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A top-level state commission will investigate public corruption in New York State, as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo begins a statewide anti-corruption campaign today at the University at Buffalo Law School.Cuomo will continue his latest in a string of Buffalo visits, according to sources familiar with his schedule, by announcing a bipartisan panel of top law enforcement and legal e…

Local News

Series note: Western New York sent more than 4,400 soldiers to Gettysburg, Pa., to fight in the three-day Civil War battle waged from July 1 to 3, 1863. The Buffalo News retells the stories of four local men who took part in the epic confrontation 150 years ago. This is part three.By Scott ScanlonNews Staff reporterThe second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought 150 yea…

Education

ALBANY – Nearly 40 years ago, a young Alain Kaloyeros served alongside Christian militia forces fighting against Hezbollah troops in northern Lebanon. If you talk to him today, he will show you the scars on his arms from one of the battles.Now, far from those street battles in and around Beirut, Kaloyeros serves on a very different cutthroat battlefield, where scientists a…

Local News

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Canadian officials this morning announced an agreement concerning improvements at the Peace Bridge.“We prefer partnership,’’ said Gary Doer, the Canadian ambassador to the United States, of the end to the months-long dispute that seriously tested relations between New York and Canada.“Some would say we’ve been trying to do this for 20 years,’’ Cuom…

ALBANY – The death of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s much touted “women’s equality agenda” was the result of a poor strategy that relied too much on outside women’s rights organizations and not enough on a key group: the female members of the Assembly who actually had to do the voting.That’s the assessment of those female Assembly Democrats who on Monday were still bitter that the…

After enduring brutal abuse from his father, Jay-J, a 3-year-old boy from North Tonawanda, inspired a change in the law. Jay-J’s Law, a child-abuse law named in the boy’s honor that was spearheaded by State Sen. Timothy Kennedy, D-Buffalo, and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, D-Cheektowaga, passed the Assembly Friday and Senate early Saturday.The law, which helps ensure stiff…

Politics

ALBANY – One has to wonder if Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s muscles are sore following a legislative session when he twisted so many arms to try to get his way on things.As the 2013 session was ending Friday and Saturday morning, the governor found that governing in his third year was not as easy as he might have come to expect, as lawmakers and special-interest groups were more …

Local News

ALBANY – In a state that for generations has protected abortion rights, lawmakers in both houses Thursday wrangled over whether to create additional protections in the event federal abortion rights laws are ever eliminated.Despite threats of political retaliation by both Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and women’s organizations, leaders of the State Senate say they will not let a bil…

ALBANY – Turns out there’s even a puppy mill lobby.Legislation allowing localities to enact stronger rules regulating puppy mills is stalled in the State Senate as the 2013 session crawls to an end.The measure, fought by some pet dealer companies, would let local governments enact their own, stricter laws aimed at curbing what the bill’s backers say are abuses in puppy mil…

ALBANY – New York voters will be asked this fall to approve a change in the State Constitution legalizing up to seven Las Vegas-style casinos that backers say will bring destination resorts to economically battered upstate areas.The casino agreement by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders, due to be adopted by lawmakers by Friday, calls for no new casinos in Wester…

Sergio R. Rodriguez, the Republican candidate for mayor, was sued by New York State in 2008 for nonpayment of college expenses.Rodriguez paid the overdue bill last year, just months before he announced his candidacy for mayor, and now admits he made a mistake in not addressing the issue sooner.“I dropped the ball,” he said. “I neglected to pay.”Rodriguez’s legal fight with…

ALBANY – Lawmakers say they have struck a tentative deal to expand the number of Las Vegas-style casinos in New York, letting four new gambling halls operate upstate but honoring a recent deal with the Seneca Nation to keep any new casinos from locating in Western New York.Key lawmakers say they expect a bill to be ready today that would also allow gambling facilities offe…

Construction and Growth

ALBANY – Businesses that locate new jobs on vacant public or private college land will get treated to 10 years without any state or property taxes under a deal finalized Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders.The tax-free bonanza will, if Cuomo’s predictions come true, lead to one of the greatest job-producing benefits for upstate New York in generations…

About 100 Western New Yorkers were scheduled to board buses headed to Albany today. Their mission: to demonstrate against hydraulic fracturing and to call for New York’s elected officials to do more with clean energy.A number of local groups – from PUSH Buffalo and Communications Workers of America District 1, to the Western New York Peace Center and Occupy Buffalo – will …

ALBANY – With the rhetoric getting ugly in the casino revenue-sharing dispute between the state of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians, the two men at the center of the feud sat at a table last month in a 38th-floor office in a Manhattan skyscraper.“There was tension. There had to be,” said Seneca President Barry Snyder Sr., describing the 90-minute meeting he had w…