Gene Warner, The Buffalo News
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Gene Warner

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Gene Warner has been a Buffalo News reporter for 36 years.

June 2, 1926 – March 25, 2017 The thriving Jewish Community Center on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo, with its day-care program and fitness facility, might not be operating today if it weren’t for Ann Holland Cohn and her family. The year was 1995, and Jewish Center officials were weighing whether to close the Delaware Avenue building and sell it, at a time when the …

In many ways, Paris Adams and David Tyler represent the heart and soul of SABAH – Spirited Athletes Bold at Heart. Tyler’s never met a person he couldn’t compliment. “Is that the beautiful Sheila?” he always asks in greeting Sheila O’Brien, the skating association’s executive director. It doesn’t matter that Tyler’s been totally blind since birth. …

The clock is ticking, as book lovers mount a campaign to keep a treasure of local literary gems from the early 19th century where it belongs – tucked safely inside a Buffalo library or rare-book room. More than 300 rare books and pamphlets depicting life in Buffalo in the early 1800s are up for sale, and the University at Buffalo would love to display them, but it nee…

Sept. 15, 1926 – March 7, 2017 Vera Coppard-Leibovic had a cause, to educate others about the horrors of the Holocaust, and nothing would stop her from sharing her own experiences, as one of about 10,000 children to escape the Nazis on the Kindertransport trains. A couple of months ago, when her health worsened, she insisted that if others wanted her to be included…

Where else would the Bison roam but to Buffalo? Which team coming to Buffalo for this week’s NCAA basketball tournament is coached by an alumnus of another team playing here this week? Which campus housed the Capitol of the United States, for four months in 1783? And which school had a dormitory break away from the university, part of a student protest during th…

No other city has hosted more “first weekend” NCAA basketball tournament games than Buffalo. So fans who have come back for the tournament over the years have seen how the downtown landscape has been transformed. The last time the NCAA basketball tournament played Buffalo – a mere three years ago – HarborCenter was a construction site, with a 300-foot yellow …

They have little in common. One is a construction worker. Another wants to be a mental-health counselor. And one is a professional hockey broadcaster and former Buffalo Sabre. The 26 Buffalo area residents sworn in as U.S. citizens Tuesday morning have vastly different stories. They come from war-torn lands, from totalitarian regimes, even from democratic Western cou…

The bomb threat that forced the local Jewish Community Center to evacuate both its buildings, on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo and North Forest Road in Amherst, late Monday morning was part of a nationwide effort that saw at least 10 such centers targeted with similar threats, according to local and national officials. Similar threats were reported Monday -- on Presidents …

The year was 1917. Buffalo was thriving as a steel-making, grain-milling town, an important shipping port with a growing population of nearly a half million residents. The city became a magnet for southern and rural black Americans lured by attractive jobs in the steel mills and other companies. [PHOTO GALLERY: A Closer Look at the Colored Musicians Club] But that…

  Jan. 27, 1931 – Feb. 11, 2017 Dr. Robert S. Cotsen was all Buffalo, but not the kind of man who guzzled beer or gorged on chicken wings. Instead, he found joy jogging in Delaware Park every morning, shoveling his Middlesex Road walk, searching garage sales for antiques and biking down Delaware Avenue to his Buffalo Medical Group office. He even made house…

If Canalside can be a tourist destination, why not Michigan Avenue? It was a key stop on the Underground Railroad. It still boasts three historic anchor structures – the Michigan Street Baptist Church, the Nash House Museum and the Colored Musicians Club. It attracted luminaries such as Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. But the appro…

March 24, 1920 – Jan. 29, 2017 Richard E. Moot was so intent on defending democracy in World War II that even before the United States entered the war, he wanted to join the Canadian Air Force, the fastest way to enter combat. His family persuaded him to join the U.S. Navy. As a Navy signal officer, guiding pilots landing on aircraft carriers at night, he desig…

The call came at 3:10 p.m. last Thursday. Claire E. Martoche called her father, Salvatore R. Martoche, to tell him she had returned safely to her Lockport apartment, after three weeks in a Pennsylvania residential treatment program for people battling drug addiction and mental illness. “Hey, Dad, it’s Claire. I just wanted to call and let you know I’m here,” …

Local pet owners now may take their beloved cremated pets with them to their graves, at least in Forest Lawn and its three suburban cemeteries. And that means more than the obvious dogs and cats. Forest Lawn soon will become home to the cremated remains of birds and fish, rabbits and turtles, gerbils and hamsters and other pets, President Joseph P. Dispenza expects. …

The experts knew a big storm was brewing. Little did they know how crippling it would be. The evening before, on Thursday Jan. 27, 1977, the National Weather Service issued some kind of winter storm warning, aware that severe winds were barreling toward Western New York, ready to unleash their power on a few inches of fresh snow falling on top of a huge existing snowpac…