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Barbara O'Brien


Hamburg

Hamburg Supervisor James M. Shaw plans to be pounding the pavement Saturday to get signatures on a petition opposing the elimination of video lottery terminal aid from New York State. Hamburg receives nearly $866,000 for being a host community for Hamburg Gaming, an amount Shaw said is the second largest revenue in the town budget. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has proposed elim…

Hamburg

Hamburg workers, union representatives and volunteer firefighters packed the Hamburg Town Board meeting room Monday night, upset with Highway Superintendent Ted Casey and his efforts to fire one of his workers. The union issued a vote of no confidence in Casey 10 months ago, and one worker got loud applause Monday when he said Casey should resign. The attempt to fire…

Clarence

When New York announced its ban on plastic bags last year, Gail Potter had two feelings: "I was devastated. I was crushed," she said Friday. It's not because she doesn't care about the environment. She describes herself as an "over-recycler." It's because she has seen the good in plastic bags. The Mats for a Mission nonprofit group she founded in 2016 uses donated…

Hamburg

Angry waves from Lake Erie have slammed Hoover Beach over the years, but something different happened after last Halloween's storm: Residents came up with a new plan to fight back. It involves a little-known federal program and an ambitious plan to build a structure in the lake that could protect the shoreline. It was either that or give up. "We’re here because we lo…

Erie County

As the luck of the Irish would have it, St. Patrick's Day is preempting village elections this year. Elections in most villages in New York take place the third Tuesday in March – except when the third Tuesday is March 17, St. Patrick's Day. In those years, the elections are put off until the following day. It hasn't always been that way, but it is enshrined in state…

Buffalo

From the air and on the ground – and also from behind a desk – the City of Buffalo plans to attack neglected commercial properties, starting with 250 of the "worst of the worst" locations, city officials said Saturday. "We simply will not allow problem properties to exist," Mayor Byron W. Brown said in announcing the initiative. "We're going to go after them. We're n…

Local News

Frigid temperatures with wind chills dropping below zero made for the year's coldest weather on Friday morning. The cold, combined with overnight snowfall, made for a tough commute for those heading to Buffalo from the south. The National Weather Service said Friday morning temperatures at Buffalo Niagara International airport dropped into the single digits for the f…

Buffalo

You can park free for six hours Friday – Valentine's Day – in Buffalo by using the Buffalo Roam mobile parking app. Parking at hourly metered locations will be free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for those who use the app, according to the city. Those who sign up for Buffalo Roam on Valentine's Day will get the free parking – and $2.14 off their next parking session through …

Buffalo

Erie County Democrats endorsed Jon Rivera for the 149th Assembly District Thursday. Rivera, an administrator in the Erie County Department of Public Works who was born and raised on the West Side, was one of the first Democrats to announce his candidacy for the seat held by Sean Ryan. Ryan, a Buffalo Democrat, is running for a state Senate seat. "This is not about to…

Courts

A Niagara Falls woman was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for her part in a cocaine ring. Chief U. S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr. sentenced Tammy Hoover, 41, after she was convicted of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, five kilograms or more of cocaine, according to U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. Hoover agreed t…

Buffalo

The next rehabilitation on the Richardson Olmsted Campus will consist of 65 moderate-income apartments in two historic buildings. Savarino Cos., the developer of the apartments, which are connected to the eastern wing of Hotel Henry, gave the community its first glimpse of the preliminary plans Thursday at a meeting at nearby SUNY Buffalo State. There was an invitati…

Local News

It's been a mild winter, by most accounts. Chautauqua Lake is frozen, but the ice is not too thick. And in Mayville, that could mean no ice castle for this weekend's President Day Weekend Winter Festival. But instead of letting it go, organizers looked to the sky, and then to the parking lots. And they made the castle out of snow. The lake was not cooperating by m…

Hamburg

Hamburg Supervisor James M. Shaw is encouraging residents to sign an online petition against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's proposal to eliminate aid for hosting video lottery terminals like those at Hamburg Gaming. Hamburg would lose nearly $866,000, which is equivalent to a tax increase of 9.65%, Shaw said. "Our town is challenged with a struggling commercial property tax …

Hamburg

Marguerite O'Neil had been shopping at Dollar General on Lake Avenue in Hamburg when she was crossing the street to go home to her apartment. She never made it. The 66-year-old was struck and killed Dec. 6 as she was attempting the midblock crossing she had made many times before. Her family is still trying to come to terms with her unexpected death. "It takes you…

Crime

A former West Seneca police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to official misconduct for having an on-duty sexual encounter with a domestic violence victim. Derek Vasquez, 35, of West Seneca, had filed a domestic incident report on the woman's behalf in the weeks before the incident, which occurred in January 2019, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said. Vasq…