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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — M&T Bank will host a memorial service to celebrate the late Robert Wilmers on Monday.
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He had been M&T Bank Corporation’s Chairman and CEO since 1993.
Wilmers is credited with growing the organization into a regional bank that operates in eight states and Washington D.C.
Wilmers passed away on December 16 at age 83.
City Hall will be lit green in his honor.
LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Lackawanna man accused of supporting the terror group ISIS has pleaded guilty.
Arafat Nagi, 46, was charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
He was placed under arrest in July 2015. FBI agents say they seized a number of electronic devices from Nagi’s home that month.
Nagi faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress sped toward reopening the government Monday, as Senate Democrats dropped their objections to a temporary funding bill in return for assurances from Republicans leaders that they will soon take up immigration and other contentious issues.
Senate Republican leader McConnell’s commitment to quickly tackle the issue of immigrant “Dreamers” was contingent on Democrats providing enough votes now for a stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks. The measure needed 60 votes, and Democrats provided 33 of the 81 it got. Eighteen senators, including members of both parties, were opposed.
Before the government can reopen the Senate must vote on final passage, the House must approve in turn, and President Donald Trump must sign the measure.
Democrats climbed onboard after two days of negotiations that ended with new reassurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the Senate would consider immigration proposals in the coming weeks.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer lent his backing to the agreement during a speech on the chamber’s floor. “Now there is a real pathway to get a bill on the floor and through the Senate,” he said of legislation to halt any deportation efforts aimed at “Dreamers,” who were brought to the country as children and are now here illegally.
The White House downplayed McConnell’s commitment, and said Democrats caved under pressure. “They blinked,” principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah told CNN.
Earlier Monday, McConnell raised hopes for a quick end to the shutdown, saying “I hope and intend” to reach agreement soon on immigration and other contentious issues — if the Democrats agreed to the stopgap spending measure lasting a little less than three weeks.
A block of liberal Democrats — some of them 2020 presidential hopefuls — stuck to their opposition. Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Dianne Feinstein of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey voted no, as did Independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Feinstein said she wasn’t persuaded by McConnell’s assurances and did not know how a proposal to protect the more than 700,000 younger immigrants would fare in the House.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told “Fox and Friends” Monday that if the Senate approved a temporary spending bill to reopen the government through Feb. 8, the House would approve it, too.
The Senate vote came as most government offices cut back drastically or even closed on Monday, as the major effects of the shutdown were first being felt with the beginning of the workweek.
McConnell said he hoped to reach bipartisan solutions on immigration, border security, disaster aid, military funding and more by Feb. 8. If not, he said “it would be my intention to take up legislation” addressing those issues.
The Senate over the weekend inched closer but ultimately fell short of a deal that could have reopened the government before the beginning of the workweek. McConnell and Schumer said negotiations lasted late into the night.
On Sunday night, Democrats appeared to be holding out for a firmer commitment from McConnell. “We have yet to reach an agreement on a path forward,” Schumer said then.
There were hours of behind-the-scenes talks over the weekend between the leaders and rank-and-file lawmakers over how to end the display of legislative dysfunction, which began at midnight Friday after Democrats blocked a temporary spending measure. Democrats have sought to use the spending bill to win concessions, including protections for roughly 700,000 younger immigrants.
Republicans have appeared increasingly confident that Democrats are bearing the brunt of criticism for the shutdown and that they will ultimately buckle. The White House and GOP leaders said they would not negotiate with Democrats on immigration until the government is reopened.
President Trump on Monday accused Democrats of prioritizing services and security for noncitizens over U.S. citizens. “Not good,” his first tweet said. In a second tweet, he said, “Democrats have shut down our governmentin the interests of their far left base. They don’t want to do it but are powerless!”
Trump’s first tweet appeared to undercut comments by his legislative affairs director, Marc Short, who told CNN that the immigrants in question are law-abiding and “productive to our society.” Short says the administration wants to “find a pathway for them” to stay in the U.S.
It appeared that Democratic resolve was beginning to waver, with growing worries that a prolonged shutdowncould prove to be an electoral headache for the party just as it has grown more confident about prospects in November midterm elections.
Although they initially dug in on a demand for an immigration deal, Democrats had shifted to blaming the shutdown on the incompetence of Republicans and Trump, seeming sensitive to being seen by voters as willing to tie up government operations to protect immigrants.
Trump, who regularly disrupted negotiations in recent weeks, had been a relatively subdued player in the weekend debate. He has not appeared in public since Friday afternoon. The White House said he was in regular contact with Republican leaders, but he has not reached out to any Democrats, a White House official said.
Democrats are facing intense pressure from their base to solve the issue over the young immigrants, commonly referred to as “Dreamers,” and they are skeptical of Republicans’ credibility when offering to take up the issue. Whether Trump would back the emerging plan or any later proposal on immigration is an open question.
While lawmakers feuded, signs of the shutdown were evident at national parks and in some federal agencies. Social Security and most other safety-net programs were unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions continued, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay.
**Flood watch for all of WNY through 7PM Tuesday.**
Rising creek levels due to rain and snowmelt may lead to ice-jam flooding. Typically Cayuga, Cattaraugus, Buffalo, and Cazenovia Creeks are most prone to the ice-jam flooding we are watching for. Any flooding that does occur will likely not be as intense as what many areas saw last week on local creeks and streams.
