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Barbara O'Brien


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…

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…

Local News

Snow and blowing snow today could make for some dicey driving. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 p.m. today for northern Erie and Niagara, Wyoming, Genesee and Allegany counties, and until 6 a.m. Saturday for southern Erie, Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties. "Periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will result in slippery roads and limited visibilities…

Local News

There are four cardinal rules to hunter and gun safety, but the first one is most important: Treat every gun as if it were loaded. New York's nearly 550,000 hunters followed those rules like never before last year. It was the safest year for hunters on record in the state. There were 12 hunting-related shooting incidents, including one fatality in 2019, according …

Local News

West Seneca ended the 2019 budget year with a half-million dollar deficit, according to Supervisor Gary Dickson. "This is completely unacceptable," he said during a financial update during Monday's Town Board meeting. "That’s $500,000 that comes out of our savings." And Dickson blamed the former Town Board for poor budgeting. "The prior Town Board never submitted …

Hamburg

Hamburg's ice arena at the old Nike missile base is nearing the 50-year mark, and it's time to look at enlarging it, Hamburg Supervisor James M. Shaw said. It's a familiar refrain in the town, where talk about making improvements to Hamburg's ice arena has been around almost since it was built as an open-air rink in 1974. Over the years walls were added, one at a tim…