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WASHINGTON – More than 25 members of the Families of Continental Flight 3407 gathered here Tuesday to once again press lawmakers not to water down the aviation safety law passed after the crash that claimed the lives of their loved ones in 2009. And a child led them. Ten-year-old Summer West, daughter of the late Ernie West, led off the families' news conference wi…

Ahh, summertime! Tis the season for vacations, summer camp, cookouts, amusement parks and swimming pools. But for 1,650 local young people, the summer season also means working in the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment and Internship program,. It's designed to provide summer jobs - and a paycheck - for Buffalo residents only, who are 15 through 21-years-old. Monday w…

WASHINGTON – Shares of the Australian biotech firm that Rep. Chris Collins touted to other members of the House and to leading Buffalo-area figures collapsed in value Tuesday after the company announced its once-promising new drug for multiple sclerosis had failed in clinical trials. Innate Immunotherapeutics stock, valued as high as $1.77 a share in January, quickly …

An Amherst businessman hopes to force a Republican primary in September for two seats on the Town Board. Christopher A. Drongosky said his central goal is proceeding with eminent domain of the former Westwood Country Club and transforming it into a recreation park of athletic fields, rather than see it developed into housing. His candidacy sets up a potential primar…

WASHINGTON – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday told the state’s members of Congress that he would propose a “Faso-Collins” tax on counties to make up for the loss of county funding for Medicaid under an amendment proposed by Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, and Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence. Noting that “the Faso-Collins shell game” cuts $2.3 billion in annual fu…

WASHINGTON – Refugee admissions, which were the main source of new residents moving to Buffalo in recent years, could slow dramatically under a Supreme Court ruling Monday temporarily upholding parts of President Trump’s executive order to curtail the refugee resettlement program and bar travel from several Muslim-majority countries. Trump’s order calls for a 120-…

WASHINGTON – The Senate Republicans' health care bill will cost New York billions more than the House bill passed last month. That's the consensus that health care experts reached after a close look at the legislation. What concerns analysts most is the Senate's different approach to changing Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor and the lower middle cla…

ALBANY – It’s been more than two years since the Politics Column was last dispatched to the State Capitol to chronicle the proceedings of New York State government. Could it have proven too long an absence, especially when the yellowed electronic card granting access to the Capitol started beeping against the monitor, and attracting the attention of a very serious-l…

WASHINGTON -- A gargantuan tax cut for property taxpayers across upstate New York came one small step closer to reality Thursday as Senate Republicans revealed a health care reform bill that includes a provision that bars the state from charging upstate counties for a share of the cost of Medicaid. The inclusion of the provision in the Senate bill counts as one of Rep.…

Checking up on Niagara Street I was curious to see how construction is coming along on the Niagara Street Gateway project – a $20 million multiphase enhancement plan. Staffers from Niagara District Councilman David A. Rivera's office tell me the project includes a complete street overhaul that will reduce the number of lanes to two from four with a center turn lane…

A hearing to determine if Carl P. Paladino will be removed from the Buffalo School Board is underway in Albany. [See photos from the hearing] Buffalo News education reporter Tiffany Lankes, who will be one of only 15 to 20 spectators in the unprecedented hearing before state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, is covering  the event. You can see her tweets below …

WASHINGTON – A lawyer, a teacher who just moved to the state, a guy who sells running shoes and a Klingon dressed up as Mark Twain walked into a Southern Tier congressional race, and … it's no joke. The lawyer, Eddie Sundquist, 28, of Jamestown, Wednesday became the fourth candidate to announce that he's seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Rep. Tom Reed, …

The state and federal probe involving the Grassroots political club took a step further Wednesday, when the president of the East Side organization was subpoenaed. Grassroots President Willie N. Morris acknowledged receiving the subpoena, but declined to answer any further questions. "I'd rather not discuss," he said. "I'm not sure where it's going or what it's about…

WASHINGTON – Summer camps and other organizations that work with kids should have access to the FBI's database of sex offenders when hiring staff, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Wednesday. Schumer, D-N.Y., told reporters on a conference call that he is pushing bipartisan legislation that would allow such groups to use the FBI database when doing backgr…

Totally random Buffalo City Hall is but a hop, skip and a jump away from Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. I walk or drive by it about twice a week on my way to meetings, events or just to grab lunch. It can hold up to 7,000 people. A lot of big events are held there – like the annual Buffalo Home Show, one of the largest home shows in the state, and Buffalo Au…