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Buffalo Convention Center Gets Facelift

BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center has undergone renovations throughout the summer that management hope will make it more competative in the conference and events market.

The 32-year-old building is getting a 7 million dollar facelift in the form of a new acoustics, new lighting and a new floor on the upper level of the facility.

Paul Murphy, facilities director for the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center says the facility was overdue for changes and the improvements will make Buffalo a destination spot for new conferences.

The new marquee will be up at the Convention Center by the end of the week.  The first event is scheduled for September 13th with events scheduled throughout the Fall.  The National Conference for Environmental Education is scheduled for the end of September.

Click on the video link above to see Marissa Bailey's report.

Tank Problem Causes Water Damage to City Hall

BUFFALO, NY - A giant holding tank that sits inside on top of City Hall caused a big mop up job on the 25th floor, which started leaking over the weekend.

The gusher sent water dripping down several flights of stairs and did some minor damage.

City Hall's observation deck will be closed through the end of the week so workers can plug the leak and get rid of the water.

Mayor's Son To Attend Stop Shoplifting Class

BUFFALO, NY--  The teenage son of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown appeared in Buffalo City Court Monday morning on a petit larceny charge.

Byron Brown, III, 19, was ordered by Judge David Manz to stay out of trouble for the next six months, not go into A.J. Wright stores and attend a Stop Shoplifting Education Program. It is a four hour course where students learn about the societal and person effects of shoplifting.

Buffalo Police arrested young Brown last weekend for attempting to steal nearly $60 worth of clothing and electronics from the A.J. Wright store on Delaware Avenue.

An aquaintance of young Brown, Xavier Jemison, 20, was working the cash register and apparently did not ring up all of the items. Jemison was charged as well.  He was also in court on Monday and received the same punishment.

ASPCA's $100K Challenge

BUFFALO, NY - This Sunday marks the official start to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals $100K Challenge to Save More Lives.

Back in April, shelter contestants across the country started working tirelessly to save at least 300 hundred more animals than they did over the same three month period in 2009.

The shelter that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during that three-month period over the last year will receive a $100,000 grant from the ASPCA to continue its life-saving work. A second grant of $25,000 will be awarded to the shelter that does the best job of engaging its community in helping to save more lives.

Buffalo Land Deal: Public Spat Could Be Costly

BUFFALO, NY - In the end, the result was what everyone seemed to want, although experts say it could have some negative consequences.

There was plenty of public fighting between Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and the Common Council over the land transfer agreement to help keep HSBC Bank form leaving the city's waterfront.

Initially, the council was reluctant to immediately sign over the all of the waterfront land. eventually, they transferred only a portion of it. And for a while, it was not apparent the land deal would happen in time.

The episode played out publicly and bitterly for two days.

Larry Quinn, of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, which was seeking all of the waterfront land, sent sparks flying Tuesday by saying of the council, "They're playing with the livelihood of citizens of buffalo, and it's criminal almost."

Erie County Water Authority Eliminates $65,000 P.R. Job

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- Two weeks ago, the newest commissioner at the Erie County Water Authority promised big changes were coming to the Authority, which has been a haven for political appointees for decades.

This week, those changes and the cutting of well-paid patronage jobs began.

The Erie County Water Authority has let go its $65,000 a year public relations person and eliminated the position.

His name is Brian Bray, and he came to the Authority from legislator Maria Whyte's office.

Scott Brown: "How unusual is it that at a place like the Water Authority, somebody actually loses their job?"

Rath Building Parking Booth Left Empty

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The security booth placed in front of the parking garage at the Rath Building in Buffalo has been empty most of the time.

Erie County purchased the booth earlier this year for around $10,000. A federal grant was used to cover the expense.

During the summer, there has not been enough security guards on schedule to have one of them sit in the booth, according to an Erie County spokesperson.

Erie County plans on having a security guard in position once summer vacations are over. They will work during rush hours to remind people that the parking garage is for county employees and is not for public parking.