More than 60 homes and apartment buildings in Amherst, Cheektowaga and the Town of Tonawanda were auctioned last week to settle the estate of a major local builder who passed away in 2007. Cash Cunningham conducted the auction ordered by Erie County Surrogate's Court. But controversy arose when the complexities surrounding one bundle of properties led to misunderstandings and left potential bidders confused and angry.
A contaminated area in West Valley, just south of Springville, will start the next phase of its shutdown thanks to a multi-million-dollar contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. CH2M Hill-B&W West Valley, a partnership between engineering giants CH2MHILL and Babcock & Wilcox of Charlotte, N.C., &W won the contract to begin phase one of work at the West Valley Demonstration Project. The site was the country's only privately operated commercial nuclear fuel-processing facility.
We got a sneak peek at Wythe Will Tzetzo's newest factory:
Kaleida Health and three unions came to a tentative contract agreement early Tuesday morning. The Local 1168, Communications Workers of America; Local 1199, Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers East and Local 17, International Union of Operating Engineers worked out a tentative deal with Kaleida Health and will now bring it to the more than 8,000 union members they represent for approval. The move avoided a strike authorization vote that was scheduled Tuesday.
Are minority- and women-owned businesses getting their fair share of county contracts? Some legislators are pushing for a Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Utilization Advisory Board that would monitor and help enforce the local laws in place to be sure they do. But a spokesman for County Executive Chris Collins said the county is already exceeding its contract goals and that the push for a board is simply a political move.
Financial aftershocks of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami are still being felt in Western New York. This time, it's showing up in car sales. Overall new car sales in the region were down slightly in the region last month, partly because a lack of inventory on some Japanese car models decreased sales. American companies are focusing more on fuel efficient cars as gas prices rise, and their sales are increasing accordingly.
Thinking about taking the kids to an area amusement park? The parks have a variety of specials,from online ticket coupons to special evenings prices. It pays to check them out.
Sometimes it takes an outsider's perspective to point out the best things about our region. A family from New Jersey who has been lured to Western New York has plenty of good things to say about our region's attributes, from the commutes, to the housing prices, to the active entertainment scene. It's refreshing to hear.
The energy drink business is an unusual one. The products are barely distinguishable beverages of sugar and caffeine, but they are targeted to very specific markets. Two Western New York firms are trying to muscle their way into the business using very different approaches. Vital Energy is going for the young male crowd with a funny guerrilla marketing campaign full of pranks, while Pure Energy is aiming for a more sophisticated market.
The Seneca Nation of Indians hosted economic development officials from Western New York and Pennsylvania Thursday looking for ways to work together on future projects. The Senecas said they would like to play a bigger role in economic development in order to benefit the nation and wanted to brainstorm with officials to find ways to make that happen.
"Good business knows no boundaries," said Robert Odawi Porter, the Seneca Nation president.
About 40 economic officials outlined current economic programs and initiatives during the program's first session, then the Senecas outlined their economic goals and opportunities.
A popular Lockport restaurant is being sold to its current management team and bartender. Manager Chris Bell and assistant manager and bartender Brian Junke will take over the loan on Taboo restaurant in Ulrich Center from David L. Ulrich. The Greater Lockport Development Corp. approved the transfer of the balance of a 2007 loan to the new owners. The balance on the city's loan is $115,000.
The bar will be renamed Lock 34 Bar & Grill, have extended hours, an expanded menu and lower bar pricing.
To offset losses from Spring storms, farmers in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua and Erie counties may be eligible for Farm Service Agency disaster emergency loan assistance. Family Farmers can apply for loans at 3.75 percent interest at the FSA office at 3542 Turner Road in Jamestown. The phone number is 664-2351.
A ruling in favor of Marcone Supply has been upheld by the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court. The ruling bars competitor 1st Source Servall from soliciting business from 640 of Marcone's customers. The Cheektowaga company claims two of its former employees used inside information to lure clients away to Servall when tasked with establishing three new Northeast distribution sites. Marcone claims the two Buffalo-are executives, Mark J. Creighton and Karl P. Rosenhahn, stole a confidential list of 3,300 Marcone customers then tried to cover up the theft by destroying evidence. Pictured at right is Marcone's director of Information Technology.
A former University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Design site at 2915 Main Street is one step closer to becoming loft apartments. A Ciminelli Real Estate affiliate purchased the former Buffalo Meter Co. building for $1.05 million and plans a $12.5 million renovation. To be called the Bethune Lofts, the six-story building will have 87 unique one- and two-bedroom apartments with a penthouse on the top floor.
A Clarence company has filed an application for an "investigational new drug" with the Food and Drug Administration and is hoping to fast-track the review of a smoking cessation aid. 22nd Century Group is hoping a faster review will allow it to bring its low-nicotine cigarettes to the market as soon as possible. The company should know within a month whether its request has been granted. If it is, the company hopes it could receive FDA approval during the first quarter of 2013.
Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day for participating businesses in Western New York. Workers at some companies are encouraged to bring their pets to work for the day as a way to encourage animal adoption and raise money among co-workers. The tradition was started by Pet Sitters International in 1999.
Sylvia's Place, a 48-unit senior housing project in Elma, won $414,000 in tax breaks from the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. There was some debate over whether the $3 million project, which offers market-rate housing, should be eligible for breaks. But the vote eventually passed 11-2.
The Federal Trade Commission will look into high gas prices to see if anti-competitive or manipulative practices are to blame. It will look at oil refiners, producers, transporters, marketers and traders to see if any of them had any part in manipulating pricing.
Investment strategist Robert Froehlich made a stop in Buffalo Tuesday with some bold news, saying the Japanese earthquake and tsunami will "have the single greatest impact on your portfolio as any external event in the last 25 years." The disaster could fuel inflation, spur faster economic growth in Japan and keep interest rates low through the summer before possibly spiking in the spring.
Inventors and entrepreneurs spent three days honing their ability to bring their ideas to the marketplace. Seven teams of hopefuls immersed themselves in a pre-seed workshop on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, where they pitched their ideas to industry experts and received coaching and feedback in return. The teams hoped the skills they learned would help them polish their presentations and eventually land them investment money for a start-up.
The new owner of the Statler Towers is already planning its coming out party. Mark Croce is hoping to have the historic building ready in time to host the annual Ice Ball New Year's Eve celebration. Tickets for the high-end event should be on sale by August, with an estimated price tag of $100 to $150.
Get an in-depth peek at a massive project going on underground in Niagara Falls, Ontario. For the past five years, 400 workers have been digging and cementing the six-mile Niagara Tunnel, which is 47 feet in diameter. The tunnel will allow Canada to increase the amount of energy it generates from the water.
The Earned Income Tax Credit was a boon for families and the local community this tax season. It brought $6.4 million in refund money this year. The Volunter Income Tax Assistance program (VITA) run throug the United Way and the University at Buffalo helped hundreds of people apply.
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