western new york

6:00am

Mon December 16, 2013
Workplace Exposure

Chemical exposure at Goodyear’s Niagara Falls plant will impact workers for years to come

Former Goodyear workers Diane and Harry Weist at home in western New York
Tom Dooley/WXXI

“You know the guys used to joke to me, they’d be like, man Goodyear’s been good to you Harry. They gave you a wife, because that’s where I met Diane, you have a father-in-law that you worked for, and the other thing you got at Goodyear was bladder cancer so you know, you got everything."

We’re well into the holiday season, when I sit down with Harry and Diane Weist in their renovated farmhouse in western New York. Our conversation’s interrupted a few times by their little chihuahua, who likes to get in on the act.

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5:30am

Tue November 19, 2013
Refugee Resettlement

Refugees revitalize Rust Belt city of Buffalo

At Journey's End Refugee Services, Bishnu Adhikari, right, tests his students on their vacuum skills.
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

Upstate New York cities take in around 90 percent of all current refugee resettlements in the state. All this week, The Innovation Trail is taking a look at how that diverse population has weaved its way into the region’s changing economy.

In Buffalo, a handful of students from countries all over the world are sitting in a class at Journey’s End Refugee Services. They are learning how to become janitors for local businesses. The group nods as a student explains an assignment to them.

It wasn’t that long ago that the group’s teacher, Bishnu Adhikari, was sitting in their seat trying to understand English and the concept of a mop, bucket and vacuum.

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10:17am

Tue November 12, 2013
Jobs

Local labor policy aims to address unemployment issues

Rubber Dragon Some Rights Reserved

Local hiring policies are becoming more commonplace as a way to address regional unemployment and strengthen the tax base. New quotas for local workers were just approved by the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

The new labor policy means that construction companies that receive Niagara County IDA economic development incentives will have to recruit at least 90 percent of their workforce from counties in western New York.

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10:19am

Thu October 24, 2013
Health

Remembering Love Canal, current residents say dangers still exist

Environmental activist Lois Gibbs (left) leads walking tour of her old neighborhood, which was heavily contaminated in the 1970s.
Ashley Hirtzel WBFO

In 1978, the government officially told residents in the Niagara Falls neighborhood that they were living in a toxic zone as their homes were built on an industrial waste site. Niagara Falls residents and activists commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Love Canal relocation on Tuesday with a walking tour.

The Love Canal case is considered by many to be a landmark in the development of the modern environmental movement.

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8:52am

Thu September 19, 2013
Human Trafficking

WNY agencies granted $1 million to combat human trafficking

Human trafficking posters.
PolandMFA

Two western New York agencies recently secured additional funding to fight human trafficking. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the International Institute of Buffalo for their collaborative efforts to combat the crime.

Erie County Sheriff’s Deputy Elizabeth Fildes says the $500,000 grant will be used educate community, law enforcement, educational institutions and faith based organizations about the signs of human trafficking.

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