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Gene Warner

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


Local News

Calvin G. Rand escorted Queen Elizabeth II to a dinner and play in his role as founding director of the Shaw Festival in June 1973. That summer, Rand and his wife Patricia hosted two prime ministers, Indira Gandhi and Pierre Trudeau, at their Niagara-on-the-Lake summer home. And in the mid 1980s, Rand was so impressed by a dramatic reading delivered by three young ac…

Aug. 19, 1949 – Dec. 31, 2016 Starting in his early teens, Dr. Jonathan H. Miller followed several influences leading him toward a career in medicine, specifically radiology. His mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, he suffered a broken leg and he was impressed with the medical treatment both received. Later, his family’s next-door neighbor on Long Island, a …

Local News

Laura Cummings was a mentally disabled woman who was beaten, scalded and shackled to a chair before being killed in her home. Bianca Cartagena was an 8-year-old girl who suffered a tortured death, asphyxiated. And Abdi Mohamud was just 10 years old when he was beaten to death, struck some 70 times. All three were among Erie County’s most vulnerable homicide vict…

Local News

Ayanna Lofton has two small children to feed, works three different jobs as a dental assistant and is attending Erie Community College to become a nurse. She’s also got an entrepreneurial spirit, a quick smile and a ton of personality. She loves meeting people and could use a little extra cash. In short, she’d be the perfect candidate to work for a ride-hailin…

Local News

The Crips and Bloods couldn’t lure him into their gang warfare on the streets of South Central Los Angeles during his high school years, although he was robbed of his purple Lakers jacket at knifepoint one day. He returned to Buffalo, finally succumbing to the drug culture’s lure of easy money and a fast life, as he sold marijuana and then crack before becoming a mi…

Local News

Yes, Albion, you once had the nation’s No. 1 Santa Claus. His name was Charles W. Howard, and he founded the Santa Claus School in his hometown of Albion in 1937, teaching hundreds of men the techniques and nuances of becoming better department-store Santa Clauses. His students included actors Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, although he taught them both by mai…

Two armed robbers dressed in hoodies attacked a food-delivery man and stole his cell phone, keys and $80 on Tuesday evening just west of downtown, Central District police reported. The delivery man was taking the food to a Pine Harbor Walk address, near Busti Avenue, at about 5:45 p.m. Tuesday when the two men shoved him to the ground and kicked him in the face. One of …

Buffalo police finally collared a reckless driver who had led them on a chase and attempted to strike patrol cars overnight Sunday near Masten Park on the city's East Side, officials reported. The incident began shortly after 10:30 p.m. Sunday on East North Street when a Central District Police officer tried to pull over a vehicle with no registration sticker in the win…

Local News

Here’s a quick quiz for some of the Buffalo area’s most passionate eaters, especially those who love going out to eat: Name 50 restaurants in the region, excluding fast-food joints and national chains. OK, that’s doable. But can you name 100? Or 150? That seems virtually impossible, especially if they all have to be open for lunch on Monday. But eight …

Local News

Almost everyone would love to be the world's top expert on one issue, no matter how obscure the topic. But Daniel Klem Jr., a Pennsylvania ornithology professor, has been called the leading authority on one of the world's greatest environmental tragedies: Bird-window collisions. This is no laughing matter. Hundreds of millions of birds die each year by smashing into…

Local News

Former U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds donned a new hat as a public speaker Tuesday, one that says “Parent.” For 35 years, Reynolds lobbied for dozens of issues in his roles as Town of Concord board member, Erie County legislator, New York state assemblyman and congressman. But on Tuesday morning, the former congressman lobbied for one of his favorite causes – fun…

Local News

She just turned 80 years old. President Franklin D. Roosevelt came here to celebrate her birth, in 1936. A film crew celebrating the life of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall came here last spring to pay homage to her Depression-era architecture. And local officials already are planning her rebirth, as the new home for Buffalo’s police and fire headq…

History

The ill-fated ship had left the Bethlehem Steel Corp. in Lackawanna, heading toward Minnesota to pick up some iron ore when it ran into a horrific storm packing winds exceeding 65 mph and creating 30-foot waves on frigid Lake Huron. That combination proved deadly for the brittle steel hull of the SS Daniel J. Morrell, a Great Lakes freighter that split in two and sank, ki…

Buffalo firefighters early Tuesday afternoon were continuing to investigate a strange odor at the Town Ballroom in downtown Buffalo. Firefighters responded to an 11:33 a.m. report of a possible natural-gas odor at the site, between Main and Washington streets, near Tupper Street. They later found a higher than normal level of carbon monoxide in the air there, fire offi…

Local News

A key figure in the colorful bygone era of organized crime – a world filled with federal accusations of embezzling, loansharking and plenty of violence – has died. Leonard F. Falzone, once described by a federal judge as a complex "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" character, died Saturday in his Amherst home. He was 81. A longtime top official of Laborers Local 210, Fal…