Deidre Williams, The Buffalo News
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Deidre Williams

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Deidre Williams has covered city schools for The Buffalo News since 2013.

Checking up on Niagara Street I was curious to see how construction is coming along on the Niagara Street Gateway project – a $20 million multiphase enhancement plan. Staffers from Niagara District Councilman David A. Rivera's office tell me the project includes a complete street overhaul that will reduce the number of lanes to two from four with a center turn lane…

Totally random Buffalo City Hall is but a hop, skip and a jump away from Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. I walk or drive by it about twice a week on my way to meetings, events or just to grab lunch. It can hold up to 7,000 people. A lot of big events are held there – like the annual Buffalo Home Show, one of the largest home shows in the state, and Buffalo Au…

The full Common Council will have to decide whether to amend the Green Code to accommodate a Dash’s Market plan for a larger Hertel Avenue supermarket. Following a 90-minute public hearing Tuesday, the Council’s Legislation Committee sent Dash’s request to the Council, without a committee recommendation. The Council will decide next Tuesday whether or not to g…

Helping others For the last four years, volunteers from Burmese Community Services have been helping many of the 9,000 Burmese refugees and immigrants now living in the City of Buffalo. At a City Hall reception on Monday, the nonprofit organization celebrated its four-year anniversary and was recognized for its work, which includes assisting newcomers with translatio…

Buffalo mayoral candidate Taniqua Simmons has been a community activist for the past 25 years, often using others' tragedies to push for social change. Last year, she met with City of Buffalo officials to urge them to replace deteriorating sidewalks in the Humboldt Park neighborhood after a 7-month-old baby was killed by a car on Moselle Street. The mother had taken t…

Della Miller has lived down the street from Dewey Park playground in the Masten District for at least 40 years. It’s where she raised her son, an only child. Miller was an "overprotective" mother, and whenever her son went to the playground, she went with him. But there were no benches, so her son would have to tote a chair from home so she could sit and keep an eye on…

The Baylor Project. A2Z. Scott Tixier. The George Scott Big Band. These are some of the 150 musicians scheduled to perform at the 2017 CMC Jazz Fest presented by M&T Bank. This year’s event is part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the historic Colored Musicians Club – a union hall for black musicians at a time when unions were segregated. It has an int…

Temporary digs. Food Truck Thursdays at City Hall motored into a different, temporary location this week and for a few more weeks to come. The popular lunchtime event usually is held at Niagara Square. But because of a restoration project going on at the McKinley Monument, the mobile restaurants have been moved temporarily to W. Genesee Street next to Statler Towers.…

Buffalo mayoral candidate Taniqua Simmons has changed her mind about running in the Sept. 12 Democratic primary against incumbent Byron W. Brown, City Comptroller Mark J.F. Schroeder and Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant. Instead, Simmons – a political newcomer – said she intends to run in the general election as the endorsed candidate of the Erie County Lib…

The little library by the side of the road Located near the Seneca Babcock Community Garden is small structure that resembles a dollhouse or a birdhouse. But it's neither. Rather, it's a little lending library, and they've been popping up all across the city – with a few twists. There's no due date to return the books. You can borrow as many books as you like…

First came the security detail and the metal detectors. Now City Hall is installing another safety measure: sphere-shaped barriers called "bollards" around the building. The bollards are part of a safety enhancement project designed to protect pedestrian areas around the building, as well as the building itself from vehicle crashes and collisions – as well as from …

Soul food row Chicken and waffles. Candied yams. Fish and grits. Barbecue ribs. Banana pudding. You don't have to go down south to get traditional soul food dishes like these. Just go down Bailey Avenue – the city's side, of course. There's the Fire Spot restaurant at 3300 Bailey that was opened about a year and a half ago by Buffalo firefighter Rodney Wilkin…

True Bethel Baptist Church is building more housing at its East Side campus. On Tuesday, the Common Council approved the sale of four city-owned lots to the church's development arm – True Community Development Corp. – which plans to turn six vacant lots into three single-family, affordable homes on East Ferry Street. The lots are at 825, 831, 845 and 847, which th…

A wave to history Do you know what the tri-color flag flying outside City Hall represents? It's called the African Heritage flag, and it was hoisted in honor of Buffalo's 42nd annual Juneteenth Festival to be held on Saturday and Sunday at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. The flag was adopted in 1920 by an organization founded by black nationalist Marcus Garvey – th…

Rep. Brian Higgins encountered anger and frustration from some Commodore Perry public housing tenants when he held a press conference there Monday to tout his idea of renovating rows of empty, rundown apartments into low- and moderate-income units – and perhaps some market-rate housing, as well. Disgruntled neighbors said they fear they will be priced out of thei…