Tonight, after a small temporary break in rainfall, a second batch will redevelop. This round will put down another quarter to half an inch by morning. Overnight it will turn breezy but will stay relatively mild in the low 40s. Rain will continue for the early morning hours of Tuesday. A cold front will take the mild morning air and turn it chilly again by afternoon. As that happens rain showers will change to snow showers. This will occur by late afternoon/early evening Tuesday. There is a chance that while this is happening a bit of freezing rain or sleet could develop. If that verifies, slick spots on road for the evening commute could become an issue.
By Wednesday it will again be cold enough to see lake effect/enhanced snow. Totals from Tuesday night into Wednesday will range between 1-3″. Snow will come to an end for Thursday but cooler weather will stick around through Thursday. After that another warm-up heads our way into the end of the week and the start of next weekend. Saturday and Sunday we’re watching the potential for a storm. At this point models are too uncertain on timing, but we will update you as we get closer.
TONIGHT: Milder with Spotty Showers, More Rain Developing Late, Turning breezy, Wind: SE 10-20 G30, Low: 40-45.
TUESDAY: Windy, Turning Colder, Early Rain Showers change to Snow Showers towards evening, Possible Brief Icy Mix, Wind: SW 15-25 G40, AM High: 46, Low: 22.
WEDNESDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Scattered Lake Snow Showers, Mainly away from Buffalo, Brisk Breeze, High: 26, Low: 15.
THURSDAY: Mostly Sunny, High: 26, Low: 18.
FRIDAY: Sunny to Partly Cloudy, High: 41, Low: 36.
SATURDAY: Partly to Mostly Cloudy, Chance of showers developing, High: 45, Low: 36.
SUNDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Early Showers, Possible Snow Shower, High: 41, Low: 25.
MONDAY: Mostly Cloudy, Cooler, Few Flurries, High: 30
ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Erie County’s former Commissioner of Social Services, Al Dirschberger, traveled to Albany Monday to turn himself in to authorities after being indicted by an Albany County grand jury on rape and criminal sex act charges.
The indictment was handed up Tuesday afternoon, a little more than a month after Albany police said he raped one of his subordinate Erie County employees while the two were in the state capital to attend a conference on the taxpayer’s dime.
A warrant was issued for Dirschberger’s arrest on Wednesday.
Dirschberger is set to be arraigned Monday in Albany County Court, where he is expected to plead not guilty. The third-degree charges indicate a lack of consent.
Nicholas Romano, Dirschberger’s attorney, gave the following statement Monday:
“Dr. Al Dirschberger appeared in Albany County Court this afternoon to plead “not guilty” to charges of sexual assault because he is not guilty. Dr. Dirschberger looks forward to the opportunity to provide his side of the story and fully defend himself. His exemplary and unblemished record of over 30 years as a social worker, an educator, and a public servant speaks for itself. He is innocent and, to that end, will request a speedy trial to exonerate himself. Dr. Dirschberger extends his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the countless friends, colleagues, and community members that have reached out to support him and his family, and offered to help him in combating these charges.”
Dirschberger was ordered to resign Dec. 28 after an internal investigation revealed his Dec. 5-6 trip to Albany led to “multiple violations of county policy” and a criminal investigation into allegations of rape.
The office of Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz initially said that day in a release sent to the media, “Dirschberger resigned from his post for personal reasons.” It did not provide any other information.
However, a few hours after News 4 broke the news of the criminal investigation, Poloncarz called a press conference to provide additional details.
“I am very disappointed,” Poloncarz said Dec. 28 “I am angry, to put it mildly, with this entire situation because this is not something you should have to deal with. But once we had a problem, we moved to deal with it.”
Poloncarz said at the news conference he moved quickly after learning Dec. 23 about a criminal investigation against Dirschberger. Poloncarz said he reached out to a detective with the Albany Police Department, who told him then Dirschberger was the subject of that investigation.
Dirschberger sent an email to Poloncarz Dec. 28, which said he was resigning for personal reasons.
Dirschberger, who was appointed by Poloncarz in 2015, regularly traveled on behalf of the county, and was in the state capital on Dec. 6, when law enforcement sources said the incident allegedly happened.
First Deputy Commissioner Marie Cannon has been serving as acting commissioner until a permanent replacement is found. A search for his replacement is underway.
Dirschberger is also a longtime girls and women’s coach. He’s listed as the assistant coach of the Niagara University’s softball team. He is a former assistant coach of the Canisius College softball team. His biography states he “spent six years coaching football, basketball and track and field at Cheektowaga Central High School before taking over the Niagara softball program. He also coached the St. Mary’s High School girls basketball team from 1993-2000.”
He was placed on administrative leave from Niagara University when they found out about the criminal investigation last month.
Niagara University’s Athletic Director, Simon Gray, released a statement, saying “Niagara University takes matters such as these very seriously. We are aware of the allegations against Al Dirschberger, and we have placed him on administrative leave from his responsibilities with the Purple Eagles softball team.”
TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Police in the City of Tonawanda are looking for a missing 15-year-old girl.
Rosalie Tirado has been missing since Sunday at 3 p.m. Police do not think she was abducted, but believe she ran away.
Tirado is 5’3″, 132 lbs. and has blue eyes and brown hair. She was wearing a white Tonawanda soccer sweater, either black or gray sweatpants and black boots.
Along with that, she also has braces.
According to police, Tirado frequents the Lockport city area.
Anyone with information on her whereabouts can call detectives at (716) 692-2103.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — With so many ways to serve a taco, who do you think makes the best in Buffalo?
Vote for your favorite below:
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