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By Jill Terreri A crowd of about 300 people is expected in Council Chambers today at 2 p.m., when Ellicott Council Member Darius Pridgen is elected Council president by his fellow city lawmakers.  Pridgen, who surprised some in City Hall by his effort to quickly line up the support of all of his colleagues, is so confident that he will be elected Council president tha…

Former City Comptrollers Anthony Nanula, Joel Giambra, Andrew SanFlippo and Comptroller Mark Schroeder this morning in a Hall of Comptrollers ceremony. New portraits of Nanula, Giambra and SanFlippo were unveiled.  By Jill Terreri Comptroller Mark Schroeder, who watches city finances from his 12th-floor offices and is a former member of the state Assembly, is though…

By Robert J. McCarthyErie County Democratic Chairman Jeremy J. Zellner Friday called for the resignation of Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak of Cheektowaga  following allegations of sexual harassment lodged by three former female staffers.   Zellner issued the following statement: "Today's troubling accusations about Assembly Member Dennis Gabryszak…

We'll close the book on the 2013 elections in Amherst now that the Erie County Board of Elections signed off on the final vote tallies this week. Of course, there were no surprises after Board of Elections recanvassed the close four-way race for Town Board, which ended up just as it did on election night. But for all you political junkies, here are the official result…

Everyone’s getting into the spirit of Friday’s Class A state championship game between Williamsville North and Queensbury at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Assemblyman Ray Walter, R-Williamsville, has made a friendly wager with his state counterpart, Dan Stec, R-Queensbury: If Queensbury wins, Walter owes Stec a bucket of Crown Royal BBQ wings from Amherst Pizza and Ale Hou…

Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart and its neighbors continue to clash. The latest issue involves Thanksgiving. Sacred Heart – the all-girls school located at 3860 Main St. – requested a special meeting of the Amherst Planning Board next week. The school is seeking approval of a parking plan for the new gymnasium being built, so construction can stay on schedule. But neig…

Construction on the controversial Hyatt Place Hotel on Main Street is moving forward again, despite an upcoming court decision that could change the outcome of this ongoing saga over a six-story hotel. A temporary restraining order allowing only limited clearing and construction had been imposed at the site until State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski recently rejec…

By Jerry Zremski WASHINGTON -- In today's top read, The Los Angeles Times asks the question that all of Washington is asking: why can't President Obama govern as well as he campaigns? Meantime, The New York Times examines a little-noticed fact about Obamacare: that millions will be eligible for free insurance. And The Washington Post offers us two great reads. Fi…

By Joseph Popiolkowski The field of candidates for Tuesday's Tonawanda Town Board election is neatly split with three incumbent Democrats and three Republican challengers. But one town resident is making a last-minute, grassroots effort at a write-in candidacy. Frank Wolf, 38, said he decided Wednesday to mount a campaign after being encouraged by fellow Conservative…

By Tom Precious ALBANY – Revenues by New York gambling entities have nearly doubled since 2000, according to a new report out today. Total gambling revenues, including lottery games and gambling at racetracks and Indian casinos, went from $2.7 billion in 2000 to $5.3 billion in 2011, according to Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac, an annual, in-depth study of t…

By Tom Precious ALBANY -- In the wake of word that a Rochester-area firearms and ammunition company is moving to South Carolina, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association this morning offered up this headline on a press release: "NYSRPA asks if legislators are still proud of their SAFE Act votes?" With quotes from their governor, South Carolina officials th…

By Jerry Zremski WASHINGTON -- I'm going farther afield than usual for today's top reads, save for the first one. First, The New York Times asks the question all of Washington is asking: Is President Obama too disengaged? And while I rarely would have any reason to recommend a story on a governors race in any state other than New York, The Washington Post's …

By Tom Precious ALBANY – In the category of Andrew-Cuomo-didn’t-do-it-first, we offer this entry: rosy ballot language. The governor has been getting much heat for his administration’s role with the Board of Elections in crafting the language appearing on next week’s statewide ballot to authorize up to seven new casinos. Push poll-like in its word choice, the ballot ask…

Bert Dunn, the sheriff’s lieutenant, is running on a party line called Law and Order, which he created to complement the Democratic nomination he expected but lost. The latest state Board of Elections records show Dunn spending nearly $320,000 on his campaign – almost all of it from his own wallet and far outpacing his two major-party opponents. Dunn said that, if elected,…

By Tom Precious After hours of a closed-door executive session, the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics today tapped Letizia Tagliafierro, a longtime loyalist to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as its new executive director. Tagliafierro, who worked for Cuomo in his Buffalo regional office when he was state attorney general, has been acting director of the agency that has ju…