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From Business Today:The companies that make things around Western New York slowed down a bit in February. The report from the local purchasing managers association showed that manufacturers in the area had drops in production, new orders and employment. Since manufacturing jobs tend to pay more than service jobs, such a drop can have repercussions in the lo…

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From Business Today:Pity the poor coal burning power plant. In these days of declining  natural gas costs, the old, dirty coal plants are finding themselves unwanted and unloved. AES, the publicly traded power company, announced it is selling four of its coal plants in New York State, including the plant in Somerset in Niagara County. Normally that would not be s…

The Planning Board on Tuesday gave a developer the green light to turn a long-vacant building on Main Street next to Bennett High School into loft apartments.Ciminelli Real Estate Corp. plans to transform the former Buffalo Meter Co. building into a residential complex that will include about 85 apartments, a fitness center, lounge and laundry facilities.The six-…

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From Business Today:Tops Markets is taking its commitment to Western New York  to another level, opening a new smaller format store in the Harlem-Kensington neighborhood in Cheektowaga. The company spent about $3 million to completely remodel a former Jubilee store, and executives say they plan to use the smaller store model to fill in areas that may not support …

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From Business Today:What is up with gas prices? How can trouble in the Mideast  mean an immediate price hike at the pump? Locally prices have shot up 14 cents a gallon in the past week. Today the average local price of a gallon of regular is $3.48. Immediate price fluctuations are caused and amplified by the complex market system of speculators, oil companies and gas …

A vacant building in the Main-Hertel neighborhood would be transformed into 89 loft apartments under an $8.5 million plan presented to city officials.The six-story structure next to Bennett High School once housed the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Design. The former Buffalo Meter Co. building has been vacant since the 1990s, said Steven J. Carm…

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From Business Today: Turmoil in Libya helped drive oil prices to $95 per barrel, the highest level in two years. Libyan leader Mommar Gadhafi showed no signs of giving up power amid protests against his regime. Investors fear the political unrest could spread to other OPEC countries and cause greater disruption in world oil supplies.   Developer Mark Croce says his p…

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From Business Today: Joel Salatin is a prominent figure in the "farm-to-table" movement, which tries to connect local farmers with local customers, like restaurants and food buyers. On Monday he brought his message to a conference put on by Field & Fork Network, a local nonprofit that shares his vision. The Virginia farmer mixes humorous quips with his p…

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From Business Today: Home buyers and sellers typically look to the spring for an active sales market, but some find winter can be a prime time for deals. "They can usually get a better price, because there are not as many buyers in the market. If a house is on the market in the winter, the seller is usually extremely motivated," said Nicolette Lisella of Terrie O…

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From Business Today:Thinking about taking a trip? The AAA of Western and Central New York thinks you should consider a local destination, and it is putting out a magazine to back up that idea. The auto club has launched a new magazine - Member Connection - that features getaway ideas throughout Western and Central New York. It's similar to the one-tank getaways featur…

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From Business Today:Borders, the mega-book seller, has hit the skids and filed for bankruptcy protection. The two stores in the Buffalo area are not on the immediate closing  list, but who knows when, or if, a next wave of cuts will come. Borders has had some mismanagement issues, but its downfall is part of a much bigger transformation that is facing all in…

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From Business Today:The numbers tell us that jobs are hard to come by, but  companies say they are hiring. What gives? More than 30 companies were recruiting at the Career Fest job fair in Cheektowaga on Tuesday, and Home Depot announced it is seeking 250 people for part-time jobs in the region. It seems there are certain types of jobs available - entry level, sales, …

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From Business Today:People have a lot to say when it comes to their grocery stores. Tops Markets had planned to sell seven of the stores it bought from Quality Markets last year because they were very close to existing Tops stores. The Federal Trade Commission was overseeing the sale because of antitrust issues. But more than 300 comments were received, so the s…

Mattel Inc., parent company of East Aurora-based Fisher-Price, took home the big prize at this weekend's 11th annual Toy of the Year Awards, held in conjunction with the American International Toy Fair in New York City. Mattel's Sing-a-ma-jigs received Toy of the Year honors, as well as Preschool Toy of the Year and Innovative Toy of the Year. Sing-a-ma-jigs are …

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From Business Today:Who knew? Buffalo Bills fans really know their stuff when  it comes to money, and we're not talking about ticket prices. Bills fans ran away with the top spot from Visa's Financial Football competition. The online game of financial skills tested general knowledge of personal financial issues. The Bills fans scored 19,574 po…