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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


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…

Erie County

The Erie County Sheriff's Office will get the money to pay for body cameras for deputies, but Legislature Chairwoman April Baskin doesn't believe the sheriff wants the program or will properly implement it. The Sheriff's Office has a history of calling the initiative too cumbersome and too expensive, Baskin said Thursday, and she also released an internal March email fr…

Cheektowaga

The Erie County Water Authority has begun work to replace 6,400 feet of aging water main pipes along Harlem Road from Clinton Street to Cayuga Creek Road in Cheektowaga. The $2.4 million project is part of the authority's $43 million systemwide infrastructure plan for 2019, described by commissioners as the largest annual investment in ECWA history. Service interruption…

Bills-Free

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz's book, "Beyond the Xs and Os: Keeping the Bills in Buffalo," offers the most complete, inside-football account of how the county, the state and the Bills navigated a lengthy negotiation that ultimately resulted in a 10-year lease of the Bills stadium in early 2013. The book is filled with political insights and surprises. While t…

Erie County

Erie County will host a “Let’s Talk Recycling” community forum on July 31. The forum will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Erie County Emergency Training Facility auditorium at 3359 Broadway in Cheektowaga. The free workshop will feature local recycling experts who can answer community members' questions about recycling and share information on what can be recycled and r…

Erie County

With a heated race for Erie County executive and all 11 County Legislature seats up in the November election, there's one issue that doesn't appear to be going away: Who can get driver's licenses. County Democrats who had initially stayed silent on the issue or hedged their personal opinions have been pushed to take a position — and the position most are taking is again…

Erie County

Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo, C-West Seneca, is calling for Erie County to create a mobile app that would allow residents to photograph and report potholes and other nonemergency county road issues from their phones, similar to apps used by Buffalo and other major cities. Currently, county residents can report potholes via email at potholes@erie.gov, by calling …

Erie County

In his latest legal effort to block a state law granting drivers licenses to immigrants living here illegally, Erie County Clerk Michael "Mickey" Kearns will seek an injunction to prevent the state from enacting the Green Light law. He said his legal staff's research shows he may be the first independently elected official to challenge this issue in court. The federa…