherst, Buffalo, Lockport and Niagara Falls.McDuffie, who is 59, grew up on Pershing Avenue and learned th…

The tight-knit art community of Western New York got a double-dose of disappointing news last week, when longtime curators Sandra Q. Firmin of the University at Buffalo Art Gallery and Cori Wolff of Buffalo Arts Studio announced they’d be leaving for new jobs in other cities.In her 13 years at UB, Firmin consistently mounted challenging and mind-opening exhibitions and ove…

AmherstDog owners may want to think twice before letting their canines run free in Amherst State Park.The town plans to step up enforcement at the Mill Street park this year to ensure dog owners are complying with the leash law, which has been an ongoing source of contention. Violators will be ticketed.The issue came up again last week, when Councilmember Mark A. Manna tri…

If it seems like budget gaps in suburban school districts are worse than ever this year, that’s because they are.• Frontier Central is working to reduce a $3.2 million gap.• Ken-Ton is struggling with a $3.4 million gap.• Niagara Wheatfield needs about $2.2 million in cuts to get taxes down to the tax cap.With about five weeks to go before suburban school districts must fi…

Amherst

A contractor hid a camera inside a customer’s bathroom to record video of her while she showered, Amherst police said Saturday.Kevin R. Eckert, 60, was arrested Saturday at his home on Tonawanda Creek Road in the Town of Lockport by Amherst Detective Robert Cunningham and charged with two counts of second-degree unlawful surveillance, which is a felony.Eckert also faces mi…

Marc Walker, a 53-year-old Amherst man was spared a prison term Friday for filing false federal income tax claims but Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny ordered him to make restitution to the Internal Revenue Service of $23,694. He also was placed on probation for two years.Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Rogowski said that for the tax years 2007 through 2011, W…

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency wants to get its name off the titles on many of the properties it has provided with tax incentives.The agency is stepping up its efforts to remove its name from the titles on property that received tax breaks from the IDA – often a decade ago or longer – but whose incentives have since expired.The move is more of a bookkeeping effo…

For the second time in a month, a teenage boy in Orchard Park has been approached by a man who asked him to get into a vehicle.The second incident prompted Orchard Park School Superintendent Matthew P. McGarrity to send a letter about student safety to parents Thursday afternoon.According to the letter, Orchard Park police told school officials that the incident occurred a…

For 40 years, Pat Metheny has been chasing an ephemeral muse. A jazz musician, both at heart and in capability, Metheny has unfailingly pushed the jazz envelope as a composer, freely bringing in elements of various musics not traditionally considered grist for the jazz mill, among them folk, world music and progressive music of various stripes. Because of this, Metheny has…

For 40 years, Pat Metheny has been chasing an ephemeral muse. A jazz musician, both at heart and in capability, Metheny has unfailingly pushed the jazz envelope as a composer, freely bringing in elements of various musics not traditionally considered grist for the jazz mill, among them folk, world music and progressive music of various stripes. Because of this, Metheny has…

Amherst Garden Club will hold its installation of officers at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in Brookfield Country Club, 5120 Shimerville Road., Clarence.If you have a submission for Garden Notes, please send it to Susan Martin, Garden Notes, Features Department, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240. Fax: 849-3445. email: smartin@buffnews.com. All items must be received…

Amherst detectives continued Tuesday night to investigate the robbery of an M&T Bank branch at 3500 Main Street in the University Plaza at about 3:30 p.m.Police released no details about the robbery nor any description of the robber who fled before they arrived. There was no report of how much money was taken, if any.No injuries were reported.