Share this article

print logo

Aaron Besecker

Aaron Besecker is a breaking news and criminal justice reporter for The Buffalo News. He has been a News staff reporter since 2007.


The Cuomo administration plans to keep fighting developer Carl P. Paladino over Empire Zone benefits that were taken away from one of his companies.Paladino has won two court battles over the issue already, but the case is headed toward a date with the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court.In June 2009, the state declared that Paladino's J-P Group no longer…

Benderson Development Co. on Tuesday unveiled renderings of its proposed designs for the former Donovan State Office Building, which has been renamed One Canalside.Plans for the downtown site, which is one block from the First Niagara Center, include a hotel, restaurants, and office and retail space. The plans were presented to the city Planning Board.The panel hol…

A former boss of the tow-truck driver fatally shot in Buffalo over the weekend said he believes the way the city handles motor vehicle crashes may have contributed to the operator's death.Robert Corsi, of Chase Towing, also said he has been told Corddaryl Henley was threatened by another tow-truck operator with a gun the night before he was killed.Corsi described w…

By the end of the year, Buffalo officials hope to have razed 10 large abandoned and crumbling commercial buildings across the city.Plans are moving forward to take down these deteriorating neighborhood eyesores and community hazards -- some of which have been blighted for years and stretch from the East Side to Riverside and the lower West Side, officials announced…

About 500 people gathered Thursday afternoon under the warm sun in Niagara Square for a local observance of the National Day of Prayer.The 75-minute noontime service was organized by the Western New York National Day of Prayer Task Force, which consists of Christian churches and organizations from the region.The crowd, singing songs while some waved American flags,…

Residents of South Buffalo have been without a representative on the Common Council for more than a month, and City Hall doesn't appear to be ready with a solution to their problem.Not only do these residents not have someone at the table representing their neighborhoods in budget talks, they say, there's no one ready to help with day-to-day issues that arise."With…

The City of Buffalo's top lawmaker took aim Wednesday at the costs of running a state-appointed financial control board, one that appears to be heading toward advisory status.Common Council President Richard A. Fontana said he wants the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority to lower its operating costs, as a move from "hard" to "soft" mode is on the horizon."We can't …

The total amount of money property owners shell out in taxes to the City of Buffalo will decrease under a budget proposal unveiled Tuesday by Mayor Byron W. Brown.The $482.6 million spending plan, which holds the line on the residential property tax rate and trims the commercial rate by 8.5 percent, also includes no increases in the garbage user fee.However, reside…

City lawmakers Tuesday put off a decision on whether to make the Trico Building a local landmark, which would have given the city's Preservation Board more oversight of what happens to the structure.The Common Council voted, 7-1, to send the measure back to its Legislation Committee.Before Tuesday afternoon's Council meeting, Ellicott Council Member Darius G. Pridg…

With no existing candidate garnering enough votes, the Common Council is again accepting applicants for the vacant South District seat."We want to open it up and see if there's anybody out there who's palatable to everybody," Majority Leader Demone A. Smith said Monday afternoon.Interested people must submit a letter and resume to the City Clerk's Office by 5 p.m…

Advocates for a ban on hydraulic fracturing staged a demonstration Monday in downtown Buffalo targeting some local politicians and National Fuel Gas Co. while calling for campaign finance reform.About two dozen people held a rally in front of the Walter J. Mahoney State Office Building on Court Street, critical of what they asserted is the influence of corporate mo…

Mayor Byron W. Brown will unveil a budget today that cuts the tax rate for commercial properties in Buffalo by 8 1/2 percent while keeping the tax rate for homeowners unchanged.The proposed spending plan, which must be approved by the Common Council, includes a new class of at least 34 police officers and no layoffs to the city workforce.Overall, the $482.6 mil…

Buffalo should have a grand waterfront park on its outer harbor, an advocacy group said Friday.Public access needs to be maintained on land that has been eyed for various types of development, including housing, according to Citizens for a 21st Century Park on the Outer Harbor.The land in question, about 120 acres, is "too important for any of those uses," said Joa…

The Buffalo firefighters' union alleged Tuesday that its members are being urged to donate to Mayor Byron W. Brown's political campaign to help their chances of landing a promotion.By joining "the mayor's club," a union member lowers the risk of being passed over, Thomas P. Barrett, vice president of Local 282, Buffalo Professional Firefighters Association, told a …

One of the leading candidates to fill a vacancy on the Buffalo Common Council has been arrested twice on burglary charges and spent nearly two years in state prison.Anthony A. Verel, who was deemed a youthful offender for the earlier burglary, went to prison July 20, 1989, and was paroled May 31, 1991, according to state parole records.He was also arrested on a sec…