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ALBANY – The economy is still sailing along but New York has a big budget hole, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo this afternoon proposed a $178.6 billion state budget that he says closes the deficit and keeps spending moving for a range of popular programs. The budget includes a number of tax and fee increases totaling $51 million, but does not enact a major hike sought by some…

Business

Gibraltar Industries is getting deeper into the greenhouse business. The Hamburg-based building products manufacturer has acquired a Canadian greenhouse manufacturer, Thermo Energy Systems, in a deal that will expand Gibraltar's position providing supplies to the organic food market. Another Gibraltar business, Rough Brothers, already produces greenhouses for commercial…

Crime

A Blasdell man has been sentenced to two years in prison for the sexual abuse of children, according to the Erie County District Attorney's Office. Johnny Castro III, 22, was sentenced Tuesday by State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski to the two-year prison term followed by 10 years of postrelease supervision. Castro will be required to register as a sex offender…

Local News

New York City billionaire John A. Catsimatidis, whose United Refining Co. owns a deserted former gas station in Eggertsville, objects to the Town of Amherst's plans to take over the property and convert it to a pocket park. Amherst has 41 parks, he argues: Why do they need 42? Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa – whose fight with Catsimatidis has grown increasingly personal –…

Business

43North winner SomaDetect has received a major cash infusion from an environmental foundation backed by the Canadian government. The dairy data firm has received nearly $3 million from Sustainable Development Technologies Canada. SomaDetect's technology will help dairy farmers better manage their milk production, which will allow farmers to use fewer cows, the compan…

Amherst

A 15-year-old Sweet Home High School student was arrested and will be charged with making a terroristic threat after he allegedly made threats to the Amherst school via social media, the Amherst Police Department announced Tuesday. Police said the threats were made last week and that they were able to identify the student responsible for the threats through interviews w…

Business

A free six-session program for job hunters, designed to help them build the "soft skills" that employers often ask about in job interviews, begins at 11 a.m. Friday in Niagara County's Trott Access Center, 1001 11th St., Niagara Falls. Those who complete the six one-hour sessions of "Success in Six" are guaranteed to be interviewed Feb. 7 at Trott by one of the companie…

Business

Niagara County will renew its Microenterprise Assistance Grant program after receiving $200,000 in state funding. The county Center for Economic Development announced last week it will take applications from owners of businesses in the county that have five or fewer employees. They must promise to create at least one new job in two years after receiving a grant. Appl…

OLAF FUB SEZ: According to high-wire artist Karl Wallenda, founder of the Flying Wallendas and born on this date in 1905, “Being on the tightrope is living; everything else is waiting.” • • • THE REAL STORY – Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film, “Saving Private Ryan,” was based on the real-life experiences of a soldier from the Town of Tonawanda, but the story was …

Buffalo

Twitter. Snapchat. YouTube. Whatever the social media platform, the CBL/BFL street gang had an unusual and clandestine follower. On a daily basis and without the gang's knowledge, Buffalo Police Lt. Jonathan Pietrzak was watching and reading, often posing as someone else. "I'm monitoring those we believe to be involved in gang activity or criminal activity," Pietr…

Buffalo

Two sets of developers are preparing to move forward with separate Elmwood Village projects for a 26-unit apartment building and 20 for-sale townhomes – but first, they are asking the city's Preservation Board to let them demolish four residential houses and a mixed-use building in the way. Developers Nick Sinatra and William Paladino have applied to take down a triple …

Obituaries

Aug. 25, 1928 – Jan. 11, 2020 Mary Jane Lucca, of the Town of Tonawanda, a member of a pioneering Kenmore family, died Jan. 11 in Harris Hill Nursing Facility, Clarence, after a year-long bout with stenosis. She was 91. The former Mary Jane Fehan was descended from the Mang and Knab families, who provided food and shelter to St. John Neumann, founder of St. John the …

Education

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed will visit Binghamton University Tuesday to meet with a local chapter of college Republicans and hold a news conference after he meets with University President Harvey Stenger, according to a statement from Reed's office Monday. Reed, a Republican who represents the 23rd congressional district, and Stenger will discuss restrictions on "free speech" at…

Business

An appeal is being made to residents of Chautauqua County and neighboring communities to help keep Fredonia in the running to be featured on the reality television show "Small Business Revolution" next season. A live-stream announcement Jan. 14 at the Fredonia Opera House revealed that Fredonia was one of top five contenders competing in an online vote. Voting ends a…