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Amherst

A key Washington player now questions the wisdom of extending Metro Rail to Amherst, even as transit officials are poised today to spend almost $5 million for a study beginning the process. Rep. Brian Higgins, a member of the House Budget and Ways and Means committees, said Wednesday he is reconsidering his support for doubling the current 6.5 mile Metro Rail system and…

Business

Real estate investors Dimitri and Nicholas Tzetzo snapped up two more apartment properties in the Southtowns late last week, buying the Creekside Court Apartments in Boston and a 12-unit building in West Seneca. Tzetzo Companies, through their Oakridge MFR Holdings LLC entity, paid $1.6 million for Creekside, at 5400, 5450, 5451, 5454 and 5466 Creekside Court. Locate…

Local News

The Village of Lancaster is the latest community to relax its overnight winter parking restrictions due to unseasonably warm temperatures and no snowfall forecast. Mayor William C. Schroeder announced Wednesday morning the village's parking ban is lifted until March 6. Cheektowaga officials on Tuesday announced the town's ban is suspended until March 1 when it will b…

Hamburg

Gladys Ball has a collection of 30,000 hats she sells out of her Hamburg home to clients ranging from apparel companies to walk-up customers. Brian Gordon profiled Ball for Vice Sports: "Known as 'the Hat Lady' to many, Ball accumulated her collection over a career buying hats from the New Era factory in nearby Derby and selling them at markets throughout Western New…

Amherst

Tops Markets said Wednesday its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing would not affect the more than 14,000 employees at its headquarters in Amherst and its network of stores in three states. But those workers, most represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local One, will keep a close eye on proceedings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern Di…

Local News

Some people buy their loved ones a bouquet of flowers. Dave Davis gave his beloved alma mater a whole garden center. The former owner of Queen City Garden Town Nursery donated its Harlem Road property to Hobart & William Smith Colleges, allowing the schools to make $200,000 by reselling it. This is the second time that Davis, also well known locally as a boost…

Buffalo

Take one of the lowest-performing schools in Buffalo and match it with a collection of academics seasoned in the latest research and best classroom practices. Would it make a difference? Could it turn around the school? That’s what Buffalo Public Schools officials are hoping as they enlist the help of the University at Buffalo to tackle one of the district’s tougher …

Amherst

Tops Markets' reorganizational bankruptcy filing includes a list of the company's 20 largest creditors. The list ranges from a commercial banking services company to suppliers and union funds. The 20 largest creditors, in order, are: U.S. Bank National Association 9 percent notes due 2021, $70.7 million C&S Wholesale Trade debt, $54.7 million …

Buffalo

Somebody broke into Frank's Sunny Italy earlier this week and damaged a number of items inside the restaurant, according to a Buffalo police report. The burglary happened at the Delaware Avenue restaurant in North Buffalo between about 10:45 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. Tuesday. The burglar damaged a rear kitchen window to get inside, according to the report. Once inside,…

Local News

Glen Oak Golf Course in East Amherst has been sold to a team led by the former head golf professional at Transit Valley Country Club. Tim Fries leads the limited liability company that purchased the golf club at 711 Smith Road for $2.78 million in a transaction that closed Friday, according to a deed filed with the Erie County Clerk's Office. Fries said that he and h…

Michael J. Bartlett, the executive director of the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency, died Tuesday after being stricken at home. Bartlett, 71, had headed the IDA since 1994. "It just crushed us," said Hamburg village Mayor Thomas J. Moses Sr. "He was just a great guy." Bartlett, a Canisius College graduate, worked on hundreds of projects to attract and retain …

Erie County

Tobacco smoking rates have fallen during the last generation in the U.S., but those who live in poverty and have less education continue to be three to four times more likely to smoke. The alarming rates also include women who are pregnant and choose to continue to smoke. New York State recognizes the danger by allowing women who are pregnant and have a child under a…

Crime

A man tried robbing a bank and a cellphone store across the street from one other in Cheektowaga on Tuesday morning, according to Cheektowaga police. The suspect attempted to rob the M&T Bank branch on Thruway Plaza Drive at 11:31 a.m. and the Boost Mobile at 1526 Walden Ave. at 11:36 a.m., police said. The suspect, who is still being sought by police, displayed …

Erie County

The City of Tonawanda Library at 333 Main St. was evacuated at around 1 p.m. Tuesday after an electrical fire was discovered on a utility pole in the library's parking lot. No injuries were reported. National Grid shut off power to the library after the Tonawanda Fire Department found a fire in the main electrical service line to it. Mayor Rick Davis told the Common …

Erie County

William Reece was sworn in on Tuesday to represent the First Ward in the City of Tonawanda. He was one of five people who sought the seat after Charles Gilbert resigned Feb. 9 to take a full-time position as Mayor Rick Davis' administrative assistant. Gilbert, one of two Republicans on the Council, had served as First Ward councilor for eight years and was re-elected in…

Buffalo

Two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in Buffalo – the ones that don't get all of the attention – take center stage Thursday when the Buffalo Preservation Board will propose designating each a local landmark. It would seem like a slam-dunk, given the historic importance of the William R. Heath House and the Walter V. Davidson House. Except for one thing: Neither of t…