Along the shore of Lake Erie, the rusting relics of Buffalo, N.Y.'s industrial days have long blocked access to the water and posed risks to residents. Now, after decades of inaction, the city is finally clearing a path for the public to return to the waterfront.
Buffalo's approach has been dubbed "lighter, faster, cheaper." Tom Dee has led this effort as president of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., a special state agency in charge of city waterfront property. He says years were wasted chasing grand redevelopment projects, but now the strategy is more homegrown.
The eastern shore of Lake Erie is known as the "Sponge Candy Crescent." During the region's long winter months, this crunchy, chocolatey candy is a mainstay — especially for large gatherings and holidays. But come hot weather, you can't get the temperamental treat.
Ko-Ed Candies sells a lot of chocolate Easter bunnies, candy bars and other sweets, but co-owner Sandy Whitt says her customers mostly crave sponge candy.
Nik Wallenda walks a tightrope in the rain during a training session for his upcoming stunt in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Credit Gary Wiepert / AP
Spectators watch Nik Wallenda practice in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Local officials are hoping the stunt revives flagging tourism.
Credit David Duprey / AP
High-wire performer Nik Wallenda will try to cross the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope this Friday. The seventh-generation member of the Flying Wallendas spent months getting the necessary permissions from Canada and the United States for the cross-border stunt.
Niagara Falls has long been a magnet for daredevils, but strict laws have kept them away for more than a century. That's expected to change Friday, when circus performer Nik Wallenda will walk a two-inch-thick wire above the giant waterfall. It's an exception officials hope will rescue tourism — and the city's economy.
You may have heard of "flash mobs," where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene. Now the idea has been turned on its head by "cash mobs," where large crowds of consumers show up at small businesses to spend money. But it's not just about propping up the local economy.
It's 5 o'clock on a Friday, and mostly quiet in the Lander's Men's Store, a mom-and-pop clothing store in Jamestown, N.Y. But shop owner Ann Powers is anticipating a mob.
JBI CEO John Bordynuik holds a jar of No. 6 fuel oil, derived from discarded plastic like that seen on a conveyor belt at his plant.
Credit Daniel Robison / WNED
After being delivered to JBI's Plastic2Oil facility, shredded plastic is melted down in a large tank before being vaporized and formed into fuel. John Bordynuik releases some of the substance to check for quality.
Only 7 percent of plastic waste in the United States is recycled each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. A startup company in Niagara Falls says it can increase that amount and reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil at the same time.
It all starts with a machine known as the Plastic-Eating Monster. Thousands of pounds of shredded milk jugs, water bottles and grocery bags tumble into a large tank, where they're melted together and vaporized. This waste comes from landfills and dumps from all over the United States.