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Barbara O'Brien


After being held prisoner in a church compound for a week in Honduras and denied entry into El Salvador, Barbara Smullen of Rochester can't wait to get back to Central America."I'm not suicidal," she said, adding that she wants to go back soon to help the Salvadorans she assisted in returning to their homeland.Dr. Smullen, a nursing professor at Nazareth College in Ro…

Students outside Erie Community College Thursday night looked the part of the homeless -- cold and huddled in boxes.But they knew they could go inside this morning, if not before, to get warm."Any one of us could wind up here any day of the week. It's not just the alcoholics and drug addicts," said Valerie Punturiero of Cheektowaga, a paralegal major. "I'm very thankf…

Contamination from an abandoned tar pit in Cheektowaga has migrated to Slate Bottom Creek, and state officials warned residents Wednesday to stay away from a portion of it.Petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals and semi-volatile organic compounds from the former railroad dump around Losson and French roads have been found "in small pockets all along the creek," accordin…

Tall and lanky with a voice like his older brother's, Jonathan Bush regaled members of the Central Park Men's Club with stories about the first family Tuesday night.President Bush has a great concern for other people and a great sense of humor, Jonathan Bush said."George is just the most thoughtful guy in the world," he told those gathered at a dinner meeting in Centr…

Still reeling from anger and shock at their government's heavy military hand against protesters, Chinese students at the University at Buffalo met Sunday night to decide what they can do to help."I never thought they were going to use the soldiers to kill those people. That makes me feel terrible," said Jingwu Zhang. "I don't have any hope for this government."The stu…

The bloody put-down of China's pro-democracy movement can only help Buffalo's chances of being named host of the World University Games in 1993, local organizers said Sunday."It can only be in the best interests of the United States and Buffalo," County Executive Gorski said."I hope the political turmoil in China would not occasion us getting in the back door. I still…

The executive committee of the Erie County Republican Party has agreed to meet with just 48 hours' notice to endorse candidates for countywide races.Chairman Victor N. Farley indicated the committee hopes to meet within a week.The committee endorsed City Judge Anthony P. LoRusso for Erie County Family Court Thursday evening at a meeting at the Statler Towers. LoRusso …

Mayor Griffin, an enrolled Democrat, was endorsed for re-election by the executive committee of the newly formed city Republican committee Wednesday evening."He has done the things that many mayors before him have neglected. He has brought the people together," said Edward V. Ryan, chairman of the city GOP committee.The executive committee unanimously endorsed Griffin…

He probably won't miss the annual conflict over money for the Buffalo Public Schools, but Eugene T. Reville expects he'll have "enough conflict in Little Rock to replace it."After 36 years as a teacher and administrator with the Buffalo Public Schools, it is his work on the court-ordered desegregation of the city's schools that Reville counts as the pinnacle of his ca…

From Walden Avenue, the dedication of Bennet Cemetery Sunday almost looked like a gathering of the original town fathers.Four Cheektowaga Town Board members and others wore 19th-century clothes for the dedication, which honored Elnathan Bennet, the first town clerk. The cemetery sits atop a hill at the intersection of Walden Avenue and Harlem Road.Bennet and his three…

There were times he thought he might not make it to graduation, but it was worth it for William Wyles when he stepped off the stage with his Niagara University diploma in his hand Sunday.Two of his children, William Jr., 10, and Jeffrey, 7, were at the foot of the stage in the Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center to greet him."I guess you could say I've set a goo…

The area's newest Thruway restaurant and gas station rest area will be on Grand Island at Whitehaven Road, if developers show enough interest.The State Thruway Authority is soliciting proposals from potential operators and has set an Aug. 1 deadline for their submission.The facility would be on Thruway property at the southwest corner of Whitehaven Road and the Thruwa…

The conviction and sentencing of 65 abortion protesters will not affect future demonstrations, a Project Rescue spokeswoman said Thursday."I think this sort of persecution against pro-lifers is going to cause them to bind together even more fervently than before," Paulette Likoudis said.City Judge Anthony P. Lo Russo found the 65 protesters guilty of trespass during a…

The head of of the International Federation of University Sports was non-committal about Buffalo's chances of becoming host for the World University Games when he arrived in town Tuesday."I don't know Buffalo, but I am sure that Buffalo can organize a fantastic edition of our Games," said Primo Nebiolo, president of the federation that puts on the Games.Nebiolo and Em…

Abortion protests in the Buffalo area are not unique, but Mayor Griffin's outlook may have made it tougher on abortion clinics when they were first targeted here, a pro-choice advocate said Monday."There's not a particular pattern, and Buffalo is not particularly unique," Ann Baker said at a meeting of the Pro-Choice Network of Western New York in the Unitarian Univer…