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A 47-year-old Town of Alexander man who agreed to house-sit for his hospitalized friend and neighbor died after being pulled unconscious from the burning former one-room schoolhouse late Sunday night, Genesee County sheriff’s officials reported.Scott A. Cramer, the only person inside 11000 Sand Pit Road, was pulled from the cottage by Alexander volunteer firefighters an…

Buffalo School Board elections for years have attracted few voters, with the fate of the school district left to just the diehards who bother to cast ballots.Three years ago, in fact, half of the six races were decided by fewer than 70 votes apiece. In a fourth race, the incumbent ran unopposed.This year, however, is shaping up to be different.Widespread community frustrat…

As American soldiers fought on the islands of the Pacific making their way ever closer to Japan in World War II, John A. Phillips was in the thick of the fight; but when it was mealtime, he paused from combat and cooked chow for his fellow warriors.“Usually it was just powdered eggs for breakfast; and at dinner, dehydrated potatoes, and I’d make gravy. We had meat that…

brightcove.createExperiences(); Madeline McCoy, a seventh grader at G.R.A.C.E. Leah Homeschool in Hamburg, won the 86th annual Buffalo News Spelling Bee today by correctly spelling "cappelletti." Twenty students vied for the championship in the auditorium of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society. The 20 in the lineup…

Jim Conrad of Clarence hopes to see an evangelical pope who emphasizes tradition and orthodoxy.Phylis Slattery of Williamsville expects whoever is elected as Benedict XVI’s successor to clean up the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal.“Do something, rather than just talk about it,” Slattery said.Mary Ann Ingelfinger of Orchard Park prefers a candidate from outside …

The Maid of the Mist needs to start work within weeks on a new boat storage facility in order to protect its fleet from next winter’s icy waters.But with a lawsuit filed by its Canadian competitor, that $30 million gamble isn’t the only obstacle the company faces as it fights to keep its popular boat tours afloat.A newly formed advocacy group with ties to the Maid’s …

The former Sheehan Hospital building on Michigan Avenue has a new owner, an updated mission and a new name.Now called Compass East, the eight-acre site will focus on job training, heritage tourism, health care and medical research.The new name and expanded mission were unveiled at an open house Friday afternoon inside the 270,000-square-foot building, which was purchased i…

Demolition crews take down the historic Bethlehem Steel Administration Building after a judge on Thursday denied a request for a temporary restraining order by the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture and Culture. brightcove.createExperiences();

ALBANY – All but $10 million of the $198 million in road projects due Western New York will be awarded by the fiscal year’s end March 31, says State Transportation Department Commissioner Joan McDonald.But skeptical lawmakers and highway construction officials will begin weekly and quarterly tracking systems to keep them to their word.It also is not clear what $10 mill…

An excavator smashed the ornate facade of the Bethlehem Steel Administration Building Friday, a day after an Appeals Court judge rejected Campaign for Greater Buffalo’s attempt for a temporary restraining order to halt demolition. Preservationists have for months sought to save the 1901 Beaux Arts-style building, but in the end could not convince Lackawanna Mayor Geoff …

The City of Buffalo on Friday officially transferred ownership of the Webster Block to the Buffalo Sabres, which will put $2.2 million in the city’s general fund. Cliff Benson, Sabres’ chief development officer, assured Mayor Byron W. Brown that the check would clear, saying, “We have good financial backing.” Brown and Benson attended a signing ceremony in the lobb…

BRANT – There was no end to the grief Thursday as hundreds of people came and went from the house where 3-year-old Gage Seneca’s body was at rest in a white coffin.Gage likely didn’t know many of his mourners, but this was a community coming out in large numbers to let his family members know they are not alone.“The entire community is reaching out to Gage’s moth…