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Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan primarily covers stories related to Erie County government. A Buffalo News staff reporter since 2000, she previously covered Buffalo Public Schools, Amherst and other communities. She is particularly interested in shedding light on issues and people that tell us something important about how we live. email: stan@buffnews.com


Erie County

Jessica Knight put Leo through his paces. "Down. Good down, Leo." She fed the shepherd mix some kibble. "Stay. Good stay, Leo." More kibble. If you want to adopt a dog with Canine Good Citizen certification from the American Kennel Club – the gold standard for good-dog behavior and basic obedience training – then you’ll want a dog that has spent six weeks in jail. …

Bills

Buffalo public school teacher and ultra-Bills fan Mark S. Collins was thrilled when he heard that a private entrepreneur had purchased roughly 40,000 square feet of the old Buffalo Bills turf, founded the The Buffalo Turf company and began making 1-foot squares available for sale for purchase to fans. The Amherst resident was even more thrilled when he learned that he c…

Erie County

Republican Erie County Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr said Thursday that he is not asking for a state audit or investigation into tens of thousands of dollars in previously misreported campaign funds by the local Democratic Party. Mohr cited the ongoing cooperation and compliance between the State Board of Elections and the Erie County Democratic Committee. The st…

Erie County

The Erie County Health Department is hosting its three free rabies vaccination clinics next month for all dog, cat and ferret owners. All clinics will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Pets must be leashed or in a carrier. Owners are encouraged to bring a copy of their pet's vaccination record, if available, and to avoid using retractable leashes. The clinics will be offered at …

Erie County

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz's ticket to re-election might be through his guitar. He was doing his usual meet-and-greet at the annual 2019 Senior Services Picnic last month when he was goaded by his personnel commissioner into serenading all the attendees. So Poloncarz agreed to get behind the mic and asked Tom Bender, the event's entertainer, if he could borrow…

Erie County

Sixty-six pieces of playground and other equipment or facilities in Erie County parks have lead paint that could pose risks to children, said Parks Commissioner Troy Schinzel. Removing these old slides and swing sets, which date as far back as the 1960s, is now a "top priority" of the County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and should be gone in two weeks, he s…

Erie County

You may not realize when you weigh a pound of ground beef at the store, scan price tags at the register or pump high-octane gas, it's the Erie County Bureau of Weights and Measures that works to ensure you aren't getting ripped off. That little-known division of the Department of Public Works is about to get a new name and higher profile as the Division of Consumer Prot…

Courts

Last month, Erie County Clerk Michael "Mickey" Kearns filed a federal lawsuit challenging the state's new law granting driver's licenses to immigrants living in New York State illegally, and he promised to fight all the way to the Supreme Court. He's not the first local official in the nation to object to such a driver's license law. But because of how New York State…

Erie County

If you've been car shopping lately, then you may already know about the many advanced driving-assist features that are increasingly become standard safety equipment: automated collision warnings and emergency braking, blind-spot detection alerts, and lane assist features that will gently nudge your car back into its lane if it starts to drift. Then there's what you see …

Erie County

The Erie County Legislature has approved a six-year contract between the county and the New York State Nurses Association that will provide a 3 percent raise in 2019 and annual raises of 2 percent each year through 2023 for the 41 nurses who work in the Erie County Health Department and Sheriff's Office. "Along with modest pay increases this agreement provides increased…

Erie County

When more than 300 people died of opioid-related drug overdoses in 2016, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz called it an epidemic that would take a decade to resolve. But with changes in combating and treating addiction in Erie County over the past few years, Poloncarz now says the public health crisis may be declared over as early as next year. "I am not yet ready…

Erie County

Michael Robb's body stayed at the Erie County morgue for three weeks because no one told his family he died. When his family found out, the body stayed eight more weeks because his loved ones couldn't afford the more than $1,000 in storage fees the Medical Examiner's Office demanded. "I can’t believe he was left there for so long, as if nobody loved him, just sitting…

Erie County

The Erie County Legislature has approved $236,000 for new study that will give county officials additional information they need to help decide whether to build a convention center at a new site or expand the existing one. The county has chosen Atlanta-based Tvsdesign to conduct an engineering and architecture assessment. In addition, the county will set up a $59,000 co…

Erie County

Decades-old metal playground equipment in Erie County parks are a serious health hazard, said Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, based on lead testing on a pieces of slides and swing sets at five county parks. Many of the metal pieces have layers of chipped, worn or peeling old paint, Mychajliw said Wednesday. Paint samples from a dozen old slides and swing sets …

Erie County

Chestnut Ridge Park may be the jewel of Erie County's park system, but some of its restrooms and picnic pavilions show just how tarnished parts of the park have become. Vandals targeted some of the park's structures. Neglect has also played a role. Visitors come across broken picnic tables, deteriorated shelters and rutted roadways. Multiple restrooms have shattered window…