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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


University at Buffalo Police Lieutenant Scott Marciszewski has been elected to serve as president of the New York State Police Benevolent Association, a police union presenting 1,250 members who serve with the New York State University Police, the Environmental Conservation Police, State Park Police and New York State Forest Rangers. Marciszewski is the third president …

Crime

A Buffalo man was arrested and charged with robbing an M&T Bank after several people who knew him identified him to Buffalo and Cheektowaga police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the past year, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Friday. Vincent Gibson, 37, was arrested and charged with bank robbery and other charges associated with the Sept. 11, 2017,…

Crime

An "inactive" pipe bomb discovered by a postal worker in front of the South Park Avenue post office Saturday morning is "similar" to the fake pipe bombs found outside the Buffalo Police Department's South District station Friday morning, Buffalo Police Capt. Jeff Rinaldo told reporters. The fake device found on the post office's front steps was not in any packaging but …

Crime

The pot-infused gummy worms didn't make it through Customs at the Peace Bridge. Despite repeated warnings from U.S. officials that it's still illegal to bring marijuana across the border, even though recreational pot is now legal in Canada, an Orange County, N.Y. man is accused of trying to sneak six envelopes of marijuana, two jars of marijuana resin and four packages …

Erie County

Erie County has opened new office space at 460 Main St. to help those who need emergency heating assistance, also known as HEAP, other emergency services like shelter and utility payments, and moving and storage assistance. The move is considered a major upgrade from the cramped and crowded HEAP Office at 478 Main St. "Prior to this move, applicants were jammed into a m…

Local News

Heading into election season, it seemed a safe bet Rep. Tom Reed would hold onto his 23rd Congressional District seat. But recent signs suggest the eight-year Republican incumbent has a more serious fight on his hands from Democratic challenger Tracy Mitrano, who counts on support from Democratic and unaffiliated voters to unseat him. The Cook Political Report has ad…

Erie County

The Erie County Board of Elections is extending absentee voting hours through Nov. 3. Board offices, located on the third floor of 134 W. Eagle St., will be open additional hours on the following days: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays Oct. 30 is the last day to postmark an application for an absentee ballot, and Nov. 5 is the l…

Erie County

The chief financial officer of an environmental consulting firm emerged as the front-runner to become executive director of the Erie County Water Authority. But the search has been a difficult one. H. John Mye III, an Amherst resident, is a licensed professional engineer who served as vice president and chief financial officer for Ecology and Environment, an internation…

Erie County

The SPCA Serving Erie County will waive adoption fees for older dogs and on all other animals for active duty military, reservists and veterans, and it will cut adoption fees in half for everyone else as part of the Vets & Pets program running between Monday and Nov. 12 in honor of Veterans Day. The adoption fee waivers and half-price discounts apply to dogs ages 7 …

Erie County

In a 6-5 vote mostly along party lines Thursday, the Erie County Legislature called on Chairman Peter Savage to fire Erie County Water Authority Chairman Jerome Schad. Schad, a Democrat, is the last remaining commissioner who served on the three-member authority board when the state released a scathing report outlining numerous ECWA governance and transparency failures.…

Erie County

It used to be that if seniors wanted to take advantage of free or low-cost meals subsidized by Erie County, they had to eat at their local senior center or community center. No longer. Roughly half a dozen restaurants and restaurant incubators such as the West Side Bazaar will serve the meals thanks to a two-year, $250,000 grant. The idea is to encourage more seniors…

Erie County

An internal audit on how the Erie County Water Authority dealt with public information requests found the agency improperly handled 42 percent of those it received in 2016. Last year,  the authority mishandled 18 percent of the Freedom of Information Law requests. "I think the findings confirm the suspicion that the oversight of simple fundamentals was bad," said aut…

Environment

New electric car charging stations have been installed in Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park and will soon be coming to Como Lake Park in Lancaster. The new stations were installed as part of a larger state effort to grow the number of electric vehicles and vehicle charging stations. “We are thrilled to have this station here at Chestnut Ridge Park, our largest park…

Erie County

The Erie County Water Authority is considering raising water rates by 2 percent next year for all customers and raising infrastructure charges on major commercial and industrial businesses by 50 percent. Budget work sessions, which will allow public comment, will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday and 11 a.m. Thursday. Under the preliminary $77.6 million operating budget, res…

Bills

Key players involved with the Bills stadium lease agreement have begun diverting some money ordinarily spent on New Era Field renovation and maintenance projects with a possible eye toward future stadium planning after the current lease between the county, state and Bills owners expires in July 2023. Of the public money contributed toward the Bills stadium lease this ye…