Ashley Hirtzel

Reporter, Innovation Trail, Western New York

Ashley is a Buffalo native, and is in her second stint as reporter at WBFO. During her first tenure at the station, Ashley covered a variety of issues in the western New York region and earned an Associated Press award for team coverage on “Same Sex Marriage in New York.” Ashley has also worked as an anchor/reporter at WBEN in Buffalo and WBTA in Batavia.

Ashley earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Communications at Medaille College in Buffalo.  

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WBFO News

Empire State Development approved funding for two upstate food and agriculture related measures in their meeting Friday.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s is proposing a border crossing fee for those traveling into the country from Canada. So far the idea is drawing opposition from representatives across New York state.

WBFO

A coalition of farmers and foodies are urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York state right away. Groups across the state are expected to meet throughout the week to alert the public to the risks they believe fracking poses to the state’s agricultural viability.

WBFO file photo

A recent study outlines a scenario that would see New York state’s energy infrastructure based on close to 100 percent renewable sources by the year 2030.

New food processing facilities are popping up across western New York, and they're generating demand for skilled workers to operate them.

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

It’s a creation expected to reduce the cost of heating and cooling for homes and businesses. It took five years for University at Buffalo Professor Sarbajit Banerjee and his students to invent a window film that repels heat from the sun.

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

In mid-2012, the NY-Sun initiative was launched to make solar power in the state more affordable. But much still needs to be done make solar technology truly competitive.

An advisory group looking at strategies for rejuvenating New York state's "legacy cities" says collaboration and coordination with the governor's Regional Economic Development Councils are crucial for upstate cities dealing with declining populations and job opportunities.

KevinCostner.com

Western New York has missed out on being the setting for a major motion picture, but Republican state Senator Patrick Gallivan hopes the loss of the movie “Draft Day,” starring Kevin Costner, will help push along a bill that would offer tax credits for films to be shot in New York state.

Ashley Hassett / WBFO

The Environmental Protection Agency announced this month it will be providing technical assistance to three western New York communities. They were chosen out of 121 applicants and are three of 43 communities to be assisted across the country. The EPA will provide the aid by delivering workshops on developing sustainable growth strategies.

A large number of schools across the state will receive $87 million to be used for technology. The state Education Department announced that low-income public and charter schools will be receiving a voucher that can be used to purchase computer software, hardware and equipment needed for computer networks and technology infrastructure.

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

During his visit to western New York on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted to the backlash by Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) against his executive budget proposal that would remove their powers to grant state sales tax exemptions.

Ashley Hassett/Innovation Trail

Researchers from the University at Buffalo conducted the state's first large-scale earthquake simulation on Tuesday to determine how prone unreinforced masonry walls are to quake damage.

In Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget, the state’s Industrial Development Agencies, or IDAs, would no longer be able to grant state sales tax exemptions for economic development projects. Instead, that authority will go to Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced a bill intended to boost high-tech manufacturing. The Democrat from New York visited the Harper International company outside Buffalo to discuss the Made in America Manufacturing Act, which is her first bill to go before the new Congress.

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