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WASHINGTON — Charles W. Banta's appointment to the council that oversees the National Endowment for the Arts could provide a visibility boost in the nation's capital for the Buffalo arts scene, and particularly for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. President Trump appointed Banta, 71, to the National Council on the Arts, an 18-member board that advises the chairman of the …

Featured

ALBANY — He's got the money and the name recognition. He's got the power of incumbency and he leads a Democratic Party machine in one of the nation's bluest states. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, as he heads into full-throttle mode in his re-election campaign for a third term, doesn't have what he had in his first successful run for governor in 2010: a squeaky-clean administ…

Local News

Erik Bohen had a decision to make this week. The rookie state assemblyman could have attempted to return to his political roots and enter the Democratic primary in his bid to keep the 142nd District seat. Instead, he broke from his original party, and he broke hard. "As a life-long Democrat, I did not make this decision lightly; however, I cannot attempt to run on a …

Local News

ALBANY – A day after the bid-rigging convictions of four individuals associated with some of his biggest upstate economic development programs, Gov. Andrew Cuomo put the responsibility on the state university system for approving the Buffalo Billion contractor. “I don’t know what I could have done differently,’’ Cuomo told reporters this afternoon. The governor’s app…

Local News

NEW YORK – President Trump will meet with his Russian counterpart in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, which makes this the perfect time to take a closer look at the former KGB agent dubbed "The New Tsar." Vladimir Putin does not come by that nickname by accident. In "The New Tsar," author Steven Lee Myers portrays how Putin's past life of intrigue led to his current life o…

State

ALBANY — Jurors in the Buffalo Billion trial over the past month heard a lot about the inner workings of their state government in Albany, a system that one defense attorney described as “unsavory.” When it came time to deliver their verdict, the jurors had another word for what they heard: criminal. They didn’t like the stories, or more precisely the bid-rigging cri…

Local News

NEW YORK — A federal jury Thursday convicted Buffalo developer Louis P. Ciminelli and former SUNY Polytechnic Institute leader Alain Kaloyeros of fraud and conspiracy charges, saying they rigged the bidding process on Buffalo's giant RiverBend industrial project so that Ciminelli's company got the business. The jury also convicted two Syracuse-area developers, Steven Ai…

Local News

Assemblyman Erik Bohen, a registered Democrat who won a special election in April after his party rejected him, plans to run in November on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines. The South Buffalo teacher had defeated the endorsed Democratic candidate, Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, with Republican and Conservative backing. When he arrived in …

Local News

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro held up a 23-page document Thursday at a podium in front of Buffalo's federal courthouse, eager to share what he called "perhaps the most sweeping and fundamental ethics reforms in the history of the state of New York." But he began with a story about his very early days as a politician. Molinaro, the Dutchess County e…

Local News

WASHINGTON – The political battle of the summer is upon us now that President Trump has nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh, a conservative appeals court judge and loyal Republican, for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by the retiring Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. But before the U.S. Senate resolves that battle, it needs to focus on and resolve another. Call it Kavanaugh …

State

ALBANY – On Wednesday morning, thousands of public employees across New York saw a boost in their take-home pay – without a dime coming from taxpayers. The state, and many localities, are starting to comply with the recent and controversial decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that made it illegal for government agencies to force nonunion members to pay a fee, known as an…

Local News

WASHINGTON – Acronyms make the eyes glaze over, and the term "NATO" does it worse than most. Somehow NATO conjures up another time, one when the world was separated by an Iron Curtain, with America's greatest foe residing far to the east of it. But wait. That's still the case. It's just that the Iron Curtain moved eastward when the Cold War ended, bringing it closer to …

Nation and World

WASHINGTON – If you share political news stories, memes and thoughts on Facebook or Twitter, you're a journalist now. That being the case, you might want to consider living by the rules the professional scribes live by. You might want to consider taking the "Pro-Truth Pledge." What is it? In shorthand, it's a promise to follow a venerable and important rule of journa…

Local News

WASHINGTON – President Trump Monday signed a bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Collins, a Clarence Republican, creating a voluntary registry to track the occurrence of cancer in firefighters. "We currently have a lack of information about how being exposed to certain fires will impact a firefighter’s health, and this is a common-sense way to collect that data to improve prot…