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For 194 years, the Erie Canal has allowed boats to make an uninterrupted journey from Buffalo to Albany, and then on to New York City. A new proposal to stop invasive species could put an end to that route – but not if a host of local and state officials have anything to say about it. In a confidential report obtained by The Buffalo News, a consultant to Gov. Andrew …

Crime

WASHINGTON – New York State now has a law that could spell further legal danger to people who President Trump might pardon. That list will not include felons such as former Rep. Chris Collins. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday announced that he had signed a bill that narrows the state's protections against double jeopardy, which is the prosecution of a person twice f…

Local News

Bob Dickie said he heard a "huge bang" as a portion of the ceiling in the state's new $25 million Western New York Welcome Center collapsed, nearly hitting him. He was heading home Monday morning to Plattsburgh from a weekend visit with his daughter in Youngstown when he stopped for a cup of coffee at the year-old center on Grand Island "because I thought it was beautif…

Education

A state audit of the University at Buffalo's procurement practices identified nearly $900,000 in questionable transactions, including poor monitoring of its spending and lost opportunities to save money on products and services. The audit released by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reviewed $8 million in spending by the university between April 2016 and September 2018…

Local News

Bridge maintenance will require lane restrictions Sunday along a section of the Interstate 290 in the Town of Tonawanda. The state Department of Transportation said the portion of the westbound 290 between Exit 3, Niagara Falls Boulevard, and Exit 2, Colvin Boulevard, will be reduced to one lane. The lane closures are expected to start at about 9 a.m. Sunday and last…

Local News

The Town of Tonawanda supervisor and two other elected officials would receive higher pay under a proposed 2020 budget that raises taxes but stays within the state property tax cap. Supervisor Joseph H. Emminger's tentative budget raises the pay for his position by $9,500, the first increase in 20 years, he said. The highway superintendent and town clerk also would get …

Local News

Tonawanda's proposed 2020 budget raises taxes on city residents but, for the first time in six years, would not exceed the state property tax cap. It's a notable development that follows months of warnings from city and state officials about Tonawanda's precarious finances. Under Mayor Rick Davis' budget plan, the tax rate would rise by 1.5% next year, meaning the ow…

Local News

WASHINGTON – Rep. Chris Collins resigned Monday, a day before he is expected to plead guilty Tuesday to federal charges stemming from an insider trading scheme that prosecutors first detailed in an indictment nearly 14 months ago. A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said her office received Collins' resignation letter Monday. The aide said Collins' resignation wi…

Local News

Sportsmen joined State Sen. Robert G. Ortt at a news conference Monday at the Tonawanda Sportsmen's Club in Pendleton to blast Democratic bills that would make gun raffles illegal. Such raffles frequently are common fundraisers for fire companies and other groups. A bill by Brooklyn Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon stalled in committee this year. Ortt said a similar Senat…

Construction and Growth

Discussions are underway between New York State officials and the Seneca Indian Nation that could lead to badly needed repairs on a teeth-rattling section of the Thruway that runs through Seneca land in the Southern Tier. Sources on both sides of the situation expressed hopes Friday afternoon that an agreement could be reached within the next few days, allowing Thruway …

Buffalo

More Child Victims Act lawsuits have been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo than against any other defendant in New York State, The Buffalo News has determined. From Aug. 14 through Sept. 16, 138 lawsuits were filed against the Buffalo Diocese, alleging it negligently allowed priests or other employees to sexually abuse children. The Archdiocese of New Yo…

Buffalo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not join in the calls for Buffalo Diocese Bishop Richard J. Malone to resign, but said Malone should consider it if he's lost the support of Western New York Catholics. "I don’t know the facts well enough," Cuomo said Tuesday when asked by The Buffalo News if Malone should step down. "I do know that in that calculation he would have to determine…

Local News

The Town of Amherst has concluded a legal struggle that began 17 years ago when a contractor was badly injured in Amherst State Park. Peter Bissell of Sanborn fell and broke his neck while inspecting a roof leak at St. Mary of the Angels Motherhouse in 2002. Bissell was awarded $19.6 million, but the town paid $23.4 million including interest. The town’s carrier, Gra…

Local News

A lot of New Yorkers think there are better ways to spend $25 than on a new license plate. Three-quarters of state residents surveyed last week said it's unfair for the state to charge that much. "At least two-thirds of voters from every party, region, gender, race, or age group say the $25 license replacement fee is unfair," said Siena College pollster Steve Greenbe…