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Colin Zgoda, a 21-year-old autistic student, will age out of high school this year. His post-high school plan was supposed to be like many other Western New Yorkers with developmental disabilities before him – landing a spot in one of the area’s 13 sheltered workshops. The facilities have been an alternative to working in the open labor market, offering a supported workpla…

Buffalo

Seventeen workers at the HighPointe nursing facility are accused by the State Attorney General’s Office of abusing patients at the facility on Michigan Avenue, a law enforcement source told The Buffalo News.Felony criminal complaints filed in Buffalo City Court allege mistreatment of residents at the facility, but the files will not be made public until the accused are arr…

Job growth in the region continued at its modest but steady pace in March, with the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metro area adding 3,200 jobs, most in the private sector, over the previous 12 months, the state Labor Department reported Thursday.The region added jobs at a pace of 0.6 percent over the period between March 2013 and March of this year, a slightly slower pace than the…

SALAMANCA – Empire State Development will spend up to $420,000 on new lodging at Allegany State Park, a project that is a top priority for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council that coordinates state and private investment in the area.ASP Partners LLC, based in Bronxville, is building 28, higher-end, fully equipped cabins to meet visitor demand at the …

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz on Tuesday unveiled a package of 19 reforms he is suggesting to state legislators to deal with child abuse issues.“The worst days of my administration were on the days of the death of a child,” which has happened six times during his tenure, Poloncarz said as he stood at the podium with Carol Dankert-Maurer, commissioner of social se…

Local News

Owners of assault-style weapons were supposed to have registered their guns by Tuesday.But there is no way of knowing exactly how many of these weapons there are in the state and how many were registered under the NY SAFE Act.The state refuses to say how many were registered, claiming it is confidential information protected by the law.Gun-rights advocates estimate complia…

Shotguns are covered if they are semi-automatic and have one of the following “military characteristics”:• Folding or telescoping stock• Thumb hole stock• Second hand grip or protruding grip that can be held by non-shooting hand• Fixed magazine capacity in excess of seven rounds• An ability to accept a detachable magazineRifles are covered if they are semi-automatic, …

The state has approved SUNY Buffalo State’s plan to take part in Start-Up NY, which establishes tax-free zones to draw new jobs and companies to colleges and universities statewide.Buffalo State is the second area school to get the go-ahead from Empire State Development, following the University at Buffalo’s approval last month, and joins 12 public and private schools acro…

Politics

ALBANY – A federal prosecutor who has built a reputation as one of Albany’s top corruption-busters took possession Thursday of a truckload of documents from an investigatory panel that was created last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo but then disbanded as part of the new state budget.Where the trail might lead for Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District in …

ALBANY – Just hours after the likely Republican gubernatorial candidate called for the ouster of Dr. Nirav Shah, a Buffalo native who heads the state’s Health Department, state officials began leaking word Wednesday night that he will resign in June to take a job in California.Shah, already put in the spotlight the past couple of years by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as the suppos…

ALBANY – A “botched” job by an outside vendor and internal department control lapses at the state’s tax agency led to delays in processing hundreds of thousands of paper income tax returns last year.Additionally, it led to millions of dollars in overtime to fix the problems, a new state audit released Wednesday finds.State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said problems “spun ou…

ALBANY – The leader of the Assembly believes efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes appears dead for the rest of the 2014 session because of opposition in the State Senate.“I don’t think it has a future in this session,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, said Monday in a brief interview with reporters at the Capitol.But advocates of legal…

ALBANY – The leader of the Assembly believes efforts to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes appears dead for the rest of the 2014 session because of opposition in the State Senate.“I don’t think it has a future in this session,’’ Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, said Monday in a brief interview with reporters at the Capitol.But advocates of lega…

ALBANY – The state’s politically potent teachers union has elected its first female president, with convention delegates over the weekend ousting their longtime leader.Karen E. Magee, an elementary school teacher from the Harrison School District in Westchester County, replaces Richard C. Iannuzzi, a former Long Island teacher, as president of the New York State United Tea…

ALBANY – The list of end-of-session priorities for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders reads like a song verse stuck in your head: campaign finance law changes, job creation incentives, minimum wage increase, special protections for women in the workplace, and state aid for children of illegal immigrants.That’s the public Albany.But behind the scenes, most of Alba…