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Marijuana should be legalized for recreational use in New York State, a Cuomo administration panel recommended in a report released Friday. Legalizing and regulating pot would benefit public health, has the potential to generate "substantial" tax revenue for the state and would lessen disproportionate effects of incarceration and criminalization on minority communities,…

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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…

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…

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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…

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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 …

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

NEW YORK – A federal jury ended its first day of deliberations without a verdict Wednesday in the fraud and conspiracy case against Buffalo developer Louis Ciminelli, former SUNY Polytechnic Institute President Alain Kaloyeros and two Syracuse development officials. Jurors gathered at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in lower Manhattan at 9:30 a.m. to begin c…

Local News

It’s a 400-mile vacation consisting of aching muscles, history lessons and a winding trail that snakes east toward Albany. The Cycle the Erie Canal bicycle ride kicked off Sunday morning in Buffalo as roughly 700 people hit the road for the event’s 20th anniversary. It’s like a “summer camp for adults,” said Lisa Hurowitz, 57, at Amherst Veterans Canal Park on Sunday…

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Citing President Trump's "all-out assault on women," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul urged first daughter Ivanka Trump to also visit Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the women's rights movement, while she's in Syracuse on Monday. Hochul, the former Erie County clerk, cited Trump's early statements that advocating for women was "core" to her mission. "So why do you not speak out…

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Twenty miles west of the Lackawanna toll barrier, loose items in the car start to shake. Failed patches of tar flake into wheel wells. A dull roar fills the passenger cabin as signs advise drivers to slow down. "It's beyond politics," said John W. Rigley, who figures he drives on this rough-and-tumble section of the New York State Thruway through Seneca Nation territory…

Local News

The state comptroller is warning that the state budget has "little cushion in the event of an economic downturn." State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli issued a report this week warning that state spending could outpace revenue during the next three years with the potential for budget gaps totaling $17.9 billion. "The state ended the last year with the largest general…

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Work has started on a $16 million project to renovate a residential hall at SUNY Buffalo State. Crews working in Tower Three are installing new, upgraded bathrooms; adding new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; putting in place new laundry rooms, including washers and dryers; repainting the interior and adding new caperting, according to the office of Go…

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An appellate court has upheld the conviction and sentencing of Matthew Kuzdzal for sodomizing and beating to death his girlfriend's 5-year-old son. Kuzdzal was convicted in 2014 of second-degree murder and predatory sexual assault in the 2013 attack on Eain Clayton Brooks that took place while the boy's mother was running errands and Kuzdzal was alone with Eain. The …

Courts

ALBANY – In April, federal prosecutors sent a warning shot – heard by Democratic and Republican insiders – identifying one of their focuses in the upcoming Buffalo Billion trial: big and timely donations by allegedly corrupt developers in Buffalo and Syracuse to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s campaign. The April 25 letter by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan to U.S. Distr…