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The nationwide economic downturn is shrinking the total volume of mail carried through this part of the state, just as it is across the country. The amount of letters, magazines and packages sent through the mail in our region mirrors national trends showing decreases in volume, including about a 13 percent drop from 2008 to 2009. "Some of it is because of electroni…

Anyone wishing to help the earthquake-relief effort in Chile can make a donation to the American Red Cross, the organization has announced this afternoon.Like for the Haiti relief effort, texting "CHILE" to 90999 makes a $10 gift, said Karen Grobe, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter.Donations can also be made via www.redcross.org or b…

A public rally to show support for an area state park slated for closure because of state budget cuts will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Woodlawn Beach State Park. Woodlawn Beach is one of five in Erie and Niagara counties on the closure list. Here's a story from today's Buffalo News about an effort to save Knox Farm State Park, which is also on the list. Satu…

2:37 p.m. update: Here's a video message The Donald sent to Dr. Donald Trump at Roswell: 11:04 a.m.: The Goin' Bald for Bucks campaign raises funds for research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. This morning, Dr. Donald L. Trump, president and CEO of Roswell Park, is having his head and mustache shaved to help raise money. The fundraising effort has some re…

University at Buffalo professor Michael C. Constantinou was interviewed for a story on CNN.com about earthquake-proof building technology that was published yesterday.In the wake of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, Constantinou, who works in the department of civil, structural and environmental engineering, talked about a technology known as "base-isolation systems…

Good morning.Gov. David A. Paterson says he's staying put. Read the latest report from Albany Bureau Chief Tom Precious.The NHL's trade deadline is at 3 p.m. Starting at 10 a.m., check out the Sabres Edge blog to stay on top of moves around the league, and here, if any happen.Want some other meal ideas for Lent? News Food Writer Andrew Galarneau offers …

A national survey released today that found alcohol and marijuana use among teens is on the rise contained few surprises for some in the field of social work. The annual survey released by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America found that the number of teens who reported drinking alcohol in the last month increased 11 percent last year. The number of teens who report…

AMHERST -- Most students at Amherst Middle School were toddlers when Rachel Scott and 12 others were killed by two students at Columbine High School in 1999. But their lives were touched by Rachel's story today. The students -- as well as those at Amherst High School -- took part in Rachel's Story and Rachel's Challenge during two presentations at the schools today. T…

BUFFALO -- Just under 1,000 tickets are left for the first and second rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament at HSBC Arena on March 19 and 21.Ken Taylor, tournament manager for the Buffalo games, said today that organizers expect public ticket sales to wrap up "well ahead" of Selection Sunday on March 14."It looks like it will sell out very quickly,"…

WYRK's Taste of Country, show here at Coca-Cola Field in 2009, will not be affected by the restructuring. Sharon Cantillon / News file photo BUFFALO -- The "prolonged economic downturn" has taken a toll on the owner of four local radio stations. Regent Communications Inc., owner of four FM stations in Buffalo, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection…

Two popular strip clubs in Buffalo's suburbs were raided this morning in an investigation into a heroin and cocaine ring. The News' Dan Herbeck was at the scene.In Albany, there's more trouble for Gov. David A. Paterson. Tom Precious, of the News' Albany Bureau, reports today on a damaging New York Times story that the governor personally directe…

BUFFALO -- Attorneys for a North Collins mother and son accused of abusing a mentally and physically disabled woman leading up to her death told an Erie County judge today they plan to challenge admissions the two made to detectives. Eva M. Cummings, 51, will remain in jail without bail after pleading innocent in Erie County Court during an arraignment to a charge of …

It's that time of decade again. U.S. Census questionnaires will begin arriving in the mail for most Americans within the next two weeks. Government officials estimate it will take about 10 minutes to fill out the 10-question forms. U.S. census officials said about 72 percent of the population mailed back their census forms in 2000. "The Census Bureau will spend…

AMHERST -- Hockey fans at the Amherst Center this morning had a mix of emotions following the U.S. men's hockey team's loss to Canada. Glenn Thomason, a longtime ice hockey player from Youngstown, said fans should be proud of the Americans and Ryan Miller. "They should have nothing to be ashamed of," Thomason said. "Better luck four years from now in the next Olympics." S…

Billionaire Warren E. Buffett said this morning the U.S. economy is recovering and that the economic war is "going slightly our way," but warned that health care costs are a drain on business.  Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, fielded questions on CNBC's Squawk Box for three hours this morning following the weekend release of his annual shareholder's letter. …