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Charlie Specht


Some call it a powder keg of booze and bad behavior that, every few years in the University Heights district, seems ready to explode.Others say recent problems of drinking and destruction around the University at Buffalo’s South Campus are just a matter of kids being kids.Whatever the case, the situation came to a head Monday night when a dozens of community stakeholders a…

Crime

After a violent and shocking attack three months ago in a Hamburg toy store, Larry Wells is gone.But the former Toys R Us store manager is not forgotten.The people who loved him most – and others who simply felt bad about his death – will gather tonight to raise money for the family he left behind.The benefit will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. in Matthew Glab Post 1477, Americ…

An elderly man swindled out of $400,000 by a postal worker who delivered his mail told a judge Friday that he has become destitute because of the crime.“I had a real good friend that worked for the post office, and he took me to the cleaners, took everything I had,” the 78-year-old man told a judge during the sentencing phase of the proceeding. “I can’t even fend for mysel…

Amherst

An apparent murder-suicide Friday involving an elderly couple has shocked a quiet Amherst neighborhood.It was a surreal scene for the residents of Dawnbrook Lane, who in the early-morning hours saw their quiet, tree-lined street off North Forest Road turn into a hub of activity.Police cruisers swarmed the neighborhood as Amherst police descended on 107 Dawnbrook, a small b…

Buffalo

Nearly $17 million in upgrades means new classrooms, courtyards and computers for one of the city's top elementary schools.But it also means that Frederick Law Olmsted School 64 bears a real imprint of the man who serves as its namesake.Tributes to the renowned landscape architect who designed Buffalo's park system are all over the recently refurbished school, from the lea…

Manufacturing could soon return to Buffalo’s waterfront with the announcement this afternoon that a Canadian furniture-making plant will set up shop on the Outer Harbor.Gracious Living Corp., which makes composite patio furniture, housewares and shelving, has agreed to occupy two vacant warehouses on the harbor now owned by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Go…

Two UB students have died in the last week, spreading grief among faculty, staff and students.The two unrelated deaths came three days apart – one at the North Campus and one at the South Campus – and do not appear to involve foul play. Paul Englert Jr., was found unresponsive at 2 p.m. Sept. 19 during an engineering class in Knox Lecture Hall on the North Campus in Amhers…

Erie County

John Farrell heard the call to be a volunteer firefighter. Like clockwork, the blare of the emergency whistle at the nearby fire house pierced the air each day – until the West Falls man could take it no more.“I heard that damn thing go off a thousand times,” Farrell said of the siren. “I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to do something about it.’ ”Farrell walked over to th…

Crime

The race for Erie County sheriff just got a bit more interesting.It turns out Bert D. Dunn, recently defeated in the Democratic primary for the county’s top law enforcement post, isn’t done quite yet.Dunn announced at a news conference Monday afternoon that despite his primary loss to Democratic nominee Richard E. Dobson, he will appear in the general election on a minor-p…

Now that Mayor Byron W. Brown has won the Democratic primary in Buffalo, attention turns outside the city, where suburban politicians are battling to run 25 towns in a world of development, tax caps and state mandates.In Amherst, the well-financed incumbent running on low taxes faces a challenge from a board member riding a populist wave over a hotel development.In Hamburg…

State education officials say there are plenty of school districts where recent mandates like teacher evaluations and a tougher curriculum really work.Like Amherst.That’s why State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. was at Amherst High School on Thursday, part of a statewide tour in which he will observe how schools are putting the new systems in place.“The most signi…

Buffalo

State Education Commissioner John B. King this morning stopped short of saying the Buffalo school superintendent should resign.But he didn’t exactly give Pamela Brown a ringing endorsement when reporters asked about her future.“It’s not our place at the state level to make judgments about superintendent performance but ultimately the measure of effectiveness of the Buffalo…

Buffalo

Two Buffalo institutions will team up this evening for a pasta dinner for the ages.More than 1,000 people have already reserved spots for Chef’s Restaurant’s “World’s Largest Pasta Dinner,” taking place at 6 p.m. at the historic 291 Seneca St. location. The dinner will benefit charity and be held as a celebration of Chef’s 90th anniversary operating in downtown Buffalo.“Wh…

Erie County’s hottest suburban primary ended in victory for both candidates, with 100 percent of vote results reported.Republican Barbara S. Nuchereno, the Amherst council member who is running for town justice, held onto the GOP line with 1,127 votes despite a challenge from attorney Kara A. Buscaglia, who had 683 votes.But Buscaglia isn’t finished. Both candidates on Tue…

Elections for town justice are supposed to be civil, respectful and somewhat ... judicial.Not so in Amherst this year, as the race for the top legal post outside Buffalo is heating up into an all-out political war.Democrats say Republican Town Council Member Barbara S. Nuchereno lacks the experience to be a judge, especially since she failed to even register with the state…