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Crime

In the end, it was the cover-up that ensnared former State Sen. Marc Panepinto. Yes, the Buffalo Democrat made unwanted advances toward a female staff member, but it was his offer of a job or money to keep her quiet that led to his criminal conviction. On Friday, he learned his punishment – two months in prison. "He should have known better," said U.S. Magistrate …

Columns

In the Town of Salamanca, they see it as a simple yet perfect memorial. It is not a dramatic statue or a painting on the wall. It is a 60-foot-long storage barn, basic and practical. Town employees will be able to drive their snowplows, rollers, backhoes and other heavy equipment through the big bay doors and then lock everything up, safely out of rain or snow. Micha…

Local News

Keith Fioretti may have spoken for the vast majority of Wyoming County voters a few days ago when he explained his vote in last month’s election for governor. It wasn’t so much enthusiasm for Republican Marc Molinaro, he said, as his disgust with Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. And he hears it daily from the corrections officers at nearby Attica and Wyoming prisons who…

Local News

The City of Tonawanda's 2019 budget will take effect as amended by the Common Council last month after Mayor Rick Davis declined to veto any items. The $24.1 million budget raises the city's tax levy, the total to be collected in taxes, by 12.9 percent. The property tax rate declines by 2.04 percent, to $18.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. However, many city resident…

Local News

ALBANY – The big pay boost for lawmakers and top state officials is a done deal, but for a minority of legislators a dilemma has been raised: quit their legislative jobs or their outside jobs? It’s a situation created Monday night with publication of the final report by a state pay hike commission that gives lawmakers a 64 percent raise over the next two years but also …

Business

NEW YORK — The man who spearheaded the spending of a "Buffalo Billion" in state funds to boost upstate cities cried in a federal courtroom here Tuesday as he pleaded with a judge for leniency. "I stand before you with a heavy heart," said Alain Kaloyeros, the former president of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, said at a sentencing hearing that ended the bid-ri…

Local News

After Lisa Milligan blamed a local tow truck operator for her injuries in a 2013 crash, the defendant's insurance carrier hired investigators to prove she wasn't hurt as badly as she claimed. They staked out her home. They staked out her mother's home. And they even recorded video of her wedding ceremony and reception. The carrier tried using this evidence at trial, …

Local News

ALBANY – A Buffalo Democrat will head a key Senate committee with jurisdiction over everything from upstate roads and bridge construction programs to the crumbling New York City subway system. Sen. Timothy Kennedy, a South Buffalo Democrat first elected to the Senate in 2010, was awarded chairmanship of the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday by Sen. Andrea Stewa…

Crime

A federal probation officer recommends that Alain Kaloyeros – once billed as upstate New York's economic savior, but now a convicted felon – be sent to prison for four years for masterminding a bid-rigging scheme that steered hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts to politically favored contractors. But lawyers for the former SUNY Polytechnic chief, who was …

Buffalo

Understaffing is a common problem in many of the worst-rated nursing homes in Western New York. Residents in these facilities often must wait long periods to be taken to the bathroom, have their diapers changed or receive assistance in being fed, according to their relatives. A proposed state bill would require nursing homes and hospitals to maintain specific minimum…

Buffalo

The guilty verdict against Louis P. Ciminelli in July kicked off a smattering of charitable donations by politicians unloading money from the builder with deep pockets. Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, for example, disbursed $1,000 he received from Ciminelli by giving $250 donations to charities supporting the Buffalo and Erie County library system, the Botanica…

Local News

In a roundabout way, the Town of Tonawanda wants to make it easier for drivers, bus passengers and bicyclists to travel one of the main east-west thoroughfares in the Northtowns. Town officials are discussing a host of changes to Sheridan Drive as it runs from Niagara Falls Boulevard to the Niagara River. The wish list includes shrinking the number of driving lanes, …

Politics

By Kenneth Lovett ALBANY — State lawmakers will see their first pay raises in two decades, but they will also be forced to restrict their outside income and eliminate most legislative stipends. The raises and conditions were enacted Thursday by a commission that was charged with recommending whether lawmakers, who receive a base salary of $79,500, should get their fi…

Columns

After watching recent voter suppression efforts in other states, residents in "progressive" New York probably feel pretty smug. After all, Georgia had a purge of voting rolls and an "exact match" signature provision that drew national attention. In Florida, so did the disappearance of some 3,500 votes between the initial tally and the recount. And Alabama’s photo ID law…