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Reform solitary confinement in Erie County. Certify Buffalo as a “Welcoming City.” Provide affordable housing opportunities county-wide. Those are the top three components to the Partnership for the Public Good’s Community Agenda for 2018. The organization - which describes itself as a community-based think tank - comprises 276 community groups ranging from soc…

Business

Astronics Corp. is expecting this year to be even better than it expected. The East Aurora aircraft lighting and electronics maker increased its 2018 sales forecast by about 10 percent on Friday, causing its stock to jump by 12 percent. Astronics now says it expects its sales this year to range between $745 million and $815 million, up from its November forecast of $…

Health and Fitness

When Michael Kearns looked at the analytics of his 142nd Assembly District three years ago, he didn't like what he saw in terms of health and well-being. Erie County – including much of the Southtowns and Buffalo, which make up the district – ranked 54th out of 62 counties in the New York State health rankings. It would fall to 57th the following year. Despite ebbs a…

The Game Changers ceremony honoring at-risk youth in Buffalo has been canceled. The event - which was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Burt P. Fleckinger Athletic Center at Erie Community College - was canceled due to a winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service, said city officials. A new date will be announced once the event has been reschedu…

Local News

The Premier, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center's annual black-tie gala fundraiser, is sold out, and about 900 people are expected to attend Saturday night's event, the hospital announced Friday. The 14th annual party starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, 310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls. The master of ceremonies will be Maryalice Demler of WGRZ. …

Erie County

Erie County government has not settled any lawsuits for sexual harassment in the workplace over the last five years, a spokesman for County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. So no tax dollars have been spent on such claims, said spokesman Peter Anderson. Legislator Lynne Dixon on Thursday called on the administration to release all harassment settlements paid with taxpa…

Bills

Everyone at Erin Kelly's wedding will have to channel "Kelly Tough" when her father, Jim, walks her down the aisle, or twirls her around during the traditional father-daughter dance. The wedding dance was one of the things he prayed for when the Hall of Fame quarterback was battling cancer, and he'll get the chance Saturday, when Erin and her fiance, Parker Bean, are ma…

Buffalo

A 29-year-old man is accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a car on fire on the city's West Side, according to a Buffalo police report. Jose D. Ruiz Camacho, no address listed, was charged with fourth-degree arson after the vehicle fire on West Avenue between Albany and School streets shortly before 2:30 a.m. Friday, according to the report. The car was parked in…

Buffalo

The family of a Buffalo woman found dead Thursday after a suspicious fire has set up an online fundraiser to help pay for her funeral expenses and her daughter's college education. Elisabeth Bell was found dead after a suspicious fire on Manhattan Avenue that also critically injured her boyfriend. Police called the boyfriend, identified by sources as Frank Bredt, a "per…

Health and Fitness

Is it a good idea to take blood pressure readings in a state Department of Motor Vehicles office? Erie County motorists will soon find out. Making blood pressure checks available on at least some days in the seven county DMV offices is one of the changes new Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns is considering. The notion is one of several Kearns is contemplating as he…

Local News

The City of Niagara Falls is taking the impending change in the weather very seriously. The Mayor's Office announced just before noon that City Hall and all other city buildings will close at 2 p.m., and a travel advisory will take effect at that time. No unnecessary travel will be allowed in Niagara Falls after 2 p.m., to help keep streets clear for plowing and salt…

Remember when sneakers, T-shirts and shorts were all you needed in gym class? Students are bringing iPads to gym class at Hoover Elementary School in the Town of Tonawanda as part of the school's iFitness program, which encourages third- and fourth-graders to create physical fitness videos, integrating technology with physical fitness. Physical education teacher Heat…

Crime

A Niagara Falls man was charged by police Thursday after he told officers he abandoned his dog because he was tired of taking the dog outside. A neighbor called police around 11 a.m. when she saw a man let the dog loose onto 19th Street, between Ferry Avenue and Niagara Street, according to a city police report. The neighbor was able to get the dog into her vehicle and …

Business

Dough Boyz, a locally based edible cookie dough restaurant, has expanded outside Western New York with a new name. Earlier this week, it opened a location at Destiny USA, a mall in Syracuse. Another store opened at Albany's Crossgates Mall in December. It is in talks to open other New York locations in Rochester, Poughkeepsie and Palisades. The stores opened under a …

Business

Taylor Devices second-quarter profits plunged by 94 percent after the North Tonawanda shock absorber maker's sales were hurt by a weak U.S. construction market and a slowdown in infrastructure spending. Douglas P. Taylor, the company's president, blamed the 38 percent drop in sales on delays on major U.S. building projects that would use the company's seismic dampers, a…